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Good evening. And welcome to everyone who’s joining us on the Internet.
I want to start off tonight considering three words: Transformation, regeneration and redemption.
Certainly, most anyone studying the Course would feel that the Awakening—the coming into the conscious experience of truth in which you’re withholding no part of yourself from—would be considered to be a movement of regeneration, of transformation and redemption. But for some very strange perverse ego reason, one only allows those words to apply to what one calls, oneself, but not one’s body, not one’s world. And so, you are going to be, I guess in your mind, transformed and regenerated and redeemed.
And as I’ve been talking about for quite some time now, that concept has to be abandoned.
It’s your world that is to be regenerated, transformed, redeemed. You can see the call for it on the world’s scene today. And you say, “Yes, things need to be done. Yes, injustices have to be abandoned. The way things are done need to be changed. But you know what? Somehow that doesn’t have anything to do with what the Course is teaching because everyone says the Course says, ‘the world is an illusion’ … right? So obviously fixing things up here doesn’t have anything to do with Awakening—with coming back into your right Mind.”
If it doesn’t, and if Awakening is all important, if the transformation of your Mind is all important, so that you become clear about what is truth and what is illusion and in that process the world is going to disappear, then one might say what’s the use in trying to correct these things? Let Greece have its problems, let Africa have its problems and let it all collapse! After all, let’s let the illusion show itself for what it is and let it fall apart.
Well, I’ll tell you something: If you’re going to take that stance, don’t use the Course as your justification for it. The Course talks about the call for correction. The Course says that either everything is love or a call for love. If something is going on in the world, are you going to say that’s not a call for love? And are you going to abandon it? If something is going wrong apparently with your body, are you going to say it’s not a call for love, it’s not a call for transformation? And just let it collapse and apparently collapse you?
If you do, don’t claim that it has any justification in the Course and don’t say that you’re doing it because you are a follower of the Course.
Now you know, I’m saying this with a soft tone of voice. I’m speaking rationally, I’m speaking intelligently and I’m speaking calmly. But, hear it as though I’m shouting it. Hear it as though it’s the most important thing you could ever hear and hear it as though what I’m saying tells a truth that is transformational and relevant to the here and now.
What makes the world and universe a material world and universe?
It’s the fact that you refuse to look at it and say, “Father, what is there about everything that I’m seeing that You have made? What is the truth about everything that I’m seeing as You experience it? How does Creation—which I’m either seeing truly or through a glass darkly—how does it appear from Your Perspective, from the Meanings You are Embodying in it?” You see? You’re not saying that. And so as a result, you’re neglecting to be in a state of attention where the Father’s Perspective could register with you.
“Oh, it’s not … the Father doesn’t have any perspective about this, it’s all illusion!”
Well, you know what? It’s not the Father’s Will, it’s not my will, it’s not the Holy Spirit’s Will for you to believe and become governed by such loveless concepts. And it’s not the Father’s Will for you to succumb to the suffering that accompanies consciously embracing a perspective about everything that isn’t true!
Now, we’ve been discussing the fact that it’s the Holy Spirit’s purpose to bring truth to your attention. And mind you, if the Holy Spirit is nothing more than your right Mind, then it is your right Mind—your divine Mind, your real Mind—that has the intent to illuminate the truth to you so that you are changed, so that your perspective changes, so that your attitude changes.
Now, what is truth? Is it an indisputable fact? Is truth like a statement that’s unalterably forever what it is? Is it a bit of information?—that’s what I want to ask.
Well, a lot of people think it is. And when I’ve said ask, “Father, what is the truth here? Holy Spirit, what is the truth here?” you sometimes think that what you’re supposed to be asking for is a bit of information—some sort of intellectual string of characters, of letters, of words, of symbols that mean something unchangeable, unalterable.
Well it’s a lot more than that. Think about it. The synonyms for God … are they bits of information? Let’s take the word, “love.” Nothing flat about love. Love is a living thing, isn’t it. It’s something that moves. It is embodied. It is expressed. And it comes out as affection. It comes out as caring, which are followed by actions of affection and caring. So love is a living thing.
What about life? Another synonym for God. None of you thinks that life is a bit of information. It’s a living moving thing. Dynamic.
Well, what about truth? From what we read last week, truth is something far more than a bit of information. Truth is alive. And when you ask, “What is the truth here, Father—what is the truth?” you are asking to have what is true revealed to you because you’re choosing to listen beyond your best judgments. And as we discussed last week—as it said in the Course—truth becomes an active presence that changes you, not through reason, not through logic, not through intellectual processes, but by revealing the Father’s Will, by revealing the Meaning of everything that the Father is Embodying as that thing in any given moment. And this experience of what a thing really is, of what the Meaning of God’s Creation is, has an effect that you can block or you can embrace. And if you embrace it, it transforms you. Its function, its living function is to cause a change of mind through realization. You see?
So when you say, “Father, what is the truth here?” and you wait for a string of words that explain what the truth is, you’re going to miss the point—the depth and breadth of it at least—because the fullness of the Meaning of God in any given thing is the truth that will be revealed to you when you become defenseless against it. And it will change you. And that is how you will Wake up. And that is how your right Mind will begin to re-register with you, as You.
Now, we’ve also discussed extensively the fact that your mind is not here to use to accomplish things with. The human condition—the dream-world—is the result of using your mind to make things happen. “Father, I’d rather see it my way.” “Father, I’d rather do it myself.” “Father I would rather determine what everything is and so I’m getting a divorce from you so that I might function on my own and do things with my mind to make things happen.”
Well, here’s the interesting thing: When you do things to make things happen that are different from what God is Being, then you are in an act of miscreation, you’re in an act of altering Creation that’s already in place and actually can’t be changed at all. But you are busying yourself with making things happen the way you think they ought to happen and mean what you think they ought to mean.
And so doing things with your own mind is constantly an act in opposition to the Father’s Will, the Father’s Perspective, and Creation itself. The result is a life of sin, disease and death, a life of struggle as well as the ego satisfying activity of trying to overcome the suffering, trying to actually succeed at doing the impossible so that one might get the hit of satisfaction at having accomplishing something on one’s own.
Just a moment … this is me, Paul, for some reason I’m not being able to gather all three of the words, so he’s going to continue just using two until I’m not blocking it …
Raj: I started out by saying that I wanted to talk about the words, “transformation … blank … and redemption …”
Paul: Yes, thank you …
“… transformation, regeneration and redemption.”
One might think that by my saying you need to remember those words—to consider those words—that I am suggesting that in doing so, you will be using your mind to make healing occur, to make something happen, which is not the way you can make something happen. The only way you can “make something happen” is by getting out of the way and saying, “Father, reveal to me… Holy Spirit, disclose to me the truth here” and let it be revealed to you.
Now, the reason I’m stressing the words: Transformation, regeneration and redemption, is to give you something to occupy your mind other than what you’re confident about. “My body is a material body, everyone’s body dies … my body will die. I can’t expect healing.” You see? “It’s getting older” or “there’s been injury” or whatever, and you have a script that you play out. And you believe the script. And you don’t have a script that will cause you to shift your attention away from your confidence in sin, sickness and death and its control over you in favor of the transformation, regeneration and redemption that it is your Birthright to be experiencing.
If you don’t have an alternative, we’ll say, to the confidences you have that kill you, then you have no means of escape.
And so I’m reminding you that you can’t afford to forget about: Transformation, regeneration and redemption. Remembering them causes you to be able to challenge successfully whatever confidences you have in the worst that can happen to you and the way the material universe and material body works.
By remembering those words it helps you turn your attention where? To better thinking? To better, more powerful ideas? Or to the silence within where you can ask of the Father, “What is the truth here?” Where you can ask of the Holy Spirit, “Reveal to me my Birthright, right here, right in this world. Reveal to me the intent that my Father has placed in the visibility and tangibility of my individuality that I call, ‘my body’ or ‘my neighbors’ or ‘my friends’ so that I might entertain the truth about them and thus lay the groundwork for transformation, regeneration and redemption to register with me and to register with my friend or my lover or my neighbor or my world … or the country next door.”
You are sick, you sin, you die not because you’re in a material world or in the middle of an illusion, but because you are lazy in your use of your mind and you’re accepting things that aren’t true without challenging them. And I’m here to say … you know, “get a little guts,” challenge these things. Contradict them, not as though you’re contradicting something real, but as a means of tuning your mind, you might say, so that you have justification to say, “Father …” you see, abandoning your independence, “Father,” or “Holy Spirit, what is the truth here? I’m not going to practice my false, negative thinking. I’m not going to practice the mean-spirited nature of the ego, which does not have my best interests in mind. I’m going to shut up and stay quiet until the truth is revealed to me—the living truth that has as its intent and which has the power to change my mind and change my experience of body, world and universe.”
The Dream and the Reality1
To substitute is to ACCEPT INSTEAD.
To substitute is to ACCEPT INSTEAD. If you would but consider exactly what this entails, you would perceive at once how much at variance this is with the goal the Holy Spirit has given you and …
… would accomplish FOR you.
This is so key. It’s not something you will accomplish. It’s something you will let the Holy Spirit accomplish FOR you. Why? Because this is the way you disengage from the act of independence that you have been carrying out. An act of independence from what? From the Father … from your holiness. You see? When you stepped away and you said, “Father, I’d rather do it myself, I’d rather determine what everything means for myself, you accepted what instead of what? You accepted your so-called authority in place of the Father’s Will.
It’s laughable. It’s something that you couldn’t actually do. And it’s something you’re not actually accomplishing but you are creating an experience of dissonance and suffering and struggle together with the promise of success at overcoming it, which goads you on but you never accomplish.
So, Waking up is a matter of abandoning your substituting yourself and your will for the Father’s Will—the original and only sin, the original and only mis-step, mistake.
To substitute is to CHOOSE BETWEEN, renouncing one in favor of the other. For this special purpose, one is judged more valuable and the other is replaced by him. The relationship in which the substitution occurred is thus fragmented, and its purpose split accordingly.
Okay. Now mind you, you can miss the point if you think that this is addressing a relationship between you and your Brother or your fellowman or another human being.
The relationship in which the substitution occurred is thus fragmented…
… the relationship between you and the Father is the one where it occurred. And that’s the one that you’re experiencing as being fragmented. And that’s the one that has to be corrected in order for your relationships with each other to be brought to equilibrium, peace and holiness.
The relationship in which the substitution occurred is thus fragmented, and its purpose split accordingly. To fragment is to exclude, and substitution is the strongest defense the ego has for separation.
Now if this is the case … well I’m going to say this first: If you forget or overlook the fact that the only real substitution that seems to have occurred was when you disengaged from the Father, you will begin to address every relationship you have with each other and you will seem to be faced with an impossible task. I mean, after all, how can you get every one of your Brothers and Sisters to stand in agreement with the God’s honest truth? But that isn’t where you must address it.
Before you join with your Brother or Sister, before you engage actively in relationship with your Brother or Sister, you need to stop, practice the holy instant, become still—stop your thinking, your reasoning and your valuing of your personal capacity to do these things—and say in the silence of you, “Father, what is the truth here?” You see?
That’s the way you undo the one and only false step that was taken that has seemed to make everything else so complicated.
What I mean to convey here is, that the answer is so simple. The answer is: Stop thinking for yourself, silence yourself and in the silence ask, “Holy Spirit, what is the truth here? Holy Spirit—that which is nothing more than my right Mind—what is the truth about me? Reveal the truth about me, which it is your purpose to do, so that the living truth registering within, to me, can change me and undo my attempts to be an independent agent and therefore, result in the eradication of all of the suffering I have experienced and seen and which will put me in a position to look into my Brother’s eyes and remember God. And thus, I will say, secure for myself the blessing I would extend to my Brother and we can be healed together, which is the only way it works.”
“Healed” ah-h, that magic word, um-m … transformation, reconfiguration, redemption. That last word is the best, “redemption.” It means bringing something back to its original state—redeemed to its original state.
Do you really believe that that’s your Birthright? “Oh, somebody else can have a miracle, someone else can have a tremendous healing, but no I’ve done too many things. I’ve been unprincipled. I don’t deserve it.” You see? There’s your script! There’s the very script that you needed to bite your tongue on when the first words started out, and say in the silence of your not speaking, “Father, what is the truth here, above and beyond what I feel confident about, what is the truth? What is the transformational truth? What is the redemptive truth? Let truth come to me and…change…my…mind, which will change…my…script. It is not that it will give me a new script to use that will be better than the old one—a script for me to use independently—but the script which is the conscious experience of what truth is, so that in the awe of its experience I’m spontaneously lifted out of the confidences I had about what couldn’t possibly happen to me.” Do you see?
The Holy Spirit never uses substitutes.
You see? If the Holy Spirit used substitutes He would have to substitute something unlike God instead of God—something different from God instead of God. The Holy Spirit can’t do that. The Holy Spirit is your right Mind. The Holy Spirit is your sanity, established in you by the Father, which you’ve been ignoring while you dally with the ego. Right? But:
The Holy Spirit never uses substitutes. Where the ego perceives one person as a replacement for another…
… or one holy Son of God as a replacement for his Father—it doesn’t say that.
Where the ego perceives one person as a replacement for another, the Holy Spirit sees them joined and indivisible. He does not judge between them, knowing they are one.
Whew … that’s not something each of you really wants to know. There are some people you know, that you don’t want to consider as being one with you. And so that’s your script! Not realizing that in daring to look at the Brother you would not want to be one with in an undefended manner, asking of the Father or the Holy Spirit, “What is the truth about my Brother? How can I look at my Brother and remember God instead of remembering all of the shitty things that he’s done, and all of the ways he’s hurt me and hurt other people and taken advantage of me.” You see? And you carry this grievance.
You can’t see God in your Brother’s eyes unless you’re willing to abandon your grievance, because somehow you realize that the practice of your grievance keeps you insane, keeps you in a state where you’re unable to see the truth that would bring great joy to you. Why? Because not only would you be seeing the truth but because you would be experiencing your own sanity returned to you. You see? And the two of you could rejoice together, which is what is supposed to happen.
The Holy Spirit never uses substitutes. Where the ego perceives one person as a replacement for another, the Holy Spirit sees them joined and indivisible. He does not judge between them, knowing they are one. Being united, they are one because they are the SAME.
The SAME. They are all God Expressed.
Substitution is clearly a process in which they are perceived as different. One would unite; the other separate.
What does that mean? Well, it depends on the teacher you’re listening to. If you’re listening to the Holy Spirit, the function and purpose and result is one of uniting. If you’re listening to yourself, your independent self, which is called the ego—that which acts without a concern or consideration of anything outside itself—then you are engaging in that which separates. You see?
Again, the answer is simple. It’s just black and white. It’s thinking for yourself or letting the Father reveal the truth to you so that your knowing of the truth occupies your attention, your attitude, your measuring stick. But it’s not you measuring, it’s you watching the Father measure His Creation and understanding it from His Perspective. That’s the simplicity of it.
Nothing can come between what God has joined and what the Holy Spirit sees as one.
Um-m, remember though, the Holy Spirit isn’t something out there seeing something as one. The Holy Spirit is, that which is nothing more than your right Mind seeing everything as One.
As I brought up so often, it seems very insulting to have to abandon your personal skills and everything that makes you credible to you, to abandon that, for listening to Someone else, or Something else for what truth is. And yet, that which you’re listening to—the Holy Spirit—is nothing more than your right Mind. And so listening to It is not abandoning your self to something else, it’s abandoning your self to your capital “S” Self, which constitutes an integration of wholeness that once allowed into your mind again will never leave. And the integrity of God, the integrity of the universe is experienced as inseparable from the integrity of you.
That’s what the Course is about. That is what all of this is leading to. It’s leading to, you becoming defenseless enough to let truth register with you and in the vitality and aliveness of truth, being changed by the Movement of truth. It’s you abandoning your precious self-control and acquired skill at controlling everything else, in favor of letting yourself be controlled by something that initially you can’t see as your Self, but which is, as I keep saying, that which is nothing more than your right Mind. And therefore, yielding to It constitutes a yielding into your sanity, because it constitutes an abandoning of every intent you have to act independently, which is exactly what creates and has created the experience of illusion.
That’s what the Course is teaching in a nutshell. And although it’s very many pages long and discusses very many topics it all boils down to this.
Now, as you watch the world news, you see there’s a call for change, don’t you. You very likely feel the call for change or you very likely are repressing the feel for the call for change. Because there is, I promise you, a need for change, whether you’re feeling it or not.
Why am I saying this? I’m saying this so that you might realize that to have a goal to finish the Course is not a very good goal today—it’s not a very good goal on any day. The goal needs to be the practice of what the Course is teaching. And the Course is teaching to stop doing what doesn’t work and start doing what does work. And don’t make that process so complicated that you don’t think you’ll ever be able to accomplish it … because it’s simple.
Instead of speaking for yourself, say, “Father, what’s the truth here?” and persist, because that is the most important thing. That is the way the exchange of the dream for Reality will occur. And you can do that today. That is not a difficult process.
The practice of the two-step or the holy instant is easy. You shut up and in the silence you ask, “Father, what is the truth here?” and then you listen. And you have the intent of not wanting to act until you’ve heard, so that a seriousness about what you’re doing takes hold of your act of engaging in the holy instant and it’s not just some flip, off-handed act. “Oh, Father, what is the truth here? Oh, oh-h, oh-h … I can’t wait any longer than this, I’m going to go ahead.” You see?
Now you may have to go ahead and act, but it’s got to be your intent to let your every act arise out of a connectedness with the Father or with the Holy Spirit, a connectedness with your sanity because that’s how you Wake up. And the world you’re in is where you’re going to Wake up. The world you’re in and the body you’re experiencing is where transformation, regeneration and redemption are going to occur. You see?
The good news is that it’s not complicated. The good news is that you have plenty of wonderful opportunities every day, in your world right now to do it.
Now, you know what? You probably think it’s going to take scholars or people who understand government to bring about changes that need to occur. And I’m telling you that that’s wrong. [Addresses everyone around the room] You, you, you, you, you, you, you, you, you, you, you may be the ones who have ideas that are transformational and regenerative and redemptive.
God did not create Creation as a giant puzzle for you to figure out. It’s not supposed to be hard. But if you choose to try to figure it all out all by yourself on your own, it is going to be experienced as exactly what you’re experiencing. But it doesn’t have to.
In this process of considering transformation, regeneration and redemption, let the possibility be, or shall I say, be sure you’re not arguing against some significant part you will play in the process of transformation, regeneration and redemption.
It’s not the bad guys that need to be transformed or it’s not only the bad guys, it’s the good guys—it’s you guys.
Now let’s stop grousing about what a shitty mess the world’s in and how poorly it’s been handled and how greed has governed everything and put everything down the toilet. I mean, what kind of script is that? What’s going to be the evidence of that script? The evidence of that script is going to be something that doesn’t look like transformation, regeneration and redemption. It’s just going to add to the turmoil and it will block your mind, your presence of mind, from experiencing the revelation of the answer.
And I’m telling you the answer is not complicated. The answer is Love. The answer is simple humanity expressed because someone cares enough to express it by looking into his neighbor’s eyes and remembering God, instead of what he chooses to remember, which is all of the bad things he has done and all of the things that he has done that have caused your life or the world to become bound in, an almost impossible situation to get out of.
Again, what a script! Watch your script. Not because it will make things happening, but because your script will keep you from remembering the truth.
The minute you stop arguing against the Kingdom of Heaven, the moment you stop arguing against your holiness by abandoning your every attempt to act independently with power, God’s truth will register with you because you’re not blocking it! That’s the simplicity of it.
So, you, everyone on the globe is in this wonderful fertile soil of opportunity to ask to see the truth, let it be revealed and then spontaneously act on the basis of the clarity of the truth that has changed you and allows you to be the inspiration for others doing the same thing.
Now, the subject of this Chapter, The Dream and the Reality isn’t just an interesting chapter in a book, it’s about today, it’s about you, it’s about Waking up and it’s not about doing it with difficulty. And that’s what I want everyone to remember and put into practice this week.
I love you all. And I look forward to being with your next time.
T18 The Dream and the Reality ↩
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