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Relationships: Lack, Completion and Ownership
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: Does anyone have anything that they want to bring to session as a springboard for discussion?
Friend: I just had a really intense dream last night which was all about the desire for a mate, an ideal mate. This girl was in the dream and it seemed clear that it wasn't even so much about wanting a physical mate. It was about just wanting somebody that wants you as much as you want them kind of thing… the whole feeling of completion because of that.
Friend: In a sense of someone that would want to be with you as much as you want to be with them?
Friend: Yeah. And I can see the fallacy of how human relationships don’t achieve that, but there's still that intense yearning and I was just really getting in touch with that yearning. And I was thinking that it was probably a distorted miracle impulse.
David: Yes. It’s nice that you can make that observation. Even in subtle forms like that, when you think of it along the lines of just companionship rather than a sexual attraction or some of the other things but even companionship is an ego motivation. Companionship still has those elements of wanting another body just to be there, just to be able to talk to, and at times just not even to talk. It’s just a sense of being with someone else in body and it still involves the idea of relationships and it involves bodies instead of the pure mind relationship. When you talk about it as an intense yearning it’s getting more to the core of the ego, because the ego is continually telling the mind, you must seek outside yourself to complete yourself. Where the thrust of that yearning comes from is this deep deep feeling of incompletion and so much wanting to be complete. In the Beyond All Idols section Jesus says, what you are asking for you have every right to ask for. Completion is your inheritance; it’s just that you’re asking in the wrong place.
You believe that completion lies outside yourself, on the screen. Even the sense of companionship or just someone to be there with you is still a form of that. The “special love” relationship is the ego’s most boasted gift. I've called it kind of like the ace card for the ego. The yearning seems to be at times strongest in those respects. I mean there seems to be at other times yearnings for specific things but this one seems to be more the one that the mind believes is kind of the end all. If I could just have that! [laughs] life would be bearable. Everything else matters not… if I had that one.
The teachings that we keep going into is that that’s another trick. People who have tried to play that out find what they think is the ideal companion even, and of course it’s not. There isn’t that sense of completion. It’s not like they come to the end of the rainbow with that. Then the mind is still looking. [laughs] This is great. Now, what's next, what else can I add? And just that feeling of thinking you can add something else, should be a clue that the ego is at work.
As we move along and we keep going into this and people seem to be attracted and come and join with us in community, those are the things that will come up. One person will seem to stand out more than the rest and be attractive in some way or another, and you'll notice it come up and it will obscure the complete equality of the Sonship. And it will always obscure the true identity. Until it’s completely transcended it will always seem very attractive, at times intensely attractive. What you are describing is kind of like the jewel in the ego’s crown.
Friend: That's the nickname for my spouse.
David: Jewel. [laughs] There's a book The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus Christ where he goes through all these temptations. In Egypt he gets to number six I believe, and it’s described as the Angel Idol, where this woman of entrancing beauty comes to Jesus as he's sitting in contemplation and she doesn’t even say a word, she just sits down and starts to play and sing songs of Israel. She just sings these beautiful songs, some of them of his upbringing, of his life, and then she just gets up and she leaves, not even a word is spoken. And the way it’s described is that the passions were stirred in the heart of Jesus. She would periodically come back and it was very much a period of unrest for Jesus and very much a temptation. And after all these other temptations, deceit and different things it’s like here is this. It says it was a forty day temptation again. The forty days seems to be this number that comes up, for forty days was he tempted. Then he arose and said, “Am I to be the demonstration of unconditional love, this divine love that comes not from this world?” And he arose and talked to her and said that their paths would cross but that he had to go on and do what he had to do.
When I came across those kinds of things as I was going on my journey, working with the Course and other things it all started to come together. You can’t have impersonal love and personal love. They can’t go together and that was just a great little story, a little parable on the temptations. Eventually when you follow it in, when you really follow it in and you come to your right mind so to speak you see that they don’t, they can’t go together and you can’t mix them.
If you think about that yearning in terms of a distorted miracle impulse in one sense it gives you a sense of the power of love or the power of the miracle. Just by the strength of it except it seems to be coming through the ego's lens and being perceived as a lack. You can imagine the strength of it without the lens. When it comes through the ego’s lens as a distorted miracle impulse it’s an intense yearning. But when you are able to lay aside the ego it just comes straight into consciousness, without going through the ego’s lens. It’s quite powerful. Our friend was feeling this enormous urge to extend, and feeling like she's going to explode or like it’s hard to stifle it. Once you really go with it for a while, then that’s what it is; it’s just this tremendous urge to extend and be of help. Kind of like in the movie Groundhog Day when Phil goes through all these things over and over, tries to manipulate people, and get this woman Rita in bed, and do this and that, finally he gets this uncontrollable urge to be helpful and he's going around fixing tires on cars and catching a child as he falls from the tree. Every day at the same time, and doing the Heimlich maneuver, or helping this guy who’s choking. He's just looking everywhere to find Oh! Another place I can help! [laughs] It’s like an uncontrollable urge and that’s what gets him out of the loop.
Linear time is a loop where it just seems to repeat, it is just repeating the past over and over and over. That’s what makes the movie Groundhog Day such a powerful metaphor. Not only can you see the loop, which is real symbolic of the loop that everyone has experienced on earth, but you also see a metaphor of the way out of the loop. And that’s just to be totally helpful. To completely lose yourself in that urge to be truly helpful. And that’s intense. You will experience that. There's no doubt about it.
Friend: I'm having thoughts of wanting to get clear about expectations. What I was getting in meditation was that to have expectations of anyone based on what they’ve said in the past is just going to hurt. That I can’t trust really what anyone says; I can only trust who they are. I can only trust the Holy Spirit, or the Holy Spirit in them, and I can’t trust anything in form related to them, or have expectations in that area.
David: If we look at expectations, the deceived mind has a very very deep-rooted belief in scarcity, in lack, in unworthiness, in guilt and that’s what the special relationships of the world are all about. Perceiving oneself as a person and perceiving your brothers as persons, bodies, that’s all set up to solve the problem of guilt. In other words, the world was made as an attempt to solve the problem of guilt, the world was made as an attempt to solve the problem of lack; the world was made as an attempt to solve the problem of scarcity. The whole belief that one can make it in the world, or adapt and adjust to the world, and to have fulfillment and completion in that adjustment, is erroneous.
If you really trace the expectations down, they are always about a belief in incompletion or a belief in lack that is still there in the mind. Why would it be important what someone else said? Why would it be important what somebody else did? Why would anything in the world be important for that matter, if one had a real sense of completion, ones’ own completion of mind? So the lack and the incompletion is what have to be questioned.
“Those who see themselves as whole make no demands.” W-37 It’s a great line from the Course because you can see how that line leaves no room for expectations. “Those who see themselves as whole make no demands.” “Those who see themselves as whole…” are not at the mercy of anyone or anything.
Friend: And consequently they would have no expectations because there would be nothing perceived as needed.
David: And in that scenario of course, could not be upset. They could not be unfairly treated based on a seeming change in what someone said nor did. They couldn’t perceive themselves as unfairly treated. They couldn’t perceive someone breaking their word or doing something against them when they see themselves as the dreamer of the dream and they no longer perceive attack.
If we take it a little step further, lack, incompletion or scarcity is what has to be addressed so let’s address it. The fundamental thing that we'll keep going over many many many times is that the deceived mind doesn’t know what it is and therefore it doesn’t know how to extend. It doesn’t know what giving is. It doesn’t see that giving and receiving are equal, the same. How many times have we heard these clichés in this world about the importance of giving? Or even the clichés about it is better to give than to receive? That’s even off.
Friend: Because you can’t give without receiving.
David: The mind gets exactly what it wants. And it’s always giving and receiving. And it’s impossible that it’s better to give than to receive, because they're the same. You can’t put one as higher than the other. The key thing is the deceived mind doesn’t have a clue what giving is. It believes in the ego and it believes in form and specifics, so therefore; believing in specifics, it doesn’t know what giving is. Giving doesn’t, in the end have anything to do with specifics, neither does extending.
Another way we could come at it is; as long as the mind feels incomplete and lacking and it has expectations of other people, even expectations of the person that it identifies as its self, you’ve heard of placing high standards, I put so much pressure on myself. That has to be the ego talking. Christ doesn’t put pressure on himself, it’s the ego that puts pressure, it’s the ego that sets up expectations, personal expectations, I have to live up to somebody else's standards or I have to live up to these standards that I'm setting for myself. But that’s not the capital Self, that’s the ego. Even that would be in the realm of expectations. In the end, the only realization that you’re ever asked to come to, is that having and being are the same.
Having and being and giving and receiving are the same. Having and being in other words; when the mind believes it’s asleep, when it thinks it’s in a world, it associates itself with a person, with a body and it associates everything in the world with specifics, and therefore it believes in personal possessions. It believes it possesses a body. The body is probably the deceived mind’s most prized possession of all things in this world of possessions.
That’s why in cases of rape and incest and injury that it just seems to be such a deep wound because the mind feels like it’s been personally violated. Much less when somebody breaks into ones’ car or breaks into ones’ house. But when there's something that is done to the body, since the mind identifies with the body, it feels a sense of violation, a strong sense of victimization.
So right off the bat the deceived mind thinks it possesses a body then it thinks it possesses other things, green paper strips, houses, cars, clothing, jewelry; it thinks it possesses computers or just fill in the blank of all the things of the world, dogs, cats, biological family members, it maybe thinks it possesses a religion, it just goes on and on and on and on. All of it reflects this confusion about “having”. It thinks it has these things but in truth that isn’t what having means. You can’t have a hundred dollars. You can’t have a husband, you can’t have a body, and you can’t have a skill at playing the piano or baseball. You can’t have mathematical ability, you can’t have high IQ or verbal ability; you can’t have any of that stuff because none of that is real. How can you have something that isn’t real?
So the teachings of the Course are, “What you have is what you are.” That’s it. That’s what having means. Having and being are identical. Do you see how recognition or a realization of that would bring an end to all this seeking outside oneself on the screen? It would bring an end to expectations and expecting others to do what they said they would do or whatever, however you have it constructed. That’s all it takes. It’s free. This realization is free. It doesn’t cost anything. There is no cost associated with recognizing that what you have is what you are. It’s given. It was given to you when you were created by God and nothing can take that away from you. You can cover it over in your consciousness, you can bury it, you can deny it, you can keep it out of awareness, but you can’t destroy it and you can’t change it. You can just accept it.
Friend: And it’s the associations that cover it over. All those things that you said you can’t have, it’s like you can associate with them but you can’t have them. And it’s one or the other, actually it’s only one but it seems in awareness to be one or the other.
David: I’ll read just a little bit from the, Attainment of the Real World section T-13.VII
"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. And at its altar it demands you lay all of the things it bids you get, leaving you no joy in them. Everything the ego tells you that you need will hurt you. For although the ego urges you again and again to get, it leaves you nothing, for what you get it will demand of you. And even from the very hands that grasped it, it will be wrenched and hurled into the dust. For where the ego sees salvation it sees separation, and so you lose whatever you have gotten in its name. Therefore ask not of yourself what you need, for you do not know, and your advice to yourself will hurt you. For what you think you need will merely serve to tighten up your world against the light, and render you unwilling to question the value that this world can really hold for you." T-13.VII
So at the very beginning I read, “Ownership is a dangerous concept if it is left to you.” It leaves space for the metaphor. In other words as Messengers of Peace there may be instances where someone seems to own something in the world. It may seem that they own a house or a car or a computer or so on and so forth. This leaves room for the metaphor, “Ownership is a dangerous concept if it is left to you.” The Holy Spirit can use the concept of ownership. While the mind still believes in it, and the Holy Spirit is working with the mind where it perceives itself, then the concept of ownership can be part of the back drop.
However, once you pull that concept of ownership out of the back drop so to speak, and you really believe you can own things, it is dangerous. Notice that your peace of mind is out the window when you really believe that you possess something. Whether it’s a body, money, a car, doesn’t matter. You will notice immediately that your peace of mind is gone because you will be defending that thing, whatever that is, that body, that car, that money, that clothing, that jewel, it could be anything.
That’s the key thing because there have been those that have misinterpreted something like this and said Well ownership is of the ego, therefore, rent! We've discussed this before; that does not bring you peace and happiness to think that you can just shift the form of owning something to leasing something. It should be so easy, [laughs] that you just lease everything.
You have to question every value in your mind if you want to let go of ownership and let go of the ego. Much less have a little form shift like that.
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