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Going Deeper part 15
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.
The Pursuit of Pleasure and the Ordering of Thoughts
Speaker: Pleasure, the pursuit of pleasure is a distractive device. It is also a device that really anchors that the body is real. It seems to be very attractive, this is what the Course refers to as the attraction of guilt. The deceived mind does not see, does not equate guilt and pleasure. Pleasure is seen as something very desirable, something to be sought after and something good. A lot of times you’ll hear, “God wants you to enjoy yourself”, take part in the menus of the world, enjoy the variety and many spices and pleasures of the world and God wants you to enjoy yourself. But, from the metaphysical perspective, first of all God is Spirit. God does not Know about the physical projected world. God only Knows His Creations, or His Creation, which is the Son, and He knows him as perfect. This is a pure, abstract, infinite relationship that has nothing to do with form in any way. So when we get down to the ego using the body for pleasure, the pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of pain, basically the mind is unaware that they’re the same. That by pursuing pleasure, one is also pursuing pain, the pleasure is a guise.
Participant: and both of them act as substitutes for God?
Speaker: Yes. We talked about the pursuit of wealth in this world and the belief in poverty and lack in a material sense. These are many forms of the same kind of split, the same guise. That, if I’m poor and lacking in a world of scarcity, and so forth, that I can yearn for a better day and better times and more possessions and an easier life so to speak. Or, those that do seem to accumulate and build up the things of the world that are supposed to bring the good life but still feel the pain and the anguish and the depression. We still find the same thing, that the mind is still seeking for happiness, peace contentment in the world and it’s just seeking in the wrong place. It’s in the mind and letting go of the false beliefs where the peace and contentment and happiness comes.
So that’s a quick look at pleasure. Attack is something that is very important as a defence against the truth, it’s a witness that separation has occurred. To truly see that separation is impossible seems to be at bay or at odds with what the body’s eyes show because as one looks around the world through the body’s eyes with distorted perception, one sees attack in many different forms, verbal attack, physical attack, guns, tanks, bombs, weapons, knives, arguments…at all areas and levels.
Participant: Verbal abuse...
Speaker: Verbal abuse. It seems to be a world where attack is the common experience and the mind cannot attack, the mind is abstract, the mind is one. It can only make up body fantasies where attack seems to be real. Ego uses the body for attack and it’s a fantasy of attack, it definitely makes guilt seem real. If attack is real, if it’s perceived as real, then guilt is justified, and if guilt is justified how can one be wholly innocent, how can one be the holy innocent child of God as one was created?
Participant: So you’re saying it’s fantasy because it’s all pretend? It’s all made up?
Speaker: It’s all made up and it’s just on the screen. Once again, the deceived mind wants to see the conflict, not in the mind, but in the world and it actually, under the ego’s council, will look for it in the world. Now, this is not to say that war’s per se or sports schemes per se or a verbal abuse or anything is evil or bad because once again it’s the interpretation that has to be looked at. A healed mind can calmly look upon any sight in the world, the body’s eyes will still report to the mind changes in circumstances, changes in the way things look, in symptoms and so on and so forth. But, the healed mind just puts them all into one category, that they are unreal. Once again, you have to really have a clear metaphysical idea of why this is so, you know. Of why sickness must be impossible, of why competition cannot be in the world, of why there can’t be victims and victimisers in the world. That it’s all in the mind, it all comes down to that subject/object split.
Participant: So it’s because it’s all unreal that the Course says, for instance, that the world is neutral, that it’s neither good nor bad, that it all has to do with how the mind looks upon it. It’s all just a projection of the picture in your mind anyway.
Speaker: Yes, to the Holy Spirit the world is neutral.
Participant: To the Holy Spirit the world is neutral.
Speaker: Remember, it’s just a screen, it’s just a projection. These are just symbols it can use for It’s purpose. So, in that sense the world is neutral and the Holy Spirit can use the world for It’s purpose. To the deceived mind, the world is not neutral because it has chosen to order the thoughts that make up the world in a configuration or a construct that literally make it seem real, and literally make it seem that instead of dreaming the world that it is now a figure in the world. It’s a little dream figure and it’s a person and it’s got to do things and defend it’s life and everything. So, to the deceived mind the world is anything but neutral. It has judged and ordered it.
Participant: It’s always good or bad isn’t it? Or something in between, it’s always something, it’s never just neutral.
Speaker: Right, to the deceived mind. Now, in the miracle which is a like a glimpse, like a reminder, we have a remembering of the neutrality, of the unreality of the world. There’s a sense of easiness and of just a gentle watching because the mind is seen to be the dreamer and there’s a real detachment in the miracle. The mind has literally…there’s been a choice to give the mind over to Jesus, or over to the Holy Spirit, to align with the right mind and there’s great detachment that comes because there’s no longer a control issue of trying to control what’s happening on the screen. There’s just a being able to look upon things with gentleness, without judging them.
Participant: Talk about judgement a little bit, because that is the attempt to control what is on the screen and is done through judging everything that seems to pass before these eyes.
Speaker: Yes. Judgement I think, in a more of a common term you know, judging your brother, a lot of times is associated with condemnation, put-downs, superior/inferior kinds of things, making unequal, and that’s the common usage, letting go of my grievances I’ve got to quit criticising and so forth. Judgement goes much deeper than that but I think if we follow that idea up, judgement is to make unequal. To make appear what is equal, unequal. The Sonship is one and a metaphor for this world is that everyone, or every brother, is equal. I think when we talk about judgement we bring it back to the deeper levels, we get to that sense of ordering thoughts, that this is judgement. A condemnation or a criticism is a kind of ordering or judging, of better than thou or so on and so forth but when we pull it back to the more subtle realms we see that the entire projection of thoughts, my thoughts are images that I have made, that the world is nothing more than projection of thoughts. That it is the ordering of those thoughts that maintains the illusion of the reality of the world.
Participant: So any kind of ranking in my mind is an ordering of thoughts, is a judgement?
Participant: So it doesn’t matter if what I’m looking at and judging, ranking, comes out in the top position or the bottom position, whether it’s a one or a ten, it’s still judgement?
Participant: So a ten is just as much judgement as the one, is what you’re saying.
Speaker: Yes. That any ordering of thoughts or, if we use the line from the laws of chaos, “a hierarchy of illusions”. This is precisely what judgement is, it’s making a hierarchy of illusions. If I rate and rank some illusions as more important than other illusions then how will there be an awareness that they’re all just an illusion, they’re equally illusionary or illusory. So, basically, this is the core of judgement, is this ranking. It’s also the reason why the Course talks about how important it is, the relinquishment of judgement in the Teachers Manual and also the very first principle of the fifty miracle principles, is that there is no order of difficulty in miracles and at some point in the Course, Jesus is saying that if you could get the first principle then the rest of the Course would be easy because this is literally the principle that the ego defends against. That, to the ego, there is enormous order of difficulty. That, in following the spiritual path, and trying to see the Christ in everyone, trying not to order and judge situations and events, that is what the ego is trying to hold on to, that is its bread and butter.
Participant: It’s that very ordering that holds the world in tact for the ego.
Participant: For the deceived mind?
Speaker: Yes. So, I’ve used the example for instance of going to a restaurant that you’ve gone to a number of times and, for instance, you like their cherry cheesecake and this time you go in and you order your cherry cheesecake and the waiter says, “well, we’re sorry, we’re out of cherry cheesecake” and an experience of disappointment or deprivation or whatever, once again gets into this ordering of thoughts. So, the cherry cheesecake in some way was raised up or lifted up or part of the construct, of the concept, of the person. For instance, “I like cherry cheesecake” as opposed to pecan pie or ice cream or whatever. And you can see from that example a little bit about what we are talking about. It’s not that you have to go around judging or condemning or cursing the vanilla ice cream or whatever, but, if it is ranked lower than the cherry cheesecake there is an order of preference and it’s part of the hierarchy of illusions. That literally, the self concept is a construct of ordered thoughts. “I like sunny days more than rainy days”, “I like warm climates more than cool climates”, “I like to drive a Mercury as opposed to a Jaguar”, you know, on and on and on. “I like women who have long hair or long dark hair as opposed to blondes” you know, on and on, “I like these television shows better than this. It’s all part of the ordering and the ranking, and this is the judgement that holds the world up, these are the stilts underneath the projection of the world. That, if you took the stilts away then the world would collapse or fall away, it’d fade away.
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