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We’ve been talking quite extensively about faith and faithlessness. And the meaning of those words is taking on much deeper significance.
In the past, it was easy to think of someone as being a faithless person or a person with a great deal of faith. It was like the difference between faith and faithlessness were the presence or absence of faith. If you had faith, you were faithful … you had faith, you were positively oriented in the world. And if you were faithless, you lacked faith. You didn’t have a whole lot of faith and therefore didn’t seem to experience much of a positive attitude toward life.
But as we’ve been discussing it, and as A Course In Miracles has given greater definition to those words, these words have become transformationally significant.
Faithlessness isn’t just a matter of lacking faith—lacking a positive orientation. Faithlessness, as we’ve been discussing, is constituted of you approaching life, gathering the meanings of life, coming to conclusions about life entirely on your own, entirely through the use of what you would call your mind coupled with your imagination, coupled with your use of logic and so on. Meaning, that your practice of faith has not involved being joined with the Father or being joined with That which formed all of Creation. And as a result, your conclusions cannot be true because you have blinded yourself to the truth through your self-dependence.
Thus, what has been called faith is actually faithlessness. You have not brought the faith that dawns upon you, that infills you when you abandon your best judgment and your best reasoning’s and you say, “Father, what is the truth here?” That’s when you practice the holy instant. You could say that that opening to the Father and the request of the Father constitutes faith on your part. But the real faith is what is revealed to you in your state of innocent inquisitiveness in your reaching out to the Father because the Father infills you with faith. The Father infills you with faith by revealing to you the truth about your situation. You see? And as a result of that inspiration, you understand what you didn’t understand before.
Now, faith is you not relying upon yourself but leaning into the Father.
Faithlessness is you relying upon yourself, excluding the Father and causing yourself to misunderstand and misinterpret everything you’re experiencing.
We’ve called this state, the state of orphanhood because you’ve disassociated yourself from the Father. Faith, on the other hand, is when you reestablish your association with the Father and receive His inspiration.
Do you see that the practice of faithlessness—the practice of self-reliance as an independent agent—puts you in a position where the Kingdom of Heaven appears to you to be a material universe? On the other hand, the practice of faith, placing you in firm relationship with your Father, causes you—by virtue of the influx of realization that the Father gives you—to see the Kingdom of Heaven as the Kingdom of Heaven.
Now what does this mean?
Faithlessness isn’t just a lack of positive orientation. Faithlessness is an act of independence that causes you to seem to be in a material world and universe where what? God’s laws do NOT prevail.
The practice of faith, on the other hand, puts you in communion with the Father in the holy instant where God’s laws prevail. It is as though the difference between faithlessness and faith are dimensional. The practice of faith moves you into a dimension other than what you would call the three-dimensional universe where there is a material world, material events, life and death, etc.
Faith and faithlessness make all the difference in the world—make all the difference in Creation—as far as your experience of it is concerned.
“Be ye transformed by the renewing of your minds.”1 And renew your minds by enquiring of the Father.
Do you want to be free of sin, disease and death, suffering, hatred, jealousy—the endless list of suffering? Then stop practicing faithlessness. Stop relying upon yourself because that will keep you in a material world where all things are material and all things will die.
Or practice faith: Practice faith by putting yourself in communion with Something other than yourself which you give deference to because you know it is your Father, because you know it is God, because you know it is the infinite Intelligence. And join with commitment because you do want to have an experience of what can only be described as another dimension.
Here’s another way of putting it: The practice of faithlessness—self-reliance—is insanity. And the experience one has is insane because everything is misperceived. The way everything is experienced is skewed so that you are out of balance, not clear, always in a state of some degree of confusion where there is never really peace, where there is never really harmony, where there is never really wholeness. And yet those things are your Birthright.
Now what is the purpose of practicing the holy instant? What is the purpose of practicing faith—engaging in faith—engaging in that which will allow the Father’s Gift of faith to register with you? What is the purpose so that you might join with the Father, reinstate your relationship with Him from whom all of the Meaning of You is derived?
Why? So that you—in that joined attitude, in that joined actuality—might relate to your Brother or Sister with the Father’s Perspective that is provided to you as the Revelation of faith that you glean new understanding about yourself from, as well as your Brother. And you do this because to join with the Father is not to join just with the Father, but to join with Father is to join with your Family—your relationship with every other holy Son and Daughter of God—so that unity of Family is restored. Harmony of Family is restored. Uninterrupted love of Family is restored. So that wholeness, harmony, peace, perfection can be experienced by every single Son and Daughter of God.
You practice the holy instant so that you might be able to spontaneously engage in holy relationships with your Brother, with your Sister and with your world and everything in it—in which your Brother, your Sister, the world and everything in it are restored to perfect perfection. The uninhibited sharing and expression of Love and the embrace of Love that wouldn’t for a minute think to leave any part of the Brotherhood out of or outside of the clear perception of your Brothers and Sisters that the Father has shared with you—His Perspective—which it’s your Birthright to be experiencing.
So here we are. We’re faced with very simple but very clear opposites that it’s necessary to make a choice between. One is faithlessness—arrogant self-trust, arrogant self-expression, arrogant domination by this great self that one is who needs no Source, never had a Source, to whom God is a figment of the imagination. You see? That’s one choice.
The other choice is, to come back into your right Mind through a simple process: The practice of the two-step where you shut yourself up except for asking, “Father, what is the truth here?” letting there just be the desire to Know what the truth is, (not where do you fit in, not how can you be made great, it’s not about you at all) what is the truth here? Even when you ask “What is the truth about me, Father?” you’re asking for the truth about you from the Father’s Perspective, not yours, because the truth about you is far different than anything you can imagine, you holy Son or Daughter of God.
Now, going into the book:
Your holy relationship, with its new purpose…2
… what new purpose? The purpose of not doing anything in the relationship until what is appropriate is revealed to you, until the perspective of what is true is revealed to you because you refrain from relating until first you’ve said “Father, what is the truth here? I want to know Your Perspective. I want to be filled with Your Perspective so that that Perspective, we’ll say, colors everything I see about my Brother or my Sister, about the one I want to be in a holy relationship with.” You see? You want your perception of the one you’re in a holy relationship with to be derived from the Father’s Perspective that has been gifted to you because you asked the Father first, “What is the truth about my partner? What is the truth about this one I want to be in a holy relationship with?” You see?
The new purpose of the holy relationship is to engage in it through the Father’s Perspective that is gifted to you. Because in the receipt of that Perspective, you become an agent for change in the sense of one who is healed, that is capable of extending the Gift of healing … to whom? We’ll say in this case, the one you’ve chosen to be in a holy relationship with. You see the difference? It’s not about you learning something new that you can do that is a far better thing to do for your Brother or partner than you’ve ever done before, all by yourself, without ever having enquired into a larger picture—a different dimension of experience. You see?
So, your holy relationship, with its new purpose, offers you faith …
… that’s given to you …
… to give unto each other.
Which as I shared last time, happens spontaneously. Your perspective is imbued with clarity which just naturally, spontaneously, is extended to your Brother or your Sister or your world—that which you choose to be in a holy relationship with.
Your faithlessness had driven you apart…
… and this is a statement that is true of all mankind, of all who are relating to each other independently as independent agents, not holy Sons or Daughters of God.
Your faithlessness had driven you apart, and so you did not recognize salvation in each other.
Now what that really means is, you did not recognize that the two of you could serve as the reason for reaching out to the Father to know the truth so that you could be infilled with the clarity that would then bless both of you in the relationship. You see? It isn’t that your salvation was in that body over there of your Brother or Sister, or his or her salvation was in yourself, this “body” sitting here. No. Salvation lies in the fact that your Brother can serve as the reason for reaching to the Father. That’s quite incredible. And it’s in that, that your salvation lies and it’s in that, that your Brother’s or your partner’s salvation lies relative to you.
Your faithlessness had driven you apart, and so you did not recognize salvation in each other. Yet faith …
… the Gift of the Father …
UNITES you in the holiness you see …
… as a result of the Perspective that the Father has given …
… not through the body’s eyes, but in the sight of Him Who joined you, and in Whom YOU are united.
Who joined you? The Father or the Holy Spirit, that Perspective joined you with your partner spontaneously. You, illumined by truth and love became a new kind of partner in the holy relationship. You see? A new kind of partner, which is the result of the gift of clarity that the Father gives you and that the Father has always been intent on giving you even while you were choosing to ignore Him and believe and act as though you are an independent agent.
… and what else could you call this gift and the result of it but Grace.
Grace is not given to a body…
… me, this body here giving something to you, that body over there. No.
Grace is not given to a body, but to a MIND. And the mind that receives it looks instantly beyond the body…
… because that’s what happens in the insight that is received. One realizes that all of the perceptions about the body were not accurate. There are entirely different perceptions about it and its innocence and its holiness. You see? And you look beyond the meanings that you had looked at before and determined things by. And you look to see the one that’s revealed to you by virtue of the Father’s Gift of insight and illumination.
… faith UNITES you in the holiness you see, not through the body’s eyes, but in the sight of Him Who joined you, and in Whom YOU are united. Grace is not given to a body, but to a MIND. And the mind that receives it looks instantly beyond the body, and sees the holy place where it was healed.
The understanding, the presence of Mind that the Father imbued you with—which you were imbued with at the moment of Creation, if I can put it that way—but now that you’ve decided to rejoin the Father, it seems as though you’ve become imbued with it for the first time, even though you’re being imbued with it again. You see?
The Mind …
… looks instantly beyond the body, and sees the holy place where it was healed. THERE is the altar where the grace was given, in which it stands.
In which the grace stands. The altar is the Mind that has been imbued with the clarity of the Father’s Perception, the Father’s Perspective, which brings Creation into being, forever.
Do you, then, offer grace and blessing to each other, for you stand at the same altar…
… both of you …
… where grace was laid for BOTH of you.
The altar is the Mind that was imbued by the love and divine perspective of the Father in you.
And be you healed by grace together, that YOU may heal through faith.
When you have abandoned your independence, when you’ve abandoned your divorce from the Father, unity returns, as I said, between you and the Father and you and your Family—you and everything.
When you let this union that has stood forever, even when it was being ignored, when you let that union be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth because you have made unyielding commitment to it, then you are healed and you are in a position to heal your Brothers and Sisters. The blessing given you, you are in a position to extend to those Brothers or Sisters who still don’t recognize the truth and are still bound by their insistence upon independence and the bondage and the terror that governs them in that false position. You’re in a position to be able to heal because you’re not fooled into believing what they’re still believing. And you can help them set down their beliefs.
In the holy instant, you stand before the altar God has raised unto Himself and BOTH of you. Lay faithlessness aside…
When the gift of faith is presented to you, you have to be willing to lay faithlessness aside. You have to be willing to abandon your addiction to your own self-assertion and your own best attempts to make something out of yourself, on your own, by yourself. You have to be willing to lay that faithlessness aside with commitment to what will be received as a result, before you have received it.
Lay faithlessness aside, and come to it together.
There will you see the miracle of your relationship as it was made again …
… or anew …
… through faith.
What faith? The faith gifted to you when you reached out to the Father.
And there it is that you will realize that there is nothing faith cannot forgive.
Why? If faith is the Father’s Perspective replacing your misunderstandings and the true understanding uncovers perfection, harmony, love, then anything that had been a cause for withholding forgiveness will no longer stand in the way of your letting go of your lack of forgiveness and extending the clarity that either joins another’s new found clarity or serves to help lift that other one out of ignorance that he’s still holding onto. You see?
No error interferes with its calm sight…
… when you look through the eyes of faith that have been given to you.
No error interferes with its calm sight, which brings the miracle of healing with equal ease to ALL of them. For what the messengers of love are sent to do THEY DO, returning the glad tidings that it was done to you …
… the gift of faith was, the gift of grace was done to you …
… who stand together before the altar from which they were sent forth.
“Ye shall know the truth,”3 the truth shall be revealed. And the revealed truth shall make you free because you will not misunderstand the Kingdom of Heaven—that is the only thing confronting you—like you did before truth was revealed.
As faithlessness will keep your little kingdoms barren and separate…
… as your staunch acts of independence and of being a free agent to do whatever you damn well please, as that is abandoned—that being faithlessness—that which has kept your little kingdoms barren and separate will be released, that which holds them together, that which seems to make them real will be gone and they will crumble.
As faithlessness will keep your little kingdoms barren and separate, so will faith help the Holy Spirit prepare the ground for the most holy garden which He would make of it.
The Holy Spirit—which is nothing more than your right Mind—when it is returned to you because you’re not holding it apart from yourself any longer, It’s function is to reveal the God’s honest truth to you so that you’re seeing Reality rather than this kingdom of mortality and materiality that your independent stance has created for you.
The Holy Spirit’s function and purpose is to reveal the Kingdom of Heaven to you right where you’ve been seeing the material universe. That’s the Garden, the Kingdom of Heaven.
As faithlessness will keep your little kingdoms barren and separate, so will faith help the Holy Spirit prepare the ground for the most holy garden which He would make of it. For faith brings peace, and so it calls on truth to enter and make lovely what has already been prepared for loveliness.
You see, there’s a natural order of things. When you’re willing to abandon your orphanhood, when you’re willing to reach out to the Father once again and say, “What is the truth here?” and you do it with commitment and you don’t abandon the intent until the Father has responded … in other words, until you have been willing not to defend yourself against it any longer, then faith is gifted to you. And with faith comes something else, peace. Peace that isn’t governed by circumstances. Peace that is firmly in place, even if something disturbing is going on. That’s the second thing that comes after faith. And then the third thing that comes is truth—the revelation of what Reality is. You see?
Faith, peace, truth. Sort of like the three wise men. They come together but they come in that order. So faith and peace have already been part of the preparation of loveliness, which the coming of truth manifests before your eyes—opens you eyes to the dawning of truth—is the uncovering of loveliness, the loveliness of the Garden, the loveliness of the Kingdom of Heaven which you have been misinterpreting for so long.
Truth follows faith and peace, completing the process of making lovely which they begin. For faith is still a learning goal, no longer needed when the lesson has been learned. Yet truth will stay forever.
The dawning of truth, the uncovering of truth that is the result of your practicing the holy instant, that will remain forever because your Sanity has returned and you are experiencing yourself as whole again.
So last week, I spoke about dedication and commitment where you ask the Father “What is the truth?” or you pray, and it’s revealed because you persisted in listening. And then you set the seal upon it by saying, “yes” to it. You see? This is a commitment with follow through, a commitment with depth that is anchored solidly in Reality, anchored solidly in the Father’s Presence of Mind that is His gift to you.
Let, then, your dedication …
… your commitment, your resolve.
Let, then, your dedication be to the eternal…
… in other words, the other dimension, the Reality which is totally obscured to you as what it truly is when you’re practicing faithlessness—in other words, self-centered independence. You see?
What are you going to give your faith to? What are you going to honor and backup with your honest resolve? It’s one or the other: It’s a material world and universe where sin, disease and death are the rule, or it is the Kingdom of Heaven where life, truth and love are Real and eternal and unassailable.
Let, then, your dedication be to the eternal, and learn how NOT to interfere with it and make it slave to time.
Yes, how do you interfere with it? You interfere with it by thinking on your own. You interfere with it by attempting to engage in independent acts of control. You see?
learn how NOT to interfere with it and make it slave to time.
In other words, a material world and universe in which time passes and things deteriorate and you wither and die.
For what you think you do to the eternal you do to YOU. Whom God created as His Son …
… meaning every single one of you, all of us.
Whom God created as His Son is slave to nothing, being lord of all …
… what? On his own? In his own right? No…
… being lord of all along with his Creator.
Joined, no sense of separate selfhood, no sense of separate integrity to be achieved and recognized. No…
… being lord of all along with his Creator. You can enslave a body, but an IDEA is free…
… all of Creation is Ideas. You are an Idea in the Mind of God.
You can enslave a body, but an IDEA is free, incapable of being kept in prison, or limited in any way except by the mind that thought it.
Now the Mind that thought Creation, the Mind that Moved, which caused Creation, is because of Its perfection, harmony, and the fact that love is the substance of It, means that every Idea is free and continues to be free, that is It’s Birthright and It’s destiny and that cannot actually be changed.
You can enslave a body, but an IDEA is free, incapable of being kept in prison, or limited in any way except by the mind that thought it.
So we’ve already gotten it clear that the nature of God’s Mind is such that it would use It’s Ideas only to express the infinite freedom of God—the Mind of God.
For it remains …
… every Idea …
… remains joined to its source…
… obviously …
… which is its jailor or its liberator, according to which it chooses as its purpose for itself.
What purpose do you think the Mind of God chooses for Itself? What purpose do you think the Holy Spirit—which is nothing more than your right Mind—chooses for Itself?
When you are in harmony with the Father, when you are in harmony with the Holy Spirit—your right Mind—you choose as the purpose for yourself holiness, immaculate perception. You choose for yourself Sanity. But if you decide to think a little bit, and imagine definitions of yourself and things for you as this definition to do, to create, to make, to control, then you will not have Reality. You will have a distorted experience of the Kingdom of Heaven, called a material world and universe, lived in by a mortal, called you. Those are the two drastically different scenarios. One is Real, one is not, but they both feel real.
Let then your dedication be to the eternal…
… and begin today to be dedicated to it with commitment. And understand that no matter what you’re engaged in during your day, your commitment to see what everything truly is does not constitute a distraction from anything essential that you need to do to survive. In fact, your dedication, even if you would rather be thinking about something else, is what is called for and is what is bound to work because it’s the way Awakening has been set up—because it’s the only way to come back into your right Mind.
Be willing to put forth the—and I know you don’t like the word “effort”—be willing to put forth the commitment, be willing to enact the commitment. That’s the point.
Okay, I look forward to being with you next time.
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