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Learning the Art of Mind Watching
Editor's note: This transcript has been lightly edited to bring clarification to certain points of the dialogue and for easier readability. For this reason, it does not match the corresponding audio mp3 word-for-word. However, the overall content and the expressed ideas remain unchanged.
Speaker: Lesson 31, ‘I am not a victim of the world I see.’
First of all that lesson is written to the deceived mind that believes
it is a victim and it believes in fear and attack so it’s good
to see it from that perspective that I do believe that I’m a victim
and that I project that victimhood within the world. The world is me
but I don’t believe the world is me. I’m a body, a private
person with a private mind with my own free will; with personal choices.
This is the beginning step in teaching you that I’m not a victim
of the world I see because the world I see is based on the subject/object
split. I believe I’m a subject in an objective world. Therefore
I think I’m acted on. I think I see a world that acts on me without
my consent. I see that choice is outside of me. I see that I really
don’t have a choice to change. I’m powerless in that sense
because people have control over me. The world has control over me,
the little me, the body.
‘I am not the victim of the world I see. Today’s idea is the introduction to your declaration of release. Again the idea should be applied to both the world you see without and the world you see within. In applying the idea we will use a form of practice that will be used more and more with changes as indicated. Generally speaking the form includes two aspects. One in which you apply the idea on a more sustained basis and the other consisting of frequent applications of the idea throughout the day.’
Now when I read: ‘Apply the idea on a more sustained basis; two longer periods of practice with the idea for today are needed. One in the morning and one at night; three to five minutes for each of these are recommended.’
So, I hear three to five minutes but I also hear on a more sustained basis. So, if I can do three to five minutes, [then] why not do it all day like that. But, then I’m like ‘Ok, I’ve got to trust Jesus is taking me at a rate that I can handle so I should only do three to five minutes. But, mind watching is consistent. It’s consistently watching. Isn’t that what you’re getting at three to five minutes? So, it feels like I’m torn between…
Speaker: Again it’s the same thing as if you were going to teach a child to read would you sit down and teach it to read without teaching it the alphabet first? So, the idea is I meet myself where I believe I’m at. Consistency is something I will learn. Consistency is a total thing. But, it is something I will learn through these practices. Through it’s system. Through how Jesus is very specific in this; if we were to adhere to these specific guidelines then in that listening, in that applying we start to trust and start to develop mind training skills where you’re not ready to be more consistent and to look at your mind in a more total way because there is so much fear there. You’ve noticed that in the last few days where you’ve felt that it’s overwhelming. ‘I don’t know what to do. All these thoughts are there.’ If you apply the idea that, ‘Oh, I should be looking at this more consistently’ then how is that going to work if you already feel that there are so many attack thoughts in there. That’s what you have to realize. Right now I will take those minutes to look at my mind and then spontaneously there will be these moments where I look at my mind, but you will notice what feels most helpful. But, like I’ve said before, Jason and this is what I’ve realized in my own looking at my mind is that there is times where you just totally surrender to what’s happening. You always surrender what’s happening but there’s times when the ego seems to be vicious and there are all these attack thoughts in there. The worst thing that you can do is try to throw a whole bunch of metaphysics on it. I should be doing this. I should be more consistent. That’s not the approach that Jesus is taking. Jesus is saying, ‘Just learn to trust me. Just learn to give your day over. This is lesson 31. He’s already letting you know that there’s no thought that’s good or bad or that are both wholly true; neither the positive nor the negative are true. Both of them are equally false. So, even what you see as your good thoughts; you have to see that those are also attack thoughts and I’m a victim of them, so to speak. I am not the victim of the world I see and then Jesus in the next one says I have invented the world I see. But, don’t jump ahead of yourself here. He’s bringing you along here.
So, if you seem to have a wild day then be attentive to the thoughts. This should be different than what it is. It’s these ‘should be’ thoughts that need to be seen because these are the attack thoughts in my mind. Because should are denials of what is. What is right now? It appears that you and I are sitting here reading the course. We’re recording on an mp3. We’re in the living room. Right now the cat just came up and is walking over the mp3 player. That just is what it is and there’s no resistance there like the cat shouldn’t be on there. If the cat needs to be removed then the cat is removed but there is no judgment like should or shouldn’t or that’s wrong, ‘bad’ kitty. It just is what it is. What I’m saying is in the moment you have to learn to accept the script as Jesus calls it. It’s already written. It will appear however it appears. It will look however it looks. That door will either blow open or not. The wind will either crack the window or not. That is of no concern to us. What thoughts come up? How fast they come up. All these things you have to learn to look from a quiet place of seeing that this is not who I am. So, what is arising; you have to learn to be attentive to that. In your association with that is where you feel victimized.
Participant: So, for example it says for three to five minutes twice a day. What do I do the rest of the day?
Speaker: It’s all about your prompts of the spirit and learning to adhere to what Jesus is saying. If he says, if you feel ok, then go on and do a few more. Then go on and do a few more. If you truly feel that you’re clear and you’re able to do another one, then do it.
Participant: Even if he doesn’t say if you’re ok? If I feel….
Speaker: Yes, I would stay close to what he’s saying because he’s teaching you the art of going in your mind. The ego has an art. It has its own way. It should be this way. The ego is in your practice. I should be more consistent. I have all these thoughts. I should be looking at my mind. I want to get this now.
Participant: I figure for a more sustained basis. If I do it for two hours a day I’ll get it done faster.
Speaker: It’s quality not quantity. You’re still trying to get something and there’s no getting. There’s just the watching. It’s just seeing that these thoughts, these emotions are not you. That’s the learning. The miracle simply looks and does nothing. Forgiveness simply looks and does nothing. There’s no action involved in it. It may symbolically seem to take some action, but it’s just symbolic. The miracle simply is. It is the recognition of the real world. The real world is true perception which means perception is seen in a purified form which means no matter what is happening or what will happen or what has happened, it’s purified. It’s not what it appears to be. It’s my interpretation of what I am seeing. This is the beginning steps of lesson 31. What it’s getting at is I’m not a victim of the world I see. He’s talking to you as a person. I believe I’m a person with private thoughts. I believe in attack thoughts. I believe in good and bad thoughts. That further complicates it and then what further complicates that is I resist one and am attracted to another. So, there’s a complication in your mind watching already because I don’t like these thoughts that are in my mind. There’s an immediate resistance. That’s not the miracle. The pain comes from not looking, not being attentive to what’s arising.
Participant: So, does that mean that for all but six minutes a day, I’m going to be in pain because I’m not watching?
Speaker: Pain has nothing to do with the time that you take and those lessons.
Participant: But, if for three to five minutes twice a day, I’m watching and that’s when I’m not going to be in pain because I’m truly watching and not judging those thoughts.
Speaker: How do you know that?
Participant: Well, if I’m doing the lessons properly.
Speaker: When you look in your mind you have to realize that you believe in retribution. You believe that you’re going to be punished for what you believe, all your beliefs, the beliefs which are rooted in the one belief in separation; as you go inward there’s immediate resistance with everyone and that’s why I’m telling you that you have to see that in looking you have to learn how to just accept throughout the day, not just in your quiet times looking at your thoughts. You still watch your mind. But you’re not digging, you’re not going on a witch hunt.
Participant: So, these three to five minutes are digging?
Speaker: Well, I wouldn’t say its digging. It’s Jesus allotting you certain times because he knows that the ego is in the spiritual practice and that the ego is on a witch hunt. The ego thinks it knows what correction is. What Jesus is doing is he’s taking you in, ‘Go in three or five times my son. Go in today just three or five times. Look at what you need to look at and let it go and then be about your day’ but still just continue to surrender because he’s going to bring you to a deeper level; another way. He’s not going to take you in because it can’t be thrusted upon you. So, these lessons are representative of that part in the text in chapter1 where Jesus says miracles will be your way because reality cannot be thrusted upon you. You see the lessons are constructed in that way to bring you in your mind so there’s not all this analysis and trying to figure out what’s going on. Why am I feeling upset now? Although, there’s an appropriate time for that, there is an appropriate time to just let it go because your mind is loosening from the realm of specifics like a sunken ship that’s turned upside down and the ship is turning right side up. It will be disorienting. Your equilibrium is going to be off. So, you’re to just look at it from a more abstract context instead of just analyzing every single thing about it because that’s detrimental to your learning. That’s not what Jesus is bringing us to. Jesus is bringing us to a state of stillness, of watching, of observing without any judgment.
Participant: I have one more question. You’re saying Jesus is taking me in deep with these three to five minutes because that’s all I can handle and trust that and the rest of the time what’s he doing with my mind?
Speaker: He’s prompting you moment by moment what you need to do and you can’t really be open to the prompts when you’re constantly into analyzing and digging and going on a witch hunt because that’s the ego that does that. The Holy Spirit knows that he will rearrange time and space so what you need to see will show up in a very helpful graceful way. Although, your first experience of it won’t probably be of grace because you’re so addicted to judging that you will judge what’s arising. That’s why these lessons are so important. Jesus is telling us, ‘don’t judge what’s arising. Don’t judge it.’ You have to see it as equally the same and equally false and you just need to learn to look and allow all these emotions to purge through you, to wash through you.
Instead of judging good days and bad days; there are days that you’re just right on, you think you’re clear. You’re so intuitive with us and with the whole house and we’re all in this wonderful dance and then there’s these moments where there is darkness coming up and you compare it to these other days and that’s where you’re learning failure is because you don’t like what’s coming up. But, you forget that the day before were just the fruits. You were bearing fruits of your pruning. You’re pruning by watching your mind and by being in purpose and these are fruits of listening to the Holy Spirit. The darkness that’s coming up; without clearing away the shallow roots that are in the way of us planting more trees so we can have more fruits, those shallow roots have to be seen. The comparing one day to another and one thought to another. It’s all this fragmentation; all these compartments that you’re looking through; I like this; I like this day. It’s just a little misdirected. Of course, joy is attractive but in the awakening you must see that the Holy Spirit is loosening you from your defiled mind. You’re mind has been defiled by false beliefs. That defilement is not creative. It didn’t change reality. But, you believe it did. It’s very deep in your mind. As Spirit calls you into purpose you will have stuff that comes up. You have to be in your purpose and then in your purpose as stuff comes up you’re able to look at it very attentively without distractions, without drama. You’re able to look at it very directly.
Participant: And that’s what I’m doing these three to five minutes, right?
Speaker: Yes, and that’s what you’re doing throughout your day because you’re just allowing. You could say the rest of the day is allowing. Instead of going into your mind and going, ‘ok, what is it I need to see? What is it that I feel right now?’ Instead of constantly doing that throughout the day, you can’t really be present when you’re doing that all the time. You’re just lost in your mind. The answer to your question lies in the purpose. What is this for? Whose purpose am I in? What are my motives? Why am I digging so much? Yes, I do want to awaken but I don’t prepare myself for God. I work with the Holy Spirit. It’s like a river. The river flows and it has its force and what flows in the river flows in the river. You just have to allow the river to give you whatever it gives you. If it’s a big chunk, if a big thing comes off the edge. If a tree falls down in the river then let it be. You just see it as that’s what it is. Yes, it seemed like today I had a big tree trunk that came down the river that washed down and purged and cleared away. Today I had a few stems and a few leaves that washed by. That was it. See them as all equally illusory.
Participant: I see that. I’m still making a distinction I guess. I see purpose as that three to five minutes and then when I’m done I see that I’m out of purpose.
Speaker: That’s not it. No. You’re purpose is always with you. You’re purpose is just learning to surrender. You’re purpose is forgiveness. You can’t advance beyond your own understanding.
Participant: I thought forgiveness was mind watching.
Speaker: It is mind watching because it’s all your mind and forgiveness is watching what I call the unwatched mind. The ego is the unwatched. If you truly watch the ego it dissolves. But, the ego can’t dissolve when you’re judging good and bad; right and wrong. When you’re making distinctions and making them real in and of themselves or advancing beyond your own understanding.
Participant: I know that this sounds repetitive. Forgiveness is mind watching and mind watching in those three to five minutes. Yet, I’m still mind watching outside those three to five minutes, but it’s a different kind of mind watching.
Speaker: Yes, you could say that in the beginning stages of mind training it is not helpful to be constantly looking in your mind in the way of looking at your thoughts constantly. Jesus knows that there’s an enormous amount of stuff that you have buried back there and that he wants you to come into a place of joy and peace and you need to have joy and peace in order to look, and if you’re constantly digging in there, you won’t have the joy and the peace and the stability to advance you beyond.
Participant: So, this joy and this peace will just come from listening to prompts, relaxing, meeting with people, a movie, whatever.
Speaker: Yes and then in the moment as you advance in these lessons you learn to articulate what is most helpful. Let me share with my own learning going in. When I first started going in my mind. I was just so excited that I could look at my mind. I was just, ‘Everyone move out of my way! I’m waking up! I’m looking at my mind!’ I was very joyful and peaceful before I was learning the curriculum because I wanted to be consistently peaceful and consistently aware. I wanted to know myself but I knew that I wasn’t. There was what I call the ache of separation. You have that ache, the human condition in there and it’s just a knot or a thorn in your side. I wanted to look at the thorn. Through my excitement I found myself spending more time looking at my mind and I wasn’t really listening to what Jesus was saying. I started to feel empty. I started to feel serious and I called forth witnesses to it. ‘You’re so serious. Where is your joy?’ Yes, there’s a time when you go inside when you seem to lose joy. You have to go insane to be sane. There are important times. This is why I’m telling you not to judge what’s flowing in the river of consciousness. You have to just see it from a healing context of that’s just what’s breaking off or coming up in awareness right now that needs to be seen. It’s a big chunk today a little chunk tomorrow or whatever it seems to be. This is what I did. I got to a place in my mind where I realized I was afraid that I wasn’t going to wake up and I wanted to do it fast. But, it was all me. I was forcing it. I wasn’t really joyful because I wasn’t really making decisions with the Holy Spirit. I wasn’t really connected to the art of miracle working which is meeting myself where I believe I am. Like the Buddha after seven or eight years of estheticism with his friends and starving himself realized that his mind was more distracted on the past, on food and other things from the past because he wasn’t meeting himself. So, a little girl came along with a bowl of milk. He realized, ‘If I put this little bit of milk in my belly, then I can sit down and my mind is not off on food. It’s filled up a little bit.’ Thus, was the miracle way; he realized that through the middle way approach of meeting myself he went inward and then realized reality for what it was; advancing through mind training. Not going beyond but meeting himself where he believes he is. So I realized that that was my goal but I wasn’t trusting in the Holy Spirit. The first attribute of the Teacher of God is trust and all else rests on trust.
Participant: So, me just doing the lessons exactly as described is actually trust.
Speaker: Is learning to trust and giving the rest of the thing over. So, what I would do was when there was lots of stuff coming up and it was just enormous I started quickly saying, ‘Ok, Holy Spirit if this is coming up and I trust that what needs to be seen will be seen and then I will be on about my day as you guide me and I’m sure that you will give it to me in a clear way so that I don’t have to dig for this. I don’t have to search for this’ Immediately I felt restful. Immediately I felt peaceful. Although, there seemed to be pains and disorientation in the mind; even though there seemed to be fear; I didn’t understand what was happening because trust is trusting. It seems like you’re going into the unknown. So, you’re trusting to go in because you just don’t know but really the truth is you’re remembering the known. Reality is already known. To remember it you must know it. So, what I realized was that I started feeling happy. When these seeming bad emotions or thoughts that I was trying to get rid of so I could feel holy, I was only perpetuating it by doing it. I wasn’t trusting that the Holy Spirit would give it to me in an obvious clear way and I would see it when I’m ready to see it. I don’t dig for it. It’s a communication with the Holy Spirit and you just have to be about your prompts and that’s why purpose is so important in the dream because you’re just about the Holy Spirit’s purpose.
Participant: And the purpose is just basically an intention to wake up at a rate that is gentle.
Speaker: And the symbols will show up to reflect that intention so you wanted to go deeper so you called forth this place. You called us forth as symbols of intention. So, now we’re just like an aspect of your mind that’s showing up, showing you what you believe. What you desire. It just gives you a context. Those symbols, that purpose are a context for you to now reference from whereas before you only had a reference of the world; the worlds purpose which was painful and now you’re going into a new one. But, you’re afraid because you don’t know.
Participant: I’m carrying those old habits of you’ve got to force it, do it, make it happen. Like I talked to people on the phone and I feel guilty because I’m not mind watching. Continually no matter what I do I feel guilty.
Speaker: It’s just the attraction to guilt and the ego breaking everything up into levels again and making it seem real.
Participant: So, it’s not that I shouldn’t be talking on the phone.
Speaker: Ask yourself what is my motive for this? What is this for? Why am I doing this? Do I feel called to make this call right now or am I calling because I’m bored? Am I calling because I’m afraid to be quiet? That is mind watching. So, instead of going and digging in your mind, it’s already given to you. All you have to do is ask what is it for? You do something; what is this for. You will feel it. You be very honest with yourself and just allow it to come up. What do I feel right now? Because right now you feel so it is given. You don’t have to dig. It’s obvious. You don’t have to dig.
I feel bored. There it is. I’m afraid. I’m afraid of being quiet. I need to do something. I’m afraid of stillness. That enquiry can be helpful throughout the day. That’s the one question you should always ask yourself every single moment. That will direct you.
Participant: Yes, the watching situation because I can’t look back right now.
Speaker: Just do your lesson. There is never a reason to feel guilty. That’s just the ego. The ego’s guilt; You’re a guiltless learner. So, if you are on the phone and even if you get off the phone and you say, ‘I’m just doing this because I’m bored’ or ‘I don’t want to be alone. I don’t want to be alone with my thoughts right now.’ All that’s profitable but it’s only profitable if it’s seen and if it’s not seen, its guilt.
Participant: If I come off the phone and say, ‘Wow, I’m really grateful that I can share.’ And it’s joyful.
Speaker: Joy comes from a decision of the Holy Spirit from seeing that everything works together for good. It’s being humble. Humbleness is the ingredient in a guiltless learner. You’re humble. I do believe I created a world. I didn’t create it. It was made. What was made has nothing to do with reality. It didn’t change it. Everything that I see is backwards and upside down. It’s an error. I believe in a hierarchy of illusions in my mind. Therefore, I have to be in purpose to allow the Holy Spirit to loosen this hierarchy and I think I am the author of reality and I’m addicted to the ego. I’m addicted to listening to the ego. I need to be convinced otherwise through prompts of the Spirit that reality or truth is truth. Only the truth is true. I need to be convinced. Listening to the prompts and looking at everything in a profitable sense, from the atonement. The atonement is profitable because there’s no good or bad. In a farmer’s field there’s no good or bad. It sees the manure as something very good for the soil whereas some people actually throw it out in truck loads whereas the atonement doesn’t see it that way. The atonement sees that everything that’s happening is to be seen from a purified perspective. You can’t be guilty in a purified perspective even though you seem to do things. I’ve done something wrong. You’re calling someone because you just fear being alone or you’re bored. There’s no reason to feel guilty because of that. There’s no justification for guilt.
Participant: So, that guilt gets projected on for example, you. Thinking that I’m doing something wrong that you’ll come down on me because I’m too scared to realize I’m just scared of God.
Speaker: Yes, when if you go back really you’re just afraid of God’s Will and the purpose that we share in the Course is a reflection of God’s Will. So, we’re just symbolically representing God’s Will which is free and happy. It’s not about right and wrong things to do. We talked about that yesterday. Try not to look at things as right and wrong behaviors because that’s worldly thinking, that’s the ego. Just look at it as a call for love. A call for love is not good or bad. It’s just a call for love.
Participant: You mentioned earlier that they’re not my thoughts. There are moments when that was clear but there’s also that line ‘You are responsible for your thoughts because that’s the only thing that you can change.’
Speaker…because that’s where you exercise choice….
Participant: Right, how do those meet? If I’m not my thoughts how can I be responsible for them?
Speaker: You’re responsible for seeing its falsity. You’re responsible because you projected meaning on them and there is no real meaning on them, in and of themselves and you’re responsible for accepting the Holy Spirit’s meaning. You’re responsible or required to forgive because you’ve made it real, God didn’t. You made it real in your mind. It’s your mind that needs to be convinced. The requirement comes in for you because you made a decision for that so it has to be your responsibility. But, the responsibility is not in the correction. It’s in the acceptance of the correction. Therefore it leaves you totally free again. You just have to accept the fact that what I think is wrong and what I think is right are equally illusory.
Participant: You mean they’re not my thoughts because they’re not real thoughts.
Speaker: Right, because ideas leave not their source and you’re the idea of God.
Participant: If I were to ask you, ‘Well, where do these thoughts come from?’ There’s no answer to that question.
Speaker: There’s no answer to that because they’re unreal thoughts with an unreal source. The reason why not one thought in this world is wholly true is because it is perceptual. The swing side of you being a guilty guy or a bad guy for not listening to your prompts is, ‘oh, I’m a good guy. I’m getting it. I understand it and I’m doing it.’ I don’t want you to do that either. I don’t want you to just be smiling and just saying, ‘Eh! I’m doing it all! I’m smiling. I’m doing everything you say.’ That’s not it either.
Participant: Say that again?
Speaker: Well, the thought is ‘oh, he’s going to think I’m not going to be in purpose here. I’m on the phone talking and I’m guilty; the swing side of that is you could be attracted to that and you won’t phone people. ‘Oh, I’m not going to do that because I’m in purpose.’ You listen to everything that I say and then you do it. I’m not asking you to do that because it’s very mechanical. That’s just superficial acceptance. What I’m asking you to do is to be very honest with yourself. You will make mistakes but they’re not really mistakes in the atonement. They’re not mistakes. You just have to be honest with yourself and it will direct you. Let go of the idea that you’re a good person or a bad person. Let go of all of those thoughts. You’re just being called into an abstract purpose. Only you know if you’re distracting or not, if you’re afraid to be quiet and you have to be very honest with yourself. You can’t force quiet either.
Participant: My tendency I would think is that I’m not afraid of quiet. I am somewhat of course, afraid of the quiet but with particular situations, there is just this deep fear that I’m always doing something wrong. If I’m not mind watching, it must mean I’m alone in my mind and that’s bad. So, just anything other than just sitting here sharing, supposedly looking at your thoughts is wrong.
Speaker: That sounds arduous.
Participant: Yes, That’s what it feels like; its strain and stress.
Speaker: And that’s exactly what Jesus is saying in the workbook lessons. Don’t strain. Stop when you feel the strain. Stop. But, I’ve also come to you and said, ‘You can relax a little bit with the tapes.’ And I’ve also come to you and said another time. ‘Well, I feel that there is to be a bit more tapes now.’ It’s just moment to moment. It looks however it looks. You can’t really box it in and make it look a certain way. The Spirit always knows what’s needed. If it’s to be a little bit more of a direction of the form. The symbols that we’re using, such as recording all the tapes, formatting them and there are times where the Spirit is saying, ‘ok, I’m having you do something else. Pull away a little bit.’ We can’t figure those prompts out. All we have to know is that everything is for healing and we’re listening to the Holy Spirit, and we’re not listening when we’re people pleasing or acting from the self-concept or thinking you know what purpose is or constantly witch hunting in your mind.
Participant: When I’m witch hunting and when I’m really serious, I’m going to draw forth witnesses to how guilty I feel and that you’re watching me and I’m always doing this wrong and conflicting behavior and stuff that comes with that, right?
Speaker: Yes, So, I might walk in the room and say, ‘Hey, what’s going on?’ and the ego will interpret it through the guilt. There I go again I’m doing something wrong. I trust that you’re being honest with yourself. If I did have a prompt in my mind to speak something to you I’d speak it. But if I do speak it it’s not from a place of right and wrong and that’s what you have to see is we’re joining together to help each other to look at what is unwatched. The real purpose is just to love so if there is anything unlike love in there then you could say the best use of our time is allowing anything that is unlike love or lack of love to come up and be exposed in the purpose of the joining. So, everything will be around that.
Participant: I’m always looking for the appropriate behavior that I can consistently do so that it’s good.
Speaker: Trying to act. You can’t act your way to the kingdom of God.
Participant: Like the bathroom. One time I went to the washroom and came out and I closed the door. She came right after and opened it. This morning I closed it because that’s what she did last time and then you came and opened it. (Laughter)
Speaker: You’re looking for meaning where there is no meaning. Spirit prompts however in the moment. It’s all just a dance. The picture looks however it looks. Consistency is not about form. You will not find anything consistent in form. It’s the opposite or the antithesis of consistency. Constancy is truth or reality. Perception is the opposite. Consistency is purpose in my mind. You could say the forms are representative. You could say consistently being in purpose you would be happy. You would appear to be happy. That’s consistency. But the body; I could stop, I could close my mouth, I could go into meditation. You go into some Buddhist monasteries and you think the monks need to hear a happy joke. Because you go in and they look pretty sour but they just sit in meditation and their face and whole body are released and they’re just deep in meditation. When they open up their eyes they may smile or not. But you don’t really know what’s going on behind it. I do not know how to look upon the world or myself.
Participant: When we say in the Course, a dream. That’s when we say that thoughts are false. These are not my thoughts because these are just dream thoughts. But I’m responsible for my interpretation of them.
Speaker: There are two interpretations: The Holy Spirit or the ego.
Participant: And the ego takes a myriad of different thoughts.
Speaker: It just fragments them further. It judges them. It puts them in a hierarchy of error or actually the ego doesn’t believe in error. It believes in sin. So the ego makes them sins. That’s where the guilt comes from in your mind. It says you believe that you’ve sinned.
Participant: Whereas, The Holy Spirit looks at it as error.
Speaker: But an error is an error. It’s just false. An error can be corrected.
Participant: It only can be corrected right now.
Speaker: Only right now. But, you can’t do that right now if you’re just modifying behaviors. ‘Oh, he’s here. I need to modify.’ What is Spirit about that? There’s nothing Spirit about that. It’s all intuitive too. I know when there is something that needs to be said in this house and I will say it. There are lots of times I see stuff and then I know that the Holy Spirit is working and I watch it pop through and I didn’t say a thing. I watched it come up. It’s there and then it’s gone and I didn’t even need to say anything. It doesn’t matter. Saying it; not saying it. It all depends on the moment. On what you feel called to say and it’s always about purpose. Everything that’s being said is about purpose. It’s about forgiveness. You can’t forgive when you believe in a hierarchy of errors. There is no order of difficulty in miracles and if there is right or wrong behaviors or actions and right and wrong things to do then that totally pits me against the miracle and I can’t accept the miracle. When I believe in that; because there’s an order there; there’s an autonomous action to the past. It’s very concrete; it’s solid. There’s a solid thing when you see wrong behavior. That’s why you feel so luggy and so unhappy and guilty and you’re looking at me like, ‘Oh, my God, I did this wrong thing and I’m going to be seen as wrong’. Now there’s this real memory of you doing something wrong. How can you change that?
Participant: It works that way with guidance too. Because if you get the guidance and you do it then you’re good and if you don’t you’re bad.
Speaker: That’s just the ego. Here’s a good way to look at it. There are two consequences; two choices; two alternatives; one fear/love; Holy Spirit/ego; fragmentation/wholeness. If you’re listening to the Holy Spirit, he guides you from pain. He guides you into a place of timelessness, beyond time/space concepts, beyond concepts altogether. He brings you into an abstract relationship of just dancing with your prompts. You live as if there is no world and in that state the world doesn’t seem real. It’s happy. Everything’s perfect because it’s a reflection of reality. Then in the other state, in the fearful state everything is fragmented, seen through boxes, compartments and levels such as emotions and behaviors and thoughts are all different and autonomous. See how fragmented that is? There’s no spontaneity. There’s no Spirit in that.
Participant: Spirit wouldn’t guide you through pain to go to joy.
Speaker: It’s bringing you in to joy and it’s the ego’s interpretation that’s painful. The consequence of listening to the ego is pain. The consequence of listening to the Holy Spirit is joy.
Participant: The spirit wouldn’t guide you into situations that are difficult that you know in advance are difficult just to teach you something.
Speaker: What is difficult?
Participant: Well, for example, yesterday with the shoes. I find it difficult to go into situations where I have to face people when I’m feeling guilty. So, it wouldn’t put me into that situation.
Speaker: Spirit is very graceful. Spirit does not force you to do things so you can see things. It knows the contrast. The teaching is in the contrast and it’s all thought. So, you are either in your right mind the thought of God, the Holy Spirit’s the right mind or you’re in the wrong mind which is the ego and you either experience fear or love; pain or joy. The Holy Spirit’s just calling you in to joy and if there’s pain in awareness then that’s just the ego’s interpretation. That’s like coming here you think, ‘Wow, this is so great. I’m going in my purpose. I’m going deep!’ and from a very naïve point of view you would just say, ‘Oh, it’s just happy and it’s all perfect.’ And then the stuff starts coming up and then what happens. Immediately, there is all this darkness which is unnecessary because the ego is judging what’s coming up. So, there’s like a second layer of judgments on top of the watching. The ego is watching. But, to look at your mind you’re going to have to go through the darkness to go to the light. So, you just have to keep things in mind, in context that I’m awakening from a dream and I’m going to be slowly brought in. It can’t be thrust upon me.
Participant: Why need the darkness seem more than a second? Why does it seem to take days or hours?
Speaker: That’s just the way it seems to be. It’s a process until it’s an instant.
Participant: So, there’s nothing you can do to accelerate that. Going though the darkness, when I’m in it, it feels like why do I have to sit here in this darkness?
Speaker: Follow your prompts. Again, you just have to see that things are not as they appear. Don’t judge why do I have to sit here in the darkness? Be grateful that the darkness is being removed from your mind. This question of why is not profitable. What can I do to help this speed up is not judge it.
Participant: You were telling me when I’m feeling really deep, when I’m waking up from sleep. I feel this kind of heaviness. Just allow it, not judge it. Well, normally I would be like, ‘Ok, what is this. How do I stop? ‘ Yesterday morning, I just said, ‘let’s just see if its ok.’ and the instant I did that I was full of energy and I just got right out of bed.
Speaker: Because you let things be as they are instead of judging them, breaking them apart and fragmenting them.
Participant: So, then next time I tried to let things be and that doesn’t work. You have to actually let it be.
Speaker: Let it be. Again, it comes back to humbleness. I’m waking up from a dream of perception. It was made, not created so there’s nothing to feel guilty over and you need to look at the ego and how it compares and fragments and judges things and you just need to withdraw allegiance to the ego because the power of your mind is in the ego and you need to be convinced otherwise by the miracle. Because you have so much faith in it, that’s all you know and it’s not even real knowing, that’s why it’s so shaky. That’s the art. It’s just intuitive and it’s never about right and wrong. If someone does seem to say you’ve done something wrong then you just have to go in your mind and forgive it. Take it in as a claim and say that’s not true. Early in my awakening when I was following my prompts my biological sister Jody tried to make me wrong because I never came by. I wasn’t guided and I was very honest. Am I guided to go there? No, do not go there. I don’t go against my prompts. I was told I was wrong. I wasn’t a good brother and all these things. So, I took it in my mind and said, ‘ok, I don’t have to adhere to those concepts and images. Those are just unreal thoughts.’ I blessed my sister and that was it. No one can make you feel guilty. No one can make you feel anything. It’s all a decision in your mind. You just have to be determined to see things differently. You can’t be determined if you’re determined to destroy your mind watching. The ego has a version of that determinism too. ‘Yeah? I’m going to get in here on a witch hunt. I’m going to dig. I’m going to totally look in my mind. I’m going to get rid of the ego.’ And someone comes along and they’re trying to join with you and you’re just totally whacked out of it in your mind.
Participant: Oh my goodness!
Speaker: This is what happens to people in the awakening if they’re not centered in the context of awakening. Do you know what I mean when I say that? The context is I’m awakening from a dream, of perception. I’m being slowly awakened in my mind. Yes, the immediacy of salvation is now but I’m fearful. How do I know? My resistance reflects what I believe. So, I’m afraid of love? So I need to be convinced through the miracle. I need all the lacks of love to collapse and in that love is restored.
Participant: So, there is no rate of awakening? It’s highly individual.
Speaker: Yes, it’s always the instant anyway and the part that’s being undone is not real. So, it’s not like you’re becoming more enlightened. You’re atoning. You’re undoing you. You’re awakening to what is already established. What is reality.
Participant: So, you never have thoughts that I’m not unraveling the ball of yarn fast enough or things like that?
Speaker: No, never. It’s already done. I see that you believe in the ego but that doesn’t make it real. So what really needs to be undone?
Participant: So the reason we’re together is you’re following prompts?
Speaker: I’m following prompts.
Participant: It’s not about making stuff happen faster?
Speaker: We’re not doing anything here. But, you could say in following the prompts the Holy Spirit uses everything in the most constructive sense. So, everything is used for the higher good and purpose. Everything gets used to point to reality. It’s not special. It just gets pointed. Right here; all these symbols; the picture of Jesus on the wall; our movie collection; all these things are just representative of God. Look, it’s God. So we join together. We watch movies. We look at how we feel. We get excited when the Holy Spirit has a wonderful message and we just rejoice in that. That’s it. It just looks however it looks. There’s no model. There’s no cookie cutter approach. It just is whatever it is. This is not a real sanctuary. It’s just representative of the mind. It’s just symbolic of the altar that’s cleared. So, the purpose of this symbol will reflect the altar. Not a defiled altar. That’s it.
Participant: So even the idea that some shows are more helpful than others; that’s not really true.
Speaker: No, there’s no good or bad TV. There are not good or bad movies; everything works together for good.
Speaker: Right. There’s nothing to get. A lot of spiritual seekers go in and they go, ‘I didn’t get anything from that movie.’ Why are you going in to get something? That’s the seeker. It’s going in for entertainment. It needs to be entertained. Either spiritually entertained or not. You go because you’re guided to go and then whatever comes up you watch. You look at that with the Holy Spirit. That goes for everything you do. Just be honest with yourself and there’s never a reason to feel guilty. If you catch yourself, so to speak, just remind yourself it’s you’re call for love, ‘Oh, yes I’m calling this person right now. I’m lonely and I want to connect with them and I don’t feel alone when I’m talking to them.’ That’s where the guilt comes from because the guilt’s made an idol and now it’s attempting to get salvation from an image. So, the image falls away, ‘Oh, I’m alone!’ and then the mind believes that the image or thought form image is causative so it picks up the phone which is a spurious cause and effect relationship. Calls someone. ‘I feel better now that I’m talking to you’. See that? There’s a false cause and effect relationship there. When the phone falls away or the person falls away the loneliness is still there. Your purpose is to expose that. It doesn’t mean you’re not going to call someone. It just means that you’re just going to be very purposeful in what you do. The actions will flow from your thoughts. Behaviors flow from thoughts. Behavior is a reflection of your thinking. So, don’t change your behaviors, change your thoughts. You can’t change your mind when you believe in right or wrong behaviors. That’s level confusion. You can only change your mind or change your behavior when you change your thoughts. You can’t change your thoughts when you believe in good and bad.
Once you pull the complication out of the way, the ego then you can see, you can watch. You can be left with alone with your thought and see it in your awareness instead of hiding or resisting. You’re able to look more directly at what you’re doing and that’s where your joy comes from. Because when you learn to be truly alone you are all one. You start to feel naked. You start to feel connected but you must go through that first. Actually the ego teaches you that by seeking outside of yourself it will get you satisfaction. It will sooth your loneliness. It will sooth the separation. But it’s learning to be alone that connects you to God and I don’t mean alone in the body. I mean just totally naked and not dependant on other people’s opinions and decisions, totally following the prompts of the Spirit; totally looking at your mind, observing, looking at the ego and seeing its falsity, its games and its trickery. Learning to look without any judgment whatsoever, without any movement, just a simple watching and then the body gets used through the watching. Then all of these previous things that I did before like calling people because I was afraid of the stillness; all these things start to fall away and then what I was looking for outside of me is given from my looking within. What I was looking for outside. I was looking for salvation. Salvation comes from looking within. Salvation is born in me through the simple watching.
Speaker: You’re welcome.
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