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Last week we read that:
This is a year of joy, in which your listening will increase, and peace will grow with its increase.1
As you went through this past week and made a point of listening more frequently, practicing the holy instant more frequently, and being willing to look at your world with a desire to see the Kingdom of Heaven that I’ve been telling you “the world” really is, and in doing that, how many have discovered the ways in which you block the pursuit of that kind of peace and clarity? How many of you have been able to identify the tricks you play upon yourself to distract you from doing something that your history, your life practices have proven to you to be more valuable than? I know that’s not good English.
Now, we begin tonight with this:
Do not interpret AGAINST God’s Love, for you have many witnesses which speak of It so clearly that only the blind and deaf could fail to see and hear them.
Now you could read that and turn it against yourself: “Well, I haven’t seen that many witnesses that speak so clearly of it and therefore, I must be the blind and deaf that you’re speaking of.”
No. Someone perfectly sighted with perfect hearing can ignore what they’re seeing and hearing and give preference to things they love more than seeing the Kingdom of Heaven at hand and being willing to be the presence of the Movement of Love—the breeze that we talked about, so that your presence, your allowing that breeze to grace your environment and your fellow man, and the creatures and the animals in your environment, and the plants—to the degree that you give preference to your habits, to the degree that you insist upon practicing means of self-aggrandizement, of making yourself better, of improving yourself and of convincing others of your greatness, to that degree you are using your mind to make so much static, so much noise, that it becomes impossible for you to hear what has been called, “The still small Voice of God.”2
Now mind you, I promise you, the Voice of God is not still and is not small. But you practice such volume in your self-will that you drown out the Voice of God. It’s still as loud as it was, but because you’re making so much noise in the immediate vicinity of your personal you, that it does seem to drown out the Voice of God. And so, you can’t hear it and you can’t see the evidences. That’s why God says, “Be still and know …” what? “… that I am God.”3
If you cannot hear the Voice for God, it seems that the Voice of God must be soft-spoken, at a low volume. And so what does that require if you want to hear it? It requires you to reduce the volume of your practice of willfulness and your committed practice of habits and interpretations and definitions that you attempt to hold the Kingdom of Heaven to, rather than allowing the Kingdom of Heaven to be What It is. And letting It register with you so that you might have the glorious experience of It in which you will rejoice and in which you will feel safe, invulnerable.
You deafen yourself, not by becoming deaf, but by making such great noise in the presence of everything else, that all you can hear is the noise of your own will. It’s that simple.
So, this is good news, because it says you’re not deaf and it says you’re not blind. And it provides you with the answer as to how not to interpret AGAINST God’s Love. You stop interpreting AGAINST God’s Love by doing this very simple thing: Shutting up!
The addiction, though, that justifies not shutting up, is your belief that the more vocal you are in terms of building yourself up and presenting a picture that convinces others that they can trust you and depend upon you and serve you, that it seems totally unreasonable to you and unjustifiable to you to be still.
To you, and in your current mindset, that is like letting all of the air out of the personality doll that you have built and called yourself and that you are trying to convince everybody else you are as well. If you shut up, there won’t be any more hot air to fill the doll up and give it presence and you think that without that, you will be invisible.
No. And you know this from the months and months and months that we have been talking together.
The way you become free of sin, sickness and death, the way you come into a full experience of the holy Son or Daughter of God that you Are, is by letting this fake image filled with air, deflate and disappear.
True, as we’ve talked about, when you let that happen, you feel incompetent. You feel deflated. You feel powerless. Because the source of what you thought your power was, is gone—that being your loud voice, your assertion of will.
But here’s the wonder of it: In that void, you will involuntarily reach out. You will involuntarily engage in asking for help—reaching out for joining with Something. And you’ll do that, because in the very basement of your being you know you’re not alone and you know it’s not your Birthright to be alone. And so you do involuntarily say, “Help.” And that’s the open door to God to register with you once again. That’s the open door for the Holy Spirit—that which is nothing more than your right Mind—to enter and fill you with inspiration and revelation that brings you back into your sanity, as we’ve said before, in which you Know that you are the holy Son of God or the holy Daughter of God.
So, the simplicity that this brings everything down to is, once again, whether you are going to choose to assert yourself all by yourself in your own right as you have been doing and which has constituted your existence in a state of orphanhood, or are you going to find all the ways in which you reaffirm and reestablish your orphanhood so that you can identify them and say, “Oh, I’m not going to do that anymore. I don’t need to do that, I’m not an orphan. I’m not going to occupy my mind with those activities because I know they keep me from Knowing the truth. They keep me from having the truth revealed to me that sets me free. And I’m not going to do that anymore. I clearly see that that’s insane. But because I clearly see that it’s insane and can choose to do otherwise, I Know from this experience of clarity that I’m not insane and so I’m not going to hold onto any of the particulars that I kept filed and organized that caused me to think I was insane and justified it and caused me to think I was finding a way to be relatively happy in my insanity.”
Now, do you think that Paul can hear me right now if he’s not in his peace?
Do you think that in his daily life he doesn’t have things come up that seem to justify his being upset, concerned, angry, jealous, judgmental, superior, respectable? Mind you, he experiences justification for all of those things that do not in any way come from an experience of being joined. They come from his ability to look at his life and how he’s behaved and how he relates to others, et cetera, and [he] has been able to come to the conclusion that all of these feelings are justifiable.
Whether [they are] momentary hate or jealousy or fear or self-respect or self-pleasure, whether [they are] good or bad, if they are not being experienced by him because he’s in his peace and he’s joined, he can’t hear me, he can’t hear the Father. He can’t hear the Holy Spirit and neither can you.
So you see, the simplicity of the bottom line of what the Course is teaching and what the truth is, is that you have to choose for your peace over all of the alternatives, all of the justifiable alternatives that you bring into play every day and that you use to interpret AGAINST God’s Love. It constitutes an interpretation AGAINST God’s Love because it causes you to become blind to It. It causes you not to see It. It causes you to look and see a material world where the Kingdom of Heaven is the only thing confronting you. And where the incredible, awesome nature of everything you’re seeing simply doesn’t register with you when it’s supposed to, and when, because you’re not blind and you’re not deaf, you have the capacity right now to experience.
Again, the only reason you’re not experiencing It is because you’re giving preference to other things.
You interpret AGAINST God’s Love by using your mind to be upset about the way someone else is behaving. You also use your mind to interpret AGAINST God’s Love by being upset because someone else is upset with you. Those are just two simple ways.
But tell me … how foreign an experience is that for you when you go through your day? How many times during the day do you feel upset because someone else is upset with you—either rightfully or wrongfully, as far as you’re concerned? And how many times during the day are you upset at somebody else because of the way they’ve behaved? And you’re using your mind in this way, when the use of your mind in that way constitutes an absolute block to your being joined with the Father. But I’m going to say, more importantly, it causes you to be unable to be joined with the Holy Spirit.
Now that’s more significant at the moment. Why? Because, as I say over and over: “The Holy Spirit is nothing more than your right Mind,”—the one significant sentence that was deleted from the Course in all of the subsequent editions: The Key thing. It’s significant because if the Holy Spirit is nothing more than your right Mind, then you’re blocking yourself from it, you’re distracting yourself from it by insane practices in the use of your mind. You are unable to experience yourself truly. And the only word to describe the inability to experience yourself truly, is insanity.
Insanity is not a fact, it’s an aberration, it’s a stretching out of shape something that is perfect that doesn’t cause what is perfect to become imperfect, but distorted. And the moment the stress applied to it to distort it is abandoned, that which is perfect comes back into its state of perfection that is undeniable—perfectly recognizable—and it’s called “You coming back into your right Mind,” your sanity returning to you … that is You joining with the Holy Spirit.
Now it happens that the Holy Spirit is God’s Voice abiding at the altar in the center of your Being. And so when you let the Voice for truth, the Holy Spirit, register with you, in effect you are letting God in. And in letting God in, your identity becomes utterly clear to you and you are not confused about who you Are. And you are not confused about your holiness.
So, what are some other ways that you might have found that you interpret against God’s Love, that you discovered you indulged in during the past week?
Well, maybe you were called upon to engage in something that wasn’t in your plans. Maybe you were called upon to give your attention to something that didn’t fit into your good works—your definition of what your good works are. And so, although you had to give your attention to them because they didn’t fit into your good plans for yourself, you resisted and resented participating in them.
Maybe they were too human? Maybe they were too material? I mean, maybe it involved putting gravel in on your driveway, or weeding, or doing the laundry when you would rather have been out doing some work in the community; helpful, gifted work in the community … and was too mundane, the things you had to give your attention to.
Now, why would attending to normal mundane activities be beneath you or offensive to you? How is there anything—any activity that you could engage in the day—that would be incompatible with Awakening? How could that be, unless you were giving some sort of definition to the activity or the materials you were having to work with.
Well, it’s easy. You think it’s a material world. And so there are some activities that are more “material” than others, while there are other activities that are more “spiritual.” And of course, the more spiritual ones involve less involvement with matter—with the material. Heaven forbid that you might have to help somebody do their laundry, or clean up after the cat pooped or the dog threw up.
You know what? You can’t afford to forget that all you’re confronted by is the Kingdom of Heaven. That means that all you’re confronted by is the Presence of God. The Substance of all form is not matter—and we’ve discussed this—it is Spirit. And the experience of all form is a mental experience.
You say, “No it isn’t. I touched the table with my fingers. My fingers sense the table. My fingers, which are a different form of matter than the matter in the table, come in contact with the table and I am able thereby to experience through that three-dimensional outer experience, that there is something there that I can call a table and there are fingers here that I can call a part of me.” You see? Uh-uh…No. The table, the fingers, all of it is a mental experience going on in mind. Form is the visibility and tangibility of the Ideas that God has, the ideas that God is having—the infinite divine Mind. The Substance of Ideas is Spirit.
Now, the next time you pick up the dirty diaper, catch yourself when you say, “Eewww, why do I have to deal with such gross, mundane, unspiritual things?”
My God, you’re handling God—the Substance of It is Spirit. What does that mean? It means that it is of God. It means that it is not limited by laws of physics. It means that it is permanently, forever flexible enough, you might say, to render visible God’s intent. It is the presence of total freedom to be what God desires for it to be.
The Substance of Spirit is Love. And love is illuminated. Love is the Light of the World. And Love is the motive of Creation. And the Love that moves and is identified as the leaves tweaking and the long blades of grass arcing gently in the breeze, these things are glorious. They are the Movement of God, no matter how they appear and no matter how you are currently defining them.
But you interpret AGAINST God’s Love. You interpret against the breeze by claiming the right to fill your mind with anger and jealousy and envy and superiority, self-aggrandizement, a well-defined list of good deeds, and on and on and on. That’s how you do it.
And you stop doing it by shutting up, by abandoning those activities, by abandoning the value of them because something in you has arrived at the point where it wants to Know the truth. It doesn’t want to be deluded and it doesn’t want to engage further in that which obscures the truth and keeps you bound to sin, sickness and death.
Do not interpret AGAINST God’s Love, for you have many witnesses which speak of It so clearly that only the blind and deaf could fail to see and hear them. This year, determine not to deny what has been given you by God, for that is the only reason He has called to you.
He’s called to you. The Father calls to you. The Holy Spirit calls to you to …
determine not to deny what has been given you by God…
what does that mean? It means stop calling this is a material universe. Start calling it the Kingdom of Heaven and start having curiosity to see the Kingdom of Heaven where you’ve been seeing that which doesn’t look like the Kingdom of Heaven. Because until you bring that clear conscious desire to your intent to see, you’re just going to go on the merry-go-round of ignorance, stuck, day after day, year after year. And you don’t want that. And that’s not what’s in store this year.
This year, determine not to deny what has been given you by God, for that is the only reason He has called to you.
The Father wants you to look and see Him. Well, if you’re going to see Him, you’re going to have to abandon the love you have for your self-centered attitudes and practices.
He has called to you so that you might see Him in everything. And in seeing Him, letting Him back in as part of your awareness of what you Are. And that’s the way you come Home.
His Voice has spoken clearly…
… Creation, the Kingdom of Heaven confronts you at every moment. God has spoken clearly. He has called to you.
His Voice has spoken clearly, and yet you have so little faith in what you heard because you have preferred to place still greater faith in …
…the disaster you have made.
I know it doesn’t seem like disaster, because you can keep the lid on it pretty well. But the fact is that sin, disease and death still prevail where God’s laws actually prevail. That’s a disaster. It’s a disaster you have made and which you could feel guilty about—but don’t waste your time with that. Just know that it’s a disaster you have made. And because it’s a disaster you have made you can unmake it. You can do something else. And then do something else. Do the two-step. Practice the holy instant. Be still with an intent to see God where you haven’t seen Him before. And a desire to experience the Holy Spirit where you haven’t experienced It before—which is right in you as the presence of your right Mind.
Today, let us resolve together to accept the joyful tidings that disaster is not real, and that reality is not disaster.
Do you get that?
Today, let us resolve together …
let’s abandon independence. Don’t have the perfect concept all by yourself. Know the truth with me. Want to know the truth with your Brothers. Don’t know the truth to Lord it over your Brothers. And don’t see the truth as something your Brothers would Lord over you, which would therefore, justify defense and get the scrabble going and keep the scrabble going.
Today, let us resolve together to accept the joyful tidings that disaster is not real, and that reality is not disaster.
Reality is safe and sure…
Reality … Oh, I know, you see me moving my hand in an embrace of everything and saying:
Reality is safe and sure…
and that’s not your experience. But it is what’s going on and it’s your Birthright to be having that experience. And it’s not your Birthright to be blind and deaf to all of the witnesses to the Presence of God.
What are the witnesses? It’s the glass-topped coffee table. It’s the potted palm. It’s the blinds on the windows. It’s the carpet on the floor. It’s the trees outside and the rain falling. These are the witnesses to God. The leaves and the long graceful bending grasses are the witnesses to what?—the movement of the breeze, the presence of the flow of Love.
But you know what? You won’t understand the graceful grasses or the tweaking leaves. You won’t understand them unless you’re seeing and being sensitive to the movement behind them—the breeze. And you won’t sense the Movement of Love behind them if you’re judging them to be matter, mundane, material, beneath you to have to touch and clean with a little Windex. Whoa … what, the Windex isn’t God? What, the glass isn’t God? What, the rag in your hand or the paper towel isn’t God? It isn’t Spirit—the substance of which is Love, which is Light, which communicates the glory of God? You see?
A miracle is a sudden shift of perception. And what I just described involves a shift of perception. But you won’t have that shift as long as you’re committed to looking at everything the way you have always looked at them, the way you have been educated to look at them.
Well, I’ll tell you something: You go and look at some of the most current documents about Physics and you will find that the scientists are beginning to consider the possibility that everything that is being observed is a manifestation of that which is observing it.
So, what are you going to do when finally the scientists say, “There’s an entirely new way to experience everything you’ve been experiencing and it will be available to you if you will abandon what we’ve educated you to believe?”
You don’t have to wait. You don’t have to wait for them to lay down their edict of what truth is now. You are being invited to engage in a shift of perception, shifts of perception … sudden shifts of perception—not delayed or protracted because, hmmm … you just can’t do it all at once. Or, what that really means is, you just can’t abandon your attempts to secure your safety and importance for something as radical as what I’m talking about.
and I embrace everything with this Movement …
is safe and sure, and wholly kind to everyone and everything.
I know … you say, “That’s hard to believe.” And when you say that, you’re interpreting AGAINST God’s Love. When you say that, you’re saying, “I’m unwilling to shift my perception to the degree that that calls for.
There is no greater love than to accept this, and be glad.
Now that doesn’t mean that there’s no greater love than to accept this and be glad. You know, I mean do it! Do being glad! You know. No. It means that there’s no greater love than to accept this and have the spontaneous experience of being glad from the tips of your toes because Reality is registering with you in Its glory.
There is no greater love than to accept this…
Reality is safe and sure, and wholly kind to everyone and everything.
That is what everything that confronts you is extending to you. But because of your tiny, personal, separated sense of self, all of it is experienced in polarities that don’t allow you to see the harmony and the safety, etc. But it’s there! And you’ve got to make a choice to see it, instead of continuing to insist upon confirming your current definitions.
There is no greater love than to accept this, and be glad. For love asks only that you be happy…
not fake happy. Not a façade of happiness. But the kind of happiness that moves you, the kind of happiness that is moving, that is deep and broad and unlimited and light and buoyant and might even bring tears of joy.
For love asks only that you be happy…
the breeze …
asks only that you be happy…
the Movement of Being, which looks like tweaking leaves and bending grasses and also looks like you…
asks only that you be HAPPY, and will give you everything that makes for happiness. You have never given any problem to the Holy Spirit He has not solved for you, nor will you ever do so.
See, that says that you’re incompetent to do it by yourself. But that’s the wonderfulness of it. You’re not supposed to be able to do it on your own. The fullness of Being is in the Unity. The fullness of Being is in the blending. The fullness of Being is in the experience of family. You understand that.
You have never tried to solve anything yourself and been successful.
Never. And that’s not bad news, but to the ego it is. Things never worked that way. That’s not the setup.
Is it not time you brought these facts together, and made sense of them?
You have never given any problem to the Holy Spirit He has not solved for you, nor will you ever do so. You have never tried to solve anything yourself and been successful. Is it not time you brought these facts together, and made sense of them?
When you bring them together, the sense of them is obvious. You’ve never succeeded at anything you tried to do all by yourself and there has always been success when you have joined with, I’m going to say, the way things work in which you had no authority. You’ve never done that and not experienced the resolution of a problem or a miracle.
So bring these facts together and make sense of them. You see, it’s all simple. It’s not complicated. You bring these facts together and make sense of them and it makes it even clearer to you that it’s time to stop interpreting against God’s Love by all of these other mental activities that you engage in. And all you have to do is to abandon engaging them. Just stop doing them.
This is the year for the application of the ideas which have been given you.
Now, you must be careful, because that doesn’t mean that this is the year for the application … the year for you to put your shoulder to the wheel and make things happen on a new spiritual Course In Miracles basis.
What are the ideas that have been given you? The ideas that have been given to you are: Shut up … “Be still and know that I am God.” Hesitate before you act. And reach out beyond your own best understandings and say, “Father,”—which does constitute an abandoning of independence—“What is the truth here? Father, what step should I take? Father, what needs to be known now? Father, what action do I need to engage in?” These are the ideas to be applied.
You better not go out and apply them to the table. You better not go out and apply them to the potted palm. You apply these ideas by engaging in an inner action that causes you to be able to experience the truth.
As I said, if Paul did not decide that at this hour any other concerns that he had, any justifications he might feel for being upset were not worthy of his attention, if he did not acknowledge that and abandon the pursuit of those mental activities, he would not be hearing me. What that means then is, that if you want to know the truth, you’ve got to abandon the things that keep it hidden from you. And it means that those things that would occupy you or preoccupy you with emotional tension, conflict, etc., really have no practical value at all.
Now, Paul hears me saying this and yet when the meeting is over, he is very likely to pick up some of the concerns he has and some of the things that feel good to be self-righteous about, and like you, he will be faced with exactly what I’ve talked about tonight: The need to stop doing that because he, like you, really does want to Know the truth, because he really wants to be sane, because at the bottom line, he really doesn’t want to experience another moment of sin, disease and death.
This is the year for the application of the ideas which have been given you. For the ideas are mighty forces, to be used …
Now mind you, we’re not talking about the Crusades, you know, and mighty forces to accomplish things in the world. The ideas to be still and Know that God is All, the idea to hesitate and abandon independent action, whether physical or mental, and to join with that which is beyond your present orphan mentality, constitutes a shift into the conscious experience of Reality that changes one’s behavior so that it’s not defensive or coercive but yields to the awareness of the movement of the breeze and thus reflects God’s Will, we’ll say. That constitutes a mighty force because the fact is that all illusion will collapse: Sin, sickness, death, anger, fear, jealousy, hate, all of it will collapse.
… the ideas are mighty forces…
it’s not power against something, but it’s the presence of truth that knocks the wind out of illusion and causes it to no longer be able to fool you. That is mighty!
… the ideas are mighty forces, to be used and not held idly by.
It means to be practiced, as I’ve said each week: Practice these things. Take the opportunity in the grocery store, on the freeway, wherever, take the opportunity to say, “Father, what’s the truth here? Father, I know this has to be the Kingdom of Heaven and I want to see It more than I want to continue to be angry and fill my mind with that which blocks my experience of the Kingdom of Heaven here.”
the ideas …
have already proved their power sufficiently for you to place your faith in them, and not in their denial.
You all have faith. You may not be able to say where it comes from but it’s there. It’s there because of the witnesses that you haven’t been able to completely block.
They have already proved their power sufficiently for you to place your faith in them, and not in their denial.
Now watch it, because the words will just come up … “Oh yes, I can deny it. Oh yes, I’m going to deny it. I can’t swallow this. I can’t give my support, my unequivocal support to the idea that reality is safe and sure and holy kind to everyone.”
And so there you’ve done it: Interpreted against God’s Love. There you have practiced being the blind that stands between you and Reality and causes you to be unable to experience It.
This year invest in truth, and let it work in peace.
Let it work in the peace that you bring to the moment to the holy instant.
Have faith in what has faith in you.
Now I know you all have your moments where you are convinced that there is nothing that has faith in you, not even God. And you have behaved so atrociously that God couldn’t, if He would. There you are interpreting against God’s Love again. And you believe yourself. And you’ve got to stop. And I’m saying, “Stop!” It’s an insane way, an idiotic way of blocking any possibility of hearing the “still small voice” of God, of having a sudden shift of perception.
Think what you have REALLY seen and heard, and RECOGNIZE it.
Now, I mean it.
Think what you have REALLY seen and heard, and RECOGNIZE it.
In other words, don’t immediately deny it. Again, I know, you have your moments where you deny it absolutely because you have lost faith and hope entirely, at least that’s the drama you’re playing out at that moment. But sooner or later, you all abandon that and revive your faith. And so, you do a different play.
Think what you have REALLY seen and heard…
think of the truth you really do know and that you really have experienced …
and RECOGNIZE it.
In other words, don’t deny it, acknowledge it. That’s what it means. Recognize it, acknowledge it, like acknowledging your holiness. And don’t soft-pedal it to yourself, don’t minimize it. Recognize it.
Can you be alone with witnesses like these?
You know what? Not one of you has time to be disturbed or offended by another’s behavior. And not one of you really has the time to try to correct another with righteous and god-like determination. Just taking the time to engage in the holy instant is going to keep you busy—too busy to be a busy-body and too busy to react to other’s who are upset with you. Because being upset, is the use of your mind that will keep you insane. Choosing for your peace will allow you to behave differently with those who are upset with you.
But you know what? It won’t be because you were trying to change the graceful grasses or the tweaking leaves, it will be because you’ve shifted identification from things to the breeze, to the Movement of Love that is God Being Creation.
So, look forward to a week of miracles.
Okay, I look forward to being with you next time.
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