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Well, we’ve been reading the Course for quite some time, acquiring as you might have thought an increasing understanding that would help you function better in the world. And yet, we’ve arrived at a point here, where you’re called upon to acknowledge what the first lesson in the Workbook says, “Nothing that I see means anything,” or “Nothing that I see means what I thought it meant.” Nothing means what I think it means, and of course, I rely one hundred percent on what I think things mean. It’s also brought us to the point of being able to acknowledge that, “I don’t know what anything is for.”
“Here I thought that I had become quite civilized. Here I thought that civilization had become quite civilized—quite wonderfully dependable, healthy. And yet, I’ve been learning that guilt is what has been motivating it all. And what causes guilt to be motivating it all, is the fact that I have been operating on a false premise when I didn’t really know that there was any other premise available. It’s throwing me out into the deep blue, nothing firm to stand on, no solid ground in sight, and just the forever moving nebulousness of being nowhere without being able to accomplish anything.”
“And I’ve spent how many years now listening every weekend to arrive at this point?” Amen, you have! Why? Because it puts you at the point of wonder. It puts you at the place where curiosity naturally comes into play. Curiosity supported by what? A sense of need, an experience of need. You need to understand or you need to know. And what that means is, you need to know beyond what you currently think. You need to know beyond your “current knowledge.”
“Well, how do I do that?” Ah, you have to engage in wondering! You have to let yourself be in the place of not knowing with genuine curiosity. “If this doesn’t mean such-and-such, I wonder what it does mean? Beyond my confidences and my faith in what I thought things meant, what is the real meaning? I’m willing to let go of my confidence in what it is, so that I might see what I’m not even imagining.”
In some ways it’s not the most pleasant place to be. On the other hand, if you’re a babe, it’s the most wonderful place to be because everything is interesting, your curiosity naturally comes into play and it doesn’t provide any preconceptions for reality to fit into—for the understanding, the meaning of being to fit into. It’s a wonderful place to be.
But, of course, business and life and commerce and all that you’re confronted with everyday doesn’t allow for wonder, doesn’t allow for fluidity, doesn’t allow for answers to become different, for meanings to change. And so, with your hard won educations you hold fast to that which seems permanent to you, and you reinforce it. And you approach your brothers and sisters with constant demands of them, that they reinforce it as well. And you remain immobilized, stuck in a still life—where life has been stilled.
This Course is breaking things loose in your mind.
Now, to arrive once again at this basic premise that, “Nothing I see means anything,” is different now than it was in the beginning. Because now you know something more about what you Are, and you know something about how you fit in and what you fit in with—that you are a Son or a Daughter, that you have a Father, that Who and What your Father is determines who you Are, gives you identity. And you are therefore, more than you imagined you were, when you thought you were an autonomous independent individuality.
So, now you’re not just an autonomous independent individuality trying to let itself into a vacuum or trying somehow to evoke from some part of yourself that you were unaware of a new experience of being. No. When you acknowledge your Sonship or Daughtership, when you own the fact that there is Family that you fit into, and there is Birthright that’s unclaimed by you, now you can, with more daring, choose to say, “Nothing I see means anything, and I’m glad to know that it doesn’t mean what I thought it meant, and I want to know what it really means. And I have now learned that in letting myself into what is the unknown to me, is a matter of letting myself into an experience that is awaiting me that I didn’t know was there, and therefore, I will let myself into it with less fear and more willingness.”
So, if you have felt frustrated in the last few weeks or the last few months by what we’ve been discussing because you find it’s putting yourself up against a not knowing place, which you don’t like to be in, and because it’s putting you up against a threshold beyond which you don’t know what exists, and you thought that all that we had been doing was giving you an intellectual understanding and that was the goal, well don’t be dismayed. The fact that we weren’t headed where you thought we were headed is part of the good news, because now you can let go of those expectations as well and be curious beyond them.
Let’s go into the book. This subheading is entitled:
The Way of Salvation1
When you accept a brother’s guiltlessness, you will see the Atonement in him. For by proclaiming it in him you make it YOURS, and you WILL see what you sought. You will not see the symbol of your brother’s guiltlessness shining within him while you still believe it is not there.
Well, this throws things into a realm that’s difficult to understand because after all you’ve been wanting to improve yourself, you’ve been wanting to find out how the truth would allow you to be more successful. And this isn’t talking about you at all, is it?
When you accept a brother’s guiltlessness, you will see the Atonement in him.
You thought you wanted to see the Atonement in you.
For by proclaiming it in him you make it YOURS, and you WILL see what you sought.
“Yeah, but again, why are you always bringing him first?”
You will not see the symbol of your brother’s guiltlessness shining within him while you still believe it is not there. HIS guiltlessness is YOUR Atonement. Grant it to him, and you will see the truth of what you have acknowledged.
It’s very simple. As an orphan—as an isolated, independent entity—gift simply isn’t part of the equation of life, therefore, brotherhood is a meaningless and hollow word. You might act like brothers, you might appear to be cooperating [chuckling] but you’re not very likely to claim a brother as a brother—part of Family.
Now, the way Home involves joining. The way Home involves breaking the isolation. The way Home involves abandoning independence. That’s why it is talking about your brother. That’s why it’s bringing your brother into clearer focus as an object of your affection. Why? Because in brotherhood, affection comes into play and affection is a gift given. And a gift of affection given is, what I’m going to call, a concrete establishment of joining, of connection.
What is the gift you have to give to your brother? The only thing you’ve taken away from him or from yourself—guiltlessness. You’ve got to give him the acknowledgement of his guiltlessness. Your valuing of guilt to use as a means of even constructive manipulation—manipulation of your brothers and sisters, as well as manipulation of yourself by yourself—that absolutely blocks you from being able to experience who your brother really Is and therefore who you really Are.
Now, there is in every single one of you, not only a capacity to care about your brother, but a deep and unalterable love, which although you can obscure it from yourself you cannot destroy, you cannot cover over completely. It is absolutely and unalterably natural for you to want the best for your brother. Not only because your very existence is the evidence of the expression of love that the Father has expressed, but because the breakaway, the divorce you got from the Father involved the withdrawal of love—that which bonds you with everything, that which connects you with everything, that which disallows for independence. You abandoned it. And so it’s essential for that to be reinstated. And that’s where you are now—at the point of reinstatement.
And so, how do you begin your trip Home—the “Journey without distance?” By using your mind to perform its function of extending love, which is the willingness to recognize the guiltlessness of your brother, because that is the one and only gift that will count. That is the one gift that will break the cycle of guilt and all that it entails. And that’s your task. We could say that is what you are here for. But I don’t mean that’s what you’re here on planet Earth for. I mean that’s what you are here at this point in your, for lack of better words, mental development. You’re at this point because it’s the next step.
… your brothers …
… guiltlessness is YOUR Atonement. Grant it to him…
Let the desire that is innately anchored in you as your real motivation—let it, that love—come forth as caring enough about your brother to extend to him the one gift that will make the difference …
… and you will see the truth of what you have acknowledged. Yet truth is offered FIRST to be received…
You see, you’re on your spiritual quest because you want to receive enlightenment, you want to receive the fuller experience of truth and of Reality. The place where you are is the recognition that in order to receive you must give. And the one thing that you must give is the one thing that you have withheld, that—what?—keeps you in bondage. You have to give the willingness to embrace a brother at the expense of your autonomous independence. And you have the capacity to do that.
… truth is offered FIRST to be received, even as God gave it first to His Son.
What does that mean? That means that Creation Itself—the act, if you will, of Creation—is a Gift that God gives in order to receive it Himself. And He gives it to His Creation and recognizes Himself in It.
The first in time means nothing, but the First in eternity is God the Father, Who is both First and One.
One, meaning all there Is, all inclusive, all embracing, but infinite. Only if there were two could there be the loss of infinity.
The first in time means nothing, but the First in eternity is God the Father, Who is both First and One. Beyond the First there is no other, for there is no order, no second or third…
Sounds like shades of first gear, second gear, third gear.
Beyond the First there is no other, for there is no order, no second or third, and nothing BUT the First.
This is talking about God, but it’s the truth about you.
You who belong to the First Cause, created by Him like unto Himself and part of Him, are more than merely guiltless.
You see, you’re more than you can imagine, you’re more than an orphan who’s going to find out that he has parents and then can, um-m, receive his Birthright still as a little independent, two-legged entity, running around on planet Earth, perhaps never dying and getting to do all kinds of fabulous things. But you’re more than that.
You who belong to the First Cause, created by Him like unto Himself and part of Him, are more than merely guiltless. The state of guiltlessness is only the condition in which what is not there has been removed from the disordered mind that thought it WAS.
Guiltlessness, the actuality of guiltlessness, we’ll say, is a tool that’s being used to allow you to abandon the guilt that you thought was actual, the guilt that you as an orphan, an independent autonomous entity thought was actual. You have to be educated out of your false beliefs. But once you get it, we’ll say, and you abandon the valuing and the employment of guilt, you won’t be a guiltless Child of God. The very concept of guiltlessness won’t occupy your mind at all, because you are more than just guiltless.
You are the pristine Presence of effulgent Light, which coalesces, I’m going to say, in colors and shapes without ever ceasing to be Light. And the Light and the shapes that the Light coalesces into are the experience of Meaning beyond anything that you’re comprehending at the moment.
So, even as we’re talking here about abandoning guilt and embracing the guiltlessness of your brother and of yourself, we’re still not talking about anything ultimate. You still need to listen without preconceptions, because what is being uncovered to you goes way beyond your preconceptions. And it’s really important for you to proceed with, what I’m going to call, full open consciousness. Racers like to drive with a full opened throttle. Those who are Awakening need to develop an appreciation of being a full open receptivity.
Once again, this is a very passive thing and your experience of orphanhood has been one full of aggressive, proactive engagement with life. You need to become full open consciousness, where you’re not applying any breaks to what would enter and fill you up. I can’t tell you that you need to think bigger than you’re thinking. You need to let bigger than you’re letting. This is in a way what makes this stage of Awakening difficult because the less control you exercise and employ, the more movement and the more learning of truth will occur.
The state of guiltlessness is only the condition in which what is not there has been removed from the disordered mind that thought it WAS. This state, and only this, must YOU attain with God beside you.
Seeming to be different from you and separate from you.
This state, and only this, must YOU attain with God beside you. For until you do, your will still think that you are separate from Him. You can feel His Presence next to you, but CANNOT know that you are one with Him. This need not be taught. Learning applies only to the condition in which it happens OF ITSELF.
[Chuckling] Learning is an, “A-ha experience.” It’s impossible to create an, “A-ha experience,” because an “A-ha experience” is one of experiencing the unexpected and the unknown. And you can only create out of what you know.
So, you have to be willing to be full open consciousness. And what’s the best way of causing that condition? Caring about your brother enough to want to know about his innocence and to ask for the experience and awareness of his innocence from the only one Who Knows—the Father, or one who represents the Father, the Father or the Holy Spirit, the Father or that which is nothing more than your right Mind.
When you have let …
… again, there’s that word “let.”
When you have let all that obscured the truth in your most holy mind be undone for you and stand in grace before your Father, He will give Himself to you as He has always done.
When you have let all that obscured the truth in your most holy mind be undone for you …
… Don’t be afraid. Don’t be afraid to let things be done for you. Because although your present vantage point, your present glasses that you’re looking through, cause that which is indivisible and undivided to appear to be polarized and to seem to be potentially beneficial as well as dangerous. That isn’t what’s out there. That isn’t what is confronting you. And you must dare to behave in disagreement with the perceptions you’re having. Your perceptions see your brother as guilty. Your perceptions say that guilt must be brought into play to bring him into line. But there is a knowing in you that knows that in spite of how your brother sees himself, he’s divine. Because, at the bottom line, somewhere in you, you know that you’re divine. And that’s worth fighting for illuminating, and bringing to the surface so that it can’t be denied.
When you have let all that obscured the truth in your most holy mind be undone for you and stand in grace before your Father…
It doesn’t say, “Stand in humiliation before your Father.” But that is what your ego would suggest to you is the real meaning of those words. But when you …
… stand in grace before your Father, He will give Himself to you as He has always done.
He will not lash out at you. He will not scold you. He will not punish you.
… He will give Himself to you as He has always done.
In spite of your beliefs, God has always been Being all there is to you—all there is to you. The difference is that when you finally stand in grace before your Father, you will experience the fact that He’s Being all there is to you. And you won’t be insulted by it.
Giving Himself is all He knows…
You see, that’s the Gift that is Creation, that constitutes receipt.
Giving Himself is all He knows, and so it is all knowledge.
In that Gift, all of the Meaning of everything is given and everything knows.
For what He knows …
… God …
For what He knows not cannot be, and therefore cannot be given.
Now, what does this have to do with you? Why, what you’re hearing is setting the tone for an understanding of, for lack of better words, the Energy of God, which you’re embraced by, which you’re created with.
Ask not to be forgiven, for this has already been accomplished.
And why has it already been accomplished? Because you were never capable of doing the impossible, and therefore, you have not done anything that needs to be forgiven.
There are things you are doing based on ignorance and false assumptions that are not working and which do cause you to experience guilt. And you will have to stop doing those things because they don’t work, because it’s impossible to truly accomplish them. That’s why you must stop. And in that sense there is repentance, but not repentance because you were guilty. Repentance because intelligence is present that you are experiencing that causes you to recognize that what isn’t working, isn’t working, and therefore there is no reason to continue to do what doesn’t work. And so you stop.
Ask not to be forgiven, for this has already been accomplished. Ask, rather, to learn how to FORGIVE, and restore what always was to your unforgiving mind.
To forgive is something that can only occur in a relationship. You can forgive your negative assessment of plants that you call weeds. You can forgive the definitions of your brothers or sisters as guilty and deserving of punishment. In other words, you can stop doing what doesn’t accomplish anything. And you can stop doing what blinds you to what’s truly there. You can stop doing what causes you to experience ignorance.
Ask, rather, to learn how to FORGIVE…
… how to engage truly in relationships, in which you are owning what you are doing in your participation in those relationships, and so that you can bring caring into play. And knowing what you know now, practice the conscious desire to see what is truly there—to look into your brother’s eyes and remember God.
Ask, rather, to learn how to FORGIVE, and restore what always was to your unforgiving mind.
In other words, stop being an unforgiving mind.
Atonement becomes real and visible to them that USE it.
That’s why you make the gift instead of going after what you want, instead of finding somebody to gift you, you make the gift which will restore what always was, to your unforgiving mind. So that …
Atonement becomes real and visible …
… because that’s what happens for …
… them that USE it. On earth this is your only function…
We’re back to simplicity again, aren’t we? An only function.
As long as you are trying to operate in second gear from the orphanage, there’s only one task you have at hand, and that is, as I said, to break the isolation. You now know that the way to break the isolation is to insist upon uncovering the guiltlessness of your brother and thereby love him.
On earth this is your only function, and you must learn that it is all you WANT to learn.
Why do anything unnecessary? Why do anything extraneous to the one and only answer?
You WILL feel guilty till you learn this.
Okay, that’s easy to understand now. You know that the moment you tried to create second gear and the moment you decided to occupy it, third gear came along with it—guilt and fear came along with it. As long as you’re in second gear you will feel guilt and fear. Okay, that’s just a simple fact. Don’t dramatize it. Don’t make a big thing out of it. Just recognize it, “Yes, that’s true. And if I don’t want third gear, all I need to do is get out of second gear. How do I get out of second gear? By performing the only function I have, which is to bond with and join with my brother, to forgive my brother and all of Creation, any part of Creation which I’ve been holding to my own definition of.”
You WILL feel guilty till you learn this. For, in the end, whatever form it takes, your guilt arises from your failure to fulfill your function in God’s Mind with all of YOURS.
Here’s where we come back to the fact that there’s more to you than guiltlessness, and there’s more to you than being an Awake Son of God walking down the street in your right Mind, along with other Sons of God walking down the street in their right Mind.
… your guilt arises from your failure to fulfill your function …
Where? Not on the street you’re walking down, but …
… in God’s Mind with all of YOURS.
With all of your what? With all of your mind. Awakening involves your bringing all of your mind into God’s Mind where all Being is occurring and in which you know who you Are and in which the fullness of what God is Being, which you haven’t the faintest idea of yet, is illuminated and manifest for you to see, no longer obscured from you. This is why you need to not think bigger, but let more fully.
Can you escape this guilt …
… the one that you will feel till you learn this.
Can you escape this guilt by failing to fulfill your function here?
Of course, not. No, you can go right ahead having a rip-roaring suffering time and enjoying the thrill of barely escaping the reaper’s axe. But you don’t have to.
Can you escape this guilt by failing to fulfill your function here?
No. Now this is important.
You need not understand creation …
You don’t need to understand everything.
… to do what must be done …
… to fulfill your function.
… before that knowledge would be meaningful to you.
You need not understand Creation to do what must be done, before that knowledge would be meaningful to you. You see? If you think that you are going to end up being a better orphan, then the understanding of who and what you really Are will be meaningless to you. And so, grasping that from second gear is not required of you in order to shift to first gear. That’s all it means.
You need not understand creation to do what must be done before that knowledge would be meaningful to you. God breaks no barriers; neither did He MAKE them. When YOU release them they are gone. God will not fail, nor ever has in anything.
Here’s the big step.
Decide that God is right and YOU are wrong about yourself.
[Repeating] Decide that God is right and YOU are wrong about yourself.
Hard for the ego to take, but that’s the “open sesame” to revelation.
… God …
… created you out of Himself, but still within Him. He KNOWS what you are. Remember that there is no second to Him. There cannot, therefore, be anyone without His Holiness, nor anyone unworthy of His perfect Love.
That’s a clue. That’s an insight into the nature of everything and everyone that you’re conscious of. That’s why I keep saying, bring curiosity to bear. Look at everything with the curiosity to see the more of what God is Being there than what you’re seeing.
There cannot, therefore, be anyone …
… or, I’m going to say, anything …
… without His Holiness, nor anyone unworthy of His perfect Love. Fail not in your function of loving in a loveless place made out of darkness and deceit, for thus are darkness and deceit undone.
Well, what is this …
… loveless place made out of darkness and deceit…
It’s the orphanage. It’s life in the orphanage. It’s life in the orphan mindset. It’s a loveless place because no one belongs to anyone. Guilt is employed to maintain order. Darkness and deceit are employed constantly.
Fail not in your function of loving in …
… this place …
… in a loveless place made out of darkness and deceit, for thus are darkness and deceit undone.
That’s your function. And I’m going to remind you, that this function that you have is a function you love to employ. It’s a function you love to allow into expression. And your brother or sister, you will find, will be sufficient reason for doing it.
Fail not YOURSELF…
… after all, the gift you give is the one you receive. So don’t fail yourself by withholding the gift from your brother or sister.
Fail not YOURSELF, but instead, offer to God AND YOU His blameless Son.
Well, that can mean you. But you as His blameless Son, will not come into focus until you have been willing to present to your Father, your brother as your Father’s blameless Son. You see. This is very important
Fail not YOURSELF, but instead, offer to God AND YOU His blameless Son. For this small gift of appreciation for His Love…
… God’s Love.
… God will Himself exchange your gift for His.
And you will stand in conscious receipt. Wow!
Before you make ANY decisions for yourself, remember that you have decided AGAINST your function in Heaven, and consider carefully whether you WANT to make decisions here. Your function here is only to decide AGAINST deciding what you want, in recognition that you do not KNOW.
You see, here we are right back at the first lesson in the Workbook, “Nothing I see means anything” and “I don’t know what anything is for.” But now, recognizing that you do not know is not as frightening and can be embraced without reducing you to a quivering mass of jelly, immobilizing you.
Your function here is only to decide AGAINST deciding what you want, in recognition that you do not KNOW. How, then, can you decide what you should do? Leave all decisions to the One Who speaks for God, and for your function as He KNOWS it.
Who might that be? The Holy Spirit—your right Mind.
But until you’ve come Home, your right Mind is going to be experienced as something other than you that you will have to yield to, and that you will have to listen to, else you will maintain your arrogance of independent, imagined sovereignty. And it’s unavoidable.
Leave all decisions to the One Who speaks for God, and for your function as He KNOWS it. So will He teach you to remove the awful burden you have laid upon yourself by loving not the Son of God, and trying to teach him guilt instead of love. Give up this frantic and insane attempt, which cheats you of the joy of living with your God and Father, and awaking gladly to His Love and Holiness which join together …
… as the truth in you…
This is what you have no conception of. And this is what is so far greater than you just being guiltless. And it is what requires that you be willing to be full open consciousness—unresistant conscious awareness.
… making you One with Him.
When you have learned how to decide WITH God…
… remember, I used the word cooperator and cooperation.
When you have learned how to decide WITH God, all decisions become as easy and as right as breathing. There is no effort…
… you see, because the power of decision is not the exertion of force. So …
There is no effort. And you will be led as gently as if you were being carried along a quiet path in summer. Only …
… what? Your own volition.
Only your own volition seems to make deciding hard.
Man! The practice of will causes the natural awareness of what is appropriate, which is an effortless process, to be difficult.
The Holy Spirit will not delay at all in answering your EVERY question what to do.
And the only problem at the moment, the only thing that makes it difficult for you to hear the Holy Spirit is, that you think that you can decide for yourself and you can come up with the answers by yourself, and it’s imperative to come up with the answers by yourself because that’s how you gain credibility and reality. But, you see, you don’t know what you’re for. And you don’t know what you mean. And so, you’ve got to dare to be full open consciousness, willing to let in what you aren’t expecting. That’s the only way transformation will occur.
The Holy Spirit will not delay at all in answering your EVERY question what to do. He KNOWS.
Ultimately that means that you know. But you cannot have the experience of your Knowing as long as there is a tinge of arrogant self-righteous autonomy or a desire for it. And so, you will have to listen to that which is your right Mind, which means you will have to listen to the Holy Spirit. And you will have to take directions. You will have to yield to what you’re being told.
… even more insulting …
… He will TELL you and then do it FOR you.
And you will learn to be grateful. And in your attitude of gratitude for your right Mind doing for you what only It can do, you will be restored to the conscious experience of it being your right Mind doing it. And the sense of a separate orphan will disappear.
You who are tired might consider whether this is not more restful than sleep.
What? [Chuckling] Letting the Holy Spirit answer your every question? And letting the Holy Spirit tell you and then do it for you? Yeah.
You who are tired might consider whether this is not more restful than sleep. For you can bring your guilt into sleeping, but not into this.
Now, there are practical aspects to all of this that we will need to talk about. And you may perhaps be disappointed, that I’m not giving you examples of how what we’ve discussed can be grounding for you and relevant for you in your daily experience. But because you are approaching your spiritual growth from the standpoint of having it improve your human experience, I must bring your attention beyond that, to that which is beyond your preconceptions, to that which requires you to abandon preconceptions and be so fully allowing, that your state of mind could be called full open consciousness, because it’s essential for you to be paying attention, to be giving your attention to something far beyond your imaginations. Because the truth about you is that you are more than guiltless and you’re more than a divine man.
And if it seems as though I have not pulled you out of the deep and brought you to dry land—a solid footing—it’s important for you to be where you can’t rely upon your already existing best judgments, so that you can with more commitment, say to the Father or the Holy Spirit, “Help” and stand with curiosity, vital, real curiosity at the threshold of revelation.
The Holy Spirit will not delay at all in answering your EVERY question what to do.
So be willing to be absolutely insecure, knowing absolutely nothing for sure, and asking for help.
And I look forward to being with you next week.
T13.8 The Way of Salvation ↩
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