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This past week Paul received an interesting email in which objection was taken to my language during the past two gatherings (study groups). And a request was made that Paul delete the offending words from the audio tapes, with a strong suggestion that if I didn’t, that probably support for the work he and I (Paul and I) are engaged in, would diminish.
Well, I’m not surprised. Two thousand years ago people quibbled about my words. When I healed someone in the name of God, I was challenged because I did not have “the authority” to do that—meaning I didn’t have the credentials that honored me with the right to do it. I was accused of consorting with publicans and sinners. In other words, not the upper spiritual crust of society. And the accusations were made with much judgment, if I may put it this way, much self-righteous judgment.
I might suggest that a worse word, than the one I used, is actually two words: self righteousness. Self righteousness.
Yes, I associate with publicans and sinners, and not the spiritual hoi polloi. And why? Because the publicans and sinners don’t have the mutually-accepted definitions well developed that define what makes one acceptable or not. They see you; they speak to you; you respond to them. And they’re very real, right where they are, and with you. It doesn’t matter what your background is. It matters how you’re being with them in the moment. And the other thing is that because they are not puffed up with self-pride, it doesn’t get in the way of communication. And they know that they don’t know. And so their curiosity is genuine; their openness is genuine.
A year or two ago, Paul and Sue pulled into a little hole-in-the-wall pizza parlor. And they were in a rush, so they picked this place which they had never been to before. And they pulled up in front and there were about ten Harley-Davidsons parked out, heavy with leather and silver, and you knew these weren’t casual cyclists. And they went in and here were ten or twelve leather-jacketed, bearded, gruff-looking, rough-looking men sitting around a table. And Paul and Susan sat down nearby; placed their order. And while they were sitting there, they couldn’t help but overhear the conversation. And needless to say, it wasn’t exactly what they were expecting. They heard the words “Jesus” and “God” and other Christian terminology. And they surreptitiously glanced over at the table, and here each of the men had a Bible in front of them on the table, and they were having their church service. And in fact, when they noticed that Paul and Susan were curious, they invited them over to join them.
Now, do you really think that I only talk to the people with “clean” minds? I mean, let’s be real. And do you think the language of these bikers when they’re out on the road, is not worse than the word I used, on a more consistent basis? And when they get mad, do you not think that they curse me, with a longer string of obscenities that express anger rather than a point? And do you think I’m offended? Do you think I’m shocked by the language?
I’m going to tell all of you something: Whatever you take offense to is something which you hold yourself apart from. And generally you hold yourself apart from it with a haughty, superior, self-righteous attitude. What I want you to know is that the call for being the Christ may well come from someone who is behaving toward you in an offensive manner. And if your ego is going to go into hissy-fits over the language, you are going to be totally sidetracked from the call for love and your capacity to respond to it if your goddamned ego weren’t so important to you. [said in a feigned apologetic tone] Oh, I’m sorry. More bad language.
But you know what? This language isn’t foreign to you, and you know that that language right there wasn’t really a curse on God. It’s a phrase that’s used. And you know what? I used it well there. I used it well, because there is absolutely no cause for respect to be given to such immature, ungrounded spirituality. I hate to even use the word “spirituality” relative to it.
When my Brothers, who were having their church service, have a problem and in asking for help they curse or they use foul language, [it is] because to them it simply expresses with strength the degree of their hurting. You know what? If they listen and if they can hear me, they may well hear me respond with some of the words they’ve used. Why? Because I know how to be appropriate in the moment and speak in language that will be understood and interpreted as intimate, even though it’s not the language I usually use.
But it’s time for those of you, who might have been offended by what I said, to be willing to become a little more real, a little more down-to-earth, a little bit less willing to be so easily offended. Because in the moments in which you’re indulging in offense, you are incapable of being the presence of love for your Brother.
The question was put to Paul in the email: Ask yourself, “What came out of your very lips, is this something God would say?” You know what? Divine Love meets the need in the language of your present perception. I am responding to you, I am inspiring you in the language of your present perception. And the language of your present perception, although it may not be filled with profanity, is filled with ignorance, and many times is offensive—without your even being aware that what you’re expressing is insensitivity—distancing yourself from another by conveying a superiority, but doing it anyway and hurting your Brother.
So, Paul very perfectly expressed exactly what I was saying, exactly what I was meaning—and not one word will be changed in the audio tapes or the transcript. And again, for those who might have been offended, I encourage you to approach me directly in your own mind, and ask me—why it is that you’re offended?—what is there in you that took offense?
Now, some of you try to be pure as part of your advancement in your spiritual growth. But you know what? Purity isn’t about the language you use; it’s about the motive behind the language you use. Is the language you use arising out of your peace? Is the language you’re using arising out of singularity within you, minus all reaction, minus all self-righteousness, minus all judgment? If it is, then no matter what the words are, it carries the unction of God, it carries the tone of God in ways that are specifically healing, even though they may surprise you and those who hear them. Purity has to do with the singularity or the unconflictedness of your mind when you are using whatever words you’re using. Spiritual purity has nothing to do with manners—socially accepted spiritual manners. It has to do with your being able to hit the mark in the moment, because you’re in touch with the need, and you feel/know exactly what will meet the need.
Now I will tell you something: it will take a long time for you to hear the Holy Spirit or me if you say, “Holy Spirit, Jesus, please speak to me, but promise you won’t offend me.” I promise you that I will offend you. I will offend artificial boundaries, unreal bondages, that you are committed to. And I will stretch your mind beyond the limits of reasonability—according to your definitions of reasonability—because it is not my task to leave any of you in the midst of the status quo that you’re suffering from. And so I will always be offending the artificial boundaries that you are binding yourself with. You had best listen for me, or the Holy Spirit, unconditionally.
And when we surprise you, ask what we mean—how could we say that? But let us speak first, before you object. Give us a chance to elaborate before you interrupt with your shock. Your shock—“Oh, tsk, tsk, tsk.” Like women from two hundred years ago suffering from the vapors, “Oh, tsk, tsk. The delicate sensibilities. Oh, you have shocked me.” Swoon.
You know, there are three steps: listen to me, listen to the Holy Spirit, learn, and do. And the “do” part means act in a way consistent with what you heard and learned, whether it abides by the mutually-agreed-upon definitions that everyone is operating under. If indeed you are going to be an agent for change, if indeed you’re going to wake up, you are going to begin to behave in ways that are inconsistent with the status quo; that violate and offend whatever the current sensibilities are of the group you’re in, with its mutually-agreed-upon definitions and meanings that everyone must abide by if there is going to be any kind of sane order to life.
If you’re going to be willing to say, “Thy Will be done, not mine,” you’re going to have to be willing to set aside your delicate sensibilities. And you’re going to have to be willing to embrace an experience of Christliness that puts you in touch with the publicans and sinners; that puts you, so to speak, in the workplace where the work can be done, and the changes can be effected. And the contribution can be made where the contribution will be received. And even then, there will be a little bit of dissonance.
You know, you are all good, without a façade of spirituality, without a façade or mannerisms of purity, without language that because it has no dirty words in it, denotes the level of advancement you’re at. This is all ego “camel dung”? [some audience laughter] What word should I use? [pause] Bullshit. [pause] No one misunderstands the meaning.
We’ve just spoken in the last three weeks about the fact that you can listen to a call for love without taking offense. Right? You don’t have to be offended by, you don’t have to go into a state of reaction because of a call for love. You can recognize that the call for love is presented as an attack or bad behavior, but you don’t have to take offense. And because you don’t take offense, you’re in a position to still be in touch with your Brother, the one who made the call for love.
But I promise you, you move into a state of “being offended” and go into your own internal state of reaction, and you’ve lost connection with your Brother and you’ve lost the ability to relate to him. And anything that follows will be you bouncing off of your own reactions, and letting the response to your own reactions be directed out there toward the Brother, who has nothing to do with what’s going on in you. And your Brother will recognize the lack of connection and will stop listening to you, unless he cares to become offended too, and join you. And the blind leading the blind, both will fall into the ditch.
Being offended by what I’ve said, is a bunch of nonsense that you don’t need to expend any energy on. Being offended by anyone’s behavior is an activity that is useless, and keeps you, absolutely keeps you from being able to be a truly spiritual, relevant agent for change, who is able to stay connected with his Brother using whatever language is appropriate at the moment, so that the connection isn’t lost and the communication of love isn’t interrupted, and the reason for being together, the reason for the communion can stand clear and be healing.
Nothing under the sun can offend me. And nothing under the sun should offend any of you.
And if it does, get to work on it. Get to work on it in terms of, for lack of better words, being willing to not distance yourself from it. Let yourself be with it, so that you might find that whatever “it” is, isn’t what is offending you, but your own reactions, your own definitions, your own mindset, which constitutes your own bondage. Be with it until its offensiveness leaves, dissolves.
It doesn’t mean that the language will be adopted by you so that every other word is profane, but it means that when you hear it, you can still be in your peace. And if a call comes for it to be appropriately used, you can use it without reaction so that it does not carry with it to the one you’re using it with, anything other than the purest meaning that you are conveying, which will never be hate or self-righteousness, but will connote a realism—you speaking from your Soul.
Oh, I know. “But your Soul wouldn’t use that word.” Well, I’m telling you that your Soul would use that word with a particular individual, in a particular circumstance. And because it is used, it will have its healing effect. Now, you all have to be willing to abandon what you’re so goddamned confident about.
Now mind you, the suggestion was made that if I used the word I used before, all support would be lost. And I haven’t used it, have I? Fuck. Just call me the Lenny Bruce of the new spiritual community. [some audience laughter]
What does all this have to do with A Course in Miracles? No, the question is, “What does A Course in Miracles have to do with all of this?” A Course in Miracles has to do with you all engaging in abandoning mutually-agreed definitions and concepts that you have used to keep yourself unconscious of God, to keep yourself in a state of mind in which you have sovereign independence over yourselves—except that it’s not really sovereign, because you all have to cooperate with each other to be sure you’re abiding by these mutually-agreed-upon definitions, which, of course, includes using certain language, associating with certain people, and certainly not honoring the lowlife.
You know what? You walk around today and you see women with ducktails. They’re not called that anymore, but it’s short hair, cut down to the nape of the neck. How many of you realize that fifty years ago when the first girls did that, they were the lowlife, and they were looked down upon and sneered at? And now: “Why, that’s a perky hairdo. Don’t you look cute? Boy, I think I’ll get one of those. It just does wonders for you.”
What does A Course in Miracles have to do with all of this? It has to do with your beginning to take a closer look at the use you’re putting your own mind to, and discovering the ways in which you are using righteousness, or any other topic, as a means of keeping yourself separate from your Brother—your Brothers and your Sisters. It has to do with looking at your world with innocent eyes and innocent ears, so that you might hear and see the meaning, without the meaning being distorted by “your taking offense,” without your indulging in righteous reaction.
Because whatever measuring stick you’re using for your righteousness, as long as it is holding you separate from and above another, it’s pure ego shit. Or shall I say, it’s pure ego illusion? Well, it’s far less effective to say “pure ego illusion,” because, “illusion,” yeah, that’s a word you use and no big deal. But I say “pure ego shit,” and you pay attention. And you know that it’s something more than just “a casual illusion.” If it’s “pure ego shit,” you know ya better clean it up. You know something needs to be done about it.
“But ‘pure ego illusion,’ yeah, well, who knows what that really means? And so for the time being, I’ll just use the word ‘pure ego illusion’ and I won’t have to do anything about it. I won’t have to … see I’ve listened, but I don’t have to learn. And if I don’t have to learn, then I don’t have to do. And if I don’t have to do, well, nobody can be upset with me. And I won’t have to face whatever fulfillment really means. [laughing] I won’t have to face whatever waking up means. I love the idea of wakening. I love the idea of awakening, but don’t make me do it yet. Okay? Because I don’t know what it will involve, and I don’t know what it will turn me into. And so I would just as soon ‘think about’ bliss. Oh, yes, I know.” You don’t know anything. But you say, “I know. It will mean eternal bliss. I’ll think about that for a while. But don’t rush me on the learning part where I actually am different because I’ve learned. And don’t make me move on to the next step of doing, where I have to behave consistent with what I’ve learned. Because I know that when I do that, it’s going to make waves. It’s going to offend someone’s sensibilities.” That’s what this book is about!
So we talked a couple of weeks ago about not taking offense, not having to take offense when a call for love, that is a form of ugliness, presents itself. And then I used a simple word. And everybody—not everybody—but many took offense. And no … no bells went off in their head that said, “Oh, this is what Raj was talking about. This is what the Course was talking about. A real experiential thing. Something that I really need to take a look at because obviously this is what the Course was saying I don’t need to do.” You see?
Ah, you listened and you heard, and now if the bells went off, or even if they didn’t go off, but if they’re go off tonight, you’re in a position of learning. You’re in a position of being able to make a shift, a real change, so that the next time you hear the word “fuck,” it will not bother you, because you have something better to do than to be in a feminine—I apologize to the women—but it’s been characterized as a weak, feminine characteristic—which isn’t true about women. And men express it equally, except they don’t swoon or faint. They say, “This is unacceptable! This … this is unacceptable!” You see? And they try to bring all their masculinity into it. They try to bring the wholeness of the meaning of the word “no” into it—which is exactly, and only, the thing I was setting the example for when I used the words two weeks ago. But these men, instead of swooning, try to bring the force of their human masculinity into expression to effect a change. The woman swoons and she’s out of it. She changed everything by leaving the scene. But the man tries to change everything by being authoritative from an unjoined place. Both of them are responding, the women and the men are responding from “their offendedness,” not from their Being.
Now it’s absolutely useless for us to go through this book and bask in the beauty of the words, and think that somehow we’re on the spiritual beam. Because until change is effected in each of you, and learning actually occurs, nothing is happening and there’s not the slightest presence of spirituality, real spirituality to what’s going on. Real spirituality occurs when you can sit down with a group of bikers who are using foul language, and not being offended by it, and actually perhaps being able to grasp the meaninglessness of their use of the words, or the meaning that they’re giving to it that is entirely different from what your educated mind has determined those words mean. And if you can be with them and respond to them with understanding, because you’re connected with them without judgment, communication can occur and you can be an agent for change.
You know what? When you’re offended by something, the one who has offended you knows they own you. They’ve gotcha. They know they’re in control, and they know you’re out of control.
You’re walking down the street. You’re dressed nicely; decently at least. Some raunchy-looking guy is leaning against the lamp post. He says, “Hey, motherfucker, get over here!” And of course, you—all clean and spiffy and pure—cringe. You immediately are filled with fear. You immediately feel that you’re being confronted with [or] by something that you’re unequal to. And the fellow at the post knows he has the power. But if when he said that, you said back to him, “Hey, motherfucker, smile when you say that!” [some audience laughter] What do you think?
Your ability to say those words may save your life one of these days. But it won’t save your life, if you’re offended by it. Do you see what I’m saying? Are you learning something tonight?
Are you trying to tell me that God, that the Holy Spirit, that divine Intelligence, is not—when you lean into it—going to prepare you and facilitate the way for you to be utterly appropriate in any given moment? How do you think you’re going to cast out devils if you don’t cast them out, if you don’t dismiss them?
[said in a wimpy voice] “Pretty please, Satan, would you get behind me?”
You don’t ask the devil to get behind you. You don’t ask an illusion to depart. You dismiss it, as has been said, with the abiding conviction that it is illegitimate. In other words, having no capacity to stand in its own right and object to your dismissal.
“Well, I didn’t really know that the Course meant that I would have to change the way I behave. Oh, I didn’t really know that the Course, what the Course teaches meant that I would have to change.”
What the Course means to convey to you is that your experience is reflecting exactly what your current beliefs are, and that if you want your experience to change, you’ve got to change your beliefs, you’ve got to change your mutually-agreed-upon definitions, and you’ve got to change the criteria by which you are offended, among other things. But we’re not just talking about shifting from these definitions to some new definitions you make up. We’re talking about shifting from definitions that you have been using as a shield between you and what Reality is so that you’re not experiencing Reality for what it is; we’re talking about abandoning the definitions so that you’re in an unshielded, intimate relationship with What Everything Really Is.
Now I’m speaking very definitely tonight, aren’t I? Am I hollering? No. Am I angry? No. But you know what? When you know the Truth, you can speak it clearly, and you can speak it distinctly, and you can speak it without apology. And you can speak it without guilt. And you can be the clarity that transforms without manipulating, without attempting to control everything around you.
And the clarity with which you speak might be heard by another as a clarity they would only ever allow to come out of their mouth when they were upset. And so the assumption is that when someone is speaking with clarity, they must be upset. And it’s not true.
Now if anyone would like me to go back to mouthing the pretty words in A Course in Miracles, tough shit. Go somewhere else. Take your support somewhere else. Because you know what? What you’re interested in supporting is not the Truth. What you’re interested in supporting is your own ego. What you’re interested in supporting is something that at least some group of people recognizes to be a “holy” thing. And because you all agree that it’s a “holy” thing, and you all agree to have reverence for it, you’re actually accomplishing something; you’re actually being something. But you’re not. You’re just hovering in pink clouds. And sure as hell, some motherfucker’s gonna come and knock you out of those clouds. And I’m willing to be that motherfucker, because I love you. And because if you don’t do it, none of this means shit!
Am I angry? No. But I can be straight with you. I can even be gay with you. But I’ll tell you something. I’m not here to cater to your egos. I’m here to cater to the Father. I’m here to cater to the Truth. And I’m here to express it in whatever way gets you out of your ivory towers, and off of your marble pedestals, into a practical grounded spirituality, a practical grounded connectedness with where you are, so that as you abandon your being offended by where you are, What It Really Is can begin to register with you, because your way of looking at things has changed.
Now, I’m going to stop now. I have been talking pure Course in Miracles tonight. It doesn’t all have to be in the words that we’ve been reading. And if the words that we’ve been reading do not lead you to this kind of practical groundedness, the book isn’t worth a hill of beans. Is “beans” a bad word? Somewhere it probably is.
Every week when we finish, I say I love you. Tonight I’m going to say I love you enough not to allow any of you to continue in a fanciful concept of what the Christ is, and how the Christ behaves, and how the Christ functions.
I have conveyed to you that you never have to worry that you could do anything that would offend me. And that however you approach me—angry, sad, grief stricken, pleasantly, offensively—it’s not going to get in the way of my being with you, and my being appropriate with you, and my conveying to you your Integrity—whether you’ve been expressing it well or not—so that your Integrity might be confirmed to you and allow you to abandon the grotesque or obtuse way in which you’ve been expressing the divine one that you are; so that you know there’s a way out; so that you know that there is no way you can be trapped. And
I encourage everyone who has the tendency to be easily offended to take a look at this habit, like a garment that you’re wrapped up in, so that you might take it off, because it isn’t what you thought it was, and it isn’t what you want. What you want is to be able to be unoffendedly real and appropriate in any given moment, under any given circumstance, so that the clarity of the excellence of you can find expression no matter what the words, and hit their mark in a way that confirms to your Brother or Sister that he or she has Integrity, and that he or she is not stuck.
[Raj speaking to each person] I love you … and I love you … and I love you … and I love you … and I love you … and I love you … and I love you, motherfucker … and I love you … and I love you.
And I look forward to being with you next week. And you know what? I trust that you’ll be back, because I know you can learn. And I know learning has occurred.
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