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Many years ago now, in some of my first conversations with Paul, I told him three things:
All of you is always present, all of you is always available, and all of you is always functioning.
Now I did not mean that all of what Paul is as a human being or as a body, is always present, available and functioning, I meant to convey to him that as the manifestation of God, that he, being all that God was Being right there where he was, was present, available and functioning. It was my intent to get Paul to think beyond whatever his present concepts of himself were at that time, whatever definitions he was employing to “understand” himself.
And so I say to each one of you: All of you, all of what you are infinitely speaking is always present. No part of it is ever absent. And all of you—all of what you are—is always functioning. Every minute part, you might say, of you is always functioning. Why? Because, God [chuckle] is the Being of every minute aspect of you.
And so, where you might be thinking that some of your organs aren’t functioning as they should be, or this part of your life isn’t functioning the way it should be, and you’re believing that, you need to bring your attention back to the fact that not only is all of you present, but all of you is always functioning. That’s, you could say, the ultimate truth but it’s also the primitive truth. So, it’s not an ultimate truth you’re going to move toward, it’s an ultimate truth—that is, the primitive truth that you’re going to come back into—the conscious realization and experience of. And what will specifically help you come back into that realization is the awareness that all of you—all of what you infinitely are—is always functioning and it’s always available to you … it’s always available to you.
This morning, something rather significant and important was discovered to be lost. There was some distress associated with the fact that it seemed to be lost. Thinking it through, it was reasonable to think that it could have inadvertently been taken. The circumstances were such that someone could mistakenly have picked it up, blah … blah … blah … and tension began to mount. And Paul remembered what I said, “All of you is always present,” not lost, not out of sight. “All of you is always available,” not unavailable. And “All of you is always functioning.”
Now, every week, most every week we get together and we read the Course and we talk about principles, we talk about truth, and to a great degree, what is talked about is used as a salve to give you peace in your mind. But, although that’s alright, it’s not the purpose. The purpose is, so that when situations arise, as they rose this morning, and Paul or you is tempted to become upset—upset to the point of distraction—that’s exactly the moment to say, “What is the truth here?” or as Paul said, “Where am I?” meaning, where was this aspect of himself that seemed to be very important but lost and therefore, a potential for difficulty.
“Where am I?”
You go into the malls and you’ll see a map in various places of the mall and then there’s a little circle with an arrow that says, “You are here.”
Paul says, “Where am I?” meaning, the part of me that is this thing that can’t seem to be found expecting to have the experience, I’ll say, of the arrow saying, “You are here.” In order to do this, Paul had to override his tendency to engage in reaction, when reaction seemed to be called for.
You’re all faced with situations that you say call for reaction. And those are the times that what the Course is talking about should get beyond platitudes so that you actually take the time—when you’re not inclined to take the time and when you don’t feel emotionally capable of choosing for your peace because of the emergency—to actually take the time and choose for your peace because you don’t choose to continue to operate in the arena of ignorance. You want everything that we’re discussing to come to life.
Now, Paul did this … walked through the house, he made a couple of stops we’ll say, looking, and walked to a most unlikely place … opened up a bag and there was the object—there was the thing that was lost. He had not had a picture in his mind. He did not beforehand have a realization, “I know where it is.” But he allowed himself to be willing to know where it was and his behavior uncovered the fact that all of him was present, all of him was always available and all of him, including his capacity to know where it was, was always functioning.
Now, this ties in with the subject of the holy instant that we’ve been talking about. Because the holy instant is the place in which the act of saying “Yes” to God occurs. The holy instant is the place in which you decide to abandon your independence and therefore, your isolation. Isolation from what? The all of you that’s always present, the all of you that’s always functioning, the all of you that’s always available, which is your conscious experience of Being when you let God’s Perspective in, in favor of or instead of your own private perspective that you have been holding onto prior to this holy instant in which the act of saying “Yes” occurred.
The holy instant, or we’ll say, the result of using any instant that is available to you for the purpose of saying “Yes” to God and yielding to the Father’s Perspective—at the expense of your own private personal one—opens you up to the actual experience of wholeness. And I mean by that, infinite wholeness, where in fact you could say, while you are on planet Earth, with a capacity of knowing what that part of you that’s called the opposite side of planet Earth, is available to you.
You also have available to you, for lack of better words, the conscious experience of everything in the cosmos. And you also have available to you ever presently and on-goingly, the conscious experience of every single brother and sister, every single aspect of Creation Itself. Now get this: With the conscious awareness that just as you are being able to be responsive to all of Creation, you are able to experience all of Creation responding to you simultaneously so that it is an infinite conscious experience of Being, in which no aspect of Creation is unavailable to you, is not functioning for you, and is not present.
You are neither behind the point of perfection nor advancing toward it. You are at that point and must understand yourself therefrom.
What’s the point of perfection? What is this place that you’re not behind or advancing toward? It’s the conscious experience of truth, the unisolated, infinitely involved conscious experience of the truth of everything and the conscious experience of everything conveying its truth to you … as I said, an infinite involvement—nothing private whatsoever, not even a feint fascination with what it might be like to have a private thought or to have a private place.
The holy instant is that instant in which you move out of the orphanage and abandon the claim to orphanhood.
Now last week we read that:
The holy instant is the Holy Spirit’s most useful learning device for teaching you love’s meaning.1
And today we’re starting out with:
The past is the EGO’s chief learning device, for it is in the past that you learned to define your own needs, and acquired methods for meeting them …
… on your own terms.
You made up your needs and then you made up the terms for meeting them. And all of this was going on in a supposed state of independence and isolation from your Source, so that you were, and still are, unconscious of your divine origin and nature, ignorant of the fact that all of you is actually infinite and is always present and is always functioning and is always available.
Now if you are not joined, if you are not experiencing a conscious union with your Guide or the Holy Spirit or the Father, then you are held hostage—you are blinded, you are caused by this definition you’ve applied to yourself as an ego, from experiencing what you divinely Are. And although you’re not that unhappy about the situation you are in, it’s not your Birthright. And all of you are, as it’s been said, living lives of quiet desperation but managing to find meaning in it.
Now I want you to take a look at something perhaps a bit maudlin and unpleasant: When a loved one dies—passes on—it is a sad experience. And you may be very grateful to have pictures, audio recordings, maybe even some videos that this loved one is on that you can turn on and play and be reminded of that one’s meaningfulness and have your sadness assuaged somewhat.
You know, quite some time ago in Europe, a woman, after her husband passed on, had him stuffed by a taxidermist and posed in a comfortable position on his favorite chair where he used to sit every night—every evening with her. And for her it was most meaningful because she didn’t have to feel lost as much and she could sit there and talk with him as though he was hearing. And you can imagine that she might say, “Well, it’s better than nothing.”
When you go into the past, it means you’re going into memory. When you’re functioning out of memory, you’re not present with the real thing.
What the Course is teaching, what I am alerting you all to, is the fact that you have available to you a means of Being that doesn’t involve living in your memory every single day unconscious of Reality. And that you don’t have to say, “Well, what I’ve got is better than nothing. Every day above ground is better than being underground.” I want you to grasp that such an attitude about your living is as sad as this woman’s situation who had her husband stuffed and “enjoyed his presence” for the remainder of her days.
It is sad. It’s not something to find meaning in, at least it’s no longer something to find meaning in. I’m telling you that you have an experience of Being that is unlike what you have been experiencing. And what it requires to experience that, is exactly what was required of Paul today when this item was lost that was needed and he had to take the time to go against his conditioned responses—all of which were drawn from memory.
“Oh-h, I’ve never been able to find anything successfully before and I’m going to need this before it can possibly be found …” and on and on.
All of these thoughts come from memory. And all of these thoughts say, “All of me is not always present and all of me is not always available and I have to settle for that.” His conditioned thinking, meaning his memory banks, his past, said, “There is no justification for peace. There is no justification for reaching for something that you can’t possibly know the location of. You never had it in your hand in the first place. You are not the one who misplaced it. You don’t know where it’s usually kept …” and on and on and on. You see, all of this thinking, all of this is thinking based upon past, based upon memory.
What was required was for Paul to stand in the face of all of that conditioning, all of that memorization and do something that his memory banks didn’t tell him was possible for him, but which I’ve been telling him was possible. He had to reach for what, based on his memory he had no means of knowing [chuckle] as though he actually had the capacity to do it.
And all of you have to go through your day and find wonderful opportunities which might seem like moments of distress, to step beyond, to lean beyond what your memory says is possible, so that you might get beyond the distress. And today, in the here and the now, in your very so-called human life, you can experience the fact that all of you is always present, available and functioning.
The holy instant is the place in which the act of saying “Yes” occurs, “Yes” to God, meaning, saying, “Yes God, illuminate me with the knowing that it is my Birthright to be experiencing, because You have put Your Mind in me, because You have given all that You are to me, as me, along with all the rest of Creation. And I want to have the experience that is available to me when I honor my Source, because my Source is not only the Source of my existence but the condition of my existence and therefore, I do not wish to deny it in any way, shape or form any longer. And so I desire to be in-filled with the infinite Wholeness of my Being—the conscious experience of the infinite Wholeness of my Being—no longer holding onto any so-called right to think for myself, have opinions of my own, have perspectives of my own, have goals of my own because they put me into a world where life is stuffed and positioned in apparently pleasant ways … when everything is emptiness. I don’t want to be satisfied living life in half-assed way. I don’t want to be satisfied with that which is sad and actually unfulfilled and unfulfilling.”
You see, the holy instant is humungous in its meaning and its impact.
Don’t go looking for the holy instant … like, “Oh, maybe it’ll be this afternoon.” or, “I know, when I lay down to go to bed tonight, the holy instant is going to happen …” No.
The holy instant happens when you say “Yes” to the impossible, when you say “Yes” to having the experience of the fact that all of you is always present, and all of you is always available, so that a lost article is found, not as a magical manipulation of a material world, but rather as a unified experience of Mind finding nothing of its infinite conscious experience hidden from itself, no longer experiencing any form of insanity, but perfect clarity, perfect infinite clarity.
The past is the EGO’S chief learning device…
… memory banks [chuckle] … oh-h …
… for it is in the past that you learned to define your own needs, and acquired methods for meeting them on your own terms …
… with a lot of satisfaction and bravado in most cases, even if it was quiet and undisclosed to everyone else.
We said before that to limit love to PART of the Sonship is to bring guilt into your relationships, and thus make them unreal.
Well, we’re talking about special relationships in this section. Special Relationships: “This one is really special to me … and that one’s a little bit of a heartache and a problem for me … and I embrace this one fully … and that one, I embrace cautiously … and I withhold some of myself and some of my willingness to love, from them …”
WOW! Do you see that that attitude is an absolute denial of, “All of me is always present, all of me is always available, and all of me is always functioning?”
If those three things are true, then Wholeness is the fact. If Wholeness is the fact, it’s the fact about absolutely every aspect of anything you’re experiencing. It means that all of it is of the nature and character of God, because God is the Source and the condition of existence, the Source and condition of you and the Source and condition of that aspect of you that you call your brother.
When you are denying what you Are, when you are denying that you are a Son or Daughter, and rather that you’re an orphan—an independent agent—we’ve talked about the fact that immediately guilt and fear come into play because you are attempting to behave in a way that you cannot possibly behave because you cannot, due to your divinity, be unconscious of who you Are successfully without dissonance, fear and guilt.
We said before that to limit love to PART of the Sonship …
… to break the infinite allness of you up into parts and treat it differently…
is to bring guilt into your relationships…
… and also fear …
… and thus make them unreal.
What kind of a relationship was that dear lady having with her “stuffed husband?” An unreal relationship, right? No matter how satisfying, it wasn’t a real relationship. Why? Because although she was able to be conscious of and respond to him, he wasn’t in that chair, there, able to be conscious of and respond to her. And that’s part of the characteristic of Wholeness. The conscious experience of Being is you being able to respond to all of Creation infinitely and having the experience of the fact that all of Creation infinitely responds to you as well. It’s a two-way street. It’s an involvement of infinite proportions.
And that’s the difference between operating from memory, independent and un-joined—because that’s where you are in memory when you’re independent and un-joined—and being joined and abandoning your right to experience the very sad state of being that is the result of denying your Birthright and your holiness.
If you seek to separate out certain aspects of the totality, and look to them to meet your imagined needs, you are attempting to use separation to SAVE you.
[sigh] Sad, isn’t it. We don’t have to say much more about it than that. It’s a sad thing to be living in unreal relationship as though it were actual. It’s sad and it’s maudlin.
Do I say this to disturb you? No. But I want you to see that whatever reasons you think you have for being happy not being awake, living your life every day the way you tend to from memory, you have an alternative to that that’s radiant and joyous, and most of all, conscious in which mutuality really occurs because involvement really occurs. And you have a right to this. It’s your Birthright and you need to be reaching for it even though, Paul reaching for it this morning, did it in the face of arguments that said it was impossible.
… you are attempting to use separation to SAVE you. How, then, could guilt NOT enter? For separation …
… independence …
… IS the source of guilt…
… and as I’ve said, fear …
… and to appeal to it for salvation is to believe you are alone.
To be alone IS to be guilty.
To claim independence is to initiate an experience of guilt and fear, which will last until you abandon your so-called right to be independent.
For to experience yourself as alone is to deny the Oneness of the Father and His Son, and thus to attack reality.
The holy instant is that instant in which you give permission, you give invitation to and permission for God to infill you because you’re no longer going to hold yourself apart. And instead of you being the center of your attention, you are saying you want God to be the center of your attention, which is, at the bottom line, the way you let your right Mind back into you so that you are able to exist consciously, instead of unconscious in your memory.
You cannot love parts of reality and understand what love means.
If you think that all of you is not always present and all of you is not always available, you have Reality broken up into parts. Paul was not experiencing what Love means when he was upset this morning because a very important item couldn’t be found. It couldn’t be found because why? Because he thought at that moment he was just an independent mind. A human being at a loss and without the mental capacity to figure it out because the item had never been in his hand to do anything with or to bring about a result that he might be able to logically figure out, you see. So he was really at a loss if he thought he was a person, if he thought he was an ego, if he was trying to be independent and solve the problem because it was important.
No. When you all get into these kinds of positions, you immediately feel like the direness of the situation calls for you to tear apart the house … to actually go and look in every sofa … or underneath every bed … or move things around, turn them upside down, empty the drawers … do something … do something … do something! And just by the shear search without overlooking anything, you’re bound to find it.
Well, what if the thing you’re looking for is a pencil you’ve slipped over your ear?
When you’re trying to be an independent agent, you cannot understand what love means.
You cannot love parts of reality and understand what love means. If you would love unlike to God, Who KNOWS no special love, how CAN you understand it?
If Paul had tried to turn the house upside down and mechanically do what would logically tell him would uncover the lost item, he would never have understood what love means. But he didn’t. And he found that what love means is, that all of you is always present and all of you is always available, and all of you is always functioning—none of it’s ever lost, none of it is ever absent. It’s the experience of being whole and having the evidence of the Wholeness, so there’s no suggestion of lack, no suggestion of anything that takes away from the experience of joy—that takes away from the conscious experience that Being is Itself the evidence of being loved.
Being is the evidence Itself of being loved. And when you move into the holy instant, when you allow yourself to be at the point of perfection—not behind it or advancing toward it and letting your Wholeness be revealed to you—it’s the experience of the absence of fear. It’s the experience of perfect peace. It’s, as I said, the experience of being whole. It is the experience of Love … of being loved.
To believe that SPECIAL relationships, with SPECIAL love, can offer you salvation is the belief that separation IS salvation.
Wouldn’t you have to say that that dear lady sitting with her “stuffed husband” was an example of a special relationship? She created it. She wanted something she didn’t think she could have and it was better than nothing.
To believe that SPECIAL relationships, with SPECIAL love, can offer you salvation is the belief that separation IS salvation. For it is the complete EQUALITY of the Atonement …
For it is the complete EQUALITY of the Atonement in which salvation lies.
… It is the complete EQUALITY of the Atonement in which salvation lies.
All of you is always present. All of you is always available. All of you is always functioning. That’s complete equality. No more, no less. No more given, nothing withheld. Perfect peace. Perfect balance. Perfect harmony. Nothing present that dims the illumination of God’s Love that brings forth Creation, that of which there is to be conscious of with the experience of it being all there is of you and all there is of everything.
How can you decide that special aspects of the Sonship can give you more than others?
Ho-ho … well, it’s easy! You all have imaginations and you use your imaginations and you’ll believe anything you want to make up if you can get somebody to join you and confirm it. But it doesn’t make it true.
The PAST has taught you this. Yet the holy instant teaches you it is not so.
And you want to know something? The holy instant doesn’t teach you that it isn’t so. The holy instant reveals what the truth is that is so full of Meaning because it’s the conscious experience of all that God is Being, that whatever your previous concept was becomes so meaningless that you wouldn’t hold on to it and you don’t even have time to criticize yourself for holding such a concept because you are so clearly aware of and experiencing the truth which is engaging you fully in a response of joy.
… the holy instant teaches you it is not so.
And the experience of being taught that it isn’t so is the joy that causes your sad experience, your maudlin experience to become totally meaningless because it’s been replaced with the conscious experience of truth. You see?
You are not to be the center of your attention, God is. Your problems are not to be the center of your attention, truth is. And when you take the first step of letting God be the center of your attention because you’re leaning into the omnipresence of You instead of holding on to your dearly believed limits, you become conscious of the truth. That’s the Gift. That’s the step that the Father takes. You don’t have to take the final step, the Father takes the final step.
The holy instant is a BIG Meaning.
As I said last time, it does represent and embody Easter for you. And I encourage you this week, when you feel discouraged, to press for the impossible. Remember, all of you is always present, all of you is always available and all of you is always functioning.
So, this should be encouraging. None of you can possibly end up being stuffed and put in a chair. Because all of you is always functioning including the dear man whose wife thought she had stuffed him and whom she now knows [chuckle] is not her belief because she had the experience of him once again.
Now, let this coming week be instants of your willingness to say “Yes” to God and to neglect to engage fear and doubt. And instead of engaging fear and doubt, let there be quietness in you with a desire for it to be filled with the truth. Press for it. Persist.
And I look forward to being with you next week.
T15.5 The Holy Instant and Special Relationships ↩
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