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Preliminary Questions on Memory, Creations and Consciousness
Speaker: The lesson in the Course about holding on to your function of forgiveness basically says it entails two phases; recognizing that forgiveness is your only function, and giving up all the other functions that you think you have. That’s where the self concept comes in because if I feel like I’ve got all these agendas and things that have to go a certain way or outcomes like we’ve talked about, then that’s where my self concept comes in and what is my priority? Am I going to really hold forgiveness as my only function or am I going to let these other agendas come in and take forgiveness off the front and hold those up. It has to be either or.
Participant: There’s an old Indian saying that says, ‘I use memory. I don’t let memory use me.’ Which really helps me out a lot in my interpretation, so people who are ego-less or whatever use those.
Speaker: That was fascinating when I read the Course, in the sense that I always associated memory with the past. I always made that association, and Jesus in one section in the later part of the text talks about using your memory to remember the present. That’s a revolutionary idea. He says memory is an ability you made, and you’re so associated to just using it with the past, but you can actually use it to remember the present, which is a novel kind of idea. That’s where you would just have the memory instead of just letting the memory automatically have you. It’s an experiential thing too. For me, as we’ve gone on and examined these concepts, then when you let go of the outcomes and you just let the guidance come and you follow the guidance, [As] we’ve traveled, it really is joyful stepping aside from a lot of these concepts.
Time is a very deeply rooted one, and space. Those are very deeply rooted beliefs. As we travel the country, a lot of times we will talk about time and space, and in a sense all of the things like getting lost, or being early or being late, once you start to see these as constructs then all of a sudden there’s a real ease that comes. You start to really take to heart the saying that you cannot help but be in the right place at the right time. When you’re traveling a lot that’s a great one to hold out front because it takes all the struggle out of it; it takes out all the, ‘oh, gosh…did we make a right turn’ or ‘what did you do with the map’ and on and on. That whole thing that comes from feeling like you’re not in the right place at the right time, or you’re too early or you’re too late. It’s a practical kind of an experience. It’s a real shift of mind. It’s kind of like being above things. It’s almost like you’re on a carpet ride and the only way you stay on the carpet, of course, is to stay divested of the outcomes. Like you were saying, if you really hold on to your intention and you really just want to stay at peace and you want to have holy encounters and you don’t know how it’s going to look, it makes it a lot of fun. The struggle in my life always came from trying to control the outcomes, control other people, and control situations.
Participant: I’d like to ask about creations, our creations.
Speaker: Yes, it’s totally at the level of heaven. He says you don’t know your creations in the sleeping state, but the Father extended himself and created the Son in his likeness and image, and then the Son extended Himself and these are the things that the Course calls creations. It’s entirely at a spirit realm. In other words spirit begat spirit, begat spirit. It’s all a continuous line. In the sleeping state where perception is distorted, you have no remembrance, no recognition of your creations. It’s one of those things that you can really only go so far in talking about. We know they’re eternal, we know they’re changeless. They’re perfect, they’re infinite. Just like Christ is, just like the Father is.
Participant: When I was listening to Ken Wapnick’s tape this morning, he talked about in heaven God has no consciousness. I could feel all upset in my ego ... ‘O.K. I’ve given up the idea that this body is going to go anyplace, this body is going to be let go of. And I think of this Mind. I picture this mind all around me that is my mind that I’m trying to deal with, this mind that is within the Mind of the Son. But then I thought to myself, ‘Well, does that mean when I go up there…’ I was thinking in terms of the mind being conscious, and then I thought, ‘There’ll be nothing!’ And I could feel that immediate fear. This mind that I use to process and think with won’t be going any place. It’s not going to be awakened and all of a sudden, I could feel this small voice say, ‘You know, when you think of what makes you happy, they are always thoughts of Love.” It was just an overwhelming feeling that they would be more magnified then anything I could even think of and I was suddenly at peace with it. But, I could feel how quickly you shift out of that, into that ego thinking of, ‘Oh my God, I’ve picked up a book that’s says God has no consciousness. I won’t have a conscious mind to think.’ And it was just kind of a real learning experience. I felt a real sense that the thoughts that make me most joyous are those thoughts that have…I can’t even express them. They’re not thoughts that are expressible. I don’t know how else to say it. They’re just…
Speaker: Beyond the words.
Participant: Yeah, and so if it’s far beyond all of that then…
Speaker: I think it does help to be precise about the words, like if we threw out the word consciousness and we went around said, ‘Now, what does consciousness mean to everybody in this room?’ Jesus says in the clarification of terms that ‘Consciousness is the receiving mechanism receiving messages from the Higher Mind and the lower mind; the Holy Spirit and the ego’. That’s literally the mind that, in this deluded state is receiving messages from two opposing, or two diametrically opposite voices. There is another part in that section where it says consciousness can be trained to approach the real world and at the highest level of consciousness is the real world. So, a lot of us have come from backgrounds other than the Course, and maybe [we] talk about consciousness… transpersonal psychology talks about training your mind more and more; to be so into meditation and have such a highly trained mind, to be able to overlook and not hop on the trains anymore [which means] you’ve reached the real world.
Now that’s still a metaphor because Jesus slides in a line like ‘there are no levels’, in the ultimate sense. This is still talking about the structure of the split mind and there isn’t a split mind. [It’s like] He’s lowering the ladder down into the mind that believes it’s split. He’s saying, this Course is written at the ego level where it is needed, in the sense that this Course is written as if there is an “individual mind.” Now if you really go into some real deep metaphysics here, the ultimate thing is there is only one mind. We talk sometimes about collective egos, and the split mind, and this other person’s lesson was this, and my lesson was that, and basically Jesus is using the idea of an “individual mind” because He knows that if you believe in bodies, you also believe that there is a separate individual mind that goes with every body. The ultimate transcending of that is that there is only one mind. It (the split mind) perceives itself as fragmented. It sees a subject/object split, but really there is only one mind. He gives a hint of that when they ask Him, ‘How many teachers of God does it take to save the world?’ Once again to the split mind it’s, ‘oh, how may thousands and millions is it going to be?’ And the answer is, ‘One!’ That is giving a little bit of a hint of there’s only one mind and by golly, it’s mine. It brings it back to It’s always my lesson regardless of how much my ego wants me to throw it out there on somebody else.
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