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Week Intensive part 6 - A Private World Cannot Be Shared
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.
Friend: I notice I have the thought that if I stay in this state of mind, that feels more like mine, that I will feel so disoriented and so disinterested that I won’t be used, or that I won’t be of any help and then I think Well, who is that I that would be used or be of help?
David: So again we want to make this practical. The reason I brought this in is again, it’s a great underpinning; it really gives us a sense of what’s going on. The best way to come at it now is to do what our friend was saying initially, “Well, you’ve got to start with some of your substitutions, with some of your perceptions or some of the things that you’re wrestling with more at the surface, and then work it down.” It’s not necessarily just reading this passage and then there’s perfect clarity, like Oh! I don’t have any problems, I just made one substitution, I have now chosen the correction for that substitution and that’s the end of the intensive this week. That’s the end of my struggle in my career, my struggle with all these relationships.
Friend: I’ve quit the world—that’s it.
David: Right, I’ve just stepped out of the world. I mean you have to really have a sincere intention to do this, and you may even have doubts coming up where it’s like Oh, my gosh, this seems to be a bit much. [laughs] But again those are good to take a look at too because that’s how the ego would interpret this. An ego interpretation would be like Yeah, that’s overwhelming, throw in the towel. Just give in to the complexities, to the dismays.
Friend: And that’s our purpose now. To join together and take a look and come back to God and not deny the projections but go deeper into where we’ve made substitutions and adjustments, and where we are projecting.
Friend: And to help remind each other that it is possible and that it’s not overwhelming.
David: My artwork for the day. [Refers to diagram]
Actually I thought; Well, at the very center of it, just draw God and then I said, “Well, closest to God would be the right mind,” so I drew the right mind out there. And then out of that I drew these little specks that seem to go out like funnels, where it was just this little teeny dark thought, and it seemed to go out into a funnel and I thought Well, I’ll put the projected distorted world out here. But the reason I put these little gaps in here and made these little funnels with spaces in it, is that everyone who believes they are here has a private world and that private world is not shared.
You may think that you’re seeing the same world, one could go around and say, “Well, let’s look at this room everybody, what color is this carpet” or “What color are these shoes? Are they blue? Are they purple? red? black? How many think they’re black?” Again it seems like there is some agreement and that’s what makes this world so sneaky. But the Course is teaching very clearly that the world you perceive is a private world. You’ve peopled it. You’ve put all the characters out there just like in night time dreams. We talked about when someone goes to sleep and there are all these characters and interactions and it’s all just generated from the mind.
Well he [Jesus] says it’s the same with your daytime dream. Everything that you perceive in this world is just generated from your wrong mind. You’re just seeing a private world that has no overlap. There is a place in the Course where he talks about it pretty specifically that might be helpful.
Friend: So this is Chapter 13 and it’s Section 5—The Two Emotions.
David: He’s talking about love and fear and again. We’ll pick it up with “The other has many forms…” which is the third sentence of that section The Two Emotions. He is talking about fear:
Now that’s pretty deep again, but it’s kind of like saying, whenever you’re upset with your brother, you’re just seeing one of your own attack thoughts projected out there. You’re seeing a behavior. If you think of your brother as a lazy slob then you believe in the concept of lazy slob, and you’re seeing it acted out and thinking that there’s somebody else that’s a lazy slob and you may think that this other shadow figure is neat and orderly in contrast—better. [laughs] So again it’s not seeing the full picture, it’s almost like seeing a hologram or an image that’s been projected out and you’re not really seeing the whole, you’re just seeing half of it. You’re not seeing what’s behind it.
So that would be like in this [pointing to diagram] — each little one here has peopled his whole world with figures, including this figure. This seems to be the subject of this private world and all those other figures, ants, and dogs and cats and deer and mice and rocks and trees and galaxies and moons and suns and black holes and all this and that; those are all projected out of this one mind.
Now it seems [referring to diagram] I put a bunch of them around there because that’s the way it seems to be, it really seems to be that there’s all these different ones. But in a sense if you really stand back from this, this is just all dark.
Friend: Oh, the white part is the gap between the private worlds?
Friend: What looks like flower petals.
David: Right. It’s just meant to be a representation of that.
Friend: That separates them.
David: Another thing you could look at is both the petals that seem to extend out from the right mind. Jesus not only says that private worlds can’t be shared, but that only the thoughts of God can be shared. So you could even look at the white petals in that sense. It’s kind of like true communication in a sense that that’s communication with the Holy Spirit, just extending out with the right mind. There’s no darkness in true communication. That’s what the purpose of every relationship we have is; to lay aside all of the investment in bodies and to really see our brother as a mind.
Friend: To get rid of the dark corner stones of unforgiveness.
Friend: Before we can become a teacher of God.
David: And as long as the mind is paying attention to, and really buying what the body’s eyes are seeing and hearing, it seems like an impossible task. How can I forgive that person? They’ve raped my daughter; or They murdered my father or; They stole and robbed my grandmother or; They attacked me! [laughs] Or whatever, it seems to be beyond forgiveness. But again what the Course is teaching us is; that’s the shadow figures, you made it up that way. You believed you were guilty, you looked for witnesses of guilt—bingo! [laughs]
Friend: Found them.
David: They were given to you not in truth but in illusion.
Friend: And what the world teaches is; your projections are absolutely true and you have every reason not to forgive that person and you’re absolutely right to have that [grievance] and if you smile through it, you are insane. Put that person away.
David: Pollyanna! That’s the world’s interpretation of Pollyanna. Pollyanna just didn’t criticize and judge in the world’s interpretation and now it’s become a word.
Friend: “You’re a Pollyanna.”
David: Now it’s Pollyanna. That’s a pie in the sky; that’s wishful thinking.
Friend: I think I’m still not clear though. Do we see bodies and just project on them what we want to see or are we all not really here and this is just a figment of my imagination?
David: The second thing that you said. It seems pretty drastic because again, a lot of times people will say “Well, bodies are bodies and it’s the meaning you’re giving to them,” but it’s the judgments that made the bodies, in other words, the bodies and all the fragmented world is just the out picturing of the insane thought. And of course in the end when you give up the insane thinking [laughing] then the world disappears too.
Friend: So what are you seeing David, nothing?
David: Well, what I see, again it reminds me of this place back in the Teachers Manual where the way I experience it now, I’ve had some light episodes occasionally where the figures around everything starts to collapse, the depth perception starts to collapse and then everything just starts to light up and even the edges where the background seems to be, just starts to light up and everything gets very light. And the Course talked about those light episodes even in the Workbook, where he says “As you’re going along you will have light episodes, don’t be frightened by those,” W.15.3, again here’s our master teacher who has travelled this road before. He has just left behind, like a road map.
Friend: Did he say everybody will?
David: Yeah, he talks about light episodes that will be frequent.
Friend: I think it’s in Lesson 13 maybe?
Friend: It is in one of the lessons. I think it’s in the Teachers Manual, but there is a lesson that says you will see light and I used to look for it.
David: Generally what I see again is; it’s described in the Teachers Manual where it says “The body’s eyes will still see differences but the healed mind will put them all into one category. They are unreal.” M.8.6 It’s kind of like a stepping stone where you still seem to see differences with the bodies eyes, you still seem to hear differences with the bodies ears, but instead of having all these different categories and believing the reality of them, as you follow the metaphysics you start to see, Ah ha ha… they all go into one category and therefore there is a bright lightness and joy and defenselessness that comes with that.
Now what we were going over with the movie last night was the ego doesn’t want there to be this one box in the mind that everything isn’t real. It wants that to be covered over and it wants the mind to believe that the split is on the screen. That they aren’t all in one category; that there really are good guys and bad guys, victims, victimizers. We talked about a lot of them after the movie last night and I kept saying: the key is not to buy the bait, and not to split it up. And as soon as you make that split and you see somebody as being taken advantage of, and somebody else is the one who’s doing the taking advantage, then that’s buying the bait and they certainly wouldn’t then be both unreal. One seems to be dominating another and that would just mean that you believe in the split and you don’t have that single box.
Friend: And what’s being described is like the endpoint. You still have to bring it back to Ok, well that sounds all well and fine but where am I? This sounds like what we were talking about earlier, but if it sounds like Hey! This is a fairy tale! [laughs] or whatever, then I have to start where I am and the Course says, Yes, don’t pretend to be something you are not, or pretend to understand something you don’t or pretend to…
Friend: Not feel something you do.
Friend: Yes! Not decide what you’re actually feeling but to start where you are and to say Ok, I don’t see it that way, I can’t even imagine ever seeing it that way. And that’s where I feel like I am, but I can say Ok, but it sounds good. I would like to come to a place of being able to see more clearly because I feel that the way that I’m seeing now is a confusing mess. I can’t make sense out of it and I’ve tried everything and nothing seems to work and if this sounds like something that I want to approach... All the Course says is: aim in that direction; just keep aiming in that direction. You’re going to take steps toward it and you just have to keep remembering Oh, yes that’s what I’m aiming for, I may feel like I’m not anywhere near it but I just want to aim in that direction, and then it doesn’t sound like there is a million miles to go.
Friend: And for me I feel so much joy in a sense, that it is possible.
Friend: As you approach it and it gets more in sight then, yes, that feeling comes.
Friend: So even to look to someone that can share that experience with me is very supportive and very encouraging to me because if one person has experienced it… and actually it’s not a person that experiences it. If there is one experience of it then that can be my experience.
Friend: And the ego though, would personify it and say One person is experiencing it, and since I’m not experiencing it in the same way I must still be guilty. So there you go, it puts you right back to where you’re denying that you can even look at projections. Whereas the Holy Spirit’s saying There’s no person here that’s going to experience that we all already have and you can have that if you take a look, like what we’re doing here but not to jump or leap or bolt into the image that you think personifies the experience.
Friend: No, because that’s not it.
Friend: Because what the ego says See, you couldn’t do this. Who are you? What do you think you are? You’re just a little nit wit! Or a person who’s materialistic, Look how materialistic you’ve been all your life, now how could you possibly look at this in a different way?
David: That’s the tracing back. That’s why, as I said earlier, if you’ve had thoughts at work or if you’ve had thoughts during the day, if you’ve had; I used to call them the top forty [laughs]. The revolving top forty that would go around, and there would be like a problem area, maybe in here, [points to chart] financial or relationships or something, and it would kind of just revolve around, like they used to play on the radio stations where they’d have popular songs, and they would go through the day and if you listened to the radio station you’d hear it come around again and again.
But those are the things that are really important to look at, those predominant thoughts; those little things that just seem to keep coming back, that don’t seem to get resolved. The mind seems to just want to hang onto those problems. Those are really helpful and the examples that we’ve had in our other meeting that you’ve brought up have been very helpful in that tracing back because you can see that’s where you have to start. You have to start with how you feel, and it is also really important not to try to conceal. I think that came up a lot when people initially came, we went into some metaphysics and so on and so forth and then it’s like people started sharing some of their experiences and the ball started rolling and people started saying Well ok, it’s not personal, so and so is dumping over there and I’m going to dump mine onto the table. And pretty soon there was a lot of dumping on the table and a lot of laughter. When you can trace it back and see Oh, it’s just the ego. I don’t have to worry about getting into comparing, and where do I rate? And like the things that you were talking about, it’s just gratefulness, that I am getting a surge of gratefulness to say, Wow! It’s so neat to be able to start to look at this stuff finally with some lightness instead of judgment.
Friend: And begin to feel some resolution. It is transformative.
Friend: I still want to get a little more clarification in a sense that on some level we’re recognizing one another as all part of the screen so it sounds like there’s a reality behind each person.
David: Yes behind the veil is the reality.
Friend: Right, so because I feel myself getting uptight when I hear about the screen and how it’s all illusion, but that there is truth beyond that illusion that we are all part of this one mind?
Friend: But it takes more than that one mind. We each have to come to the understanding of the Course in its fullness in time as we perceive time.
David: Well, remember when we had our discussion where I was saying on the side of the world that’s the way it looks? It looks like, Ssshhheeww… Jesus. [laughs] and then, Ssshhheeww, it looks like others have to follow. So it follows suit so to speak and everyone in the Sonship has to remember who they are. But, and again on the other side, and I guess more of what you were saying is that it’s a hallucination or a projection and it’s coming to the clarity; coming to right-mindedness. When you come to clarity or right-mindedness then the screen disappears so you can see that there isn’t a screen. It seems to be a process an individual process from within the dream.
Friend: Where one by one…
David: Yes, within the dream, that’s the way it seems.
Friend: Right, and when that one person makes it to the other side they no longer see that separation and that doesn’t in a sense matter, but aren’t those people still there doing it? [group laughter]
David: But see, that’s why it works down to real simplicity of like Ok, if you really work it down to it is always my lesson, that is what it boils it down.
Friend: There is no everybody.
David: As soon as you get out to the everybody or to the we, then you have the collective and believe me I get a lot of questions on the collective.
Friend: But didn’t you just say that Jesus, saw it, did it?
David: He was the first.
Friend: And was the first but yet we’re still here?
David: So here’s that ladder again—that’s the metaphors.
David: So in other words that’s helpful. To go around to people and to say It’s all just a hallucination, nothing exists! [laughs] That’s pretty steep. That’s going to the top of the ladder without the rungs.
Friend: You already got there, there’s nothing to do!
David: Have you ever tried to climb a ladder where there’s only the top rung in there and all the other ones are out? [group laughter] But you’re getting a hold of it. We’re going to get into this too; that thing of metaphors and rungs on a ladder.
Friend: If it’s a metaphor, how is it the truth then?
David: It isn’t.
Friend: It’s not?
David: Metaphor meaning like or as. [laughs] A reflection or a stepping stone but not…
Friend: …not is, as.
Friend: We had a talk today even about forgiveness. Forgiveness is still part of the illusion but it’s a stepping stone that we need to get to the light, or however you described it that was helpful because we seem to think that forgiveness somehow is the truth, but it’s not.
Friend: It says that it’s the one illusion that leads out of illusions.
Friend: In your 3D demonstration you just did and the far side for me represented, you say clarity or right-mindedness. And from that side, this side isn’t even perceived? I have a question about that, but is that clear?
David: Well right-mindedness is still perceptual.
Friend: That’s what I was going to say, so isn’t that one-mindedness that’s on the other side instead of right-mindedness?
David: In a sense one-mindedness would be equated with our—we had that diagram that was outside the circle.
Friend: The diagram of the mind?
David: Yes. In other words; this is our diagram here, and this is the world and this is the wrong mind and since ideas leaves not their source, they’re really identical. The world’s just a screen and the wrong mind is the ego belief that originated the screen. It’s all within the wrong mind, and this is the right mind. In other words what I was just describing like this; it wasn’t like this was the wrong mind over here [referring to diagram] in the illusion and this was the right mind, but this would be the wrong mind. This, the paper itself you might say is the bridge or the real world or the right mind and then, [laughs] what is, is Heaven. And there is no, of course there is no world, there aren’t any bodies there wasn’t “a first” to awaken from the dream or “a last”.
Friend: There’s no time.
David: There isn’t even a dream in Heaven. So that’s a good question because to even say that about Jesus on one hand… when you went out to move your car I was just reading this little passage from page 83 in the Clarification of Terms where it’s talking about Jesus. And it was saying,
I read that one a couple of times and I remember one gathering I heard a gasp. “Don’t go to the Catholic Mass and read this, don’t do that.” [group laughter]
Friend: Not out loud anyway. Don’t read it out loud.
So Jesus is just a symbol in the sense of even saying that Christ needed his form, again we’re not talking about the Christ, it’s another metaphor because the Christ that I have on my chart is with God. Christ doesn’t even know about the world or the dream. He’s just in this Eternal Song with the Father, so again it’s another metaphor that Christ needed his form. It’s a stepping stone.
Friend: The way you’re saying it and the way it’s coming across to me right now then, Jesus was the Holy Spirit, that answer, which was given to us after the separation?
David: He was a manifestation of it; in other words the Holy Spirit is in the mind, but in the world of form, on the screen, Jesus was the manifestation of it. The words that he spoke, all his actions, all his demonstrations was kind of as if the Holy Spirit could take a form and was moving the puppet, like moving the marionette strings.
Friend: That Christ mind is in all of us and the Holy Spirit works through all of us and we can do the exact same thing if we align with the right mind.
Friend: Then how is Christ taking form and us taking form different if it’s all illusion?
David: Exactly. In other words; the most you can say with Jesus is that that is a story, it’s another story. Adam and Eve was a story, the story of Jesus and the Apostles. Some people can say Well, Adam and Eve wasn’t a real story; that’s a symbolic story of the Garden. But Jesus, he was a real person who really lived and really had twelve Apostles. But you can see we are getting deeper and deeper, that again; it’s a symbol, those are just images as well. That image of that body of Jesus is like a feather.
Friend: But again how is that different from all of us?
Friends: It’s not. It’s the same.
David: If you’re identified as a body and a person though, and you relate to behavior, instead of everything’s just a bunch of feathers and images, then you can see where that would be helpful.
Friend: Helpful. Ok.
David: And that’s the only way that you can really look at it in a clear way and not personify the Holy Spirit and think, when Jesus said, “I am the way the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but through me.” If you interpret that as coming from a specific person, and him as a person saying it; then it doesn’t make a lot of sense.
Friend: And that’s a biggie right there, the personification. I know I’m continuing to go over that because to tell you the truth there’s some people I’d like to personify. I’d like them to be real.
[laughter] So it’s a matter of really seeing that all bodies are a projection of my mind, behaviors are a projection of my mind and what I see is a projection of my mind. So those bodies we want to hang onto as special are just projections of our mind, we already have them in our mind, but that’s it.
Friend: [The question or statement is relevant for the continuing discussion. The Friend seems to be mentioning the death of her husband or another friend’s husband, and feeling his presence as mind in a past situation.]
Friend: Well it wasn’t an image or a persona it was just like a pervasive presence, but even that… it was just a symbol. It was my mind using a symbol that was meaningful to me at the time and it wasn’t my husband per se as a person, but it was just this presence. Does that make sense?
David: Even the thing about, you’ve mentioned like feeling a presence on your shoulders, that would be a symbol, like when some people see the Virgin Mary.
Friend: Very close.
David: Or the Madonna appear, or the feeling of being engulfed or embraced by arms, that sometimes people have talked about; those would be symbols that the Holy Spirit is using for the mind, because it can relate to them.
Friend: It’s something we understand.
Friend: If we’re all one mind why wouldn’t you feel that partner?
Friend: Yes. All the time! And see that’s the thing again that’s why it’s symbolic. It was nothing about my husband’s body dying that made his presence available to me. That wouldn’t make a bit of sense and it doesn’t make any sense to me. So again it was just symbolic because I had always had this belief and ideas about what death of the body meant. And so I think what it symbolized for me was a much more expansive view, it was like pulling it way back and looking at it from a whole other realm of what was going on but it was still symbolic.
Friend: Did you feel as though his mind was somewhere?
Friend: I felt his mind was me and I felt it. That was the presence.
Friend: There was no separation between your mind and his.
Friend: Yeah. His mind felt in my mind, I guess, is how I could say it.
Friend: And so you could feel that with everybody you know?
Friend: Yes. You will not die.
Friend: And that’s the joy you experience when you say, “This is around us” and you feel that connectedness and you don’t feel any separation with another mind.
Friend: That there are no separate minds, it’s just Mind.
David: Again, when you were talking to me about the two of us, that experience you had with what seemed to be Jesus that one time, it was indescribable, it felt like you were going to just explode with joy and everything, it can seem very overwhelming, but that’s the experience.
Friend: Yeah, this is my knowing.
Friend: This is real.
Friend: So even the light episodes, and you probably said this, I don’t remember, that too is symbolic.
David: Yes, but again anything that involves perception is symbolic.
Friend: There’s a passage that I have been reading and I was thinking about this last night when we watched the movie, when I would react to the beating and the death, and it’s The Fourth Obstacle to Peace: The Fear of God. And it says,
That hit me because I was thinking about how the reaction would come from a fear of death. Any fear is ultimately a fear of loss of some kind, and the ultimate loss is the fear of death.
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