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The Initial Vigilance of Mind Watching 


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.

Participant1: So, that line about your interpretations are not about who you really are is really just another way of saying that that’s your false association and every seeming specific or individual false association is just a version of that. You’re not in line with what you really are.

Speaker: This interpretation thing is something that we can just keep looking at and keep looking at. I was reading a newsletter on the Course and it was contrasting the Jesus of the Course with the Jesus of the Bible and the newsletter was saying they’re not the same. They’re not the same Jesus and then I was reading another newsletter that was saying that God of the Course and the God of the Bible are not the same God. They were saying there’s a lot of evidence, quotes from the Course that would support that this is the real God and that the God from the Bible was not the real God and that the Jesus of the Bible wasn’t the real Jesus. To me again it’s kind of funny because God is God. It’s the interpretation. You find in the Bible what you’re looking for. There are those who have come and used the Bible as their tool and have really in sincerity prayed and prayed for the sermon and clarity and received it. How many Gods are there? How many Jesus’ are there? You’ll find what you’re looking for and as long as your mind isn’t clear you won’t find God in the Course or in the Bible. You will find them in your mind. These are just tools to help you come to a clearer interpretation of the world and then to know God. That’s a key point because then if you start to break interpretations or even God and Jesus into separate things it makes it seem as though there are two different ones, and there are not. There’s only one God and there’s one Jesus.

Participant1: So you’re saying that interpretation brings witness to what the mind believes.

Speaker: Yes, Forgiveness is an interpretation. But, it’s the one illusion or the one interpretation that leads out of all the rest. To me, on the one hand you could say the one question is which of these illusionsdo I prefer. Well, if you’re going to prefer one illusion or hope or wish for one, forgiveness is the one because it leads out and all the other ones where you make an interpretation of this is the way or I’ve found it over here or it’s in this person or that. You know how Jesus says beware of false Christs any time that you would attempt to think that there’s a specific form or person or place that’s sacred or is the way to enlightenment or whatever. Forgiveness is not specific, in that sense. Forgiveness is just stepping back and seeing the false as false.

Participant 2: It’s very simple.

Speaker: Very simple.

Participant1: So, forgiveness is the one interpretation of the Holy Spirit. So, it’s not that I don’t want to interpret. But, it’s which interpreter do I want to line up with. The mind has to interpret I guess. That’s the function of the mind.

Speaker: Another word for interpretation that’s really equal to it is perception. As long as the mind’s asleep it’s going to perceive, but instead of just dismissing all perception Jesus says there’s false perception and there’s true perception. He says, the only way you’re going to get to no perception or the kingdom of heaven is you have to come to true perception. You’ve got to have a constant purpose to stabilize all perception and then perception vanishes once you come to the needle. You’ve got to find the needle in the hay stack and then your haystack’s gone.

Participant 3: So, if we keep asking what the purpose is it would be key. What would you have me do, where would you have me go, and what would you have me say and to whom?

Speaker: We were just listening to the Roz tapes out there and Roz was saying that the question is the leading edge to the answer. The question, ‘What is this for?’ is a real meaningful question. If you keep asking that question, you have to arrive down at the purpose. It can seem overwhelming at times. It can seem easier to quit asking what is it for. If I’m watching a movie and asking ‘What is this for?’ The ego would counsel just sit back and be entertained. Forget your problems.

Participant1: Exactly, Veg out a little bit. You’ve been working hard. You deserve a break. I can’t do this all the time.

Speaker: Again, it’s the purpose. If it’s being used as a distractive device, like alcohol can be used as a distractive device. You can start to see. Again, it’s the purpose. You have all these old movies. Here you have the opportunity to say Holy Spirit, help me get clear or just guide me to which ones are helpful to watch for the healing of my mind. It’s not saying movies are bad but what’s my purpose? Am I trying to cover over all my feelings. There’s a lot of these adventure movies can be used to sort of get off into another world or am I using them to watch my mind? To see what my emotions are.

Participant1: Am I using them because I’m tired of watching my mind or am I using them as a tool to watch my mind?

Participant 2: Well, I get tired of watching my mind. I must get a break from watching my mind.

Participant 3: He calls it spiritual indigestion.

Participant 1: But, is it possible to take a break from watching my mind and stay at Peace. What is it that I really want?

Participant 2: Well, I want to stay a sleep a little longer.

Speaker: We shall see. That is a question that is posed to each of us.

Participant 3: Some of us want to stay in the world a little longer.

Speaker: Yet the ending is certain. Thank heavens.

Participant 2: Well, if it’s certain we can take a little break now and then. You’re not going to get off that easy.

Participant1: You can. You can take a break. But the question is still there. Do I want to be at Peace? Is it really a break if I’m not at Peace? Can I be at Peace if I stop watching my mind? My experience is no. When I stop watching my mind, that’s when I get in the muck and that’s no break, really. That’s not what I consider a break. It doesn’t feel good. I think of a break as something that’s supposed to feel good. Something I like. Something that’s desirable. Being hung up is not something I like. It is not desirable.

Speaker: I think a good word we could use is effort and what I’ve really discovered is that I want life and being to be effortless. We’ve all had the experience when something just seemed effortless. It’s very comfortable and Peaceful and restful and with this mind training business it’s like the expenditure of effort is in the front end. When the mind is untrained, it’s distorted, it’s distracted and it’s conflicted. If I’ve been using my effort to learn the world and to judge then initially to turn my direction seems to take effort. I’ve been saying with the Course it just keeps saying the same thing over and over. It’s just pointing to the same thing. Like you’ve been talking about, all the meaning is now there. I’m not reading sentences and going what did he say. It’s clicking in. For me, there’s a momentum that gains. The most effort is in the beginning when you’re just turning and then as the ball gets rolling so to speak the more you just do it the more you don’t have to think about it. It becomes an ease and there’s an effortlessness to it. Of course, that makes sense to me. I’ve heard people talk about that you have to go through one big trial at the end. You’ve got to go through all this stuff and at the end you’ve got this giant test waiting for you and that just doesn’t resonate with me. My experience has been I’ve been through lots of wandering and confusion and hurt and conflict and the more I’ve given my mind to really watching my mind and questioning my beliefs that it’s easier and easier. To me that’s good news. The effort is required really only at the beginning and you start to see that it’s mutually exclusive.

Participant1: I think in the beginning it can even feel like this snow ball is being pushed uphill but once you hit the top once you reach the crest and it starts going down the other side…

Speaker: You just got to give it a kick every once in a while. That’s pretty good.

Participant 3: This mind watching though, it’s really something so new.

Participant1: It’s just practice, practice, practice. That’s the message that keeps coming through in the work book lessons. It does require practice just like any new skill.

Participant 3: You can’t just put it on the shelf and expect to remember.

Participant1: It has to be a daily thing.

Participant 3: A recommitment and if I ask the Holy Spirit to guide me through the day in everything I do then I’ll get the help there. I won’t be watching Bud’s mind. I’ll be watching my own mind. That’s the old me, watching Bud’s mind so that I can forget about watching mine; helping him of course!

Participant 2: But, my mind and your mind are one.

Speaker: Yes, that’s helpful because if it’s the ego, they’re helpful gentle reminders. You’re not trying to fix someone else or change someone else. But, when you get more discerning of the ego and you come to that place of openly inviting and welcoming, if you notice those kinds of thoughts that I start to express then help me, remind me please. It’s an open invitation.

Participant 2: She does it in the weirdest places.

Participant1: It’s just calling attention to the ego.

Participant 2: In front of everybody else.

Participant1: Small price to pay for letting go of the ego.

Speaker: No price at all. ‘There can be no thought of sacrifice apart from this idea and it is this idea of different goals that makes perception shift.’

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