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Well … In the beginning was the Word and the word was with God and the Word was God.1 And God, the Word, moved and the Movement was called Creation. The Movement is called Creation.
No matter how you’re seeing that Movement, whether clearly or through a glass darkly,2 it is the one and only Movement there is.
Creation, and this may sound a little silly, but Creation was created to work, not fail. Being created by the only Presence there is, God, there was no flaw in in it and therefore, again, no matter how you are seeing it, it is still the one and only Creation unflawed, perfect, unalterable, always reflecting its Source.
Now, why would I say that Creation was created to work, not fail? I say it because you look at the world and universe sometimes forgetting that it’s really Creation unflawed. And in your ignorance of what It is—in your temporary memory loss—you determine what It is and you don’t see It as perfect. And you see It as something flawed, something threatening, something dangerous.
And so you need to be reminded: No, that is not the truth about It. The truth about the world and the universe you are experiencing every day is that It is Creation, that It is God Moving. God isn’t in It, but It, in every aspect, reflects its Source, the present living Movement of God.
Now there was a time when you were experiencing It as exactly what It divinely is. And as we’ve discussed many times, you arrived at a point with an ally—a partner, another Son or Daughter of God—where the two of you said, “We would rather make up the definitions of what everything is. We would have fun giving an alternative meaning to everything.” And so you decided to get a divorce from the Father.
As I’ve also said before, when this happened, because your Mind was whole, because your Mind was the Mind of God embodied as You, this decision you made was made with great confidence. You were full of the experience of omnipotence as well as omnipresence. And so to engage in this activity was done without fear. This is important.
Now, the moment the two of you joined in your mutual agreement to make up the meaning of everything between the two of you, something happened, as I’ve said, that you didn’t expect. That was, that unplugged from your Source—not relating to your Source anymore—you lost the infinite view and you seemed to be identified with the specific visibility and tangibility of you that you now call your body, which is part of the infinitude of Creation. And in that experience of tininess of shape, of form, that is what it is and is not what everything else is, two things entered into the picture: fear and guilt and they colored every subsequent thought you had—every subsequent thought the two of you had.
And so your whole experience of the Kingdom of Heaven, which was still the only thing available to you to be experiencing, occurred through the lens of fear and guilt.
Now here’s why I’m going over this again because I want to explain it in a very simple way that it will be difficult for you to forget. When you abandoned the infinite view, when you said “Father, I’d rather do it my way,” you did it with great confidence—without fear. And it was easy to do. Now, from the other side where everything is colored by fear and guilt, any attempt you make to go back Home will be colored by fear and guilt. You will not find within you the confidence, the strength, or the fearlessness to return Home to reunite with your Father with commitment.
Mind you, this is not a punishment, it’s just inherent in the point of view. It’s like looking in the wrong end of binoculars. Everything isn’t tiny and far away because you’ve done something wrong, it’s just the nature of looking through the lenses in reverse.
So don’t be surprised that it seems to be laborious to go Home, as you attempt to bring commitment to bear upon your experience.
The practice of the two-step, the practice of the holy instant is a practice which goes against the fear and guilt that color everything you see and do. The decision to reach outside your best judgments and to say, “Father, Holy Spirit, what is the truth here, what is the truth beyond what I’m seeing?” when you do that, that act is an objection to the frame of mind in which fear and guilt govern—the orphan mindset.
Understand this and you won’t mind the effort that it seems to take. And because you now are clearly aware that it’s inherent in, we’ll say, the direction that you’re moving from—it’s inherent in the arena you’re moving from and will be present in the movement in the direction toward which you’re going—you can invalidate it. You can say … you can realize, “this experience of fear and guilt that I’m having which tends to immobilize me is not valid. It’s inherent in the trip back Home because it’s part and parcel of my believing that I’m separate and apart from God … that I’m not holy, that I am a quirk of nature, of the physical universe.”
So, let’s look at it this way: Why don’t you engage in the holy instant constantly? This past week, even though you may have engaged in the holy instant many times, why didn’t you stick with it? Why didn’t you persist? Why didn’t you escalate it to the point where it was your constant activity? Even though you’ve been told that it’s the way back into your right Mind, even though you’ve been told that the result will be the influx of the Father’s Perspective—the holy Mind of God—infilling you as your conscious awareness of everything, even though you’ve been told that that is the result, why haven’t you dared to persevere? Why hasn’t that been sufficient justification?
Well, because you need to cover your ass! It’s because you need to protect yourself against real danger, whether mental or physical. And you cannot comfortably abandon what you have thought provided you with safety even if it’s in order to Awaken and share the Father’s Mind.
Your fear is paramount and it becomes such the closer you get to abandoning self-control. I mean by that, controlling everything yourself by the acts and decisions of your mind. When you get close to actually abandoning that, it causes fear because you’re giving up your armor. You’re giving up what has—you thought—provided you with safety.
And so where it should have caused pangs of fear to think about getting a divorce from the Father and it didn’t, likewise, returning Home should cause joy and commitment and it doesn’t. You see? You could say it’s almost a mechanical aspect. But because it is, it doesn’t really have true emotional value. It’s just a knee-jerk reaction. Start for Home? Fear and guilt! “Can’t do that! Gotta protect myself! Don’t have time for that, circumstances call for my attention to protect myself! Oh-h…gotta be sure I don’t do anything which makes me look like a fool to all the other orphans—to the ones I’ve joined in mutual agreements with to be alone—to be in this place where fear and guilt are automatic partners and governors of my experience!”
But you see, the perception is untrue and the suggestion that you can’t afford to abandon protecting yourself by engaging in the holy instant is false. And you’ve got to realize this. You’ve got to remember it!
You know, when you rely upon yourself, as we’ve said, you are engaging in faithlessness. When you are abandoning this self that you think you are and reaching beyond it into what you feel is the unknown, reaching out and asking of the Source of Being—your Father—“What is the truth here?” you are practicing faith, even though faith has an overriding underlying absence of confidence in it and doesn’t feel like anything powerful or motivating or anything that could cause something else. But that perception, that conclusion, that line of reasoning is false and you must go against it.
Now, the Course in Miracles may not in itself be something that you can practice. A Course in Miracles is an expression of ideas, which move you in the direction of an action you can take. And that action is the holy instant—the practice of the holy instant.
You may have thought, as we’ve discussed as well, that the practice of A Course in Miracles is to express love to your neighbor no matter how the neighbor is behaving, no matter how the neighbor is perceiving himself or yourself, truly or untruly, it’s learning how to love him and not be bothered—not be moved by the behavior or the concepts being expressed. But if you’re not moved by it, no correction can occur, can it? You become one cooperating with the ignorance, confirming it by not objecting to it or not contradicting it.
No. The call is for Love. But not for you to be loving. And when I say loving, I mean not you fulfilling the concepts of what love is. You see? Not fulfilling your best judgments, your best ideas about what love is. No.
If you want to express love, you’re going to have to engage in the holy instant. You’re going to have to do the two-step, which is instead of speaking and expressing loving thoughts and loving appraisals of your Brother without correcting the problem, instead of that, you shut up! And you go into the silence within you. You stop dealing with your Brother whose expressed, we’ll say, a call for Love and you say, “Father” or “Holy Spirit, what do I need to know here? What needs to be said? What is the truth here? I will not rely upon my best judgments in response to this situation. I want to hear from You and I will listen until I do.”
When you hear … what you hear will be loving—will be the expression of Love that hits the mark and acts like a catalyst transforming the call for Love into a receipt of Love on the part of your Brother. You see?
Well, what if the call for Love seemed to be an inconsiderate or mean-spirited or threatening action directed toward you by that Brother? You might say, “Oh I don’t have time for the holy instant here. I’ve got to protect myself.” You see?
No you don’t. Practicing faithlessness is never under any circumstance justifiable because the practice of faithlessness effects nothing! It brings nothing into greater clarity. It causes no movement into greater harmony and identified fulfillment. You see?
Protecting your ass keeps you in the orphanage. Protecting your ass keeps you in the arena of faithlessness. Nothing else can it do. It’s that simple. It’s that absolute. And as you let that percolate, as you let that sink in, you will begin to have a capacity that arise in you to persist in the holy instant. You see?
You’ve got to wrestle with the angel that looks like a devil. You’ve got to look squarely at the call for correction. You’ve got to look squarely at the call for Love that seems to be something other than love. And you have to persist in at looking at it squarely in the face while you say, “Father, what is the truth here? Father what is the truth, what is the divine fact that is going on right where a call for Love, which is unpleasant, seems to be going on?”
You see, caring for your Brother means persisting in seeing the God’s honest truth right where an unruly or unpleasant or threatening Brother seems to be, because mind you, God created Creation to work. And so It is working. If that is what It was created for, that is what It is.
And so, the God’s honest Son of God that just seemed to express a call for Love, is the God’s honest Son of God in spite of his insane behavior that seems to claim that he is not the holy Son of God created to work and therefore, actually working as [chuckle] designed.
Loving your Brother is standing there, not abandoning him and not abandoning your need to know the truth so that you might be free of the insinuation that’s being presented to you, that this one is not the Son of God and he’s not worth persisting in the holy instant, he’s not worth being the one that causes you to reach for your Sanity, your perception of Reality unwaveringly until you see it. And then because you see it, spontaneously share it with your Brother. You see?
A Course In Miracles is not a lot of soothing thoughts and ideas to make you comfortable in the human condition. And the words that are in the book are not there to be memorized, but are there to—in thousands of different ways—move you to a point of realization that you want to practice the holy instant because it’s the way Home. And you want to be in your right Mind and you’re willing to do whatever it takes. And now it’s clearer than ever that what it will take is an act which will be accompanied by fear and guilt because there’s no other way to go back Home than to do it through territory governed by fear and guilt. You see?
However, the fear and guilt are illusions and the penalties and threats that are thrown at you as potentials cannot be carried out. There is no lawgiver external from you making assessments and judgments and then holding you to the penalty. Only you and the partner whom you joined together with in getting the divorce from the Father have the means of focusing your attention unintelligently on illusions and believing them. But you are hearing clearly that the illusions of fear and guilt that raise their head as you dare to abandon your personal private control, is an illusion that cannot hold you back and cannot actually penalize you if you persist in the practice of the holy instant.
It’s that simple. Do you need to be afraid of all of this? No! But you do need to bring your curiosity out into the open. You do need to dare to take a chance at having some fun. You need to dare to experiment at Waking up. You need to not be afraid of It. And when fear and guilt pops its head up, tell it to, “go fly a kite,” or use any kind of words that you might want to use that disrespect the fear and guilt, that dishonor it, that treat it as though it is silly, meaningless and unworthy of your attention. And then give your attention back to the holy instant. Give your attention back to, what? The desire to know what is the truth here? What is God being right here? . . right where a sniffling child or an angry adult is making a call for Love, which doesn’t sound like a call for Love at all, it sounds like the start of a fight or an argument or a strong long drawn out disagreement.
No matter how pleasant a life situation you may have worked out for yourself or you seemed to have just fallen into, if you’re not Awake, then you don’t know the real meaning yet of harmony and peace and fulfillment. It isn’t just the absence of threat. It isn’t just the presence of comfort. My goodness, Creation is illuminated with the energy of Spirit, which is Love. It glows, it effervesces with the aliveness of Life and Truth and Love.
I have to be very frank … some of you might say I have to be very Raj: There is no justification for you to be complacently happy at any moment, no matter how pleasant everything is. If you are being complacently happy, you are indulging in stupid rest … which needs to be interrupted. It needs to be interrupted because the stupid rest doesn’t prime you for change. It doesn’t prime you for healing. It doesn’t prime you for Revelation. It’s rather like a tranquilizer. And you think you’re so well off. And although you’re not overjoyed, you are in peace and you’re not in fear, but you’re also not conscious. You are not experiencing that Mind in you which was also in me—which is also in me.
You’re not experiencing your Birthright as the Son or Daughter of God. And nothing should keep you from reaching for your Birthright. That’s what the Course is all about. It says: Establish a holy relationship with a Brother or a Sister and then, as the act which characterizes every part of that relationship, engage in the holy instant so that what you bring to that partner is what the Father is revealing to you is the truth about your partner as well as yourself, so that you are being together in an entirely new way, I’m going to say, at an entirely new level, not the level of ignorance anymore but the level of understanding, the level of Knowing, not thinking the truth, but Knowing the truth, that which is embedded in you forever as part of your comprehension of All.
Now, let’s understand something else: The movement back Home is one which will have fear and guilt dogging you at your heels. I encourage you to arrive at a point where you laugh at it because it’s only an insinuation that you’re guilty and that there is something to be afraid of. It’s only an insinuation that you need to pay more attention to the fear and the guilt than you do your goal of desiring to Know the truth about what’s going on, right where the human condition seems to be going on. You see?
Persistence … persistence with curiosity, persistence with frivolous laughter where you make guilt and fear a frivolous thing, not worth paying attention to or governing yourself by.
Now, because the practice of the two-step and the willingness to abandon self-protection—protection by means of your own hand—because fear and guilt accompany you as you get close to abandoning self-protection, one might have moments of fear that seem to persist if you’re not making fun of the overtures of the fear and the guilt. And if one is determined through self-will to not abandon all acts of self-protection as a maintenance of one’s integrity, this fear and guilt can seem to stretch out in time where fear and guilt are on the scene for more than a few minutes—could be for a few days or a few weeks or a few months.
Why? Why would this happen? It happens because you feel you need to cover your ass, and covering your ass is more important than anything else. Acting on the basis of your best judgments and your securing your independent integrity is more important than Waking up.
And so your insistence upon your will causes the holy instant to seem to be drawn out in time and for fear and guilt to seem to have hold of you. You see? When it’s really you insisting upon fighting for the right to defend yourself because you have more faith in what you can control than what the Father can do, which you don’t comprehend at the moment because you’re coming from the orphanage, the place of fear and guilt and weakness and so on.
This has often been called “a dark night of the Soul.” And I’m bringing this up on purpose because it indicates how one can take a simple experience of self-will carried out to an extreme, which can be easily corrected by abandoning the self-will and giving your attention to something else, like the two-step, the holy instant. It takes that simple act of self-will and turns it into a drama, I’m going to say, that seems somehow to be something you can go through.
You can go through “the dark night of the Soul.” It’s like you’re on your way south from Los Angeles and if you take a left turn you can go through the death valley, as though it’s a place that really has those meanings.
So a persistent act of willfulness has been turned into a general concept embraced practically world-wide that there is a dark night of the Soul which you can go through and actually probably will go through. And who knows how long it will last. You see? Because who has anything to do with it? Not you of course. It couldn’t possibly be a simple act of persistent self-will, refusing to engage in the holy instant and practice faith and be the presence of faith which creates miracles. It couldn’t be something that simple, right?
So be careful. Don’t purpose the idea of a dark night of the Soul. Don’t suggest it. Don’t repeat it. Because it misses the point entirely and makes it seem as though it is a complicated thing that you’re not responsible for, that you must just put up with until somehow it matures you or spits you out on the “other side,” transformed. When at the best it’s just caused you to take a little bit more self responsibility than you were taking when you initiated the ongoing act of willfulness to protect yourself so that you could take credit for the victory and add that to your list of things which document your credibility. You see?
Things are simpler.
We’re not going to go into the book tonight, although I’m going to suggest that during the coming week you do read to the end of this section.
But more than anything, I am inviting everyone to practice the holy instant as consistently as possible throughout the week, without determining that there are times in which you have the right to not have to work so hard, which really means you have the right to not engage in the effort it takes to really be conscious. You see?
Remember that, because you’ll realize that the desire not to be so conscious is a desire to be lazy, doped, drugged and therefore, unable to comprehend the miracle of Creation that is the only thing you’re confronted with at any moment. And so you miss the presence of God and the only justification you will ever need for practicing the holy instant permanently.
I love you. I love you all. And I look forward to being with you next time.
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