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Self-Concept vs. Self
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: Chapter 31 section 5, 656 in the second edition. Ok chapter 31 The Final Vision section 5, Self-Concept versus Self.
“The learning of the world is built upon a concept of the self adjusted to the world's reality. It fits it well. For this an image is that suits a world of shadows and illusions. Here it walks at home, where what it sees is one with it. The building of a concept of the self is what the learning of the world is for. This is its purpose; that you come without a self, and make one as you go along.”
And that’s what I call the becomer, the collector, and the mind a seeker, it comes to make one.
“And by the time you reach ‘maturity’ you have perfected it, to meet the world on equal terms, at one with its demands.”
And this is how we feel, this is what we tell ourselves as we're becoming another person or a better person, whatever that means to us however that value is; we believe that we're doing it because that’s what the world asked us to do.
Friend: But isn’t it actually what's structured up, the classroom, the whole thing, religion?
Speaker: Yes, all that is an outward picture of that thought system. So the constructs that you see are basically, really the ego revealing itself; remember I said the ego always tells on itself? Just look outside, everything is a reflection of your thought and everything that’s being built up in the world is based on the ego’s thought system which is a state of becoming something that you're not. And then we feel as people— as these body identities— we feel that we have to meet it with its demands so then we make decisions based on that demand. I want to make that very clear, a demand! So we feel like we've been demanded. Its demanding us that’s the struggle.
Speaker: That’s the struggle. Yup.
Friend: Yeah. Nothing short of a demand.
Speaker: Yup. It’s a demand.
“A concept of the self is made by you. It bears no likeness to yourself at all.”
The self-concept is made by you back here [referring to 'projector' chart] and you're the light. It’s not like you at all. It’s an image, the self-concept is. It’s an image.
Friend: It has the false cause.
Speaker: The image maker in here; [referring to chart] the image maker and the image, are one in that sense.
“A concept of the self is made by you. It bears no likeness to yourself at all. It is an idol, made to take the place of your reality as Son of God.”
So any concept in your mind that you're struggling with; Will you pay attention to how I feel? I seem to have mother problems. I seem to have wife problems, I seem to have marriage problems, you see, all of that is an outspring of the one idol which is the ego but the ego conceptualizes itself into compartments. Come-apart-mentally, so it’s mentally come apart, [laughs] it’s fragmented. It’s fragmented. So now I have all these specific conceptual problems which are idols on the one tree, the one idol; there's one but there seems to be all these different idols on the tree, the tree branches.
“It bears no likeness to yourself at all. It is an idol, made to take the place of your reality as Son of God.”
As the light…
“The concept of the self the world would teach is not the thing that it appears to be. For it is made to serve two purposes, but one of which the mind can recognize. The first presents the face of innocence, the aspect acted on.”
So the purpose; it serves two purposes the self-concept what I have made. The purpose of being the hero which now Jesus is calling another word, the face of innocence. It’s the same thing. I am a body that can be acted on by an objective world. Demanded from a world; I'm being demanded. But see this is back here in the mind, the mind splits it and gives it two purposes, the part that can be… the part that I give away and the part I keep and the part that can be acted on. See Mind/cause, can not be acted on. Mind is. It’s only when the mind believes it’s a body that it can it be acted on.
“For it is made to serve two purposes, but one of which the mind can recognize.”
So the mind only can recognize one of them, the part that can be acted on. So we're getting at the idea of disassociation again or forgetting. I forget what I've made. I forget that I believe in intellectual, I believe in stupid, whatever the concept is, and I've just given away part of it and kept the part that can be acted on, the face of innocence. Not real innocence, because real innocence is unabated. Innocence that can be acted on and have it taken away without my knowledge and my consent.
“The first presents the face of innocence…”
The persona. The persona.
“…the aspect acted on. It is this face that smiles and charms and even seems to love. It searches for companions and it looks, at times with pity, on the suffering, and sometimes offers solace.”
And pity. This is what we're looking at. This is deep. [laughs] This is the part of mind that we're running from.
“It searches for companions and it looks, at times with pity, on the suffering, and sometimes offers solace. It believes that it is good within an evil world.”
So this little face of innocence this little private mind, the hero it pats and looks for and says, [speaking metaphorically as the face of innocence] Oh it'll be ok. It’s ok. Yes you had your innocence taken away but that’s ok we can forget that. You let it go now. Not really realizing that, let what go? The idea that I made it up. You see, it’s false empathy, there's nothing innocent about it in that sense. Innocent makes whole. And it [the face of innocence] reinforces duality. I am a real good person in an evil world, when I'm really the dreamer of the dream. How could I be a good person in a world? In an evil world?
And so you've heard things like, about the idea, “Perfect love casts out fear.” That’s when you get to the bottom of that. “Perfect love casts out fear.” Well you see that there is only perfect love, and perfect love does cast out fear. I have an illusion of fear but it’s an illusion so we have to see; in order to be casted out we need to bring it back to our mind and see that there is no evil world apart from my mind, apart from me. “Ideas leave not their source.” You've heard that before.
“This aspect can grow angry, for the world is wicked and unable to provide the love and shelter innocence deserves. And so this face is often wet with tears at the injustices the world accords to those who would be generous and good.”
So this is like the human condition. We're these good people struggling in an evil world trying to make it good, but really all along it’s all thoughts in our mind and we're just making it all up. [laughter]
So this is getting into the split.
“This aspect never makes the first attack. But every day a hundred little things make small assaults upon its innocence, provoking it to irritation, and at last to open insult and abuse.”
Friend: It’s always some damn thing.
Friend: One damn thing after another.
Friend: That’s it.
Friend: Goes on and on and on. Sighs… Churches...
“The face of innocence the concept of the self so proudly wears can tolerate attack in self-defense, for is it not a well-known fact the world deals harshly with defenseless innocence? No one who makes a picture of himself omits this face, for he has need of it.”
Speaker: He has desire for it.
“The other side he does not want to see. Yet it is here the learning of the world has set its sights, for it is here the world's ‘reality’ is set, to see to it the idol lasts.”
So if someone comes along and you agree with them about the illusion in any way, then you have just set up the world. There is no world. The world is in your mind. I've always found it kind of funny this idea of society; who is the society? What is society? What does that mean, society? Can you touch it? Is it a real thing? Where does it end and when does it begin? Where does it start and where does it end? Who is the society? It seems to shift and change wherever we go. Well this person says that and this group says this and this group says this… so where is it? Who is it? Define it? You see?
Friend: So if we agree…?
Speaker: Then we make it collective, an agreement. The collective is a sickness. Because there is no collective there is only mind.
Friend: And it’s a commonly agreed upon thing.
Speaker: Commonly agreed, but if you notice everyone says, Don’t do that! When you we're younger you're mother would even do it. Don’t do that the neighbors will see you. The shame! Don't do that! It’s a face of innocence. Aahhh! Let’s pretend to be these people, these puppets these… let’s pretend to be something that… what is all this weird… based on this weird idea of something that seems to shift and change even and no one can really even agree upon it because the more you start talking to the people it all seems to shift and change the agreement and then it’s, Well I don’t agree with that. Then they'll disagree so then Well let’s war over that then! But it’s just an idea. What I'm getting at here is… it’s like The Matrix. You need to unplug from the matrix, from the world.
Friend: From society.
Speaker: From society, the idea that there's such a thing as a society. Society is an agreed upon, sick idea, which is the ego. It’s a sick idea. Like a cancer in your mind. It’s a cancer. Society is. So when you have society thoughts, worldly thoughts; Well I can’t do that because this so and so and so, what would they think? That’s a world thought. When Jesus says world, that’s what he's talking about. That’s how the ego thinks. It thinks through subject, object. Individual mind, collective mind. Like Krishnamurti would say, “You are the world.” He was just saying that it’s all your mind. There's no inner and outer like you think there is, it’s just an assumption in your mind.
So Jesus says that, right here at the end let me read the end…
“Yet it is here the learning of the world has set its sights,”
“...for it is here the world's ‘reality’ is set, to see to it the idol lasts.”
So the values, collective values, collective morals, ethics, all those things, are there to set the ego in place. To make sure that the idol everyone's worshipping, can last. Whoooo, world! I will do anything for you world. My God! Really, when you have fear and resistances, when you’re afraid of how someone sees you, that’s what you’re saying. I'm not worthy idol. What do I need to do now to praise you? What is it that you want?
Friend: And it’s all around us.
Speaker: Yes it’s all around you.
Friend: It’s everywhere.
Speaker: It’s The Matrix, it’s everywhere.
Friend: That’s the matrix.
Speaker: It’s making its demands.
Friends: It’s us.
Speaker: Who’s demanding who?
“Beneath the face of innocence there is a lesson that the concept of the self was made to teach. It is a lesson in a terrible displacement, and a fear so devastating that the face that smiles above it must forever look away, lest it perceive the treachery it hides.”
Friend: The mind is the suppressor mechanism. A repressive mechanism for this reason.
Friend: And when that repressor function is lifted, psychosis often results.
Friend: That’s why every mind is terrified to look beneath the face of innocence.
Speaker: It’s the treachery underneath all of it.
Friend: That’s why this Course gets to be very threatening when we reeeaaallly do what we've done this week; take a look at what it’s really saying.
Speaker: Yes, take a look at what it’s really saying. So all the banter, all the intellectualizing, all the talking about, all that stuff, was just a distraction from this. It’s [the concept of the self] doing everything it can not to look. I know that when people distract with me I know exactly what their fear is; they’re afraid to look. It’s the Holy Spirit they're afraid of really. They’re afraid of God. But we're getting to the point because it’s our intent to do it.
So Jesus says, let me read that again.
“It is a lesson in a terrible displacement, and a fear so devastating that the face that smiles above it must forever look away, lest it perceive the treachery it hides. The lesson teaches this: ‘I am the thing you made of me... you stand condemned because of what I am.’”
You’re the thing you made of me. Oh, I'm less than you because you think you're intellectual. You're telling me that I'm weak, I'm stupid? I am the thing you made of me.
“And you stand condemned because of what I am.”
So we're both condemned now. I condemn him for thinking that I'm stupid, and he's intellectual, and I condemn him. You see, what do we have again?
Friend: So beneath the face of innocence it’s a dog eat dog world.
Speaker: Yes it’s just like dogs fighting each other it’s like wolves. And the purpose for this self-concept is to keep all of this alive out on the screen. It’s to make you think that that is real. That’s it. It’s to keep the gap. The split.
Friend: Keep you blind.
Speaker: Yeah it is to keep you blind.
Friend: I mean to shift the blame out and not look inside.
Speaker: Not be responsible. As he [Jesus] says you're being childish by not being responsible, immature, spiritually immature. So we're going for maturity here, to be mature in a spiritual sense not in a worldly sense because the worlds maturity is as we just read, it has nothing to do with maturity in a sense of forgiveness.
“On this conception of the self the world smiles with approval…”
So, the world, let’s look at the world, you look on the news, the TV, the newspapers, this is what Jesus is saying, “On this conception of the self…” this twisted conceptual self, “the world smiles with approval.” [Eerie toned sarcastic voice] Yes, you have been victimized you've had… you've lost it all now… and sets it up to mirror that and to pronounce it. Look over heeeeerrrree. We have someone who’s lost their innocence. Let’s devote forty pages of the newspaper now. The loss of innocence... Let’s devote our time. Let’s devote all of our energy… to ridding ourselves of this.
Friend: So I don’t have to look at myself.
Speaker: So I don’t have to look at myself. It’s a displacement. We displace it. The newspaper, the television, the news, which are neutral mediums they're mediums, that’s all they are; you can use it for the ego or the Holy Spirit. There just a medium like anything else, everything is used. But the way the world uses it; the world uses it to reinforce or to displace the idol, to reinforce the idol and it does that by displacement. So it projects blame out there and then we all focus on the blame. Yes, yes yes. Then whoever comes along who is apart of that we damn them and condemn them. All along we're just perpetuating the belief that I am a body and I'm separate which is the one and only problem that you have. Jesus says, “Your one and only problem is the belief in separation.” Everything I do is based or rooted in that idea.
Friend: Sleep walking.
Speaker: And it goes back to the attraction to guilt. Punishment.
Friend: It’s reinforcing the belief that I am separate and that I am better than. So I don’t have to look at the underlying belief that I'm really worse than, which I can’t tolerate to look at, both of which are illusions.
Speaker: Yes, both of them. Thank you so much. That’s it. That’s what's going on psychologically.
Friend: Psychologically there's a strong belief in both of those though and when we’re honest with ourselves it’s not pretty because that’s what we see.
Speaker: And most of the confusion comes in because there’s not a real context there for you to look at that with.
Friend: The Course gives us the context.
Speaker: The Course is the context, yeah. But as long as you pick up this book and then you start formulating more concepts as a new identity and thinking you know something, then you're just missing the mark again. You're not really utilizing it for what it’s for. It’s a temporary device to loosen your mind and that’s it.
So “…the world smiles with approval, for it…” get this, look at the second part to this. Jesus says this is why it smiles with approval and it displaces it.
“…for it guarantees the pathways of the world are safely kept, and those who walk on them will not escape.”
Friend: Keeps everybody in prison.
Speaker: It’s all about imprisonment.
“Here is the central lesson that ensures your brother is condemned eternally. For what you are has now become his sin. For this is no forgiveness possible. No longer does it matter what he does, for your accusing finger points to him, unwavering and deadly in its aim. It points to you as well, but this is kept still deeper in the mists below the face of innocence. And in these shrouded vaults are all his sins and yours preserved and kept in darkness, where they cannot be perceived as errors, which the light would surely show.”
So Jesus is saying that we keep them below, that if they’re raised above, and you've heard me say this already—twice removed then once removed—if we once remove them, bring them back, they’re errors. It will be surely shown to us that they're errors if we let them come up, but by keeping it down it’s a sin. You see denial of error makes the sin seem real.
“You can be neither blamed for what you are, nor can you change the things it makes you do. Your brother then is symbol of your sins to you who are but silently, and yet with ceaseless urgency, condemning still your brother for the hated thing you are. Concepts are learned. They are not natural. Apart from learning they do not exist. They are not given, so they must be made.”
What is given is creative, grace is given. Grace is given. Jesus says, “They are not given…” They are not of God so they must be made; miscreation, the dream. So they're only a part of perception, so that means God is beyond concepts, beyond perception, beyond belief.
“Not one of them is true, and many come from feverish imaginations, hot with hatred and distortions born of fear. What is a concept but a thought to which its maker gives a meaning of his own? Concepts maintain the world. But they can not be used to demonstrate the world is real. For all of them are made within the world, born in its shadow, growing in its ways and finally ‘maturing’ in its thought. They are ideas of idols, painted with the brushes of the world, which cannot make a single picture representing truth.”
Not a single.
Friend: No wonder I never got it. [laughter]
Speaker: And we have to be disillusioned to a state to even start to hear this. There has to be a disillusionment, that readiness, a desire in your mind to even be open to this.
Friend: And I think that different things come up to push you towards it all the time.
Friend: That you have to say Oh this can’t be true.
Friend: This can’t be all there is.
Friend: This can’t be all there is, that’s a biggie. This can’t be all there is.
Friend: We have to get in touch with the realization of our sickness before we're ready to seek wellness.
Speaker: Yes. You must see the sickness totally for what it is, and healing occurs when the sickness is seen as it is. That’s it. When you start to see wrong mindedness, you get to all of it [wrong mindedness] and you start seeing it; that’s when right-mindedness can be seen for what it is. But you look with the right mind which is a learning, seems to be a learning thing of a practice, joining together like this. So we're using the learner what the ego made to now unlearn itself. Though it’s the power of the mind that is still doing it all, which is perfect that everything is being used. See I find that just beautiful.
So they are all idols. All. Remember the words Jesus uses here too… they are not given… not one is true. All… So there's nothing that we retain from this world. Nothing that is real in it at all.
“A concept of the self is meaningless, for no one here can see what it is for, and therefore cannot picture what it is. Yet is all learning that the world directs begun and ended with the single aim of teaching you this concept of yourself, that you will choose to follow this world's laws, and never seek to go beyond its roads nor realize the way you see yourself.”
So it’s all set up to not realize what's going on.
“Now must the Holy Spirit find a way to help you see this concept of the self must be undone, if any peace of mind is to be given you. Nor can it be unlearned except by lessons aimed to teach that you are something else.”
And you've heard me say this all week. It can’t be unlearned. See. It cannot “…be unlearned except by lessons aimed to teach that you are something else.” So we're going to learn through our unlearning that we're something else. But we're using temporary ideas of miracle worker, teacher of God. That was the only purpose for me to use that idea; I needed that as a temporary device to loosen the fear in my mind. But what happened? I became disillusioned with the idea of teacher. Disillusioned, accepted it and went deeper into an experience. That was the purpose of it. Was to unlearn, to deepen, to Atone, to undo, but it’s done through you, and all you have to do is watch it. Watch it, be honest, be in integrity with your guidance, and the outside world seems to be representative or symbolic of your integrity, your commitments. But your one and only integrity or commitment is with the Holy Spirit. And your one and only responsibility is to accept the correction to it so you can say that that’s the only thing you need to be in integrity with, is that idea. That’s your only integrity, your only commitment. And that’s a total thing.
So Jesus is saying that “…it must be undone if any peace of mind is to be given to you.”
“Nor can it be unlearned except by lessons aimed to teach that you are something else.”
That’s why some people go into Buddhism and things, they go in and they of course make another identity for themselves. But if they're really really really utilizing it, they’re going in and they realize that Hey I can’t be a Buddhist as a thing. I'm an experience. I'm a Self that’s beyond a nothingness. Or whatever, you'll start seeing that. But that’s where those seeming constructs become helpful, like a monastery, a book, a teacher, or a group, but there all just constructs, that’s all they are.
Friend: You mentioned yesterday somewhere that in order to take this [construct] away something else has to be there to hold you until you can let go.
Speaker: Yes and that’s what he's saying here that the lessons come through that but what I'm getting at here; let’s not make that thing [construct] a real thing. You see we're addicted to clinging. So we want to make something solid to cling to so now we become… we think we know that a miracle worker… we think that a miracle worker or a teacher of God is a solid thing. It’s a real construct now. You see?
Friend: Well therefore we can give all this other stuff up because we know that’s not real. But then we've come all through life and this isn’t real either.
Friend: You’re just creating another construct.
Speaker: Right. So you just have to see that it’s a stepping stone in the pond and the point is to get across the pond and you'll know when you're camping out on that little stepping stone because someone's going to come along and go, Excuse me.
Friend: See this mind sometimes… this is what was happening this morning it came like a flood. This mind looks at the Course and sees it with stark relief, cold relief. Either this Course is accepted totally or not at all. Well then I must not accept it at all because I don’t accept it totally and then the thought, If I did I’d never be able to get to work in the morning. I wouldn’t know who I was or what work was or anything else and that’s terrifying and immediately, [clicks fingers] the face of innocence comes in and says So this is all a bunch of BS.
Friend: But my friend comes along and says, “No there are steps and lessons.” That we're “…not asked to make exchange for what you now believe for total loss of self and greater terror would arise in you.” So it’s incremental steps that… and we don’t plan those.
Speaker: No. They’re given to you. It’s given. And that’s what brought such ease to my life it’s like Wow it’s just given, it’s given. It’s given. There were tendencies at the beginning for me Oh what am I going to do? I mean I need symbols and all this stuff and then… without realizing that Oh ok, well even those will be given. So you’re about your business and then other bees that are making honey, come along.
So Jesus is saying here…
“For otherwise, you would be asked to make exchange of what you now believe for total loss of self, and greater terror would arise in you.”
Right now in this very moment if I struggle then I believe I'm an ego I believe I am a conceptual identity and I also have emotions and all kinds of things in my mind that are a part of that construct that has to be loosened. So that can’t be trusted it has to be carefully allowed to come up to watch. But I can’t do that if I think I know what spirituality is. I can’t do that if I think I know what it’s for, if I'm a spiritual person. If I think I'm a spiritual person, and this is how I have met most people that think they're spiritual, But my mind is filled with darkness, I hate it. I sit in meditation and it’s so busy. Oh I have all these attack thoughts going on in my mind. Well that’s great! What the problem is, is that you think that you're a spiritual person and there's a problem with all that, that’s your mind training.
Friend: Then you see yourself as a hypocrite.
Speaker: That is a hypocrite. That’s what Jesus meant by hypocrite. You’re an actor. You're not a spiritual person. You're a Mind who forgot who you were. And now you just need to be humble and realize that the only preparation you need to take for the Holy Instant is admitting that Ok. There's not one of these thoughts I want to judge. I want to give them over to you Holy Spirit. I'm going to look at them all with you. The seeming holy ones and the unholy ones, the good and the bad, all this hierarchy I'm going to look at with you.
Friend: So as this dismantling, appearance of dismantling is happening because you know it’s not… nothings happening any way and there's this loosening of this construct it’s… as you described in your own self... So as a sense of dysfunction as lack of functioning ones lack of functioning or the memory, the memory of functioning of how the personal self has functioned, there's a sense of not functioning you see? Or there's a sense of it and then what happens is… and then what happens is that period can kind of ease up and then the person pops back again and then there's this… so there's this sense of just wanting to let go and be with the dysfunction, let every damn thing go. Then after a period of time it seems like the construct starts to mantle up again, take form again. Person. And now there is a mess. All these things in time and space are now… haven't been handled and so it’s like you're insane, it’s all or nothing, it’s not partial.
Speaker: It’s not partial.
Friend: And any partiality, it’s just going to be a… the illusion maybe of even waking up or the illusion of the construct…
Speaker: Yes. The illusion of loosening.
Friend: Popping, or bubble popping or something like that.
Speaker: Yes. Illusion of forgiveness. They're all illusions but I know what you're talking about in a context of, you're kind of just fooling yourself. You're just treading back and forth. I kind of look at it like, you forgive you forgive you forgive you forgive you forgive but you're forgiving all of the things out are here on the screen and you're not really seeing that it’s all in here [pointing to chart, referring to mind] so you do have nice experiences of loosening and touching consciousness a bit, Ooohh, that was nice and freeing. But then it comes back. What you're saying it fills up again a person comes in again.
What we're getting at here is getting so, getting so into the thought system, so into your purpose, lost in your purpose, going so deep in there, that you can not come back. You don’t even know how to get back. Now you might want to go back, but it’s too late.
Friend: Sounds like The Matrix.
Speaker: It’s too late like in The Matrix. But you've got to make that step. You got to go in. But keep going. You got to get lost in it! Immersed! Get immersed! Immerse yourself in it so deeply that you lose yourself!
Friend: So you forget yourself so the thought of coming back wouldn’t even exist?
Speaker: Yeah it wouldn’t. You might have some thoughts there the ego might come in and go I want to go back! But when you rest and you meditate on that you think, Well that’s kind of a ridiculous idea. Who’s going back where? And that’s where the learning comes in; that’s your abstract self it’s like, Hmm, that’s interesting. It’s not even like a doubt thought anymore it’s like a little flutter across the screen. You can’t go back. There is no going back, there is no back.
Friend: Once you see that it’s a screen how can you get back to the screen and start playing the part again?
Speaker: Right, you can’t do it. It’s funny.
Friend: But we do do it because we function in the world.
Friend: Well I know but um…
Speaker: But there's a different purpose like when I'm around family members or people, I don’t play a part, at all. I don’t talk when I don’t need to talk. I don’t have conversations that, if the conversation starts to get twisted in blame or projection, I don’t take part in it. So I'm not playing a part. The ego would come in and go, Oh well I'm in this room now and I really don’t want to bother people, if I'm quiet I don’t want to… well I need to say something, I need to take part here because this is you know we're a group and it’s company and that’s the thing we do… You see the ego goes on because it’s the world it thinks in the displacement it tries to meet the world with its demands you see and that’s how the ego runs its show.
Friend: Because if I don’t they'll think there's something wrong.
Speaker: Right. I stay quiet most times and some people will say, “Well why are you quiet?” Well that opens up a whole new conversation. Then we can go somewhere Ok let’s have a real conversation.
Friend: Why am I quiet?
Speaker: But it doesn’t even matter to me because I don’t want to change anything. It’s perfect. It’s just all… it’s nothing that I need to change.
Friend: I think that that would be Heaven.
Speaker: It is Heaven.
Friend: There is nothing you need to change, everything is perfect.
Speaker: It is and you don’t want to change anyone anyway even the person that seems to have forgotten themselves you're loving them and I go, My brother you've forgotten who you are but you can’t really forget who you are because you're still in God. But practically then you just…
Friend: You're not judging anything either.
Speaker: And you don’t find yourself in a whole lot of conversations like that. You don’t.
Friend: You don’t have an opinion.
Speaker: And you don’t believe in society or social things anymore. A friend said, “What are you going to do on your trip?” I never even thought of it. What am I going to do? But that’s a typical way to think. What sights and places are you going to see?
Speaker: Never even thought of it. What am I going to do? Right now my purpose… not even a thought in my mind! Sight seeing, I don’t even know what that means anymore! To go sight seeing! We felt called to go to the beach and lay down the other day, but the thought was never in my mind like Oh I'm down here and now I must see something. See what? What would be out there that I need to see?
Friend: The museum.
Speaker: That was a backdrop for us joining. They knew that when we we're there. That was a backdrop. I wouldn’t judge, I wouldn’t give them an opinion. I wouldn’t give them an opinion I said I had none. Opinion means personal view. You're either with the Holy Spirit or you're not. So I wouldn’t give a personal view. Some people don’t like that. And people if they like your smile they then say, “What's behind that smile? Why are you happy? Why do you seem to be peaceful?” I get that. It’s like Well, hey, have you got some time to sit down here and we can have a chat?
Friend: Yeah a lot of it is so much wasteful talking that goes on.
Speaker: Right but see there's these common assumptions in the world that there's time… we need time to get to know each other; I need to talk to you. Communication is based on that. When I already know that I know you. I don’t need to get to know you. I don’t need to get to know you. That doesn’t mean that we don’t do things together but they're very very prompted in a sense of like given, they're given to us. The moment will arise and we will fill them together and we will do them together; what we never forget for a moment, never forget, that we're always together and we're not the form so the form does not take precedence over the content of the moment. So everything is a backdrop to it. Going to the museum, well it’s in my mind I didn’t have to go to it, it’s an illusion of going. It was already in my mind. “Ideas leave not their source.” It’s all in your mind. I was already there. I didn’t have to go to the museum. So what would the purpose be? I didn’t say that because I felt guided to go with you.
Friend: To be with you.
Speaker: Right I heard the call I want to go and join. I want to share I want to extend, it’s just a symbol of extension, but it’s a symbol of extension. Extension is abstraction you extend love abstractly, but in the dream it is helpful if you have a prompt, Hey I want to give this, it’s a symbol of extension, I love you my brother! Fair well and in the love of God here take this. That’s beautiful.
Friend: Then words become nothing.
Speaker: Right. That’s what our friend said, she said, “Well, we would sit here and say nothing.” I said “Yes!” And then I said, “And then there's no world!” There would be no world, it would all go away. Just like psssheeeew. But see people don’t want that people want the world. They cling to it. They want its demands. They want to be demanded, we want to be demanded we secretly wish it. There's something in it for us.
Friend: That’s what we did a lot of just joining.
Speaker: Yeah we did.
Friend: They didn’t…. the other words don’t mean anything. Only your joining words mean anything.
Speaker: Yeah it’s the purpose behind it. And plus it was surreal. It was a surrealist event. The world is surreal it’s all abstract most of the art.
Friend: Perfect weren’t they.
Speaker: Right it was all about still-life. I think it was three series, still-life, one about illusions and one about dreaming. It was just a wonderful reflection of my mind again.
Friend: In the gift shop all the gifts were about no time. You could buy a watch, they had the appearance of melting away and the figures were drizzling across the… [laughs]
Speaker: Yes it was a wonderful backdrop symbolically to see that.
Friend: The melting time clock.
Friend: And the holocaust museum was not too far away.
Speaker: I saw that. But again a holocaust is a concept and in your right mind you could be in the holocaust and feel no pain.
Friend: Like Victor Frankle.
Speaker: Like Victor Frankle. Many others too apparently.
Speaker: So Jesus says; after saying that we need a temporary sort of, we need the Course it’s saying. However that curriculum seems to take form, we need the curriculum. It’s a required universal Course. Forgiveness is required and every one of these concepts are based on forgiveness. Which is reversal of effect and cause seeing cause and effect in its rightful place, that's forgiveness. Reversing. I've reversed so to speak psychologically, mentally in my mind, I've come apart mentally; I've reversed cause and effect. And how do I do that and keep it hidden? I deny the simultaneous cause and effect, right? [Pointing to chart] Vertical, and make it horizontal. Beginning and an end. Horizontal, what do you have? You have a cross. You have horizontal and you have vertical.
Friend: So if we're not careful we're going to see this retreat horizontally as a happening.
Speaker: As a happening yes.
Friend: With a beginning.
Speaker: And an end.
Friend: And an end.
Speaker: And an end, and that’s what I'm saying, I said to you guys read lesson 184 because it gets into that. It gets into that, “You will see things and happenings and events.” That’s what I'm getting at; we have to get so clear on these idea's that we start loosening, where we're no longer setting ourselves up in time; we become miracle minded, vertical minded. But my prompts in that practice, I still listen to a prompt, Have a little meditation, have a rest, do this and do that, so the mind is still directed, the body seems to be directed in what's most helpful you just follow your prompts and it’s… that feeling is there. But I'm no longer dividing it up, into…
Friend: What a strange sense… in one sense there's no sense of being a body, no sense of body-ness at all but there's also, somehow… body sense moving about, there's two things happening at once.
Speaker: Yes. The mind is not located though, see, that’s it. The mind is not in a location anymore, psychologically. You see it’s psychological time that we're undoing, it’s psychological that we're undoing. We're not trying to change anything else. It’s psychological that’s perpetuating it all.
Friend: Eckhart Tolle separates it; you’ve got clock time and psychological time.
Speaker: Yes, yes that’s what I'm talking about here it’s; although it’s all time but psychologically that’s what we're undoing. There's still going to seem to be clock time and those things are going to happen but psychologically you're going to undo it and then you don’t have an experience of that clock time anymore you can’t even guess really like you lose touch with days… things like that, you don’t have even a sense of things happening, like this event is like now, it’s always been now and that’s how it is, it’s now. There's no time; it’s just like [makes swirling wind gesture] Whoooo, it’s just like it comes together in a… because that’s purpose, purpose, undoes time. When you're in your purpose time starts to fade out of your awareness.
Friend: I had an experience once I don’t know if you've ever had this where, in meditation I would see a horizontal line as time and then I started seeing a vertical and I think Ok it’s just now, and I was just focusing on the now and then as it came together and I'm focusing on now and then all of a sudden it was like a funnel and then everything came into this funnel, the whole world, time, everything. Quite strange. So it’s like psychological time was all gone. Everything that happened in my life, the world, everything all happened in this funnel which came into now.
Speaker: Yes, it is now that’s why it feels like everything comes together. The future is no longer there even the sense of, Hmm that’s odd the idea of a future, it’s odd when it’s only now, it’s an odd thing, then when you think of future; it’s odd. It’s only what makes it seem so linear is when we bring the past in or anticipate the future and we deny the present which locks us into psychological time which gives an experience of time, obscuring what is now which is no time.
Ok, so Jesus says,
“Thus are the Holy Spirit's lesson plans arranged in easy steps, that though there be some lack of ease at times and some distress, there is no shattering of what was learned, but just a re-translation of what seems to be the evidence on its behalf.”
So Jesus is reminding us too that the plan, the lesson plans, like in my experience was I was told to teach a group in a year and I knew intuitively again that that would only be the year and then through all those lesson plans I realized through being the teacher concept and having actual students that—because the commitment was from that place, that context—there was shattering in the sense when I realized that that idea could not be so that I am not a teacher and they are not my students and there was a shattering there it was a disillusionment there. Very powerful. And then the Course came along with it too that this Course is not a Course in a sense of a construct, that it’s a collection of words, That’s it. Start seeing it as a collection of words not even in a construct.
So Jesus is saying,
“…some lack of ease at times and some distress…”
The distress comes from the loosening.
“There is no shattering of what was learned, but just a re-translation of what seems to be the evidence on its behalf. Let us consider, then, what proof there is that you are what your brother made of you.”
We're going into forgiveness here. So he's saying, “Let us consider, then, what proof there is that you are what your brother made of you.” We use your friend the intellectual, just look at them.
“For even though you do not yet perceive that this is what you think, you surely learned by now that you behave as if it were.”
So this is what Jesus is saying, you behave as if he made it, he has power over you. He behaves.
“Does he react for you?”
Friend: Does he?
Speaker: But, “Does he react for you?”
“And does he know exactly what would happen? Can he see your future and ordain, before it comes, what you should do in every circumstance? He must have made the world as well as you to have such prescience in the things to come. That you are what your brother made of you seems most unlikely. Even if he did, who gave the face of innocence to you?”
Friend: I did.
“…who gave the face of innocence to you? Is this your contribution? Who is, then, the ‘you’ who made it? And who is deceived by all your goodness, and attacks it so?”
“Let us forget the concept's foolishness, and merely think of this; there are two parts to what you think yourself to be.”
So there's two parts to the persona, the personhood face of innocence, the hero…
“If one were generated by your brother, who was there to make the other?”
So if one was generated by your brother, who made the other? And we're on the screen now, he's talking about on the screen.
Friend: And he's asking the questions.
Speaker: And he's asking the questions so this is a time for you when Jesus asks a question, go inside, that’s the application, we've got to go inside.
Friend: When he says who, he means you. He wants you to answer, “I did it.”
Friend: I did all of this. And it’s wonderful that we can take little incidents like that and get the whole truth of it, get the whole scenario.
Speaker: But we can’t do that if we don’t allow our emotions to come up. So if we're judging our emotions, This shouldn’t be happening, I shouldn’t feel this way… Because if we have these false ideas of spirituality; we have this stuff that comes up, we feel awful, Aawwh, if people only knew that I had this down there...
Friend: They would know that I'm not really spiritual.
Speaker: Yeah exactly.
Friend: If I only knew I had this stuff down there.
Speaker: What I'm getting at here is that this is a common thing in the world when people start to awaken that they do, because there's this shame and guilt about all these thoughts in the mind, so we have to be clear on that, that you have to allow this to come up.
Friend: You said at the very beginning, Monday night that this is not a Course in seeking for God or truth, this is a Course in seeking for the ego, seeking out the ego and all the obstacles that the ego belief system has constructed to keep us unaware of what we are. So this is a Course in seeking those obstacles out and letting them come up.
Friend: And I think we all have, all of these things.
Friend: You really have to seek it.
Friend: And they just come out at different scenarios.
Speaker: It’s a seeking though.
Friend: Allowing them.
Friend: Seeking or just seeing them?
Speaker: Well that’s the right use of seeking, like I've said that it’s given and that’s how the seeker is used so it will present itself because you've already given it away so it’s going to come back to you in some form or another; you pay attention to when it arises, then it’s been given to you, then that’s the right use of seeking.
Friend: It’s not like you have to dig.
Friend: And is that grace or do you go on an archaeological dig?
Speaker: No witch hunt.
Friend: It arises in the moment and you just use what's, it’s what depicts what you need to meet. You meet what's arising every moment.
Speaker: Exactly there's no witch hunt.
Friend: That could be endless.
Speaker: If you're seeking on a witch hunt, it will be endless. If you wait and let it be given, then that’s the appropriate use of seeking so to speak.
Friend: Also Ken Wapnick has mentioned this on a series of tapes that I have listened to recently, he said, “And all we're to do, our part is simply to become aware of the obstacles and then to give them to the Holy Spirit.” and then he said, “Then go watch the world series or something, don’t try to make yourself holy because it’s a Course in miracles. Not in doing and being spiritual.”
Speaker: Right, but it’s all about purpose though. What is the purpose for this? You can go to the World Series or not but what is the purpose that I am doing it? You can’t mix truth with illusions though. So am I rooting for someone at the World Series? You can’t root or compete and then have God. So you could go to the World Series maybe because it’s a backdrop to join with someone but to go to take a side… you can’t select a part of it out and then try to get something from it. If I value any aspect of the dream then I have lost who I am. I will not be in God’s Will. And just remember this. “God’s will for me is perfect happiness” and that’s always available now. And whenever I'm not in that experience, I'm attempting to order reality. You can’t reconcile truth with illusions. That’s the ego; it wants to mix the two.
Now competition is really not on the screen either, competition is the ego. It seems to play out on the screen, people agree, they go out there and they're playing in the World Series and they're competing against each other but the two Course students that think they know something are competing against each other. See the competition is not found in a construct either, competition is in the mind. So it’s not about going to the World Series or not.
It’s the same thing with going with a Course group. Most Course groups for me fell away because I went there and it was just people competing. I'm not in competition I'm Atoning my mind, I'm not doing competition. So what is it that I'm guided to what's the best use of my time here? So you act from that. What is the purpose? Why am I here? I can be meditating in quiet, this is… you see? It’s always about purpose, not that that purpose is special it’s that time, relationships and the body is used for communication, which is forgiveness. That’s the best use. Put it in that category.
So to sit at a World Series would be what is this for? Why am I sitting, why have I just paid a hundred and fifty dollars to watch a World Series? Why am I here? Oh I'm rooting for this team.' So I want; I'm looking for murder on the battle field. I want one team to beat the other. So I'm watching bodies being misused, pencils being broken, I'm watching them break and argue and fight and I'm rooting for one, damning the other… you can’t mix the two. So you will seem to find yourself not doing certain things.
That doesn’t mean that you won’t ever be in that certain place but a healed mind would never go to a baseball game or anything rooting for someone because “The truth is true and only the truth is true” and there's nothing to root for.
Friend: So just for celebration?
Speaker: A celebration… but the celebration is the present moment the healed mind is like Wow I need do nothing! There's nothing to get from this world! Everything is perfect now! And it’s an extension from that, you extend from that.
Friend: So wherever one is, it’s a celebration?
Friend: It doesn’t matter if you're at the game or in that chair…?
Friend: So if somebody picks you up and takes you to the game?
Speaker: Exactly if you feel prompted, but a healed mind wouldn’t judge the event. The healed mind knows that there is no game apart from the mind that it’s just an agreed upon… everyone thinks they're playing a game, everyone has made up all these rules, but the healed mind laughs at the rules, because they're silly, they're childish. It’s an immature game of deceit, self deceit. That doesn’t mean that you won’t be at a game because the healed mind knows that it’s all in it’s mind and it doesn’t matter where the body is in time and space, it’s all in the mind. Remember what I said a few times over the week? The miracle worker learns to ask in every instant, “What is this for?” Let that direct you. Is this for God? Is this for Love? Or is this for fear, competition, pride, pleasure, attack? Let that direct you.
And still don’t project because people… I was at… in my past I have seen myself, I did it, I projected competition on the school. The school would ask me to compete. They would make you as a credit, you have to go to gym, but I couldn’t, I couldn’t compete mentally I just couldn’t do it. I thought it was just terrible to make me go out there and force myself against everybody I just couldn’t do it so I said, “Please can I do something else. Please!” But in my mind I still rejected, I hated competition so I grew up hating sports and I didn’t want to get around sports… but really that was the competition of my mind. I was still competing and I learned that the competition was in my mind and not outside. Even though there seemed to be constructs outside, that people seem to take part in, but all of that was a reflection of my mind. There was no construct apart from my mind. Competition is a thought and has nothing to do with form. Remember it’s all thought. There are two thoughts, love or fear, love or competition. Fear is competition, it’s competing against God. It thinks it’s having a war against God. Now God’s not, that’s perfection it doesn’t know anything other than that but fear thinks it is.
Friend: If the state of competition arises and if you really look you will see that it’s a control thing and there is fear underneath.
Speaker: Yes there is fear in there underneath there.
Friend: The fear underneath that’s driving it or fueling it.
Speaker: Yes everybody in this world is in competition with God. Competition is in the mind that’s what we're undoing. It’s a book in undoing competition. So you don’t have to feel bad because I like The Gators, or I like this or I like that, you've just got to start taking a look at your life and see how competitive you really are. With the meaning that you give things; is competition. Gators is something specific or hockey team or whatever it is.
Friend: When I watch the game I don’t say, “Oh God let me win.” First of all that’s the most ridiculous thing you could ever say. So I just, I go there to watch the game and there's an enjoyment out of it. Each one trying to use their lives to…
Friend: If the Gators lose do you get depressed or down?
Friend: Not anymore. I did.
Friend: I did but there's a… these people have skills and these skills are nice to watch.
Speaker: [laughs] You do what you're guided to do. That’s all you have to do is do what you're guided to do and pay attention to how you feel.
Friend: I let that go, whose going to win?
Speaker: Yes. That’s what we're getting at here.
So we were getting really deep in here. Jesus is saying,
“Who is, then, the ‘you’ who made it? And who is deceived by all your goodness, and attacks it so? Let us forget the concept's foolishness, and merely think of this; there are two parts to what you think yourself to be. If one were generated by your brother, who was there to make the other?”
Speaker: So, “If one were generated by your brother, who was there to make the other?”
“And from whom must something be kept hidden? If the world be evil, there is still no need to hide what you are made of. Who is there to see? And what but is attacked could need defense? Perhaps the reason why this concept must be kept in darkness is that, in the light…”
In the light when it’s brought back, in the light…
“…in the light, the one who would not think it true is you. And what would happen to the world you see, if all its underpinnings were removed?”
“Your concept of the world depends upon this concept of the self. And both would go, if either one were ever raised to doubt.”
Raised to doubt back here. [Pointing to chart] it would go if you raise it to doubt.
“The Holy Spirit does not seek to throw you into panic. So He merely asks if just a little question might be raised.”
How do I feel? Go into this, a little question.
“There are alternatives about the thing that you must be. You might, for instance, be the thing you chose to have your brother be.”
“You might be the thing that you chose to have your brother be. This shifts the concept of the self from what is wholly passive, and at least makes way for active choice, and some acknowledgment that interaction must have entered in.”
So Jesus says if you bring it back to the body here [points to chart] he's saying that you're bringing it back to a choice. Oh wait, I made it up. You're opening up a little bit here instead of blaming. He's saying you're bringing it back here, [choice] so he's saying that interaction must have entered in.
“There is some understanding that you chose for both of you, and what he represents has meaning that was given it by you. It also shows some glimmering of sight into perception's law that what you see reflects the state of the perceiver's mind. Yet who was it that did the choosing first? If you are what you chose your brother be, alternatives were there to choose among, and someone must have first decided on the one to choose, and let the other go. Although this step has gains, it does not yet approach a basic question. Something must have gone before these concepts of the self. And something must have done the learning which gave rise to them. Nor can this be explained by either view. The main advantage of the shifting to the second from the first is that you somehow entered in the choice by your decision. But this gain is paid in almost equal loss, for now you stand accused of guilt for what your brother is. And you must share his guilt, because you chose it for him in the image of your own. While only he was treacherous before, now must you be condemned along with him.”
Friend: Like John Q or whoever?
Friend: They go hand in hand the brother. He's my brother. So if I accuse him, if I see him as guilty then I'm guilty and I murdered him like you said.
Speaker: This is the hum dinger of the self-concept we're going in… right in here now.
Friend: To the core.
Speaker: To the core, paragraph 14.
“The concept of the self has always been the great preoccupation of the world. And everyone believes that he must find the answer to the riddle of himself.”
So I go off into the world, Wait I'm a teacher, wait I might be… I think I'm being called to this. Where's the riddle? What is the riddle? What is the riddle? Maybe I'm a Buddhist now? Am I a Buddhist? Well no maybe I'm a Course student? Ooohhh…. I like Eckhart Tolle. Maybe I'm a Tollean, [group laughter] what does that feel like?
“And everyone believes that he must find the answer to the riddle of himself. Salvation can be seen as nothing more than the escape from concepts.”
So emptying the mind or consciousness of concepts is salvation. That’s pretty simple. The body is a mechanism in consciousness, there seems to be a perceiver and a perceived, but that’s not so as I get in touch with my feelings and bring it in the context of the right mind then I am able to allow healing to occur which is emptying ego content concepts which is healing which is salvation. But we come here to conceptualize. That’s why we're in consciousness so to speak to conceptualize; to make an identity that’s the desire.
“Salvation can be seen as nothing more than the escape from concepts. It does not concern itself with content of the mind, but with the simple statement that it thinks. And what can think has choice, and can be shown that different thoughts have different consequence. So it can learn that everything it thinks reflects the deep confusion that it feels about how it was made and what it is. And vaguely does the concept of the self appear to answer what it does not know. Seek not your Self in symbols.”
Seek not yourself in 'Messengers of Peace' seek not yourself in a book called ACIM, seek not yourself as a group, seek not yourself… you see what I'm saying here? Seek not yourself in male/female construct. Male/female…
It’s hard to keep it, to think that you know what all of those things are for. So…
“What matters it which concept you accept while you perceive a self that interacts with evil, and reacts to wicked things? Your concept of yourself will still remain quite meaningless. And you will not perceive that you can interact but with yourself. To see a guilty world is but the sign your learning has been guided by the world, and you behold it as you see yourself. The concept of the self embraces all you look upon, and nothing is outside of this perception. If you can be hurt by anything, you see a picture of your secret wishes. Nothing more than this. And in your suffering of any kind you see your own concealed desire to kill.”
So let’s put this in perspective, [referring to chart] in consciousness, which is the purpose to reinforce the ego identity, which now we believe… now we believe that these little people, so I believe in an idea of murder, rape and little girl and male and female and all these different concepts but I forgot that I gave the dreaming of the world away, I gave that away; which I made, which is a distorted form of creation, but I made it, gave it away and kept the part that’s acted on. So I kept the fact that I was a person and now I'm in consciousness and then dependent, independent of my thoughts; I watch this thing occur. A man murdered, killed, that little girl. But my reaction is my own desire to kill. So perceive it, you believe it. See, I felt it. Feelings are perception too, part of the body. What did I feel? I didn’t feel happy at all so that means I was seeing through concepts. I believe that I think I know what murder is. Whatever entails in that emotion and what Jesus is saying is that's all based on your desire here [referring to chart] for separation, it’s all part of the identity that’s projected out and now in order to undo that we tune into where we think we are and let the emotions arise, bring them back to the mind and we let a light to shine through. Because this [referring to chart] is innocent perception. This is innocent perception. But we're not seeing the perception as innocence. So let’s go back and lets read this…
“To see a guilty world is but the sign your learning has been guided by the world…”
By the ego…
“…and you behold it as you see yourself.”
So you “behold it as you see yourself.” Remember everything is a reflection of what you believe. So you see yourself as wrong for doing the big kahuna against God, but that was intolerable so you had to forget about that, so you’re hiding out here in time and space. And what happens? Everything else is an outpouring of that mad idea. So I see other separations, over and over and over.
Friend: So Adam and Eve committed the big kahuna and ate from the tree of good and evil, knowledge of good and evil and then they saw themselves as naked, so how did they become bodies?
Speaker: It’s just a metaphor. It’s a metaphor but that metaphor is pointing out that the mind; Adam and Eve is just a metaphor for the mind biting from the tree of duality.
Friend: Ok, right.
Speaker: And perception is the domain of duality.
Friend: So what were they before that? Where they bodies then?
Speaker: [laughing] No it’s just a metaphor there was nothing before it.
Friend: They weren't really there.
Speaker: Yeah, Adam and Eve… there was no fall.
Friend: You could just call it a very rudimentary description of the separation.
Speaker: Right, that’s all it is. It’s a dream of a fall; it’s not a fall.
Friend: So then they started creating a dream and… as you're describing here.
Speaker: Well the mind; Adam and Eve is representative of the mind. That’s it. Symbols of the mind. And their nakedness, which is the abstract mind was there, you could say… the nakedness-pre-duality, the tree, pre-biting from the apple, was naked and when they bit from the apple then they have the leaf.
Friend: They were hiding their sins.
Speaker: After, they were hiding after from the belief in duality that they did the big kahuna. But see God didn’t warn them you can leave that part out, there was no… God didn’t say, Don’t bite that tree! And then I'm going to punish you off! That’s the ego.
Friend: That was never his concept anyway.
Speaker: No it’s not anything of God. God doesn’t punish.
Speaker: That’s the ego's interpretation of that metaphor but to look at it metaphorically the leaf again is like this [makes shameful gesture] shame. That’s the purpose behind that metaphor that there was shame because of a belief that it did something wrong, it separated. The good and evil of the tree; of good and evil and knowledge… but why would God say, “Don’t bite the knowledge”? He gives you knowledge so why would he put something there and give you choice? God is choice-less. Free will is choice-less that’s what's so beautiful about it. It’s been given to you; that’s free will. It’s been freely given!
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