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Believe it or not, what we’ve been discussing and what we’re reading about is really the essence of simplicity because it takes no effort, it takes no practiced skill, it takes no understanding, it doesn’t rely upon logic.
At the bottom line, the holy instant—that moment in which you say “Yes” to God—is a moment when you step into an incapacity to understand, but a capacity to Know.
Now the Course itself says that it cannot teach the meaning of love. But the Course is setting your feet and your attention in the direction of the Teacher that can teach you the meaning of love. And that Teacher is not yourself. That Teacher is not the one you think you are. That Teacher is not the mental skill-sets that you have created and acquired and utilized and used as a means of defining yourself.
Last week I spoke about the fact that Paul had discovered something was missing—something which was needed—and he literally had no means of knowing where it was. And it became necessary for him, with my Guidance, to let go of the fact that he didn’t know and couldn’t know where it was—to let that be of no consequence because all of him is always present, all of him is always functioning, and all of him is always available.
Now that required him to go into a place where he had no capacity of any sort that he was familiar with—no skill that he was familiar with, and he had to lean into not knowing and not having any means of understanding through an excellent intellectual use of his mind.
Anyone who’s been a student of truth, let’s say, for very long, has found himself or herself frustrated because he or she thought more progress should have occurred or more capacity to heal should be available—or this, that or the other thing. Expectations were not met, healing was not occurring.
Now I’m going to tell you that the reason each of you arrives at that point is because you’re at a threshold—not a threshold of failure, but a threshold of leaning into, willingly, an unknown capacity, a capacity that you’re not presently familiar with even though it is an inherent part of you.
When you do this, it will always be relative to yourself or relative to someone else or relative to something else, where you’re having to lean into a capacity to Know about yourself, someone else, or something else that you haven’t experienced before.
In the act of doing that and not abandoning that act because it seems to be occurring slowly, and your ego wants to be frustrated, that will cause you to arrive at the point of the influx of truth, the influx of Knowing, the influx of the Father’s Perspective, the influx of your right Mind. It will happen. When it happens, you will find yourself Knowing of your wholeness. You will find yourself experiencing your peace and you will know that it is an immovable peace, that the peace of your Being truly isn’t capable of being flustered or jangled and you will know what being loved means.
Now, when you know what being loved means because you’re no longer shielded from your experience of your Father, of your Source, by your will, you immediately, in that place of innocence, treat your brother differently, see your brother differently with the Father’s Vision. And that constitutes the extension of something. What do you suppose it is? It’s Love. It’s the thing the Course can’t teach you the meaning of. But it is what the Course can help bring you to the point of allowing to happen in you.
Literally, when you come to the place of not-knowing, when you come to the place of a feeling of incapacity even though there is an apparent demand being made for you to have a capacity, you are at the point of discovering the meaning of love.
What is it that constitutes being an orphan? What is it that constitutes the dream, as it’s been called? What is it that constitutes your being unconscious of the truth?
It is, that you don’t know how to love.
And so I say this so that you might understand that what we’re moving toward here and what I am urging you to allow, is not greater intellectual understanding or greater mental capacity, but it is the abandonment of aggressive, self-assertive willfulness so that in its absence, love might infill you. Because love is what is missing from the equation, love is what is absent in the orphan.
Now you can say with a sense of relief, “I am so glad it doesn’t require great mental capacity on my part. I am so glad to know that all it requires is for me to be innocent enough, un-willful enough, at peace enough within myself to relax.” So that what? “So that I might be able to love.”
Now whether any of you truly knows what love is in all of its fullness, you do have some comprehension of love, you have just been misusing it. And so, when I say that the threshold of Awakening which you find yourself at when you’re willing to become still and get into your peace where fear and guilt are absent, you are simply allowing Something that you already somewhat comprehend to become substantiated more fully within you. And it’s a capacity to be love. I didn’t say, “loving.” Because loving is something each of you has calculated a definition of. And the definition is different under different circumstances in different situations with different people.
When you come to the impasse—the void, the emptiness, the incapacity where you tend to become frustrated—it’s just a time to say, “Oh, here is a moment in which I am primed for an influx of a capacity to be love.” Love is un-willful. Love is not self-seeking. Love is not self-protective. Love is not self-centered. Love is not any of the things you associate with your daily life and your sense of yourself currently.
Love is an extension. Love is embracing. Love is not judgmental. Love is bringing innocence into the moment and into your relationships. Love is the absence of every skill you’ve ever used to keep yourself safe, even skills of kindness, kindness that doesn’t arise out of a natural inclination to be in harmony with the way things work, but because it will keep you safe. That isn’t love.
The orphan—you, when you feel as though you are a separate independent self with a God-given capacity to do things on your own and so on—that is a sense of self that you are going to let go of. That is a sense of self you will not bring forward with you because everything about it is directed to your safety. Which means that every act you engage in is a defense against a world that in one way or another, you feel is hostile toward you or will be, or is potentially, and therefore, you must hold it at bay with diligence and vigilance. And this is not the singularity out of which real harmony arises and which is the very essence of every aspect of Creation.
Now, continuing in the book from where we left off:
Because of guilt, ALL special relationships have some elements of fear in them.1
Well of course they do because guilt and fear always go together, or fear and guilt always go together. Special relationships are relationships you have with others or with things that are a result of your not really being connected with others or with things, but instead you are connected with your concept of who that other one is, or what that thing is. And as a result, although you seem to have interactions, it’s not a real relationship. And it’s amazing if there is any real resemblance of harmony that occurs.
Special relationships are relationships where those involved are not really connecting with each other. Like the woman and her “stuffed” husband.2 There’s no love present.
Because of guilt, ALL special relationships have some elements of fear in them.
And if you are not experiencing your oneness with your Father, and are not experiencing your Sonship, but are instead, experiencing yourself as an independent authoritative entity, there will be guilt and fear in every aspect of your experience because relationships are all you’re confronted with. Even if it’s how far you are from the wall. That’s a relationship between you and the wall.
Because of guilt, ALL special relationships have some elements of fear in them.
And if guilt is present, all relationships are special relationships.
Now that could be depressing. Or, you could say, “Wow! That means that every single aspect of my day, every single relationship I’m in is an opportunity to have a new experience, one in which I’m not blinded by what I think of that person or what I think that thing is. And in the innocence of my perception, I have the opportunity to have insight, to have Revelation, to have an influx of the Father’s perspective which it is my Birthright to be experiencing.”
So every moment of every day, and every single thing in every moment of every day is humongously pregnant with the opportunity for new Vision which I am encouraging all of you to be more diligent in your desire to have the experience of.
Because of guilt, ALL special relationships have some elements of fear in them. And this is why they shift and change so frequently. They are not based on changeless love alone. And love, where fear has entered, cannot be depended on because it is not perfect.
You might say that your willingness to be present with a thing or an individual, with innocent perception—not bringing into that moment with them any memory, any past experience you’ve had with them or any previous definitions of those things that have been provided to you—you are the place where the act of love is occurring. And that’s why a sudden shift of perception can occur.
In His function as Interpreter of what you have made, the Holy Spirit …
… that which is nothing more than your right Mind …
… USES special relationships, which YOU have chosen to support the ego, as a learning experience which points to truth.
Now, it does this if you care to enquire of that which is nothing more than your right Mind—to enquire of the Holy Spirit, “What is the truth here? What is the truth about this thing? What is the truth about this individual? I am enquiring … I am being willing to be an empty vessel, an empty mind which is capable of accepting something new.”
When you do that, the Holy Spirit is able to perform its function. Your right Mind is able to perform its function relative to you who thinks you have some other kind of mind that can be used in some other kind of way. And the Holy Spirit’s function—your right Mind’s function—is to bring that part of you which thinks it has its own independent capacity to be conscious, back into the full conscious awareness of what It is: The Son or Daughter of God, the offspring, the expression, the current living expression of a current living God. And to make it relevant, this means your capacity to be present with your brother or with anything, as Love.
Love isn’t a skill. Love is your nature, your divine nature. And it is present and it functions so that you can be aware of it when you’re not preoccupied with your definitions of love, which are to treat everybody in a way that will please them so that they will be nice to you and not hurt you. And also make you rich and respected and great! …and every other good private specialness that you might be able to think up.
In His function as Interpreter of what you have made, the Holy Spirit USES special relationships, which YOU have chosen to support the ego, as a learning experience which points to truth.
… points to truth … points to truth? No. Points your attention to the truth so the truth registers with you as an experience, as an experience of being loved because it is an experience of knowing that you’re not responsible for yourself, you didn’t create yourself, and That which did, is still taking care of you by creating you now … now … now … now … now … now … now, as fresh as God is in every moment, you Are.
Under His teaching…
… the Holy Spirit’s…
… EVERY relationship becomes a lesson in …
… what? The only thing it could be a lesson in …
Because that’s the only thing you’re not familiar with. Very simply, the meaning of the word orphan is, “absent of love.”
“Oh, but I’d rather do it myself … I’d rather do it my way. God gave me the right to be on my own!”
Not much embrace in that is there. Not much extension in that is there. Not much involvement in that is there. Not much unity.
But you know, if you have one part of infinity, if you have one small part of Creation, we’ll say, that is holding itself apart from all of Creation, when it can’t actually become separated from all Creation, what do you have? You have a great state of tension. You have what you could call, “war.” You have some part of infinite Creation standing against all of the rest of Creation in an arrogant attempt to be something on its own.
There is no love in that because there is no involvement. There is no relationship in that is there.
So, is it becoming clearer that what we’re talking about when we speak of Awakening—of Waking up, of coming back into your right Mind, that we are simply talking about letting love re-emerge in you as your actual nature, which it never stopped being?
Well, I suppose you could say that you can understand that that might be simpler than ultimately having to try to figure everything all by yourself. But, when it comes right down to it and you’re in the moment of need and you’re up against it and you don’t know what to do and you don’t seem to have a capacity to do anything, and yet you’re called upon to have a capacity in that moment, you could say, “Well, letting love be me isn’t that easy either. I still can’t do it.”
No, you can’t do it because you think you can’t do it and you don’t remember that it’s your nature. And so it does seem as though you’re being asked to do the impossible. But you’re not. And you are going to have to be diligent and vigilant in that moment of impasse so that you don’t abandon the impasse and you abide there as you slip out of your unbelief into the capacity you have that goes beyond your belief.
Now remember something else: You’re not doing this all by yourself. The Holy Spirit—not something foreign to you or a-far-off, but that which is nothing more than your right Mind, your ever-present sanity—is standing with you because it is intent upon bringing you back into your sanity.
It’s function is to reunite this part of yourself that you’re trying to be independent from the rest of yourself, to abandon its goal so that all of what you Are may reunite and experience the integrity and unity that never was successfully affected or changed.
That’s the Holy Spirit’s purpose.
Under His teaching, EVERY relationship becomes a lesson in love.
Because lessons in love are the way you walk out of the orphanage. Not lessons in greater capacity to think, not lessons in greater capacity to avail yourself and access your memory banks more quickly, more successfully. No, it’s your capacity to not know. It’s your capacity to be without compulsively attempting to be in charge.
Why? Why a compulsive intent to be in charge? You think it’s because that’s the way you stay safe. But when you abandon it, your eternal and infinite integrity, unity is obvious to you. Safety isn’t even a word, because Being is unalterably forever perfect, forever the Movement of Creation that is perfect, with no threat to it whatsoever.
The Holy Spirit knows no-one is special. Yet He also perceives that you have MADE special relationships, which He would purify, and not let you destroy.
Now I’ve said before, that no matter what you think this world and universe is, all you are ever confronted with is the Kingdom of Heaven. You’re misinterpreting it, but you are not going to go anywhere else to arrive in the conscious experience of Heaven. And so you need to be willing to allow yourself to be present in what you call “the here and the now”—in what you have defined as a material world and universe—so that you may, in the abandoning of your current definitions, be available in the here and the now where the Kingdom of Heaven is the only thing going on, to experience it as what it is, instead of what you believed it was.
Well, likewise, the Holy Spirit …
… perceives that you have MADE special relationships, which He would purify, and not let you destroy.
See, I won’t let you abandon this world and universe in your effort to Wake up and reach the Kingdom of Heaven, because this world and universe is the Kingdom of Heaven misperceived. And the Holy Spirit would purify your relationships and not let you destroy them, because relationships are real.
You’re never going to rise above relationships, because relationships are real. And no matter what awful use you might be putting relationships to, it is something divine that you’re putting to an awful use. It is something real that you are ignorantly misusing. And so the Holy Spirit will not let you abandon them, or step outside of them, or get beyond them, or rise above them.
… He would purify [them], and not let you destroy [them].
Because that’s where salvation lies.
However unholy the reason why you made them may be, He can translate them into holiness by removing as much fear as you will let Him.
That which is nothing more than your right Mind has as its purpose the reduction and removal of fear. Why? Because when fear goes guilt goes. They’re inseparable partners.
However unholy the reason why you made them may be…
… referring to relationships …
… the Holy Spirit …
… can translate them into holiness by removing as much fear as you will let Him. You can place any relationship under His care, and be sure that it will not result in pain, if you offer Him your willingness to have it serve no need but His.
In other words, you can turn things over to the Holy Spirit and expect to have no pain when you’re willing to abandon the purpose you have applied to a relationship and wished to experience only the purpose the Holy Spirit would put that relationship to.
Thy will be done. Yield … yield … yield … yield what? Yield the willfulness. Yield the assertiveness that you use exclusively for self-protection. And as long as you are self-protecting yourself, you are shielding yourself from something else. And the allness and unity of Creation seems to become divided by the boundary you are imaginatively creating.
Yield … it’s so hard to do because you think your salvation … your safety, your ultimate breakthrough into ultimate safety, comes from your asserting yourself against a hostile world, a hostile environment. You’ve got to abandon that use of relationships in favor of the Holy Spirit’s, because the fact is that all of the relationships you have had, no matter how good they have been, have occurred in the context of self-protection—which means a lack of trust, which means a presence of fear. And that’s not the purpose of relationships, and that’s not your Birthright. That’s not what you were meant to be experiencing.
All the guilt in it …
… in the relationships you have created.
All the guilt in it arises from YOUR use of it. All the love from His.
That’s the difference. The way you use relationships involves guilt and fear. But when you let the Holy Spirit’s Purpose guide you in your relationships, you will move into that holy instant, you will move into that silence where you have set aside your intent to do things your way for your reasons. And in that absence of willfulness, love can infill you, love can register with you—the love which is your nature and always has been will reregister with you.
Do not, then, be afraid to let go your imagined needs…
… meaning, needs for safety, needs for wealth, need for success, need for respect.
Do not, then, be afraid to let go your imagined needs, which would destroy the relationship. Your ONLY need is His.
Your only need is the Holy Spirit’s. Well, what is the Holy Spirit’s need? Being nothing more than your right Mind, it has a need for all of what you Are to come back into integrity, to come back into cohesive conscious wholeness.
At the moment, the need of the Holy Spirit—which is nothing more than your right Mind—is for sanity to return to all that It is, which includes this little bundle of willfulness that’s trying to be something all by itself and enters into every relationship during the day on the basis of keeping itself safe, or is securing it’s future against the chaos which is inevitable [chuckle] because life and being is polarized. It’s necessary.
Any relationship which you would substitute for another has not been offered to the Holy Spirit for His use.
Something doesn’t work out well with this one, so you go to this one to try to have a happy relationship or get what it is you need. And so, you substitute this one for that one. Well, did you ask of the Holy Spirit regarding the first one, “What is the truth here?” Did you desire to go into the void, to go into your apparent incapacity to see the truth about that brother and lean into it with diligence and vigilance?
And if you didn’t, and now you’re going to substitute this relationship over here, are you going to say, “Holy Spirit what is the truth here?” and use this as an opportunity, like you could have used the first one or any other circumstance or object or person as the means of shutting up and becoming silent and realizing that the thing that’s missing from the moment is one thing: Love—which you don’t have the foggiest notion of how to obtain or employ, but which you know ultimately, you’re going to have to access like waking yourself up out of a dream at night, out of a nightmare.
It takes diligence in the dream to rouse yourself. And it isn’t always comfortable when you’re having the dream to bring forth that much energy to actually rouse yourself from the dream so that you might wake up and find out that you were afraid of nothing, because it was all imaginary.
The one thing that’s missing is love. And the only way to have it reemerge is to bring some diligence to it, in spite of your frustration and your impatience and the apparent call for you to be able somehow by yourself to assert yourself in the name of a divine purpose so that something good can happen, so that a correction can occur. That’s just a repeat of everything you’ve done. And there’s no love in it.
You might say, “Well, I’m fighting for correction here because I care about that person, or I care about that situation, or I care about that thing.” No, you’re really doing it so that you won’t have to look at yourself after the fact and say, “I failed.” It’s still, at the bottom line, self-serving. And as long as it is self-serving, there is no love. And if love is still absent, there will be no correction and there will be no healing and there will be no transformation—love will not be extended and felt and love will not be felt by you. As long as love is still absent, you’re still in the orphanage.
There IS no substitute for love.
You hear that?
There IS no substitute for love.
Now hear this: As long as you’ve been dreaming dreams, you have been practicing the idea that there is a substitute for love. And you’ve been out to prove it by determining things for yourself, by teaching other people to determine things for themselves. And then by influencing other people so that they’ll behave and not endanger you, because you know you’re vulnerable and you know you can be threatened and you know that ultimately you can be caused to cease to exist.
This is not the arena of healing or transformation or Awakening. And it is an exact example of insanity.
This book’s a very long book—lot of words, a lot of complex ideas. But at the bottom line, they’re all aimed at getting rid of the one little missing thing: Love—the one thing that will be missing as long as you insist upon being an orphan and being p-r-o-u-d of it.
You know all about being orphans. You’ve developed a lot of skill. And you’re respectability comes from the skill you have employed at being an orphan well. So when it comes to letting love back in, which requires you to yield to something other than personal skill, it does feel like giving up your identity.
But I’m telling you that you have an identity far more meaningful than what you’re presently experiencing. And it will come forth and register with you when you value the void, the holy instant, into which you’re not bringing the past, and therefore are being present with innocent eyes, with an innocent mind, the essential element in order for a sudden shift of perception—a miracle to occur. And that’s the point.
If you would attempt to substitute one aspect of love for another, you have placed LESS value on one and MORE on the other. You have not only SEPARATED them, but you have also judged against BOTH.
If you judge for this one, you judge against that one. But then in a minute later, and you judge for this one because the circumstance is different, you’ve judged against that one … so fickle. Love is unvarying.
Yet you had judged against yourself first, or you would never have imagined that you needed them as they were not …
… these things that you judge for and against and jump back and forth from. Yes, of course you’ve judged yourself first, because you’ve taken the role of orphan and fought for it … guilt and fear immediately present, unavoidable as long as you continue. So you’ve judged yourself before you judged anything else.
Unless you had seen yourself as WITHOUT love, you could not have judged them so like you in lack.
Do you see, that as long as you abandon your Birthright and claim orphanhood and fight for it, you cause all of Creation to be seen through the lens of lack, and as the source of, or call for, fear and guilt and every act of self-protection that you can possibly bring into play.
We’re talking about abandoning those things which are the blocks to love—not fighting them, not overcoming them—abandoning them in favor of allowing yourself the time it takes to be in the uncomfortable position of not knowing and desiring to have a Knowing that your personal, private little mind hasn’t been responsible for in any way, because you want to know the truth, God’s truth.
We’re talking about Waking up. We’re talking about God’s truth infilling you. Why? So that you might be able to be more real and more meaningful right here in the Kingdom of Heaven than you have been when you’ve been defining it otherwise and behaving on the basis of that definition.
So you’re still going to be here and everything is still going to be here, but in new terms that were the original terms. Not complicated, but something that requires diligence and vigilance in the face of the discomfort of not knowing … yet.
Persist … but not through the use of will. Persist in the desire to have love replace … to have love replace the means you have been using in the belief that those things were essential to your survival.
I love you very much … all of you. And I want love to no longer be absent in your experience. And I look forward to being with you next week.
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