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: So once again I don’t think this is
something that is a standard to hold up as an ideal and say, ‘Oh,
Gosh I still feel!’ But, I think once again it’s like Jesus
is telling us just like he told the apostles: “When I’m
gone there’s going to be some trials and tribulations and I tell
you this to prepare you for it.” I think he’s just kind
of giving us the far ends of the road map, so to speak. This is how
it’s going to be so don’t be shocked if you have moments
in your bliss and your deep periods of meditation when you don’t
feel ill or well or pain or pleasure, when you lose all sense of feeling
in the body, because he’s told us a number of places in the Course
that the body doesn’t really feel at all. The mind just tells
it what to feel and when the body gives up its judgments of the world
and gives up its categories and it’s ordering of thoughts then
it no longer attempts to tell the body to feel pain or pleasure because
those both reinforce the body as being real. “No response at all
is in the mind to what the body does. Its usefulness remains and nothing
else.” So, it’s used solely as a communication device to
bring the Kingdom of Heaven to the mind that knows it not, and it doesn’t
feel anything. That’s kind of a little snap shot of what the advanced
teacher of God experiences.
“Perhaps you do not realize that this removes
the limits you had placed upon the body by the purposes you gave to
it.” (Workbook Lesson 136) So, all the limits you had placed upon
the body, in other words it’s got to be fed regularly, washed
regularly, clothed, and housed. All the rules that you think you’ve
got to do to keep the body healthy can be removed. Those limits can
be removed as you remove the purposes you gave to it. So, that’s
why it’s so important for us to be clear on the Holy Spirit’s
purpose versus the ego purposes because as long as I’m holding
onto ego purposes then the limits still seem to be held in place by
the mind. “As these are laid aside the strength the body has will
always be enough to serve all truly useful purposes. The body’s
health is fully guaranteed because it is not limited by time, by weather,
by fatigue, by food and drink or any laws you made it serve before.
You need do nothing now to make it well for sickness has become impossible.”
It’s still at the metaphor level talking about
the body’s health but in the end it’s kind of saying, you
need take thought for nothing. Be neither careful nor careless; merely
cast your cares upon him because he cares for you. Now, here we go!
Yet, this protection needs to be preserved by careful watching. If you
let your mind harbor attack thoughts, yield to judgment or make plans
against uncertainties to come you have again misplaced yourself and
made a bodily identity which will attack the body, for the mind is sick.
It’s one of the clearest statements there are for why we have
to be so vigilant with our mind watching.
Participant: So, those are just the causes of sickness. He’s
defining them specifically.
Speaker: That’s why when we get into these subtleties
about attack thoughts, there are seemingly recognizable overt attack
thoughts like thoughts of anger and condemnation towards your brother
but also thoughts of desiring your brother in a bodily sense are attack
thoughts. Compliments like, Oh I just think your body is in such good
shape and you’re always such a good weight or all those kinds
of things that focus attention on the body are attack thoughts. They
aren’t compliments they’re actually attack thoughts because
you’re focusing on the body. The content below them is that you’re
a body and I’m a body. I think it’s great that your body
is such an advantage or you keep it in such good condition. Or even
the brain, you can do the same thing with the brain about learning,
‘Oh, you’re such a learned person. I envy you.’ You
know, all those subtle things which in the world’s eyes are nice
compliments are attack thoughts when they draw attention away from the
Spirit and focus on a small bodily identity.
Participant: I find that people will say things like,
Oh, you did a real good job Dorothy and I’ll kind of say ‘I
had lots of help, thank you’ and it’s odd because a lot
of the time they don’t hear that. But, I accept that they don’t
have to. I hear it.
Speaker: I think that’s good too because that
gives a focus instead of getting just away from the compliments, is
to always put it back to the Father [saying] ‘I had lots of help.’
or ‘thank you Father.’ As long as we in our mind keep bringing
it back to all my gratefulness or any gratefulness that anyone can direct
even towards me needs to be directed back to the Father or to the Holy
Spirit because that’s where the gratefulness truly has a basis.
Not for anything that this body has done or said but just gratefulness
that I am as God created me. I like that because it gives it a positive
focus instead of thinking about negating the compliments. It really
just puts it where it belongs.
I think this almost brings us back to full circle on
our topic of listening too because when you look at those three conditions
that he’s laying out of this being preserved by careful watching,
you’d have to have something to rely on or to truly listen to,
to go along even. If you let go of attack thoughts, if you attempt to
not judge in anyway, not to judge what I should do, what I should say,
how I should go about solving this problem and that problem and the
last one is really where the trust comes in, about making plans against
uncertainties to come; it’s just a total giving over to the listening
without any care or concern for anything because as soon as the thought
comes in, ‘Oh, I must do this or else.’ Whenever it’s
based on fear of consequences; that’s what all activity through
the ego’s lens is based on, is it’s a fear of consequences.
‘Yes, I’ll do this and this and this because I know (the
ego thinks) if I don’t do this and this and this it’s going
to be trouble.’
Participant: That’s where the coercion comes in, feeling that
there are consequences to not doing.
Speaker: Yes, in the end, I feel that the whole section
of ‘I need do nothing.’ is the key or the short cut. In
the end, once the mind starts to welcome that light and starts to see
that listening is really all that it’s about then ‘I need
do nothing’ becomes the short cut or the most plain and obvious
passage in the whole book because then you can let go of even thinking
about the body. What I should do. What I shouldn’t do. It’s
just then the mind is willing and open to just sink into that stillness
and accept the atonement, accept the fact of what’s there. There’s
no more restlessness about ‘Oh, I have to tie up these loose ends
before I can be still and meditate.’ Because as long as the mind
thinks it has loose ends to tie up, there’s still a bodily identity.
What loose ends in this projected world could there be to tie up? In
the end I feel this is more in line with the mystical path of just going
within. That’s been the traditional mystic path has been just
to turn within through meditation and this is just a Course in helping
set the mind in that direction. Once it can see the value of that, that
there’s nothing of value, nothing that glimmers any more in the
world to hold it back then, that’s the obvious thing to do, is
to just go within. It’s no longer wasting time. It’s no
Participant: It really is what I live for at that point.
Speaker: And that point is NOW. Can you feel that?
As we go into this, we should just always arrive at this calm restful
place of clarity right now. It’s not about well, I got another
piece of the puzzle and tomorrow I’ll solve this and this. But,
there’s such a contentedness. That’s it. Do you feel you’ve
come to a calm contentedness about the whole idea that you started to
talk about, feeling guilty about symptoms and all that other stuff?
Does it seem very different now that we’ve gone into this?
Participant: It seems different. I don’t know
that I can say it seems very different. I feel like there’s room
for greater clarity still.
Speaker: If you take that thought. I feel like there’s
room for greater clarity. Is there anything that you can get in touch
with in that thought?
Participant: I think there’s probably a lot of
linearity in there for me. I notice I have a disbelief that I can be
that clear once and for all and that’s it.
Speaker: You feel like you’ve got lots of evidence
as a witness in the past against that possibility? Is that what you
mean by linearity?
Participant: Well, I guess what I mean by linearity
is that I don’t believe that I can have all the clarity I need
right now and remain in that state of clarity.
Participant: So, it’s projecting it into the
future somewhere instead of maybe the past as you would describe it.
It’s like I couldn’t possibly be there yet or I couldn’t
possibly understand all there is to know about this.
Participant: And not in a continuing kind of way like it would seem
like it for right this instant but…
Participant: It’s sure to be gone in a half hour.
Participant: That’s it. Yes. It’s actually
that same thing I voiced when I came to a real clear point when we were
having a discussion about relationship and I said, “You know,
I don’t want to lose this. I don’t want to forget this.”
It’s that same theme of not trusting that the clarity is going
to be enduring because there’s evidence in the past that that’s
not the case. Otherwise, I’d never be saying, ‘I want to
be clear.’ I’d always be as clear as possible.
Speaker: This makes sense when we talk about the idea
that you either believe this course entirely or not at all. That idea
that it would have to be kind of an all or nothing kind of idea; how
does your mind approach that idea or what kind of reaction do you have
with that kind of an idea; That to truly forgive one person is the same
as to truly forgive one situation, any situation that you can think
of and that anything short of complete and total forgiveness is not
Participant: Well, I think the thought that I have
about that is that seems reasonable or logical, that’s the way
it would have to be, and I have not had the experience of that.
Speaker: In the past or present. So, you believe it will come in the
Participant: Well, if it’s going to come at all
I guess that’s when it would have to be. If I’m not experiencing
it at this moment and there’s any hope of experiencing it, it
would have to be still ahead of me.
Speaker: Then we’re back to that basic question that we came
to last time we came down to Michigan. Why should the good appear in
evil’s form? In other words, if the Holy Spirit or true forgiveness
is available then it comes from God and is good then why not now? Why?
Participant: I feel like I must be throwing up some
kind of obstacles to the experience being now. I don’t think God’s
holding out on me. But, there’s some fear that keeps me from my
awareness or my experience of that.
Speaker: That’s a present fear.
Participant: A present fear.
Speaker: And every time we come together to talk and
go into it, there’s nothing more than that that we’re trying
to get at. What am I afraid of right now? That gives us a starting point.
Participant: Is it perfect clarity that you’re afraid of?
Participant: I don’t know.
Participant: That just came to my mind. I wasn’t
expecting an answer. It just occurred to me. If I have perfect clarity
or if I say I have perfect clarity then that’s going to be a standard
that I hold up for myself and then I will have to demonstrate that.
And so I better not say that I’m perfectly clear then that will
give me some room for improvement. To say, ‘Well I’m still
working at it. I’m still trying to get there.’ I think when
you were talking about how we feel about coming to the end of this lesson
and discussing it, for me it was like, how do I feel right now. I feel
peaceful. I feel calm. I’m not having thoughts about anything
outside of this room. I’m not having thoughts about fear. It’s
just like doing an inventory: what is it that I’m aware of right
now and it just felt like, well, I’m aware of just being here
and doing this and it felt calm and it felt peaceful and yes that felt
like clarity to me and it was as simple as that, versus that thing of,
just do it. How is it? Don’t think about it.
As soon as I start to think about it that’s
where the projecting into the future and saying I better not say I’m
clear about this because if I say something in ten minutes that demonstrates
that I’m not clear then I was just lying to myself. Any of those
kinds of excuses that I might make like wanting to give myself some
room. I better not say that I’m clear. That’s how my thinking
would go if I let it get into thinking about it versus just experiencing
where am I right now? Am I peaceful? Am I clear? Yeah, ok that’s
it. Don’t think about it.
Participant: What is clarity? What does it mean to be in an experience
of perfect clarity?
Participant: What came to me was that there’s
a fear out there and I’m grateful that I didn’t want it
and also when you asked about what you’re afraid of and the only
thing that came to me was are you afraid of the love of God. Maybe you
might not think you’re good enough to accept it. I accept it gladly
and I have this feeling, I want to help you so much and I know I can’t.
I only can say what comes out and I really don’t know what else
Participant: Sometimes for me too when you say what
is the clarity? It’s like my mind is still and the questions are
still and that may feel like clarity. My mind’s still. I don’t
have to figure it out. I don’t have to ask a million questions.
Speaker: I think of years ago when I was reading in
psychology Abraham Maslow talked about means and end and he said that
to the self actualizing person that they were the same and I thought
what a phenomenal idea that the means and the end are one. That this
instant is the end point. So much for linear thinking, it’s almost
that always thinking means there’s always something coming in
the future. And to think of it as the questions cease and the peace
of just seeing the present as an end point. In a sense, there’s
no need to get into why I feel peaceful or clear because that ceases.
There was nothing that preceded that. It just is. That’s the end
point. I remember my heart took a little leap when I read that for the
first time. It’s so simple! Instead of chasing something and always
doing something or thinking something that’s going to be, it’s
just the present.
Participant: One of the things I got in touch with
the Warner Earhart work was that I’m always in a place, a position
or a stance of waiting in my mind. It’s the waiting game is how
I refer to it. It was never ‘now’. It was always ‘to
come’ and I think this is related to that, and at that time I
looked at it in terms of external things. I was always waiting until
I arrived at that point in my life when it was possible to start traveling,
for instance. I was always waiting for that point in my life that the
finances were such that we could have the house the way we wanted it.
That’s what my life was. My life was going through the waiting
period. So, now to apply it more at a mind level I think I probably
transferred it over and now I’m waiting for certainty and clarity,
and if I apply my mind to this hard enough and long enough I’ll
get there. It’s still very much a process orientation. I think
built into that is some kind of feeling or sense or belief that I don’t
deserve it right now, that I have to earn it and waiting is earning
it; paying your dues. You don’t start out at the top. You start
out at the bottom and through much effort you may get to the top. But,
you earn it. You prove your mettle and part of it is having the perseverance
and the persistence to wait as long as it takes and not give up.
Speaker: It’s an interesting story line but when
we trace it back to God though, and you try to fit the waiting game
to God in heaven, the story starts to fall apart a bit, when you start
to approach it from that absolute.
Participant: So what is there I can look at with this
waiting game to get more underneath the beliefs for why I would hold
onto the waiting game? What do I think it gets me?
Participant: What are you waiting for? That’s my question. What
do you think you’re waiting for?
Participant: Well, now what I’m waiting for is
clarity and certainty. Lasting clarity and lasting certainty.
Participant: In what?
Participant: In my mind.
Participant: So you believe you have a mind that we
don’t have? This mind I’m a part of is clarity. I don’t
understand what mind you’re talking about. (Long silent pause
Speaker: A belly laugh and a long silent pause. It’s
kind of the same as when you’re talking about sickness, guilt
or innocence or whatever. But, once again would it make sense that there
could be some brother that would have something that some that wouldn’t
whether it’s guilt or innocence, sickness, health, clarity, confusion…
Participant: What about the awareness of any of that?
Because it’s always all there, it’s always been. It’s
my awareness of it that seems to keep it apart from me or unawareness
Speaker: But that would be the wrong mind.
Participant: Where is unawareness? It has to be the wrong mind.
Speaker: And what is this mind? That would be what Dorothy was saying.
Participant: And at the same time, if clarity is something
I’m waiting for off somewhere in the future how am I going to
know when I have it? Are there degrees of it? Do I know I have a little
bit of it but not all of it? Again, all I can know is what I feel right
now and David didn’t say are you totally clear or are you partially
clear or are you half way clear or are you 75% clear. No, it was “Are
you clear?” The thing for me is always, “Is it lasting?”
That’s the thing that makes it real or true or authentic or not
is that it’s lasting.
Participant: But where is the lasting to?
Speaker: Right Now.
Participant: As long as it lasts right now. That’s really what
you’re saying huh?
Speaker: The whole idea of ‘last’ is linear.
It’s just so simple. If you boil it down to how am I feeling right
now? That’s just so simple. The wrong mind will try to contort
but it’s just now. (long pause)
Participant: It came to me yesterday when Beverly and
I went to the lake. We went to the lake to see if there was ice on it
still from the day before. She just said it’s so clear! It’s
so clear! And so I was asking what that could mean for Beverly and it
was, imagine that that’s God’s Mind and imagine it’s
a symbol and be in it. In the clear lake and then what does it mean
by being clear?
Speaker: Very still. Is there a reflection from it without any kind
Participant: I wasn’t really aware of reflection. Just remember
how easily I could see to the bottom of it.
Participant: Like there are no obstructions to block
your vision. It just came to me. When I’m in that still place
and I feel clear the obstructions that would have been blocking my vision
are the fear or the resistance or all of the stuff that I’m not
feeling in that moment. And God’s not blocking it, he’s
not saying, ‘Sorry you haven’t paid your dues yet. I haven’t
seen any blood sweat and tears coming out yet.’
Participant: One of the fears that gets in the way
for me is that, ‘This isn’t going to last.’ and that
very thought that this isn’t going to last, ends it.