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Reversing Effect and Cause;
Getting to the Bottom of the Belief in Linear Time


Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

Speaker (continuing from part 2): “Cause and effect are one, not separate. God wills you learn what always has been true: That He created you as part of Him, and this must still be true because ideas leave not their source. Such is creation's law; that each idea the mind conceives but adds to its abundance, never takes away. This is as true of what is idly wished as what is truly willed, because the mind can wish to be deceived, but cannot make it be what it is not. And to believe ideas can leave their source is to invite illusions to be true, without success. For never will success be possible in trying to deceive the Son of God.”

This really relates to ** saying ‘I am the world, the world is me.’ It s another way of saying, ideas leave not their source, that the world has not left the mind of the thinker. We are speaking of the wrong-mind there. But before the mind can make a clear discernment between the right-mind and the wrong-mind, between forgiveness and illusions, it has to have that clear discernment and see the false as false before the false can disappear. So to make statements about ‘I am the holy Son of God’… to skip the step of really looking at the ordering of thoughts or the subtle means of judgments or of making error real and to try to hop over that to ‘I am the holy Son of God’ is kind of like to try to go from somewhere in the middle of the alphabet to ‘z’. That is why it is really important to have tremendous clarity of what is false. Just seeing the false as false.

Participant 1: So, what transpires to make that transfer over from seeing the false as false to seeing that the false is nothing, that it doesn’t exist at all?

Speaker: Those are the same, those things you just said. What I was referring to is the idea in the Course that says you’ll reach the real world and you’ll barely have time to enjoy it. To say that God takes the final step is still a metaphor that God takes steps, but the ‘step’ that He takes is Creation. The first and only ‘step’ that God takes is Creation of His Son. And so the final step in terms of the Course is really the first step…

Participant 1: It’s a return to the awareness of what’s always been the case.

Speaker: And ** said that as well, ‘The last step is the first step’. It’s really not a step at all in the sense of a sequence at the very end.

“The miracle is possible when cause and consequence are brought together, not kept separate. The healing of effect without the cause can merely shift effects to other forms. And this is not release.”

This is another way of saying or talking about magic. All attempts at magic are just an attempt to shift effects to other forms or to heal effects without a cause. To heal something in the world, some consequence, situation, some event that seems not right, by shifting around the forms. Or, as Krishnamurti phrases it: ‘to juggle the contents of consciousness,’ this is what shifting forms is. You’ve got all these concepts and if you keep trying to juggle the concepts hoping that you will arrive at the perfect combination then you are deluded because you’ll never have a transformation of mind as long as you just shift and juggle the concepts. There has to be an entirely different way of looking at consciousness from an entirely different point of view, from the miracle or above the battlefield, before the shift is a meaningful shift.

“God's Son could never be content with less than full salvation and escape from guilt. For otherwise he still demands that he must make some sacrifice, and thus denies that everything is his, unlimited by loss of any kind.”

Here comes that word ‘sacrifice’ (coming up) in there that Jesus mentions in the Teacher’s Manual. He shares that sacrifice has no meaning in Heaven, but while you believe you are in the world he defines sacrifice as the giving up what you want. And as long as the mind sees some glimmer, even some small value in anything in the world, then it will perceive giving up the world as sacrifice. Even a tiny thing that still is held onto reinforces the concept of sacrifice. If there is even a little bit of ordering, if there is something in the corral that the mind doesn’t want to willingly expose to the light, then it denies that everything is His.

“A tiny sacrifice is just the same in its effects as is the whole idea of sacrifice. If loss in any form is possible, then is God's Son made incomplete and not himself. Nor will he know himself, nor recognize his will. He has forsworn his Father and himself, and made Them both his enemies in hate.”

More and more it is different ways of coming at the theme of ‘You’ll learn this Course entirely or not at all’. And to me, where that kind of idea can be perceived as threatening through the ego lens, I think more and more that inevitably it’s just a relief to start to come to embrace that idea even though it’s an idea that seemed early on to be avoided. Avoidance is part of thinking ‘this is impossible to transcend the ego entirely,’ part of that ego thinking. Non-compromise dispells that kind of notion. The beginning of that paragraph is the central idea of what we’ve been talking about. The miracle is possible when cause and consequence are brought together, not kept separate. That just really precisely eliminates the past and the future because the past and the future are attempts to keep cause and consequence apart. Separation is where linear time comes in.

Participant 1: In the margin I’ve got a reminder to myself of why I want to see this whole business of cause and effect clearly. Simply that if I can maintain peace of mind in every seeming situation in the world then that is how my mind comes to see that the world has no effects and so what has no effects must have no cause. And that is the undoing of the ego. Sometimes I get caught up in trying to understand the concepts and I kind of forget why this makes any difference. Why I am even trying to get clear about it in the first place, how it really relates to anything.

Speaker: I think too that this idea:‘the miracle is possible when cause and consequence are brought together and not kept separate’ really relates to that section we have gone over before in the text called ‘The Immediacy of Salvation’ where Jesus says ‘Why should the good appear in evil’s form?’ Why are you thinking that God would place salvation in the future? When the mind believes that enlightenment or salvation is in the future, it is separating cause and consequence. It is saying that there was a past, a real past. There is a future yet to come, it is a real future. It is denying that there is cause for freedom now. It is still wanting to hold onto that gap and believe in the reality of that gap of time and to project the solution or the correction into the future. When the mind does that it can’t help but feel that it will suffer fear from now until the time when the correction is accepted. It is simply projecting fear to time and it is saying that old thing about time healing all wounds. Well, it is a new purpose for time, right now, that heals all wounds. It’s not time itself. Linear time has never healed anything. Linear time is part of the problem, not the solution.

Participant 1: That’s one of those old sayings that’s backwards isn’t it?

Speaker: It could be reinterpreted though. Instead of saying that time heals all wounds, you could say that the correct use of time, the Holy Spirit’s purpose for time, heals all wounds because his purpose is to make time unnecessary. The ego’s purpose for time is it’s purpose for everything… death: to maintain the belief that separation from God is real, it has occurred, and it will be punished. So it is interesting to come at this cause and consequence, cause and effect idea from all these different angles, even from the sense of time to see that everything points to: Now is the point of release.
The next section is the ‘Hero of the dream’ in chapter 27.

“The body's serial adventures, from the time of birth to dying are the theme of every dream the world has ever had. The "hero" of this dream will never change, nor will its purpose. Though the dream itself takes many forms, and seems to show a great variety of places and events wherein its "hero" finds itself, the dream has but one purpose, taught in many ways. This single lesson does it try to teach again, and still again, and yet once more; that it is cause and not effect. And you are its effect, and cannot be its cause.”

Participant 1: There it is.

Speaker: So really, when it says ‘this single lesson’ that is the ego. The ego is a lesson in the mind and the Holy Spirit is a lesson in the mind and the mind that is trying to learn two lessons is very confused. The lessons don’t go together. They are an either/or proposition. What the ego is teaching is that the world is the cause and not effect and that you are it’s effect and cannot be it’s cause. And if the mind is identified with the body or the hero of the dream… in the world’s eyes it is clearly that way… bodies are born from other bodies. From the ego’s perspective you are clearly the effect of this world. And if you want to take it back from just the bodies and procreation, if you take it back in evolutionary terms to the old theories of evolution (the single cell organism evolving to higher and higher forms of life and still somehow they try to say that there had to be the right conditions for that spark of life to arise from the dust ), still what’s behind all those theories is that you had your beginning… whether it is from procreation, intercourse with a man and a woman, or if you take it back to the spark of life, in form. And even the attempts to bring God into this beginning, making man and woman out of clay or dust and so on, reinforce the notion of the body being an effect of the world. Even if you look at it this way that is still bringing God into form, saying that God had anything to do with making form. This whole analogy of the dream brings it back to the dream being the cause and you being it’s effect.

“Thus are you not the dreamer, but the dream. And so you wander idly in and out of places and events that it contrives. That this is all the body does is true, for it is but a figure in a dream. But who reacts to figures in a dream unless he sees them as if they were real? ”

It’s such a vast turnaround from thinking ‘I’m just this tiny person in a vast world’ and there are all these other people and personality traits and characteristics and people of different races and cultures, languages, genetic differences. And now we get into the era of Star Wars and movies that are depicting all of these alien creatures, UFO‘s, etc… all part of the one dream that is the projection from my own mind. Talk about turning the table. That‘s such a vast turnaround.

“The instant that he sees them as they are they have no more effects on him, because he understands he gave them their effects by causing them and making them seem real.” There is that ‘gave’ again. Not give but ‘gave’. The past tense is always important in these sentences because it constantly puts the ego and the whole world that it seemed to bring about into the past tense. “How willing are you to escape effects of all the dreams the world has ever had? Is it your wish to let no dream appear to be the cause of what it is you do?” There we are with the ‘fear of consequences’ that we talk about a lot. If you let go of all fear of consequences then truly you can be in the miracle and whatever you seem to do or say is literally automatic, coming from right-mindedness. “Then let us merely look upon the dream's beginning, for the part you see is but the second part, whose cause lies in the first."

This is setting the stage for when he gets into Self vs. self concept and he talks about the part that you gave away. When we talk about the two tiers of the self concept, the first part is the belief that I have separated from God. That’s the belief in mind, and the second part is the dreaming of the world which was made as a cover so as to never have to look down below it. The dreaming of the world is the part that has been given away. The mind forgets it’s a mind and then believes that it’s on the screen. That’s the second part that he’s talking about.

“No one asleep and dreaming in the world remembers his attack upon himself.” That’s the belief in separation. “ No one believes there really was a time when he knew nothing of a body, and could never have conceived this world as real. He would have seen at once that these ideas are one illusion, too ridiculous for anything but to be laughed away. How serious they now appear to be! And no one can remember when they would have met with laughter and with disbelief. We can remember this, if we but look directly at their cause. And we will see the grounds for laughter, not a cause for fear.”

So the ego always says, ‘pay extreme attention to the screen and do not go within and look at your mind’. Or if we use the Wizard of Oz analogy, when they finally get to Oz, when they finally get to the room where they see this giant thing on the screen, a huge face with a loud voice, and Toto pulls the curtain in the projection room, what does the wizard say? “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!” (laughing) Pay no attention to the thought in the mind, to the true cause, stay focused on the horrifying picture that you see on the screen so you will tremble before it. That movie has so many good metaphors in it. No wonder people love it even if they don’t know why. Because it’s a metaphor for their release. There’s no place like Home. You’ve always had the power to go Home.

“Let us return the dream he gave away unto the dreamer, who perceives the dream as separate from himself and done to him. Into eternity, where all is one, there crept a tiny, mad idea, at which the Son of God remembered not to laugh. In his forgetting did the thought become a serious idea, and possible of both accomplishment and real effects."

That part is ‘In his forgetting…,’ that is where the accomplishment and real effects seem to occur.

“Together, we can laugh them both away, and understand that time cannot intrude upon eternity. It is a joke to think that time can come to circumvent eternity, which means there is no time. A timelessness in which is time made real; a part of God that can attack itself; a separate brother as an enemy; a mind within a body all are forms of circularity whose ending starts at its beginning, ending at its cause. The world you see depicts exactly what you thought you did.”

That’s what we were talking about yesterday in the workshop about the mind believing that it is guilty, believing that it separated from God, and now the world demonstrates to it that separation is real, that guilt is real. “Except that now you think that what you did is being done to you. The guilt for what you thought is being placed outside yourself, and on a guilty world that dreams your dreams and thinks your thoughts instead of you.”

We are getting down to this daily life and day to day living versus this abstract idea of ‘dreamer of the dream’ and purpose and seeing more and more that we can’t hold onto both at once. That it really is an either/or kind of thing. The fear is that there is still the belief that to give up my daily day to day life conception is somehow going to be some kind of a loss. The status quo is familiar, comfortable, not always the best but still it’s not so bad.

Participant 1: At least I have a handle on it.

Speaker: A seeming handle in the way that things are constructed and the way things work.

Participant 2: And even that it doesn’t seem possible to give it up. Even if I said I wanted to it seems impossible. I can even imagine coming to a place where I say I am ready to give it up… that I can imagine but what I can’t imagine is how that would be, how that would look. And as long as I try to imagine how it’s going to look…

Participant 1: There is no point of reference.

Speaker: It needs to be very free floating. It comes up for me… I was asked more than once I think, ‘Where do you live?’ That comes up a lot and it is interesting to say… I live in my mind and it is a real detachment. There is no box for that. It doesn’t fit in any of the boxes. The follow up question is usually then, ‘Where do you receive your mail?’ or something like that. Let’s nail this down to some kind of a box. It is very different to be in a place of not conceiving of yourself as living in a particular place.

Participant 1: To even come to thinking of yourself as ‘mind’ would have to mean that there is being some transfer of the whole cause and effect idea. It seems like that’s how the mind would come to recognize itself as what it is by recognizing that the cause and effect isn’t what it once thought it was.

Speaker: Yes. When these thoughts come to mind ‘This is interesting now but what about next week?’ or ‘What about next month?’ or next year, how things will be then… those are just more future thoughts in linear time and it can’t be both ways. It can’t be that instant of snipping the care away for holding onto the past and future. It just takes one instant. I think of the lesson in the workbook, ‘I place my future in the hands of God’. When you do that, you give over your mind. When you are giving over the future, you are giving over the past as well. Craig was asking me on the phone what I was going to be doing in December. And I said, ‘I don’t know, I don’t have plans’. He was interested in this whole idea of intensives and workshops and gatherings and it was the same thing we spoke about earlier today, of just getting a strong comfortable feeling, a strong indication to do something. Even scheduling something a month or month and a half in advance, it goes back to Jesus arranging time and space for the miracle to be performed. You could come at it from other descriptive ways such as people having complicated schedules and they need a month or so notice just to fill it in. Or you feel a strong guidance or direction to do something. It’s like it says in lesson 135, ‘It’s not planning on your own but listening to wisdom that is not your own. If there are plans to be made, you will be told of them.’ Even when those things seem to take shape and form and people start coming in, it is still swept into the same category that ‘the script is written.’ It is not like those gatherings and seminars are apart from anything else that seems to happen in the world of form. There is no breaking it up into ‘I have some free time and here is some work time.’ Or even our metaphor of the ebb and flow is still a metaphor because the whole point is to have the sameness. It just takes one decision, one instant right now to do that though. It is not like it must be projected it out, it is just a present decision, a present intention.

Participant 1: That’s the only thing that can make it all the same.

Speaker: Let’s bring it back to practicalities though. If you have thoughts come into your mind… those thoughts of ‘I’m off somewhere else’ or like you said, that when you have different distractions or different idea, what makes it practical is just to take a look at those things as they come up. Whether it’s thoughts of special hate, which you brought up a couple of days ago, or thoughts of ‘How will this work with my family and my kids’ or the daily routines of life in Traverse City or whatever. It’s fot to start with that, with what my concerns are. Like when we were traveling down to Jackson we got in touch with that idea about still wanting Tom to understand. That’s practical application of it, starting not with the abstract ‘dreamer of the dream’ thing but starting with ‘This is my concern, this is my thought’.

“The secret of salvation is but this: That you are doing this unto yourself. No matter what the form of the attack, this still is true. Whoever takes the role of enemy and of attacker, still is this the truth. Whatever seems to be the cause of any pain and suffering you feel, this is still true. For you could not react at all to figures in a dream you knew that you were dreaming. Let them be as hateful and as vicious as they may, they could have no effect on you unless you failed to recognize it is your dream.”

That’s all you need. That’s it. That’s the summary.

“This single lesson learned will set you free from suffering, whatever form it takes. The Holy Spirit will repeat this one inclusive lesson of deliverance until it has been learned, regardless of the form of suffering that brings you pain. Whatever hurt you bring to Him He will make answer with this very simple truth. For this one answer takes away the cause of every form of sorrow and of pain. The form affects His answer not at all, for He would teach you but the single cause of all of them, no matter what their form. And you will understand that miracles reflect the simple statement, "I have done this thing, and it is this I would undo". Bring, then, all forms of suffering to Him Who knows that every one is like the rest. He sees no differences where none exists, and He will teach you how each one is caused. None has a different cause from all the rest, and all of them are easily undone by but a single lesson truly learned. “

He’s speaking literally of the Atonement. “Salvation is a secret you have kept but from yourself. The universe proclaims it so. Yet to its witnesses you pay no heed at all. For they attest the thing you do not want to know. They seem to keep it secret from you. Yet you need but learn you chose but not to listen, not to see.”

So if we go back to: ‘yet to it’s witnesses you pay no heed at all,’ this is literally everything that happens. I sometimes say that every brother you meet is a witness, but I am not speaking in terms of form because it has nothing to do with bodies. In fact, as long as you see bodies, you can’t see the lesson because you can’t see the face of Christ and see bodies. You could probably extend this as well not only to persons but to situations… in other words in the Workbook where Jesus says ‘You could receive vision from a table’ means forgiveness does not necessarily involve persons, but really what it does involve is really withdrawing all the meaning or interpretation from the past completely and let the Word of God be written upon it. Or to let the purpose of the Holy Spirit be exchanged for the ego’s purpose. And that is the witness that proclaims it so, that you are the ‘dreamer of the dream’ and that you are but doing this to yourself.

“How differently will you perceive the world when this is recognized! When you forgive the world your guilt, you will be free of it. Its innocence does not demand your guilt, nor does your guiltlessness rest on its sins. This is the obvious; a secret kept from no one but yourself. And it is this that has maintained you separate from the world, and kept your brother separate from you.”

There’s the subject/object split.

“Now need you but to learn that both of you are innocent or guilty. The one thing that is impossible is that you be unlike each other; that they both be true. This is the only secret yet to learn. And it will be no secret you are healed.”
It is obvious in that sense, why any grievance, even a little tiny grievance, is an attack upon God’s plan for salvation. Because a grievance is saying that there is still someone, some person, some thing that is different than it should be, that it’s wrong, that it’s guilty apart from myself. This healing statement is just saying that this is impossible.

Participant 1: There is no [such thing as] ‘apart from myself’.

Speaker: Right. There is no ‘apart from myself,’ and for the mind that believes that there are ‘others’ believes that one could be guilty and one could be innocent. The belief that you are guilty and I am innocent or the belief that I am guilty and you are innocent. It doesn’t matter which way you go. The secret yet to learn is that they must be the same. I remember this past winter maybe last year when we were teaching a class and one fellow was talking about being sick and I remember saying, ‘You can’t be sick apart from me. Either we are both sick or we are both healed.’ He was saying that he was feeling sick and feeling very uncomfortable coming around such healthy people.

Participant 1: That's comparison.

Speaker: Feeling very much ‘less than’. Feeling very much like ‘I don’t belong here. I don’t belong coming to this class with you because I am so sick’…

Participant 1: …‘and still believe in sickness and you don’t’

Speaker: It can’t be one and not the other. We are either both healed or we are both sick. And I say we are both healed.

Participant 1: That whole part in there, a few paragraphs before, where you were reading about ‘the secret of salvation and you are doing this unto yourself’… is really what we were talking about over lunch in terms of the child abuse issue. And how can you say that the mind brings witness to itself when you are talking about a two week old baby.

Speaker: In that case, that’s making an exception saying that with adults it’s different. A young child so many months old… that’s the exception. Where guilt is seen as justified because there really has been a real abuse that has taken place, totally apart from the will of that child. And it is all a part of that level confusion in thinking that the mind is somehow related to the body. Bill Thetford went through the same kind of thing when he had difficulties going to conferences or rehab conventions where there apparently were these broken bodies all over the place… handicaps, disabilities, children and these kinds of things. And it was a reinforcer or a reminder in the belief of the frailty of life.

Participant 1: And that’s why he was having so much trouble with it is what you are saying?

Speaker: Yes, and basically what Jesus says is that you have some level confusion going on. Level confusion is making an exception. You are confusing the brain with the mind. The mind is invulnerable. Even if you come to the level of ‘I can be hurt only by my thoughts’… that is just a description of the wrong-mind. But the release is that I don’t have to choose the wrong mind. I am not the wrong mind. My mind holds only what I think with God. That is a description of the right-mind. That is what we are to embrace. That’s the Correction.

Participant 1: Only my loving thoughts are true.

Speaker: “The ancient new ideas they bring will be the happy consequences of a cause so ancient that it far exceeds the span of memory which your perception sees.”

Beneath the span of memory which the deceived mind’s perception sees is the memory of the Present, the memory of God. It is beyond the span which the deceived mind sees. So as I’ve said before, the present isn’t in between the past and the future, the present is before time was. Remember we went over that. That is beyond what the wrong-mind can see. The wrong-mind cannot perceive the present. Now is literally back farther, beyond time. And when he says, "ancient new ideas" obviously he is talking about the real thoughts in the mind that are buried beneath the attack thoughts. And a lot of times someone will say, ‘Give me an example of a real thought’ and a good one you can throw out is ‘I am as God created me’. There is not a hint of perception to that idea. That’s an ancient new thought that’s buried in the mind but literally brings with it salvation because it is not perceptual. Is that the only one? No. ‘I am spirit’ - there’s another one… If you really look in the Workbook you can find them there. There are the real thoughts in there: ‘My mind holds only what I think with God’. Not a hint of perception. There are a lot of the other ones that say, ‘I am determined to see’ or ‘What I see is a form of vengeance,’ and some of those that are clearly pointing to the way that the mind seems to see now. Those are clearing away higher concepts, making ready for the real thoughts which are totally abstract.

Now we see him shift from lower case ‘c’ to capital ‘C’. “This is the Cause the Holy Spirit has remembered for you, when you would forget.” So now God is coming into the discussion. He has shifted to capital ‘C’.

“It is not past because He let It not be unremembered. It has never changed, because there never was a time in which He did not keep It safely in your mind. Its consequences will indeed seem new, because you thought that you remembered not their Cause. Yet was It never absent from your mind, for it was not your Father's Will that He be unremembered by His Son.”
That Cause is literally the memory of God. ‘It was not your Father’s Will that He be unremembered by His Son…what you remembered never was…’ So here He’s speaking to the ego self. This can be confusing at times for people when they are reading the Course because they’ll say, ‘Well, when he says you are the holy Son of God himself, he seems to be speaking of a different ‘you’ than when he says what ‘you’ remembered never was.’

“It came from causelessness which you confused with cause. It can deserve but laughter, when you learn you have remembered consequences that were causeless and could never be effects.”
(Laughing) There we have it! The laughter…

“The miracle reminds you of a Cause forever present, perfectly untouched by time and interference. Never changed from what It is. And you are Its Effect, as changeless and as perfect as Itself.”

So we’re back to the idea that real Cause and the only Cause is God. When he shifts to to, "and you are his Effects" he is not speaking to the ego, he is speaking to the Son of God.

Participant 1: The true You.

Speaker: “Its memory does not lie in the past, nor waits the future. It is not revealed in miracles. They but remind you that It has not gone. When you forgive It for your sins, It will no longer be denied.”

‘It does not reveal the miracles’… that’s the difference between revelation and miracles. Miracles are time collapses that are the means or that prepare the mind for revelation. But miracles are not revealing or revelatory in the sense that they are still perceptual. And revelation literally is not a perceptual experience. The mind, when it is in a revelatory experience, absolutely has no memory of fear.

As we come together with our intention we are able to transfer the training to all the seeming separate aspects of the deceived mind’s life including pap smears and food and sex and on and on. In reality there is no separation between all those things because there’s that ‘golden cord’ or the necklace that ties them all together. But to that mind that believes that they are separate aspects that have a true experience and existence in and of themselves, then it needs miracles just to remind it that the false is false.

“You who have sought to lay a judgment on your own Creator cannot understand it is not He Who laid a judgment on His Son. You would deny Him His effects, yet have they never been denied. There was no time in which His Son could be condemned for what was causeless and against His Will.”

At times during the intensive and other times people will raise this question: ‘How could I have done this?’ or ‘Why do I keep doing this?,’ and that is just the ego speaking. That is the ego that has the question. It is the ego that is frustrated and seeming to beat itself up. All those statements are just coming from the wrong-mind. They are statements of a mind that is deceived that is trying to still deny the fact of Christ. ‘You would deny Him His effects, yet have they never been denied’. If you really follow where this is going, this world is a hallucination, and to really see it as a hallucination you must simultaneously, spontaneously spring into Reality. To just see the world in that way (a hallucination) and not think of it as a good metaphor, but just to see it for what it was. Certainly with that kind of an experience the attempting to do anything on one’s own vanishes, because it seems to be impossible. It seen that I cannot act on my own, for that was not me.

“What your remembering would witness to is but the fear of God. “He is speaking more to the deceived mind here.
“He has not done the thing you fear. No more have you. And so your innocence has not been lost. You need no healing to be healed.” That seems to fly against some of the other things, that you’re function is healing and so on, but now we are getting down to the nitty gritty.

Participant 1: But, nothing ever occurred that calls for healing is the essence of this.

Speaker: Right, it’s the very basis for the metaphysics. ‘What you thought you did has not occurred. You need no healing to be healed.’

Participant 2: The impossible never happened. (Pause) Something else came to my mind as you were talking about that and it never really occurred to me before even though I’ve heard the metaphor of it being a hallucination and I’ve read that many times. But just as you said that this time, I had this memory of a time when I was in college and I had taken some drug and I had hallucinated and it was so scary to me. I hated it and I thought, ‘That’s the fear’ because things were not as I expected them. Walls moved and distances were altered. Something that looked real short, then when I walked towards it, it would be far away. So my perception that I knew or thought I knew was all distorted.

Participant 1: Unreliable.

Participant 2: Yes, unreliable. And so it was very very scary to me. And I can remember having this feeling of being out of control and like I just wanted to go somewhere and hide until it went away. I thought, ‘I can’t be with people. I can’t do anything. I can’t function’. All those feelings came back to me just now and Wow! All those feelings are still there in this hallucination. It only makes sense that you would feel that way when your perception is distorted, when nothing is as it appears, when nothing is as it is supposed to be. I don’t even know who I am or how I relate to any of this. Just the tremendous fear that is there.

Speaker: Kind of like a magnified, extreme version of the upsets… of the seemingly minor ones; things not going the way you think they should. You shared that experience of when you went to the Virginia conference and you felt very out of place… the fear, the isolation that came up there. And really what we are seeing is, that is the way that the world is constructed.

Participant 2: Yes, and I thought ‘I’m living with that fear everyday!’. But I am just so used to it, that I am not even aware of it anymore. I have just put it aside or covered it up so well that I don’t even know it is there. But just the tremendous fear… when I am really taking the hallucination seriously and buying into it and buying into what my perceptions tell me…

Participant 1: …even though they are all off.

Participant 2: Yes, even though they’re meaningless. But I am taking them as true.

Speaker: And what is beneath the fear of hallucination is… of course the mind chose the hallucination to cover over what it is really afraid of. And as we have gotten into it over the last several weeks and you have had some kind of a fear come up, you start to project fear into the future or feeling drawn with this intention to other things, even thinking of maybe going to Waynesville or family or those kind of things. Or you have gotten into the defense of ‘Hey I don’t have it so bad’ and that’s where the mind will try to cling to this covering over that it has done, saying that ‘I’ve got it good, I shouldn’t complain’ or ‘I should be able to have it both ways. I should be able to hang onto this and that‘, when there is a real fear of going into that Light of just letting go of everything else but that Purpose. That’s what the real fear is. The fear of the hallucination is just the cover for the big one: the fear of Love.

Participant 2: So that gives me some sense of what kind of fear we’re talking about. It’s tremendous. It’s terror and it describes it as terror, but I guess I’d never really felt that or imagined what that really is about and, wow, when I get a glimpse of it….

Speaker: And loss of control. You said you also felt a tremendous loss of control.

Participant 2: Yes, I remember that feeling very strongly. I remember thinking that I never want to do this again because I do not like this feeling. I knew people who thought it was really cool to hallucinate, but not me. This is not for me.

Participant 1: That’s the way I felt when I got drunk. It is like, why do people do this? I don’t ever want to do this again. Because I felt very out of control and I did not like the change in my perception.

Speaker: It is just one side of it. In other words, your self concepts have been focused toward order and control. The flip side of it would be, ‘my life is too in control’. We saw that in something we were watching, watching to loose control and let go. In that sense the interpretation of hallucinogens and marijuana and so forth is like, ‘Yeah, I’m letting go of my inhibitions and control’. So, really it’s just two sides of the defense. And the control issue is the authority problem, believing that I am who I think I am in this world. That I have constructed a world and a self, and I am me. I am unique… I have my likes and dislikes. I have my opinions and conclusions and that’s the way I want it to stay. I want peace, but I want it to be a peaceful ‘me,’ a peaceful “person.’ I want to retain something…

Participant 1: Peace on these terms.

Speaker: Right, on my own terms. And it’s impossible. That’s the joy I see in what we’ve been doing because it is starting to come to see the absolute absurdity and impossibility of control. Trying to bring the truth to the illusion, or trying to mix Spirit and time and space and matter, as if they can be reconciled or mixed. Oil and water, stirring and stirring and stirring -they do not go together. If it seems extreme, it’s extreme. All attempts to reconcile the two are futile.

“In quietness, see in the miracle a lesson in allowing Cause to have Its Own effects, and doing nothing that would interfere.”
Another great support for that idea is the whole section in the Course called ‘I need do nothing.’ It is explained right there in that sentence. That’s the metaphysics behind ‘I need do nothing’.

“… he does not believe that he is Love's Effect, and must be cause because of what he is.
The Cause of healing is the only Cause of everything. It has but one Effect. And in that recognition, causelessness is given no effects and none is seen. A mind within a body and a world of other bodies, each with separate minds, are your "creations", you the "other" mind, creating with effects unlike yourself. And as their "father", you must be like them.”

So if you believe in personhood, in a separate mind… then the whole illusion of ‘other minds’ and ‘other bodies’ that seem to be causative and the whole world of reverse of cause and effect seems to be set in motion just from the belief that you can create yourself. All attempts to deny that I am the Son of God and I am created by my Father… there’s so many different rationalizations like ‘I’m only human’ or ‘We’re only human’. That seems to be a soothing thing, that I’m always hearing. But when you really look at the content beneath that, that is an attack thought. There is nothing soothing about being who you are not.

Participant 1: There is also nothing realistic about being who you are not.

Speaker: That‘s another thing that comes in a lot. ‘Let’s be realistic. Let’s be practical’. But practical in those terms, you’re back to ‘Am I this instant denying the truth or will I choose to accept it?’. These ego schemes get unveiled.
“ Nothing at all has happened but that you have put yourself to sleep, and dreamed a dream in which you were an alien to yourself, and but a part of someone else's dream.”

If we take that sentence and bring it to specifics, we’re back to ‘I try to do the Course the best I can but I can only go so far at work. I can only go so far in my family. I can only go so far because I am a citizen of the United States, after all. I can only go so far because I am handicapped because I only have this much intelligence or only have this degree’ or whatever the rationalization, underneath it is ‘I am dreaming a dream and I am alien to myself but I am part of someone else’s dream’. The people pleasing comes in or the worry about what someone else will think or how someone else will react is basically just a restatement of this sentence, that I am part of someone else’s dream. The ego is saying: ‘I can’t just wake up. There are other people to be dealt with.’ The fear of letting someone down is tied in with believing that I am part of someone else’s dream. I remember when you came down initially to Cincinnati that time, and it came to you like a bolt of lightening that you were to move and step away from your job. And there was that old thought/belief pattern of believing that you are part of a system or a network. ‘People are counting on me‘. Once you get clear that you are the dreamer of the dream you don’t have to constantly compromise to the dream figures because you are not in their dream. Remind yourself: ‘This is my dream.’
“The miracle does not awaken you, but merely shows you who the dreamer is. It teaches you there is a choice of dreams while you are still asleep, depending on the purpose of your dreaming. Do you wish for dreams of healing, or for dreams of death? A dream is like a memory in that it pictures what you wanted shown to you. An empty storehouse, with an open door, holds all your shreds of memories and dreams. Yet if you are the dreamer, you perceive this much at least: That you have caused the dream and can accept another dream as well. But for this change in content of the dream, it must be realized that it is you who dreamed the dreaming that you do not like.”

So we are back to reversing cause and effect, bringing causation back to the mind. And even there, once again, the tense is so important: ‘…it must be realized that it is you who dreamed the dream’. This is definitely a step… this is not reaching the level of ‘My mind holds only what I think with God’ but it is the step that comes before that idea. I have to accept responsibility for it, but also I don’t have to feel guilty for it because it is past tense. And I am in the present. There is a present cause that I can give for the dream. When we say present cause we are not talking about the capital ‘C’ Cause Which dispels the dream entirely, but the Holy Spirit’s purpose (cause) is a reflection of the present. There is no purpose in Heaven (Abstraction), so it’s not a component of Heaven. But first things first.

“ It is but an effect that you have caused, and you would not be cause of this effect. In dreams of murder and attack are you the victim in a dying body slain. But in forgiving dreams is no one asked to be the victim and the sufferer. These are the happy dreams the miracle exchanges for your own. It does not ask you make another; only that you see you made the one you would exchange for this.”

That sentence, ‘in forgiving dreams is no one asked to be the victim and the sufferer’ reminds me of the line ‘those who see themselves as healed make no demands’ and that is a phenomenal idea because in this world the mind can’t even imagine what that would be like, because all of it’s relationships involve reciprocity. Make no demands. You could say that the Holy Spirit reminds, the Holy Spirit suggests… but ever commands or demands. You can see what a wonderful release that would be and how you would have to give up all conceptions of the world as you think you know it. All business relationships, all relationships according to roles that are predetermined have to be abandoned because as long as you have predetermined roles, functions, duties and obligations you are still in an ego reciprocity set up. And Jesus gives us the model for that. Since forgiveness was his only function, he did not claim to be the king of the Jews or hold any kind of earthly position. He did not require anything. He made suggestions and he said things like, ‘Follow me’ which is a pretty strong suggestion. But not with a sense of commanding or demanding. He didn’t demand anything of the Pharisees or Scribes or Priests - only suggestions.

Participant 1: There wasn’t any sense of, 'do this or else.'

Speaker: Right, there was no threat involved.

Participant 2: And no implied expectations. I was thinking of the terms that might be used… suggest or invite, but as soon as I put an expectation on it, then that is the demand because I can suggest something to you, but if I have an expectation that you are going to follow my suggestion, that is where the demand lies. Not in the way I word it. Not that I have to say, ‘You must do this’.

Speaker: If there’s an implied expectation in my own mind then that is still a demand. And that is the temptation with the spiritual path as well… the clearer one gets in this stuff it is apparent that as long as there is an ego temptation to still have some type of control, even subtly, over what goes on… that is the ultimate in the guru trap is that in a subtle way the ego still wants to raise itself up in terms of still having a personal identity. Still wanting to give some direction, still wanting to have some element of control over the pupils or the students. It can be a very subtle thing. And once again the whole guru trap is just another form of ego distraction. It cannot exist apart from one’s own mind, but it takes very careful learning and careful watching to stay beyond that because of the temptation. The ego still wants to maintain some type of control.
“This world is causeless, as is every dream that anyone has dreamed within the world. No plans are possible, and no design exists that could be found and understood.”

There’s some implications in the first two sentences. All of the pursuits and the plans that are seeming to be necessary in this world are stated in that second sentence, and we are told that they don’t make any sense.

“What else could be expected from a thing that has no cause? Yet if it has no cause, it has no purpose. You may cause a dream, but never will you give it real effects. For that would change its cause, and it is this you cannot do. The dreamer of a dream is not awake, but does not know he sleeps. He sees illusions of himself as sick or well, depressed or happy, but without a stable cause with guaranteed effects.”

So that is just coming back to what we started off with in this section ‘without a cause there can be no effects’ and ‘a cause is made a cause by it’s effects’. It’s saying that the world is causeless so you can’t try to give reality to the effects. So you can make illusions, but you can’t make real effects. All of the disciplines and the sciences and the attempts to understand the world and how it works, how the cosmos works. That is what they are based on, that is what science is about. All of them presume a world, a real world that has real parts in it and that has real interactions, real cause and effect relationships between those parts. And all of them in one sense just deny the truly religious or spiritual act that Now is the only time that there is. That is where true religious experience (Inner Peace) transcends science, all the disciplines, all the theories, all the schools of thought. It literally transcends all of those. That was the thing for me when I was going through all of my years of searching. What was I to be? This was something I pondered even in high school when I looked into the different menus of the world, the professions and vocations. Out of aptitude tests and career planning they were able to generate a large number, and there wasn’t just a few on the menu. I looked up and down computer sheets and there was nothing there, and I felt very out of place. I felt very awkward. I felt very weird, like everyone else has something leap off the paper and not me. Even when I went on to study Engineering, my heart wasn’t in it. Even though it seemed that there was nothing attractive to do, I believed you have to do something to make a living.

Participant 1: I remember that feeling. After I had recognized teaching wasn’t it and I was working in a social work arena and I remember taking this aptitude career direction test and it indicated a number of different things. I looked at them all and thought…. Yuck. Maybe I can do them but I don’t want to.

Speaker: I had a sense too that I could do any number of the things that I saw on the printout, but my heart wasn’t in it and after ten years of college it was the same thing. I had pursued and gone into education very deeply. By then I had really investigated it all closely, looking at a lot of disciplines and their schools of thought. I had not only tried the hypothetical thing, pondering them, but had actually dabbled in and tried them out. But by then there was a sense that there was something internal Calling me and Guiding me but I didn’t know what it was or where it was going. It was like a mission. I had by then read some of Maslow’s stuff about studying self-actualizing people, and he said they had very strong sense of a mission or purpose or meaning to life… and I related to that but didn’t know what it was.

Participant 2: So how does this relate?

Speaker: Well, when I read a line like ‘the world is causeless as is any dream that anyone has dreamed within the world. No design exists that could be found and understood’ - that the difficulty in trying to work with A Course In Miracles and trying to fit it in. For example taking metaphysics into corporate America or trying to shape Course Principles into a business. I ran into a lot of that in the Association of Humanistic Psychology where they were attempting to take a lot of ideas like that into the structures… and many of the conferences would have those aims and directions. What we are seeing is that as we get into the depth of the Course the basic theme is that there is no reconciliation between Spirit between the time/space/matter continuum which would include daily life as it is experienced, all kinds of concepts including careers and disciplines and institutions, and so on. ‘No plans are possible and no design exists that could be found and understood’.

Participant 1: You can’t bring truth to the illusion.

Continue to part 4

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