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The last time we were together, we talked about bearing witness, and the difference between bearing false witness and bearing true witness. And for a brief review: Bearing false witness is when you witness to your definitions, your beliefs, your confidences. It’s when you bear witness to mutual agreements that you have made with each other, but not with God.
It’s that simple.
More importantly, bearing true witness is to bear witness to God – to bear witness to Creation as it truly is. Bearing witness to Creation is to glorify God.
And you know what? That’s the definition of prayer.
You think of prayer as a request – questions that you ask of God in hopes of getting answers. But prayer is sharing what you have learned as a result of setting aside your best judgments and your best ideas, because in the silence you have asked, “What is the truth here? I want to the know the truth about this, that or the other thing.”
That’s not the prayer. Prayer is the act of giving glory to God.
Now this is not a foreign idea. But it’s much more intimate the way I’m expressing it than is usual.
When you pray, you give evidence of God by expressing God’s Meaning. That is prayer. Prayer is a Gift. It’s not something where you ask to get. This is very important.
Now it’s simple. There’s only one thing confronting you at any given moment – at any point in your day or what you call your life. The one thing that is confronting you is what God is Being.
When I say that, I mean the only thing confronting you is undistorted, perfect Reality which, when you see it through a glass darkly – which means when you put it through the sieve of your personal assessment and interpretations and your attempt to give definition yourself – you see a distorted perception, a misperception. But your perception is not what is there.
This is the fundamental point. Because your perception is not what is actually there, because what I will call “mankind’s perception as to what is there” is not based upon a joining with That which has formed It, you’re seeing something that is not only unreal, you’re seeing something that can disappear instantly, and what had been a bondage to you will not be present any longer, without any process to its disappearance. That is the importance of it. The fact that your misperceptions of what is going on are purely illusory is what means that their correction can be instantaneous!
Be with that for a moment …
Now, everyone’s familiar with the feeling of “not fitting in,” of not belonging. Most of the time, you have these feelings relative to groups in your society, or your community, or your family. But at times you experience it on a larger scale: Like, you do not belong here “in the world.” You see? You don’t fit in the world, in this universe, in this “material” universe. You see?
A book was written entitled, Stranger in a Strange Land,1 and you feel at times like a stranger in a strange land – foreign to you, unnatural to you. And this idea of a disparity between you and what you’re experiencing also finds expression in the words, “being in the world but not of it.” You see? As though there’s a discrepancy that is actual.
And so, even metaphysically or spiritually the idea of being intelligent and careful not to be deluded, you need to make sure that if you’re in the world, you’re not of it. This is careless thinking. It is an idea which absolutely blocks the opportunity for the misperception of Reality [snaps fingers] to instantaneously vanish.
Why? Because as long as you feel that there’s the possibility of actually not belonging – of actually not fitting in, that you are … oh-h … in a body temporarily, but it’s not your eternal destiny to be in a body, and so you will “live through it” and you will “make the best of it” and you will hopefully turn it into learning, so that if you have the experience again, you’ll be further along the road to your Salvation. You see? In the body but not of it! You see? Careless thinking.
Why? Because as I said, if you are only confronted with one thing and that is Reality, if you are only confronted with Creation, meaning exactly what God is perfectly Being, then your way out of your misperception – the past, if you will – the direction to move in is right into that which you’re calling “the strange land,” the very thing that you do not feel you are a part of.
As long as you indulge in the idea that there is a world that you can be in but not of, you will always be being alert, you will always be scanning your experience to separate what’s valid from what’s invalid so that you don’t get sucked in and end up being “of the world.”
And yet, anything you pick in the world, point at, and what you’re pointing at is some aspect of Reality, some aspect of the perfect flawless, harmonious, invincible Creation of God. And if you want to cut through the illusion, you’ve got to home in on the very thing that you would avoid. You’ve got to be willing to look at any part of your world with the conscious intent to discover God there. You see?
The world is not something to “rise above.” You’re not to rise above the world. But you are to pierce the misperception. And you’re having a misperception of something specific. And the something specific is Reality – the Presence of God.
So, you’ve got to be willing to give your attention there, anywhere – anywhere at all – give your attention there with a conscious desire to see God there, and abandoning your best judgments and assessments and definitions and saying, “What is the truth here Father?” You see?
Do not let this artificial discrepancy between you and a world that you’re not to be of – let it become an invalid concept. Because until you do, there are parts of your world that you will avoid because … what? Well, they’re beneath you, or they are too immoral, or they are unworthy of your attention or your blessing. That part of the world doesn’t deserve it!
Is that not arrogance? Is that not self-righteousness?
You can see now how self-righteousness will, by virtue of the way it functions, cause you to withdraw your attention from the threshold of Awakening! You see that?
This is important. You must become single-minded – single of purpose. You must get up every day and go through your day with the intent to see the Presence of God EVERYWHERE – everywhere you look, any place you give your attention to, any one you give your attention to.
“Oh, they don’t deserve it! Oh, they don’t want to hear it! They don’t want to know the truth.” You see? “I do. They don’t and a lot of others don’t and that’s why I don’t fit – that’s why I don’t belong!”
You know what? When you drive along a road you see “for sale signs.” And sometimes the property that is for sale is a dilapidated property and there’s not much desire to purchase it, of course, unless you see a way to make a buck. But that’s not my point.
My point is, that when you see a dilapidated property, is it a place to see as foreign to you, unworthy of your attention? Or do you see it as an opportunity to restore its original intent – to redeem it to its original state? You see what I’m getting at?
When you go through your day and you see, in any form, a world that you don’t want to be of, or a group that you don’t want to be of, or anything else that you use as a means of separating yourself –isolating yourself from – you need to catch yourself and recognize that here is an opportunity of redemption. And that is the purpose of that moment. Because until you do it and until you Wake up, that is the only thing you should be giving your attention to. Because that is the only thing that will free you from the misperception of the Kingdom of Heaven and reveal to you the Kingdom of Heaven that it is right now. That’s why it’s the only thing to do.
The only thing to do is that which Wakes you up. Anything else leaves you a stranger in a strange land. And you know that being a stranger doesn’t feel good. It’s not your Birthright. And it’s not even actually possible, it’s only imaginatively possible. You see? And then the possibility that you’re experiencing isn’t Real.
Some of you have the experience of a sudden shift of perception, where what wasn’t real vanishes and what is in its place is the opposite, and you call it a miracle. If that has happened once in your experience, or if that has happened once to someone else in your immediate experience, where they are close enough for you to catch the Meaning of it, then you understand what I am talking about and can bring your commitment more easily to the task I’m talking about.
Now are you the Sons of God, and now is everything the Kingdom of Heaven. And as the Son or Daughter of God it’s your Birthright to be experiencing who you Are, and the Kingdom of Heaven as It is. And the restoration of your Sanity is what it’s all about … is what everything we’re talking about is all about.
Watch out … watch out for any technique that you find being used that distorts your perception and causes you to doubt the true Meaning, the true value, the actual divinity of absolutely everything – which seems to justify your standing apart from It … “rising above it,” as they used to say.
Whatever you feel like rising above, whatever you feel uninclined to expend the energy on, catch yourself and give your attention and energy there!
What does that mean? It means to bring your curiosity there. It doesn’t mean to bring some capacity you have in your mind to force a new perception into the picture. It doesn’t mean to exercise a form of will through creative imagination. It calls for peace in you. It calls for silence in you. It calls for the humility in you that allows you to abandon “control” – which means creating new ideas or abiding by ideas already established in your mind – and making room for what you’re not expecting, making room for what you don’t know, which isn’t the exercise of will at all. It’s the presence of yielding. You hear that? It’s the presence of yielding – letting in.
So, the next time you’re in a circumstance which seems to be less than the best – to be one that you would rather not be associated with, or some dilapidated property along the road – catch yourself! Don’t go down that road of judgment and false superiority in your mind. Humble yourself to bring wonder into play. That’s what curiosity is. Wonder! “I wonder what the truth is?” “I wonder what is actually right there where I seem to see a strange land that I don’t fit in.”
In the simple act of wonder, that which is wonderful comes forth and that is the only way it does. You see?
In a way it’s like being a super-sleuth, because you want to get past all the fol-de-rol, all of the belief structures which cause what you’re looking at to seem to you to be a strange land, and make you seem to be a stranger in it, when the fact is that as the holy Son or Daughter of God, you are inseparable from Creation in all of its flawless perfection. And so, you’re not a stranger in It and you’re not not of It! It’s a unity.
Now, when I said that you’re not to rise above the world but pierce the misperception, that could have sounded aggressive to you. But the only way to pierce the misperception is by yielding to what is behind it. It’s like yielding through the misperception, sinking through it by not validating the misperception, sinking through it by means of the humble desire to see the Presence of God that has to be there, because there literally is nothing else present! And now that is clearer to you, giving you a means to practice this with more trust and I will even say, with more anticipation.
Wherever you are, whatever you’re experiencing, be present with it, not judging it and standing apart from it – above it, superior to it. Be present with it. Sink into it, knowing that you’re not sinking into the current definition you’re holding of it, but that you are sinking into the Presence of God that is what is there that you have been blinded to, but which it is your Birthright to be experiencing, and therefore, awaits your simple acceptance of the fact that the illusion is an illusion, that your current beliefs are not true and have no substance or structural integrity to hold themselves together and successfully blind you. Therefore, they can collapse instantaneously and will collapse instantaneously.
A Course in Miracles defines a miracle as “a sudden shift of perception.” We’re talking tonight about what that sudden shift of perception is.
Be careful not to take the definitions you are applying to your world as you go through your day and the media tempts to bias you and train you into how to see things. Be careful that you do not take your perceptions seriously, else you will be trapped a little longer until you can remember that if you’re seeing anything less than the Kingdom of Heaven, if you’re seeing anything less than infinite, harmonious, invincible Reality, then you are seeing nothing with substance and you need to not validate what you are seeing, and you need to bring wonder into your mind with a sense of expectancy. And you must continue to do this until, we’ll say, the misperception is pierced, or until in your humble lack of assertion of private perceptions, you find yourself infilled with a sudden shift of perception, in which redemption occurs, healing occurs – everything is redeemed to its spiritual original. And that which appeared to be dilapidated, or unworthy of interest or attention is gone because it has been redeemed.
It’s not gone because it wasn’t real. It’s not gone because it was an illusion. It’s gone because the misperception you applied to it was abandoned by you when you began to wonder.
I’m using the word “wonder” here in it’s wonderful connotations so that you understand that what I’m talking about tonight is not to be seen as work, it’s not a labor to engage in. It’s a joy to allow.
Joy to the World … joy to the world coming from you is prayer, the evidence to your having said, “Yes” to God. Not the evidence of your having asked for a favor, but because you don’t want to hold yourself – you holy Son of God or holy Daughter of God – you don’t want to hold yourself separate from the very Source of You one moment longer.
I have been making a joyful noise unto the Lord tonight. And I’m sharing it with you and inviting you to join me in doing the same thing.
I love you all and I look forward to being with you next time.
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