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Well, how many of you had an interesting week this week paying attention to or discovering, surprisingly or involuntarily, how much you use your body as your salvation? How much you use it as a distraction from the holy instant? How much it or other peoples’ bodies preoccupy your attention?
For instance, how many of you noticed that if you are challenged by someone or by a circumstance and in some way your credibility is called into question, you get excited about it, you get emotional about it and actually, you get physical about it? I mean by that, that you use your body to demonstrate your distress. You use it to try to coerce the one confronting you, or the situation into being different by a display of force of personal power—that imaginary fleeting thing that you think you have.
And all the time you’re doing that, it’s impossible for you to hesitate because you’d have to stop the display. You’d have to interrupt the act, which you’re employing, to cause someone or something to change its behavior.
When that’s happening, you’re behaving in a completely unjoined, independent, isolated, autonomous way. Exactly the opposite of what you really want to do if Waking up is your desire, if practicing and coming to the conclusion, we’ll say, of the Course—of your Awakening.
How many of you found that time was not your friend? And you had a deadline and you scurried around with intensity to get it done by the deadline and used your body as the means of getting it done quickly, completely missing the point that it would be entirely possible to accomplish what needed to be done in your peace, without being strenuous, without straining your body, completely overlooking the opportunity to watch fulfillment of purpose occur with your participation in it, without depleting yourself in any way, without using your body as a means of forcing a conclusion by a certain deadline?
How many of you might have come to the conclusion that you are addicted to your body and the use you can put it to, and have realized that to the degree that you’re doing that, you’re delaying healing, you’re delaying divine realization, you’re delaying the experience of your holiness—of your non-materiality—of the fact that you are not a body even though there is the visibility and tangibility of Creation?
You are not the visibility and tangibility. You Are that Mind in which the experience of visibility and tangibility is occurring.
Now, I’m going to the back up to the last sentence of the previous paragraph where it says – and I’m leaving off the first word which is the word, “Yet”:
… peace will never come from the illusion of love, but ONLY from its reality.1
And what’s the illusion of love? The special relationship, which is more correctly called, “the special hate relationship.”
peace will never come from the illusion of love, but ONLY from its reality.
… the reality of love.
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 …
… make it real there, where fear is. Why? So that you might alter fear, so that you might assuage fear, so that you might minimize fear, so that you might numb yourself to fear with the wonderful feelings of love but without ever getting rid of fear.
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? It is essential that we look very closely at exactly what it is you think you can do to solve the dilemma which seems very real to you, but which does not exist.
It is essential that we look very closely at exactly what it is you think you can do to solve the dilemma … .
Well, if somebody were to ask you at any given moment in the middle of any given dilemma, “What do you think you can do?” You probably could tell them five different things that you could do—at least five different things—all of which would likely be helpful.
The question, “What can you do?” requires you to be very alert.
“What do you think you can do?” That’s the question. What you think you can do is … do something! Your problem is not the doing of it, it’s not the solving of it doesn’t come from the five different things you can do, but from the annihilation of the primary idea or belief that you can do something, that you can do anything to solve the problem.
Think about that for a moment.
It is essential that we look very closely at exactly what it is you think you can do to solve the dilemma which seems very real to you, but which does not exist.
You see? It would be simpler if the question was or the statement was, “It is essential that we look very closely at exactly what it is you think you can do, period.”
But, when you say what you can do to solve the dilemma which seems very real to you but which does not exist, you can get into a discussion about how to make that which doesn’t exist be seen clearly as unreal so that it becomes justifiable for you to abandon it … and on and on. You see? These are things you can do.
But whether the dilemma seems to be real when it’s not is irrelevant to the fact that there is nothing you can do, one way or the other. And it’s the realization that you, on your own, as an autonomous, independent agent for change, can never do anything because you don’t exist that way.
It’s very disconcerting and it can be very discouraging to come to a point of accepting the idea that you of yourself can do nothing and therefore, you of yourself had best stop trying. And step into the Void—step into the emptiness of not personally attempting to accomplish anything. And in that quiet, vacant space, ask, “Father, what is the truth here? What’s really going on here? I refuse to attempt to accomplish anything or do anything here by myself. I’m asking You to join me. I am willing to let You in so that in the joining, I might become clear about what’s Real and what is illusion—and let what is Real inspire me to behave consistently with it. That’s the key.
It is essential that we look very closely at exactly what it is you think you can do to solve the dilemma which seems very real to you, but which does not exist. You have come very close to truth, and only this stands between you and the bridge that leads you into it.
What is it that stands between you and the bridge that leads you into it?
The fundamental belief that you are capable of doing something unjoined—all by yourself, a-cappella.
Simple … profound. Simple but if practiced, life-changing. Life-changing in the sense that engaged in with commitment, it opens the floodgates of inspiration and Revelation so that not only your holiness but the Kingdom of Heaven registers with you right here where the mortal is that you thought you were and the material world is that is actually the Kingdom of Heaven.
You have come very close to truth, and only this stands between you and the bridge that leads you into it.
That’s why the simplest but most impactful statement is: “Shut up, become still.” “Be Still and Know that I am God,”2 God says—Being says—the way things work says.
Heaven waits silently, and your creations are holding out their hands to help you cross…
the bridge …
and welcome them. For it is THEY you SEEK.
You’ve been busy seeking other things. But they are substitutes for your coming into, again, your experience of what you Are in your wholeness, in your sanity, where you see everything as It is and yourself for what you Are.
You seek but for your own completion…
I know, everyone has a feeling of beinga “stranger in a strange land.” They have a feeling of not fitting. You have a feeling of falling short or not quite achieving something that it’s your Birthright to be experiencing and having and being.
So you do seek for something. But when you find you’re not quite making it, you, you know, scoop it under the rug—you put it out of site. And you get about the business of doing things. Because doing things gives you a sense of purpose. And what is one of the main reasons they give you a sense of purpose? It involves your body and you feel the force and you feel the power, and at the end of the day, you’re tired—physically tired. And it makes you feel good because you know you have accomplished “important things,” things which, if they bear the fruit you expect them to bear, will benefit you greatly and prove your credibility and your importance and your success.
And you do these things as a substitute for facing into the experience of not being equal to something—but you don’t know what it is—falling short of something, feeling that there’s more meaning to your Being than you’re experiencing.
So it is your completion you’re looking for. But the use you put your body to is not the means of accomplishing it.
It is essential that we look very closely at exactly what it is you think you can do …
And what it is you think you can do … is do something. That’s the dilemma!—that you think you can do something … and, that you can do it with your body because your body is your identity.
Not your mind. Your mind just sits up here in the top of your head—at the top of this b-o-d-y–and it’s just there to help your body respond to stimuli so as to be able to survive and be successful and make something of you.
And you see? That’s the problem.
We [must] look very closely at exactly what it is you think you can do to solve the dilemma …
… you think you can do something and that you can do it with the body.
So, is it really your body that you’re addicted to or is it something else? You see?
You hide love by creating a special relationship. You create a special relationship—a special loving relationship—to cover up a special hate relationship that you are engaged in by virtue of your denial of your Source, your denial of your Father and therefore, of your Birthright, therefore of your holiness and so on. And in this denial of your Self, we’ll say, That which constitutes your Being, you’re in a state of incompleteness, you’re in a state of unconsciousness of your holiness.
Well, what does that mean, you unholy Son of God, you unholy Son of Man, let’s say, You unholy off-spring of evolution?
It means you’re nothing! And if there is a God that you’re denying, you’re in an awful state of hate. And this that is nothing, yet is guilty of something, you don’t feel right in your own skin. It’s only because you’re denying what you Are.
But you feel uncomfortable in your own skin. Wrong … that’s what you feel: Wrong. But you can’t stand being wrong. It’s perfectly understandable that you can’t stand being wrong, because at the bottom line it’s your deep, real sanity telling you that you are attempting to do something that’s impossible, that you are engaged in an activity that can’t bear fruit.
Well, it will be fruitless, therefore, useless, therefore, you’re continuing to engage in the activity constitutes wrongness. There’s no other way to describe it. And now, instead of taking the hint that your deep sanity is providing, you decide to overcome being wrong. And your goal—the thing you are actually addicted to—is to be right!
You are addicted to righteousness. There’s a reason for it. Righteousness practiced diligently, forcefully, with a strong body, will bring you into a state of validity. It will bring you into a place of being right. It will bring you into a place where it will be obvious not only to you but to everyone that you’re not w-r-o-n-g.
You’re addicted to not being wrong and you are addicted to that which counteracts being wrong, in other words, being right.
So you see, it’s not really being a body that you’re addicted to, it’s not like you incarnated over and over again so that you could just have sex, or so that you could just be a great dancer or a great gymnast or someone who could climb Mt. Everest and overcome the elements with their body. No. Why would you do all those things? Why does one do all those things if they’re not joined, if they’re not inspired by God to do it … or to be it?
They do it in order to demonstrate and prove rightness—righteousness, being right … not being wrong. So that the ache inside that comes from a feeling of not fitting, of being wrong, will fade into the background, hopefully will fade into the background because you’ve actually succeeded in demonstrating that you are truly valid, truly right … in your own right.
Interesting phrase, right? “In your own right!”
So, you’re caught in the tension between right and wrong. And the dealing with the tension between right and wrong is what you call, “That which gives life purpose and meaning.” And as along as you are insisting on operating at the level of polarities—opposites—right and wrong and overcoming them so that you can prove your worth and your validity, you’re stuck.
In a movie called War Games, the key sentence was, “The only way to win the game is not to play the game at all.”
The only way to Wake up is not to play the game of being an orphan at all. The only way to get out of the strenuousness, what you would call the stimulating, life-giving strenuousness of the tension between right and wrong, is to abandon the struggle … by what? Looking very closely at exactly what it is you think you can do to solve the dilemma, which seems very real to you but which does not exist. And exactly what it is you think you can do is, do something!
You see how simple it is? But it’s easy to become sidetracked into complexity that distracts you completely from the fact that the solution comes from shutting up! It literally comes from stopping your thinking. From becoming still in your mind and not dramatizing your life or the situation you’re in by virtue of interpretations you apply to it that either create a sense of peace in you or create even greater tension and fear.
And either way, what you do with your mind, whether it is to pacify yourself or to create further distress, you’re still thinking. You still haven’t become quiet. You haven’t shut up and said, “Father…” or “The Powers that Be…” or “That which is responsible for my existing, That which is responsible for existence Itself, period, Help! I wish to see things through Your Eyes. I wish…” and here’s the bottom line, “I wish to not be alone for a moment longer. I wish not to be autonomous or independent in my imagination or in any other way any longer. Help!” That is the way you take the first step across the bridge. That’s the way you take your first step back Home. That’s literally the way you begin to undo the divorce from your Father.
The special love relationship, which you engage in with your body and with the bodies of others, because you’re not seeing your holiness or their holiness at all—you’re not looking for yours and you’re not looking for theirs, so everything about your relationship is fantasy. It’s your concept of yourself relating to your concept of the other and the other operating from his or her concept of him or herself relating to his or her concept of you. And then you go through the steps of being right, or you go through the steps of bringing right into play, which means you’re taking steps to get agreement with and to demonstrate that you are not wrong. And there’s no love in that, is there?
It’s very selfish. It’s only selfish. Think about it! You’ve been taught to be polite and kind and thoughtful and you’ve been taught how to do those things. This behavior is good and right, that behavior’s wrong because it won’t influence another well. It’s not good manners.
Of course, don’t ever become out of control and do things spontaneously, you’ve got to do right and you’ve got to do well. You’ve got to do the mutually-agreed-upon kindnesses and manners and so on … so as to what? Actually connect with each other? No! But to bring about a certain modicum of pleasantness—lack of strain, and maybe even some pleasure—but without ever connecting with what is Real about you or Real about your Brother or Sister because all of you are doing all of this from a state of independence and autonomy. And so you are all independently acting as though there are relationships—and acting lovingly so it looks like there is love.
Now here’s the key: When you’re doing these acts of love, you know, not just sexual, but socially … behaving with manners, with thoughtfulness and so on, is there ever the result called healing, instantaneous healing, regeneration of limbs, raising of the dead, a cold disappearing, an inflamed kidney becoming uninflamed—I mean in three minutes or even two days or a week—as a result of behaving lovingly, acting out behaviors of love? No. And so I’m telling you that you have false confidence when you hope for things to be better when all you’re doing is acting out loving behavior that isn’t arising out of the influx, the inspiration of love itself.
Now, it would be very unfair of me to tell you that everything you’re doing from an autonomous, independent standpoint is insane or is not practical, is not loving, but is actually a manifestation of a special hate relationship, without telling you how to get out of it. That would just be depressing news.
But I’m telling you this and telling you that the answer is, to stop the independent act, to stop the independent authoritative behavior. And using the same mind you think called you to behave the way you are behaving, pay attention not to your own thoughts, not to your history, not to your memories, but pay attention in a place where you’ve not gone before, meaning the silence, and risk the chance that there is really a God or there really is the Holy Spirit—which is nothing more than your right Mind held in trust while you’re having this experience of independence and a special hate relationship—and stay in that stillness, in that quietness and listen with the expectation of an answer. Because where there is emptiness there is a natural gravitation of Reality to fill it up.
And that’s the way moving across the bridge occurs. Not because you with your body trudged across step-by-step to the other side of the bridge with the force of your own energy. No. In the silence and the renewal that comes as revelation occurs, as the remembering of the truth of you infills you again, draws you spontaneously into your whole Mind, you get help. You get help when all this bravado is let go of and humility can replace it.
As I’ve said before, to the ego the coming of humility feels like humiliation. And you have to be willing to let the humiliation be, because all it’s saying is that all of the strength you thought you personally had and all that you thought you were accomplishing in the name of good couldn’t bring you to good because you were in a state of denying your good by denying who you Were—who you Are.
As you let the truth of that dawn, it feels humiliating to that which was addicted to what? Righteousness: A you that is a fantasy but one that you believe implicitly and are so addicted to, you will do anything to accomplish its goals.
Humility is when there is enough balance in your mind for you to be able to say, “I will dare … I will dare to abandon the use of force. I will dare to stop being a mover and a shaker and making things happen, so that in the absence of that stress and strain and in the presence of the peace that will be there, I become an emptiness, you might say, which will naturally be filled by the inpouring of truth of my Father’s Love.” That’s humility. And humility feels whole, utterly unlike what you’ve been experiencing. And it’s not addictive. But once you feel it, the likelihood that you will abandon it is slim.
You’ve got to keep this in mind, because it’s the way things work.
The special love relationship is but a shabby substitute for what makes you whole in truth, NOT in illusion. Your relationship with them …
your creations …
is without guilt…
it’s a holy relationship with them …
and this enables you to look on all your brothers with gratitude, because your creations were created in union WITH them.
You see? You’ve got to understand that God is the Movement of Creation. And all of Creation stands with God watching the Movement of Creation. And all of Creation including you and everyone of your Brothers and every lizard and every spider and every bird stands, flies, crawls, paying attention to this Movement of Creation and acknowledge it together as God Moving. And all of Creation acknowledging the Movement of Creation that God is Being, completes God, if you want to put it that way. And it also completes you.
Your relationship with [them] …
your creations …
is without guilt, and this enables you to look …
once again …
on all your brothers with gratitude, because your creations were created in union WITH them. Acceptance of your creations is the acceptance of the oneness of creation, without which you could never BE complete.
What is it that you would not be complete without? The oneness of It. Do you see? The integrity of Creation lies in the oneness of It. And you cannot feel the integrity of Creation when you’re claiming an autonomous selfhood and attempting to be autonomous and forceful and accomplish things. You see? You can’t feel the oneness of Creation, therefore you cannot feel Its integrity.
Acceptance of your creations is the acceptance of the oneness of creation, without which you could never BE complete. No specialness can offer you what God has given…
which is everything …
and what you are joined with Him in giving.
You see? When you’re in your right Mind, when you’ve given up being autonomous, you are joined with God in the act of Creation, by being that which observes what God is Being new, and recognizing God in It and therefore recognizing your Self in It and confirming the integrity and unity of all Creation.
Now what you need to understand is, that the integrity of all Creation is a conscious experience that you will have. It won’t be you as it seems to be right now, off in a corner of Creation with most of Creation at a great distance from you, observing It and knowing that somehow It’s all part of you and you’re part of It.
No. When you’re in your right Mind, you are as conscious of all of Creation, infinitely, as God is. There is a saying, “There is no spot where God is not.” We could say, “There is no spot where God is not conscious of that spot.” Which means you can never get outside of God and you can never be outside of His conscious awareness of You. That idea you like. But I want you to understand that because of the oneness of Creation, it’s your Birthright to be experiencing the fact that there is no spot where your Mind is not. And there is no spot where you are not conscious of that spot in all of the universe.
And you know what? It won’t be a stress or a strain to be infinitely conscious. And it won’t wear you out to be infinitely conscious. And you will not ask to be able to sleep or get a rest from all of it because it’s unified and you are unified with it. It is unified with you.
Now, in this place God’s laws prevail. Sin, sickness and death are absent. And you get to that by shutting up and being willing to be silent and reaching out, and I’m going to say, yearning for your Father to speak to you, yearning for the Holy Spirit—that which is nothing more than your right Mind—to reveal Itself to you as You, so that you might be joined with It, so that you might be One and no longer labor under the horrible illusion of autonomy and all of the suffering it seems to bring that seems to be so real that it entices you into coping with it, instead of realizing that you must …
… look very closely at exactly what it is you think you can do to solve the dilemma …
and remember: that what you think you can do, is do something, so that you abandon the knee-jerk response to do, and you remember to be still.
Across the bridge is your completion, for you will be wholly in God, willing for nothing special, but only to be wholly like unto Him, completing Him by YOUR completion.
You see? When you say, “I’m not an orphan anymore, I have a Father,” you complete yourself because you allow for the return of your Birthright because you know who you Are and you bring completion to the Father because He’s not waiting for his Son or Daughter to remember that they’re not orphans. You see? Completion all way around, harmony that is eternal, joy that at the moment is unfathomable, but it’s your Birthright to be experiencing.
You know what? A lot of this can only be words for you at the moment. But I will tell you something: they will become an experience when you are willing to acknowledge that you cannot do anything to solve the problems. And that the biggest problem you have is the belief that you can do something. And it’s a problem because it distracts you from shutting up, which is the way out of the dilemma, the way out of the tension between wrong and right and the addiction to righteousness, and the misuse of the body to carry out a special love relationship that’s meant to cover up the special hate relationship that amounts to the simple fact that you said, “Father, I’d rather see things my way. Father, I’d rather do things my way.” You see? And abandoning the relationship, if only in the imagination.
Last week we spoke about Easter. We spoke about all of this being part of your Easter story, if I may put it that way. When you realize that you no longer have to take the bait and think that you can do something and then get on with doing it, you’ve set the stage for Ascension.
I love you … I love you … I love you … I love you … and you … and everyone who has joined us. And I look forward to being with you next time.
T16.4 Illusion and Reality of Love ↩
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