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My purpose tonight is to convey encouragement and inspiration to help move the practice of A Course In Miracles out of a potentially “Pollyanna” form of wonderful cotton-candy spiritual thoughts and ideas and the toying with them, the playing with them in the mind to provide a good feeling, not correcting anything when correction is called for.
To feel comfortable when a call for correction hasn’t been answered because one engages in a spiritual practice of “The Power of Positive Thinking” puts one in the position of being the victim of whatever the call for correction is. And then one thinks, “Well, the spiritual practice I was engaging in wasn’t very practical,” when the spiritual practice, we’ll say, of A Course In Miracles is the most practical thing you could engage in.
We talked last time about something very essential: the difference between the belief in ones having authority with which to exercise or practice the truths expressed in the Bible and in the Course as a means of controlling the world or controlling situations in the world—the belief that one’s thinking has power, when it doesn’t.
There’s a phrase that’s used to this effect, “Well, he had the presence of mind to deal with the situation well.” Well, here is a simple thought to keep in mind: The presence of thinking gets in the way of the Presence of Mind.
And that’s why the practice of the two-step, the practice of the holy instant is not only the corner-stone of the teaching of A Course In Miracles, it’s the corner-stone of Waking up, it’s the corner-stone of Atonement. Because the practice of the two-step involves becoming still, stilling the thinking because, in its absence, in the pristine silence of nothing more than the Presence of Mind, your divinity, the Holy Spirit, which speaks for God to you while you dally with the ego, is able to register with you and bring forth a shift of perception which is, of course, the definition of a miracle.
Now, there is, as we’ve discussed before, going on in the world disturbance, the activation of that which is disturbing to the human peace of mind, disturbing to the sense of security and safety. And this disturbance is created through the suggestion that rules, principles no longer apply, no longer are stable, no longer provide stability, that there is nothing dependable anymore. And, you know, in some ways, this can play into a Pollyanna approach to A Course In Miracles because it can suggest that, as one listens for the Voice for Truth and hears what is beyond his present concepts, his present sense of thing, it is going to disturb the status-quo, and it is going to be disturbing, and it is going to bring forth the unexpected.
And so, the rules that have been in place will naturally breakdown to make room for new rules. This Pollyanna thinking is very destructive, and one needs to be alert for it.
As I brought out last week, there is “no variableness or shadow of turning”1 in the Presence of God, in the Presence of the Kingdom of Heaven. What was true yesterday is true today. Love is reflected in Love. Divine Love is reflected in the love shared with one’s fellowman. When one goes within and listens and Love is revealed to be shared, it doesn’t transition into something else. Love does not become that which undermines your experience of stability and security but makes it more solid.
Now, why does one engage in independent thinking? One engages in it to save himself from what he fears. And, of course, as we’ve said so many times, the minute one got a divorce from the Father, the minute one said, “But, Father, I’d rather do it myself,” and joined with another in this act of independence, fear and guilt came into play. And where thinking had never been engaged in before in one’s divine state of Mind, thinking became the means by which one’s security was regained by virtue of developing more and more mutual definitions between you and another who decided to do things for themselves. Thinking is the culprit. Thinking is what blinds you to what Truth really Is.
Now, a lot of thinking is going on in the world, a lot of thinking arising out of fear. And those experiencing fear who employ thinking to save themselves, to improve themselves, to hopefully cause themselves no longer to experience themselves as an orphan but as a real independent presence, they are engaged in attempting to divide, to breakdown cohesion, to disturb Brotherhood in order to demonstrate that independence is the ultimate answer. But, of course, it’s an “ultimate answer” directed at asserting and succeeding at demonstrating one’s personal private Presence (with a capital “P”)—but not a capital “P” because it’s the Presence of God.
So, it is arrogant, self-centered, self-aggrandizing. It is all oriented to personal, individual greatness. And the suggestion is that everyone must seek that because that is the answer. But, of course, if those in the Brotherhood, those who are Family because they are the direct Expression of the Father, if they, indeed, take on the challenge to become not only great but the greatest independent self-existent presence, what really can be the only result? Total disintegration of Brotherhood, total disintegration of cohesiveness, total disintegration of integrity, total disintegration of order? And, if you stop and think about it, the total disintegration of order is a cataclysm. It would be the equivalent of what is imagined to be the “Big Bang,” where everything that ever existed would explode into what it is not.
Now, in Lesson 170 in the Workbook of A Course In Miracles, the very first paragraph is all-important, especially at this time. It says:
No-one attacks without intent to hurt.2
That means that attack is never the result of carelessness, thoughtlessness, immaturity, ignorance. It never just accidentally happens.
No-one attacks without intent to hurt. This can have no exceptions.
Why am I reading this? Why is this what I’m sharing tonight? Because attack seems to be going on in all directions. This Lesson is directed at each individual reading it, bringing out that, if the one reading it is engaging in attack, he must come to a realization that there is an active intent to hurt. It’s not careless, thoughtless, it’s not the result of ignorance. It is focused. It is specific. It is on purpose. It has a goal.
Now, when you have people in power anywhere on the globe who are engaging in the promotion of independence from others on the globe as though this is the answer to ultimate success, you’re seeing the demonstration of attack. And, yet:
No-one attacks without intent to hurt. This can have no exceptions.
Now, A Course In Miracles and most forms of metaphysics do not really encourage you to look at these things that are happening and say, “Well, it’s all an illusion,” as though that is the magic Pollyanna answer that will correct the situation. And it’s important to understand that to simply discount it by saying, “It’s an illusion,” or by saying, “Oh, the Holy Spirit will take care of it,” this is not what will heal. This is not what will correct. This is what will allow that which needs to be corrected to increase in its aggressiveness, increase the degree to which it creates fear. And this is unacceptable.
Now, does this sound very encouraging? Does this sound very inspiring? Nevertheless, it is. Let’s continue from the book:
When you think that you attack in self-defense, you mean that to be cruel is protection; you are safe because of cruelty.
You watch cruelty in one form or another happen almost daily in America. It happens elsewhere, but it is not expressed with the degree of power and influence as it does when it is coming from America.
When you think or when one thinks that he attacks in self-defense, he means that to be cruel is protection; it’s, therefore, justifiable. That he is safe because of cruelty or the country is safer because of cruelty. This is not a sign of progress. This is not a sign of the radicalness of the miracles of atonement. Be very clear on this. If you are not very clear on this, the inspiration that is needed will not address the issue and, in so many words to say, “Well, this too shall pass,” is stupid. It is that which will destroy whatever degree of peace and harmony everyone is presently experiencing if no one engages in what corrects it.
When you think that you attack in self-defense, you mean that to be cruel is protection; you are safe because of cruelty. You mean that you believe to hurt another brings you freedom. And you mean that to attack is to exchange the state in which you are for something better, safer, more secure from …
… dangerous invasion …
Build a wall! Build a wall!
[And] you mean that to attack is to exchange the state in which you are for something better, safer, more secure from dangerous invasion and from fear.
Well, I’m sorry, the only thing that will save you or anyone from fear is to abandon the act of independence you engaged in when you said you would rather do it your way, meaning you would rather define the meaning of everything yourself through the use of—or misuse—of your mind, which in the process created the presence of “thinking” and constituted the loss of the Presence of Mind, which is your Birthright. The Presence of Mind being the Presence of the Holy Spirit, which is nothing more, nothing less than your right Mind, held in trust while you dally with the ego.
When the thought is expressed, “I will turn this over to the Holy Spirit,” what that means is that you will engage in the two-step. You won’t abandon the call for correction and discount it with a few fairy words, a few Pollyanna words, “This too shall pass away.” “It’s illusion.” “Nothing Real can be threatened and nothing unreal exists.” “So, I need do nothing.” And, “I will turn it over to the Holy Spirit.” “The Holy Spirit will take care of it.”
When you turn things over to the Holy Spirit, it means you’re engaging in the holy instant, you’re engaging in the two-step, which means you are shutting up the thinking, becoming quiet in the mind. Why? So that which is your right Mind is not interfered with by the noise and static of your independent thinking and so that It can register with you as your clarity, as your experiencing the Truth of what is going on. Why? So that you can be the Presence of Truth engaged in Brotherhood in the ways that calls for Love to be answered with correction of that which required a call for Love.
It’s letting the Holy Spirit replace the sense of presence that your thinking seems to give you, so that you might act—for lack of better words—in the world in a transformational way that allows what is in Heaven to be on earth, in other words, for the Kingdom of Heaven that everything already is to register as what it Is.
Now, the movement that everyone on your globe finds yourself blatantly confronted by is a movement of a conscious, planned, organized attempt to breakdown that which constitutes the integrity of mankind’s experience of itself as Brotherhood.
How many of you find yourselves discouraged, depressed, feeling hopeless, doubting what you had always believed, not feeling that there’s any basis upon which to feel secure within yourself? Let’s be clear, there’s a reason, and it’s not all just your very own practice of independence that causes for you the experience of fear and guilt. It is because the divorce from the Father, the act of independence is engaged in its last hurrah, its mighty attempt to be equal but opposite to God.
Is this frightening? It can be. And you might have thought that, in your study of the Course, it was leading you away from having to confront so directly and so practically and so groundedly such an attempt, such a dynamic that to become aware of the Allness of God and the fact that God is infinite Love and that the Love that God is meets every human need, that that isn’t enough.
You—every single one of you—are the agents for change because you are the holy Sons and Daughters of God. This doesn’t just apply to you who hear what I’m saying and believe it, it also applies to those who are engaged in the call for Love that appears to be consciously directed attempts at destruction. But, while these attempts are being made, it is absolutely essential to understand how important each of you is in being the Presence of Mind that is you letting the Holy Spirit register with you so that the clarity of the Holy Spirit allows you to behave fearlessly—but unequivocally—on behalf of Intelligence and the unwillingness to embrace the unintelligent.
Now, whew, [big sigh] this means that as you are willing to look at what is being attempted and as you are willing to call it for what it is: “A call for Love.” It is not Love. It is a call for Love. It is fear being expressed in an attempt to control everyone else into behaving in a way that will support disintegration, which is another way of saying that will support the salvation that independence promises. You see?
You have the capacity, as I brought out last time, in the midst of emergency, in the midst of the conscious practice of destruction to turn your attention to the Holy Spirit, to turn your attention to the Father, to become still, to remember that the culprit is the thinking you engage in.
Mind you, that does not mean that the thinking you engage in is creating the calls for Love that are coming from high places around your globe. It means that your thinking stands in the way of—it is the culprit that stands in the way of—your ability to know the Truth, to know what the Truth is, to know what a holy Son or Daughter of God Knows as his Birthright, as her Birthright, as that which is inviolable, as that which is secure and not threatened. So that one is allowed the clarification that is necessary in order to act, to act with acts of Brotherhood, meaning involvement with each other, involvement with those who are engaging in what is destructive in ways that transform and heal. That is your task.
Your task is what? To remember not to think, to remember to shut up.
Now, I mentioned last week, that with the global communication, which almost everyone on your globe utilizes, it’s possible for everyone instantaneously—without having to wait three weeks for mail to come across the Atlantic or go across the Pacific—everyone has the capacity now to experience immediately, instantaneously what others are feeling anywhere on the globe. And, when so many people are communicating their concern, the sheer number causes the problem to seem to be something far more than a misperception, than a belief which can be replaced by the Truth if one stops engaging in thinking—listens, hears and expresses himself from that place globally through the global communication. You see?
This is the key. And every single one of you has this capacity. When you experience so many Brothers and Sisters in distress it’s very disturbing. Your habits of thinking, your habits of controlling through the use of mutual agreements and allegiances, they tend to come into play and cause you once again to engage in acts of authority because that’s what you’re familiar with. And so, something has to happen when you are experiencing the seeming reality of an illusion, of a belief, of a thought structure which doesn’t have its source in Reality.
The element that is required is faith. You must dare to persist in being in that place of silence, the place of having shut up your thinking when it’s like every fiber of your being is calling for you to think, and to think creatively, and to find a way through thinking to coerce through threat and through the expression of fear and cruelty. You see?
The call is right in the middle of that when you are in the silence, not to succumb to the temptation to stop listening because hearing is the solution. Hearing is how the Presence of God registers with you as your Source, as your security, as your capacity to love in ways that correct rather than allow just anything to happen because it’s all illusion.
I’m here to inspire you to not let despair, hopelessness, discouragement fill your mind. Because, it’s very simple, you provide the thoughts that do the discouragement. You say, “There’s no way out of this.” “This is overwhelming.” “The rules don’t work anymore.” “Everyone’s going to get away with everything.” You see? [chuckles] It isn’t that they’re getting away with the rules, it’s that you’re saying in your mind to yourself, “It’s hopeless.” “They’re getting away with everything.” “Nobody’s going to stop them.” “Nothing will stop it anymore,” and on and on … thoughts … thoughts … thoughts.
And that’s what you suffer from because they make so much noise that you can’t hear the “still small voice” for God that is the infinite Presence for Mind that it’s your Birthright to be experiencing and which will register with you when through faith in the presence of disturbing thoughts allow you to remain still, so that your reunion with your right Mind can occur.
Now, this reunion is inevitable because you have never stopped being unified. The Truth, Reality has never been interfered with really. It’s available to be experienced this instant. But you’re going to have to bring the faith that causes you to persist in listening until you hear. And each time you listen in the face of great distraction and hear, your experience provides a stronger basis for persisting in faith.
You know what? I am present with every single one of you always. The Holy Spirit—that which is nothing more than your right Mind—is present with you always. The Father, of course, is the very Presence of You always. And so, you are constantly in the Presence of That which supports the Atonement. You are in the Presence of, and you Are the Presence of That which is the absence of pain, suffering, doubt, fear, discouragement, hopelessness, sin, sickness and death.
Don’t be afraid to have to be so grounded that you’re willing to look at the call for Love and name it for what it is, and be present—I’m going to say—with it, with the clarity that it hasn’t a leg to stand on, that it has no foundation in Reality, and, therefore, it cannot accomplish what is frightening everyone into believing it can.
This is practical spirituality. This is the lab work of A Course In Miracles. Don’t be afraid of it. Persist. Even when your habit of fear wants to get you to take hold of the situation yourself and do something “out there” without the guidance of your right Mind. With the guidance of your right Mind, you will act, you will engage with your Brothers in acts of Brotherhood that unify. That is just the way it really works.
I love you very much. The Father loves you very much. The Holy Spirit embraces you fully and It’s constant purpose is to insinuate Itself into your present, private awareness, to help undo it, to help break down the wall you have put up between your private sense of self and That which is nothing more than your right Mind.
It’s time to undo the wall. It’s time to disagree with the breakdown of unity. It’s time to do it with guidance. It’s time to do it without thinking. It’s time to do it as the Presence of Mind.
I look forward to being with you next time.
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