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You know, whenever there is development, whenever something new comes along that replaces something old that came prior to it, whatever was characteristic of the old tends to be carried over and become part of the new in this way: When the automobile was first invented, it replaced a carriage drawn by horses of one sort or another. And so, when the automobile came along it was called what? The horseless carriage. And in fact its design was very similar to a horse-drawn carriage, it’s just that it had a motor instead of a horse to draw it.
Now as time passed, the horseless carriage began to be seen as an entity in its own right, you might say, an automobile that did not refer back to what came before it.
Now the reason I’m mentioning this is, that we could have made this teaching perhaps more interesting and more palatable, more stimulating, more inviting, if it were something that stood in advance of where you were and helped you become more, something that you weren’t before. And in fact, many “New Age” teachings, many metaphysical teachings do present you—man, woman, mankind—as a creature developing or, I’m going to say, as a spiritual entity developing … much like the theories and the origin of the species by Darwin, where the species developed and slowly became more than it was before: More intelligent, more functional, more dominant, and so on.
But you see, if you are just a spiritual entity developing, spiritualizing itself, developing so as to become more God-like than it was before, bringing out more of your potential than you had before, if we adopt that kind of theory, then you have no promise of success, you just have hope of a positive future because the context that is being used to consider it, suggests a progressive developmental movement of being.
Now many of you, because of your prior associations, prior concepts, the things you’ve learned, the things that were taught to you, approach the Course as though it is here to help you spiritualize yourself more. And it’s not. And you must understand that it’s not.
Now, I’ve used a saying many times. It’s this: You are neither behind the point of perfection nor advancing toward it. You are at that point and must understand yourself therefrom. You see? You must understand yourself from the standpoint of your being already perfect, not moving toward perfection, not developing. You see? Either you are the Son or Daughter of God, either you are perfect or you’re not. But there’s no becoming perfect.
And you know what? You’re lucky. It’s fortunate that you can’t become perfect because it means that the experience of perfection is available to you without your having to earn it, without your having to stand tall and be more than you can be.
It’s important to understand that this is a journey without distance because you’re starting from the destination, whatever you imagine the destination is. You see?
We’ve talked about your being the Sons and Daughters of God. And then two of you deciding to play, I’m going to say—have a little imaginative fun. And I promise you it happened in the sense of play. It did not happen in the sense of a dark motivation to overthrow your Father. No. You decided to play with making up your own definitions and making commitment to them. We’ve talked about this at length.
Now when that happened, when you did that, you seemed to become unconscious of your divinity, unconscious of your infinity, and you became plagued with fear and guilt. And then you got entrapped into overcoming fear and guilt as though that were the purpose of being. That’s all. You, the holy Son and Daughter of God, moved into imagination and decided to serve your imagination and you never for an instant became less than the holy Son or Daughter of God.
Therefore, you do not have to regain your position—your status, your holiness. It never left you. You have just been ignoring it. It is essential to understand that you’re not regaining a position you lost. You’re reawakening to a position you had chosen to ignore. That’s all. And that’s a fantastic and important difference because it makes the possibility of Waking up to your divinity easy, because it’s natural to you, because you never stopped Being the expression of God. Do you see that?
Be with that for a moment …
Now, we spoke last week about the fact that once you believed that you got a divorce from your Father and that you were independent and on your own, you used this particular aspect of your infinite presence—the one you call “your body”—as a means of stabilizing yourself in your independent state. You used it and continue to use it to make yourself safe, to exert control over others so as to keep yourself safe. You use it to carry out acts that arise from your fear and your sense of guilt.
And so your body, which is the visibility and tangibility of your divine individuality, you use it in a manner opposite to its function and nature. And that use that you put it to absolutely binds you to your ignorant state of mind. You are using it in a way that keeps you from remembering who you Are because it keeps you from remembering God. Why? Because every use you put it to is used to verify and substantiate your definitions, not His.
You use your body to verify you, not the Father. And yet your body and all of Creation has one function and one function only: To glorify God—to represent God, to manifest God—not by any power residing in the body, but by virtue of the body and you allowing it to be what it is and to let its function to be activated, energized, directed by the Father now … now … now … now … in every moment.
Now we also discussed last week that the way to Wake up is to abandon using your body this way. To abandon using your body for defense and to abandon using it for defense because you realize that fear and guilt are meaningless. They do not arise out of your sanity. They do not arise out of your holiness.
And they will not be experienced when you are joined with the Father or when you are joined with the Holy Spirit—which is nothing more than your right Mind, another way of saying that it’s nothing more than your sanity.
Do you see how important this simple point is? It’s the Good News. And it’s the good news that you can understand, although it’s not the good news that you might be able to maintain a conscious awareness of with consistency. But the point is, that once you know this truth, once you know of its significance, you have a starting point from which to insist upon more and more consistently being joined … more and more consistently choosing to say, “Father, what is the truth here? Holy Spirit, what is the truth here? What is really going on where I seem to see matter, where I seem to see a material world? Help me experience the Kingdom of Heaven that you’re telling me it is.”
And then let that desire to see the Kingdom of Heaven where a material world and universe has seemed to confront you forever, let that be in the forefront of your conscious awareness over and over and over … continuously … continuously … continuously … because it’s important to you to not be misperceiving, especially when misperception is the only thing standing in the way of your seeing a restored limb or a restored breast or a straightened limb or straightened teeth—evidences of perfection that reflect the nature of God right there in front of you.
What does it say here in the book?1
You can stretch out your hand and reach to Heaven.
Does that mean you can reach out in space, out into the heavens, out to wherever Heaven is? No. You can stretch out and reach to Heaven because whatever you touch, your body, the table, a glass of water, a flower—whatever you touch is the Kingdom of Heaven, the visibility and the tangibility of the Mind of God.
But more than that, you’re beginning to understand by virtue of the explanations that are in the Course and that I am sharing, that when it appears that you are touching something in front of you, it’s all Mind … it’s all going on in Mind as a conscious experience of Being. When you touch a book, when you touch a table, you are touching an idea and you are touching it with your attention whether it’s called your finger or your arm or your body that you’re embracing your wife or your lover with or a tree or whatever. You see? It’s all a conscious experience that seems, we’ll say for convenience sake, to occupy space.
But it’s the infinitude of Mind in which it is all going on—the infinitude of your Mind—the infinitude of you as Mind experiencing Creation infinitely because your Mind is the manifestation of the Mind of God. It’s the Presence of the Mind of God. Important. It’s not a manifestation … like God plopped a manifestation out there in the ethers and it was your mind.
No. God Being, we’ll say, in the ethers is the Mind that you are experiencing as the conscious experience of Being. But it’s also the Mind that a frog or a rock is experiencing as the infinite conscious experience of Being in which you are part of that rock’s or that frog’s conscious experience of Being. It’s all One but it’s all Mind.
You can stretch out your hand and reach to Heaven.
You might call that new knowledge—a new awareness, a new perspective.
You whose hands are joined have begun to reach beyond the body, but NOT outside yourselves, to reach your shared identity TOGETHER.
You, who are purposely engaged in the holy relationship, have begun to reach beyond the body. What does that mean? You’ve begun to reach beyond the meanings you’ve applied to the body—the definitions you’ve given and the purposes that you have assumed your bodies have. You see?
How is it that you’ve begun to reach beyond the body?
Well, because you have said as two who are joined in a holy relationship, you have chosen not to try to join together with each other as bodies, but you have chosen as individualities, individually, to say, “Father, what is the truth here?” You have decided to practice the holy instant. You have decided not to gather your understanding of things from your memory or the teachings of others or even of each other. And you have decided to gather the truth of Being directly from the Father, or we’ll say, His agent, the Holy Spirit—which is nothing more than your right Mind held in trust while you have been dallying with the ego.
Now I’ve said these things before, I’m saying them again so as to bring them into even clearer and simpler focus.
You whose hands are joined have begun to reach beyond the body, …
… this thing you’ve used for self-protection and coercion and control but not outside yourselves, not outside yourselves to each other across the room from each other, but from within, by saying, “Father what is the truth here?”
… have begun to reach beyond the body, but NOT outside yourselves, to reach your shared identity TOGETHER.
… the oneness of the conscious experience of Being in which all is embraced and experienced as consciousness or Mind.
Could this be OUTSIDE you? Where God is NOT?
Is HE a body, and did He create you as He is not, and where He cannot be?
No. The sheer logic of it says no.
You are surrounded only by Him.
You are surrounded only by the infinite Mind that God Is, which, when It Moved, caused the infinite conscious experience of Being in which all was embraced and in which all was complete and in which all was perfect. And in which not one tiny aspect was excluded from any other. And all was embraced in an infinite conscious experience of Being together that constituted Oneness.
What limit can there be on you whom He …
… God, the infinite Mind that is the Movement that constitutes your Being …
… encompasses? Everyone has experienced what he would call a sense of being transported beyond himself. This feeling of liberation far exceeds the dream of freedom sometimes experienced in special relationships …
… the “high,” the “hit” of undefendedness, we’ll say, against each other, lack of defense against each other even though there’s no attempt to be joined with the Father which is the holiness and sanity of your minds. And in that experience, you find yourself experiencing limitlessness.
This feeling of liberation far exceeds the dream of freedom sometimes experienced in special relationships. It is a sense of actual ESCAPE from limitations.
It’s a hint of truth, but it’s not truth because it isn’t the result of the holy instant. It isn’t the result of actually consciously joining with the Father desiring to experience His Perspective about this one you’re in relationship with.
If you will consider what this “transportation” really entails, you will realize that it is a sudden unawareness of the body, and a joining of yourself and something else in which your mind enlarges to encompass it.
Yes. But be careful. You will realize that it is a sudden unawareness of the body not because the body isn’t real, not because it doesn’t have any divine actuality, but because in that transportation into an enlarged conscious awareness of things, you have forgotten the need for defense. And without the need for defense, your body, although it is there, does not register with you as being significant because it’s no longer relating to you in terms of your safety.
And so, although it is there and able to function perfectly in any way you need to be, it’s not there for the purpose that it was before. And therefore, because that’s really the only recent meaning or definition of the body that you’ve been employing, it seems to be absent. It’s just not preoccupying you anymore—neither your body, nor the body of another—because you, in your defenselessness, private though it might still be, you feel the peace of Being. You feel the capacity to love. You feel the ability to embrace and you feel the ability to be embraced.
Again, this gives you a hint of the actual effect of the holy instant. Remember the times that that has happened with you, so that you might remind yourself that there’s justification in practicing the two-step now… in practicing the holy instant now.
It becomes part of you, as you unite with it. And both become whole, as neither is perceived as separate. What really happens is that you have given up the illusion of a limited awareness, and lost your fear of union.
You have given up the illusion of a limited awareness. You’ve given up the illusion of being a finite body whose function it is to protect yourself and become something more than you have been. And in the process, dominate intelligently, coerce wisely, be in control independently. And that’s what the holy instant is about releasing.
The love that instantly replaces it EXTENDS to what has freed you, and unites with it.
It extends to the one you’ve decided to be in a holy relationship with. Mind you, the uniting that occurs is between you and the Father, between you and the Holy Spirit. And the two of you who are in the holy relationship are not focused on the relationship with each other. You are focused on, I’m going to say, using each other for the benefit of having a reminder to turn to the Holy Spirit in every instant before engaging with your partner in the holy relationship. You see?
The holy relationship that you want to be in is not primarily a relationship one-on-one between you and another. Always the holy relationship with each other comes into being as each of you individually has a mutual agreement—have decided to ask, “Father, what is the truth here.” Each of you has agreed to let your primary mode of operating—of being with each other—be joining with the Father first, or asking of the Holy Spirit first. And then looking at each other and responding to each other from the clarity that comes. And that is your holy relationship.
But you know what? It’s a gift. It’s not something you’ve created. Oh, and it’s a gift of newness. It’s a gift of regeneration, of redemption. It’s a gift of the return of sanity.
The love that instantly replaces it …
… when you’ve given up the illusion of limited awareness …
… EXTENDS to what has freed you, and unites with it. And while this lasts, you are not uncertain of your identity, and would not limit it. You have escaped from fear to peace, asking no questions of reality, but merely accepting it.
You see? When you’re still independent, when you’re still in the orphanage and when you’re suffering and you want to get out, you do turn to the Father and you ask of the Father, “How can I change that bastard in room 223 down the hall, who simply will not stop bugging me?” You see? You ask for help while providing the process that must be followed in order to answer your question. You try to get Reality to respond to you and change things for you with your limited perception being what governs the appropriate conclusion [chuckles] of, you better get what you’re needing because if you don’t get that then you might as well of not asked … right?
But the incredible thing is, that when you abandon trying to tell the universe how to treat you well or how to make things better for you, and you abandon the control and the definitions you would like to exert, in the absence of that, in the absence of willfulness, in the peace that replaces it, the Father’s Perspective comes and provides you with the clarity of what you need to do, of how you need to change the way you’re using your body, how you need to change the way you’re using your mind so that it becomes humble, quiet, yielding. And then in the absence of the disturbance created by your willfulness, the natural harmony of being with the fellow down the hall will emerge and in fact the structures of the orphanage will begin to disintegrate so that you might rediscover that you are the holy Son of God, the holy Daughter of God and never stopped for a moment.
You have escaped from fear …
… and I’m going to say, and guilt …
… to peace, asking no questions of reality, …
… providing no determinations to it, not leading it to get it to do what you want.
… asking no questions of reality, but merely accepting it.
Accepting it because in the absence of your willfulness and all the disturbance it does to your perceptions you suddenly can see the truth, feel the truth, see things as they Are.
You have accepted this INSTEAD of the body, and have let yourself be one with something beyond it, …
… what does that mean—you have accepted this INSTEAD of the body? It means that you have accepted this, the Father’s Perspective as the determiner of your experience, rather than the use you would put your body to so as to be the determiner of your experience.
Doesn’t mean you’ve discarded the body. Doesn’t mean that you’ve come to a point where you see it’s totally an illusion and worthless, useless, meaningless. No. It just means that you’ve accepted the Father’s Perspective as the determining factor of what you see and what you understand everything to be instead of the body and the purpose you have given it, …
… and have let yourself be one with something beyond it, simply by not letting your mind be LIMITED by it.
You see that? It’s by an undoing, by a non-doing …
… simply by not letting your mind be LIMITED by it.
So you stop using the body unintelligently. You stop using the body in a way that is at odds with the Father’s intent for it. You abandon it. You let it go. You cease using it. And in that, what’s happened? You’re no longer providing the definitions, the mean-spirited, self-protective uses and actions that you think it’s for. And in the absence of those—which limited you—peace is yours and a new perspective is yours, and your relationship with this one you want to have a holy relationship with is enhanced because your relationship with the Father has been activated and persisted in. It’s simple.
This can occur regardless of the physical distance which seems to be between you and what you join; of your respective positions in space; and of your differences in size and seeming quality.
See? All of those would be what you would call physical attributes—distance, size, et cetera. Course, more size, more force, more size, more successful manipulations and control. You see? And all of those things are irrelevant because the things that seem to have size are nothing but ideas fulfilling a purpose God has placed in them as they function in and relate to all of Creation and its harmony and its fulfillment.
Time is not relevant; …
… in that conscious experience.
Time is not relevant; it can occur …
… the clarity …
… with something past, present or anticipated. The “something” can be anything and anywhere; a sound, a sight, a thought, a memory, and even a general idea without specific reference.
And in actuality all of those things are ideas.
Yet in every case, you joined it without reservation because you love it, and would be with it.
You see? So here’s the thing: If you want to experience the Kingdom of Heaven confronting you right now, instead of the material world and universe that you think is confronting you, you’ve got to want to join with it. In joining with it you’re going to be validating it, not invalidating it by calling it an illusion. And by being willing to join with it, you abandon all of the justifications you have for not joining with it, which are the mean-spirited definitions that you’ve applied to it, causing it to seem to be not the Presence of God, causing it to seem to be a material world and universe. You see?
So it’s imperative that you not be calling anything that’s confronting you an illusion. You may be seeing a misperception, but you’re misperceiving something holy.
Yet in every case, you joined it without reservation because you love it, and would be with it. And so you rush to meet it, letting your limits melt away, suspending all the “laws” your body obeys, and gently setting them aside.
There is no violence at all in this escape. The body is not attacked, but simply properly PERCEIVED.
You see? To call it unreal, to call it an illusion, to dismiss it as meaningless is to attack it.
The body is not attacked, …
… in this …
… but simply properly PERCEIVED. It does not limit you, merely because you would not have it so.
Right now, you all would have it so. You would have it limit you because it’s only in this use of it that it can seem to protect you. And being protected is the all important thing. Why? Because of this darned fear and guilt that came into play when you tried to be independent—and you think it’s real instead of meaningless. You see?
It does not limit you, merely because you would not have it so.
You would not have it limit you. You are not using it for the old purpose any longer. Now:
You are not really “lifted out” of it; it cannot CONTAIN you.
And therefore, it never has contained you.
… it cannot CONTAIN you. You go where you would be, gaining, not losing, a sense of self.
You see, in this process of doing the two-step and of having your vision transformed, is an experience of increase in all ways as the fullness and wholeness of being is returned to your conscious awareness because you’re not blocking it any more. You’re saying, “I want it.” You’re looking at the things in your world and you’re saying, “I want the perfection that’s there, that I’m not seeing. I want it. And I refuse to continue to use my mind in such a way that holds that in bondage to definitions I’m applying to it that are not true. I want to know the truth about that thing. Father, I will be quiet and listen for Thy Voice. I wish to Know the truth. I wish to join with what is Real about that thing that up until now I thought was a material, mortal object that had nothing whatsoever to do with reality.”
You go where you would be, gaining, not losing, a sense of self. In these instants of release from physical restrictions, you experience much of what happens in the holy instant; the lifting of the barriers of time and space, the sudden experience of peace and joy, and, above all, the lack of awareness of the body, …
… as a means of defense, as a means of control, as a means of protection and ultimately as a means of not having to be joined with the Father, because staying joined with your body and the definitions you’ve applied to it, are by your definition exactly what will provide you with your salvation. And your definition of salvation is to become a whole-souled individuality on your own. Impossible.
… the lifting of the barriers of time and space, the sudden experience of peace and joy, and, above all, the lack of awareness of the body, and of the questioning whether or not all this is possible.
You see? You can nit-pick the Father to death, you might say. You can nit-pick learning to death, by questioning whether it’s possible, by wondering if you’re capable of it. Are you up to the task? You see? All of these things are relevant to someone developing … the development and transformation of the species, whether it’s a physical species or a spiritual entity. These questions are simply distractions from saying, “Father, Thy Will be done. Father, what is Thy Will? Father, what is the truth here? I am going to neglect to provide the definitions any longer.”
It is possible because you WANT it. The sudden expansion of the self which takes place with your desire for it is the irresistible appeal the holy instant holds. It calls to you to be yourself, within its safe embrace.
Its safe embrace is the embrace, which provides you with the clarity of truth. It isn’t the place where you can come up with a better definition of truth on your own. And that’s what makes it safe.
There are the laws of limit lifted FOR you, …
… by the Holy Spirit—which is nothing more than your right Mind. Which means that it’s done for you by that which you divinely Are and which you are no longer significantly blocking and thereby, your sanity is returning.
There are the laws of limit lifted FOR you, to welcome you to openness of mind and freedom. Come to this place of refuge, where you can be yourself in peace.
Where you can be the self you Are, which is revealed to you when you abandon your attempt to be what you are not, by means of using your body for a purpose it was not intended—self-protection and defense.
Come to this place of refuge, where you can be yourself in peace. Not through destruction, not through a “breaking out,” but merely by …
… listen to this: …
… a quiet “melting in.”
Humility: The state of being humble. “Thy Will, not mine be done, Father. I wish to Know the truth that You are Being in the constant Movement of Creation. I no longer am interested in my definitions. I’m no longer interested in confusing myself by creating definitions that are at odds with Reality. I’m tired of the “hit” of apparently expressing authority. And I will let You be the Mover of Creation that You Are. And I will let myself be Moved by You.”
For peace will join you there simply because you have been willing to let go the limits you have placed upon love, and joined it where it is and where it led you, in answer to its gentle call to BE at peace.
Now in many ways the words that we’ve read this evening are much gentler than the ones we’ve been reading for the last few get-togethers. But it doesn’t change the fact that the beauty of the blessing of the holy instant can only be experienced when you engage in the holy instant.
And remember to let your Brother or Sister, with whom you’ve joined for the purpose of a holy relationship, let your Brother or Sister be the reason you choose to turn to the Holy Spirit and practice the holy instant, so that your relationship with each other is changed by God’s design, by the design of the sanity of your Being and your partners Being, which is one in actuality. You see?
I love you all. And I look forward to being with you next time.
Sparkly Book – p438, 3rd Full Par.
JCIM p.183, 4th Full Par.
CIMS p369, Par. 58
Chapter 18 – Section: BEYOND THE BODY
First Edition p360, Last Par.
Second Edition p387, Par. 10
Chapter 18 – Section: DREAMS AND THE BODY \ ↩
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