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Good evening. And welcome to everyone who’s joining us on the Internet.
I’m going to continue this week in bringing out the practicality of what we’re reading so that we might bring home what it is that makes your life new, which allows you to behave in the world in a new way in the most practical of terms, let’s say, terms that count, not just airy-fairy thoughts and wonderful spiritual ideas which somehow never connect with the world and just make an unpleasant experience a little more tolerable.
Again, that’s not what it’s all about. That’s not what the Course is here to illuminate. It’s to illuminate you – each and every one of you – in your true context as the Son or Daughter of God, a holy one, instead of a mortal.
Now, as we have discussed many times, when you decided that you wanted to have the right to define what everything was, and you decided in so many words to get a divorce from the Father by exercising this apparent right that you imagined that you had, you lost the infinite view that was characteristic of your experience because you hadn’t altered what the Father was Being, as you, up until that moment. As a result, your view of all that is, was as infinite and unconfined as the Father’s.
But as we’ve discussed, when you decided to join with another holy Son or Daughter of God and imagine new definitions for everything, and you agreed to these definitions and then made a bond with each other to commit yourself to those definitions, something unexpected happened: You lost the infinite view. In effect, you lost the position of observer – of that which was conscious of all of Creation and could confirm to the Father that it was indeed the Father in manifestation – you lost that infinite true view. And it was as though you decided to look through the other end of a pair of binoculars.
And now, instead of being the observer, you became the observed. You became a thing among other things. You see? One of many created things rather than the reality of your being the observer and participant in Creating Itself – co-creating with the Father.
Thus, at that moment, you could not help but identify yourself as a body. Mind you, you couldn’t get rid of Mind, so you ended up experiencing yourself as a body. In other words, the visibility and tangibility of your individuality, which was present in the infinite view, became that which circumscribed you. It became your home, your domicile, your abiding place.
And so, here you were as a body and conveniently your mind became a part of it, located in your skull. And you no longer recognized yourself to be the pure conscious Awareness in which all experiences of Creation were going on.
Now, simultaneous with this shift, as we’ve discussed many times, fear and guilt came into the picture. Because you can’t be in a state of denial of the Father, which is really a state of Self-denial – you can’t deny what you are without having discomfort, without having feedback that says you’re attempting to do something you cannot possibly do and as long as you attempt to do it, the impossibility of it will be felt and you will not be comfortable. This is to remind you to stop doing it and return to your normal state of Mind.
So, suddenly you became an orphan. And another word for orphan is “mortal.” In a way the word “mortal” describes more accurately the situation because obviously, if you are in the practice of something which can’t be accomplished, when you are in a state of self-denial, you are in a state which must necessarily come to an end because it doesn’t actually exist. The fantasy of it and your belief in it must come to an end because there truly is nothing present to perpetuate it. And so the experience of being an orphan is an experience of being mortal. It is an experience in which all that is embraced in it must come to an end. And the word for that is “death.”
Now unfortunately, without your divine perspective, this inevitability of death seems to be the inevitability of your death and the inevitability of the death of all things sooner or later, even inanimate things which slowly erode away and seem to have no eternality to them at all.
The problem is that this state of mortality, not being divinely actual, is something waiting for you to step out of it. It isn’t waiting for you to step out of it, but the Father is waiting for you to step out of it. The Holy Spirit – which is nothing more than your right Mind – is waiting for you to step out of it. And everything that we’re talking about whenever we get together like this or whenever you reach to your Guidance, is geared to helping you step out of this so-called state of mortality.
Now, last week I read that:
Faith in the eternal is always justified, …
… this is in the paragraph before the one we’re to begin with tonight.
Faith1 in the eternal is always justified, for the eternal is forever kind, infinite in its patience, and wholly loving. It will accept you wholly, and give you peace. Yet it can unite only with what ALREADY is at peace in you, immortal as itself.
Okay. Here it’s addressing the real You – the Son or Daughter of God whose dreaming, whose enjoying or suffering from independence that you can’t actually achieve. That which is eternal …
… can unite only with what ALREADY is at peace in you, …
… with that which is already eternal in you …
… immortal as itself.
You see? Right here where you thought you were nothing but a puny little mortal, you are the Son or Daughter of God in Whom there is eternality, in Whom there is infinity, in Whom there is divine actuality, a holy Son or Daughter of God.
The eternal, when you reach out for it, when you practice the two-step, can come and join with the eternal that is already in you right now. And in that joining, your peace is returned to you … which is the removal of the block to whatever seems to be creating pain because it returns you to your Sanity, even if it’s momentary, even if you’re not able to maintain the connection without reverting to what you’re used to.
This is important.
You are at this moment, divine. You never succeeded in getting a divorce from the Father. You never ever became actually separated from Him and you never lost your Birthright. Right now, all of you is intact.
Now, that being said, the next sentence takes a leap and says:
The body can bring you neither peace nor turmoil; neither pain nor joy. It is a means, and not an end. It has NO purpose of itself, but only what is given to it. The body will seem to be whatever is the means for reaching the goal that you assign to it.
Do you assign to it the goal of finding pain, of confirming pain, of believing that pain is normal and is interspersed with peace and pleasure? But it’s always one of a pair, never just pleasure and never just pain.
Depending upon your belief, you set the goal for your body. It’s that simple. Why? Because the body isn’t governing. The body isn’t what you are. A mortal is not what you are. You are the presence of Mind, which is the presence of God in manifestation in the act of Creation. And you are supposed to be experiencing conscious Awareness of Creation as the Father is Being it now … now … now … now. That’s what is supposed to be happening. That is what it is your Birthright to be experiencing. Because right now you’re not the puny little mortal you think you are and you do not have to suffer endlessly or even momentarily unless you so decide and give the word.
Peace and guilt are both conditions of the …
… what?… body? No …
… mind …
… because mind is the ground of Being. Mind is the context in which all form and experience of Creation is going on as eternal, infinite, conscious ideas that are real and tangible to the Mind that forms them.
Peace and guilt are both conditions of the mind, to be attained. And these conditions are the home of the emotion which called them forth, and therefore is compatible with them.
Peace and guilt: Peace calls forth peace. Guilt calls forth guilt. It’s that simple and it’s that consistent. It never gets fuzzy. When guilt is what is looked for, when guilt is what is valued, when guilt is what you employ for some mean-spirited gain, that’s what you get. And nothing else. You don’t get a little bit of peace along with it. And when your goal is peace, you don’t get a little bit of guilt or fear with it. You see?
It’s really very simple. It’s not fuzzy and therefore not confusing. And that’s why you can dare to make commitment to peace no matter what catastrophe is going on in your world. And that’s why when you choose for your peace, your world will change because you’re not introducing that which maintains the illusion. And those of your Brothers and Sisters who are still indulging in the illusion and seems to be supporting it, do not have the full strength that it had when you were participating.
And the more that everyone withdraws their commitment to the use of guilt, the more dramatic will be the transformation in your world. The more the Light will come to it and register noticeably so that the media will have to cover it.
[And] these conditions are the home of the emotion which called them forth, and therefore is compatible with them. But think you which it is that is compatible with YOU.
Now mind you, as an orphan, you can adopt and believe in and support the ongoingness of pain and suffering. Or you can aim for the absence of suffering which you call “pleasure” or “peace.” But both of those, as long as you are not practicing the two-step, as long as no step is taken to join with the Father again, all you will be doing is employing ego concepts of pleasure and pain, and you will not have stepped outside of the realm where the actuality of pleasure and pain is only pain. Even the pleasure sought in the context of the ego is painful because it isn’t dependable and because it will seem to be taken away from you at a moment’s notice, tragically sometimes. So when it says:
But think you which it is that is compatible with YOU.
Understand that what is compatible with YOU is the eternal that unites only with what already is at peace in you, immortal as itself. Do you get that?
That which is compatible with you is the eternal … is Reality … is the Presence of God. That is compatible with the eternal and the actuality in you. And when you let That in so that It actually joins with That which is already at peace in you, immortalize Itself, then you have stepped outside of the realm of pleasure and pain in the context of the ego. And you are free and the pleasure, the fulfillment that you experience is God ordained and God supported and God actualized. And that’s what you’re after. That is what this is all about!
And again, it’s all about doing this right here and right now.
That which is immortal in you, that which is already at peace in you, is the Presence of God in you right here and right now! which you have been ignoring because you thoroughly believe that you are a mortal.
Oh-h you may be learning about spiritual things and maybe what you are learning will help you overcome an event called “death.” But that’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about What’s already present in you, What is already eternal in you, What already is holy in you as You, which doesn’t have to be gained, but which has to not be argued against by constantly deferring to ideas of death and the inevitability of death and the presence of decay and deterioration.
The simple absence of objection to these is the way you confirm pain and hold onto it even though you don’t like it.
You must truly begin to concertedly and consistently ask, “What is the truth here that contradicts my belief in my mortality … in my belief in the mortality of everything? Reveal to me that which is already at peace in me, immortal, and the perspective that accompanies it so that I might not see mortality, so that I might not expect mortality, and instead, be constantly expectantly alert for the Movement of Creation, of that which is always Eternal, so that I no longer feel inclined to behave as a mortal.”
If mortality is a behavior, then you could say that all you have to do is abandon it so that the immortality, which is already the truth about you, might [snaps fingers] snap into focus in a clarified Mind and nothing that can happen will even suggest death to you — and so you will not behave like a mortal and die, only to find that you haven’t died.
You need to find out that you haven’t died by still being here when that which in the past would have caused death didn’t cause death. Why? Because you behaved like an immortal … because you behaved like a holy Son of God or a holy Daughter of God.
Let your mind go. Let it not be so confined. What if dying or being injured was just a behavior — a way you behaved that identified your mortality but with a different kind of behavior, wouldn’t?
That’s what we’re talking about. We’re talking about being in the world in a new way that is illumined by the Light, by the truth.
Here is your choice, …
… when you’re paying attention to and being willing to accept only that which is compatible with you.
Here is your choice, and it IS free.
It doesn’t cost a thing.
… it IS free. But all that lies in it WILL come with it, …
… if guilt is what you choose for, then all that has to do with guilt …
… WILL come with it, …
… and if you choose for the eternal in you, for that which is complimentary to the eternal in you, the peace, the harmony, the pleasure …
… all that lies in it WILL come with it, and what you think you are can never be apart from it.
You see? Only one behaving like a mortal will look to guilt and fear and seek to find it, and seek to confirm it and seek to use it for leverage and control even though it kills you. But if you engage in the two-step, if you shut up and you desire of the Holy Spirit or the Father to know what is true here, all that is true will accompany that. And part of that is eternal life. Why? Because it reveals to you your holiness, because it makes clear to you your Birthright and that your Birthright is unassailable and therefore, never has been successfully assailed even though you believed it did and behaved as though it did. You see?
The body is the great seeming betrayer of faith.
It does seem to act on its own, doesn’t it? You never think that you are arousing the manifestations that you’re observing by your mortal attitude, by your mortal thoughts, by your embrace of mortality. You see? Even your attempt to overcome death is an attempt to get away from mortality. And that confirms it. Why? Because mortality is a behavior, not a condition. And so the attempt to get rid of that behavior through another behavior won’t work. The only thing that will work is to shift from a behavior to a condition, because a condition is Real. A condition is inherent in and part of and objectifies Creation, with a capital “C”.
The body is the great seeming betrayer of faith. In it lies disillusionment and the seeds of faithlessness, but …
… get this …
… but only if you ask of it what it cannot give.
Can your mistake …
… meaning by that, you’re allowing yourself to become disillusioned and faithless.
Can your mistake be reasonable grounds for depression and disillusionment, …
… can your attempt to have the body do what it cannot do be used as …
… reasonable grounds for depression and disillusionment, and for retaliative attack on what you think has failed you?
You can and you do. You set a task for it that it cannot accomplish and then you say, “Wow, prayers don’t work. God doesn’t work. I give up!”
Use not your error as the justification for your faithlessness. You have not sinned, but you have been mistaken in what is faithful. And the correction of your mistake will GIVE you grounds for faith.
In other words, when you make the shift to that which is compatible with you, the experience …
… will GIVE you grounds for faith.
… because you’ll see the truth and know that it is the truth and that it is eternal and anything less than that is an illusion — has been an illusion. And in that clarity you can’t be fooled any longer and you will not hold onto it. It’s inevitable.
It is impossible to seek for pleasure through the body …
… that’s the whole point here.
Faith in the eternal is always justified, …
Yet it can unite only with what ALREADY is at peace in you, immortal as itself.
That’s the answer. That’s where to go. That’s where clarity will come. That’s where to bring your attention. And right now we’re learning more clearly why you don’t go to the body for it.
It is impossible to seek for pleasure through the body and NOT find pain.
Why? Because the body isn’t the source of either: It’s the visibility and tangibility of your Individuality. It’s like it’s the interference of Light that causes a distinguishable shape to be experienced. But that which disturbs the Light isn’t physical.
And so you have that which is visible, but it’s not matter, it’s not material and it’s not an object. It is that which renders visible the presence of something actual and Real — your Individuality. Just as all of Creation renders visible and tangible, we would say — experiencable — all of Creation, all of what the Father is being, you could say, that the Movement of the Mind of God is the introduction of the interference of Light that causes definition to be able to be experienced without ever for a moment, causing matter to be formed. Which is why the substance of Spirit is never polarized and is therefore, eternal, pure, perfect.
It is impossible to seek for pleasure through the body and NOT find pain. It is essential that this relationship be understood, for it is one the ego sees as PROOF of sin. It is not really punitive at all. It is but the inevitable result of equating yourself with the body, which is …
… what? …
… the INVITATION to pain.
Now we could say it a different way: When you got the divorce from your Father and saw yourself as independent from the Father, that was the invitation to pain. And the initial manifestation of it was, the introduction of fear and guilt, calling immediately for you to engage in acts of self-protection – defense. And there was the activated polarity, characteristic of the mortal dream, the dream that everyone is going to Awaken from.
It is but the inevitable result of equating yourself with the body, which is the INVITATION to pain. For it invites fear to enter, and become your purpose. The attraction of guilt MUST enter with it, and whatever fear directs the body to do is therefore painful. It will share the pain of ALL illusions, …
… why? Because the divorce from the Father caused all of Creation to be seen in a distorted fashion, in a deluded way, so that you were seeing delusions.
So fear and guilt and pain permeate every part of Creation that you’re looking at when you’re identifying yourself as a body, which means you are constantly reinforcing your non-connection with the Father — your divorce, your orphanhood.
It will share the pain of ALL illusions, and the illusion of pleasure will be …
… what? …
… the SAME as pain.
As I said earlier, because pleasure and pain, which are results of your personal independent action, both still remain within the ego frame of reference – the orphan mindset – because the Father was never brought into the picture, the Holy Spirit was never brought into the picture. Your independence was never broken. And as a result, the divine harmony of all of Creation was not allowed into your presence where it would meet the eternal in you. You see?
Is not this inevitable?
It certainly is. But you’re not stuck there. It’s a mistake. It’s a behavior, which you can abandon.
Under fear’s orders, …
… meaning not under orders of the Holy Spirit …
Under fear’s orders, the body will pursue guilt, serving its master whose attraction to guilt maintains the whole illusion of its existence. This, then, IS the attraction of pain. Ruled by this perception, the body becomes the servant of pain, seeking it dutifully, and obeying the idea that pain is pleasure. It is this idea that underlies all of the ego’s heavy investment in the body.
Once you got your divorce from the Father and identified with and as the body, you were stuck with serving it and serving the mindset that caused it to look that way to you.
It is this idea that underlies all of the ego’s heavy investment in the body. And it is this insane relationship which it keeps hidden, and yet feeds upon.
The orphan mindset feeds upon itself over, and over, and over, and over, and over again, never introducing anything new.
And as we said, even if your mind is changed but your behavior hasn’t, nothing is happening that will bring Light into the world and transform it. And yet that is the threshold everyone stands upon today.
To YOU …
… this insane relationship …
… it teaches that the body’s pleasure is happiness. Yet to ITSELF it whispers, “It is death.”
The ego knows what it is, but it won’t let you see it. The orphan mindset knows how it works, but it won’t let you see the truth about it, because in order for you to see the truth about it you have to become aware of the Father again and you have to be interested in giving the Father at least a little bit of your attention. And that is where the perspective will come from that will show you the death oriented dynamic — the death oriented context of orphanhood.
Now, this isn’t complicated. It’s really very simple. It’s really very black and white. And if you don’t stand aghast at the language, at what it sounds like, and if you don’t be so fragile as to let yourself be offended by it, you will be able to look at it clearly and let it speak to you clearly because your peace will be with you. And that’s the context, that’s the invitation to Revelation that will be transforming.
Now I encourage you during this coming week to re-read what we’ve discussed tonight and listen to the recording, because it’s very transformational and it allows for rapid release of the fascination with mortality that causes you not to let go of it easily.
I love you. And my love in sharing this with you, has as its intent and its effect, that of allowing the opening in you that will let the truth register meaningfully, so that you can walk through the world this week more easily in a new way.
And I look forward to being with you all next time.
T19.7 Pleasure and Pain ↩
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