- Study Materials Library
- Further Resources
Looking at Level-confusion, Personalization, and the Importance of Attentiveness
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.
David: It gets down to the constructing of reality. Underneath all judgments and interpretations is the belief; I am the author of reality; the idea that this world is mine to pick and choose from. When you are frustrated the script is written and I am the dreamer of the dream, and these are all just a bunch of dream figures… is gone from your mind. You can’t have that clearly held in mind in a crystal clear way, and be frustrated at the same time. Being in that state has an ease to it. Our friend sometimes calls it “being on the fence”, or just watching. So we come down to the ordering of thoughts and the little preferences of how I think it should go and how I think it should look. And it comes down to listening too. In the end there should be no effort to the listening. It is the mind’s belief that there is coercion involved in listening, that there is something I would rather be doing, or that I still want to reserve the right to listen and disagree with what I hear. There is still a belief that what I am being told in my mind by the Holy Spirit is somehow dangerous.
Friend: For me it is the little things. I get used to going with the flow by doing whatever just comes to mind. I take care of the fire, and it has nothing to do with the fire. Do this, I’ll do it. Say this and I’ll say it. I can’t keep questioning myself because there is no myself. It is just... that. I know everyone talks about a voice. It is really not always a voice. It is just doing it. That to me is going with the flow. Does that make sense?
David: The part that questions is not real. It is like there is that doubting part. I have heard you saying, I question if can trust myself. There is that doubting part in there and the whole aim of the Course is to have us start to see that that can not be real. Identity is the one thing you cannot be uncertain about. The only thing all living things can be sure of is their identity. But it always comes down to this identity confusion.
Friend: I am still not clear. Maybe I just need to be with it and bring it up again sometime. So if I am not feeling completely at ease, I am not going with the flow. No matter how many times I say to myself just go with the flow. There is nothing to make happen here.
David: You see, you as a person, can never go with the flow because the person was made up to obstruct the flow. It gets back to that fundamental thing. You know, how we said in the past that you think this, or you think that; but the person doesn’t think. It’s constructing an identity that seems to think and act apart from the whole that is the problem. That is insane. And for you it seems almost like a coercive voice— just go with the flow, you should be able to just…—there is a coercion involved there.
Friend: So what do I do with that?
David: Well, where are those thoughts coming from? We can get back to right mind/wrong mind; there are only two states, and whenever you are feeling coercion, bewildered, confused, doubting, restless…
Friend: That is what I have been feeling a lot of; restless.
David: Can Christ be restless? Can Christ be doubting? There is a very very fundamental identity confusion, and the restlessness, the uncomfortable feeling, still means that I want to cling and hang on to the way I have constructed it rather than the way it is.
Friend: Because until you know what your function is and you fulfill it, you will be restless. So if I’m identifying with myself as a person, I am not knowing my identity and my function and fulfilling it?
Friend: So are you thinking of function in terms of that deep, intrinsic, healing-my-mind function?
Friend: Well, my function is to hold the intention. For me what it keeps coming back to is holding to that deep desire, that underlying desire for God, to hold to that intention. That seems to be the best definition of my purpose. That’s what it comes down to.
Friend: And that resonates because then it really does not matter where I am or who I am with or what is going on or what is not going on. I guess it is when I am not open to that, that I feel restless. When I think the external would be better if it was different than it is.
David: It is a real strain to personalize it. I have seen you and really experienced you in the flow. You get an idea to call somebody; you get an idea to write to somebody, you do not hesitate. You say, “I am going to write so and so,” and off you go, you write a long letter and it is a life changer. It is a real deep sense of communication that comes through. It isn’t back and forth and hemming and hawing for a day of whether to write or not. When you look at it in terms of persons, if you as a person has got to do all of these tasks with the tapes, etc. and you are lining it up in a linear sense it can seem very overwhelming. If you look at it as the Holy Spirit or Jesus doing the whole thing through you and you can just sit and enjoy the show so to speak then it reframes the whole thing. To someone who would see you function they could interpret it like My gosh, there is lots of things going on, lots of arrangements to be made! even being here for 3 weeks to a month. For a lot of people it can seem like a pretty big undertaking. We have talked about slowly letting go and doing what feels comfortable versus trying to get everything prepared.
Friend: Go with the flow!!
David: And really be competent and do a good job and do all of the groundwork and homework to get it set up. Actually when we are relaxed, when we are on purpose it just unfolds so effortlessly. It doesn’t even seem like or is thought of as a big job. You see it is just a different framework. Thinking about the past and thinking about the future entails enormous strain because the ego wants us to hold these both in mind, when really there is just the holy instant. It wants us to keep thinking about the past and projecting into a future. It wants to hold past and future and squeeze them around the present and make time linear and continuous. Jesus keeps teaching us in the Course that past, present and future are not continuous—unless you force continuity onto them. But do not believe that that is the way it really is. Just because you constructed time and yourself, as a linear person in a linear world, do not believe that that is how reality is.
Friend: It seems to be such an experiential thing too. Even sitting here talking about it I feel a real sense of removal from it because it is so experiential. Like you have experienced it and I know I have. I mean we all have. That I can think of. And regarding you coming up here, there have been times before when I would have thought of it in terms of planning and making arrangements. You know, I have to make sure that this, this and this and let’s see if I am forgetting anything, have I double checked with everybody and triple checked with everybody and did I forget to tell this person something or what did I forget? and making lists and trying to get all planned out versus just letting it happen. The only thing it comes back to is holding the intention and having that as my purpose. If I am supposed to call somebody and double check with somebody then I will know that. I do not have to lay awake at night worrying about it. And I keep practicing and trying to generalize it to every situation as much as I can, as much as I am able at any time, and to call on those experiences when I have been able to do it and try to align my thinking with that and say Well where am I getting off track with this thing, where am I setting up expectations or trying to do it myself or to make it happen? or any of that.
Friend: I guess for me it is more about just trusting and knowing whatever I am supposed to do with all these tapes, for instance that it will get done. And it will not be because I have had to effort at all. I tend to think that if I do not effort then I am being slack in my responsibility. That I am slacking off, sliding.
David: I hear it is tied in with doing, with working on the tapes. It does take effort at the beginning to watch your mind. When your mind has been trained to forget, to just stuff things and to just push things under the rug, like don’t be attentive to what is going on in the mind; be attentive to what is going on on the screen. It takes effort in the beginning for the mind to turn around and to pay attention to your thoughts and your feelings. But we are not talking about that effort in terms of doing things, forcing. Undoing that is part of the training. The idea of the past was that if you don’t whip yourself, if you don’t keep beating yourself, and you know things about making schedules was always taught, block off time, and give yourself a reward system, and be productive.
Friend: That has always been a big thing in work situations. I’m just relating it to being a good employee where you really have something to show for your time and you can say well I have not been slacking off I have done this, this, and this, way more than what I was asked to do in fact. You know it’s like turning that thinking around. In any job I have had I have been thinking that I was going to not only do everything that was asked and expected, but way more. And in school that was always the way I thought about it.
David: In a sense everything is an idea. I am thinking we will bring it down to some specifics about for example indexing the tapes. We have been doing all these workshops and getting all these profound ideas and some real clarity is coming through and of course Jesus has taught do not hide your lamp under a table or a bushel. Let it get out there where the world can see it. We were just discussing this morning about this intention that we had where everybody participated. We were able to get some clarity about level confusion. We came at it from relationships, sickness, I mean all kinds of things just came up. There is some real clarity there.
The point is that when something is brought to awareness to learn from it from that point forward… Jesus never said to people, Look at this, you screwed up here, he never went up to the whores and prostitutes to say You didn’t do this and you didn’t do this but he brought that very clearly to their attention and he said, “Go your way and sin no more,” kind off a deal. It is the same with the apostles. Part of using the equipment is to periodically sample things and that is part of just being attentive but it is not to put blame on yourself from the past, but once the idea does come to your attention to be grateful and just be attentive from that point forward. There is no guilt like something is hung on you and you have a black mark of sin that is irrevocable or irreversible. But this whole learning experience is about once you get clear and something is brought to attention, to stay attentive.
Friend: That was something that I learned this week. I have tried to let go of blaming myself for those tapes.
David: What I am saying is you want to be clear. You want to wake up. To wake up you have to remain attentive. There is no way to wake up and not be attentive.
Jesus spent time with Helen Schucman and Bill Thetford, in Absence of Felicity it’s quoted that he says something like, Now, I love you both and I am not ever going to do this again but what I am going to do is take you through a whole day in the most minute way and look at everything that you said and went on and did and he pointed out, this was not courteous, you should have asked so and so to ride in the cab… and it was like my gosh, talk about under the microscope with a fine toothed comb. When an untrained mind is not tuned into listening or into the flow it can go like a chicken with its head cut off feeling insulted, abused, slighted by the least thing that happens. So when we go into these things we are doing it in the spirit of love to get in touch with judgments and personal investments and everything. At times there will be things that will really seem to get your attention.
The whole point is to let go of the world and to listen to and follow the Holy Spirit and not focus on how it will look which is just a common trap.
Home | About this Website
| Study Materials | Contact | Donate | Resources - Order