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Good evening. And welcome to everyone who’s joining us on the Internet.
We need to take a moment tonight to review something that we’ve talked about before. It’s something rather important and it’s something that it’s easy to forget about.
Imagine, if you will, getting up one morning. It’s a day in which you have woken up feeling good. No stress, nothing looming in your day to be apprehensive about, you feel downright chipper and happy and you proceed through your day. And then someone you encounter is very rude, abrupt with you, unkind toward you, and very challenging and you become afraid. And you retaliate out of fear.
On the other hand, let’s say that you got up on this same day and you proceeded through your day and at some point a friend of yours became ill or was faced with an emergency of some sort that you felt called upon to help that friend with. And so, you became still enough to listen—to hear the truth to share for healing purposes.
Now, taking these two scenarios, you could say that as you left home and went out to proceed through your day, you were just jolly Mary or John, happy in a very pleasant, practical, alert frame of mind. And as in the first example, if you ran into someone who was being threatening or unpleasant or challenging, and it caused you to become afraid, you could say, “Well, at that point, I listened to the voice for fear. I abandoned my carefree happy pleasant balanced frame of mind and succumbed to listening to and responding to the voice for fear.
Now, in the second example where a friend had a need that called for you to share healing clarity, you could say that you were called upon to listen to the Voice for truth and be out from that place.
And so it could seem as though there are three mental gears if I may put it that way—first, second and third, we’ll say. No, we’ll say it’s first, neutral, and second. Second—the neutral gear, is where you’re just being yourself. First, is where you’re listening to the Voice for truth. And third is where you’re listening to the voice for fear. All three being different venues from which you can encounter your day, or be.
Now, the problem is that this is an illusion. That there are three mental positions is an illusion. There are only two voices. There isn’t the Voice for truth and the voice for fear…and your voice. There’s only the Voice for truth or the voice for fear and the voice for fear isn’t real.
I want to back up:
Yet no-one sees himself in conflict, and ravaged by a cruel war, unless he believes that BOTH opponents in the war are real. Believing this he must escape, for such a war would surely end his peace of mind, and so destroy him. Yet if he could but realize the war is between forces that are real and UNREAL powers, he could look upon himself and SEE his freedom. No-one finds himself ravaged and torn in endless battles which he HIMSELF perceives as wholly without meaning.1
You can’t have a conflict between something and nothing.
Now, you all tend to believe that there is you and your daily mind. And from that daily mind’s place you can access the Voice for truth, or you can access the voice for fear. You can be subject to the Voice for truth that is a result of your listening, or you can be blessed by the Voice for truth that comes to you from another. Or you can suffer from the voice for fear that you initiate, or the voice for fear that others initiate.
And so it would seem that here’s you—neutral you—sitting in the middle, placed between the Voice for truth and the voice for fear; two very real opponents because of course, your experiences of the voice for fear is very detrimental to you, very devastating, very unpleasant. But the point is, that one of those voices isn’t real. And so there isn’t any tug of war and on top of it, there is no neutral middle position that is your natural place to be from.
You are either the Presence of the Voice for truth expressing, or the voice for fear attempting to be. It’s one or the other. So now, it boils down to the real you and the unreal you, doesn’t it? And, the real you plus the unreal you equals what? The real you. One plus zero equals one, doesn’t it?
Now, why am I bringing this up? I’m bringing this up because as we have been talking about guilt and judgment and the horrors of it, and the tension of it, and the detrimental destructive nature of it, and so-on, and you take a look at your experience—the experience with the way you treat others and the way others treat you—it’s very easy to succumb to the idea that your evaluation of another, that he has in some way injured you, and that makes him guilty of something that he must pay a penalty for, that process seems to be real and it seems to be coming from somebody in the neutral gear, in the middle, who has been impacted by somebody listening to the voice for fear.
But when you say, “That one has hurt me and a penalty must be paid for by him,” what you are saying is, that you are unwilling to listen for the Voice for truth because the Voice for truth would cause you to find expressions of love—expressions of respect, and expressions of, what for lack of better words, I will call principle in your dealings with this individual so that you don’t play into the ploy, the invitation to get into a struggle and to prove your self-righteousness—your righteousness over and against the other’s lack of righteousness.
It becomes easy in the heat of the dynamic of reaction to bad behavior, to forget that you, yourself, only have two vantage points from which to look at everything and one of them isn’t real; one of them isn’t valid. You forget that the solution lies in making the choice between the unreal standpoint, and the real standpoint.
Your unwillingness to be the presence of love that may well heal your brother, because your brother has hurt you, is a conclusion arrived at from within the arena of the mind expressing the voice for fear.
I promise you, that to whatever degree you value that gear—third gear; the voice for fear, you will refuse to be in first gear where healing can emerge.
You see, what’s called for isn’t getting justice with this errant brother, it is in remembering to make the choice for the Voice for truth in you. And finding that to be more important than any presentation your brother may be making toward you.
I’m also bringing this up because it’s easy to forget whether you’re involved in legal matters, or whether you seem to be involved in medical health matters, it becomes easy to forget that you have the choice—you have only two choices and that is to listen to the Voice for truth in you or the voice for fear in you.
But the tendency is to assume you must listen to the voice for fear in someone else. If it is a doctor with a negative assessment, you think you must listen to him or her because they have authority and knowledge beyond your scope of awareness. And so you say, “Oh, Okay, I’m not going to listen to the Voice of truth in me and be from there, I am going to listen to “them—the authority” and I will let myself be scared shitless by their listening to the voice for fear in them.
Because I promise you, if they were listening to the Voice for truth in them, they would not be scaring you and they would not be presenting a negative picture. They might say there is a need—they might say there is a serious need, but here’s what we need to do about it, including you, the husband or wife or relative or friend of the patient. Here’s what we need to do: We need to become still and we need to abandon the voice for fear that wants to speak up in both of us and we need to listen for the Voice for truth. Because in listening to the Voice for truth, we will hear what is needed and we will be able to be appropriate in terms of actions as well as in terms of our natural expression of love that won’t be impeded by fear if we are valuing and listening to the Voice for truth.
The reason this is important is, that you really all do have this belief that you have a life, it just is, it has been since you were born. You have a life and you can choose to be a good person or you can choose to be a bad person. You can choose to be spiritual or religious and even engage in a religious or spiritual vocation. Or you can choose to be someone who skirts the law and bends the rules to make a profit. Or you can choose to do neither and just be a somewhat non-descript presence moving through life—a benign presence, one that doesn’t make any waves; doesn’t make problems for others and stays, we’ll say, seamlessly peaceful in all your negotiations. So peaceful, that most people won’t even know that you are there.
But you see, you don’t have all these options. What I am teaching, what the Course is illuminating, is the fact that there are not two powers. There is not a real power and an unreal power. There’s only one. There’s only one presence. It is the presence of life. It is the presence of Being, a verb, not a noun. Not a being but Being; the action of Being, existing, and it’s indivisible and it is flawless. And because it is indivisible and therefore embraces nothing unlike itself in any way, what it is Being is absolutely and infinitely harmonious.
That doesn’t mean just the absence of chaos. Harmony, as in music, is beautiful. It’s not just the absence of unpleasantness. It’s not just the absence of inharmony. That which is infinitely harmonious is infinitely beautiful and is felt by soul—you each are soul. You don’t have souls. You each are soul embodying soul that God is. And soul is your capacity to feel the meaning of Creation and part of the meaning of Creation is harmony. Beautiful, experiential, awesome harmony.
There is no false you as a real presence for you to overcome. But there is a real you that you have been ignoring because you have been giving preference to an imagined self that has the capacity to listen to the Voice for truth or to listen to the voice for fear and suffer from it.
Reading the last paragraph from the last meeting:
God would not have His Son embattled, and so His Son’s imagined “enemy,” which he made, is TOTALLY unreal. You are but trying to escape a bitter war from which you HAVE escaped.
And last time I said, you are but trying to escape a bitter war in which you never were. Because God did not ordain it, it didn’t exist for you to experience.
You are but trying to escape a bitter war from which you HAVE escaped.
Which you were never in.
The war is gone.
It never was, you see?
And so, when the doctor says, “These are the dire circumstances and these are the predicted results,” you need to be alert! And you need to acknowledge, “Wait a minute, no-one’s in a war here, no-one’s in a conflict. You can’t have a conflict between God being all and nothing being nothing.” And you must use your mind intelligently by making the choice for listening for the Voice for truth in you. And you must disagree with the voice for fear no matter where it is coming from, no matter what lofty position someone is in who is giving voice to the voice for fear, you cannot afford to validate it because it’s foolishness to validate what cannot be.
And it is transformational, it is healing, and it is Awakening to give voice to the Voice for truth and to honor It.
You’re not used to doing that because you sort of like this safe little position in neutral where you haven’t declared for the Voice for truth and you haven’t declared for the voice for fear. But what you must remember is, that whether you’ve made a declaration for one or the other, you are giving voice to one or the other because there is no neutral gear. There’s no safe zone where you are unaccountable, if I may put it that way.
So don’t be afraid to give voice to the Voice for truth. It’s your Birthright and it’s your function. It’s the way of release from this so-called war going on between two powers. It’s the way of escape from orphan-hood, by you’re making the choice to be the one that you Are, and not the one that you’re not.
The Voice for truth is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is your real Mind. The Holy Spirit is the real you held in trust, untouched and unchanged, while you imagine that you’re an orphan; that you’re an ego; that you’re a body; that you’re an organism.
Waking up is you shifting from your sense of identity as an organism; as a thinker in neutral, to the embrace of the Holy Spirit in you which is nothing more than your right Mind and shifting your identity—letting your identity be consumed by that which is nothing more than your right Mind. In doing that you abandon neutral gear and you abandon third gear. And now, there’s only first gear in which conflict is impossible; in which illusions cannot even seem to present themselves to you either as your own personal illusions or the illusions of others. And the result is healing. It is what you would call healing.
This is really how simple it is.
Yet if he could but realize the war is between forces that are real and UNREAL powers, he could look upon himself and SEE his freedom. No-one finds himself ravaged and torn in endless battles which he HIMSELF perceives as wholly without meaning.
Another way of saying that is “wholly impossible.” As wholly silly, as wholly unreasonable. Do you want the contest to be over? The contest between sickness and health? The contest between guilt and innocence? The contest between human and divine? Then be willing to acknowledge that always one of the pairs in a conflict is unreal. So that you may see that fear is not called for.
Now, in the “Lord’s Prayer” there is a line that says, Thy will be done.2 We’ve talked about this before and we’ll keep talking about it, because it’s not a very palatable idea, “Thy will, not mine be done.” Wow!
You need to start saying to the Holy Spirit: “Thy will, not mine be done.” And understand that statement to mean this: Thy will, Holy Spirit (that which is nothing more than my right Mind) not my will be done—the will of the orphan that I think I am, the will of the independent one that I think I am, the will of the vulnerable one that must be expressed for survival, which validates it and makes it valuable.
Your self-absorbed autonomy and independent sense of self must come to a point of yielding to the Voice for truth in you. And that which is yielding to the Voice for truth in you, is that which identifies with the voice for fear and isn’t real.
Everything within you says that such abandonment of authority on your part, and such submission on your part to something apparently other than yourself is sheer idiocy, absolute foolishness! And so you are very, very, very reluctant to do it. But the time will come to pass when you do, because it is inconsistent with the divine state of being for you to be unconscious of who and what you divinely are. And because of what you divinely are, you cannot ultimately succeed at behaving as though you are insane.
Nothing destructive ever was or will be. Is that some spiritual platitude, some cloud nine theory to give you comfort while you’re suffering and until you finally die? Or is it an absolute fact that you must be willing to embrace absolutely and unequivocally? The war, the guilt, the past are gone as one into the unreality from which they came. They’re gone because they never were present. They will appear to go to you as you become unafraid to let that which is nothing more than your right Mind be your Mind, yielding to it completely without reservation.
You must arrive at a point where you are willing to do the very thing that seems to be the most unreasonable: Yield up your autonomous authority to Something that will take you over and will govern you, govern you absolutely, so absolutely that the very thought of not allowing that kind of governance will never occur to you.
This that you must yield to, is You. And I will keep presenting this fact to you over and over again until you finally arrive at a place where you’re willing to risk the chance that abandoning yourself to the Holy Spirit will return you to your sanity and integrity. And do it!
Now let’s continue. The new section is:
The Guarantee of Heaven1
When we are all united in Heaven, you will value NOTHING that you value here. For nothing that you value here you value wholly, and so you do not value it at all. Value …
… and this is the key point …
Value is where God placed it…
The reason you don’t value everything wholly is because you have placed the value on everything. “Oh, this is profitable, that is not. Oh, this is mine, not yours. That’s yours not mine.”
When you place value, which of the two voices are you using, which of the two vantage points are you coming from? When you place value on a thing it is the voice for fear that places the value. And the voice for fear will place value on everything relative to the safety it provides you with or the threat it presents to you according to your fearful mindset.
And because it hasn’t occurred to you to say, “What is the more of what God is being here than what I’m seeing?” you are caught, you are blind. And none of what you value will you value in the Kingdom of Heaven. It doesn’t mean that none of the things that you have placed value on won’t be present in Heaven, but you will value them truly. And that’s the difference.
Value is where God placed it…
How? How does God place value? God places value by expressing Himself. And that expression is Creation. And the Movement of Creation is God embodying what He Is. And because it is God that is being embodied it is of infinite inestimable value.
Value is where God placed it, and the value of what God esteems cannot BE judged, for it has been ESTABLISHED.
Truth has been established. Reality has been established. Unreality has not. Illusion has not, no matter how much or how completely you have fooled yourself into believing that your valuations are valid and are what are real.
Value is where God placed it, and the value of what God esteems cannot BE judged, for it has been ESTABLISHED. It is WHOLLY of value. It can merely be appreciated or not.
And all of you are sort of hanging out in the “or not” part.
It can merely be appreciated or not.
You can appreciate your right Mind or not. Hmm-mm.
So try something new. Try something new! Try appreciating it! Try looking in your brother’s eyes, for what purpose; to get the lay of the land with him; to find out what his peculiar characteristics are; to be able to protect yourself in his presence or manipulate him more easily? No. Look into his eyes for the purpose of remembering God, because that’s the function of your right Mind. That is your function.
To value what God esteems…
To value it partially is not to KNOW its value. In Heaven is everything God valued, and nothing else. Heaven is perfectly unambiguous. Everything is clear and bright, and calls forth ONE response.
It doesn’t call forth awe and indifference. Indifference would mean there was a lack of understanding of what was being experienced. An impossibility for You in your right Mind.
There is no darkness, and there is no contrast. There is no variation. There is no interruption.
No interruption of what? Let’s be clear here. An interruption could only be an interruption of a flow, of a movement, of the Movement of God, the Movement of Mind, which is experienced as infinite ideas that are perfectly tangible and real to the mind that formed them. It’s an interruption of a Movement of Creation.
So when it says there is no variation, it does not mean that the true experience of Being is one of eternal, changeless, unmoving bliss in which there is no differentiation; because Creation is an experience of Infinity—an infinite, indivisible movement.
You could call your body an indivisible movement, where toes can move and fingers can move and digestive juices can digest your last meal and your vocal cords can make sounds and your mouth and tongue can move to form words And yet it’s all one. And it is not truly at odds with itself in any way shape or form. There is no differentiation. There is no variation. There is no interruption.
There is a sense of peace so deep that no dream in this world…
[chuckling] … which means in the definitions formed by the mind giving voice to the voice for fear has ever brought.
There is a sense of peace so deep that no dream …
… in this mindset …
… in this world has ever brought even a dim imagining of what it is.
Mind you, as you can see, what we’re reading now has changed in tone from what we’ve been reading. And what’s happening here is that it is addressing the singularity of being—the fact that there is no war, because you cannot have a war between what is real and what is unreal.
And the call is for you to begin to look at everything as though there is no possibility of war going on, but that the war that has seemed to occur has been a by-product of a misuse and misinterpretation of your mind. In other words, it’s an artifact, a mistake—an artifact of confusion, apparent but not actual.
Nothing in this world can give this peace, for nothing in this world is wholly shared.
Think about it: “Oh, this money is my money and not yours. I earned it. I have become a millionaire and you’re not a millionaire. Oh, this house is mine. It’s not yours. That house is yours. It’s not mine. This land belongs to me and not to you. You cannot trespass on it. I have rights over this territory and you have none. And you must acquiesce to my rules while you’re in my territory.”
… nothing in this world is wholly shared.
Oh-h, does that mean, “What’s mine is yours and what’s yours is mine?” Well, you know the answer to that, because nothing as a matter of fact in your world is wholly shared. Possession is one of the key elements of your existence. Territory, boundaries, are an innate part of life.
Well, enjoy it if you think you can, but remember …
Nothing in this world can give this peace, for nothing in this world is wholly shared.
Do you realize that it’s not making any comment about what’s in the world—the trees, the grass, the things. It’s talking about how the things are dealt with. And when possession takes precedence over extension and sharing, then the peace of Reality will be unavailable to you.
Perfect perception can merely show you what is CAPABLE of being wholly shared. It can also show you the RESULTS of sharing, while you still remember the results of NOT sharing.
These are fine points here. In the process of awakening, in the process of coming back into your right Mind, the Holy Spirit (that which is nothing more than your right Mind) reveals to you the difference between the way you’re looking at and interpreting things and the way things are. And so, you will find yourself becoming aware of the meaning of sharing wholly everything, while at the same time having available to you your current sense of privacy and possession.
The two: That which is real and that which is unreal, will seem to exist side-by-side. And while they are existing as something you can contemplate and comprehend, even though one is real and one is unreal, you are still not Awake. But that experience is an essential part of the process of Awakening.
Perfect perception …
… an experience that you can be infilled with spontaneously when you are undefended against it …
… can merely show you what is CAPABLE of being wholly shared. It can also show you the RESULTS of sharing…
And you will find yourself standing in awe of how reality works, right here.
It can also show you the RESULTS of sharing, while you still remember the results of NOT sharing. The Holy Spirit points quietly to the contrast, knowing that you will finally let Him judge the difference for you…
… listen to this:
… allowing Him to demonstrate which MUST be true.
There’s that yielding part. There’s that essential yielding part.
The Holy Spirit points quietly to the contrast, knowing that you will finally let Him judge the difference for you…
Uh-h take away your authority!
… you will finally let Him judge the difference for you, allowing Him to demonstrate which MUST be true.
This is hard to take:
He has perfect faith in your final judgment because He knows that He will make it FOR you.
Do you grasp that you’re letting the Holy Spirit make it for you, is the way you step out of a first gear neutral, second gear or third gear experience? That it’s the way you step out of the experience of a war occurring between a real and an unreal power?
… the Holy Spirit …
… has perfect faith in your final judgment because He knows that He will make it FOR you.
Now, where is the sanity in that statement? If He makes it for you and He is nothing more than your right Mind, then you’re allowing your right Mind to make the final decision for you constitutes an ultimate and primitive act of sanity. That’s where the truth is in that. And that is where the answer lies. This is the ultimate answer. It is the utterly simple answer.
… the Holy Spirit …
… has perfect faith in your final judgement because He knows that He will make it FOR you. To doubt this would be to doubt that His mission will be fulfilled. How is this possible, when His mission is of God?
The utter essence of your being, which is the Presence of God, has set in you all that is true about Him. And nothing can alter that. And although you have been able to imagine something else, and you have been able to believe your imaginations, your imaginations haven’t made the Movement and Act of God invalid. It hasn’t altered it in any way, shape or form. Therefore, it is inevitable that misperceptions will yield to Reality—your right Mind will supercede your imagination.
Now, we could talk at great length and may at some point about the concept of guilt and the way it is employed by the voice for fear and the mind that gives voice to the voice for fear. There’s a lot that can be said. There’s a lot that can be said about the attraction to guilt and the use of guilt and the extractions of penalties. There’s a lot that can be said about the addictive nature of it all.
But you know what? It must be kept in perspective because the solution to the practice of guilt, the employment of guilt, is not to be found in dealing with guilt. It’s to be found in remembering that no matter how many mental positions you think you can act from—the Voice for truth, neutral, or the voice for fear—there is only one that is Real. And you must choose for It.
You must more diligently than ever before ask when you’re expressing yourself: “Is this the voice for fear that I’m giving voice to, or is this the Voice for truth that I’m giving voice to? If it’s not the Voice for truth that I’m giving voice to, I’m engaged in nothing. And there’s no meaning, nor is there any value present in it anywhere. And I don’t wish to be meaningless. I don’t choose to pretend to have the capacity to be meaningless.
“And so, I’m going to choose for my right Mind. I’m going to choose for it by shutting up the voice for fear that I’ve been engaged in and my apparent capacity to be pro-active out from my present sense of myself. And I’m going to settle down. I’m going to abandon my arrogance. I’m going to shut up and listen after having become curious to know the truth about whatever is going on and then listen for my right Mind to respond—which it is waiting only for my permission to do.
“And I will do this no matter what the physician has said. I will do this no matter what the lawyer has said. I will do this no matter what anyone is saying, so that I might bring the Voice for truth ‘into the world,’ embody it and make the gift of it. And I will be willing to share the Voice for truth without reservation. I will be willing to share it wholly with no strings. I will let it be the uninhibited and uncontrolled Movement of Love that it is. And I will let Love do its perfect work. I will yield to the way things work.”
I look forward to being with you next week.
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