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The Secret Dream

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: I am as God created me; I am a real effect of a real cause or, (thinking in the ego’s terms), I have separated from God, this is a world of reality and I am a person in the world and I am at the mercy of the forces of the world including other people. It seems to be real. So really, that’s boiling it down. That’s the... “See the causes of the things you choose between exactly as they are...” which bring it down to right mind, wrong mind, present decision.

We're back to that it’s a choice of purpose. It’s not a choice of specifics it’s not choosing between, objects, things, persons, and behaviors. For example, I can choose to raise my hand, I can choose to lower my hand, is an illusion, it’s a trick. It’s an example of magic since that’s not a real choice. Although in this world that appears to be a real choice, as if I can choose between two behaviors. But that’s all automatic based on the choice of purpose. So again, it’s pointless to try to control ones behavior. You can control the direction of your thinking. That’s the only thing you can control. You can’t control the script; you can’t control the screen. All of the seeming upsets that come about around specifics is just the mind denying that and saying, Oh not only can I control the screen but I'm going to have my say in controlling the screen!

And you can also see where this is going, moving to mysticism in the sense that if you perceive yourself as in the world and working in particular roles and particular duties and obligations and so on and so forth, that flies in the face of what this is talking about. So you just keep questioning those, you keep tracing it in and saying, Well it can’t be this way and this way. It has to be one or the other. The strain always comes in trying to make a compromise between the two. From trying to mix a little bit of this with a little bit of this or to strike a bargain or to have a little bit of grey areas or lee-way in between the two.

The ease and effortlessness comes from just following the thinking in and saying, Hallelujah! It cannot be both ways! I'm not going to be working with you and stressing You've got to stop judging, you've got to stop judging, you've got to stop judging. I'm going to keep saying to you, Come with me, let’s look at this so deeply that you can see that judgment is impossible, that it is absolutely impossible.

First as a stepping you start to say Well it’s a device to maintain the separation, but that has to be just a stepping stone. That’s still speaking about it as if it’s something real that you have to deal with. And what we want to do is we want to go into this so deeply, to see that judgment is impossible, that you don’t have to do anything.

That’s where the peace and the effortlessness come in. If you're in the mode of thinking I've got to stop judging, this is killing me. I'm depressed, I'm angry and I'm furious, I've got to stop judging, I've got to stop judging. Who is the I that’s got to stop judging?

In the Purpose is the Only Choice pamphlet someone was talking about giving up certain actions and one of the questioners was saying, “No, no, no, the actions are not the problem!” She says, “But I still have to give up a belief, and I still feel wrong about having to give up belief,” and we went into the discussion that even the idea that you have to really give up a belief has to be questioned because the Christ does not have to give up a belief.

Friend: Once you see the belief for what it is there's nothing to hang onto or give up. It just dissolves.

David: Yes. The ease comes in when you see the impossibility of judgment. There's no feeling wrong when you see something is impossible. But if you still think you're a real I that has to give up the belief in separation, or as the questioner was saying the belief in nature, you just need to keep questioning. Who is the I that likes a certain climate, or who is the I that likes certain foods, and who is the I? You keep looking at who is that I. And can that I be real?

Friend: As I identify less with that I then that stuff have no meaning. Unless I'm identified with that I, it wouldn’t mean anything.

David: And even the metaphor of less and more, which it certainly seems to be… I know as we keep going into things and as we're traveling to some of these places, it’s coming to the clarity of it’s one or the other, it can’t be both, one has to be impossible and that’s good news.

That’s where the non-compromise comes in. It’s not about trying to make a bargain or to hold on to a construction or to even talk about it. You can see when you start to get to a point where you can just see the impossibility of it, I mean the need to have sessions on all this and that. That all just fades.

I always think of Ramana Maharshi as a great model. It was his very presence that people would come to just be in. Ramana didn’t do a lot of teaching in a verbal sense. I remember the first time I saw a photograph of his face and to me it was like, Wow! When I looked into his eyes I just saw these very very kind sweet eyes and this real gentle smile and that was such a symbol to me. I had read some of his writings and that was a great symbol as well. What we want to do is to get to that clarity.

Friend: I know I still talk in terms of more and less and I even hear it when I say it because I realize that it can’t be, but it still seems to be that way to me.

David: You can’t help but talk that way. The words are just a reflection of where the mind is.

Friend: But even as I hear myself say it I realize that it’s a stepping stone, that that’s not it. It can’t be more or less.

David: As we travel, those are the metaphors that come out. You'll see those metaphors throughout our pamphlets, but it comes down to that awareness just getting very clear and anchored in one’s own mind. That it can’t be both ways.

Friend: We could say that coming to clarity or coming to enlightenment is the same thing.

"What choices can be made between two states, but one of which is clearly recognized? Who could be free to choose between effects, when only one is seen as up to him? An honest choice could never be perceived as one in which the choice is split between a tiny you and an enormous world, with different dreams about the truth in you." T-27.VII.11

Friend: The truth.

Friend: Mine says trust.

Friend: It does?

Friend: “...with different dreams about the trust in you.”

Friend: Mine says “the truth.”

David: Well either way, it works with both.


Friend: Yeah it does but that’s odd.

David: Variations of the first edition. [ACIM] In any event trust or truth, the sentence really gets at that idea of individual vs. the society. It’s been this age old raging thing about individual rights and constitutional rights and so forth, and how far does the government go, and whether you get into states rights or home rule or government and so on and so forth. Or you could take it to Orwell’s Big Brother, as if Big Brother is always watching.

It seems to be that there's this struggle going on as Jesus says, “…in which the choice is split between a tiny you, a person, and an enormous world,” whether you call it society, the world, whatever, it has nothing to do with anything. There is no conflict between the individual and society. There is no conflict between the individual and the system they're both made up. The individual is a fictitious construct; this system is a fictitious construct; the battle between the individual and the system is a fictitious battle.

It’s a great joy to start to see it has to be that way. This is all just made up; it’s all make believe, and once I see it for what it is then I'm never going to be in conflict with the US government or with the IRS again, with some religious institution or some family of origin. The old thing of people seemingly having a lot of difficulties with their families; they don’t go back and see their families or they go see their families and they feel enmeshed and all this stuff comes up. The basic thing underneath is the belief in personhood and the belief that there is a difference between this person or this subject and these other people. That’s an illusory difference, there's no difference; they're all just images.

"The gap between reality and dreams lies not between the dreaming of the world and what you dream in secret. They are one." T-27.VII.11

The “dreaming of the world” is the projected cosmos, all the images that are perceived through the body’s eyes. The dream or “what you dream in secret” is the unconscious belief in separation that you've separated from God. The dream you dream in secret would be like the tree trunk that our friend was talking about yesterday. The dreaming of the world would be like all of the branches, or all of these seeming fragments and projections of that tree trunk and more even so than the branches would be the leaves. Everything in the projected universe is the dreaming of the world that’s the dream and what you dream in secret is the belief in separation. They are one.

"The dreaming of the world is but a part of your own dream you gave away, and saw as if it were its start and ending, both." T-27.VII.11

So it seems like the dreaming of the world started back in historical time. Scientists call it the big bang. That seems to be its start and the scientists are now speculating about its ending, the implosion theory. Einstein and a number of scientists have said the universe is expanding and then they said it will reach a point of equilibrium and they believe it will start coming together and implode. That’s the start and ending.

In the dreaming of the world it seems kind of grand and large. Let’s bring it down to a simpler scale. It seems like the mind is dreaming that it’s a person and so “…the world is a part of your own dream you gave away and saw as if it were its start and ending both.” So if you believe your existence is a person, what is the start of personhood? Birth, and what is the ending? Death, it’s the same thing as big bang/implosion. That’s on a grander scale, but down to a smaller scale, is the birth and death of the body.

So it seems like; how are bodies born? Well you see this is how it is. There's this egg in the ovary and then there's the sperm and one of them gets through and fertilizes the egg and then there's a gestation period… you know all this stuff you learn in human development, How Life Begins. That’s the start. The ego’s got the whole thing explained, That’s how bodies start. They start this way! Sexual intercourse. It’s ah da da da da da da... And how do bodies end? Well they end in death. Let’s classify all the ways that they die. Cancer, on and on... AIDS.

Friend: Let’s debate when birth really starts.

David: Yeah let’s debate when birth really starts. Let’s debate when it ends. Is someone a vegetable? Are they hooked up to life support systems? Are they brain dead? Are they dead when brain electrical activity stops? The ego is working so hard. The whole thing is made up and it’s trying to cover both ends of it. And near death experiences, oh then...

Friend: Go and come back?

David: [Laughing] You actually go and come back so it’s like all this stuff, when you start to see it, but that’s the dream that you gave away. It’s all as if it were its start and ending both. “Yet was it started by your secret dream.”

Ah! The belief in separation is where the dreaming of the world came about. The Secret Dream. “...which you do not perceive...”

Has anybody seen the belief in separation from God? And did they perceive that?

Friend: Not lately.

“...which you do not perceive although it caused the part you see and do not doubt is real. How could you doubt it while you lie asleep, and dream in secret that its cause is real?”

David: So if you believe the ego is real how could you doubt the dream? And we've just read in the previous pages, “Look, then, beyond effects. It is not here the cause of suffering and sin must lie.”

And later on in that paragraph, “Seek not another cause, nor look among the mighty legions of its witnesses for its undoing.”

All those studies that I read—all those epidemiology studies—trying to find the causes of things, trying to figure out how things work, as if science was somehow better than myths and wives tales.

Friend: All the research.

Friend: What are epidemiology studies, something about the medical world?

Friend: That’s all I need to know.

David: Trying to find the cause. Studying large numbers of people seemingly the larger the [number] simplifies it.

Friend: Trace something. A lot of times there's a tracing, like if one person who shows up with this thing you do an epidemiological study to see where the origins of it are. Find other people.

Friend: Patterns.

David: Well it seems different. Epidemiologists study things that are just happening normally and governments do it on purpose! But you put it out there anyway! It’s all in your dream! Don’t get angry at the government! There is no government outside your mind!! [Laughs] You just constructed it that way. You had the government; these are the evil doers or the bad guys and you had the people in the subway be the good guys and you start to see, it can’t be so. It’s no different than the epidemiologist who go around and just takes samples like the loving beneficent people that are trying to help eradicate the diseases much less spread them. It’s all made up; that’s the good news.

“A brother separated from yourself, an ancient enemy, a murderer who stalks you in the night and plots your death, yet plans that it be lingering and slow; of this you dream. Yet underneath this dream is yet another, in which you become the murderer, the secret enemy, the scavenger and the destroyer of your brother and the world alike. Here is the cause of suffering, the space between your little dreams and your reality. The little gap you do not even see, the birthplace of illusions and of fear, the time of terror and of ancient hate, the instant of disaster, all are here. Here is the cause of unreality. And it is here that it will be undone.”

You could think of it as like he [Jesus] calls it in this paragraph, “the little gap” that every time we come together we are going inward toward the little gap. This little bitty gap, this little blip, this little “tiny mad idea” that the son of God remembered not to laugh at that’s so buried and so covered and so protected. That’s what has to be exposed. That’s the tree trunk from which all the branches and all the seeming beliefs, these stacks and layers seem to come. From is that little gap.

Once you see that the gap is impossible and once you see that there is no gap—a stepping stone might be to say the gap is past—Here I am Lord. Now! The gap is past. If the gap is past, then everything that seemed to have springed from the gap is past as well. Hence we get statements in the Course like “this world was over long ago” or lesson number 7 “I see only the past.” I see only the past in the sense that what’s producing the world is past and what it seems to produce, which is the world, is past.

If I don’t believe, if I don’t experience that the past is gone then the past seems to have a reality, and the ego seems to have a reality, and guilt seems to have a reality, and fear seems to have a reality, and on and on and on. One time I was doing a talk where I had two glasses and I said, “Now this glass over here is the unholy instant and this glass here is the holy instant.” The meaning of the holy instant is that it is all that there is. To keep trying to bring the unholy instant into the holy instant is just another way of saying that you're not aware of the holy instant. There’s just a number of ways we can come at it but it’s really just about getting really clear in one’s mind between the past and the present. It’s being very clear in that.

Friend: So you said the gap is analogous to the tree trunk.

David: In one sense the whole tree rests on the trunk. If you look at the branches they’re all funneled into one place, like our friend was saying. In that analogy, that trunk is like the base from which they all spring and this tiny gap is the base from which everything springs. Another way to describe the gap would be that the gap is the wrong mind.

Friend: And that’s the way you described the tree trunk too.

David: Another way I say at times, which I know is in Purpose is the Only Choice as well, is the idea of the thinker and the thoughts. A lot of times people have the sense Oh my gosh I feel so rotten I have all these judgmental thoughts. I come to the group and I'm thinking all these judgmental thoughts about everybody else and I feel rotten, I feel guilty. Well those thoughts and the thinker that seems to be thinking them, are both illusions and those are both the wrong mind.

Friend: They are both the same thing.

David: They are both the same thing; the image maker and the images, the thinker, the thoughts, the tree, the tree trunk, the gap and the world that seemed to be projected from the gap is still within the gap. It’s all there in this tiny gap. And that’s why the right mind just sees the gap as the gap. I mean the right mind sees the gap as false. That’s just a real simple definition for the right mind. The right mind isn’t within part of the gap, tucked in there somewhere. It just sees the gap as false. That’s where the simplicity comes in.

“You are the dreamer of the world of dreams. No other cause it has, nor ever will. Nothing more fearful than an idle dream has terrified God's Son, and made him think that he has lost his innocence, denied his Father, and made war upon himself. So fearful is the dream, so seeming real, he could not waken to reality without the sweat of terror and a scream of mortal fear, unless a gentler dream preceded his awaking, and allowed his calmer mind to welcome, not to fear, the Voice that calls with love to waken him. God willed he waken gently and with joy, and gave him means to waken without fear.”

Such a stark contrast between “...without the sweat of terror and a scream of mortal fear,” and “...unless a gentler dream preceded his awaking, and allowed his calmer mind to welcome, not to fear, the Voice that calls with love to waken him...”

[Laughs] It’s just a sharp contrast between perceiving the awakening process through the wrong mind, or through the ego, which can seem like terror, screams, sweat. Is there anybody in this room who hasn’t experienced that? [Laughs]

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