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Well, we’ve been talking about frames and pictures. In a way, we’ve talked more about frames. But as we’ve spoke of last week, the key is to look at the pictures because the frame, especially the ornate one, is a distraction from something that it is essential for you to see. Because if you see it, you will be in a position to have your sanity return to you.
In seeing the picture for what it actually is, it will cause you to see its valuelessness—it’s meaninglessness—which will bring you to … it will cause you to say, “Wait a minute, I’m wasting my time here, I’ve been fooled when I need to be clear.” And the energy and the gumption to take hold of your attention so that you’re consciously giving it where you want it to be given will occur. So, that’s why we’ve spent a lot of time talking about it.
Now, at the bottom line, what’s in each of the pictures? You know, the Course says, look at the picture … look at the picture … ignore the frame … look at the picture!
Well, both pictures have one thing in them: A relationship. One’s a miserable relationship to which I know many of you can relate. And the other is a superlative, blissful, wholly meaningful experience.
In the little picture with the ornate frame, the relationship is a relationship between two Sons or Daughters or Sons and Daughters of God who have chosen to get a divorce from their Father and see everything through their own imaginations.
In this act of divorce, as we have spoken so many times, there was a loss of memory as to who they Were. When they claimed their right to be independent and acted upon it, sealed it with emotional commitment to each other and their goal, they forgot who they Were. And everything else that followed was illusory, was insanity experienced and embellished … miserable.
Everyone who is not Awake today is living out that picture. But here’s the saving Grace: Someone is telling you that you are, in spite of who you think you are, a holy Son or Daughter of God who has chosen to actualize, if I may put it that way, to actualize a false experience, a distorted biased experience of Reality. Reality hasn’t gone anywhere and who you really Are, hasn’t changed.
But because of the commitment the two of you have and have made, you absolutely blind yourself to the conscious realization and awareness of your divinity. That is what makes the special relationship evil. That’s what makes it destructive. That’s what makes it something that you, with all due diligence need to be bringing your attention and your will (which would have to be your divine will) to abandon it—to cease energizing and validating it. Because in validating it, you are validating something which keeps you insane.
You’ve got to see this—else you won’t—with vigor and determination or even a light-hearted willingness that will follow through. Abandon this that has meant so much to you, and shut-up and do the two-step and engage in the holy instant. That is the avenue of freedom from this one picture—the picture of misery, the picture that is evil, and escape it into your right Mind, into the contemplation of the other picture.
Now, the other picture is likewise, a picture of a relationship. It’s your relationship with your Father. It’s a picture that hasn’t gotten a lot of attention recently. But it’s a picture that is forever present with you and in you and you are programmed to remember it and to be willing to give your attention fully to it again.
And the program to accomplish that is called the Holy Spirit. It’s called: That which is nothing more than your right Mind, which no matter how insane you have behaved, hasn’t been altered in anyway. And so, although you have behaved insanely, your sanity has been ever-present with you and has been absolutely governing you.
It is there … the Holy Spirit is there with a purpose to carry out Its faith in you by asserting Itself on your behalf, in your experience whether you’re listening for It or not, paying attention to It or not. And in many cases, without your request but because there is a weakness in your insanity, the Holy Spirit can turn things to your advantage which were to your disadvantage.
But here’s the big thing: If you will do the two-step, if you will engage in the holy instant, if you will become still and say, “Father,” or “Holy Spirit, what is the truth here?” you open the door for what has already been programmed in you. You remove the resistance that has kept It at bay. The picture, this other picture … the relationship is between you and God.
Now, in both pictures, the relationship that is shown governs how all of Creation is experienced.
When you are embracing your relationship with your Father and acknowledging your Birthright as the Son or Daughter of God—a holy one—you present no objection to the conscious embrace and experience of Creation from the Father’s Perspective, seeing everything with the Meaning the Father has invested in it by virtue of creating it.
On the other hand, in the other picture where the relationship is with a Brother or a Sister whom you have chosen to join with in denial of your Father and of Creation with the Meanings the Father has given it, all of your experience is colored by that, and as a result you see nothing truly. You don’t see it as the Kingdom of Heaven. You don’t see it as the Father’s Creation. You see it as simply a physical manifestation of physical events in a physical universe that are purely random, that have no intelligent design to them, and on and on.
Now, going into the book, we’ve just spoken about the ornate frame and the small picture in it and the call for looking at the picture and not the frame, and it continues …
The other picture …1
… the one without the ornate frame …
… is lightly framed, for time cannot contain eternity.
Remember, Reality is what is present in this other picture. Because this other picture is the relationship you have with your Father in which your relationship is not denied in any way. So what’s there is eternity. What’s there is Reality. What’s there is Creation in all of its perfection.
As I said last week, it only seems to be framed in time because you are looking at the other picture in which everything is in time and your frame of reference is time. So naturally, when you look at this other picture from within time, you will think it is framed in time, even though it isn’t. The minute you say, “But Father, I want to know the truth here. I want to experience Your Perspective.” The moment you do that, you’ve reached beyond time. You’ve stepped outside of time. You are ceasing to hold everything to the time standard that you’ve been using in your special relationship.
When you choose to look at this other picture, you’re choosing to abandon orphanhood. You’re choosing to abandon the mutual agreement you’ve made with another to do that which blinds you to your divinity.
And so …
The other picture is lightly framed, for time cannot contain eternity. There IS no distraction here. The picture of Heaven and eternity grows MORE convincing as you look at it.
Okay, if you want it to become more convincing, you’ve got to look at this picture more consistently.
What does that mean?
It means you’ve got to look at your relationship with your Father more consistently. You have to actually, instead of saying, “Well, everything that’s happening is the Father’s Will, everything that’s happening is for a holy purpose even if I don’t know what it is,” instead of saying that, which claims that you know …[chuckles] you know what’s real, you say, “In spite of what I think … in spite of what I believe all of this is, in spite of the fact that I believe that it’s all Your handiwork, what is the truth here Father?” You see?
You must challenge any confidences you have about how things work and certainly, you must challenge those things that occur that are a call for correction. And beware of sort of giving cart blanche to these things that call for correction by saying, “Well, the Father will … the Holy Spirit will turn it to my advantage.” You see? Or, “The Father knows what He’s doing, I will be patient and let these things unfold on their own.” No.
None of this has anything to do with becoming passive and just letting life roll over you or roll past you or just sort of happen without any commitment on your part being brought into play where you say, “Well, I can look at it this way and in fact, when I do it, it seems somehow to be working better …” But see, when you do that, you’re neglecting the key thing: You’re neglecting your part where you say, “But, Father what is the truth here aside from my best theories, aside from my best judgments, aside from the conclusions I’ve come to from past experience which says You’re doing this Father and it’s all for a good purpose, WHAT IS THE TRUTH HERE because I want to see the correction that the call for correction is calling for.” You see?
The picture of Heaven and eternity grows MORE convincing as you look at it.
Meaning as you more consistently look at it, as you dig a little deeper into the Father, you might say, “But Father, tell me more. But Father give me more of an experience than I’m presently having. I want to experience the more of what You’re Being right here. I want to experience more of the Meaning of these things than I’m experiencing because sin, sickness and death haven’t disappeared from my experience. So I can’t afford to just sit back and passively let the movement of life occur, thinking it’s You, Father. I’m going to push for the clearer evidence of it being You, the clearer evidence that is going to show up as the end of an aging process, that’s going to show up as the correction of a disease or the healing of a disease, or of more hair growing back on my head or as less sag to my breasts or my derrière or my tummy.” You see? Where more of the equilibrium and balance and equipoise of being is actually occurring, recognizable in a picture. You see?
The picture of Heaven and eternity grows MORE convincing as you look at it. And now, by REAL comparison, a transformation of both pictures can at last occur. And each is given its rightful place, when both are seen in relation to each other.
You see? The moment you can see that the miserable picture in the ornate frame is a picture of a relationship of two misguided Sons or Daughters of God who are believing what is unbelievable and untrue and are therefore suffering sin, disease and death along with all the other vagaries of life, and you likewise, because you’ve been practicing the holy instant, are experiencing the other picture and experiencing yourself in your relationship with your Father which therefore qualifies you as an inhabitant of the Kingdom of Heaven because you have discovered you are and always have been a holy Son or Daughter of God, in that clarity about the two pictures side by side, you become disillusioned. You simply become disillusioned.
To be disillusioned is to be free of delusion, free of illusion, it’s to be back in your sane and right Mind. And that’s the point.
The dark picture, brought to light, is not perceived as fearful…
… of course, while you were only looking at it and believing the frame and operating in your existence on the basis of all the details of the frame, the experience was fearful. Fear and guilt, remember, came into existence simultaneously the moment you acted on your decision to divorce your Father.
But when you are willing to look at the two pictures and disregard the frame, and you see the misery of the one and the unreality of it, you might say, and the beauty of the other and its Reality and its new definition of you, wow … the dark picture is not frightening anymore because you’re not fooled any more. And you can just simply see that it’s meaningless. Truly, you can simply see it.
The dark picture, brought to light, is not perceived as fearful…
… even though forever it had been …
… but the fact that it is just a PICTURE is brought home at last.
“Oh-h, my God, it’s a picture of a ‘Tidal Wave’. It’s gonna get me, it’s gonna get me! Oh-h no, it’s just a picture. [Chuckling] Whew!” Okay … you see? When you recognize that it’s just a picture, all of the misunderstandings that accompanied thinking it was real will immediately vanish and you will immediately feel relief. That’s just the way it works. And that’s what this is about. And that’s why we’re talking about it.
And what you see there you will recognize as what it is; a picture of what you THOUGHT was real, and nothing more.
To be very specifically correct: It is a picture of what two of you thought to be real and agreed were real and governed your actions and emotions and talk, according to. You see? But again, it’s a picture of what you … the two of you thought was real, what you imagined was real and nothing more.
For beyond this picture, you will see nothing.
When you take a view of Creation and then you back-off from it and create a definition of it, and give new meanings to it, and you do this in partnership with another, and the two of you begin to behave on the basis of that … well, you’ve withdrawn from Reality. It’s like you’ve gone into a little box that you have filled up with imaginations, and there is nothing behind it. You’ve withdrawn into a terrible, tiny state of privacy that there is nothing beyond.
Now on the other hand … the other picture … well, I’m going to put it this way: I want you to imagine a wall. You’re in a small room. There’s a wall and there are two pictures. The room is dark. The fact (and you don’t know about it) but the fact is that there’s a small picture with a large frame … you know, on the wall in front of you. You don’t know it’s there because it’s dark. And next to it there is an equally shaped and sized frame, you might say, that is a hole in the wall where there’s a piece of glass and there’s also a shutter behind it so you cannot see through it. And you sit there and suddenly the light goes on in the room and the shutter opens on the little window that’s looking outside and then the light goes off and the shutter closes again. And you say, “Oh, I just saw two pictures.” You see?
The picture on the left with the ornate frame has nothing behind it. It’s just a piece of paper with an image printed on it or painted on it or … you know, but there’s nothing behind it, nothing behind it. The other one though, when you are looking at it, you can become confused about and think that because it does have a little frame around it that it’s also a picture, but you couldn’t look at it long enough to realize you were not seeing a picture on the wall but looking through to something behind the frame, behind the place where a picture appeared momentarily when the lights came on and the shutter opened, before they closed. You see?
… what you see there you will recognize as what it is; a picture of what you THOUGHT was real, and nothing more.
That’s the picture on the left.
For beyond this picture, you will see nothing.
That’s the meaning of that. But in the holy instant you look and you at first think you’re looking at a picture in that moment of communion with the Father or the Holy Spirit when you are inspired with a clearer sense of Reality, you will still think you are looking at a picture. But it isn’t. There is something more than that. There is something beyond that. There is something to the right and the left and above and below and behind. And there are Sons and Daughters of God living who are not caricatures of Sons and Daughters of God. You see?
The picture of light…
… the one on the right …
… in clearcut and unmistakable contrast, is transformed INTO what lies beyond the picture.
In other words, the moment you begin to realize, “Oh, wait a minute, this is three-D, this is not a picture,” then your attention will be pulled beyond the frame. And so what you misunderstood to be a picture becomes transformed in your mind by realization of the truth of the situation that there is a greater Reality for you to let yourself into. And you will abandon naturally the sense of there being a picture. And you will move into the fuller experience of what the Reality is that you had first thought was a picture.
As you look on this, you realize that it is NOT a picture, but a REALITY. This is no figured representation of a thought system, but the Thought Itself.
You see? It’s not a caricature, it’s not a definition made out of nothing. It’s Reality Itself. It’s the Idea of God’s itself.
What it represents is THERE.
You see? A picture represents something that isn’t there. But this that you at first think is a picture, you realize represents what is really there and is not a picture at all. This is you coming back into your right Mind. This is you having clarity returned to you. This is you coming into a full sense of the real Meaning of everything so that it’s no longer possible for you to feel fear and guilt because you’re experiencing everything as What it really Is.
The frame fades gently, and God rises to your remembrance…
… the whole point of the holy instant, of the two-step …
… God rises to your remembrance…
… God’s not brought to you for the first time. No, you knew the truth, we’ll say, in the beginning. You knew the truth before you decided to play around in the realm of imagination. And even while you played around in the realm of imagination you still knew the truth, but not remembered. Now you’re beginning to remember. That’s the whole point.
The frame fades gently, and …
… what do you begin to remember?
… God rises to your remembrance, offering you the whole of creation in exchange for your little picture, wholly without value and entirely deprived of meaning.
You see? As you’ve made this shift, and you have more diligently and persistently chosen for the holy instant, Reality and Eternity have become more interesting and a more desirable thing to give your attention to. And everything that had meant something to you in the other little picture with the ornate frame will begin to be utterly meaningless. So meaningless that you find yourself not attracted to it, not intrigued by it, not having any curiosity about it. You see? You find yourself becoming free of it.
As God ascends into His rightful place and you to yours, you will experience again the MEANING of relationship, and know it to be true.
Let us ascend in peace together to the Father…
… now there’s a key word there that you might overlook and once again it’s the foundation point. The meaning of the word is “relationship.” The word is, “us.”
Let us ascend …
… you might like the word “ascend” and the word “peace”
Let us ascend in peace together to the Father…
… but the key word is the word “us.”
Let us …
… who … you and me, who are choosing for the Father’s perspective.
Let us ascend in peace together to the Father, by …
… giving Him ascendance in our minds.
Whew! Yeah, I know, that makes it sound like you’re going to have to become some holy-something-or-other that’s going to be some kind of a weirdo. Anyone going around all day long with an awareness of God in their mind and who are choosing to look at everything with the intent of discovering God right there, well, that’s got to be somebody you don’t want to be. That’s got to be somebody that will not fit in. And that is the conditioning … the evil conditioning of the special relationship.
You’re not going to become weird. You’re going to be more in touch with everything that’s going on. You’re going to recognize when change needs to occur before there’s a problem. You are going to recognize what a Brother needs before he or she utters a word. You see?
And so you will be able to be utterly appropriate in significantly meaningful ways. But nothing that stands out like a sore thumb.
Let us ascend in peace together …
… by the Father …
… to the Father, by giving Him ascendance in our minds. We will gain EVERYTHING by giving Him the power and the glory, and keeping no illusions of where they are.
Where are the power and the glory? They’re with the Father. They’re with that which is the Creator—the present, ongoing every-Present Creator of existence, of you.
They are in US, through HIS ascendance.
Now does this mean that God is raising Himself up—ascending? No, but in the ascendance of God in our minds, in the ascendance of your willingness to give God your attention, that’s how the glory and the power show up in you, show up in us. It’s that simple.
They are in US, through HIS ascendance.
They are less in us when we choose for the special relationships, and we are overwhelmed with guilt and fear.
What He has given is HIS.
When there are no illusions about that, you will let yourself be infilled with His … with what He has given, because you won’t be claiming a right to do it on your own. It’s that simple.
What He has given is HIS. It shines in every part of Him, as in the whole. The whole reality of your relationship with Him lies in OUR relationship to one another.
Okay, so now you might say, “Well, okay, maybe I won’t be a weirdo because I’m thinking about God all the time and trying to see God in my Brother and in everything and experiencing blessings from that. So maybe I won’t be such a weirdo because of that. But now you’re saying that the whole reality of our relationship with Him lies in our relationship to one another. So now we’re back to this issue of caring and having to find our Brother and Sister to be worth the time it takes to care and pay attention so that I might know because of my connection with my Father what my Brother needs, what my Sister needs, what fulfills purpose in our being in relationship to each other.
“Yeah, so now I’m going to instead of being the sort of private individual who never got in anybody’s way and who handled himself in a way that at least was indirectly blessing to others, now you want me to do things that are going to cause me to have a new reputation, where people are going to say, ‘Well, you know she was quite a recluse … you know, in her later years she just sort of faded into her apartment and … you know, but now you know what? . . she’s out and she’s finding ways to actually be involved with her Brothers and Sisters. And you know what? I don’t know what’s happened to her, but she is really spot-on or he is really right on the beam with whatever he or she brings to the relationships they are in or he or she are in.” You see?
The whole reality of your relationship with Him …
… in your relationship with the Father …
… lies in OUR relationship to one another.
You see? The Course spoke of, “looking into your Brothers’ eyes and remembering God.” Well, that’s the wonder of it. It’s also perhaps the one thing you hoped wouldn’t have to be part of it. You hoped that maybe you could just quietly let yourself into the Kingdom of Heaven by not being an unpleasant presence in the presence of others.
But now I’m saying there’s more to it than that. This unpleasant aspect of actually having to be involved with each other is coming into play. Because if you’re not involved with each other in the practice of wishing to see the Presence of God there and asking God to reveal Himself there in your Brother and Sister … why? So that you can become a transformational presence in their experience or maybe not transformational, what about just meaningful as though maybe joy and love and peace and pleasure in your involvements with others might be what the whole thing is about, because in that you will remember God and in that you will come back into your right Mind.
But you will come back into your right Mind, not because your right Mind was important to you, but because your Brother or Sister’s right Mind was important to you. And so you devoted yourself to finding ways to illuminate your Brother and Sister’s right Mind. It’s a simple and simply beautiful arrangement that the Father has put in place as the means of your coming Home.
The holy instant shines alike on all relationships, for in it they ARE one. For here is only healing, ALREADY complete and perfect. For here is God, and where He is only the perfect and complete CAN be.
It’s the one place where God’s laws govern. It’s the place where God’s laws prevail. It’s the place where harmony and peace and joy and love are in escapable.
So, I know that in the recent past when I’ve spoken about the holy instant, you’ve loved it. At this point, what the holy instant means, what it stands for, what it’s function is and what it will release you from is clearer than ever before because we’ve been willing to look at the little picture with the ornate frame and instead of letting the ornate frame distract us from the ugliness of the picture itself, we’ve been willing to look at the picture.
And the stark accurate recognition of what the picture is, is the most significant thing you can take hold of to promote the willingness if not the commitment to practice the holy instant, which you already love the idea of. You just haven’t had enough provocation. But now you do.
Now you can practice the holy instant with much more spontaneous willingness and it will bless you greatly.
I love you all. And I look forward to being with you next week.
T17.4 Perception and the Two Worlds ↩
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