Law of Division, Law of Unity
|PART 1: Looking
at the Division in ACIM and the World – Faith is total –
Looking at the Idea of Illusions battling with themselves - Seek
not to change the world – Undoing concepts of space and
PART 2: You are the World, the World is in your
Mind – Looking at Getting Mechanisms in the Mind
PART 3: Learning to Look at the Ego Without Resistance
– Inappropriate use of Awe - Looking at the Meaning of,
“The Word of God”.
PART 4: Mind Watching is True Mediation –
Looking at Displaced Dependency (Loyalty)
PART 5: A Meaningless World Engenders Fear –
Looking At the Idea of Ownership
Law of Division, Law of Unity
- Part 1
“God's Son will always be indivisible. As
we are held as one in God, so do we learn as one in Him. God's Teacher
is as like to His Creator as is His Son, and through His Teacher does
God proclaim His Oneness and His Son's. Listen in silence, and do not
raise your voice against Him. For He teaches the miracle of oneness,
and before His lesson division disappears. Teach like Him here, and
you will remember that you have always created like your Father. The
miracle of creation has never ceased, having the holy stamp of immortality
upon it. This is the Will of God for all creation, and all creation
joins in willing this.”
Speaker: I’d like to start this evening’s session with
this quote from A Course in Miracles, “The memory of God comes
to the quiet mind. It cannot come where there is conflict, for a mind
at war against itself remembers not eternal gentleness.” The
split mind is identified with conceptual thinking. It is addicted to
the law of division, the movement of thought. The egoic movement of
thought, the split or gap in mind, is what needs to be seen. This is
true learning. We do not know how to look upon the world. We only know
how to look through a very narrow view. This view is the ‘persona’,
a view so layered in levels and compartments that little or no light
can be seen. We attempt to compartmentalize God within the human mind,
but the human mind dissolves in God. ‘God is no respecter of persons’.
We do not know how to look upon the world or ourselves. This is what
we fear. First and foremost I feel we need to know the ‘dynamics’,
the seeming ‘structures’ of the mind before we look at error.
But in order to do that we need to admit, “I do not know the thing
I am, and therefore do not know what I am doing, where I am, or how
to look upon the world or on myself.” In this learning is salvation
We seek change “out there” in the world. We attempt to
amend the broken pieces of “our lives”. We rally, we vote,
we scream, we pray, but little do we know that we are but doing it to
ourselves. The war is within, not “out there”. We come to
this world to become; to become something we are not. This is the purpose
we seek in this world of ideas. We become angry people, and then we
become angry spiritual people. What is wrong with this?
Questioner: I am so glad you are talking about this in today’s
session. I just came from A Course in Miracles online chat room and
the whole time everyone talked about the various interpretations of
ACIM. Everyone was arguing their point, “** says this and ** believes
that, ** teaches this.” I feel so confused. Who is right?
Speaker: Let’s try not to look at it in terms of who or what
is right or wrong. Think about this… Is the truth true or isn’t
it? Can there be more than one version of the truth? It’s never
about anyone else, nor is it about a book. All we can ever do is be
clear for ourselves. Who is “right” is an issue that is
irrelevant. One of the problems we need to look at is that of putting
one spiritual student/teacher or philosophy against another, this denies
the very unity we talk about. The one and only teacher is the Holy Spirit.
Following persons or bodies cannot lead you to truth; bodies were made
to deny truth. **, **, ** and the Speaker are all illusions; the Christ
does not take the form of a body. The man, Jesus, was an illusion. Christ
is beyond forms. Forms are symbolic of what is beyond perception. All
forms, all of time and space, all bodies… are illusory. Following
the flesh is part of the problem. Following any teacher in form is misdirected
loyalty. True loyalty lies with Him Who sent us, the Holy Spirit. Jesus
always said, ‘It is not I who do these things, it is my Father
in Heaven who does these deeds through me ’. Jesus always gave
the glory to God. He knew where the loyalty was rightly placed.
Questioner: What about you Speaker? You have many students.
Speaker: It may appear that I have students, but things are not as
they appear. We come together in this way to save time, not to make
one of us more special and another less. I don’t want you to just
sit there and nod your head and agree, nor do I want you to disagree.
I want you to take what is being said and go within your mind. It is
time to put down the books and the writing pens and stop taking notes
about the truth and be the truth. How many more workshops do you need?
The world is full of leaders and followers. I am not a leader or follower.
I am speaking from I AM. The whole aim of ACIM is a universal experience.
If we take sides, we then have to protect our interpretations, our teachers,
our paths, and then the truth will be a far off place. How can we have
a unified experience of love if we defend? When we defend anything,
we defend illusions because only illusions are in need of defense. Defending
illusions perpetuates guilt. The Course tells us, “The war against
yourself is but the battle of two illusions, struggling to make them
different from each other, in the belief the one that conquers will
be true. There is no conflict between them and the truth. Nor are they
different from each other. Both are not true. And so it matters not
what form they take.”
Questioner- So you need two illusions to have a defense?
Speaker: Yes, the ego splits itself off into the “thinker”
and the “thought”; so then there is “me” thinking
thoughts that I do like, or ones that I do not like. This is why the
Course said, “The war against yourself is but the battle of two
illusions, struggling to make them different from each other.”
The ego wants you to believe that the “observer” and the
“observed”, and the “inner” and the “outer”
are different from one another. In the Gospel of Thomas, Jesus was quoted
as saying, "When you make the two into one, and when you make the
inner like the outer and the outer like the inner, and the upper like
the lower, and when you make male and female into a single one, so that
the male will not be male nor the female be female, when you make eyes
in place of an eye, a hand in place of a hand, a foot in place of a
foot, an image in place of an image, then you will enter the Father's
domain.” The ego wants you to believe that there is something
“out there” because if there is something “out there”
to change, something “out there” that is a real problem,
then the ego’s purpose of obscuring our Father’s domain
is fulfilled. The truth is defenseless. In my defenselessness my safety
lies. There is no twoness in unity. There must be something beyond this
divisionary, self-centered concern of the `me', at whatever level it
may be; family, social, economic or religious. The `me' and the `not
me', the `we' and `they’, the ‘believer’ and the ‘non-believer’
are all aspects of division. The Course tells us, “Anything that
engenders fear is divisive because it obeys the law of division.”
The Mind is beyond this condition, the law of division. The truth has
no sides or interpretations; it is beyond conditions and beyond laws
of this world. The truth is the law of Unity. “I am under no laws
but Gods. “
Questioner - How is freedom from this division possible? How can I
experience the Law of Unity?
Speaker- If we see something as 'possible' or if we have a deep passion
or joy then we have a great deal of energy to mind-watch, to see with
the Holy Spirit. Freedom from the ‘law of division’ is seen
through mind-watching. What I mean by mind-watching is seeing without
any comparisons, seeing without any divisions whatsoever. This is what
it means by right-minded seeing or seeing with the Holy Spirit.
Questioner: I seem to loose my faith, it wavers in and out. I guess
it doesn’t seem like a realistic possibility for me in this life
Speaker: Then the question would be, “What obscures faith”?
Questioner: What obscures my faith?
Speaker- Faith is total, we are either faithful to God or Ego. What
obscures faith is the thought that it is not possible, feeling it is
in the future. God is now. This is why we drift into tangential issues-
as most seekers do – we move from one trap to another. We forget
the point of it all. The point is now, not in the future or a future
life. We forget to pray and seek inner guidance first. We forget to
ask, ”What is it for?” The Course tells us, “The ego's
characteristic busyness with nonessentials is for precisely that purpose.
Preoccupations with problems set up to be incapable of solution are
favorite ego devices for impeding learning progress. In all these diversionary
tactics, however, the one question that is never asked by those who
pursue them is, "What for?" This is the question that you
must learn to ask in connection with everything. What is the purpose?”
Question- I still don’t see how freedom from this division is
Speaker- The key to seeing this clearly is recognizing that in the
‘human condition’ there is a great deal of anger and violence,
a great deal of divisionary activity. We need to recognize how we are
caught in various beliefs, dogmas and divisionary theories and how we
take sides; either noble or ignoble, either positive or negative –
and how this relates to violence. We war against one particular system
or establishment and then we fall into another divisionary system. We
go from one system to another. There is the “counter culture”
and the “cultural norm”; nether is true, both are two sides
of the same coin. We attempt to leave the world and lead a spiritual
life but everything we do is backwards, we always cling to something.
We are saying we want God, Truth, Peace, the end to war, but our very
actions contradict what we say. The truth is defenseless. Truth Is.
We attempt to bring Spirit into the world of form and Truth to illusions
but the world and Spirit do not mix as Truth and illusions do not and
this is why fear is still evident. In the book of Matthew 6:24 Jesus
was quoted as saying, “No man can serve two masters: for either
he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the
one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon”.
Questioner: I saw recently on ‘Larry King Live’ that a
famous ACIM teacher is seeking a peace department. If I follow this
logic – what you just said about trying to bring Spirit into the
world - then that means a peace department would be contradictory to
the learning of this Course?
Speaker: Many such things are attempted with good intent, but they
are ultimately misdirected. There is still a belief that there is “me”
who can do something about what is wrong “out there”. It’s
still divisionary, you see. It has a “subject” and “object”,
but mind is neither “subject” nor “object”,
Mind Is. Seeing through a “personal” perspective, it’s
inevitable that one will still take a side and when a side is taken,
conflict in some form will arise in awareness because the “personal
perspective” only sees sides. So even the attempt to have an external
corresponding structure to help, such as a peace department, would only
be supporting the belief that error is “outside”; that there
is a real problem to solve. It must be seen and understood that the
very act of correcting “out there” is a violent action.
Neither the world nor the spiritual seeker will admit this; the world
is made to hide this truth. The little “me” is the conflict,
and this is the fact that must be seen. The Holy Spirit sees no error,
there is no “out there” nor is there a “within”,
Mind Is. Only the belief in separation needs correction and a belief
is not a fact. You are the Kingdom. The Course says, “The word
"within" is unnecessary. The Kingdom of Heaven is you. What
else but you did the Creator create, and what else but you is His Kingdom?
This is the whole message of the Atonement; a message which in its totality
transcends the sum of its parts.
Questioner- So the Holy Spirit only sees sinlessness, and therefore
sees that nothing in the world needs correction?
Speaker- Yes, the “correction” to the separation has already
been established, and this is the true meaning of the Atonement. The
Atonement is the recognition that the separation has not occurred, so
the thought that there is something to correct “out there”
only denies the truth of the Holy Spirit’s solution. The Holy
Spirit sees all perception, all seeming parts as whole, there is no
“good” or “bad” or “right” or “wrong”.
You cannot serve two masters. You are either severing the voice of fear
– fragmentation - or the voice of wholeness – holiness,
all inclusiveness. This is why anyone who takes a side of any kind experiences
fear and conflict, which is violence. This is why when you hear ‘spiritual’
people argue you can be certain that they speak from a system of thought
that is divisionary. They speak from the realm of belief. They may be
quoting scripture, they may be saying they believe in God, they may
believe they are supporting something good and worthy that is “out
there”, but mere belief is the problem. They maybe saying they
want peace, but they are angry, they are fighting or resisting, always
pushing against something else. Belief in God, in Truth, is unnecessary,
because God <Is> beyond belief. Belief is open to acceptance or
rejection, but the truth is true and only the truth is true; it is changeless
abstraction. The world you see is an ‘outward’ picture of
an ‘inward’ condition. If we take sides in religion, politics,
wars or whatever it may be, we will hold to one and hate the other.
If we are protecting our religions, our spiritual truths, then we do
not know the meaning they are pointing to. We have missed the mark.
Like I said, theology and belief is unnecessary to know God. The Course
so wonderfully puts it this way, “To be a teacher of God, it is
not necessary to be religious or even to believe in God to any recognizable
extent. It is necessary, however, to teach forgiveness rather than condemnation….All
terms are potentially controversial, and those who seek controversy
will find it. Yet those who seek clarification will find it as well.
They must, however, be willing to overlook controversy, recognizing
that it is a defense against truth in the form of a delaying maneuver.
Theological considerations as such are necessarily controversial, since
they depend on belief and can therefore be accepted or rejected. A universal
theology is impossible, but a universal experience is not only possible
but necessary. It is this experience toward which the course is directed.
Here alone consistency becomes possible because here alone uncertainty
Lets take a look at this line again, “Theological considerations
as such are necessarily controversial, since they depend on belief and
can therefore be accepted or rejected.”
The word, the description of the described, is not the thing. What
I am saying is that we make the error of making the written word sacred
and special; we forget what the word is for. We believe the words, but
on a superficial level; we project our conclusion upon its content and
decide what we want to see. This type of believing is open to acceptance
or rejection, but both acceptance and rejection are two sides of the
same coin – the same kind of activity. Let’s take a look
at the aspect of acceptance within popular religion: Many people believe
in Jesus, but how many wars have taken place because of this superficial
believing? Jesus wrote the Course so we could have a healed perspective
of his message, but we do the very thing that’s always been done;
we fragment it through our personal opinions and interpretations. We
forget what the word is pointing towards. It’s all so very simple.
The truth is true and only the truth is true, nothing real can be threatened,
nothing unreal exists. It’s that simple. Truth is changeless and
illusions are just illusions, they are not real. A Course in Miracles
is 1250 pages, and was designed for a “sophisticated schizophrenic”.
The Christ Mind is very simple; Christ abides in the ever present moment.
The present moment is very simple, it is given, it is grace, in the
very same way that the flow of a river has been given. If you put a
leaf in the river, it flows right along with the current. The purpose
of the Course is to tell you that you are attempting to fight this current,
that you have built a dam and have blocked the flow. The dam is symbolic
of the layers of concepts one has accumulated. The purpose of the Atonement
is to atone, to undo the layers of the dam so one can allow the river
to flow and purge itself of this false construct. The Course’s
purpose is not to identify with more concepts; this perpetuates the
building of the dam. What happens when we recognize the changeless unconditional
truth which is beyond conceptual belief?
Questioner- I guess if there are no concepts and nothing to defend;
then we are defenseless.
Speaker- The human condition is an error, an illusion; a movement of
thought that obscures the law of Unity. Can you see the human condition
Questioner: Yes, I can see it. And… seeing now, the human situation
as it is; what are we to do?
Speaker- This, I think, is the question that every truth seeker who
has spiritual integrity, one who sees the things that are happening
around him or her, must inevitably ask. Mind-watching the egoic division
is not for the occasional moments when we experience pain or doubt but
something that must be transferred throughout the day and night, throughout
the years and until our lives are completely harmonious, without conflict
in oneself and with the world. “Love transfers to love without
any interference, for the two are one. As you perceive more and more
common elements in all situations, the transfer of training under the
Holy Spirit's guidance increases and becomes generalized. Gradually
you learn to apply it to everyone and everything, for its applicability
is universal. When this has been accomplished, perception and knowledge
have become so similar that they share the unification of the laws of
Law of Division, Law of Unity
- Part 2
Questioner- How do I go beyond this petty, conflicted, little self?
Speaker- The “I” that’s asking the question is that
self. But, that doesn’t mean stop asking questions, it just means
being very clear about these ideas – and directing questions appropriately,
as you have been. We need to see the root or ‘cause’ of
fear, not the effects. Again, see the cause – not the effects.
This is an area of confusion for many spiritual seekers. Conflict arises
from separating the “observer” and the “observed”;
it comes from self-centered fear, from attempting to serve two masters.
Ideas leave not their source; “observer” and “observed”
are one. The ego gives a tremendous importance to its appetites. The
ego uses the separating of the “observer” and the “observed”
(the “thinker and the “thought”) to perpetuate its
appetites. “Appetites are ‘getting’ mechanisms, representing
the ego's need to confirm itself.” The ego believes the “observer”
and “observed” are apart, therefore giving the illusion
of ‘this’ and ‘that’. The ego needs two; it
needs a split to confirm itself. So the ego uses the body as means to
an end, a means to “get” what it thinks it needs from “out
there”. The only means necessary for salvation is the Atonement,
which is the complete forgiveness of what is unreal - duality.
Questioner- Any “getting mechanism” is of the ego?
Speaker- Yes. The ego is only out to keep the illusion of its concepts
alive. It needs to fight for survival; the ego will do anything to confirm
its existence. It will either seek negative or positive ways to give
itself a sense of aliveness or to show that it ‘exists’
through its doings. We can use your example of forming a peace department.
A peace department looks like quite a positive and worthy cause on the
surface. But we have to look at the underling premise of a mind that
would form one. To do this, there must be a belief that peace is “out
there”, that there is real “cause” in this world –
or conversely that fear is “out there” and not in my mind.
“Dreams are your protest against reality, and your fixed and insane
idea that you can change it.” Remember what I said just a moment
ago, that this is where most spiritual students get confused and then
focus on the effects and not the cause of fear. Jesus asks us, “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.
When you focus on effects, rather than the cause, it seems that there
is a real problem outside ones mind, not within the mind. This is why
“attack” would seem real, for you have given away the dreaming
of the world (cause) but have kept one part; the ‘face of innocence’,
the part that is acted on. The giving away of cause is why no one remembers
his “attack upon himself.” If you trace the motive of seeking
change within the world back to the mind, it’s based on “subject”
and “object” being different. The ego separates the “subject”
and the “object”, the “observer” and the “observed”
so that it can be cause, the author of the dream. When one seems to
experience anything unlike peace, it is because there is the separating
of the “observer” and “observed”, the “subject”
and “object”, an attempt to order reality according to the
ego’s dictates. This activity keeps the mind focused on effects,
never realizing the cause. This is an endless loop. Do you follow what
I am saying?
Questioner: Yes I do, although it’s hard not to want to change
things out there. I have to admit that it is very tempting to want to
be the one who changes the world for the better. Sometimes I think if
we could all just be a little more spiritual then that would make a
big impact on the state of the world. This must be where I have to bring
it back to my mind then, if I think something is wrong out there it
means I still see the effects and not the cause. I see effects, like
war and hunger and racism and I want to change all that – to make
people see how things could be better or different. But it’s really
me that needs to change how I see. That is a very, very different perspective,
and if I may say so, a bit radical.
Speaker – Yes, it does seem radical to the mind that is invested
in the ways of the world. But I assure you, it is the only way the error
will ever be corrected and cause and effect brought together. The most
important thing to remember is that God’s Will for you, His Effect,
is perfect happiness. If one is not experiencing perfect happiness,
it’s a sign that the mind is attempting to order reality. Whenever
you attempt to order reality there will be a communication break in
the experience of God’s Will because God orders your Reality for
you. It is important to see all events and circumstances (either positive
or negative – right or wrong – good or bad) as in the wrong-mind
and they are all equally illusory. Instead of giving illusions separate
meanings and separate purposes the Atonement principle gives equal meaning
to all and sees all as past and in purified form.
Anything unlike peace, even a slight irritation, is a sign that the
mind is attempting to order reality through fragmentation. The right-mind,
the Atonement, is the solution for wrong-mindedness. When one chooses
the right-mind, one sees two orders of thought, a call for love and
love. Both share the same content; they both extend love. There is no
fragmentation in this ordering. It is seen that all events and circumstances
work together for good because there is no order of difficulty in miracles.
This is the wholeness you are seeking. God’s will is now and it
You said something a moment ago that is worth discussing, if only briefly,
and that is the tendency for us to think that there is a difference
between the spiritual life and the non-spiritual life. What does that
actually mean and can we trust the ego to tell us what the difference
is? The premise that there is a difference is merely another sophisticated
attempt by the ego to order reality. One way the ego maintains divisionary
activity is through moving from a ‘non spiritual’ life to
a ‘spiritual life’. The ego then uses the same system of
conceptual thought but now it uses spiritual words or external structures:
its uses concepts like soul, spirit, goddess, priest, minister, peace
activist, church, temple, social programs and so on. These are pleasant
sounding words, pleasant looking structures that the ego uses to obscure
the law of division, the inner conflict within. How can what you are,
who you are, ever not <be> spiritual?
There is nothing to do, nothing to become, and this very idea is the
release of any “outside” responsibility other than one’s
state of mind; the release of any sense of karmic debt or role in the
dream for which one is responsible. There is nothing to save, fix or
maintain. The whole point of life is seeing this very instant, which
is the Holy Instant, as whole, seeing it as it is, which is perfect.
“The miracle perceives everything as it is. The only sane solution
is not to try to change reality, which is indeed a fearful attempt,
but to accept it as it is.”
Look at it this way; the ego is forever collecting, it likes to possess,
to mimic - it’s an actor. But this movement is only maintained
through a split of “this’ and ‘that’. “This”
being “subject” (body individual dream figure-peace activist),
“that” being external corresponding structure (peace department).
If “this” and “that” is seen as one, not apart,
then the mind can see wholly; see Unity. But we cannot do this if we
seek to change the world because the belief that there is something
to change or fix is an error in the mind of the perceiver. This is the
war, the violence, which needs to be seen with the Holy Spirit as in
the mind and not apart from the mind. This violence is in the mind,
not “out there”. The perceiver is whole, it is not a “person”
dreaming a dream; you are the dreamer of the entire space-time cosmos.
Believing there is a gap, a space, between you and the world is the
problem - this is the belief that brings forth violence. There is nothing
“outside” of the mind, but the belief that there is, is
only a projection, an error the ego has cleverly hidden through the
“subject/object” split. Not seeing this is why history seems
to repeat itself. Again, this is the importance of seeing the cause,
rather than focusing on effects.
“Perhaps it will be helpful to remember that no one can be angry
at a fact. It is always an interpretation that gives rise to negative
emotions, regardless of their seeming justification by what appears
as facts. Regardless, too, of the intensity of the anger that is aroused.
It may be merely slight irritation, perhaps too mild to, be even clearly
recognized. Or it may also take the form of intense rage, accompanied
by thoughts of violence, fantasied or apparently acted out. It does
not matter. All of these reactions are the same. They obscure the truth,
and this can never be a matter of degree. Either truth is apparent,
or it is not. It cannot be partially recognized. Who is unaware of truth
must look upon illusions.”
Questioner- Okay, I am finally clear on that point – focusing
on cause rather than effect. I see that even what I think of as an “irritation”
is violence. Now I think I understand what it means by, “there
is no order of difficulty in miracles”. Wow… I’ve
been ordering error on a hierarchy and splitting it off and hiding in
the world. I used the concepts of being “normal” and a “good
person” or a “spiritual person” to hide behind that.
You did say something a moment ago that I haven’t heard you say
before – or at least not in this context. You said, “The
ego is forever collecting, it likes to possess, to mimic; it’s
an actor.” What do you mean by collecting?
Speaker- We can equate the word “collecting” to becoming,
achieving, attaining, doing, accumulating, measuring, competing and
striving and so on. It’s directly related to the “getting
mechanisms” we talked about a few minutes ago. Creation belongs
only to Spirit, belongs only to the eternally changeless, not to the
ego and its seeming “dynamics”. This egoic collecting is
the basis of egoic conceptual thought, and it is made – never
Created. The whole point is that we stop collecting, stop becoming and
stop believing that we need to “do” something, believing
that the “doing” will bring about a real change. We need
to empty out whatever we have and mind-watch the “collector”,
the “actor”, the “becomer”, the “doer”
which are all one. We need to avoid collecting more concepts, to avoid
charging up the ego.
This is why we must question the idea of being a ‘spiritual person’
or that you can become ‘more spiritual’ or even that inner
peace can be obtained or attained through some sort of activity or external
factor. Only the ego would think such a thing. Only the ego would believe
you need to do something, or could do something – perform some
action, to speed up the awakening. Inner Peace arises in the mind that
sees “subject” and “object” as the same. Enlightenment
or Salvation is seeing everything right now as it is, seeing perfection
this very instant. Reality is now! Reality is already established by
Questioner- Wow, I didn’t see this error until now. I can see
how the whole world is invested in this kind of “collecting”
like you said. It’s almost like a machine that envelopes all of
humanity, where everyone has an obligation to produce or attain or improve.
Knowing how deeply ingrained this kind of mentality is in our modern
world, especially the modern western culture, how can anyone put an
end to this pattern?
Speaker- Yes. It appears the whole world is doing this, but you are
the world, the world is in your mind – the “machine”
is in your mind. Unplug from the machine! Remember, you are the dreamer
of the dream. Robert, Ken, Marianne, Gary, Speaker, Mrs. Robinson from
first grade… all these teachers that seem to be out there are
not really “out there”, there is only Mind. The Course so
wonderfully puts it this way in the ‘Hero of the Dream’
section, “The body is the central figure in the dreaming of the
world. There is no dream without it, nor does it exist without the dream
in which it acts as if it were a person to be seen and be believed.
It takes the central place in every dream, which tells the story of
how it was made by other bodies, born into the world outside the body,
lives a little while and dies, to be united in the dust with other bodies
dying like itself.”
So to continue with this idea, I am a thought in your mind. I am not
apart from mind. Hi Me. You ask, “How can anyone put an end to
this pattern?” We have to see this system and its corresponding
structures, see the human condition, very closely. Fearing inward change,
fearing the end of the “persona”, we turn to “outside
systems”- we attempt to change the environment, the social and
economic structures, we attempt to organize Spirit through the construction
of churches, organizations and temples. We cannot look partially at
the problem anymore, there needs to be a passion for true honesty, true
integrity. This true honesty looks at the totality of life; it does
not see a partial perspective, it is a whole perspective. It does not
see from a belief system that limits or thinks itself to be the only
right way. To see everything from a whole perspective, this is right-mindedness.
The Course tells us, “You operate from the belief you must
protect yourself from what is happening because it must contain what
threatens you. A sense of threat is an acknowledgement of an inherent
weakness; a belief that there is danger which has power to call on you
to make appropriate defense. The world is based on this insane belief.
And all its structures, all its thoughts and doubts, its penalties and
heavy armaments, its legal definitions and its codes, its ethics and
its leaders and its gods, all serve but to preserve its sense of threat.
For no one walks the world in armature but must have terror striking
at his heart.”
These external attempts to solve the problem perpetuate the belief in
separation, prolonging the very thing we seek to find. It makes the
journey to God seem to be linear, when God is Now! Like I said, we are
looking for God but we look through a very narrow view. “Whom
God has joined cannot be separated, and God has joined all His Sons
with Himself. Can you be separated from your life and your being? The
journey to God is merely the reawakening of the knowledge of where you
are always, and what you are forever. It is a journey without distance
to a goal that has never changed. Truth can only be experienced. It
cannot be described and it cannot be explained. I can make you aware
of the conditions of truth, but the experience is of God. Together we
can meet its conditions, but truth will dawn upon you of itself.”
Questioner - As you were speaking I was thinking about the divisions
within the Course community itself. Recently, two Course teachers, **
and **, wrote a book called, ‘One Course, Two Visions’ and
it’s about two conflicting opinions of the theology of A Course
in Miracles. Also, I just read a ‘**’ magazine article where
** says, “Life for students of A Course in Miracles used to be
simpler than it is today… we had one version of our revered book…”
He is referring to the editing and revising of the original document
that has been done over the years and is eluding to the possibility
that the versions now available are somehow inferior to what was originally
scribed or intended. I don’t understand this, but it seems a lot
of other people in our Course community believe it also. Although in
the context of what we have been talking about, isn’t this also
a reflection of a belief that there is something wrong “out there”?
Speaker - Okay. Let’s go into this. You see, this isn’t
about making one right or another wrong; it’s just about metaphysical
discernment and responsibility for sight, one’s own sight. True
simplicity is not found in form, in theologies or “revered”
sacred texts. Simplicity is found in the present moment, where theology
is no longer necessary – it is now. For that reason, there is
no such thing as “used to be simpler”. This is the ego’s
subtle attempt, using a spiritual guise, at being a victim. Now, to
go back to what you said about this being a reflection of a belief in
something wrong ‘out there’… yes, it is projection
of error. You just said that you don’t understand this. Well,
there is nothing to understand; the law of division and the Law of Unity
have no meeting point. There is no ‘course community’ apart
from ones mind; that’s yet another concept. Mind is all there
is, there is no “out there” “out there”; there
is no “Course community” and there is no separate “life
for Course students”. Let’s remember the poignant question
Jesus asks in the Course, “Who is the ‘you’ that is
living in this world?” We can make that even more specific and
ask: Who is the ‘you’ that is in a community? Or even: Who
is the ‘you’ that is a Course student? Who is the ‘you’
for which life is less simple today?
Spirit is changeless and constant. Let’s remember that the escape
from all concepts is salvation; it’s the remembrance of our constant
Self which is the goal of the theology, not to collect more concepts
to make our ‘little selves’ special. Only concepts need
defense, therefore concepts are illusory. When we have no concepts,
we have no division, we have nothing to defend, we have only the truth;
pure unadulterated truth. The laws of division only seem to exist because
of the identification with concepts. The one and only concept that needs
healing is the “self-concept”. The self-concept is the entire
dream; it’s not just an individual thing - the “persona”.
So the key is seeing the dream, the whole dream, as a false identity.
Mind or Christ is beyond concepts, beyond time and space, but the ego
doesn’t want to reveal this because it would be out of business.
This is too simple. This is why you seem to find a split in the “course
community”. This is why life for Course students seems simpler
in the past, the good old days.
The mind really believes it is a person. The human condition is a twisted
illusion of reality. The course puts it this way, “Let us return
the dream he gave away unto the dreamer, who perceives the dream as
separate from himself and done to him. 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. 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. It brings its vengeance,
not your own. It keeps you narrowly confined within a body, which it
punishes because of all the sinful things the body does within its dream.
You have no power to make the body stop its evil deeds because you did
not make it, and cannot control its actions nor its purpose nor its
Law of Division, Law of Unity
- Part 3
Questioner- That opens up another question for me and in order to get
clear on this, at least in the context you are talking about, it seems
like you really have to become aware of the ego… of it’s
cunning little games and all of the strategies that it uses to prevent
us from waking up and remembering who we are so that we can experience
love and peace and know everyone as ourselves. See, I have heard it
said by more than one person that you do not have to look at the ego…
and actually that looking at it only makes it real. What do you say
Speaker- The irony is that this is exactly the kind of cunning game
playing or strategizing that the ego uses to preserve itself. Only the
ego would say, “Do not look at the ego”. The ego wants you
dead. The ego is death. The miracle simply looks and does nothing because
it sees that error isn’t real! There is a line in the Course where
the answer to this question is summed up very simply. I’ll find
it for you… It says, “No one can escape from illusions unless
he looks at them, for not looking is the way they are protected. There
is no need to shrink from illusions, for they cannot be dangerous. We
are ready to look more closely at the ego's thought system because together
we have the lamp that will dispel it, and since you realize you do not
want it, you must be ready. Let us be very calm in doing this, for we
are merely looking honestly for truth. The "dynamics" of the
ego will be our lesson for a while, for we must look first at this to
see beyond it, since you have made it real. We will undo this error
quietly together, and then look beyond it to truth.” So, unless
you have any other question about that specifically, I think this really
sums it up.
Questioner- Yes, that’s fine. I only asked because I felt some
uncertainty about it, but it didn’t seem totally on the mark when
I first heard it. Now it’s clear enough. However, I did have something
else that has been coming up and which does relate to the Course in
terms of it being true or at least accurate and how someone could still
be right or wrong in their interpretation of what it says and of my
own feeling of an identification with that, with a particular interpretation,
is what I mean. So, to be specific, identifying with the Course, making
it part of who I am, part of my self concept – or taking sides
denies truth – that’s what you say. But let’s say
the Course is true, and I believe it is – still, it seems I could
side with one person or another or with one interpretation or another.
So what’s wrong with that, especially if the interpretation is
an accurate one?
Speaker- First of all, the truth student must be clear that the one
and only lesson he or she will ever have to learn is that the truth
is true and only the truth is true. Truth seekers around the world are
identified with interpretations of their sacred text or with their spiritual
Masters. But, as was said before, theology can be open to acceptance
or rejection. It is not the truth. Interpretations are illusions. There
are no personal interpretations of the truth, the truth is. If one does
identify or agree with an interpretation, believing that it means something
in and of itself, than one will defend that interpretation as if it
really means something. But the truth needs no defense.
Let us also be clear that responsibility for discernment is always one’s
own. Everything that you hear someone say, every written word, is there
to be discerned by the Holy Spirit in your right-mind. There are no
persons, separate interpretations or separate purposes in the right-mind.
Let’s remember that you are the dreamer of the entire dream, not
a dream figure or person within the dream. There is only a unified goal
and that goal is the ever-present moment. It may appear that a body
is speaking to you, but Mind does not speak. There is no action in Mind.
It is all metaphors, all symbols in the mind. Even the Course isn’t
the truth; it’s a reflection of truth, but the words hold nothing
in and of themselves. They are only there to be used while they are
necessary and when their usefulness is done it is because they are superseded
by the Truth.
Questions: Sure, I understand what you are saying… that the Course
represents something that is beyond symbols or words, but let’s
face it, A Course in Miracles is a very important piece of work. Like
Robert Perry said when he was talking about the edited versions of the
Course, its “our revered book”. Why shouldn’t we revere
it? Don’t we have to protect it on some level?
Speaker: It always come back to: “The truth is true and only the
truth is true.” The truth needs no defense. The description of
the truth is not the truth. The description of God is not God. “Truth
can only be experienced. It cannot be described and it cannot be explained.
“ Let’s look at it from this perspective… analyzing
the Course to compare and contrast which version is better and which
is worse, which is edited correctly and which is not is like going back
and analyzing the platform of a missile that has already been fired
off. A Course in Miracles has already been fired off into consciousness.
It has taken off. To doubt the message is to doubt the function of our
one and only teacher, the Holy Spirit.
You understand the main points, don't you? The main content of the message
has been successfully conveyed to you. Precise terminology is not the
aim of a Course in Miracles. A few words don’t change the content.
A Course in Miracles is an expression of the content of the Universal
Inspiration which is the Holy Spirit. Inspiration is now and forever
available, you aren’t dependent on a gold and blue book to give
you the answers. The answer is found in the present moment and that
can never be taken away, changed or obscured unless you wish it to be.
Resist the temptation to believe that you have been denied the truth.
God knows not form. The Course says itself, “This is not a
course in philosophical speculation, nor is it concerned with precise
terminology. It is concerned only with Atonement, or the correction
of perception. The means of the Atonement is forgiveness.”
Questioner- And, what about the word of God?
Speaker - God is not found in the written or spoken word. The word of
God is a concept that points to the reality of Who the Christ Is, Who
God Is. Metaphorically speaking, the word of God could be stated this
way, “I am as God created Me” because this is the word or
statement of God/Truth. Simply put, we can say that the content of this
statement makes one point; that perfection is untouchable, unalterable
and beyond time and space.
Now, lets go back to the word “revere” so we can bring clarity
and illuminate the mind from any further misperceptions on this matter.
The definition of “revere” according to the dictionary is:
to regard with respect tinged with awe; venerate (to adore or idolize).
This is how the ego tricks us. The ego loves to make things special,
but this is very dangerous and a major delay in the awakening. This
is why we must spend our time wisely, looking at the ego and its subtle
attempts to act spiritual. The ego believes because it reads a book
or a because it appears to be teaching a particular theology that it
knows something, but to know intellectually and not to live it fully,
not to embody that wisdom, is not to know. To teach is to demonstrate
and there is no choice in this matter because we are either teaching
fear or love and we cannot listen to two thoughts systems, two voices,
simultaneously. “You cannot serve two masters”.
Jesus in the Course tells us that to be in awe of him or anything else
in form is an inappropriate response. “Awe should be reserved
for revelation, to which it is perfectly and correctly applicable. It
is not appropriate for miracles because a state of awe is worshipful,
implying that one of a lesser order stands before his Creator. You are
a perfect creation, and should experience awe only in the presence of
the Creator of perfection. The miracle is therefore a sign of love among
equals. Equals should not be in awe of one another because awe implies
inequality. It is therefore an inappropriate reaction to me. An elder
brother is entitled to respect for his greater experience, and obedience
for his greater wisdom. He is also entitled to love because he is a
brother, and to devotion if he is devoted. It is only my devotion that
entitles me to yours. There is nothing about me that you cannot attain.
I have nothing that does not come from God. The difference between us
now is that I have nothing else. This leaves me in a state which is
only potential in you.”
Questioner: A week ago I was at my wife’s church and her priest
said, “the church protects its flock.” It’s the priest
or the minister who is trusted with the spiritual message and he or
she has had the training to be in that position. It’s a kind of
a spiritual authority and churches are not the only institutions that
use this format for learning, it has been done for thousands of years
this way. Even in the context of A Course in Miracles, there are those
who do seem to claim a kind of authority over the scripture, or at least
a level of mastery in some respects. Given the amount of confusion that
can seem to surround the Course ideas and teachings, don’t you
think that this kind of authority is useful or helpful to guide people?
Speaker – Religious, spiritual and institutional authorities have
said, “Believe, accept, and put yourself in the hands of something
‘outside’ and ‘greater’ than yourself,”
for centuries now. “Put your trust in the church, this group,
a book, the government, the system, the leaders, this interpretation
or opinion or spiritual guru” and so on. These symbols will all
be used as long as the mind finds them necessary, but eventually they
loose their ‘authority’ because they are not real, but conceptual
inventions, corresponding structures, which are based on division and
have no power or authority of themselves whatsoever. This is why we
have to recognize true authority because true authority is stable and
cannot lose its power. Only displaced authority can be diminished or
seem to shift because it was built on a foundation of illusions.
Society is a concept based on the subject/object split, and the “outside
systems” of society are corresponding structures of the split
mind, representations of the fear to commit to the Holy Spirit, the
true authority. All they can be are merely symbols, representing something
to us that we need or desire or hope for; some fulfillment, something
we feel that we lack. Some of these symbols will be steps along the
way. But we still have a responsibility to ourselves, and dependency
on any external is a denial of that responsibility. All external dependency
is misdirected and a reflection of the fear to look within, the fear
of commitment to the true authority. The identification with concepts
such as nationality; America , Canada , Iraq - that too has brought
wars, conflict and confusion. Concepts have no power. They deny what
is true because they are the blocks to recognizing Truth, God.
True authority is found through forgiveness, through negating what is
false. True authority is given by the Holy Spirit from God and this
is Grace; freedom from law, from all external dependencies. Authority
cannot be found by collecting and using concepts as a means to an end.
It is found in the release of those concepts, in the abstraction and
the simplicity of the law of Unity. Unity is Grace. Grace is stable
and cannot be shaken; it has no lack as the perfection of Creation.
This world is set-up through a backwards system of thought which is
the antithesis of Creation. This world denies the abstraction, Creation,
by setting up external structures which are based on an inner idea which
is divisionary. We must recognize true authority in its rightful place.
It is found in the joining and in the sharing of the idea of Christ
Questioner- I have lived in a Zen monastery and I have also lived in
an ashram, yet I still feel basically the same as I did before any of
that. I have learned how to simplify my life a bit, and to meditate,
but there is still a sense of missing something essential. My mediations
are peaceful but then the ‘outside’ world seems to take
that peace away. I can see what you are saying, but what am I to do?
Speaker – The problem is that you are looking for someone to tell
you what to do. Can we see this clearly? True authority is within you.
Do not fear to look within. Escaping to a monastery, learning Zen meditation,
accepting a philosophical theory and committing oneself to that, while
it may be somewhat beneficial, does not help us to see the law of division.
Meditating as a means of escape or if used for seeking experiences is
self-hypnosis. Meditation is not an event found in time, it’s
a constant state of watchfulness. True mediation is mind-watching without
any movement, without any condemnation. It is not the forms, models
or techniques that help us. Forms aren’t ‘causative’;
there is no ‘causation’ in this world. Let’s remember
what we just talked about. Many people revere the Course; make it special
and set up a sense of identity with the form, therefore denying the
very thing they look for, denying it’s message. The same can be
done with meditation; the ego sets up “subject” (body) and
seeks an experience in time and space to heighten a sense of self. This
sense of self is faulty because its foundation is built on illusions,
built on spurious cause and effect relationships. This gives ‘cause’
to a form and denies the true Cause, which is our eternal Father, Who
offers constant Grace.
The closest to ‘cause’ the world offers lies in choice.
There are two choices or two interpretations to mind-watch with and
only one of them, the Holy Spirit (the reflection of Cause) is the true
power you are seeking. But for most, this is too simple. Here we can
again reference the Course, “I have already told you that you
can be as vigilant against the ego as for it. This lesson teaches not
only that you can be, but that you must be. It does not concern itself
with order of difficulty, but with clear-cut priority for vigilance.
This lesson is unequivocal in that it teaches there must be no exceptions,
although it does not deny that the temptation to make exceptions will
occur. Here, then, your consistency is called on despite chaos. Yet
chaos and consistency cannot coexist for long, since they are mutually
exclusive. As long as you must be vigilant against anything, however,
you are not recognizing this mutual exclusiveness, and still believe
that you can choose either one. By teaching what to choose, the Holy
Spirit will ultimately teach you that you need not choose at all. This
will finally liberate your mind from choice, and direct it towards creation
within the Kingdom.”
Questioner- How much time will this take? How many times do I need to
do my lessons to get this?
Speaker- It isn’t about how many times one practices the Lessons
over and over. It is about recognizing the falsity without any judgment
or fragmentation whatsoever. The lesson will appear until the mind is
ready to see its delusions. This question is why we have to see this
movement of thought now; we have to see it actually, not verbally or
intellectually. We need to seek for what is false, not for the truth;
seeking for experiences in meditation, or seeking for spiritual identities
has to come to an end. The goal is the present moment, and the means
to the goal is the Atonement, the undoing of conceptual thinking. We
need to see that all forms lead nowhere. It isn’t about ‘doings’
or practicing rituals or mantras no matter how profound they may be.
We have to see the falseness of it all, see the superficiality of all
beliefs, noble or ignoble. We can end the need for linear time with
the help of the Holy Spirit – this is our purpose. The Holy Spirit
will guide us where to live, what to say and what to do. The Spirit
is spontaneous, it isn’t dogmatic nor does it abide by rules of
thought or a system of rituals. The Spirit is calling you from the world.
The Spirit is calling us from the law of division, calling us into the
law of Grace, the law of Unity.
Questioner- Practically then, what can be done?
Speaker- The ‘doing’ is actually not a doing; it’s
actually a watching; watching what is arising in awareness and taking
responsibility for the acceptance of the solution. The Holy Spirit is
the Atonement, the solution. It takes an honest mind, a mind that is
capable of looking at things wholly, as they are, without any division,
without any interpretation according to one's preferences, to watch
this way. True watching looks and simply does nothing, it simply is.
The Atonement is the un-doing. “Enlightenment is but a recognition,
not a change at all.”
Law of Division, Law of Unity - Part 4
Questioner: When I mind-watch, I see a very rapid movement of thoughts
and I am unable to watch one thought to its end. It’s so frustrating.
Speaker: This is why it’s important to be clear on what is meant
by “mind-watching” which is true meditation. There is always
a chain of events going on in the egoic mind. When you try to watch
one thought to its very end, but another arises… this goes on
all the time. There is your problem: as you are watching the thoughts,
you are watching from the perspective of ‘personhood’, the
‘thinker’ which has thoughts that he likes and those that
he does not like; the “thinker” and the “thought”
appear to be separate. But in actuality the “thinker” and
the “thought” are one.
The collection of thoughts that you are identified with, the “you”
the “persona” is not real. What is real is beyond these
thoughts; it is the silence that the thoughts obscure. This is why you
cannot finish one thought to its end; the “thinker” and
the “thought” are one. Who is the “you” living
in this world? Spirit is changeless, egoic thoughts are forms, they
come and go, they change. “ Spirit is immortal, and immortality
is a constant state. It is as true now as it ever was or ever will be,
because it implies no change at all. It is not a continuum, nor is it
understood by being compared to an opposite. Knowledge never involves
comparisons. That is its main difference from everything else the mind
Questioner: So the real Me is changeless silence beyond the changing
thoughts, but I am identified with the changing thoughts which have
nothing to do with Me. The ego splits the “thinker” and
the “thought” apart to give a false sense of self –
then there is ‘me’ and ‘you’ and we seem to
be different, but it is all just thought, which is essentially nothing!
Well, this session has been very helpful in seeing that. I have another
question. Why does the mind endlessly chatter?
Speaker- Let me ask this question: What happens if it does not go on?
Is the chattering the result of wanting to be busy with something? If
you are not busy, what happens? When there is no drama, what happens?
Why is the mind demanding this busyness, this chattering? What happens
if it does not chatter, if it is not busy? – What is behind it?
Questioner: Whenever I am alone, I feel like nothing, almost completely
insignificant… and that is uncomfortable. I guess I have a fear
of being nothing, being nobody?
Speaker: Yes, the fear of being “nobody”. The mind is nobody
special; it’s perfect whole and complete. This is why the ego
divides itself; it needs an opinion, it needs somebody to be special
with, something to believe in, and someone to vote for. The ego needs
a leader and a follower. There is no-body in Reality, in Truth, in Mind.
There is nobody home, no person, there is only Mind. The untrained mind
identifies with the thinker of unreal thoughts. It believes it is the
collection of thoughts, actions, and behaviors.
The untrained mind cannot see past this superficial understanding of
belief. This is why you find most seekers stuck on concepts and metaphors.
This is why many teachers of the Course, even popular teachers of the
Course – especially the intellectual scholars - protect their
opinions. They spend their time gossiping and projecting their opinions
on one another. In fact the Course says, “The dispute over authorship
has left such uncertainty in your mind that it may even doubt whether
you really exist at all.” This is why you find theses seekers,
theses students and teachers bantering on about one another, bantering
on about who is right and who is wrong, and even publicizing their opinions.
The ego needs to confirm itself, so it uses spiritual theologies to
prove its existence, because it’s afraid that it doesn’t
exist. The ego is rather sophisticated in its denial. If one really
knew the truth they would be rejoicing in Christ, in ones eternal connection
to God, but they have traded that in for a mere opinion, a mere superficial
Questioner- So, my fear is the fear of being nobody, or of not being
special, of not being who I think of as ‘me’?
Speaker- Yes. Fear of being empty, being lonely; fear of becoming aware
of all the turmoil within. The fear that we do not exist is what we
hide from. This is why we are occupied; we are busy with our nonessentials.
This is why seekers of truth are ‘seekers’, they do not
want to be finders. Because of all of this turmoil, the mind becomes
occupied with something; the monk, truth seeker or priest is occupied
with his savior, his prayers or his special text in the same way that
the politician is occupied with his campaign, the same way the peace
activist is onto the next worthy cause - the moment he stops he is just
like anybody else, there is fear. We want to be occupied, and this implies
a fear of finding out what we are. Until we see the ‘cause’
of fear, the mind will chatter.
Questioner: As I watch myself the fear increases. When I think about
being away from my wife for long periods, I become fearful. When I stop
meditating I become fearful. I go to ACIM groups I feel the love and
then I leave the group and, wham! I am fearful again. Can we stop fear
Speaker: This is not uncommon for the untrained mind. So, the question
is not how to stop the increase of fear, but rather, can fear end?
Questioner- Can fear end?
Speaker- Do you feel fear now?
Questioner- No, I don’t think so.
Speaker- You may not perceive fear as you are sitting here but you can
immediately perceive that you depend, can you not? You depend on others
for security, on authorities for certainty.
Questioner: Yes, that is obvious. (laughing) I do. As I talk about being
away from my wife or being alone, I feel fear arising in the background.
Speaker- So what we can see is that you depend on your wife, on your
ACIM group, on your ideas, on your story. Dependency is there constantly
in your life. Why do you depend? Is it because it gives you comfort,
a sense of security and of well-being or companionship? Or because it
makes you “somebody”, makes you a “real person”,
makes your existence real somehow.
Questioner- Well, I think that’s because it’s all I know.
Speaker- Yes it’s all you know, but is it real knowing? It’s
familiar, but is it the truth? You may become frightened or defensive
and this is a sign the mind knows not the truth. We have to admit we
do not know in order to be open to true knowing. Let’s take a
look at this; when this dependency on externals fails, you become jealous,
angry, insecure, hurt and lonely. You feel love in the group, then you
leave your group and the ego chatters even more, is this true?
Questioner- (pause) Yes.
Speaker- What does the ego say?
Questioner- Well I feel like running. I want to be independent. I want
to get rid of this ache in my heart, to feel secure, to be loved, to
be understood, to be free
Speaker – You are saying you try to cultivate freedom from dependency,
to become independent.
Questioner- (Pause) That’s…. ironic… Yes… it’s
a very strange thing when you see it in that light. Suddenly it’s
so obvious… the root of all the suffering is that dependency,
or should I say ‘displaced dependency’. Why does the mind
do all this?
Speaker- The Course so wonderfully puts it this way, “The mind
therefore seeks to make it true out of its intensity of desire to have
it for itself. Illusions are travesties of creation; attempts to bring
truth to lies. Finding truth unacceptable, the mind revolts against
truth and gives itself an illusion of victory. Finding health a burden,
it retreats into feverish dreams. And in these dreams the mind is separate,
different from other minds, with different interests of its own, and
able to gratify its needs at the expense of others.” The ego believes
that through external dependency there is something more; something
more then this empty meaningless existence. But what happens when this
form, what ever it is we are dependent on - a church, a group, idea,
opinion, mother, teacher, government, idea - falls away?
Questioner- I guess I am afraid to stop. When I look at the way you
say it, I can see how I am hiding. But my mind continues to chatter.
That’s all its does.
Speaker: The forms shift and change, but the ego does not care about
forms, it is addicted to wanting, to needing and to striving and attaining
– to collecting. And it’s all thought. The mind chatters
because it has to be occupied with something or other; this occupation
varies from all kinds of `religious' matters to the seemingly insignificant
matters of daily living. This is why we see truth seekers giving their
opinions and bantering about their personal interpretations of truth.
The mind is obviously occupied because otherwise it might see what it
is running from. We believe it cannot be solved.
Questioner: - When the chattering just goes on and on, do you just observe
Speaker: The purpose of mind-watching is becoming aware of this chattering
- without condemnation. What I mean is, do not try to suppress it, do
not say `it is wrong, or right', or `I must get rid of it'. Choose the
Holy Spirit to watch, He is the right-mind. You are the dreamer of the
total dream, not a person or dream figure in the dream. You are the
right-mind, and all the images, all time and space is in the wrong-mind.
The right-mind is a present perspective, its now. In this present perspective
the past is seen as pure, this is what it means by seeing the past in
purified form. The Atonement is a total perspective; it’s whole
and all inclusive, not fragmentary. “The Voice of the Holy Spirit
does not command, because it is incapable of arrogance. It does not
demand, because It does not seek control. It does not overcome, because
It does not attack. It merely reminds. It is compelling only because
of what it reminds you of. It brings to your mind the other way, remaining
quiet even in the midst of the turmoil you may make.” He is the
Atonement, the correction to fear, comparison, opinions and fragmentation.
He is the one choice that sees wholeness, sees Unity.
Questioner- Okay, then what?
Speaker- Then as you watch the egoic chattering without fragmenting,
without resistance, without projecting opinions and divisionary assumptions,
you start to discover that the “thinker” and the “thought”
(the “observer” and the “observed” ) are one.
When we see there is nothing that is not mind, mind is neither subject
or object, when we see there is no “out there”, when you
see ‘cause’ in your mind and not apart from mind, when you
see the power of your mind lies in your interpretation, then and only
then can you have the energy, the passion, and the trust to see things
differently. “Dreams show you that you have the power to make
a world as you would have it be, and that because you want it you see
it. And while you see it you do not doubt that it is real. Yet here
is a world, clearly within your mind, that seems to be outside. You
do not respond to it as though you made it, nor do you realize that
the emotions the dream produces must come from you. It is the figures
in the dream and what they do that seem to make the dream. You do not
realize that you are making them act out for you, for if you did the
guilt would not be theirs, and the illusions of satisfaction would be
gone. In dreams these features are not obscure… You have been
told not to make error real, and the way to do this is very simple.
If you want to believe in error, you would have to make it real because
it is not true. But truth is real in its own right, and to believe in
truth you do not have to do anything. Understand that you do not respond
to anything directly, but to your interpretation of it. Your interpretation
thus becomes the justification for the response. That is why analyzing
the motives of others is hazardous to you. If you decide that someone
is really trying to attack you or desert you or enslave you, you will
respond as if he had actually done so, having made his error real to
you. To interpret error is to give it power, and having done this you
will overlook truth. .”
When you truly see the ego is but an illusion battling with itself,
it is finished, then there is no resistance to chattering. What am I
not? I am not the thoughts I seem to think. I am not the feelings I
seem to experience. Jesus tells us, “We cannot make a definition
for what the ego is, but we can say what it is not. And this is shown
to us with perfect clarity. It is from this that we deduce all that
the ego is. Look at its opposite and you can see the only answer that
is meaningful.” Through negation of what is unreal, of what is
false, you have chosen the Holy Spirit. What am I not? I am not a concept
of an American, a teacher of God, truth student, member of a community
within the world, a democrat, an owner, a meditation practitioner and
so on. “As God created you, you must remain unchangeable, with
transitory states by definition false. And that includes all shifts
in feeling, alterations in conditions of the body and the mind; in all
awareness and in all response. This is the all-inclusiveness which sets
the truth apart from falsehood, and the false kept separate from the
truth, as what it is.”
Questioner- What am I not? I am not the “thinker” or the
“thought”. But who am I?
Speaker- Now this is a good place to start. Forgive all the concepts
in your mind, negate what is false and remember who you are. Be open
to not knowing yourself through concepts and false ideas. Sink into
your function, sink into the Atonement principle. See the Son of God
as egoless. Christ is not found in a community within time and space.
There is no community apart from your mind; ideas leave not there source.
Jesus tells us, “What is the ego? Nothingness, but in a form that
seems like something. In a world of form the ego cannot be denied for
it alone seems real. Yet could God's Son as He created him abide in
form or in a world of form?” Use the Atonement as the means to
accept your true identity which is abstract. Empty your mind of all
concepts that do not stand in the light of truth. Do not use concepts
as a means to enhance the ego. Learn to ask “What is it for?”
in all situations. Undo the attempt to have two worlds, two thought
systems. This is your only purpose. Free your mind from the prison house
of concepts. “Everyone defends his treasure, and will do so automatically.
The real questions are, what do you treasure, and how much do you treasure
it? Once you have learned to consider these questions and to bring them
into all your actions, you will have little difficulty in clarifying
the means. The means are available whenever you ask. You can, however,
save time if you do not protract this step unduly. The correct focus
will shorten it immeasurably.”
Learn to watch all the arising thoughts without judgment, without comparisons
or any fragmentation. Your true Self is abstraction. Learn to watch
all thoughts of lust, jealousy, hurt, pain, greed, and so on, as arising
thoughts in the wrong-mind. You are the dreamer of the dream; you are
the right-mind. You are the Atonement principle. The right-mind watches
these thoughts and is aware that not one thought in this world is wholly
true. “You do not know the meaning of anything you perceive. Not
one thought you hold is wholly true. The recognition of this is your
firm beginning. You are not misguided; you have accepted no guide at
all. Instruction in perception is your great need, for you understand
nothing. Recognize this but do not accept it, for understanding is your
inheritance. Perceptions are learned, and you are not without a Teacher.
Yet your willingness to learn of Him depends on your willingness to
question everything you learned of yourself, for you who learned amiss
should not be your own teacher.”
Questioner- Practically, then, how can I discern between these thoughts?
Speaker- A good way to look upon these arising thoughts would be something
like this: You notice that jealousy is arising in awareness, and instead
of saying “I am jealous,” and associating with that…
ask, “Who is the ‘I’ that is jealous?” Christ
isn’t jealous. The Son of God feels no pain or hurt. The problem
lies in associating yourself with these emotions and your experience
when you do so is one of confusion. All guilt comes from this association.
It is the confusion with the thinker of the thought, and the separating
of the two. Let’s remember, “The war against yourself is
but the battle of two illusions, struggling to make them different from
each other.” We have to see that all guilt or fear comes from
separating the two. We have to be open to allow the Holy Spirit to tell
us who we are.
Law of Division, Law of Unity - Part 5
Questioner- “I am not a body I am free. I am as God created me.”
I tell myself this over and over every day but I do not feel free from
this body. I feel empty and alone most of the time. I feel so frustrated
when I look at the Course community, the world and everyone is arguing
and fighting, and the war in Iraq is so unnecessary. I mean it’s
a waste of our money.
Speaker- Whose money?
Questioner- Our money, our American tax dollars. You have to admit your
money is being spent on weapons of mass destruction.
Speaker- And you feel upset about this?
Questioner –You’d better believe it!
Speaker – There is only one way out of this agony! We’ll
begin with what you said just now because there are a lot of concepts
there to take a look at. It is always to one’s own benefit to
question concepts. Let’s remember that the purpose of the Course
is to accept the Atonement. The Atonement is the solution to the belief
in separation. There is one problem and one solution and defining the
problem as “outside” of oneself is not going to solve it.
The belief there is a real problem “out there” is just what
the ego wants you to think. Like I said, the ego splits itself off into
“observer” and “observed”. Truth is changeless,
Mind is changeless, but the mind that perceives a world is split between
two voices; one is the law of Unity and the other is the identification
with concepts, the conceptual mind, the law of division. Our purpose
is to escape from all concepts; this is salvation.
Let’s take a look at your statement, “Our money… American
tax dollars.” Jesus was quoted as saying, ‘The truth is,
I existed before Abraham was even born!’ What he was saying is
that “I Am” or “Christ Is” before names, before
concepts of nationality, religion, ownership, male, female and so on.
Mind is changeless. There is no ‘we’… the word ‘we’
or ‘our’ is a concept to be used for convenience purposes
only. What I mean by ‘convenience’ is to use them to teach
what is beyond this world, not to use them to reinforce the body, the
world, or a self- concept. This is why it’s important to watch
your mind for all concepts that obscure the truth. Who is the “you”
living in this world? Who is the “you” that can posses or
own? Ownership is a divisive concept that divides the mind into parts.
The Course tells us, “Ownership is a dangerous concept if it is
left to you. The ego wants to have things for salvation, for possession
is its law. Possession for its own sake is the ego's fundamental creed,
a basic cornerstone in the churches it builds to itself….
To spirit getting is meaningless and giving is all. Having everything,
spirit holds everything by giving it, and thus creates as the Father
created. While this kind of thinking is totally alien to having things,
even to the lower mind it is quite comprehensible in connection with
ideas. If you share a physical possession, you do divide its ownership.
If you share an idea, however, you do not lessen it. All of it is still
yours although all of it has been given away. Further, if the one to
whom you give it accepts it as his, he reinforces it in your mind and
thus increases it. If you can accept the concept that the world is one
of ideas, the whole belief in the false association the ego makes between
giving and losing is gone.”
Questioner- If I follow you, by choosing the right-mind or dreamer of
the dream perspective, the choice for the Holy Spirit, this will dissolve
all attachments? So the government can do what ever they want?
Speaker- Yes to both. Lets look at this: What happens when there is
no ‘us’ or ‘them’, ‘subject’ or
‘object’? What happens when there is only abstraction, when
nobody owns anything, when there is no one to own anything? What happens
when you are the dreamer of the entire dream? You say ‘our’
tax money, but do I have a choice in this “our”. Am I or
are you part of the ‘our’ or ‘American’ because
you choose it to be. Do I have a choice? Do you have a choice? This
is the question. I am the dreamer of the dream; there is one dreamer
and one dream, it’s all in my mind. There is nothing apart from
mind, ideas leave not their source. The Course so wonderfully puts it
this way, “You are the dreamer of the world of dreams. No other
cause it has, nor ever will. Nothing more fearful than an idle dream
has terrified God's Son, and made him think that he has lost his innocence,
denied his Father, and made war upon himself.The body is released because
the mind acknowledges "this is not done to me, but I am doing this".
And thus the mind is free to make another choice instead. Beginning
here, salvation will proceed to change the course of every step in the
descent to separation, until all the steps have been retraced, the ladder
gone, and all the dreaming of the world undone.”
Questioner: Can you go a little more deeply into the structure of what
Speaker- All fear is the fear of God. But, practically speaking, we
must look at the specifics around which fear seems to arise, because
specifics were made to hide the fear of God. Doesn’t fear relate
to something I have done in the past, or something that I imagine might
happen in the future? The past incident and the future accident; the
past illness and the fear of future pain stem from the past experience.
Divisionary thought ‘creates’ fear; conceptual thought breeds
fear, just as it sustains and nourishes pleasure. Can conceptual thought
end? Can it come to an end so that it no longer gives continuity to
fear or to pleasure? We never see that the two go together. It is the
process of separating the “thinker” and the “thought”
that is responsible, that gives the seeming continuity to fear as well
as pleasure. Can this conceptual movement of thought stop? Can we see
the unreality of fear now, in this very instant?
Questioner- This is the part I am afraid of. I feel that there is nothing
to enjoy anymore. If it’s all unreal, all illusory, then one cannot
appreciate the radiance of a sunset, a flavorful meal, the delicate
smell of a flower, or a child’s laughter. It’s all meaningless.
Speaker- When you see the beauty of a sunset: choose to see it with
the Holy Spirit; but do not label and dismiss it as good or bad. Do
not say, `I must treasure it in this memory, or have it again'. “If
you are fearful, it is certain that you will endow the world with attributes
that it does not possess, and crowd it with images that do not exist.
“ Just watch the sunset but see its impermanence, see the truth,
the light of Spirit behind all images, all events and circumstances.
Learn to see the dream as your entire mind, and there is nothing to
fear, there is nothing special. But when there is: “good”
and “bad”, “right” and “wrong” or
“better” or “worse”, then there is fear. The
Course tell us, “You look for permanence in the impermanent, for
love where there is none, for safety in the midst of danger; immortality
within the darkness of the dream of death. Who could succeed where contradiction
is the setting of his searching, and the place to which he comes to
Questioner- Choose the Holy Spirit. That’s all I have to do?
Speaker- Yes it’s that simple, once you truly understand what
it means to do so. The truth is very simple. Let’s take a look
at your statement, “If it’s all unreal, all illusory…
it’s all meaningless.” Meaninglessness is an empty gesture.
You are not meaningless, neither is the dream. The only meaning in this
dream is the love that looks upon it. Let’s take a look at lesson
13 in the workbook for students. “ ‘A Meaningless World
Engenders Fear’. Actually, a meaningless world is impossible.
Nothing without meaning exists. However, it does not follow that you
will not think you perceive something that has no meaning. On the contrary,
you will be particularly likely to think you do perceive it. Recognition
of meaninglessness arouses intense anxiety in all the separated ones.
It represents a situation in which God and the ego "challenge"
each other as to whose meaning is to be written in the empty space that
meaninglessness provides. The ego rushes in frantically to establish
its own ideas there, fearful that the void may otherwise be used to
demonstrate its own impotence and unreality. And on this alone it is
correct. It is essential, therefore, that you learn to recognize the
meaningless, and accept it without fear. If you are fearful, it is certain
that you will endow the world with attributes that it does not possess,
and crowd it with images that do not exist. To the ego illusions are
safety devices, as they must also be to you who equate yourself with
Questioner - Thank you for this clarification. Now I can see how joining
together like this is a time-saver. Labeling the sunset beautiful and
the seeking it to make it special divides the dream into parts of good
and bad. So you are saying that when we judge it (good or bad –right
or wrong), label it and dismiss it, we are challenging God for the meaning
we would put upon the world.
Speaker- Yes that is true. Lets look at this part of the quote again,
“ It represents a situation in which God and the ego "challenge"
each other as to whose meaning is to be written in the empty space that
meaninglessness provides. The ego rushes in frantically to establish
its own ideas there, fearful that the void may otherwise be used to
demonstrate its own impotence and unreality.” The ego seeks for
specialness, but if one sees the entire dream as total, as in the mind
and not apart from the mind, then one can look upon the entire dream
with one purpose, one meaning. We can look with love at the totality
of ones mind and see past the veil of duality. We can see innocent perception.
Questioner- We are all doing this, dividing and breaking up the dream
into “good” and “bad” parts and fragments. We
are seeking for permanence in the impermanent. Can we talk a little
more about this?
Speaker- Yes, this is great. Now this is the best use of ones time.
Many people think because it’s an illusion, then there’s
an assumption it doesn’t mean anything, therefore it’s meaningless.
So then they look at the world rather mechanically, like a robot. I’ve
heard many truth students say things like, “I can’t enjoy
the beauty of nature anymore.” This assumption is egoic in nature.
It’s not the form that needs to be corrected; forms or the entire
dream is neutral. Only the “doer” or the “becomer”
would think such a thing. The doer only thinks in behavioral terms;
how I should be if I am spiritual, what is the right or wrong thing
to say? This is actually a defense against recognizing one’s feelings
and values by dissociating from them. The ‘doer’ abides
by the egos law of ‘shoulda, coulda, woulda’. But this type
of thinking is backwards and upside down. Behavior is an effect of thought.
The mind thinks and all else follows. The Course tells us, “Fear
is always a sign of strain, arising whenever what you want conflicts
with what you do… Whenever there is fear, it is because you have
not made up your mind. Your mind is therefore split, and your behavior
inevitably becomes erratic. Correcting at the behavioral level can shift
the error from the first to the second type, but will not obliterate
Questioner- So the form is neutral. Why then, do some forms seem more
Speaker- The ego cleverly hides its values in a hierarchy of illusions.
Like I just said, it’s the thought. Actually, it’s the ordering
of the thought that is the problem. It’s the thought behind the
form, behind the image. Some people crave bananas, some people won’t
touch them. Is a banana good or bad? See, its open to acceptance or
rejection. But if both were seen as illusory – good and bad -
and that the problem was in the ordering (judgment), then you would
get somewhere. The ego dissolves as we allow the Holy Spirit to order
our thoughts. “This is a very simple course. Perhaps you do not
feel you need a course which, in the end, teaches that only reality
is true. But do you believe it? When you perceive the real world, you
will recognize that you did not believe it. Yet the swiftness with which
your new and only real perception will be translated into knowledge
will leave you but an instant to realize that this alone is true. And
then everything you made will be forgotten; the good and the bad, the
false and the true. For as Heaven and earth become one, even the real
world will vanish from your sight. The end of the world is not its destruction,
but its translation into Heaven. The reinterpretation of the world is
the transfer of all perception to knowledge.”
I will end this session in form knowing there is no end in Content,
in Spirit, with a beautiful section from ‘Self Concept verses
Self’, “The world can teach no images of you unless
you want to learn them. There will come a time when images have all
gone by, and you will see you know not what you are. It is to this unsealed
and open mind that truth returns, unhindered and unbound. Where concepts
of the self have been laid by is truth revealed exactly as it is. When
every concept has been raised to doubt and question, and been recognized
as made on no assumptions that would stand the light, then is the truth
left free to enter in its sanctuary, clean and free of guilt. “You
will make many concepts of the self as learning goes along. Each one
will show the changes in your own relationships, as your perception
of yourself is changed. There will be some confusion every time there
is a shift, but be you thankful that the learning of the world is loosening
its grasp upon your mind. And be you sure and happy in the confidence
that it will go at last, and leave your mind at peace. The role of the
accuser will appear in many places and in many forms. And each will
seem to be accusing you. Yet have no fear it will not be undone. “