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Exploring the Topic of Death 

Editor's note: This transcript has been lightly edited to bring clarification to certain points of the dialogue and for easier readability. For this reason, it does not match the corresponding audio mp3 word-for-word. However, the overall content and the expressed ideas remain unchanged.

Participant: I’ve been reading this book on near death experiences, ‘Embracing the Light’. The way these people talk it sounds like all of them have had revelation as described in the Course. As opposed to miracle revelation induces only experience, doesn’t it say that? They make it sound like death is just the greatest thing in the world and they come in contact with God. They don’t want to come back. They just are in the presence of what sounds like the Course is trying to lead us towards, this experience of peace and love and God. I was reading that book last night and just thinking about how much I make out of nothing and how all these problems…their descriptions of what goes on…they would say, I saw all my problems are not problems at all. It was just a bunch of silliness about nothing.

But, anyway you had mentioned earlier that you had been going through some things in the Course related to death and it’s just an amazing experience, the way that I felt. It felt like I took some kind of revelation of my own from all this description.

Speaker: That’s interesting because that’s how I really got into a lot of spiritual things, through reports of near death experiences. That was the thing that really caught my eye. I was reading these descriptions. But, years later having gone into the Course, it’s interesting the whole idea of near death experiences. It’s like you go into a near death experience to get towards the light. There are a couple passages in the course where Jesus says you have to be careful. There’s a danger in equating physical death with peace or coming to heaven. Basically, it sounds pretty good, you just die and then you’re in heaven. That’s a common kind of a thing and also it could be reassuring because that’s one of the things we’ve heard. But, if you really start to follow it out it’s like the movie Rapture….There was a little girl in that. Her mom keeps saying well her daddy died and daddy’s in heaven now. That’s what you do. God takes you to heaven and he comes and gets you. That’s a common thing that’s told to children. Then the little child after awhile says I want to die, mommy. I want to die. I want to go be with daddy. As soon as you make that association of heaven with the physical body dying then where does this go? If you take it to another extreme where you just had to physically die to go to heaven then suicide or people in their rough experiences would just…

Participant 2: I didn’t like that movie for that reason. I really didn’t know what I was getting into. I guess I expected something different.

Speaker: It would be a good one to do with a video gathering through the Course because it gets at this whole thing if you have to die to get to heaven so to speak it still comes back to anger at God. There was a scene in that movie where the woman just fires into the sky just furious at God. It seems like a catch 22. She thinks she has to die to go to heaven but she doesn’t want to die. I’m not going to give the movie away.

But, basically what I thought we’d do tonight is spend a little time on death. I don’t want to get too much into death because if we really follow it in it can be a real heavy duty kind of a topic. I think it would be a good springboard then to maybe talk about our function in here as ministers of God and really try to articulate more of the positive side of what we’re moving towards, in the sense of we’re being called to be teachers of God and what does that mean. Also I’d like to get into the ideas of unlearning because for a lot of people that’s scary too because they feel like I’ve spent my whole life learning. What am I going to do now? Unlearn everything that I learned since kindergarten?

I gave a talk at a conference in Cincinnati, a Course/Urantia conference and there was one gentleman who came up to me afterwards who said I just feel like I’m angry at the Course because it’s anti-intellectual. A lot of my hero’s are people that just are great minds that have learned great things, and from the sounds of what I’m hearing from the Course this unlearning needs to take place. He was just very upset and I really want to go into that too, because the Course is not just saying that all these skills and abilities that you have developed have to be undone. Pretend that you can’t cross the street, pretend that you can’t drive, pretend that you can’t walk. That’s absurd. What the Course is saying is that all the abilities that you have whether they’re mental abilities, psychic abilities, physical abilities, they’re all completely neutral and the only thing that really needs to be changed is the purpose. If you can take the skills and abilities that you’ve learned and give them to the Holy Spirit, then they can be used to channel them and to bring your mind to really learn the ability of healing, which is the one ability that you have to develop. Then that’s a much better perspective than thinking what am I going to do? I took all this accounting. Am I going to forget all the accounting? You know that kind of a thing which can seem from that view the more that you’ve learned the more you have to unlearn, and there’s something not quite right about that.

Participant 3: So, it’s our investment in the meaning that’s not a purpose with the Holy Spirit with anything.

Speaker: Yes, the ego wants to get all the skills and abilities for it’s own purposes which is really to keep the mind identified with the body. I look at my life and I look at all the ten years I spent in college and a lot of the jobs I worked. Basically the underlining motive was I wanted to get good degrees so I could get a good job so I could make lots of money so I could have my body very comfortable for the rest of my life. The thing is when you start to follow through you see when it’s being used for the body, for the body’s comfort for status, for fame.

We’ll just look at two different passages on death. We won’t spend a long time going into death. Because we could literally go from death to the attraction to guilt and to the attraction to pain and the attraction to death which are three sections in the Course. On the surface, it sounds like that’s nuts. Attraction to pain, who would want to be attracted to pain? Attraction to guilt, guilt’s not something that I would want to be attracted to…

Participant 1: Oh, yeah?

Participant 2: Want to make a bet?

Speaker: And attraction to death. No, I want to be attracted to immortal pursuits, immortality or eternity. But in the Course he says over and over again you don’t see how devoted you are to death. You’ve covered it over but you worship death. On a surface level, that doesn’t make a lot of sense. How am I worshipping death? Well, we could spend probably the next couple years going into that one.

But, what came to me today was lesson163. The title of the lesson is very reassuring: “There is no death. The Son of God is free.” But, then he’s going to start taking it a lot deeper. What do we mean by death, when we talk about the word death because I think a lot of us right away when we are growing up the images we have of death is about bodies; relatives die, animals die. There seems to be death as part of the cycles of nature and in the two lessons we will look at, Jesus is going to pull our definition out from the physical realm and pull it back into the mental realm or the mind realm. Anyone want to read the first paragraph?

Participant 1: “Death is a thought that takes on many forms, often unrecognized. It may appear as sadness, fear, anxiety or doubt; as anger, faithlessness and lack of trust; concern for bodies, envy, and all forms in which the wish to be as you are not may come to tempt you. All such thoughts are but reflections of the worshipping of death as savior and as giver of release.”

Speaker: That’s quite an interesting paragraph. “Concern for bodies”, do you ever say to your son or your daughter or others have a safe trip. I’ll be concerned. Call me when you get there. Oops, death. How many times when you think of something like that in the context of death. But, what we’re seeing in the first paragraph is the huge array of forms. If it’s just a twinge of something; lack of trust, envy. What it’s doing is its training the mind to start to think along the lines of whenever I’m upset, whenever I’m unhappy or uncomfortable even… maybe I’m a little hot, maybe it seems like a 95 degree day, I’m a little hot: death. Maybe I’m a little hungry, I’m craving something: death. It could be anxiety. You have a big day coming at work or some doubts about a friend that didn’t do what they said they were going to do. If you really look at that paragraph, you can see that what he’s talking about as death is a lot different than the death we’re thinking about or even the near death experiences. The near death experiences are people who are clinically in the world’s eyes dead. No brainwaves; heart beat stops and you can see how Jesus is pulling the definition out and saying whenever you’re upset in anyway. That’s death.

Participant 2: Not necessarily a physical death.

Participant 1: Just worshipping a desire to die. Wow, that’s a leap.

Participant 3: Well, everything is reflective of the opposite of the thoughts of God and the opposites of the thoughts of God are to basically die. If God is perfect peace, perfect joy, perfect love then anything other than that is sadness, anxiety, fear is a total opposite. It’s starting to come a little clearer.

Speaker: And you can see how too that this definition, a lot of the questions that come up is where do you go after you die and what about the next realm and there are lots of different beliefs about reincarnation. What was in the Catholic Church? They had a thing called limbo land.

Participant 2: Purgatory

Speaker: You can see how all these questions and all these postulations are based on the kind of linear death and the death of the body as if there’s some kind of a soul that leaves the body and goes somewhere. Jesus in a part of the text talks about the curious believe that something lives on past the body. He’s poking fun at even that. Really, what he’s trying to do in the course is start to say anytime you’re feeling upset the slightest bit, it doesn’t matter if its rage or terror or if you’re mildly annoyed or you’re just a little bit ticked off or you’re mildly uncomfortable; you’ve been sitting in an auditorium and your back is stiff: death. It keeps bringing everything back to it’s a thought in our mind and it keeps getting sprayed out onto all these forms on the screen.

But, really what we want to do is we want to trace it all the way back and we want to see the ridiculousness and the impossibility of the thought of death, and then peace eternal, and then we can really come to the solution. But that’s impossible as long as we just keep death defined in this narrow way of thinking that it’s just when the body dies In a sense, until the mind accepts the atonement, until the mind accepts the Holy Spirit’s purpose completely then the script just seems to change. Instead of seeing it more as an incarnation thing where a soul, an infinite soul comes down into this finite little slab of flesh and then goes out and comes back and it goes out and comes back. Another way of thinking about it is here’s a mind that’s been deceived in itself. It believes that it’s separated from God. So, it’s seeing these nightmares on the screen and it just kind of changes the channel. You know like the changes you have on the TV you have on the cable just goes click, click, click. It’s just click, click, click, as long as the mind still believes in guilt it’s still going to look on the screen for witnesses for guilt. From that perspective it’s like, Jesus help me really see the foolishness of the guilt in my mind. Help me heal my mind so that I’ll no longer look outside to reinforce the guilt. I’ll no longer need perception in the end. I’ll be able to return to the abstract light like in the near death experience where it’s just this unconditional light.

Participant 1: Would you say there’s one mind that believes its split off and is trying to experience all these different forms of separation through different bodies, a fragmentation of one mind?

Speaker: That’s the highest level though. I guess the best example of that would be there’s a question posed to Jesus in the Teachers Manual, how many Teachers of God does it takes to save the world and the answer is one. From the fragmented perception it seems like…

Participant 1: I knew this course was nuts.

Speaker: Yeah, now I know it’s really nuts…one? You don’t know how bad this world is, Jesus! But, the ultimate basis behind that is that there’s only one mind and he’s addressing it to the reader. In other words, it’s such a big leap to think about it but there is only one mind, and when the mind bites off the belief in separation it seems then that the minds are contained within these bodies. It seems like Vicky has a mind of her own and Ron has a mind of his own and David and that’s the way it’s experienced in this world and that’s the way Jesus addresses it. He knows that the mind is so convinced in separation, so convinced that there are real separate people with real separate minds and that Netty not only has a separate mind from David according to this, but she also has a separate decision making ability that’s separate from mine. In other words, she can decide whether to come or whether not to come or whether to do this or that and that’s still within the dream framework. The ultimate sense is there’s just one mind and it’s my mind. It’s always addressed to the reader and literally it’s my lesson all the time. Whenever we get into the thing like Dave was joking about, other people’s egos and so on and so forth. That’s a convenient distractive device from looking at what’s my lesson? What’s my decision here?

Participant 1: So, when he says only one teacher of God is needed that just seems to practically lead to the next step which is that it’s already happened. If only one is needed then to me, it’s like it’s already there waiting for me as soon as I’m ready to recognize it and then I know it says in the Course that as soon as I do recognize it instantaneously I will realize that it’s always been that way and it never was not that way. I was just refusing to see things the way they are. To me, that helps to explain something like a new baby comes into the world and pinch it really hard and it starts to scream and cry. Then it hasn’t learned much here in this world enough to learn that that’s an expression of guilt and an expression of a desire to die. But, then when you start to take it to the idea that there is one mind that’s made the decision or the choice to separate then it just tries to make the illusion absolutely as real and believable as possible so when we come here as babies so to speak it seems like we’re really helpless against this illusion.

Speaker: if we take it back one more step. Remember the mind is sick and the mind is guilty so the form of a baby or even thinking we come here still gets into the idea that we’re kind of born into bodies. It’s helpful to just think about as the mind is the mind. The mind is where all the beliefs and thoughts are and the screen, where the babies are and the seemingly aging takes place and all these things, That’s the screen and that’s just the mind.

Participant 1: What I was saying was a baby doesn’t seem to have choice. That’s when you look at it as a separate entity. If you think there’s just one mind that made the decision then that’s where the choice lies way back from my conscious mind. It’s one mind behind all these seemingly separate conscious minds. It’s just like we’re different expressions of one decision to fragment.

Speaker: Really, what happens with a baby too, the reason it may seem as if babies don’t have choice, as if adults can make informed decisions, is that there’s a level confusion going on here. The brain is being confused with the mind. Obviously, the development of the brain if you trace it from an embryo a baby’s brain is not fully developed, neither is it in the uterus. Remember, the brain and the body and everything on the world is just images on the screen and that’s where the confusion takes place. If I associate the mind with the brain I would say how can this child choose? This child is just an innocent victim. The brain’s not even fully developed. But the association that’s being made is that the mind is being associated with the brain. So, as soon as you can start to see that the mind is not in the world, the mind is not confined into the body or into the brain. The mind is this expansive powerful thing that’s watching the script and all of a sudden then you can get away from these things like what about the baby that’s born with spina-bifida and all those questions like how could this happen to such a child? What about the one year old who’s raped? How could it be that the child wasn’t a victim? The child was helpless. That’s like taking from out there on the screen. Whereas, if you bring it back to the mind, if the mind is guilty it will call forth witnesses on the screen to prove to it that it’s guilty. The mind really believes it’s guilty.

The thing about one mind is that’s the oneness which this Course is leading towards. But, the reason that is not apparent is because part of the duality is the subject/ object split. It really does seem like we’re individual persons in this world with personal histories and with futures that are yet to come and that there are other people that are in the same kind of boat. I can be the subject and everyone else is the object. In the end, it’s like a collapse, the subject and object are both seen to be just images on the screen; the pieces of the puzzle are all seen to be together instead of experienced as a duality.

Participant 3: It’s all the same form. The form doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter what form it is. It’s all the same.

Participant 4: When you said collapse like that. When we were reading a part of the Course yesterday where it talks about the bridge and the change in perception and not to be afraid of it because it will actually be a very short time and you won’t be confused. But, what you’re talking about is that when the subject/object become part of the screen….

Speaker: I think a clearer analogy too in the Course is where it talks about the dreamer of the dream vs. the dream, where as within the world’s framework it seems like I’m a little person and I’m a little dream figure and there are other dream figures moving around, a good analogy for the mind is if you could pull back and just see that all the bodies are just figures in the dream and I’m the dreamer of the dream. Those are images that are in my mind just like at night when you have a night time dream. You go to sleep and you have all these things seem to happen and then you wake up and it’s like oh gosh.

Participant 1: Oh, I’m not dreaming anymore ha ha ha.

Speaker: That’s right. It’s just all in my mind at night. Then it’s like I’m off into the real world and what the Course is saying is no, no these are still figures that are moving in the dream and you’re still dreaming. So, the first idea at the top is obviously death takes many forms but it’s just unrecognized. A lot of the forms are unrecognized as death. We don’t think of them as death. Then if you drop down to the last paragraph on pg. 302. Somebody want to read that one?

Participant 3: “It is impossible to worship death in any form, and still select a few you would not cherish and would yet avoid, while still believing in the rest. For death is total. Either all things die, or else they live and cannot die. No compromise is possible. For here again we see an obvious position, which we must accept if we be sane; what contradicts one thought entirely can not be true, unless its opposite is proven false.”

Speaker: This idea gets at the first principle of miracles, that there’s no order of difficulty in miracles. In other words we need to train our minds so highly that we aren’t fooled by these unrecognized forms of death in any way shape or form they can take. That they become so clear and riveted in the Holy Spirit’s purpose that we can train our minds that we’re never victimized by external circumstances. It can certainly seem like it’s a real hot day, I’m getting very hot and it’s humid and I’m getting very uncomfortable. It can certainly seem like it’s the temperature and the humidity that’s doing this to my body. And it’s not recognized that this is just another form of death and that this is just a choice that I’m making in my mind, that the discomfort I’m feeling is coming from a decision that I’m making in my mind and not from the 95 degree heat and the 95 degree temperature. But, when we start to generalize or the Course calls it transfer of training, we get better and better at applying this over and over in lots of different situations, then you start to reach the mind training where a good example would be the Zen Buddhists or the monks. We’ve heard the stories of putting them in cold chambers with their little g-string on and they’re sitting there and it’s below freezing and they’re just calmly sitting there meditating. It’s the whole great example of mind over matter literally that when our minds get so highly trained there will be nothing external that we will believe is able to take away our peace of mind or influence us in any way.

Participant 3: Does that come from studying the Course?

Speaker: Yes, it’s mind training. It’s like studying the course and I would say more than just studying it. That’s the first step but it’s applying the course. Jesus says, this isn’t a course in theoretical ideas and speculation but it’s actually taking the lessons you know like one lesson a day and taking the central idea and just trying to carry that lesson through the day. That’s where the transfer of training comes in. That’s where the mind really starts to shift and starts to feel the power and the magnitude that lies deep within it that’s been covered over with all these false beliefs. Weather and temperature, economics, nutrition, he goes at other points in the course where he gets real specific and he just starts to rattle off here are the things you believe in. You believe in rules of friendship and reciprocity and he talks about pills and protective clothing. He just talks about the forms of magic that it believes that it needs to be happy and comfortable. But, even with doing all of that it’s still by just applying the lessons which is so great to have a tool like this that you can use. It doesn’t take much time to read a lesson in the morning and you can go about your activities and just hold the thought in mind. It’s not like the Zen Buddhists would go and meditate for 12 and 16 hours a day and he says in here that those paths have served others well but this is the path that has been given for you. He calls the other methods time consuming. Meditating 15 hours a day is…

Participant 3: Time consuming.

Participant 5: Lets elaborate a little more on these ideas. I guess there are different ways to go about that and the Course is one of them. But the other ones, it’s not so much spiritual development because somebody can walk on water or just be in a room with subzero temperature without clothing and not have any problem, but it does not necessarily mean that he’s making the right choice at the level that the Course is talking about. Somebody can become a great tennis player, likewise can study under a master and know how to move pencils with their eyes. But the idea that the choice is not made at the level of Ok my mind chose to feel cold in subzero temperatures so therefore my mind will now choose to feel ok in subzero temperatures. It’s not that kind of choice. The choice is at the level of who am I and who’s my brother and what is the world. The choice is at the level of how we view ourselves, other people and the world. Is it as God created them? Is it eternal? Is it spirit? Is it innocent? Is it completely whole? Or is it limited, subject to death, to suffering, to dying, to injuries, to accidents, to all kinds of things and that’s why it says all these things about death because really any idea of ourselves that is not as God created us is death because it is the death of eternal life. So, even though the death of eternal life is not real our minds have believed that it is real and it has become a little body with a little life subject to all kinds of suffering and finally dying. The difference between a body living and a body dying is so infinitesimally small compared to the body and the glory of the Son of God as he created him that really it doesn’t make any difference whether the body is working, whether the body collapses, whether the body suffers. It doesn’t make any difference because the difference is so small compared to body vs. Son of God. So really that’s why he’s trying to be so inclusive here and saying everything’s death here. This is not life. People call this life but it’s not really life. You know life as the gift of God includes no limitation whatsoever, nothing to burden you, no responsibility, no problem, nothing, no form of discomfort to burden your minds.

Participant 2: No form. Period

Speaker: Yeah, I think a good point is of course as you’re saying the level of decision is if you start to look at mind over matter it may sound like oh, that sounds good. If you still think I want to be a person in this world and have mind over matter that would be the decision where I want to choose not to feel hot when it’s 90 degrees outside. We’re talking about holding peace as the goal and seeing the Christ in our brother and then as the byproduct, there’s no discomfort in the Christ. In other words, when you can recognize the Christ in your brother and you can recognize yourself as the Christ, pain or death in any form is absolutely impossible but, coming at it that way as opposed to the byproduct.

Participant 2: It keeps coming back to purpose over and over again. It seems like the discussion keeps coming back to what’s the purpose behind it. What’s the intention? And that’s always the thing to look at.

Participant 1: When you said that when we realized the truth then we wouldn’t be able to be here. I’m sure you didn’t mean that we are here, anyway. But, obviously we’re not here. We are the dreamer and the dream figures are out there.

Participant 5: Right. All I meant was the conversation would end.

Participant 1: So, once you realize the truth that you are a mind then perhaps you will appear as a body to those who still need to learn and yet…..

Participant 5: Right, but I think maybe we realize on an intellectual level but still parts of the mind have not accepted that, and probably we know that this is true because different things happen on different days where you feel the fear. You feel the constriction. You feel that things are not going as I set them up according to my rules, and suddenly you feel the pangs of fear or annoyance or anxiety or depression or whatever, and then you know that your mind really doesn’t believe that I am as God created me because then you wouldn’t feel any annoyance or anxiety or any other disturbance.

Participant 6: That’s your ego causing that, isn’t it?

Participant 5: Right, for the ego to have any power to cause that it means a part of me is still identified with it and therefore even though somebody can be a Teacher of God still in the world but at the same time he also needs to learn certain lessons to continue to be in the world, because when his lesson is over he cannot possibly have an experience of being in the world. I think that’s why Jesus disappeared when he was 33. He didn’t disappear at 70 or 80. Why didn’t he stay in the world for forty more years to teach?

Participant 2: Yes, but it seems as if we’re not here anyway, then the appearance of whether we’re here or not makes no difference because we’re just figures in another’s dream.

Participant 5: Right, but does it make a difference whether we have this impression that we are here vs. the impression completely disappears?

Participant 2: Well, it’s like to me when the course says once we realize the truth then we realize that it has always been. Then once we realize the truth we buy into the truth as it is whose to say what the appearance will be to that part of the Sonship that’s still deceived.

Speaker: I think what we want to do is keep it practical because from what I’m hearing is that as we talk and as we go into things we can start to see some of those beliefs that we are still holding onto and that’s really what we want to focus on. In other words, Jesus in some parts of the Course will start to talk about the oneness and start to talk about heaven and knowledge. I was reading a part in the workbook today where he kind of went for a few paragraphs and then he said, but there’s no point in talking any further. There is much work to do. He immediately…

Participant 2: Once you start to think about it it’s just so amazing. The implications of this are…because it’s so completely contrary to ordinary patterns of living and thought.

Speaker: And I think what we’ll do is get into that tonight that whole thing of as long as the mind believes that it’s here it uses all the metaphors. You are my hands. You are my feet. You are to reach my brother. It’s the metaphor that the mind can grab onto. Even the role of Teacher of God is a very metaphorical thing. I was reading a section today it says, “You’ll speak of things beyond this world as a Teacher of God and you’ll speak that what is yet to come has already been.” That’s the idea that we were talking about last week which is a very high metaphysical idea that the script is written. That what the world would consider the future is already the past. I call it the past past and the future past because basically what Jesus is saying is the entire script of form was already spun out and the Holy Spirit gave a new purpose to it and it’s already healed. A lot of times people feel like if I really keep doing this Course I’m just going to poop out of here and feel sorry for all the miserable people that are left. I’m putting in all this hard work here and everything. But, what it does is it gets away from the idea that this is a perceptual hallucination and all that happens when you wake up is you let go of the hallucination. There’s nobody left behind because it’s literally just a hallucination. It kind gets past that whole thing of is it possible to still be here and keep teaching and everything if you keep bringing it down to that ultimate thing of it’s just a hallucination and once you wake up, really accept the atonement, then in a sense God takes the final step and the mind returns to complete abstraction. Abstraction means no form, no perception. That’s the natural condition.

Participant 2: And so what is that like?

Speaker: We cannot speak of this. We must go on. You would just spend the whole night going oh lets talk about oneness …

Participant 2: What you’re saying is you have to look at…

Speaker: We have to do the nitty-gritty stuff.

Participant 2: I just want to get on with it.

Speaker: Let’s just basically jump to lesson167 for just one more look at death, page 311 in the old book. It’s the second paragraph. It’s going to get into this idea you were talking about forms. It says, “In this world, there appears to be a state that is life’s opposite. You call it death. Yet we have learned that the idea of death takes many forms. It is the one idea which underlies all the feelings that are not supremely happy. It is the alarm to which you give response of any kind that is not perfect joy. All sorrow, loss, anxiety and suffering and pain, even a little sigh of weariness…” Isn’t that funny? See, now we’re getting down to stretching that definition of death a little bit. “…a slight discomfort or the merest frown, acknowledge death. And thus deny you live.” So, this kind of sheds light on what we were talking about. We’re talking about a complete transformation of our minds. So complete that the idea of death seems to be preposterous, let no more frown or little sighs of weariness or whatever. There’s another line in the text that says, “You will learn this course entirely or not at all.” The ego can’t be transcended until every single attack thought; every single false idea and false belief has been looked at and seen as false. So, in a sense it’s a great undertaking but what an opportunity we have when we come together and we can go into this, our different beliefs and everything. Because we’re all kind of making that headway and that progress towards seeing things for what they are.

Participant 5: Doesn’t this mean of course, that personality is a false idea, right?

Speaker: Yes and that’s part of the self concept. That subject/object thing. If I’m the subject and I consider myself David and I look at my history and I talked a little bit last week about shyness , all the different mental traits, all the different personality traits, they’re all kind of superficial. They’re all up on the surface and the deeper you go beneath the clouds you just come down to this light which is formless and timeless and changeless.

Participant 5: So, it seems like the body and the personality is like clothing that attempts to cover up the real thing and that we pay 99.9% of our time paying attention to the clothing rather than to the real thing.

Speaker: In a sense, you could look at it this way too that here’s the surface of the mind and this is where the body is. This is where what you’re talking about as the clothing. Basically, this was made to cover up what’s below it which are the beliefs and underpinnings. It’s like you could think about this world as on stage and screen plays in New York where they have this stage and then if you go behind the stage they have all this wood and all these rafters and everything underpinnings holding the stage up. Here’s the world of the body and here are all these underpinnings that are holding it up and these are the beliefs that are in the mind. So, when we talk about giving up the world or relinquishing the world, to the deceived mind it’s like ok I’m going to the Himalayas and I’m never going to look at girls again and I’m going to detach from pleasure. I’m going to give up, give up. The mistake is that you could give up the things up here which is just the form. What Jesus is saying is, come on we got to get down into the mind. We’ve got to get down to the wood. We’ve got to get to the underpinnings, the beliefs because without getting to the beliefs there’s no way. This was made as a cover. But, the only reason this was made was as a distractive cover so I can get so caught up into the drama of the world and these bodies and everything that’s happening then I won’t look at these beliefs.

Participant 5: And isn’t it interesting the guilt that the ego uses is always for things that we have done. You’ve said some other times, you always think back and say oh, I feel so guilty that I said that or I think that and really from Jesus’ perspective the error is not there at all. The error is not at the behavioral level what you say, what you do. The error is what the mind chose to believe about who you are and who your brother is. Nobody feels guilty. When I think about that and let go of the behavioral level and go back within to look at that level. Ok who am I choosing to think I am and who am I choosing to think my brother is and realize the error there it doesn’t make me feel guilty, because at that level it’s only normal to say ok I made an error and now I’m willing to accept the correction of the error and accept my brother as they really are, and that doesn’t induce guilt. It seems like the ego is so persistent it doesn’t want us to go to that level and make the choice again. It wants us to be preoccupied with the extent of that. Oh my God I said that. Oh my God I did that. And be preoccupied with that. Always, always running the external world trying to fix things that we did wrong, supposedly wrong, because the error is not there and cannot be corrected at that level. But it’s such a temptation to feel like the error is there; I blew the test that’s where the error is. I blew my job that’s where the error is. I should straighten up. I should now pay more attention. I should now be more conscious. I should now do this, this, this, all these external things. All of that is the ego’s way of salvation. It doesn’t bring salvation so instead A becomes B or C or D. So you still believe in a world. You still believe in death. The point is you have to let go of that level and not be tempted by the ego to always look at that external level to fix things. That’s not where the correction can take place.

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