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We ended up last week considering this:
… let us look more closely at the relationships which the ego contrives, and let the Holy Spirit judge them truly.1
Now let’s be clear, that when we’re using the word, “relationships,” it doesn’t just mean relationships—human being to human being.
You are in relationship with absolutely everything in the Universe.
Your relationship with the moon may be a long distance relationship, but you have a relationship with it. So let’s keep clear that we’re not speaking exclusively about relationships—one-on-one with a brother or a sister.
… let us look more closely at the relationships which the ego contrives, and let the Holy Spirit judge them truly. For it is certain that, if you will LOOK at them, you will offer them gladly to Him. What HE can make of them you do not know, but you will become willing to find out, if you are willing first, to perceive what YOU have made of them.
And we discussed clearly last week that absolutely everything you are aware of, that you have given your attention to, you have defined. Some things you may have defined by means of mutual agreement and discussion with brothers, and some of the definitions you may have come up with in a solitary study of this, that or the other thing. But the fact is that you have given meaning to everything you’re presently aware of. Now the meaning is the “fleshing out” of your relationship with that thing. It’s that simple.
So, what the Holy Spirit can make of your relationships you do not know. And the reason you don’t know is because what the Holy Spirit will make out of them is a true experience of them, where you are not blinded by your definition any longer and you are able to look at a thing and see it as It is, to see It as God is meaning It in this very moment by Being all there is to It, Being all there is to the idea that that thing Is, instead of the material object that you have defined it as.
What HE can make of them you do not know, but you will become willing to find out, if you are willing first, to perceive what YOU have made of them.
Okay, again, being willing to recognize that you have made of everything something that is uniquely defined by you.
That is the first step in being willing to become curious: To ask the Holy Spirit, “Well, what is this thing really then? If it’s not what I think it is, if it’s not the definition I made up or if its not the definition that others made up and gave to me, what is it?”
Once you realize that what you’re seeing is made up, it will become easier to become curious and to say: “Father,” or “Holy Spirit, what is the meaning of this?”
Now (serious stuff here):
In one way or another, every relationship which the ego makes is based on the idea that by SACRIFICING itself, it becomes BIGGER. The “sacrifice,” which it regards as purification, is actually the root of its bitter resentment. For it would much prefer to attack directly, and avoid delaying what it REALLY wants.
Well, what does it really want? It wants control. And it wants to control circumstances and people and things that it’s in relationship with for the purpose of benefitting it right now. And what benefit does it want? It always wants relief from not being real. It always wants relief from being an orphan. It always wants relief from suffering. It wants relief from isolation. It wants relief from being alone—utterly alone.
Yet the ego acknowledges “reality” as it sees it, and recognizes that no-one could interpret DIRECT attack as love. Yet to make guilty IS direct attack, but does not SEEM to be.
Why? If to make guilty is a direct attack, why would it not seem to be? Because, it says here:
For the guilty EXPECT attack, and having ASKED for it…
… by their expectation …
… they are ATTRACTED to it.
Okay … how does this relate to any of you?
Have you been sacrificing? Do you think that by sacrificing you’re increasing yourself? Do you participate in sacrifice as a means of purification?
Well, not that you’ve thought about. So what in the heck is this talking about?
The ego …
… would much prefer to attack directly…
… is that about you?
Yet to make guilty IS direct attack, but does not SEEM to be.
Well, one thing is for sure: At this juncture in reading this book, you do know that you’re not utterly happy campers, you know that you aren’t experiencing bliss all the time, you know that things are rugged and you know—because it’s becoming clear—that you really haven’t been in communication with God. You’ve been very busy taking care of your life. And when things really get rough, and your attempts to exercise authority and free will—which it’s your Birthright to express—when that isn’t meeting the need, then you will sit down, turn to God and attempt to have a talk with Him.
If you do hear Him and you are blessed with healing or correction of the problem, when you arrive at the point where you’re no longer feeling helpless because you’re feeling the strength and the support of your union with the Father, you say in so many words, “Okay, thank you God. You’ve gotten me back to the place where I can take care of myself and I know that was the whole point, because you gave me free will and you set me free to exercise it and grow and learn, and so I’m going to take on the task again.”
But that wasn’t the lesson. That wasn’t the lesson that awaited you.
The lesson that awaited you was for you to discover that in all of the prior times that you had been behaving independently and expressing free will, you had not been in your right Mind and you had not been experiencing the fulfillment of Being that it’s your Birthright to be experiencing, because you are your Father’s Son, you are your Father’s Daughter, not an independent agent.
And in that discovery and the blessing of it, the lesson was for you to say, “Wow, I’m not going back to the expression of free will. I’m not going to go back into the concept that I’m here to do things on my own and that that is what God created me for. I am going to value this partnership and I’m going to stay with it, no matter what temptations come my way.”
If you’re not Awake right now, then no matter what blessings you had from temporary joinings with the Father, you opted for your independence. You opted for your orphanhood.
Now, I can’t repeat this too often because you cannot afford to hear it too often. Why? Because it serves as the basis—the springboard for Waking up.
When you opt for independence, you opt for an experience of two things: Fear and guilt. They are inseparable. Fear and guilt become the environment in which you live in the Kingdom of Heaven but unconscious of it. It becomes the environment in which you relate to the Sons and Daughters of God—your Brothers and Sisters—without being conscious of them. It becomes the environment in which you have to learn to cope with fear and guilt.
Now fear and guilt cause frustration when it is experienced endlessly. Fear, guilt and frustration result in action. What is the action? Always, it’s anger. There is no other action that can follow the interminable experience of fear, guilt and the frustration that it creates.
And so, as an orphan in the orphanage, your behavior is constituted of expressions of anger.
Now, there’s something important to understand here, however, about anger. Why would you feel anger? Why would you be angry?
If indeed to be an orphan, to have free will, to be expressing your Birthright as an independent, autonomous entity, why—if that’s normal—would you be angry? Why would there be fear and why would there be guilt to cause the frustration that causes the anger?
Well, the anger is actually your innate sanity. In spite of the definition you’ve given yourself, in spite of the definitions of you that everyone else has given you, you haven’t stopped being what you divinely Are. And you know that it’s illegitimate for you to be interminably experiencing fear and guilt and frustration. But because you’ve forgotten who you Are, you don’t realize that the anger is your righteous indignation—I mean, an indignation that arises out of a true perception of what you divinely Are. It is illegitimate for you to be experiencing fear and guilt and frustration interminably. And you know it!
Now obviously, the correction of the problem lies in undoing the divorce you got from your Father—undoing the steps you took to establish a state of independence. But when you’ve forgotten who you Are, when you have forgotten that you are the holy Son or Daughter of God, you don’t remember that that divine status of you, Itself, constitutes the authority for abandoning orphanhood, the authority for dismissing fear and guilt and frustration from your experience by your re-uniting with the Father—rejoining consciously your Source. You forget that.
And so, this sanity that knows what you’re experiencing is illegitimate, gets expressed by an orphan in an orphanage where he is in constant and only relationship with other orphans, and the only option available is the exercise of control and, as we discussed last week, the laying on of guilt upon your brothers and sisters so that you can be free of it, so you don’t have to experience responsibility for it. You see?
Now, when you get hooked in this style of relating to everything…
(Paul: I’m sorry, I lost it.)
When you get caught in this style of relating to everything, you have shifted into a state of sacrifice. First of all, by getting your divorce, you’ve sacrificed your conscious experience of your Birthright. You have sacrificed the on-going experience of the fact that you have a Father. Then, when you do not comprehend the experience of sanity, which occurs that is felt as anger but I have described as “righteous indignation,” you demand that your brothers and sisters sacrifice for you to relieve you, you think, or so the ego suggests, of your experience of having sacrificed something terribly valuable.
And, so guilt and blame are directed at your brothers and sisters so that you might be free of it, and the sacrifice that you’re experiencing gets laid on them so you won’t have to experience it. And what happens? The interesting thing is, that because all of your brothers and sisters that you’re with are also in the orphanage, meaning they’re operating from the same mind-set and the same flawed perceptions, they are feeling guilty. And because they’re feeling guilty, they’re waiting for the axe to fall. You see?
And that’s what this means:
Yet to make guilty IS direct attack, but does not SEEM to be. For the guilty EXPECT attack…
… the guilty expect the axe to fall …
… and having ASKED for it…
… by expecting it …
… they are ATTRACTED to it.
And I will add … that not only are all of you attracted to it, and not only do you expect it, you accept it when it shows up. And of course it’s going to show up because of the crowd you’re hanging out with, you know, a huge group of guilty bastards … right? …orphans!
So they’re waiting for you to lay your guilt trip on them to get free of guilt. But you know what? While you’re busy doing that, you’re consciously or unconsciously waiting for them to lay their guilt trip on you because you deserve it because you are guilty. You see, as we said last week, it’s a really sick, symbiotic relationship.
All relationships engaged in by those who are choosing to believe that they are orphans, are sick.
Now, [chuckle] the truth that you need to see can be very depressing. It could be very depressing to me if I looked at you the way you look at yourselves. And if I looked at you seeing the determination you have for holding on to the way you see things, it could make me feel that it would be impossible to help. But it’s not. And so, although I am making something very clear here, it is something that needs to be seen so that it can be released—not reacted to.
Now, this point of sacrifice is very important. Especially when it comes to what we’re talking about: The Holy Instant and Communication.
It has been said that the devil is a liar and the father of the lie.
The ego is a liar and the father of the lie—the idea of the lie, the thought of the lie. Everything about it is destructive because as we read last week, it blocks communication … communication meaning, your reunion with your Father, your reuniting with your Father. Another way of putting it is, your presenting yourself as a Son or your presenting yourself as a Daughter, meaning that you are something that is in unalterable and permanent relationship. The ego constitutes the blocking of that communication—of that Knowing that it’s your Birthright to be experiencing of the truth about you.
Now the simple fact is, that if you’re not careful, you can fool yourself into believing that you’re doing alright when you’re not.
Now I’m going to get heavy-handed here: Sacrifice is what the ego requires. And you know what? The ultimate sacrifice that all of you are bound to pay as long as you insist on hesitating to claim your place as a Son or Daughter of God, is death.
Now, no matter how much you’ve read the Course, no matter how long you’ve listened to me, you still tend to say: “Well, I don’t know anyone other than Jesus who didn’t die—who overcame death—so I won’t make that demand on myself this lifetime. I know that in spite of the truth that I’m hearing, there’s no death … I know that in spite of the fact that I might die, there is no death.”
Some of you say, “Well, I wouldn’t want to live to be two-hundred anyway. I don’t want to be around here that long. I want to get on to other new adventures—other experiences of life. Why would I want to hang around, especially after all my friends have gone? I wouldn’t want to get to be more than eighty-five.” You see.
Why the hell not? Why not live forever? Why not be without going through some miserable experience called “death” so that you might have another lifetime and repeat the death … and another lifetime and repeat the death … along with all of the suffering and physical diseases and traumas and damages that occur throughout a lifetime because you don’t know about your invulnerability from it, or you just don’t want to take that radical of stand or that radical a step in this lifetime.
And so you say, “I will accept from God all the blessings that He will send to me in this lifetime and hopefully, I’ll learn enough to be able to be more graceful and more consistent with the truth of me in the next lifetime.”
That’s sacrifice … that is sacrifice that you value. And I say you value it because there are no red flags going up in your mind saying, “STOP THAT! This is insanity!” This anger that you have about the human condition and the way you use it to manipulate your brothers and sisters, is not there for that purpose. It’s there to serve as a red flag, so that if injury occurs or sickness occurs, the flag goes up and you don’t say, “Well, what can you expect?”
We’ve talked in the last few weeks about radical idealism becoming practical realism.
To leave this place doesn’t require that you die. That’s like saying, if you want to go to Hawaii, you’ve got to die. No! You can get on a plane, or you can get on a ship, or maybe in the clearer experience of what you divinely Are, you can [snaps fingers] simply teleport.
You know what? Sacrifice is for the shits! There is no value in it. It’s a delaying tactic. It simply blocks realization. It blocks healing. And recognizing that and noticing red flags going up when you’re confronted with some illegitimate deprivation, that’s an indication of Waking up. And it’s an indication that you’re not valuing sacrifice anymore. And it’s an indication that you’re getting the message—that you’re hearing and understanding what I’m talking about.
Now, teenagers aren’t much interested in considering abandoning sacrifice because they think they’re not sacrificing anything whatsoever. And thirty year olds or forty year olds aren’t much thinking about it either, although things are beginning to give them pause so that maybe they’re considering God a little bit more, but they’re still not really, as a general rule, looking at the ultimate sacrifice. But get to be sixty, get to be seventy, get to be eighty and now there’s a willingness to look at what I’m talking about, but then the tendency is to say, “Well, I’m tired out. There’s not enough time for me to get it. I probably won’t get it. You know, this needs correction or that could be fixed. But what’s the point? I don’t have that long left.”
But on the other hand, if you knew you had another five thousand years left, would you put up with or would you tolerate an ache or a pain or a blurred vision or a canker sore on your lip? No! A red flag would go up, you’d say, “Man, a canker sore on my lip for eternity, that would be hell, not heaven!”
Now, when you put up with little discrepancies, when you put up with little irritations or when you put up with things that are bigger but don’t incapacitate you, you’re just valuing sacrifice and you’re employing sacrifice. And although on the one hand you fool yourself into thinking that that’s okay, on the other hand, you’re pissed off underneath. But you say, “There’s nothing I can do about it, except I can blame everyone else for it. And I can mistreat them and I can abuse them to get them to make me feel better. And so I’ll do that rather than abandoning what’s creating my problem.”
So you engage in sacrifice. You frustrate the hell out of yourself by doing it. And then you blame others so you won’t have to feel the distress. And you can get them to comfort you and to do things that you think will make it all worth while until you can finally die, which you have no compunctions about, “Hell, everybody’s done it. [chuckles] I’m not gonna expect anything different.”
Well, that’s what should be on every gravestone, “I didn’t expect anything different.” [audience laughter]
You know, when we talk about sacrificing your life, whether it’s from old age or from serious injury or accident, we’re talking about something that needs correction, we’re talking about something that is the result of an act you engaged in that you can undo. And you undo it by indulging in and engaging in the holy instant—“that place” where you have abandoned thinking but you haven’t abandoned being conscious. And you allow yourself to be present with everything as conscious awareness, with the curiosity to know of That which made It All, what the truth about It is, because you’re the Son or Daughter, you’re the Expression of That which made It All.
When you engage in that conscious joining, you move into that place where the laws of God prevail and nothing else does. You give to God His Fatherhood by rejoining with Him and you get to keep your Sonhood, your Sonship, your Daughterhood—you get to have It once again because you’re not blocking It.
And so, in the holy instant in which communication occurs, connection—conscious two-way connection—occurs, communion occurs, suddenly God’s laws once again prevail as your conscious experience. They never stopped prevailing, but you lost the conscious experience of them prevailing and you have the conscious experience of them once again.
What’s happened? Oneness has been established. What you give you get to keep. That means the stability of unity has replaced the chaos of divorce, the chaos of separation.
Where God’s laws prevail, you Are. And you will find yourself to be forever the epitome of the perfect Expression of God. Disease will be absent. Deformity will be absent. Sickness will be absent. Death will never be imagined. Damage or injury or any limitation that’s inconsistent with the infiniteness of God that you might have been experiencing before the holy instant, will no longer be present. You will no longer seem to be old.
And if you decided to embrace the holy instant three minutes before you were going to die, having lived to be a hundred and twelve years old, feeble and almost not functional, you will find all that crap gone. You will find the perfectly stable—in balance–manifestation of God that God is Being and has been Being as You all along. It will be present. It will be what you’re conscious of. You won’t be three minutes away from your death, nor will you be old and feeble. And I’ll tell you: You, in your full conscious awareness of yourself, will realize that you’re far older than a hundred and twelve years, that you are eternal, and have forever been.
What you need to understand as we’re reading all of this is, that you’re engaged in a process of abandoning illusions for Reality—for a distorted experience of Being, to a clear minded divine experience of Creation in the middle of Creation happening, in which you are no more separated from It All than God is, nor are you any less aware of It in all of Its infinite detail and variety than God is, where you will sit at the threshold of the unexpected and not be ill-at-ease because you’re out of control, not be ill-at-ease because you haven’t designed, consciously designed, the next moment in all of its infiniteness. And you will sit with God at the threshold of the Movement of Being that’s called and looks like and feels like Creation, in absolute perfection.
Now, we’re talking about making a shift—not through death—from misunderstanding to clarity to understanding. We’re talking about the Son of God abandoning a poor use of his mind and making room for the original function of his Mind, by invitation, so that what happens is a sudden shift of perception—a miracle.
Now, these sudden shifts of perception had better include the disappearing of a wart or the correction of vision, or the instantaneous eradication of injury and its effects. Hell, this is called, A Course in Miracles! It’s about the miraculous, not the ordinary, not the orphanage.
So don’t be so lackadaisical because, as you can see, in your lackadaisicalness you’re embracing sacrifice and you’re reinforcing … well, you’re reinforcing the repetitive experience of dying, which won’t work … which is why there’s another chance to die … and it won’t work … but it provides another opportunity to die—to suffer—to not feel your righteous indignation for what it is, but to experience it as anger rather than the clear awareness that what you’re experiencing is illegitimate and doesn’t have to be tolerated and you don’t even have to annihilate it.
You simply have to not embrace it anymore because the red flags went up and you said, “Oh-h, no thank you. I’m not accepting the invitation. I’m declining the invitation. Father, what is the truth here? I refuse … I refuse to attend the banquet at the orphanage, where they’re recruiting new orphans from amongst the Brotherhood of God. No, no way.”
Be careful! There are many ways in which you have justified death. And there are many ways in which you have justified sin and disease. And in many cases they’ve been elevated to places of honor: “Oh, she deserves to be a Saint. He deserves to be a Saint. He sacrificed for the benefit of everyone his whole life.”
Wow, you hear that and you say, “Maybe … maybe there’s some benefit for me in that kind of sacrifice. I don’t really want to engage in it, but if the pay-off is really good, it might be worth it. And so I’ll play the fool for so-and-so. I’ll be less than the holy Son of God that I am for the gold star, so that I can sit next to the Son of God in Heaven—all the while on the bus or the streetcar or the plane, you’re sitting next to the holy Son of God already!
Why do you think you’re suddenly going to recognize that you’re sitting next to the Son of God after you die … because you sacrificed so well? You’re not!
That’s the bad news that is the good news. And I tell it to you so you don’t keep running after this carrot, thinking you’re actually going to benefit from it.
You don’t like bad things to happen, but you’re not surprised when they do. Why not? Um, because you deserve it or probably you deserve it. “Oh, it’s bad karma. It’s from something I did in the last lifetime.” See, I mean, you can pull up justifications for what’s illegitimate from any imaginative source. And why do you even do it? Why do you indulge in it? Because you’re feeling guilty—because guilt and fear go hand-in-hand. When you’ve lost communication—not communication with each other, but communication with your Source—you’ve lost communication with That which is responsible for your Being. And the holy instant is the reestablishment of that communication.
Now, we only got through one paragraph tonight.
You know what … even if at the moment you can’t seem to see the possibility of radical idealism becoming practical realism, at least notice during this coming week when you’re not willing to embrace it as a possibility, at least notice when you are feeling that the probability is, that there won’t be any translation of radical idealism into practical realism … at least notice it! Oh I know, you’re gonna say, “How depressing!”
If it’s depressing, it means you don’t know what to do with a trigger to a lesson, you don’t know what to do with a trigger to a learning.
If you actually realize the degree to which you confine yourself to an orphanage, in which the experience of fear and guilt, frustration and the ultimate expression of anger is a never ending environment of your Being, you will actually begin to think that there might be some practicality in trying out something different, not just having a positive attitude, but actually attempting to find out whether it’s true that there is such a thing as a holy instant, and that it’s experienced when you’re willing to dishonor all of the meanings you’ve given to everything and engage in a curiosity to know what everything really is and to want to find out what it is from your Father, or from the Holy Spirit—that which is nothing more than your right Mind.
Now that’s one of the best kicks in the seat of the pants that I’ve given in a long time. And as you experience levitation and fly through the air a little bit, at least say, “Wow, I haven’t had this experience before. Man, he administers a swift kick, but wow, I’m levitating … I’m going to embrace what he’s saying.”
The fact is, that no matter how much you value sacrifice, it will never be accomplished. And an eternity of never accomplishing something is not what you were created for.
I love you. And I look forward to being with you next week. And I hope you look forward to being with me next week, because you’re not sacrificing as much as you have been. And you are joy-ing in the freedom.
T15.7 The Holy Instant and Communication ↩
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