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Well, for almost everyone on the globe it’s Easter Sunday, even though where Paul is sitting it is still Saturday evening. And so, I guess we could say this is my “Easter Message,” but then, every time we talk it’s an Easter message, isn’t it? Every time we talk we talk about emerging from the tomb, except that we’ve been calling it “emerging from the orphanage,” emerging from an overwhelming state of ignorance of who you Are and what you Are—an ignorance which blinds you. And one could say, whereas, before you were dead and after you emerge, you are alive.
It could be better put that: before you were unconscious of the truth, but now you are conscious of the truth.
This crossing the bridge from death to life, from ignorance to enlightenment is our total subject, isn’t it? And it has been.
Now, at the present time we’ve been talking about the special hate relationship. And you know what? It just happens to relate to Easter.
Something we haven’t talked much about is, that when you decided to get a divorce from your Father and become an independent agent—an independent causative, authoritative mover and cause of things—it has by now become clear to you that you lost not only the experience of your Source, and therefore, the experience of who you Were, you, as we’ve discussed, immediately became aware of fear and guilt.
But the thing we haven’t talked much about is that when that happened, a shift occurred. You shifted from what I’m going to call, “Mind-identification” to “body-identification.” Before this happened—before the divorce—you experienced yourself as that infinite Mind in which all experience of Creation and Being and Life was going on. You did not find yourself in any form. And yet, all forms of Creation were inseparable from you and were part of the infinitude of your Being. Again, though, you were not captured by or held within any of them. Your infiniteness was inseparable from the meaning of wholeness—completeness.
But when you got this divorce and insisted on it, you found that you lost the infinite view and you became identified with what you call your body. And you immediately perceived everything around you as bodies—a body of a tree, a body of a cat, a body of a brother, of a sister, a body of a planet. You saw everything as bodies. And because your experience of yourself as a body was inseparable from fear and guilt, fear and guilt were associated with all other forms.
And so, you immediately, as we have discussed, became defensive—self-protective. But mind you, the thing we haven’t discussed at any length was the fact that this that needed to be protected—called self-protection—was a body.
Everything you did, all of the conclusions you came to, all of the reasonings, all of the agreements, mutually developed agreements that all of you came up with, were colored by the fearfulness—the undependability of form. Your fear was all-pervasive.
So, what happened? You used your body for two purposes: self-defense, self-preservation. And you also used your body against other people’s bodies. And so, your body became your salvation and your downfall. After all, if you could use your body well enough to protect yourself, it was your salvation. But if another used his or her body well enough to injure you or undermine your physical well being, then your body became your downfall, not your salvation.
Now the reason you need to understand this is because part of crossing the bridge that we’re talking about, part of coming back Home involves shifting from body-identification to Mind-identification. It means abandoning self-protection by guarding your body with your body and leaning into the holy instant, which is an entirely mental act in an entirely mental environment.
When you engage in the two-step and move into the holy instant, you are in Mind and identifying as Mind no matter how briefly it might be. And here is where God’s laws prevail. Here is where transformation occurs. Here is where healing occurs.
Now, when we talked last week, and we talked about the awfulness of the special hate relationship and the fact that everyone employs it who isn’t Awake yet, you could have construed what I was saying to apply only to what you thought, to what you are perceiving in your mind or what you are misperceiving. But it’s all mental.
What you need to be aware of is how emphatically and committedly you use the body as identity in your behavior towards others and the behavior you demand from others. This is detrimental. This is destructive. It is destructive in the sense that it absolutely distracts you from the willingness to move into the holy instant, to move into your Mind, you might say, where the integrity and wholeness of your Being can be revealed to you as what? A mental experience … but a mental experience that is so all-embracing that it causes you to be able to completely relax and let go of physical defensiveness. And in the absence of physical defense and the feeling of the need for it, physical healing can occur and your behavior toward your Brothers and Sisters can change. And so you would say, social change occurs.
Now, when I was apparently born, it was very important for my presence to be perceived as the emergence of a body—a physical organism—because it was necessary for my presence to be able to be linked to the House of David in the Old Testament, so that the prophecy of my coming could be validated by those who saw themselves literally as nothing more than bodies themselves.
But you know what? It has been said, that when John baptized me, I came into the full awareness of Who I was and Who my Source was. But I will tell you, that it was never absent from my Mind. And I was always taking guidance from the Father, for the purpose of fulfilling purpose. And therefore, at no point in my lifetime, then, did I think I was a body. At no point was I unconscious of myself as the fullness of Mind.
This is important. It’s important to understand because today history and teachings regarding my life and regarding Christianity have carried forward the idea that I was a body—God became man … God became a mortal … God became someone physical, organismic, just like you.
Well, it’s time to abandon that idea. It’s time to know that that isn’t true and that therefore, in all the time I’ve been speaking with you and we’ve been going through the Course, I have been helping you to learn that you were never a physical organism anymore than I was. And that you, all the time you have been believing you are a physical organism, a body, you have been the full representation of Mind—the Father’s Mind, the Father’s Will, the embodiment of God—just like me and that you have been Mind, consciousness, and not a body.
You see, initially to get everyone’s attention it needed to seem as though the divine became utterly, awfully human. But because it was divine, the awfulness of humanity wasn’t fully expressed or even minimally expressed by me. And so, inspiration was possible.
Now, for 2,000 years many of you have had … have given attention, still believing that you’re a body and that I was a body and that it was important for me to have been a body—for God to have become man.
No. It’s time to shift: rather than everyone believing that God became man, it’s time for man to become aware of and embrace his holiness—your holiness. It’s time because it’s only in this way that you’re going to abandon the body-identification and the ongoing belief that your Salvation is physical salvation, and that perhaps your physical salvation will come at the expense of someone else’s physical well being.
Got to get past this. We have to get past this. Getting past it is part of abandoning the special hate relationship. The only reason that the body is being misused as an object and as that which you think you are, is because you are insisting on denying your holiness, denying your present divinity. And that’s part of the special hate relationship.
You see, in the beginning it was like God came to man. Well, it’s not the beginning anymore. And you are all mature enough to accept the idea that it’s time for man to become God-like, for man to be lifted up, not out of an organismic reality, but out of the belief that you are organisms. You see?
What is it as you go through your weeks, that distracts you most from the holy instant? Taking care of your body. Take care of its aches and pains. Making it feel better. Taking care of it well. Defending yourself if necessary against a predator, whether it’s a human or an animal.
And so, you engage in using your body to protect your body instead of realizing that what is called for is the two-step: the hesitation, the asking, “What is the truth here?” And then listening and making room for the infilling of truth that will bring you into the holy instant, where God’s laws prevail and clarity or healing or resolution can occur without once employing the body for or against anything.
This is very important. It is the message of Easter.
So, in the minds of some I was a rabble-rouser. In the minds of some I was a threat to the political system. In the minds of some, I was a threat to the established religious order. In the minds of some I was a Savior. You see? A Savior who could save them from the vicissitude of human existence, relieve them [snaps fingers] like magic from doing what we’re talking about doing right now, which is finding the willingness to see yourself new and to make commitment to that new vantage point, that new self-perception, and then changing—allowing yourself to be changed by the new perspective.
And so, what happened? Self-protection came into play. And bodies acted against bodies and in some cases some bodies acted on my behalf against the bodies of those who would have harmed me. And those who were afraid took action against my body to harm me and remove the distraction from established order.
So, there we have it: the special hate relationship trickled down, you might say, into each individual’s self-perception in which guilt and fear are inseparably and forever present as long as you’re claiming to be an orphan. And the belief that the only solution to the threat is to impact the body of the one causing the distress to the point where either that one will stop being distressing—change his behavior—or die and no longer be a threat.
So, you know what? I could ask, figuratively speaking, “How many people did you crucify this last week? How many people did you see as a body and did you respond to as a body, so as to coerce them into better behavior, or maybe even punch them in the shoulder or the face, or knock them down and have a fist fight or a wrestling match to get them under control? How many of you dealt with your Brothers and Sisters as though they were bodies rather than the Presence of Mind, which is the Mind of God, the Holy Spirit?”
If you did that, you may know that you were not seeing yourself as the holy Son of God, and your behavior hasn’t changed yet. And the call for change is still present. The call of Easter is still viable and active today in your lives. And that’s what choosing for the holy instant means.
Now, there are those around you who think they’re bodies and who think you’re a body and who think they need to get control of you. Or they think that you’re the body of a Savior and they need you to save them, or they need to convince you that you are a Savior, when that’s not where you’re at. And you have to find a way to deal with those actions and beliefs without dying in the process … without being … without accepting the invitation to identify yourself as a body and react as a body defensively, and instead practice the two-step.
Do you see why this is so important? I keep saying, as you go through your daily life, ask, “What does this mean? What does that mean? What does the other thing mean? What needs to be known here? What is my appropriate action? And why is the action that you tell me, appropriate, when my conditioning as a body says something entirely different?” You see?
It’s important because your constant inquiry, your constant curiosity to know what the truth is here, is what disengages you from your habit of body-identification and behavior directed from your body to the bodies of others for purposes of control. It all goes hand-in-hand.
Now, I said that I knew all along that I was Mind. I knew all along my conscious experience of Being was not altered in any way from the Father’s conscious experience of Being as the infinite Mind that is what causes all of Creation.
So, in spite of the many movies about the crucifixion and resurrection, I did not suffer because I was never at any moment held in the belief that I was in a body and that the body that everyone called, Jesus, was more special than the wood the cross was made of or the rocks on the ground or the trees on the horizon or the sky or the clouds or any of Creation. That body, recognizable as me, is not more special in identifying the wholeness of my Being than any other manifestation of life.
So I was not bound in it. And as I’ve said before, during what looked like a crucifixion I simply removed myself and observed from a hillside nearby.
Would you call that an out-of-body experience? Well, you would if we’re talking about somebody who thinks they’re a body and then temporarily they remove themselves from the body. No, I just shifted my attention to another equally important location and allowed the unfolding of events, which would play a critical role in the mind of mankind, to unfold.
When it was over and this body that everybody believed they had crucified was moved into the tomb, I didn’t go in there. I continued, we’ll say, to relax and not think too much because there was nothing to think about. There was only the Movement of Spirit, there was only the Movement of Divinity occurring, having its impact on human consciousness globally, not just locally. Because, mind you, all of this involves the breaking down of the orphan mindset, the breaking down of the belief that there is an orphanage and the breaking down of the belief that man is what he thinks he is … not more.
And so, you might say, I was patient. In this day-and-age you would say: You would think that if you were in those circumstances there would be much to think about, there would be much planning to do. You see? What would you say when you came out of the tomb? Blah, blah, blah, you know … be prepared … have your script ready … don’t mislead anyone. You see? Busy, busy, busy … thinking, thinking, thinking, and very little peace in which one could feel the Breeze, the Breeze of the Movement of Creation having its gentle but profound effect in the consciousness of mankind.
And so, in my ongoing, undisturbed conscious experience of Being as Mind, I waited until the third day and then I simply shifted my attention back to what was the appropriate place for me to be from and came forth from the tomb.
Now, that was called “the resurrection.” That was called “coming back to life.” That was what you might call, the reinstatement of the truth that seemed to have been disturbed and effected by bodies acting against bodies. But it was really the uninterrupted Movement of this Process whereby the truth dawns in human consciousness. That’s all. It looked that way. But the way it looked is not what was happening. Love was being expressed and embodied in a manner that had indelible impact … indelible impact … indelible healing benefit.
So now, why am I saying all of this? I’m saying it because you must know that when you are still living in a world where it’s easy for you to believe you are a body and where those around you believe they are bodies and that their best and only means of dealing with you involves manipulating you as a body, there is a way for you not to be affected, debilitated or destroyed. And the way is to abandon the orphanage. It’s that simple.
You have to abandon the mindset of independence in which fear and guilt and self-hate abide without interruption. That’s how you get out of it. You don’t become a better body, able to control other bodies better. You don’t become a more loving body in order to affect bodies beneficially. You don’t function in the illusion of love or the illusion of hate.
The only thing that has brought the orphanage into existence—seeming existence—is the step you took to divorce your Father. I didn’t divorce my Father, therefore, I suffered no crucifixion. I experienced no resurrection. But the death of a mindset of mankind occurred and the resurrection of the truth to some degree occurred. Why? Because I didn’t get a divorce, and so God’s laws prevailed for me.
As each one of you moves into the holy instant, as each one of you dares to assume that everything you know is probably false or severely biased, you will sincerely ask what the truth is more frequently, you will reach outside of your current mindsets, you will join with that which is beyond your body, which you think is your Self. And the orphanage will begin to crumble, the walls will begin to collapse, you’ll begin to be able to see through the boundaries. Your resurrection will occur. And you’ll make commitment to going across the bridge, which would be the equivalent of resurrection.
Was the ascension a movement to another dimension where human life was risen above, where body existence ended? Is that what you have to look forward to? No, that isn’t what it meant at all.
The ascension did involve the movement of what everybody perceived as my body rising into the sky. But you know what? It was the same action that occurred when I removed myself from a crowd up and into a mountain or when I went from one side of the sea to the other instantaneously. It was just a shift of the attention.
Crossing the bridge is your shift of attention. It’s that simple. That’s the equivalent of the ascension.
You will still have all that identifies you right now, except you will not feel like you’re inside it. And you will not identify any part of Creation as being exclusively you. In fact, you won’t be the focus of your attention because every aspect of Creation will be an experience of the Presence of God in the fullness and glory of what God Is. And I’m using those words on purpose, so that you might understand that it’s a much fuller experience of holiness and Spirit and truth and Love and divinity than anything you’re currently or presently experiencing.
The other side of the bridge is on the other end of your attention. As someone said earlier today: “Wherever you give your attention, your faith goes there with you.”
Let’s make sure, as you face the bridge with an intent to move across, that you don’t become distracted by the calls from bodies asking for you to respond as a body, because if your attention goes there, your faith will go there. And where your faith goes, your belief becomes embodied.
And so, if you want one who is not a holy Son of God to deal with, to confront you, to make demands of you and for you to have to protect yourself from, then let your attention go to that definition and your faith will accompany it—and, as I said last week, the holy Son of God there will escape you completely and you will be behaving in a way that completely misses Who that Individuality really Is. Your lack of connection will constitute an absolute lack of communication. And the illusion of a battle between Salvation and its opposite will seem to occupy you. And none of it will be Real.
You know what? On your own you don’t know what to have faith in. So be careful where you automatically give your attention.
Your Salvation lies in your practice of the two-step: Hesitating, not responding out of habit, mentally or physically … hesitating, stepping back and inquiring, “What’s the truth here?” That’s your Salvation. Because then a body demanding something of a body is not what is confronting you. What’s confronting you is the answer you are intent upon hearing, the answer to the question you’re asking—not the demand the other is making of you. That’s the key.
We’ve talked before about bad behavior being a call for love. Well, it should be becoming clear to you that it’s not a call for you as a body to love, because that’s just a special love that’s used to cover up a special hate. It’s one illusion attempting to do something to another illusion, the result being: No Salvation. Because where the attention went is where the faith went and where the faith went is where the manifestation came forth. That will even more severely convince you that you must be a better body.
Let’s go into the book. I’m going to backup slightly:
There IS no conflict in the choice between truth and illusion.1
No conflict. When a call for love occurs and you turn to the Father instead of turning to the one making the call for love, you’re making a choice for truth and …
There IS no conflict in the choice between truth and illusion. Seen in THESE terms, no one would hesitate.
But you see, everyone tends to see in the terms of body identification and on those terms you would hesitate.
But conflict enters the instant the choice seems to be one between ILLUSIONS, for this choice does not matter.
As I said last week, it doesn’t matter because whichever one you make, the choice has been made for illusion, and therefore, you are still deluded—nothing has happened. So it makes no difference which one you choose. Neither one of them gets you out of the orphanage.
Where one choice is as dangerous as the other, the decision MUST be one of despair.
Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find ALL of the barriers within yourself which you have built AGAINST it.
Be careful here. This sentence is very important. But as I’ve said before, it doesn’t mean, “go on an internal witch-hunt.” It is not to become your task to find out what’s wrong with you. It is your task to find out where beliefs are governing you instead of understanding. And you have no way to determine which things are beliefs and which are not.
And so …
Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find ALL of the barriers within yourself which you have built AGAINST it.
I’ve been telling you over and over how to do that. How do you find all the barriers? By assuming that everything you know, everything you think constitutes a barrier. And therefore, you have nothing better in this whole world to do daily than to say, “Father, what is the truth here?” Just like a curious child, “Daddy, what’s that, what’s that, what’s that?” “What’s the truth here?” Bring that curiosity into play, because the answer you will get when you are not insisting on authorizing the answers will uncover illusion and truth. And the truth will be so wonderful and so obvious that you will immediately let go of, abandon, the illusion. It’s that simple.
It is not necessary to seek for what is true, but it IS necessary to seek for what is false. Every illusion is one of fear, whatever form it takes. And the attempt to escape from one illusion into another MUST fail. If you seek love outside yourself, you can be certain that you perceive hatred within and are AFRAID of it. Yet peace will never come from the illusion of love, but ONLY from its reality.
Again, it can be misleading.
It is not necessary to seek for what is true, but it IS necessary to seek for what is false.
The idea of seeking for what is true—if you play with the idea, if you consider it—will, generally speaking, not include your shutting up and asking the Father what the truth is. Seeking the truth will be something you engage in through the active use of thinking and logic and reasoning and research and on and on and on.
Instead of engaging in any activity—either trying to discover what the truth is, or trying to discover what the illusion is—your task is to turn your attention away from your thinking mind. It’s like you must do the opposite of what you’re inclined to do. You must become still, like meditating, in which you have no other agenda going on. Not meditating so you can hear the truth, but meditating so that in the peace you experience, understanding can unfold because that’s what it does, not because it’s what you’re doing.
This is important.
Recognize this, for it is true, and truth MUST be recognized if it is to be distinguished from illusion: The special love relationship is an attempt to bring love into fear, and make it REAL in fear.
What does that mean? It means to bring it into a fearful circumstance and let it be Real in the middle of that fearful circumstance and become transformational in that circumstance, without ever lifting either one of you out of it into the place where God’s laws govern absolutely—and the illusion of conflict between love and hate isn’t going on.
To make love Real in fear is to make it be an actual dynamic that can have an actual effect on fear and cause fear to change. When, if you’ll remember, fear is an illusion brought into play by only one thing: your decision to get a divorce from your Father, your decision to attempt to be an independent agent. And therefore, the only means of annihilating the experience of fear is to abandon the independence that you have prized so highly.
Again, the Easter message. This is what it means.
In fundamental violation of love’s condition, the special love relationship would accomplish the impossible.
If it could.
How but in illusion COULD this be done?
How but in illusion COULD this be done?
It can’t. The Easter message is the message of stepping out of the illusion of oppositional forces—God and the devil, Spirit and matter at war with each other. Who will win? I’m telling you that the concept of God and devil could only come into play when one abandons his right Mind, when one gets a divorce from his Father. And the only correction of this illusion—of the conflict of super powers—can occur when you say, “Father, help me! Father, show me Your truth.”
That’s what you do in the tomb. That’s what you do in the tomb. And that’s the way you come out of the tomb. And that’s the meaning of Easter … every moment.
Happy Easter! Meaningful Easter. Sober Easter. Sober, meaning, with the Real peace of Being as the backdrop for every single experience of this day.
T16.4 Illusion and Reality of Love ↩
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