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Okay. From time to time, you hear the statement that such and such a disease is the number one killer — the number one cause of death in the world. But it’s not true.
The number one killer … the number one cause of death in the world is self-righteousness. The number one cause of death is self-righteousness. Believe it or not, to recognize this fact makes it much easier to embrace the Atonement and be the presence of the Atonement.
Because every single one of you can do something about the practice – about your practice – of self-righteousness, where it seems particularly impossible for any of you, by yourself, to bring to an end this disease or that disease or that condition which from time to time has risen to the top to become the number one killer in the world. Each one of you can do something about your practice of self-righteousness.
Now, this may seem like an absurd statement, or certainly outrageous. But think about it. Think about what we’ve been talking about ever since we’ve started going through the Course. We started out by learning that there was a point at which two Sons or Daughters of God joined together in their infinite holiness and infinite perfection, and said, “What would it be like to imagine that this thing or that part of Creation is something different?” and made commitment to our mutual definition and abandoned our faith, in fact, our Knowing of what those things actually are.
And the agreement was made. And the commitment was made. And in affect, those two got a divorce from their Father … became independent, even though it was in their imagination only. And then they began to invite others to join in these mutual definitions, mutual misperceptions, and invited them to make commitment to them also because it created quite an unusual experience of life – a distorted experience of the Kingdom of Heaven.
And at the bottom line, an entirely false experience of Who they were. And as we’ve spoken, two things immediately came into play, totally unexpectedly, of course. And those two things were fear and guilt.
The third thing that happened was, that they lost the infinite view. They lost the ability to experience everything as the Father was Being It. And this made them feel infinitesimal instead of infinite … vulnerable instead of invulnerable. And life became to them a challenge to overcome the vulnerability.
Now in order to overcome the vulnerability, they had to engage in something they had never engaged in before. And that was, the practice of being better than each other, because they had to do something to prove their validity and their value. You see?
And so life became a practice of self-righteousness.
Now I am asking everyone to be willing to take a look at this seriously and with the expectation that you will find out that it’s true. Everyone has become an expert in the practice of self-righteousness. Most of you can do it very skillfully and you can make it look like it’s a practice of friendship. You can make it look like a beautiful practice of family. And of course, we’ve been talking for a few weeks here about Family, haven’t we. And covering another’s back as an expression of Family.
And last week I talked about the fact that you come across circumstances where you find yourself unwilling to cover your Brother’s back because they’ve “screwed” you in the past or something about them doesn’t meet the criteria you use to justify being that one’s benefactor.
That’s nothing more than self-righteousness.
You don’t realize that in your “sweet kindness” you’re still always working your Brother or Sister like there are those who work the system to get the most out of it because one needs to demonstrate validity and reality. One needs to demonstrate that one’s self is not an illusion even though the inescapable feeling of vulnerability of fear and of guilt constantly says, “You are not the holy Son of God, the holy Daughter of God, you are not valid because you do not have any Source other than your own imagination.”
You know, in normal daily life, the way you deal with and treat your Brothers and Sisters demonstrates the mindset you are operating from. The orphan, the one who has gotten a divorce from his Father, is always using his Brother or Sister for some self-satisfying or self-aggrandizing purpose.
Now that’s something far different from covering your Brother’s back. That’s something far different from the meaning of Family and Brotherhood. The real Meaning of Family and Brotherhood is embodied in the idea of looking into your Brother’s eyes and remembering God. Very different.
The willingness to look into your Brother’s eyes and remember God is called, “covering your Brother’s back.”
Now, I want to come back to this fact that self-righteousness is the number one killer in the world.
When each of you arrived at a point where you chose to be the authorizer of the meanings of your world—which really meant that you were choosing to redefine the Kingdom of Heaven that was God’s—you moved yourself from the experience of Knowing into the experience of thinking. You had to use thinking and logic in order to express demonstrably intelligent ideas in order to motivate people to do your bidding to benefit you. And you had to be smart enough to find a way to do it so that they felt like they were benefiting too.
It’s utter incredible deceit.
And, in the act of switching from the divine experience of Knowing all things to the experience of thinking, so as to become an authorizer who could be in control, you found yourself experiencing mortality.
This is very important.
There is a fundamental mindset that every single one of you on your globe buys into—you’re not aware it’s a mutual agreement, you think it’s a fact, and so it has never occurred to you to challenge it—and that is, that you are a mortal: that you’re born of a sperm and an egg, of a purely physical act, caused by little bits of matter joining together in a very creative way, causing you, an individuality, a physical being that will grow and suffer and die.
You all believe that! And because you don’t challenge it, you behave as though it’s the truth. And you grow, and you become old, and you experience difficulty and you die, all because you have abandoned Knowing in favor of thinking—because you wanted to get a divorce from the Father and be an independent agent.
That act causes eternal life to seem to be temporary suffering.
I’ve said before, that there are three things that God does not allow you to have: Sin, disease and death. How does God not allow you to have them? By not having created them. Because they were not created, they are not available as a real experience, only as an imagined experience. And so you have what appear to be millenniums of birth, life and death which, from time to time, what you call “seers” have challenged and have inspired those on your globe to look at differently. But no one has taken them seriously, not even the ones who resurrected or ascended.
Now I am here to remind you of the truth over and over and over, so that you might be reminded of the truth enough to embrace it and not resist it, and let it infill you and, I’m going to say, consume you so completely that your false perceptions drop away because you’ve lost interest in validating them.
Someone has to correct the misperception.
Now, not just one someone, not just me because I am the Son of God and it is my task to promote the salvation of all my Brothers who are sleeping. No, every single one of you must join with me in this endeavor. And the incredible simplicity but grand reality of the means of coming Home is, that you can’t come Home alone … that you must be willing to look into your Brothers’ eyes and remember God.
You aren’t to look into your Brothers’ eyes and remember your goals for yourself and how he can be forced or cajoled into serving you to make you be the better one – the more valid one – so that more people will believe you and follow you and support you while you fool them into believing that they’re doing that allows you to benefit them.
Oh, I know. You say, “How can you fault that, if I’m doing that and they are being benefited and I’m being benefited, how can you call that something negative?” Well, here’s how: because when push comes to shove, if the ones you are cajoling into supporting you for one reason or another neglect to do it, you lose your peace. You lose your peace. You get upset. The deceitfulness of your stance becomes illuminated to you if you pay attention to it, because you become miserable and more afraid and your feeling of guilt increases as well. And if you don’t take that experience as a red flag or a high-sign that a change is called for, you will persist in it. And you know what? You will die.
I mean after all, being a mortal you will die anyway. You will die if you don’t let your love for your Brother cause you to reach beyond yourself to that which is greater than you that has the infinite divine perspective, which will be shared with you the moment you stop resisting it in favor of self-righteous behavior and by virtue of your transformed Mind bringing you back into the experience of Reality, which it’s your Birthright to be experiencing. You will behave towards your Brother in the recognition of God and the extension of that to him which will bless him because there is nothing in that process that takes advantage or is deceitful, or furthers the awful definition of relationships held to by the orphans in the orphanage.
Oh, you don’t want to die. Okay, but is what I’m describing the only way out of the experience of death? “Am I going to have to change completely? Am I going to have to love innocently and unequivocally? That’s too much of a cost. I will opt for dying. I will opt for the thrill that precedes dying and I will pursue my attempts to make something out of myself at the expense of my Brothers and Sisters while pretending to benefit them.”
Well, it’s an exciting experience because it’s a fearful experience … a guilt-ridden experience, an unnatural experience.
Let me ask you – each and every one of you: What better thing do you really have to do than to love your Brother enough to ask for help of that which is beyond you, to cover his back, to take part in his or her healing and to have the strength, the courage and the willingness to hang in there while healing occurs? What better thing do you really have to do?
I know, you’re not really familiar with consistently doing what I’m describing or what we’ve been learning about ever since we started reading A Course In Miracles. But you know what? It’s not going to do any good for us to continue to read A Course In Miracles if it’s just going to be knowledge that you store away to think about it at a later date or to enjoy the beauty of in your quiet moments without Waking up, without experiencing actual change.
And you know what? Everyone is going to Wake up. And the Movement of Awakening is occurring and so the call for covering your Brother’s back, the call for remembering the meaning of Family and Brotherhood and then living it! … the demand for that is increasing because the hurt is increasing. And as you watch in the world today the promotion of hurt is increasing and many of you are able to say, “Well, because of the Course I’m able to maintain enough peace of mind that it’s not really getting to me very much and I’m having a relatively comfortable experience.”
Oh-h, that is a miserable state of affairs. Because what you’re practicing is hiding. Remember, Family, Brotherhood is an involvement, an intimacy, not something you withdraw from or hide from or sedate yourself with spiritual truths so as to soften the blows of a disturbed life in the world. You see?
It is time to Wake up! It is time to bring all of these things that we’ve been learning about into your daily lives where through Guidance – not through the excellent practice of orphanhood – you become intimate with your Brother and you stand there willing to cover your Brother’s back or your Sister’s back and bring into play whatever Guidance illuminates to you as the next healing step that has as its goal the transformation of the human experience out of itself back into the divine experience that is natural to and is the inheritance of the holy Sons and Daughters of God.
Now, you may not, through the skillful use of your mind, be able to annihilate all diseases, but you can abandon with commitment your use of self-righteousness. And if the use of self-righteousness is the number one cause of death, all those diseases will begin to disappear. Not because you addressed them, but because you addressed the practice that caused you to see a distorted, awful, confused world where the Kingdom of Heaven is actually going on right in front of you. You see?
You haven’t been given some humongous challenge, some formidable requirement that you cannot possibly meet. You’re able to practice mental self-discipline and you are even in your temporary ignorance of your divinity able to conceive of looking into your Brother’s eyes and remembering God, instead of doing some other ridiculous thing that will not cause transformation or healing. You can. It’s a simple task. It’s called the holy instant. And it requires nothing of you that you don’t already have in you to use, to practice the holy instant. You see?
You know what? Sin, disease and death are worse things to suffer than the effort you will need to bring into play to love your Brother enough to cover his back because you insist on asking of the Father how to see your Brother as the holy Son of God or the holy Daughter of God that they actually are. You see?
Sin, disease and death are far more destructive, awful, debilitating, enervating than any amount of effort put into the genuine practice of love. The only reason that my suggestion of the consistent committed practice of love seems to be more work than you’re willing to put forth is because you’re out of practice. You have forgotten how easy it is and how, when you take the first step of willingness, the Father takes the last step.
Now, we will get back into the book. But we have needed to talk about these things because they’re part and parcel to the Obstacles of Peace.
It may be difficult to look at these things. It may be difficult to look at yourself and see how just beneath the surface of your niceness is a mean-spirited, arrogant presence that sees itself as better than everyone else or sees itself as needing to be better than everyone else to the degree that your niceness will always be expressed with the most powerful use of your mean-spirited, self-centeredness that you can practice and get away with. That is hard to look at. But if you will begin to look at it, you will see how often it crops up in your days. And you’ll begin to see that you’re not as nice as you thought you were or as nice as you wanted everyone else to think you were. And that will begin to bother you, but you will be bothered by clarity. And when you’re bothered by clarity it is possible for you to make resolute change because it makes perfect sense to make change to correct something you wouldn’t engage in unless you were unconscious of the fact that you were engaging in it.
And so you find yourself at the leading edge of transformation, at the leading edge of the benefit and blessing of the practice of the holy instant.
I love you all. And I will continue to remind you of the truth of you so that it will become easier and more reasonable to behave in a new way that undoes the divorce you got from your Father, or imagined you got. So that you, like the Prodigal Son or Daughter, can come Home and be met by your Father long before you get Home. You see?
You don’t have to make the journey Home all by yourself. And so it will not be an infinite journey of struggle, you just imagine that it will be. But it’s not.
I look forward to being with you next time.
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