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A new Chapter [Nineteen]:
Beyond the Body1
That simply refers to what we’ve been talking about for the last couple of weeks: Moving beyond body identification to Mind identification, where you recognize that what you Are is conscious awareness in which the experience of body is going on along with all of Creation.
The function of the two-step is to move you beyond the body.
And so, beginning in the book:
We said before that, when a situation has been dedicated wholly to truth, peace is inevitable.
When a situation has been dedicated wholly to truth …
… well, when a situation has been dedicated wholly to truth it means you have abandoned your dedication to your best concepts, to your best judgments, to your best thinking.
So when you have abandoned thinking, when you have moved into the silence where silence is the only thing there is—awareness is the only thing there is—without a subject or topic of awareness, there always is peace. That is what meditation accomplishes: Moving you to that place where you’ve abandoned your preference to your best judgments and your best thinking, in fact, the act of thinking itself.
So it’s not terribly complicated to dedicate something wholly to truth. It means, like I said, to withdraw your dedication to your best thinking. So it’s simply moving into the silence. Not complicated.
Its attainment …
… peace …
… is the criterion by which the wholeness of the dedication can be safely assumed.
In other words, if you have arrived at a place where no thoughts are going on, where pure awareness is occurring, you’re aware of everything that is going on, but you’re having no response to it other than being conscious of it.
So the attainment of that shows you that the dedication has been complete.
Yet we also said that peace without faith will NEVER be attained, for what is wholly dedicated to truth as its only goal is brought to truth BY faith.
You are, everyone is absolutely smitten by his or her capacity to think and reason and come to conclusions. In fact, many believe that the act of thinking is what constitutes being conscious because they have yet to discover that they can be in the silence without thinking and be totally conscious.
Because of the dedication to thinking and reasoning and always being alert, so that you can protect yourself, you never bring faith into play. You’re always negating the need for faith by being on top of things—in charge of things yourself—by virtue of your thinking. But the simple fact is, that because you rely upon it for your safety—your capacity to think—it takes faith to be willing to abandon it.
Surprising maybe … but it’s the truth. You will never arrive at the experience of peace, without faith that everything will not collapse while you do it, without faith that you will not lose control or go crazy in the process.
So faith is always essential to arriving at a place where you are totally dedicated to peace because you are totally unhooked to your self-protection. So faith is necessary but it isn’t a humungous amount that is needed. A little bit of faith … a little bit of willingness to become silent is met with positive results.
Yet we also said that peace without faith will NEVER be attained, for what is wholly dedicated to truth as its only goal is brought to truth BY faith. This faith encompasses everyone involved, for only thus the situation is perceived as meaningful and as [a] whole.
When you’re doing the two-step, when you’re willing to shut-up, when you’re willing to say in the silence that ensues: “Father, what is the truth here?” you’re in a place without biases, without evaluations, without things that are better or worse than other things.
This brings everything into Oneness. This brings everything into the unity that it has always been in but which you haven’t perceived because you’ve been so busy protecting yourself by means of clear correct thinking. It’s a shame.
And everyone must be involved in it…
… in this willingness for peace and this experience of peace …
… or else your faith is limited, and your dedication incomplete.
Why? Because you’re still giving preference to some of your capacity to evaluate and to make sure while you’re daring to be silent that you’re not going to be vulnerable and end up being abused, attacked or mistreated.
Every situation, properly perceived, becomes an opportunity to heal the Son of God.
Every situation properly perceived becomes an opportunity to do the two-step. Every situation—anything that happens, anything that you are experiencing—is a prime opportunity for you to express curiosity and ask to understand beyond your present understanding and say, “Father, what is the truth here? Father what is your Perspective about this?” And at the bottom line, what you’re doing is using every experience as an opportunity to return to your Sanity. It’s that simple and yet, that profound, which makes it utterly justifiable to spend your day constantly asking, “What is the truth here?” so that you might observe what’s going on from your Sanity and behave relative to the situation from your Sanity. And thus have a healed experience in which harmony reigns—peace governs. You see?
Every situation, properly perceived, becomes …
… I’m going to say, a wonderful …
… opportunity to heal the Son of God.
… to see your Brother as the Son of God and not who he thinks he is, and not who you think he is. That means that every moment of your conscious awareness is a moment primed for redemption … a glorious thing. Something which, if you take advantage of it, will provide the occasion for healing after healing after healing. A wonderful thing to participate in.
Every situation, properly perceived, becomes an opportunity to heal the Son of God. And he is healed BECAUSE you offered faith to him, giving him to the Holy Spirit and releasing him from every demand your ego would make of him.
Now those of you who are students of the Course, I am sure have on many occasions, heard someone say, “Well, my daughter or so-in-so was having a problem and I turned them over to the Holy Spirit … I said, ‘Holy Spirit, I turn my daughter over to You. Holy Spirit, I turn this situation over to You.’” And then they went along their merry way, thinking that’s what it meant.
No. It requires a little more involvement than that. Your Brother, the Son of God …
… is healed BECAUSE you offered faith to him…
… not doubt, not pessimism, not your worst judgments, not even your conditioned good judgments that didn’t necessarily have anything at all to do with your Brother but you had adopted them as definitions. So, he …
… is healed BECAUSE you offered faith …
… not faithlessness …
… to him, giving him to the Holy Spirit and releasing him from every demand your ego would make of him.
In other words, instead of approaching your Brother, based upon your best judgments and your best concepts about him, you release him from that by turning your attention to the Holy Spirit and saying, “Father, what is the truth here? Holy Spirit, what is the truth here? Holy Spirit, reveal to me the holy Son of God that neither he nor I is seeing completely this moment.” You see?
You don’t take your Brother out there, and sort of shove him off on the Holy Spirit. You don’t just turn him over to the Holy Spirit and leave the rest up to the Holy Spirit. No. You turn your attention to the Holy Spirit. You say, “Father … ” you say, “Holy Spirit, I want to know the truth about my Brother so that I might stand in faith with him and be part of the transformation—the healing that is called for—because I’ve been willing to pay attention to You, Holy Spirit, in order to bless my Brother with Your Perspective, because I’ve been willing to listen … because I’ve been willing to be involved so that You, Holy Spirit, and I may be agents of change on behalf of my Brother.” You see?
That’s what giving it to the Holy Spirit means. It means no longer giving him to your best judgments or worst. But instead, giving your attention to the Holy Spirit to Know the truth about him. So that you might be the one who extends the consciousness of truth that embodies the faith you have in what he truly is, rather than what he believes he is and even rather than what you always thought he was. That’s the key.
Thus do you see him free…
No. Thus, do you see him free. You see? It doesn’t matter that “thus does the Holy Spirit see him free” because you released him to the Holy Spirit. No.
Thus do you see him free, and in this vision does the Holy Spirit share.
You’re joined with the Holy Spirit, that which is nothing more than your right Mind.
And since He shares it He has given it, and so He heals through YOU.
Now if you turn your Brother over to the Holy Spirit or his problem and you go off on down the street and tend to your business, how can He possibly heal through you when that is the means, that is the purpose of the practice of the two-step and the holy instant … so that you might be involved in Brotherhood.
It is this joining Him …
… the Holy Spirit …
… in a united purpose which makes this purpose real …
… you might say, which actualizes this purpose …
… because you make it Whole.
You make it whole by not walking off from it and leaving the problem with the Holy Spirit to solve. You make it whole by being present as part of it. Without you, without your attention, without your care, there’s a black hole. There’s an emptiness where you are supposed to be fulfilling your part in the wholeness and thereby discovering that the wholeness of Creation is not in the slightest bit separate from you.
It’s very important.
And this IS healing. The body is healed, because you came without it …
… meaning, no longer identifying with it and as it.
The body is healed, because you came without it and joined the Mind in which all healing rests.
In other words, you shifted from body identification to Mind identification in which all healing rests.
Healing and the Mind
The body cannot heal, because it cannot make itself sick. It NEEDS no healing. Its health or sickness depends entirely on how the mind perceives it, and the purpose which the mind would use it FOR.
Now if you have stepped beyond the body by shifting to Mind identification, then you will be using the body to identify the purpose which the Holy Spirit puts forth and gives for you to act out. It therefore, serves the Holy Spirit’s purpose, which is transformation, regeneration and redemption: Healing—the calling forth of the perfection that the Father, in the Movement of Creation, created and which, never for an instant, has been altered. You see?
Its health or sickness depends entirely on how the mind perceives it, and the purpose which the mind would use it FOR. And it is obvious that a segment of the mind CAN see itself as separated from the Universal Purpose.
It really is obvious isn’t it, you’re not Awake. You’re not experiencing invulnerability. You’re not experiencing interminable and unalterable peace.
[And] it is obvious that a segment of the mind …
… the part you’re using right now …
… CAN see itself as separated from the Universal Purpose.
It’s possible for a part of the mind to conceive that it has its own purpose and reason for being. And in fact, has a “God-ordained right” to practice and exercise it and succeed at its goals. So indeed, it is obvious.
When this occurs…
… this apparent separation …
… the body becomes its weapon…
… the mind’s weapon …
… used AGAINST this Purpose …
… this universal purpose …
… to demonstrate the “fact” that separation has occurred.
“Look at me! I’m on my own! I’m real and I’m going to do whatever I damn well please!” You see? The body is used to prove this stance, this imaginative but not actual stance.
The body thus becomes the instrument of illusion, acting accordingly; seeing what is not there, hearing what truth has never said, and behaving insanely, being imprisoned BY insanity.
There cannot be too many of you who have been joining me, who would argue this choice of words any longer. But you see, as long as you think you are the governing factor, the governing force, the authority and you think that you are here to make everything in your image, reflecting your likeness and your thoughts and your definitions, you are insane. Because your choice to see only what you believe constitutes a preoccupation with yourself, when everything, including you, has Meaning separate and apart from your definitions, Meaning embodied by the Father’s Expression of His Infinite Perfection.
When all you are seeing is what you want to see and you are wandering around in the middle of the Kingdom of Heaven seeing a material world and universe, you are experiencing temporary insanity, which it is your Birthright not to be experiencing.
Nevertheless, until you abandon this faith in your best judgments and your right to act independently as you believe you are, you have some work to do. Correction is called for and will continue to be called for until you answer the call. Practice some self-discipline. Shift from self-protection to the expression and embrace of Love. And by-so-doing, are transformed by the renewing of your mind, and you Wake up, and you fulfill the purpose of the holy instant, and you have the joy of being Whole.
Do not overlook our earlier statement that faithlessness leads straight to illusions.
What is faithlessness? It’s your dependence and devotion to the best judgments you can come up with, where you are not taking a single moment to silence your mind and inquire of the divine One within you to know what the truth is, and to arrive at the experience of truth without having relied in anyway upon a supposed capacity you have to think for yourself and be on purpose and experience fulfillment.
Do not overlook our earlier statement that faithlessness leads straight to illusions.
Thinking and reasoning on your own leads directly away from the conscious experience of truth and the conscious experience of Reality.
For faithlessness is the perception of a brother as a body…
… just as you experience yourself as a body.
For faithlessness is the perception of a brother as a body, and the body cannot be used for purposes of union.
What is it that can unite? Mind—that conscious awareness in which Love is the motive and action. That is the only thing that can embrace and that is the only thing that can use the body for purposes of expressing embrace and safety and the absence of need for self-protection.
If, then, you see your brother AS a body, you have established a condition in which uniting with him becomes impossible.
But you will inevitably say that your Brother and what’s wrong with him and how he behaves makes your uniting with him impossible. Not true.
Your faithlessness to him …
… your unwillingness to desire to see the Holy Spirit in him, your reluctance to see his holiness …
… has separated you from him…
… and always will separate you from him …
… and kept you BOTH apart from being healed.
Healing is the point. The experience of joined wholeness is the point. And the only time joining can occur is when your thinking isn’t getting in the way, is when your thinking has been set aside so there is room for the Holy Spirit to register with you and correct your perception and provide you with the joy of seeing who your Brother or Sister truly is, so that your spontaneous behavior then will embody that perspective and heal your Brother or your Sister, because here she knows that he needs or she needs provide no defense and therefore no armor against your presence, against the presence of the Love that you are being because you did engage with the Holy Spirit and not your best thinking.
Your faithlessness has …
… and always will …
Your faithlessness has thus opposed the Holy Spirit’s purpose, and brought illusions, centered on the BODY, to stand between you. And the body WILL seem to be sick, for you have made of it an “enemy” of healing, and the opposite of truth.
And how have you done this? By identifying with the body, and as the body. And then identifying your Brother or Sister, who is in need of help, as a body. And in that misperception of yourself and your Brother, there is no link through which to join in union and so you deny healing.
It cannot be difficult to realize that faith must be the opposite of faithlessness. Yet the difference in how they operate is less apparent, though it follows directly from the fundamental difference in what they are.
The difference between faith and faithlessness is that faith is the act and the state of mind which reaches beyond all present perceptions with the expectation of seeing a closer approximation of truth about your Brother or Sister. Faithlessness, on the other hand, does not involve any reach beyond the present sense of things and thus binds you and your Brother in a place where no change can occur.
Faithlessness would always limit and attack; faith would remove all limitations and make whole.
And you are the fulcrum. You are the choosing point. Which are you choosing for? Your historical best judgments? Or your non-historical, fresh, original, unpredictable influx or awareness of what is truly true of your Brother, which transforms you and him? It’s your choice. It’s up to you.
Practicing the holy instant is choosing for the unexpected influx of the conscious awareness of truth that changes you forever and lays the groundwork for your Brother or Sister to change. That’s the way it works. And it works that way because you don’t or didn’t turn things over to the Holy Spirit and go along on your merry way, but stood present and available and involved for the purpose of hearing what the Holy Spirit would reveal to you because it’s your function to be the place where healing occurs. It’s your function to be the place where the actualization of God’s Presence occurs wonderfully because you were willing to allow it.
It’s that simple. It’s that loving. It’s that kind. It’s that meaningful.
… preoccupation with your best thinking …
… would interpose illusions between the Son of God and his Creator; faith would remove all obstacles that seem to rise between them.
It wouldn’t settle for them. The seeming rise would not be believed. The seeming rise would be challenged. And love would promote the steadfastness and patience that would provide the opportunity for clarity to come where confusion had disturbed.
… your best judgment, your best thinking.
Faithlessness is wholly dedicated to illusions; faith wholly to truth.
Why is faithlessness dedicated to illusions? Because it’s dedicated to thinking, which has been used to imagine meanings while ignoring the Meanings that every single bit of Creation embodies and expresses at the impulse of Its Creator.
Partial dedication is impossible.
You can’t be a little bit in the silence and still be thinking a little bit.
Truth is the ABSENCE of illusion;
… like silence, peace is the absence of self-assertion, in which peace reins.
Truth is the ABSENCE of illusion; illusion the ABSENCE of truth.
Again, I must remind everyone that this is all not just simplistic, but actually simple. Every one of you is capable of being, of meditating and experiencing peace. It’s not complicated. It doesn’t take years of study.
It takes simply sitting down, relaxing, being present in the present, breathing or saying a mantra and giving your attention to the sensation of the air going through your nostrils or the sound of the word, of the mantra, and just letting your attention rest with that alone. And if you find yourself suddenly thinking … be aware of it … give yourself permission to think about it after the meditation and return to the mantra or the sensation of the air as it passes through your nostrils. And you will inevitably find that there will be a point where you will not be feeling the sensation of the air, you will not be saying the mantra. Nothing at all will be happening except pure awareness of everything that is going on in your environment—silence and peace.
You can make the mistake, we’ll say, of doing that and enjoying the experience and then immediately jumping up and going back to your normal activities. Or you can acknowledge and recognize this peace, this silence that you’re experiencing does not have to be abandoned. And you can gently re-emerge into the activities of your day bringing that peace with you. And the more you do this the longer the period of time in which the peace will remain with you and bless every activity that you engage in because perspective without fear is governing.
So what we’re talking about here is simple, easily attainable. But it requires a constant choice to commit to the peace, to commit to the joining with the Holy Spirit in the silence for the purpose of experiencing the revelation of what is true and what is Real that allows you to be new and allows your behavior to be new, where Love is what finds gentle expression all the time.
I love you all and I look forward to being with you next time. And in the meantime, practice the two-step more and more frequently because you really have nothing better to do than to take advantage of every moment that provides you with the opportunity to choose for the truth and be healed. You can do it right here in what appears to be a mundane world that holds no promise. That’s not the truth. Okay.
T19.1 Healing and the Mind ↩
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