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You can’t deny the fact that as we’ve been going along, things have been becoming simpler and simpler. We could say things are becoming more black and white—less fuzzy.
This should be relieving. This should be joy-producing. But although there is some of that experienced, a lot of the experience is distress, because at the bottom line, it requires abandoning things that you have greatly valued. It requires letting go of things you feel have provided you with security. But at the bottom line, the things you are being required to let go of are illusions of security, illusions of importance, illusions of integrity, illusions of success.
Now I have said endlessly, that all of you are sitting in the middle of the Kingdom of Heaven, right here, right now, with your eyes all squinched up saying, “I cannot see the perfection.” You’re sitting in the middle of the Kingdom of Heaven and you’re not experiencing It as what It is.
Now, I’ve also been emphasizing, and the Course has been elucidating the fact that every single one of you right now are Sons and Daughters of God, nothing more, nothing less. But you’re not experiencing that either.
Now, why aren’t you experiencing it?
You’re not experiencing it because you’re programmed not to experience it, you are conditioned not to experience it.
Well, just try walking around all day and whoever you meet, you say “I am the Son of God, you are the Son of God, I am the Daughter of God, you are the Daughter of God.” See what kind of response you get. That response of “you crazy weirdo” conditions you to not see and not believe and not pursue a clearer understanding of the fact that you are the Son of God or the Daughter of God.
Now, while you are all obedient to the limits you all impose upon each other, and you do it for the sake of peace … what? … you’re miserable … you get sick … you get hurt … you have failures … you suffer. You have a generally miserable experience that you find ways to tolerate. You find ways to overlook the fact that you’re not happy.
Now, I can hear someone saying, “Oh, he’s on his pessimistic bent again, do I have to listen to this?”
Well you see, that’s another one of the conditionings. You see? I must tell you that you have been conditioned not to see the Kingdom of Heaven. You have been conditioned not to experience yourself as the Son or Daughter of God. As—I’m going to say this carefully—Royalty, if you will, as that which is ultimately meaningful, if you will.
Because if you don’t get it, if something in you doesn’t actually say, “Whoa, maybe I had better look at this again! Maybe there is a different way of looking at this. Maybe I am conditioned to not see something that is right in the front of my face. And on top of that, as part of the conditioning, maybe there is a security lock, if you will, that becomes especially potent in shutting down my curiosity if I decide to look beyond my present sense of things—if I choose to actually reach beyond my present measuring sticks. You see?
The ego—you pretending to be an independent agent, separate and apart from a divine Source or a source other than a physical source …
I’m sorry, this is me, Paul, I lost it.
No, continuing … you are conditioned to be obedient to the squelches, to the inhibitions that are encoded in your mutual agreements. And if I do not tell you that you are thus conditioned, you will find no occasion spontaneously on your own to challenge those inhibitions.
And so I must absolutely be straight with you and apparently be “negative” or cast doubt on the integrity of your life. I MUST! Or you will not. And if you will not, you will not open the door for a breakthrough, for “ah-ha’s” to happen, for realization to occur that comes from a Source outside of the mutual agreements that you and all the orphans have come to.
Now I said things are becoming simpler. They are. It’s becoming clearer and clearer that you’ve got to make a choice between the orphan mindset and your divine Mind—your divine mindset. And if you don’t make a choice and if you don’t reach, you will seem to stay bound.
However, I must also be straight with you and point out to you that where you may have for all of this lifetime and I’m going to say for many lifetimes, whereas you may have been able for a great period of time to be ignorant by virtue of conditioning and be relatively comfortable, things are changing and it is not going to continue to be comfortable.
Many of you have had the experience of finding that if you get out of line, you get called on the carpet much faster. You simply are not able to be off track as long as you used to be able to. And a few of you become self-righteously angry: “It’s not fair! Look at so-in-so, they’ve been off-track for quite awhile, just like I used to be able to be … they’re not getting caught up short.” You see? You see how you are conditioned to not embrace intelligence but rather ignorance and reconfirm it.
Now, it isn’t that you are doing this, it is that conditionings have been placed in the mix, like hypnosis.
Now, I’m here to share the good news: You are deluded and it’s not your Birthright and you are not bound to being deluded. But you’re not going to [snaps fingers] have the lights go on, and you’re not going to find the delight of Being and you’re not going to find the peace of Being as long as you continue to go down the paths of habitual responses because it’s always been done that way and because it’s the way that works.
Now part of the problem regarding being honest enough to look at the situation so that it might be discredited …
Just a moment, I lost it again …
… is, that you must look at what you have believed is a reasonable life with success and blessings and many good things and realize that—and you’re not going to like this—and realize that it isn’t true, that you are glossing over misery, that you are glossing over endless sin, disease and death, lifetime after lifetime, after lifetime or, let’s say, in this lifetime watching that pattern—birth, life, death, happen over and over with everyone.
Now you have to be willing to look at this and say, “NO!” You must be willing to look at this and say, “This isn’t successful life! This isn’t happy life!” You must dare to be willing to be honest enough to say that the things that are happening do not make you happy. And that the only way you’re able to find any degree of happiness is by ignoring what you’re seeing, by finding a way to say, “that’s life,” which means, “that’s normal, that’s okay.” IT’S NOT!
But of course, if you don’t know that you’re in the middle of the Kingdom of Heaven, and that you’re the Son or Daughter of God—an eternal God whose offspring are eternal and who cannot possibly embody sin, sickness or death—you won’t challenge it and you won’t put forth the degree of energy it takes to move through your conditioning, to participate in the holy instant, to challenge what you’re seeing and then shut up and ask to know what is the actual truth here. As I keep saying, “What is the more of what God is Being right here than what I’m seeing?”
But you see, the key is you’ve got to become honest enough and black and white enough to look and say, “Wait a minute … this life, this lifestyle, the way business is conducted, the way politics is practiced, the way international alliances and disagreements occur … all of this is crap! It’s not good, it’s not divine, it’s not orderly, it’s not happy.
If you don’t do that, change will not occur. If you don’t do that—if you’re not honest enough with yourself—you’ll continue fooling yourself into thinking, “Wow you know, things are so much better than they were for the caveman.” Or “things are so much better than they were for my recent ancestors, even my great grandmother or great-great grandfather … wow, they didn’t have nearly the benefits and the comforts, etc., that we have today.”
Oh wait a minute, they had sin, sickness and death, didn’t they—suffering, over and over … heartache, jealousy, rage, fear, all consuming mental disease, not everyone, but those who needed to be hospitalized and those not quite so bad.
But the point is this: Dare to be clear enough to recognize what you’ve been calling tolerable, and even somewhat pleasant, does not embody a God, does not embody infinite intelligence, does not embody what you must have to be in order to exist at all, because there is a First Cause that is flawless.
I’ve said it before, if the First Cause was not flawless, if there was the slightest flaw present, because of the infiniteness of God, that tiny flaw would be totally destructive and therefore, God would cease to exist and there would be no one listening to me and there would be no one for me to talk to.
Simple: Very black and white.
What does this mean? At the bottom line, what are the practical aspects of it? And what is it that the Course is illuminating? Well, it’s illuminating that you are having distorted perceptions of something flawless—the Kingdom of Heaven. And you think you are something that can have distorted perceptions when you’re actually the Offspring of a perfect First Cause incapable of Being the Cause of anything less than perfect. That’s what. And that means that you have a choice that you didn’t know you had.
You have the choice to choose for the Real even though you don’t know what It is yet. You have the choice because now you’re being told there is “a Real” to embrace—to experience. And that’s because there is a Brotherhood beyond but including all of you who are not caught in the same dream you are, who are not fascinated by very peculiar creative imaginative concepts of life and the living of it and how to be successful, who, because you are at a point of listening and hearing now, can find me and others telling you the simple truth so that you now know you can change your mind.
But you’re going to have to change your mind. You’re going to have to face right into the ugliness that you’ve been covering over, and call it ugly because it is. And then say, “Because what’s really going on here that is so unpleasant, aside from my glossing it over … because what is going on here is so unpleasant, and that is not congruent with the actuality of an infinite First Cause—perfect—then I’m going to look right there where it is, I’m going to look right at this conditioning that blocks me from experiencing the truth, and I’m going to not resort to all the mutually agreed upon definitions that we orphans have made, but I’m going to turn to the Father I never knew, and I’m going to ask of Him, ‘What’s the truth here?’ And I’m going to persist until I have the answer because settling for a glossed-over tolerance of misery no longer seems productive or valuable to me. And so I’m going to put forth the effort, I’m going to put forth the attention that it takes to not give up once again and just settle into the status quo because it works, it’s reasonable, etc.”
Now going into the book1, it says:
The ego is hyperalert to threat, …
… now this word was changed. Hyperalert was changed to “alert.” The ego is alert to threat. Well, I beg your pardon, it is alert to threat but it’s “hyperalert to threat” and the word, “hyperalert” was appropriate.
The ego …
… the independent authoritative sense of self that you have created about yourself and around which you have built a life and a group who agrees with you as to your value and who works with you and strokes your back because you stroke their back, it’s very alert. It’s …
… hyperalert to threat, …
… because its created all of these agreements and its created the structure out of nothing! And everybody is agreeing that nothing is something. And everyone has given great definition to the nothingness that is now treated as something. Hey, the more structures you build and the structures upon structures—the beliefs built upon beliefs—become burdensome because there’s no way to really remember how to keep it all together.
So there’s great stress. Threat is ever-present—the possibility that you will not be able to successfully maintain the structure is ever-present.
The ego is hyperalert to threat, and the part of your mind into which the ego was accepted …
… listen to that:
… the part of your mind into which the ego was accepted …
… you see, there is a Mind that pre-exists the ego. It’s the divine Mind that you Are. It’s the holy Son or Daughter of God that you Are—your true conscious awareness. It was there before you said, “Father I’d rather do it my way,” and you got a divorce and you created out of imagination a self of your own making and the making of others who chose to agree with you and support that illusion if you would support theirs.
The ego is hyperalert to threat, and the part of your mind into which the ego was accepted is very anxious to preserve its reason, as it sees it.
It’s reason for being, it’s reason for what it does, etc.
It does not realize that it is totally insane. And you must realize just what this means, if YOU would be restored to sanity.
Do you see?
… you must realize just what this means, …
… you must realize that ugly is ugly and not something that you can tolerate and therefore isn’t really ugly—ugly.
… you must realize just what this means, if YOU would be restored to sanity. The insane protect their thought systems,
All of the orphans in the orphanage protect their thought systems. But they do this insanely.
And ALL their defenses are as insane as what they are supposed to protect.
Oh, you have a wonderful definition of yourself that you’ve created and that others have helped you create. And everybody knows who you are—you do, everyone else does, and of course it’s not you. It’s what all of you have agreed you are for the purposes of successfully being not the Son or Daughter of God. That’s insane, isn’t it?
All the mutually agreed upon definitions have as their purpose: to protect and maintain the ongoing ignorance of your divinity, by preoccupying you with your independent status and its improvement with the promise that you can become a presence of excellence without a Source. Well you see, that’s the ugliness, that’s the illusion, that’s what isn’t Real, that’s what needs to be looked at and seen as not at all what you’ve finessed it into being for you.
You’ve got to see it or you will not have justification for letting go of it and genuinely being receptive to what you can now maybe believe will be a truer perception of what you Are, and who you Are, and where you are.
The separation has NOTHING in it, …
… you see? It doesn’t have mutual agreements even. There are no orphanages. And there is no orphan mindset. You can imagine all these things, but they don’t become actual. And here’s part of the ugliness: The promise is, that they will become actual and it’s therefore, worthwhile for you to persist and see all of this as tolerable because there’s a grand design to it that has as its goal your successful emergence as a presence of intelligence on your own.
It’s a lie! And because it’s a lie and because the effect of the lie is to keep you unconscious of who you Are, it is destructive and malicious, mean spirited, and unworthy of you.
You’ve got to begin to feel that. Because if you don’t, you won’t bring sufficient attention to the illusion that would keep you still, keep you quiet, keep you from climbing out of the crab barrel, and we’ll say, looking at in the face and moving out of the crab barrel nevertheless.
At the bottom line, that’s going to mean that you are practicing a devotion to the Son of God that you Are, or the Daughter of God that you Are by persisting in holding to it, instead of yielding back into the common mutual agreement that although life is difficult it’s not that bad and there’s a good reason for whatever negativity is there … and therefore, stop your complaining.
You see? And I’m saying, COMPLAIN! I’m saying OBJECT! Don’t object at the beginning of a war and don’t look for who you can blame. But object to the use of your mind—that you’re putting your mind to when you accept the status quo and you avoid bringing the effort necessary to challenge the conditioning that tells you to shut up and to sit still and be quiet and don’t rock the boat—and persist in moving through it.
Don’t take the bluff. Ignore the bluff. Because it’s coming from a self that doesn’t exist. It’s coming from mutual agreements that all define this process and have developed techniques for keeping you sane—meaning in your ignorance.
But there’s no orphan there. And there’s no generated entity who can object to your objection. It’s that simple!
So you could say I’m encouraging everyone to become a “conscientious objector.” But do it with devotion. Do it with persistence. Ask to know what the truth is here instead of the conditioning that would bind you. What is the truth here that constitutes the release of that bondage and the moving through into the divine clarity that it’s your Birthright to be experiencing?
The separation has NOTHING in it, …
… in other words, independent existence has nothing in it. It’s not Real. There is no such thing. And no matter how much you imagine it, there’s still nothing in it. God didn’t make it. It is not an Idea in the divine Mind of God. And therefore, there is no idea, no matter how imaginatively you created an idea of an Idea.
The separation has NOTHING in it, no part, no “reason,” and no attribute that is NOT insane. And its “protection” is part of it, as insane as the whole.
So you feel threat when you’re willing to challenge the status-quo, when you’re willing to embrace the possibility that you are the Son or Daughter of God and that if you abandon your independent mental practices and ask of God and yield to Him, you will get answers. You will get the clarity of His Mind that is the clarity of your Mind because that’s the way God created … that’s the way God created.
Although a false idea was imagined and a way to protect it was imagined as well, none of it is there. There is nothing to it. It’s an idea of bullying. That’s all—no bully around at all. Oh, there’s an idea about bullying. And there’s an idea about how bullying works and there are lots of ideas about the disastrous effects of bullying. That of course, is part of the protection, because if it can make you afraid of being bullied, then you will not challenge the idea of bullying that’s false in the first place … amazingly logical and reasonable, but utterly untrue, utterly unreal.
The special relationship, which is its chief defense, MUST therefore be insane.
Again, what is the special relationship? It’s a relationship you’re in with someone or something and God is nowhere to be found. You don’t think that God really has anything to do with the relationship, unless you want to believe that after the “big bang” and the physical creation of a physical universe that had nothing to do with God, happened one day to be seen by God as God moved through the ethers and He adopted this independent physical universe and decided to take care of it and make the wretched existence of those living in this purely physical universe more comfortable—to bless them so that they weren’t totally miserable.
Nope, God hasn’t adopted something that isn’t His Creation. God is taking care of and constantly Being the ongoing or ever-present newness of His Creation, which you are misunderstanding and misinterpreting and which, as we’ve said, constitutes an ignorant experience that has safe-guards built in, to see to it that you will never lose your ignorance, you will remain bound by it permanently.
Now remember, the safe-guards are protecting something that doesn’t exists. And the safe-guards themselves are just so much hot air. They’re nothing either. You see?
I am trying to paint a picture here that allows you to find an easy way to abandon your devotion to the way things seem to be and so that you might dare to look clearly enough at everything to see that the human condition of sin, disease, death, suffering, etc., hasn’t changed. Things aren’t better.
So maybe diphtheria isn’t present, maybe the black plague doesn’t cause great suffering on the globe. But hey, today cancer does. Today this, that or the other thing disrupts your peace and you staunchly step up to the plate and meet the challenge and find a way to exist in a miserable experience, with hope and ever-present confidence that what? … this too shall pass away.
Well, my dear … my dears … my dear friends, until what we’re talking about occurs you will also pass away and you will continue to seem to be subject to sin, disease and death and you will be subject to fear. And it’s time to stop. And there’s a way to stop. It’s the practice of the holy instant. It’s the abandonment of special relationships.
You have but little difficulty now in realizing that the thought system which the special relationship protects is but a system of delusions.
What thought system does the special relationship protect? The thought system of an independent, authoritative presence built out of its own supposedly innate capacity to create itself and build itself up without any foundation.
The special relationship protects the orphan mindset. The special relationship keeps the orphanages in existence. The special relationship therefore, constitutes what has been a most effective means of blinding you to your Birthright and causing you to live in misery with nothing to challenge it.
Now, this would be depressing for me to share if there was no way to challenge it, if there was no way to move beyond it. We’ve started out by showing that there is a way to move beyond it. Unfortunately, coming at it from that direction doesn’t put a fire under your ass. It doesn’t motivate you to bring to bear on the situation the degree of attention and the persistence of attention that it takes to challenge what keeps you bound—whatever the beliefs are that you entertain that justify not having an instantaneous healing of cancer or whatever problem you might be having or whatever beliefs are inhibiting you from, well, just making stupid mistakes because there’s not the clarity that it’s your Birthright to have available to you.
Because you’ve adopted a set of beliefs, a set of behavioral reverences that you abide by stupidly, because you simply haven’t bothered to bring that ignorance into the light by saying, “I’m not going to continue to reinforce that automatically. I’m suspending my automatic continuance of this belief, this habit, and I’m going to ask the Holy Spirit”—that which is nothing more than my right Mind—“what is the truth here … what’s the truth beyond this limitation, this inhibition that I’m reinforcing? What am I inhibiting myself from seeing, or what is the belief that I am energizing, keeping me from seeing and experiencing?” And not abandoning that quest, that question, until the clarity comes, when you will find yourself on the other side of that which had inhibited you and when you will no longer be governed by that conditioning.
Again, I started out tonight by saying, ‘You’re in the middle of the Kingdom of Heaven and you are the Sons and Daughters of God right now, but you’re not experiencing it.’ Why not? Because you are conditioned not to experience it.
Now, it should be clearer to you than before we began, that whatever inhibits you from seeing the clarity that it’s your Birthright to be, to have available to you, that not having it available to you is not justifiable any more. It is not something that you can tolerate. It’s not something you are going to put up with. It’s not something you’re going to flow with because, “It’s refining my soul. It’s having some benefit for me.” Bullshit!
Get real! Getting real about illusion causes you to become disillusioned—free of illusion. And I promise you, although you may not yet believe it, you are the Sons and Daughters of God. And you have a Birthright available to you that is inseparable from you, has not been taken away from you, has not been withheld from you by the Father because you decided to have this little side-trip of imaginative independence.
And there’s no reason for you not to reach for it now, with persistence and with attention backed by commitment. It will be your joy to experience the result. It’s the whole point of the holy instant to bring you into that place where God’s laws prevail. And your divinity is no longer held in trust while you dally with the ego. It is reinstated, because you haven’t blocked it as you, as your conscious experience of being and as your clear identity as the Son or Daughter of God.
That’s a lot of wonderful ground shaking, ground breaking good news.
I look forward to being with you next week. And if the doing of some of what I’ve discussed isn’t all fun … that’s okay. You have been putting up with lifetimes of “not fun” that got you nowhere. Any expenditure you put forth in the direction I’m speaking of, although it may not all be fun, will uncover your divinity to you and return your sanity to you.
If you’re not afraid to put effort forth in other directions and you can justify it and it won’t help you Wake up, then transfer that willingness to something that will. It’s that simple.
And I stand with you and behind you in support in every bit of attention you bring to this. So does your Guide and so does the Holy Spirit. That is the Holy Spirit’s job!
T17.4 Perception and the Two Worlds ↩
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