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Good evening. And welcome to everyone who’s joining us on the Internet.
We’re reading and have been reading from this book, A Course In Miracles for quite a while. There’s a lot to read. There’s a lot to understand.
In many cases, students of the Course do not embody the fact that the Course is ecumenical by nature. Its function is ecumenical. It’s not divisive. It doesn’t set one over another or one group over another group or one race over another race.
You know what? Truth is non-denominational. What we’re reading about isn’t true for the good guys and a problem for the bad guys. Answers are Answers. Solutions are solutions. That which corrects, corrects in all cases. Two times two is four is the correction for two times two is five. No matter where you go in Creation, the correction to two times two is five will be two times two is four. No matter what species you might run into throughout the galaxies, this truth; two times two is four, will always be the correction to two times two is five.
Real correction brings everyone together. Is what you’re learning as you study the Course bringing you into closer and better proximity with those you meet? Or, do you say, “Um…you know, I really can’t talk about the things I’m learning in the Course with so-and-so. It’s too far out, she wouldn’t agree.”
Well, if you were to tell so-in-so that two times two is four, would they understand? If you’re going to say something to someone else that they’re not understanding, it’s going to be because you’re saying it in a non-understandable way.
Why would you do that? You would do it because in your reading of the Course, in your reading of the truth, you have couched it in language that has meaning for you and you alone. Oh-h, which makes it very special and which makes you very special and makes it impossible for you to be able to do the two-step with your neighbor.
That’s not ecumenical is it? It’s divisive. And it is in absolute opposition to what the truth is that the Course is helping to uncover in you.
If you can’t share what you’re learning in the Course with so-and-so, it’s only because you have said, “Well, I don’t have the time to be present with this one long enough to glean from this one what words would identify the meaning I’ve learned from the Course, so that they would understand that meaning and so that we could experience connection—communion—communication.”
If the Course isn’t bringing about connection, it isn’t having its ecumenical benefit. It isn’t fulfilling its ecumenical purpose. And you’re missing the point. And you’re delaying your very own progress.
Please, don’t ever say again, “So-and-so wouldn’t understand the Course if I tried to explain it to them,” as though the fault lay with so-and-so that you were going to explain it to. Or as though the fault lay in the Course because it was so complex that it’s not understandable.
Dare to do the two-step. Dare to step back and ask, “What is it that I need to know in order to be able to share this truth in a way that it will be understood?”
Now, this brings us to another point which many of you are misunderstanding. When I say do the two-step, step back and ask, “What is the truth here?” In other words, if you are confronted by someone who is in a state of fear; of state of ego-reaction, who is, let us say, practicing laying guilt trips on others; on themselves; and on you, and you say, “What is the truth here?” This does not mean that you are asking to find out what the specifics are of the abnormal, internal, psychological processes that are occurring. In other words, when you’re asking to know what the truth is, you’re not looking for or being attentive for a specific explanation of the problem.
If you’re experiencing an abdominal pain or a pain in the neck, and you do the two-step—you step back and you say, “Father, or Holy Spirit, or my Guide, what is the truth here?” You’re not asking for a lesson in physiology. What you’re asking for is the truth about neck, abdomen, or whatever.
For example: The structural aspects of what you call your body are not constituted of matter. They are constituted of Spirit. Spirit is a synonym for God. The substance of your body is not matter. It is Spirit. This is the beginning of understanding what the truth is there in your neck or in your abdomen.
It’s an understanding of what the truth is that allows you to relax and let go of your fear and be in-filled with the truth, I’m going to say, the dynamic meaning of the truth; that all there is to the substance of your body is Spirit. In other words, an in-filling of the joyous, full experience of its perfection—the perfection that is inseparable from That which is Sourcing it; in other words, God, where you are feeling God there; not as a physical sensation but as a Soul experience.
This awaits you. But I promise you that if, when you say, “What is the truth here?,” you’re expecting an explanation of the physiology of the problem, you will not experience the in-filling of the meaning of the Godness of that which the question is being asked about. And you will stay at the level of the problem, caught in thinking.
This is very important and I’m going to say it again: When you’re asking, “What is the truth here?” you are asking to know what the divine truth is here in your neck; in your abdomen; in your toe; in you. Anything less will not be illuminating, enlightening, or healing—in other words, transformational. And what you want is transformation.
Now, we spoke last time about learning to be quiet and be present with anything in order to let that thing disclose to you what it is. And when it’s your Brother or your Sister that you’re willing to be present with, so that the truth might be; and what they are might be revealed to you by them, understand that you are listening for that which comes forth from that which is Real in them. Not the psychological mess that they seem to currently be.
You see, this is important. When you want to know the truth—when you want to know the Meaning of someone or something—be listening for, be attentive to that which comes from and reveals the divine nature of that one or that thing. Because it is what is divinely true about your Brother or about a thing, that transforms your awareness of them; illuminating it and imbuing it with the nature of Love; divine Love, the Father’s Love that allows you to see the Father in that one or in that thing. And in seeing the Father there, laying the groundwork for transformation for that one; you make the gift and both of you are blessed.
No-one is who they think they are. And no-one is who you think they are. Whatever you are thinking, is a block that you place between yourself and them making it impossible for you to be directly connected with them where communication can occur; contact can occur; connection can occur. Which is the whole ecumenical purpose of the Course.
If any of you are reading the Course for the purpose of becoming superior to everyone else or for the purpose of becoming special at the expense of the value—the inherent value of everyone else, then you will never glean from the Course what it holds for you. Never, until you decide to use it for a different reason.
So, I guess the message so far this evening is, whatever you do, whether it’s relative to the Course or just relative to living your life, let it be for ecumenical reasons. Let it be with ecumenical intent and embrace. And find the way to express the truth that your Brother can hear.
I’m going to tell you this: If you can’t say it in a way that your Brother can hear, you don’t understand it yourself. The moment you understand it, it will be easy and joyful to share it in whatever way comes forth.
Okay. Let’s go into the book. And I’m going to back up one sentence:
No-one who would unite in ANY way with ANYONE for his OWN salvation will find it in that strange relationship.1
Now what does it mean; no-one who would unite in ANY way for his own salvation?
Well, a lot of people have fun going to bazaars and markets where you can barter so that your interaction with your Brother is a negotiation to leave you in a better spot, period. In other words, you love it because you, in that environment, can get perhaps a better deal than someone else can depending upon your skill at bartering. And so, you unite with the seller for your own salvation—for your own benefit. Or, you will go somewhere where you can get what you want, the cheapest. And you deal with that person for your own benefit—for your own salvation.
No-one who would unite in ANY way with ANYONE for his OWN salvation will find it …
… no-one will find his salvation …
… in that strange relationship.
It is not shared, and so it is not real.
There’s no relationship going on at all. It’s two of you acting out a role and never once connecting with each other; never once connecting with the simple humanity of both of you. Never having the opportunity to experience a way of relating to each other in which love prevails and gentleness and kindness and caring, that causes the “transaction” to leave both of you feeling joy and peace and fulfillment regardless of what the price ended up being.
Now, if any of you are paying any attention at all to your relationships with each other during the past two weeks when we’ve been discussing this, it must be becoming obvious to you that you resort often to the use of guilt for the purpose of manipulation.
First of all, you employ manipulation; manipulation that is fashioned so as to benefit you. And if the manipulation doesn’t work, if there is resistance, slowly but surely the employment of guilt comes into play if you have a great investment in ending up with your goal regardless of what it costs the other—the other one involved.
You have found that it’s difficult to put down—to lay down—to set aside—to lay aside the practice of guilt. Oh, you want to lay aside your feelings of guilt and if you’re feeling them, you’ll even meditate. But when it comes to dealing with others, you are not willing to simply lay aside the use of guilt in your relationship. And the reason is, because you lack the experience of being present with your Brother in an undefended way because it takes time and it does take caring. And that’s not a part of your normal day.
You must be efficient and you must deal with each other efficiently. And you must learn to express yourselves succinctly so that in the least amount of time, the maximum communication can occur. And you can get onto the next thing that needs to be dealt with without your ever having been humanely present with a being of simple value and worth; whose presence, because of what he or she divinely is, holds out for you an experience of fulfillment that can be found nowhere else, but which all of you tend to miss throughout your day. And you all go home at the end of the day, lonely. Not fulfilled with joy.
And so it’s very important what we’re reading about. This issue of guilt is very important to understand so that you may find it valuable to simply lay it aside and not process it anymore and not figure it out anymore. Lay it down.
In any union with a brother in which you seek to lay your guilt upon him, or share it with him, or perceive his own, you WILL feel guilty.
Why? Because you haven’t done the one essential thing to abandon your guilt. And we’ll come back to that.
Nor will you find satisfaction and peace with him because your union with him is NOT real.
Now, let’s look at what seems to be in the second place; first place is that your union with him is not real. Secondary to that is this part that says …
Nor will you find satisfaction and peace with him …
… that’s a big clue. That’s really more important than the focus …
… satisfaction and peace …
… are supposed to be characteristic of relationships. When you’re with each other, satisfaction and peace are supposed to be inseparable. And I’m going to say, untarnished by anything unlike it.
Nor will you find satisfaction and peace with him …
The purpose of relationship will have escaped you because your union with him is not real. Why is it not real? It’s not real because you’re in your thinking. And you’re treating him as an object—a snapshot, if you will—a definition. And who he is according to you, you will manipulate according to the rules that work for that kind of individual or that psychological makeup.
The you that is doing this evaluation and manipulation is not you. Not the divine one that you are; not that of you which is capable of feeling love for your brother because you’re too busy with your mechanical processes of manipulation trying to get this manipulable one to change to fit your needs; to be your salvation; to benefit you.
You’re dealing with the picture you have of him or her, and not him or her. And therefore, the union is not real. Or you could say it’s not actual. It’s simply not actual.
You will see guilt in that relationship because you PUT it there.
How did you put it there? I know this is repetitious, but the mistake you make in perception is so second nature to you, that it slips by without your even noticing it; and lo and behold, you’re employing it again.
You will see guilt in that relationship because you PUT it there.
How did you put it there? You put it there by thinking. You put it there by abiding in an imagined environment of thoughts strung together by logic and intellect, so as to present an orderly picture representing order but which can’t possibly be reflecting order because in its fabrication, you were never connected with Source. You were never grounded in the essence of your Being. It was all a head trip.
Again, let’s go through the steps:
God, being all, is God being all there is of you. There is literally nothing else present where any of you are, than God. When, however, you imagined that you could have a thought of your own, and stringed together a series of thoughts that could have effect, and you said, “Father …” as though you could actually stand separate from Him and speak to Him, “Father, I’d rather see it my way, I’m going to think my way through things now on, thank you. I’m going to abandon the experience of Knowing, which is omniscient.”
And so, in that so-called act of independence, in which you pretended to become independent, you began to be a little bit insane—out of your right mind. And because you can’t do that because God is all there is to you, you experienced a dissonance—a very unnatural feeling—an uncomfortable feeling. Why uncomfortable? Because sanity can’t present you with anything less than that which is obviously incompatible with you because of what you divinely are.
The dissonance is saying, “Come back Home. You’re trying to do something that won’t work, that’s all. Stop trying to do it.”
But this little independent entity, trying to stand there in his own right, says, “Oh, you’re trying to tell me I’m doing something wrong? You’re trying to tell me I’m guilty of something? Are you trying to tell me that this feeling is guilt? Well, I’m going to overcome this!”
Something in you knew that it wasn’t natural so you used that knowledge to say, “This isn’t natural to me in this independent state, therefore, I’m going to learn how to overcome it.”
Now, as I brought out in the last couple of sessions, it isn’t what you’re thinking that is the problem, it’s that you are abiding in an arena of thought processes which you cannot attempt to be in without having this dissonant experience which has come to be called, “guilt;” something which seems to call for penalty and therefore, is a fearful thing to you. When, as I brought out, the dissonance is not calling for penalty; it is not stating guilt, it is your sanity saying, “Stop trying to do something that won’t work. You can’t do anything really that won’t work, therefore, there can be no penalty for it; therefore, abandon the project if you will, abandon your goal and come back Home into your right mind, that’s all.”
Now, if you were to do the two-step, truly asking, “What’s the truth here in my Brother? What does my Brother need to know?” And what your Brother needs to know is the truth about him—the divine truth—the real truth about the divine one he is. When you ask that, you’re abandoning your isolated position; you’re abandoning your arrogance; you’re abandoning your insistence upon being separate and special. And when you do that, you open the door for connection to occur; for a real relationship to happen. And you will find satisfaction and peace with him because your union with him will be real.
Again, and you need to write this down and put it somewhere where you can read it frequently:
Guilt doesn’t come from your thoughts. Guilt is not the result of wrong thoughts. And innocence is not the result of right thoughts. The dissonance you are feeling that you call guilt, is simply an indicator that you are indulging in thinking, period. And you are not in the silence—in the Now—at the Altar in you, where the Presence of God Be-ing you can register with you; infill you, and reveal to you what is true about your Brother and thereby yourself.
It is inevitable that those who suffer guilt WILL attempt to displace it because they DO believe in it. Yet, though they suffer, they will not look within and let it GO.
See, they’ve displaced it: “You will be the death of me yet! You inconsiderate so-and-so! You are so thoughtless that you make me miserable!”
Now, you know what? The one being spoken to may be being miserable; may be being irritable, irritating and thoughtless; may be behaving poorly, but that can’t be the death of you.
The only thing that can make that the death of you is the thoughts you’re choosing to think. And the fact that you’re unwilling to step back to find out what’s causing the distress you’re having that you’re blaming on so-and-so, who will be “the death of you yet!”
You haven’t stepped back and engaged in the correction that will dissolve the dissonance. And the correction, again, will not be having a better thought about your Brother. The correction will come from abandoning thinking, period, about your Brother and inviting the infilling of clarity—of clarification of truth to you.
Your Brother’s point of view may still need correction even though you are not engaging in reaction. You’re seeing things from the environment of thought processes; thinking, in other words, does not cause your Brother to behave poorly. His own confusion causes him to behave poorly. It’s that simple.
So you, by virtue of thinking poorly about your Brother, does not cause your Brother to behave poorly, nor does it cause you to see bad behavior that isn’t occurring. In other words, you cannot cause your Brother to become something he is not by virtue of your thoughts.
I must squelch this idea that what you see that is untrue about your brother is purely a figment of your imagination. He may well be behaving poorly.
The key here though, is that if you don’t do the two-step, if you don’t insist on abandoning your thought processes, you will not be able to step out of the dissonance that is inherent in your attempt to be independent from your Father. And that dissonance will color everything you see and everything you do. And what you will do is to project that guilt onto your Brother; laying it on top of his own poor behavior that he needs to correct by experiencing an influx of clarity himself.
And so you cannot solve the problem that way. And if you say, “The bad that I’m seeing my Brother do is all in my own mind,” that leaves you and your Brother in a position where correction and healing cannot occur.
Why? Because that statement was a thought—“The bad I’m seeing my Brother do is entirely in my mind,”—that is a thought; a thought that did not arise out of your doing the two-step.
If you go within and you ask of the Father, “What is the truth here, what needs to be known?” You will not be told that the bad behavior you’re seeing is a result of your misperception and that your Brother is perfect with no correction called for.
No. If your Brother is ignorant, if he is still imagining that he’s gotten a divorce from his Father, and if he’s not drawing upon His Father’s Mind asking It to infill him so that he might discover that it is his Mind; if he doesn’t realize that, he’s lost.
If he can’t do the two-step, you must. Because he deserves to have somebody do it, just as you deserve to have Me do it with you.
It is inevitable that those who suffer guilt WILL attempt to displace it …
In other words, those who suffer guilt are the ones who are claiming to be independent and experiencing this dissonance. And if you’re not awake, that description fits you.
It is inevitable that those who suffer guilt …
… which means every single one of you to one way or another …
It is inevitable that those who suffer guilt WILL attempt to displace it because they DO believe in it.
You DO believe in it.
Yet, though they suffer…
… though you suffer…
… they will not look within and let it GO.
You will not look within and let it GO. Let it go how? By abandoning thinking and getting into the moment. And as I’ve said now for the third week, a really simple way to let it go is, to just stand still for a moment outside the post office or wherever you might be, and bless the people who go by you. Bless them by acknowledging that even if you can’t see it, you believe or know—you can be daring enough to say that you know—that if there’s anything there where that Brother is, it has to be God or there couldn’t seem to be anything less.
Stand there and bless them by acknowledging that you know that in order for there to appear to be just a human being—a body of matter, God must be there Be-ing what’s really there in spite of what you’re seeing. And you acknowledge God in them. You bless the divinity that has to be there.
That’s how you break it. You break it by joining with a Brother with an acknowledgement of the truth about them even if the truth you’re experiencing is intellectual for the moment. What you’re doing is bringing your mind into alignment with reality. And that interrupts your independence—your separate specialness, and lets love through that blesses them and will bless you by changing your mind.
You must look within and let it go by doing the two-step.
It is inevitable that those who suffer guilt WILL attempt to displace it because they DO believe in it. Yet, though they suffer, they will not look within and let it GO. They cannot know they love, and cannot understand what loving IS. Their main concern is to perceive the source of guilt outside themselves, BEYOND their own control.
And the minute you can convince yourself that it’s beyond your control, you are lost souls; doomed to hellfire and brimstone of the mind; until finally, you say somewhere down through eternity, “I’ve had enough of this!” And something in you rises up and says, “I’m going to do something different than think the way I’ve been thinking. I’m going to abandon thinking. I’m going to go into the silence and I’m going to…” What? “…I’m going to, in the silence, feel into my Brother by undefendedly being present with my Brother. So that in my openness, Who and What my Brother really Is can reveal itself to me because that is It’s inclination. That is Its function.”
All of Creation, as I’ve said before, has one intent: To communicate what it is to all of the rest of Creation. What your Brother divinely is, separate and aside from whatever he thinks he is, and whatever he thinks he has to do, sits there untarnished untouched by whatever he thinks, intent upon communicating what the Father is Be-ing right there as that one, to you and to everyone.
The experience of what your Brother is will not be a string of thoughts or a definition. It will be a Knowing; a complete fullness of infinite meaning with nothing of what that one is divinely left out; none of it waiting until you’re finished experiencing this part and absorbed it completely and now you’re ready for the rest of it; but all of it, all at once, in complete unity.
You know what? If you have experienced lifetimes of being confused without relief, and as a result of being confused, you have behaved poorly and you have apparently caused difficulty for many, and if during those lifetimes you have had to live with others who have lived lifetimes of behaving poorly because they’re confused, and they have distressed you, and if you have behaved poorly for eons, it doesn’t mean a thing.
In other words, it isn’t as though eons of being confused have, like water dripping upon a rock, created a rock in an ugly shape that defines you so solidly that you can’t possibly become free from the configuration that has resulted.
Now, that may sound a little nebulous and perhaps vague. So let’s say the same thing a different way because you can always tell the truth in many different ways.
Let’s say that in this lifetime—this lifetime only, you have been confused and you have behaved poorly, and you have created distress for many on an ongoing basis and you have apparently created enemies. And your behavior has been so poor that you have been incarcerated—placed in prison. And look forward to a lifetime of imprisonment, or a good part of your lifetime imprisoned as though your behavior has set the configuration of your life into stone.
Do you deserve to be lifted out of it? Do you deserve to be lifted out of eons of lifetimes of confusion and do you especially deserve to be freed from it if all that has bound you are simple ignorance’s not actualities of any sort?
Of course you deserve it. Your Brothers deserve it. Everyone you run into during the day deserves better than what they’re currently experiencing. Because if they are not awake, they are experiencing the dissonance that accompanies thinking that feels like guilt and seems to constantly call for penalty as though the ax is hanging over your head, constantly.
Every single one of you are experiencing this and everyone of you deserve to be free of it. How far do you go for your Brother? If you do this two-step and your Brother is still acting like an obnoxious ass, do you persist? Yes, you do!
How do you persist? By looking at that Brother and blessing him; which means saying, “In spite of what you’re presenting to me and in spite of what my conditioned thinking is interpreting that I’m seeing, I know that in order for anything to be there at all, God must be there Be-ing all there is of you. And I want to see that. I want to have that Presence of God in you, as you, revealed to me. And so I’m going to, on the basis of that statement, shut up—zip my lip—and listen for God to reveal Himself in you to me because you’re worth it!”
And although this might seem or sound selfish, you can finish the sentence by saying, “And I know that what I give, I get to have.”
Now you could say that we’re violating the statement here that says,
No-one who would unite in ANY way with ANYONE for his OWN salvation will find it in that strange relationship.
[Chuckles] If you’re joining with your Brother for a real salvation, you will get it. The kind of salvation that was being talked about that said,
No-one who would unite in ANY way with ANYONE for his OWN salvation will find it in that strange relationship.
… is referring to getting something from your Brother at his expense but to your benefit. No, that’s the misuse of a relationship.
The proper use of a relationship is to love your Brother enough to give the acknowledgment of the truth about him. Because in the act of abandoning your isolation and independence, and in your act of caring for your Brother and extending to him—giving to him—the acknowledgement of the truth about him, you do benefit.
Your function is to look into your Brother’s eyes and remember God. Right?
Hey, [chuckles] remembering God is a profound experience. That is a benefit. But you see the difference? You benefit from extending a benefit. Your Brother is your salvation. It says throughout the Course: Your Brother is your salvation. So you can expect to experience salvation from your Brother when you give your love to him. Because you’re breaking the isolation. You’re annulling the divorce from your Father and you’re choosing to come back into your right Mind and your true function.
Now, if you go through this next week and you still find yourself not being able to hold onto this, don’t worry, we’re gonna talk about it again next week because it’s important and it’s wonderful. It’s the truth. It is ecumenical. It sets you on the right path. And it’s a path that changes the world.
Understanding guilt, [slight chuckle] is not really a matter of understanding the awfulness of it. Understanding guilt is to understand how vacuous it is; how flimsy it is; how non-existent it is. And this is good to see. And you can be happy about understanding what guilt is more clearly than you ever have before. Because it will constitute your, what? Restoration.
In the Sparkly Book, the Section we’re reading is called, “RELEASE AND RESTORATION.” In the other two editions, it’s called, “RELEASE FROM GUILT.” (repeats) Release from guilt—how flat could you get? Release from guilt. Wow, that really turns you on, right? Release from guilt. It’s like…and so then what? All we’re going to talk about is release from guilt and let it go?
No, it’s release and…it’s like release from guilt and it’s consequent or its consequence: Restoration. Release and restoration. You, coming back into your right Mind. You, rediscovering that the Holy Spirit is nothing more than your right Mind. And that it never was appropriate for you to be tinier than infinite; experiencing a tiny little private mind of your own constituted of thinking; the presence of which suggests a thinker; a thinker that can never be more than an orphan—an orphan that can’t possibly exist because nothing is fatherless.
So, be happy to be becoming clear about the nature of guilt because the release of it will constitute your restoration to your right Mind. And by God, let’s trust that the restoration to your right Mind will occur before we get to the end of this book, because you deserve to be experiencing it now. And there is nothing but confusion keeping you from experiencing it now. And confusion is not a presence, it’s not an actuality. It’s a discombobulation. And discombobulations have not the capacity to endure.
And so, on that happy note, I will say good-evening. And I look forward to being with you next week.
T13.3 Release and Restoration ↩
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