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The 'Hero' of the Dream
All readings from the text in this document are taken from
Part 1 | Part 2
Participant 1: I had such an incredible “aha” moment. When I went home yesterday, I started reading… so much was read yesterday. Some of it went over my head, some of it I was tuning in to, some of it I wasn’t. I lit my fireplace and I was sitting there reading and I started reading on page 25 about the use of the body and a light went off and I equated that it’s a tool of communication. Period. So I thought about what a cell phone is for. What if I used it to start hammering a nail or stirring my soup? And it’s like using it totally what it’s not used for. What if I put makeup on it… using it totally what it is not for, and I got that. Then I did my meditation and it was so powerful.
Speaker: Yes, that’s it. That’s the experience that the metaphysics are bringing you into. It’s bringing you into that recognition. I’ve looked at it like a pencil. If you use a pencil which seems to be for writing and communicating, and you use it to open up a door – it will crack. That is it. It’s ridiculous to try to pry a door open with a pencil. Same thing with a phone, putting makeup on it. You start laughing because that is ridiculous. And that is what Jesus is asking us to do. You have to start laughing at the purpose that you give the world and starting with your body. You give your body all this false meaning and false purposes. You use it for pride, pleasure and attack.
Participant 1: And as I read on it talked about the goals. What are our goals when you look at power, prestige, money, physical pleasure… those are all for the body. What’s the body for? To gain all these things? No. So all the goals are directed for a wrong purpose, for the body.
Speaker: And we can look at what that entails. If I choose to use the body for those purposes then I will have an experience in time and space that is temporary. I will shift and change. And that is the consequence of that. I will have a temporary experience of whatever I am seeking. I will seem to have it and seem to lose it. But if my purpose is for God and God is now, it’s already been given and is without end, then the consequence would be love always. So, all I need to do is seek for the falsity that blocks that simplicity. That’s it.
Participant 1: That’s what I got. All those goals are spinning, spinning, spinning.
Speaker: That’s why I have said from the beginning that this workshop… if you really utilize all this information then you will not need to go off and do a bunch of other workshops, because this is it… this is the tool, emptying your mind of false content, of complexity and the ego. You learn to look at the ego and you learn to become simple minded. You will begin to forget the world, the specifics and complexities of the world. And to the world that is backwards, it seems dull and stupid.
Participant 1: I had a hard time getting here today.
Speaker: That is what you realize when you really start looking at your mind, “Where am I?” That is a good thought to have. Just let it go because there is an assumption behind it that “I am somewhere”. But it is going in the right direction.
Participant 1: I have another question. “The second obstacle that peace must flow across, and closely related to the first, is the belief that the body is valuable for what it offers. For here is the attraction of guilt made manifest in the body, and seen in it.” I didn’t really understand that.
Speaker: Well, you think that the body has value in it’s autonomy. It’s autonomous and the value of freedom in the body, the value of collecting the things that you think you need. So you can say that the idea of using the body to be a spiritual self is an attraction to guilt… to become a spiritual person, to use it to get something, the “getting mechanism”. The getting mechanism, the split mind – the unhealed mind – the sleepy mind – the deceived mind – thinks that salvation is outside of itself and Jesus calls the core of that mind the “getting mechanism”. It thinks that it is a subject [body] and then there is an object. And then what it needs, which is based in lack, is outside of it and it needs to get it. It hears the call to awaken and distorts it. It is no different than the addict with its drugs; crack, cocaine, marijuana, alcohol, whatever it is. The mind hears the call, interprets it and then uses the body as a means to get what it thinks it needs and that is all based on the attraction to guilt.
Participant 1: The attraction to guilt, maybe that’s what I really didn’t get.
Speaker: The attraction to guilt is the same as the attraction to pain. The lack is in the mind but the mind thinks that it is a person now. And it thinks to get that healed, to save itself, that now there is something outside of itself that can heal that pain that is in the mind. But what happens is the mind perpetuates the pain by seeking. So that is the attraction to pain. Pain and guilt are one in the same. If you have pain then you have guilt in your mind, they are the same.
Participant 2: Pain in the mind.
Speaker: Yes, but pain and guilt is the same. Fear, guilt, however it seems to arise… it is all fear but guilt is pain. It is all one. It is not love. It is the attraction to fear, the attraction to guilt that is perpetuated by the belief in the body. The body is there to perpetuate guilt. Remember what we were getting at yesterday… and you spoke it well when you understood it… that it is intolerable back there in the mind… and that is the beginning so to speak… and it is so intolerable that the mind starts making these concepts and hiding. And that is the guilt, the guilt is intolerable, the pain is. It just looks outwardly…
Participant 2: To blame someone else.
Speaker: The blame is just all a part of perpetuating guilt. So if you are blaming, if you are upset it is guilt arising in consciousness and that is what we have been getting at here. It’s all in your mind and the forms are neutral. It just gets reflected back. The forms have already been forgiven, the Holy Spirit did that and that is what you are learning to accept. But your mind is confused now in cause and effect and it’s giving the dreaming of the world….you dreamed it, which is false cause (or we can also call this an unreal effect)… you dreamed that and gave it away and you keep what? The body, the “Hero” of the dream. You keep it, it’s serial adventures of pain and suffering. And the part that can be acted on, you kept – the “face of innocence”. Ohhh! And it looks out sometimes and it goes, “Oh, those poor people out there, weak innocent people.” And really you believe that they are losing their innocence and that is why you believe that innocence is changing…”I’ve still got mine but they are losing theirs”.
And that is the core of the ego which is what I am getting at here. We have to learn to look at that part of our mind. That is not who we are but it is who we think we are and that is pain. The pain comes from not looking at that. So all the distractions, delays and resistance is the denial of seeking that directly. The pain is a consequence of not looking. That is it, just not being direct.
Participant 2: So anytime that we see guilt or suffering or anything out there, it’s all a part of consciousness.
Speaker: It’s a part of my interpretation of the consciousness.
Participant 2: It isn’t real. It is not real at all. That person that we see, like the homeless guy on the street.
Speaker: Well, it’s good to pay attention to how you feel. This is where the mind-training comes in. You walk by and you pay attention to your thoughts arising. Let them arise because the ego will want to make something out of what it sees. So, you as a miracle-worker, you start to watch and then you watch the movement of thought come in…. “Oh, look at that poor guy. Look how dirty he is.” Watch the repulsion or whatever. And then all the false empathy and all the projection, “I wouldn’t be able to live like that. He didn’t take a shower… how could he have a nice day without a shower?” You see? On and on… all these thoughts.
Participant 3: Or maybe I wonder what he did wrong to get to that place.
Speaker: Right, “What did he do wrong?”
Participant 2: Lots of decisions he made to get there.
Speaker: Right and that is just all a projection and what the Course is saying is that right now is love and if you see a world that is not a reflection of love then you are not in your right mind. You are not viewing consciousness rightly. That doesn’t mean that there is no war but you no longer divide or think you know what those things mean.
So, let’s take a look at this: homeless. Let’s look at that idea. What does it mean? Who is homeless? Perceive it, you believe it. Now, I think I now what “homeless” is.
Participant 3: Do I know what a “home” is?
Speaker: Do I have a concept of what a home is? What is a home? If the present moment, which is the closest approximation to eternity that the perceptual realm offers is my home – and that’s the truth which is without end….
Participant 3: Or you can associate it with an idea of four walls where you put your body and all of your things…
Speaker: And if I believe that it’s in that construct, then I will experience not being at home… and not being in my home but wanting to be at home. You see that?
Participant 1: You know I travel so much that wherever I go, I feel like that is my home. When I am in the hotel room, this is my home.
Speaker: Exactly, and that is the acceptance of ‘what is’ in the moment. It’s the conceptual ideas in our minds that give us the experience in consciousness of something other than what it is right now.
Participant 2: If I was in my right mind and I passed a homeless person, what would go on in my head?
Speaker: I don’t know. Let’s try not to get into hypotheticals. There is no answer to that question. I don’t know what would go in in your head, all I can tell you is to pay attention to how you feel about what seems to be arising in consciousness and what you feel will arise… you just have to watch it.
Participant 2: And so everything that comes up needs to be dealt with, everything.
Speaker: Everything! So, just take a look at…. Yesterday or the day before you mentioned the idea of the man on television. There was false empathy there and false innocence. You still believe that something happened ‘wrong’. You wanted to forgive him, but see, he doesn’t need forgiveness. It’s my thought about him that needs forgiveness.
Participant 4: True
Speaker: He is already innocent. Innocent perception is now. It is my interpretation of perception that is distorted.
Participant 2: Actually I was confused because I know that this is just an illusion… well this is a man that seems to have killed a little girl and I don’t want him to be guilty. I want him to be innocent. So, the confusion comes even though I know that I think he is.
Speaker: And this is what we have to take a look at. This is the deep, deep honesty that I want us to get at. This is why we have to be honest with our feelings. How do you feel about that?
Participant 2: I was very confused and not happy.
Speaker: And so you still feel confused now, about it?
Participant 2: I feel a little bit better, a little bit.
Speaker: But you don’t feel peaceful or clear about it.
Participant 2: No.
Speaker: Okay, so let’s look at it this way. I am either experiencing love or fear. So, I have fear in my mind. There is no little bit. There is no little war, there is no big war. This is what we are going to get at. The ego separates out those things and makes them different. And Jesus in the Course says that there is either love or war.
Participant 2: One or the other.
Speaker: You are either at war or you are in love. So, right now I am at war and Jesus says that when I am upset, I am upset because I have given meaning to something that is not there. The meaning is in my mind. I am not seeing love. Love is always there if it is simultaneous and if it is perfect. If it is there and if I am not seeing it then that means that I am giving it meaning. It doesn’t matter how many people are around you agreeing with the same sick interpretation…. “Oh, he is a murderer. Kill him!” That is how the ego sets the world up; agreed upon sickness. You have to see that all of that is a reflection of your mind and you have to give it a new interpretation… an interpretation that is whole.
And in order to do that don’t say, “I know it’s an illusion.” You would not react in fear to an illusion if you believed that it was an illusion. So to say, “I know” is a very dangerous thing. I mean that, it is dangerous, because you don’t know. There is one idea that the world does not want to admit: I do not know the thing I am. We are going to get into that today later on. What is under that is a dread of not knowing. But you will never “know” this dream. You can’t know an illusion. You can only know who you are when you realize that it is an illusion and that knowing is abstract and not specific. You won’t know how you are in the sense of your name or your body, but you will know who you are through a sense of purpose. You are your purpose, this abstract self. You are. And that is a knowing but knowing is knowledge. This is only an approximation of knowledge. You will rarely hear me use it. “Know” is a powerful word.
So to know and not to do, is not to know. I am aware of an intellectual idea that this is a dream. I need to train my mind to meet that idea. But to go ahead and say that I am already at that idea, yet when I pay attention to my feelings and I am not really at peace… then that is the confusion. And confusion, again, is level confusion. All confusion is level confusion.
You just have to look at it very deeply in a new way. How do I feel right now? And then you take a look at that feeling and give that over for forgiveness. But you can’t give it over if you really think that it is outside of you. You can only release the dream, you can only truly forgive, when you see the consequence and the cause as one. But in your perception right now, you think that the cause is outside of you and you are the consequence of that cause. But that is actually a consequence! So you have to reverse effect and cause. You have to reverse it. Actually that is a consequence of my judgment. Not the form, but my interpretation of that form.
Participant 3: My experience is a consequence of my interpretation.
Speaker: How I feel right now, and feelings are thoughts… its all thought… it is just a reflection of a thought, it only seems to come out through levels. Feelings seem to be a level but feeling is a thought. So you see, that is how you start unraveling it. And how do you feel when you start unraveling it?
Participant 2: Oh, I am sure I would feel confused.
Speaker: You have to open up to that confusion and surrender to it. Don’t be afraid and try to fight it. It is the need to know in your mind that fights it. Surrender. As you surrender to confusion and keep your focus… this is where trust comes in. Trust would settle every problem now. Just trust and surrender. The miracle does nothing.
Participant 1: That loosened up my mind. When I thought about that, having a different concept of the body and the use of the body. And then I thought, “Okay, the reason I don’t know what anything is for is because I thought it was all for my body. And if it is not for my body then I don’t know what it’s for.”
Speaker: Hallelujah! That’s it.
Participant 2: Yeah, I don’t know what it’s for.
Speaker: And that is where we start. ‘I do not know what anything is for. I do not know how to look upon the world…’ But this is where the practicality of this teaching comes in… ‘…but I believe I think I know what everything is for.’
Participant 2: That’s an ego belief isn’t it?
Speaker: When you start looking at that, that is when you start getting in touch with the real thoughts behind there, because that’s nothing. That is not what you are hiding from. That is just a side show. You have to start going in. That is how the ego tricks the mind and you have to learn to look at them very directly. It’s a good thing, not knowing.
Participant 2: Yes it is and you know… it’s wonderful that I brought that up because I had a real deep feeling about it… about the guy they accused and found guilty. And I thought, in my mind, “Dang I wish you wouldn’t have killed that little girl. Look at you.” So, I am believing that he really killed her.
Speaker: And why do I believe? Because I think I know something and I am calling forth witnesses to my belief. So, I think I know what murder is. Jesus defines murder. When I am upset at a brother, I murdered him on the battle ground.
Participant 2: Wow, wow.
Speaker: When he came back, his first teaching to the Jews under the law… the law taught that if you committed adultery, then you sinned. And one of his first teachings was that the thought and the deed, the thought and the action are one. If you think of lust then it is not different than the action. See, this is what the ‘Levels of Mind’ gets at, the next workshop that we will do… it gets into the deeper collapsing. You just start seeing that you think you know what it is for, but we have to redefine it. The definitions are what makes the body seem solid. I use this body now for attack and the pride of keeping the image of my body, the pleasure too and the attraction to guilt that comes with it. So, all of that is just to perpetuate guilt in my mind. I have an idea of murder in my mind. I think I know what that is. And actually I just murdered my brother with the very thought and I am repulsed now at him. Remember I said this yesterday, whenever you are upset with a brother for taking part in fantasy… that was his fantasy. You have yet to forgive yourself for the very same defense. You have to collapse the orders of error in your mind. You will never correct with an order of error in your mind, a hierarchy. You have to allow the Holy Spirit to re-order your thoughts and he sees everything as what? Love and a call for love, right?
Participant 2: Yes.
Speaker: And love only extends. So that means there are two orders of thought, so then if I am calling forth a witness of three orders of thought… there is love, a call for love and then, wait, if I don’t feel love that means there must be a third… murder. Oh, that is a sign that I am not in my right mind. It is a call to awaken but I have to see it in my mind, not in your body’s mind because your brain cannot think. It cannot have one thought. It is impossible for your brain to think. Jesus says that you think your brain thinks. It doesn’t. You are the dreamer of dreams.
Participant 2: So I murdered him when I thought he was guilty.
Speaker: In your mind, in fantasy you did. Psychologically you did murder him. It is all psychological. Whatever seems to happen with bodies coming together and things like that, it is all the same. It is neutral. It is just what the mind assigns to it.
Remember what I was saying yesterday when the man came along and threw my friend down on the post and cracked his head open. My friend never forget for an instant who he was, and loved that man, loved him to the point where the man was actually taking him home and cleaning him up like Mother Teresa. Now that was just a reflection of love from my friends own mind. But that event, from the point of view of an untrained mind, from the ego perspective, sees attack… judges, would take the man to court and put him on trail and put him in prison and damn him and for the rest of his life the saga goes on.
And this is what we do psychologically all the time. But in order to accept the Atonement we must bring the past in a purified form and collapse it. So this is where these ideas come in. The deeper you get in these metaphysics, the more you are able to see the shenanigans of the ego and you can’t be fooled by it anymore. And then it is only you accepting the solution over and over again, basically.
Participant 5: Can I ask a question? So, the man caring for your friend is a reflection of love in your friends mind. But previously it was violence.
Speaker: But he still saw love.
Participant 5: But again, the word reflection was used. Reflecting love.
Speak: It’s a symbol of love, I said.
Participant 5: So, violence was reflected a moment before.
Speaker: Well, the healed mind judges not what it sees, and this is what I am saying. So, in my friends mind, violence is the ego. Violence is not on the screen. The ego is a violent thought and then there is a love thought. There are two…
Participant 5: So you could say then though that the reflections remain the same. It never changed, it was always love.
Speaker: Yes. But symbolically… It’s just a word of symbols, a world of ideas. You may still see something that seems to change. A body might seem to change. The body’s eyes will still report differences. A body might seem to be happier, it is just a symbol of your mind. It was always a symbol of love. You have to put it in perspective. Let’s use the example of a prison. You could be in love now, in the circumstances of what the world would call a prison. When really the prison, is the ego. You are enslaved to a master that keeps you prisoner.
We were talking about cults today. It’s funny. People think they know what cults are. But the ego is a cult. It’s control, it’s a hierarchy. It likes to control and manipulate things. And people think there are separate and different cults out there. You are either in cult thinking or you are not. You can’t be in a cult in a specific sense. Cult thinking is specific thinking! [laughing] You see how the ego tricks the mind? And what Jesus is doing is washing our mind with a new, whole perspective. He is showing you that you are making yourself solid through that body. You are solidifying yourself through all these fragmented hierarchies that you have. And then you are just playing dumb…. Playing dumb, you are not dumb, you are the Son of God. And forgetful… “I don’t know. Why would someone do this to me? Why would someone steal a wallet when I am such a good man and I live on donations… why would they steal?” You see, that is what the ego does. It just plays a little game, a little story. But the story needs to be seen very directly in the mind, we need to see it. And we’re getting at the mechanism behind the story. The story is just a rouge… just trying to get you to believe it…. It’s just a magic trick, the part of the magic trick that really gets you. Look at the lady doing her dance! If you watch a magic trick, they have the prettiest lady there in her skin tight things, and everyone is like…. “Oooohh, oh she is so pretty!” and meanwhile the magician is pulling the locks and slipping the key.
And that is what this is. We need to take a look at that, that’s it. And it can be fun. It doesn’t have to be serious, I am not asking anyone to be serious here. I am asking you to be gentle, sweet with yourself, honest with yourself. Being dishonest is not good or bad, but there is a consequence, psychologically, for it. And God does not inspire that for you. You seem to disconnect or obscure yourself from your changeless reality but you are only obscured.
And yesterday Participant 5’s eyes were all lit up and she was starting to realize the power of belief, that it’s just belief! How powerful it seems to be. You have a powerful mind and you are giving it to a belief and the belief needs to be looked at directly. And that is why coming together in this way is extremely helpful in getting clear and honest.
Participant 2: I like it.
Speaker: And you don’t have to feel guilty. There is no reason for guilt at all.
Participant 2: Just preconceived definitions with everything.
Speaker: With everything.
So, I felt prompted, and it’s not mistake that we start talking about the “Hero” of the Dream here and all this stuff. I felt that it would be more helpful for us this morning to read this “Hero” of the Dream and then the ‘Self Concept vs. Self’. We have covered the idea of the Healed Relationship, that it is not necessarily a relationship between two people, it’s the relationship with between you and the Holy Spirit. That may seem to take certain forms initially of a group or perhaps two people or not. It may feel disjunctive, but the purpose of the joining is to uncover errors. That is the purpose, to give a space to release and to be the saner of the group or of the two. Just appreciate the purpose.
Page 585, second edition. Section 8, chapter 27 – “The
Healing of the Dream – The ‘Hero’ of the Dream”.
In that one paragraph there, Jesus is saying that you believe that you have been created by other bodies and you are here now, but you will go back to the dust. We were talking about that yesterday. We believe that we are these hunks of clay and that’s our life. But Jesus is saying that that is all spinning inside of the mind and the mind just believes all these little things… these bodies made that body, but they didn’t make this other one and so it is not as special. And it is saying that the main rule of the “hero” is to keep for comforts and avoid the pains. And it is saying that it tries to teach itself that they are different. But he is getting at it here… the seeker is the pain. The seeker, the dream, the hero is the seeker. That is the pain, that’s where the guilt comes from, where the confusion comes from. For anything like love comes from that. And if we question all those things. Can spirit, if spirit is changeless and eternal and whole, how can that come into a body? And trust me, when perception starts to fall away, when you start allowing perception to fall away, there is nothing there. You can see that, ‘I am always here and I always will be here. I can’t be in a body’. It’s just a thought that you are.
“The dreaming of the world takes many forms, because the body seeks in many ways to prove it is autonomous and real.”
That’s another thing that happens when we have a focus. Autonomy comes up! That is where the commitment comes in. That helps us move through the autonomy, because there is an addiction to autonomy. The autnomy of having my own place and then it swings from that to living with a bunch of people. Having my own car or having it my way. From autonomy to dependence or enmeshment. The purpose of the “hero” of the dream is to be autonomous even though it might seek for some friendships, it seeks for autonomous friendships. ‘Just you and I, sweetheart. Just you and I’. Then there are two of you against the world. [laughter]
Participant 2: Like the song.
“It puts things on itself that it has bought with little metal
discs or paper strips the world proclaims as valuable and real. It
works to get them, doing senseless things, and tosses them away for
senseless things it does not need and does not even want. It hires
other bodies, that they may protect it and collect more senseless
things that it can call its own. It looks about for special bodies
that can share its dream. Sometimes it dreams it is a conqueror of
bodies weaker than itself. But in some phases of the dream, it is
the slave of bodies that would hurt and torture it. 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.”
“Thus are you not the dreamer, but the dream.” If you believe this then you are not the dreamer, you are the dream. This is what I was getting at with you. If you feel upset about something in your awareness then you think that you are the dream and not the dreamer. That means that you don’t know that you are the dreamer.
Participant 3: Is there a reason why he says you are the “dream”
rather than saying that you are a ‘dream figure’? It seems
like you would think you are a dream figure? But he says, you are
Participant 2: You think you are.
Participant 2: The hero, always the hero.
Speaker: Right. And that is what he is saying up here. The ego only
shows a certain part of the image that it wants to show and it splits
it off and makes them different. Like pleasure and pain. It keeps
them apart so that the mind is fooled into thinking that they are
different. Because if you see it as one, you have caught on to it.
But if you keep them apart then you are blinded. That is the block
to Love’s awareness, is that we keep them apart. In order to
remove blocks you must come together, bring them together, close the
gap between my thoughts of ‘you’ and ‘I’.
Close the gap on whatever it is. But the gap is in my mind. I am misusing
my co-creative powers, cause, in my mind. I am cause in that sense.
It’s not a real cause because it’s a distorted form of
cause, a mis-creation, a fantasy.
“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? 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. 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?”
“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.
No one asleep and dreaming in the world remembers his attack upon
himself. 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
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