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Ok, I want to back up to the previous paragraph to set the tone for tonight. Because in talking about guilt and everything that we have been talking about, it can become easy to have a negative sense about oneself. Because of course, that’s what the ego would have you engage in.
Within you is the holy sign of perfect faith your Father has in you. He does not value you as you do. He knows Himself, and knows the truth in YOU. 1
He is the Source of you. He, by the Movement of What He Is, is the Presence of each one of you and every aspect of Creation. And because He knows Himself, He knows you because He is all there is of you.
He knows THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE, for He knows not of differences. Can YOU see guilt where God KNOWS there is perfect innocence? You can DENY His knowledge, but you cannot CHANGE it.
Which means, you can deny the truth about you, but you cannot change the truth about you.
Look, then, upon the light He placed within you, and learn that what you feared was there HAS BEEN replaced with love.
Now, one of the things that causes great confusion is the fact that you have all begun to associate guilt and innocence with right and wrong. If you are guilty, you are wrong. If you are innocent, you are right. If you are guilty, you don’t deserve respect. If you are innocent, you deserve respect. And it’s not true.
It’s not true because innocence has nothing to do with right or wrong. And right and wrong have everything to do with righteousness—self-righteousness. Right and wrong have everything to do with the means you use to control each other and to control your life and to control your circumstances.
If you’re wrong, you don’t have the position from which to exercise authority and make things happen. If you’re wrong, you create disease for yourself, you say, now that you can think metaphysically about right and wrong; guilt and innocence. And if you think correctly, you can experience healing.
Now, I’m going to tell you flat out right now, that thinking right and thinking wrong has nothing to do with your perfection. Thinking right isn’t what heals you. Thinking wrong is not what causes you to be ill.
You are healed by Grace. You are healed by the Grace of God. You are healed by virtue of the fact, that since God is all there is to you, there is no place for anything unlike God. And that is why there can be an instantaneous healing of someone who hasn’t ferreted out every flaw within her or within himself, and corrected every single flaw and begun to think correctly and therefore, deserve healing.
Now, we talked last week about the fact that in the little gap between the past, (meaning memory) and the future (meaning imagination) is the Altar that is in the middle of you. It is in the “Now,” in that space which has no relationship to the past or the future; in that place where the silence is; where the pregnant fullness of your Being awaits your experience, is your innocence.
Innocence can best be described as that which has within itself nothing unlike itself. There, right and wrong do not exist. There, your healing does. There, your wholeness does. There, your Atonement is present for you to experience fully.
When you move into the past, meaning memory, you must think. When you move into the future through imagination, you must think. In either case, you are engaging in a capacity that I told you before, God did not give you. God did not give you the capacity to think.
In the little gap between memory and imagination; in the silence there, you have been provided with the capacity to Know. In that Place, you are as omniscient as God. Because nothing unlike what you Are, which is the Presence of God Being All, there is no thinking either in the past or in the future. There is nothing unlike the Now. And there’s no right or wrong.
Now it’s important to understand what I’m saying, because you think that you are guilty of doing wrong things and you think you must be punished for the wrong things you have done. It is as though guilt is a result of behavior. And this is where you all get hooked and find it difficult to justify releasing yourself from the guilt and its effects that you lay upon yourselves.
I have explained before that the moment you said, “Father, I would rather see it my way; Father, I would rather do it my way” and you proceeded to act in an independent way, independent from your Oneness with God, you created, for lack of better words, a circumstance that doesn’t represent the truth about you.
And so, because of the sanity of your Being; there’s a tone; an energy, if you will, that you can feel that reports back to you that you have stepped outside of the bounds of Reality, so to speak. It’s a dissonance, like the bell that rings when the garbage truck backs up or a large vehicle backs up, that says there is an unsafe condition prevailing at the moment.
That dissonance is felt as discomfort; and that is guilt. It is not inherent in acts you engage in, it’s inherent in the state of thinking. It’s inherent in engaging in an unnatural activity that is different from and separate from the silence in the middle of you, where you are omniscient without thinking a thought; where you Know everything without thinking a thought.
And likewise, if you want to engage in future thinking in imagination, you will find the same dissonance there. Why? Because your attention isn’t where things are happening. You’re attention is not where Reality is unfolding. You have moved into a space where you are being the determiner of conclusions and assessments and evaluations and explanations that have nothing to do with what you would find yourself omnisciently Knowing if you stayed in the little gap in the center of you, in the silence, where you’re not introducing anything unlike you.
So, if you’re experiencing guilt, it’s not because of any wrong act that you’ve done that can be corrected by engaging in a correct act. You will find that if you will disengage from thinking entirely, and meditate—sit down and allow yourself to consciously and purposely become still within yourself—the dissonance will vanish. Peace will reveal itself; Real Peace. Not a mental narcotic that makes you feel peace when you shouldn’t be feeling peace, but the peace that’s inherent in your behaving sanely; by being attentive Now, fully present Now.
Now, you all work each other over constantly with the concept of right and wrong. “If you don’t do it right, you’re gonna be sorry. If you don’t do it this way, you’re not going to have my respect. If you want respect in the world, you’re going to act intelligently based upon the world’s definitions of intelligence. And if you don’t, don’t expect any prizes.”
Control; manipulation; all for the sake of righteousness and all occurring because of what? Because, when you have left the Now—when you have left the gap between the past and the future; memory and imagination—the point is that if you want to escape from guilt, you will not try to change into a good person expressing right ideas, loving thoughts based upon your memory of what constitutes good behavior and what you’ve been taught in the past constitutes good behavior because you can’t become innocent by being right.
Now, this is not inviting or pleasing to the ego because the ego needs to be right in order to have power. But I’m telling you, that because your innocence has nothing to do with right or wrong, but has everything to do with your Being, your escape, as it were, into the freedom of your Being will come as an awareness of your complete powerlessness as a tiny private force for good.
And in the absence of any attempt to exert power as a tiny private independent force for good, you will find yourself experiencing not only the Knowing that reveals the truth to you that is omniscient, you will find yourself fully empowered in the sense of being omnipotent.
Now listen to me carefully: Omniscience: All-Knowing. Omnipotence: All Powerful.
But you know what? When you’re in the little gap and you’re not mentally dismembered; fragmented, and there is a Wholeness that is uninterrupted because there is nothing unlike itself in it, then you along with all of your Brothers and Sisters joining, or being joined with the Father, act, and Creation occurs. The action is not an act over or against anything. It is the Movement of Love. It is an emerging movement of ultimate creativity: perfection, beauty, harmony. And there isn’t any sense of private, tiny, personal power.
You see, it will have nothing to do with being right or being wrong. Healing or correction that the Course talks about, in which you are encouraged to participate in on behalf of your Brother, is not a matter of your learning how to be right and thereby having power that can heal your Brother or change him from being wrong into one who is being right, because, as we said here:
Within you is the holy sign of perfect faith your Father has in you. He does not value you as you do.
Well, when you’re in that place—in the little gap—you do not value what your Brother may be valuing because you recognize and feel the truth. And you know, you know that that truth is absolute and unchangeable. And it’s as clear as a bell to you that this is the truth about your Brother. And that’s the way you be with your Brother. And that’s what helps to open up the door, to make it, as I said last time, easier for your Brother to like himself and to abandon his inclination to blame himself and claim guilt for himself.
So both of you are lifted out of the realm of right or wrong, and of good behavior and bad behavior as “mattering.”
It isn’t what you do right or wrong within the realm of thinking that matters. It’s what you find yourself being when you take the time to become still—to go into the silence in the little gap—that Place of Excellence in you where the Altar is, and God reveals Himself to you as You. That’s where it’s at.
Many of you say, “I don’t have time to become still.” And what that means is, that you have too much thinking to do. You have too much worrying. Well worrying is mulling over the past; mulling over all of the ideas that stand as arguments against your peace. “I’ve got to think—I have too much thinking to do.” Or, “I know that tomorrow this situation is going to occur and I know that it’s going to be this or that or the other thing.” And so you worry about the future. Thinking…thinking…thinking…which is an activity that is so much static covering up your omniscience—your capacity to Know; your God-given capacity to Know.
Now, let’s go into the book.
Release and Restoration
You are accustomed to the notion that the mind can see the source of pain where it is not.
That’s not really complicated. You think that you can see your Brother or his actions as the source of your pain. You think that your kidney can be the source of your pain or the muscles in your shoulder can be the source of your pain.
You are accustomed to the notion that the mind can see the source of pain where it is not.
Well, you also think that you can see the source of pain in you. You have determined that you are making your life miserable because there’s something really wrong with you and you don’t quite know what it is. But you’re constantly “f_ _ _ ing” up your life day after day and you seem not to be able to do anything to correct it.
So, you think you can see the source of your pain in you.
“Oh, if I could just get my head on straight. If I could just straighten out my thinking, I would be able to have better control. I just can’t organize my thoughts!” And the result is chaos. “Oh, I just can’t organize my office and so I can’t find anything and it’s chaos.”
Or, you know someone who’s very good at compartmentalizing his thinking. And as a result, even though he’s in the middle of chaos, he can keep a clear sense of order and handle himself in a controlled way that manifests “intelligence.”
You constantly convince yourselves and each other every day that your thinking is solely responsible for your being well or not; of your being at peace or in chaos; of being clear or confused.
And I’m telling you that as long as you are engaging in thinking at all, you are in a level of mind which automatically has dissonance present that is telling you that you are off the beam; that says, “Come back on the beam, this is not natural to you. Do what is natural to you.” Which doesn’t mean change the way you’re thinking. It means come back to center out of thinking. Come back out of your fearful imaginations of the future into the moment—into the Now–where that dissonance is not present, and where your omniscience is.
You are accustomed to the notion that the mind can see the source of pain where it is not. The doubtful service …
… the questionable service …
… of displacement is to hide the REAL source of your guilt, and KEEP from your awareness the full perception THAT IT IS INSANE.
You see, by saying, “So-and-so out there is creating my problem, or my body is creating my problem, or my bad thinking is creating my problem,” that’s the way you distract yourself from seeing what it is that would bring about correction. It isn’t anything out there. It isn’t your good thoughts or bad thoughts. It is that, you are at the moment looking at everything through the lens of thinking—through the overlay of determinations and conclusions you are coming to about everything without having been silent enough and attentive enough to let every single thing reveal to you what It divinely is; something which you can only experience if you are listening; if you are quiet!
When you’re providing the definitions, what you are defining can’t reach you because you’re making too much noise.
The doubtful service of displacement is to hide the REAL source of your guilt, and KEEP from your awareness the full perception THAT IT IS INSANE. Displacement always is maintained by the illusion that the source, from which attention is diverted, must be TRUE, AND MUST BE FEARFUL, or you would not have displaced the guilt onto what you believed to be LESS fearful.
Now, you feel guilty because you have left your peace. You have left your Center. You have indulged in thinking. You interpret it to be an experience of your guilt and you have determined that what you must be guilty of is real, making you vulnerable to whatever the penalty is for that guilt.
And that sends you on a wild goose chase if you’re going to try to track it down. It sends you on a wild goose chase because it isn’t something that you’re doing; it isn’t an act you’ve engaged in; it isn’t a particular thought that you had that is creating the dissonance; it’s that you’re thinking, period. And you need to get back to Center. You need to value your peace enough to access it first before you act; before you respond to life.
You are therefore willing, with little opposition…
… from within you …
… to look upon all sorts of “sources” underneath awareness…
… “um-m I must have a very subtle thought of negativity here that I haven’t been willing to look at, but it must be operating somewhere in me.”
You hear the vagueness? “Boy, it’s there. Something is there. There’s a source that’s not quite explainable. It’s gonna to be difficult to find, but by dammit I’m going to find it and I’m going to chuck it out. And then I’ll be free. I’ll have my peace.” No.
Sit down and meditate. Sit down and meditate for twenty minutes. You’ll have your peace and it will be the Real Peace of your Being. And you won’t have ferreted out any faulty thinking to deserve to have the Peace.
You are therefore willing, with little opposition, to look upon all sorts of “sources” underneath awareness, provided that they are not the deeper source to which they bear no real relationship at all.
All the little thoughts, all the little subtle faults that you would find yourselves looking for, will never have anything to do with the fact that the dissonance you’re feeling; the guilt you’re experiencing, is not from anything you are doing, but is from engaging in an activity of mind that you can’t successfully engage in because you—the divine one that you are—cannot become insane.
Insane ideas HAVE no real relationships, for that is WHY they are insane. No real relationship can rest on guilt, or even hold one spot of it to mar its purity.
Who you are and who your Brother is, divinely, cannot be changed. And your real relationships with each other cannot be altered even though both of you may indulge in fantasy—in imagination. And by virtue of indulging in imagination, creating for yourselves that experience of an undercurrent; a dissonance that simply is your sanity saying, “Come back, you are attempting to do something you cannot really do. Don’t bother doing it; don’t bother continuing to do it.”
No real relationship can rest on guilt, or even hold one spot of it to mar its purity. For all relationships which guilt has touched are used but to avoid the person AND the guilt.
When you judge your Brother to be guilty, even if you’re saying that you’re doing it to help him correct his problem, what you’re engaged in is avoiding being connected with your Brother because you’re looking at a definition you’ve made up about him, instead of him. You have moved into fantasy. You’ve moved into the realm of thinking. And when you do that, you cannot be present with who and what your Brother really is or who and what your world really is.
Now, what this means is, that if you want to become free of guilt, you are going to have to move to where guilt doesn’t exist. You will not be able to stay within the realm of thinking and judging and manipulate thoughts and imagined circumstances so as to demonstrate and prove the guiltlessness of you or anyone else who is still engaged in thinking.
You will have to come to a point of saying, “You know what? I do have time. I do have time to go into the silence. I do have time to become centered. In fact, I’m obligated to become centered no matter what is going on if indeed, I want to be—I’m going to say—an effective Presence; a Presence that uncovers perfection; a Presence that uncovers wholeness; a Presence that illuminates harmony; a Presence with Whom it is easier for my Brother or Sister to recognize the truth about himself or herself and like himself or herself more easily.
… all relationships which guilt has touched are used but to avoid the person AND the guilt. What strange relationships you have made for this strange purpose!
The strange relationships you have made are the relationships of orphans. You all think that you are orphans—independent—and you have figured out a way to relate to each other and you use your relationships for control.
You don’t use your relationships as the opportunity to silently be present with the one you’re in relationship with, so that in the absence of your own imaginations and determinations and analyses, you can recognize your Brother because you’re not introducing anything strange into the mix. And your Brother can feel your Presence with him and be pleased; be filled with joy that blesses you as well.
What strange relationships you have made for this strange purpose! And you forgot that real relationships are holy, and cannot be used by YOU at all. They are used only by the Holy Spirit…
… that which is nothing more than your Right Mind …
They are used only by the Holy Spirit and it is that which MAKES them pure.
Pure. That’s a good word for that which contains within itself nothing unlike itself. Right? Pure: The meaning of innocence.
You see, if you have right and wrong going on and warring with each other; and right triumphs over wrong, you still got right and wrong except that now right is dominating. There’s still no purity; there’s that present with rightness that is unlike it. And as long as you insist upon functioning within the realm of thinking—either the rehearsal of the past, memory, or the practice of imagination regarding the future—you will not be able to free yourself.
The answer to guilt is, the realization that you are innocent. You are right now the direct expression of God. You are not an orphan. If you think you are, and if you think you can operate independently on your own, it doesn’t make it true. But the way out of it is, to realize that you must move into, for lack of better words, the realm of innocence.
The purity of you that is constituted of the Movement of God being all there is to you, being all there is to your mind, which having no activities unlike its nature and character is free of conflict; is free of the dissonance interpreted as guilt that causes you to think you must do something to prove your righteousness and use your Brothers as the scapegoats for your attempts.
I’m going to back up to a paragraph from last time.
… if you’re engaging in it, if you’re engaging in feeling guilty or if you are engaging in using guilt for purposes of control …
Guilt makes you blind, for while you see one spot of guilt within you, you will NOT see the light. And by projecting it …
… out there to your body; your neighbor; circumstances, whatever…
… the WORLD seems dark, and shrouded in your guilt. You throw a dark veil over it, and cannot see it BECAUSE YOU CANNOT LOOK WITHIN. You are afraid of what you would see there, but it is NOT there.
You see, and if you go looking for it and you are afraid of it, you will not find that it’s not there because you’re going to stay in the realm of thinking; in the realm of attempting to be in control. You’re not going to let yourself into the Now. You’re not going to let yourself into that Place of innocence. You’re not going to let yourself into that place where you say, “I know that I of myself can do nothing, because I, all by myself, do not exist.”
“The “I” that thinks it’s all by itself is a figment of, ah-h… imagination. And so I’m willing to be in the place where I am nothing all by myself. I will abandon being the orphan that is nothing. And I invite my Father back into the picture. Father, help me, Father, reveal to me the Knowing…” or as it uses the word in the Course, “the knowledge that reveals truth and perfection and reality to me.
“Fill me today with all thou art. I’m willing to take my place as your Son. I’m willing to take my place as your offspring reflecting You. And I will stop using relationships for purposes of control, which is not what they were for. And I will care enough about my brother that I will hold him guiltless, because I’m willing to acknowledge that right where he is, You, Father, must be. If You weren’t there, there couldn’t seem to be anything there at all. And so I’m willing to bless him rather than curse him with my judgment and projecting guilt on him.
“I’m through feeling the dissonance of my daring to think. I withdraw my willingness to project my discomfort, caused by my thinking, upon my Brother and making him guilty for it and trying to prove it to him so that I can make him change his behavior so that I can feel better.
“I am going to choose to abandon the thinking which is the culprit. And go into that Place of silence within me, to the Altar, in the little gap between memory and imagination.”
As I said last week, this does not have to take a long time. You can just stop outside the Post Office and bless those who walk past you.
Now it’s very important: As long as you’re using relationships for what they are not meant, you foul up the way you experience things.
… you forgot that real relationships are holy and cannot be used by YOU at all. They are used only by the Holy Spirit, and it is that which MAKES them pure. For by pre-empting for your OWN ends what you should have given to HIM…
… remember the two-step? You step back, “Father, what does this mean? Holy Spirit, what does this mean?”
For by pre-empting for your OWN ends what you should have given to Him, he cannot use them unto YOUR release. No-one who would unite in ANY way with ANYONE for his OWN salvation will find it in that strange relationship.
No one who would unite in ANY way with ANYONE for his OWN salvation will find it in that strange relationship. You use a relationship for a purpose it was not intended and the purpose it was intended for will escape you completely.
It is not shared, and so it is not real.
As long as you’re so sure that you know who your Brother and Sister really is, the bastard or bitch that they are, or the ignorant one, or BLACK one, or the one who isn’t so intelligent, or the cranky one; when you approach your Brother with that mindset, you’re not approaching your Brother at all. You’re approaching the picture you have in your mind of them and you’re avoiding actual experience with them. And so the function for which a relationship exists will escape you entirely because you’re blocking the relationship from registering with you.
Now, I want to come back to this point: The reason you approach each other in this fashion is because you want to be right. And you want to be right because you want to have authority and power. And you think you can’t have that if you’re not in charge and if you don’t get agreement with your Brother or Sister by means of control.
And so, you never become defenseless with your Brother or Sister. Defenseless with your Brother or Sister means being willing to be unguardedly present with them so that connection can occur and the blessing of what a real relationship is for, can be your experience.
Guilt will disappear and its effects will disappear when you are willing to be defenselessly present with your Brother or Sister. But you won’t be able to be defenselessly present with your Brother or Sister until you’ve cared enough about your Brother or Sister to abandon your preconceptions about him or her, and your Brother’s and Sister’s conceptions about himself or herself. And you’re willing to step back a moment and say, “What is the truth here Father? Reveal to me—reveal Yourself to me in them. Help me to see You in them, so that I might look at them and remember You, which is my function.”
And as I said last time, the reason out of all the possible things that you could do; the reason this one thing is your function, is because it’s the way you come back Home. It’s the way you slip into the little Gap. And I’ll tell you, that as long as you’re dreaming, everything that confronts you is geared toward your waking up. Everything is the opportunity for you to do the two-step.
You are your Brother’s salvation and your Brother is your salvation.
Now, it’s time to lay guilt aside.
I know, many of you like the place in the Course where it says that a time will come when you will lay your body aside. The visibility and tangibility of God; the visibility and tangibility of Creation will never be laid aside. What will be laid aside is the intent that each of you thinks you have to carry out; to have false definitions about all of Creation and you will lay those aside.
Now, I am saying, have a great reverence for the idea of laying guilt aside. Let it die. Let it go. You can do it today. How? Not by doing anything to it. And not by trying to improve your thinking. But by abandoning thinking itself and going into the silence and listening.
And one of the best ways to silence judgment is by engaging in the practice of blessing your Brothers and Sisters. Do it. All week long, do it, do it, do it, do it! It will transform you. Why? Because you’re thinking something right? No. Because you’re abandoning judgment; because you’re silencing a fraudulent mindset; and because you want to come Home.
I look forward to being with you next week. I thank you for your attention and I ask you to bring your attention all week long into the little gap, no matter what you’re doing. Bless the dishes you’re washing. Bless the opportunity to be cleaning something. Bless your Brothers and Sisters.
And, Bless yourselves. The movement of Love is the Movement of Creation. Engage in It rather than the practice or valuing of guilt.
T13.3 Release and Restoration ↩
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