Good evening. And welcome to everyone who’s joining us on the Internet.
I’m going to be a little repetitious tonight to bring the point home that we’re talking about. And we need to bring the point home because the subject has to do with the release from dreams—the release from illusions. And it has to do with the way everyone keeps themselves dreaming—keeps themselves from Waking up.
This section is somewhat easily misunderstood and if it succeeds in not being understood it can greatly delay Awakening because one’s attention will be in the wrong place.
So let’s go back to the beginning: In the beginning, God. And in the beginning, God moved. And the movement was Creation. And Creation was infinite . . . absolutely unbounded, as unbounded as the Mind that moved—that constituted Creation—God’s Mind.
And you and all of Creation were the expression of this Mind, this infinite Mind that is God. And the infinity, the infiniteness of It was an absolutely ever-present total experience of every aspect of Creation, not just you and your Brothers and Sisters, but all creatures and all forms and let us say, every leaf on a tree and every blade of grass and every star. Everything embodied the Mind of God. The rocks were conscious. The tree and leaves were conscious. The creatures were conscious. You were conscious. And that consciousness was unseparated. It was whole, all inclusive, so that every aspect of Creation was experiencing every other aspect of Creation without interference.
And as a result, the Love that God is, the Spirit that God is, the Life that God is, was magnified, was the Allness, was the totality and was the infinite focus of Being conscious.
Now as we have discussed, there came a point which the Bible refers to as “The Fall,”1 there came a point where two Sons or Daughters of God discussed the possibility—an interesting play of the mind—they discussed the possibility of giving everything that God had Created, different definitions. Almost like a game . . . “Wouldn’t it be interesting to call a skunk, a horse? Wouldn’t it be interesting to say that a tree should be like a sheep and give birth to lambs? Wouldn’t it be interesting to be utterly creative?”
And the two of them decided to do this. They made a mutual agreement to think at odds with the natural function of the Mind of God which was instilled in them as their very Being. And so, in effect, they decided by mutual agreement and decision to stand opposed to the Meanings already established.
And as we’ve discussed, when that decision to become divorced from God, when that happened, something totally unexpected happened: They found that they were no longer experiencing the infinite conscious awareness of Creation and their infinite connectedness with every aspect of Creation. And they found themselves to be quite separate, quite tiny in comparison to the totality of the universe—of Creation.
And something else was present that hadn’t been: Fear…FEAR. And they knew they had done something wrong. And guilt immediately came into the picture. But they were steadfast in their determination to be independent. And so they began to determine that life was about overcoming the fear and the guilt. That it wasn’t wrong for them to be independent obviously, because they were being able to do it. They simply had to learn what the trick was to experience their peace and the infinite harmony of Being once again while they were making up the definitions.
Now, fear and guilt brought up a determination to overcome them, placing them in their experience as enemies, as something that was threatening to them that they needed to protect themselves against. But what could they use to protect themselves?
Well, this body that they were experiencing, it was the only tool available to them to exert force or coercion. And so their determination—and here is the key point—their determination to remain independent of the Father was to be accomplished by the use that they put their bodies to which was for the purpose of self-defense.
The body is the lynch-pin in whatever stability can be brought forth regarding being independent and vulnerable. The body misinterpreted by means of giving it definitions that God did not give it, caused it to become the single element which inhibited them from going back Home.
Now mind you, it wasn’t the body that kept them from Waking up. And today with every one of you, it is not the body that keeps you from Waking up, that keeps you from experiencing Reality. It’s the use you put it to through the use of imagination . . . it’s the use you put it to through imagination.
Therefore, the simplicity of everything is, that if you want to Wake up, you have to abandon imagination and specifically, you have to abandon the imaginations that you have applied to your body in giving it definitions that were never present in the Movement of Creation that your Father engaged in by Being . . . by simply Being.
And so it’s very important. It is very important not to come to the conclusion that the body is an illusion. Because you see, if you’re going to Wake up, you’ve got to do something more than just discount it as an illusion. You have to engage your body for purposes other than the ones you’ve been using. You must stop using your body as the means of defense to secure your invulnerability against a chaotic and polarized universe and polarized entities whether they are animals or whether they are Brothers or Sisters.
If you don’t understand this, you will not put forth the effort necessary to learn something new and to begin to behave in a new way relative to your body and in the use you put it to.
You see, part of the problem as we’ve discussed is, that not only are you afraid of your Brothers and Sisters because of the definitions you’ve applied to them and the confidences you have in your own personal private interpretations of your Brothers and Sisters, you also have definitions about your body which are as polarized as the ones you’ve applied to everything else.
And so you fantasize that your body can be against you, that because it is not real, or because it is just a material organism, you can’t trust it. You must be afraid of it. You must defend yourself against it. You must be on guard and all of this because you’ve made up imaginary stories about your body and you’re reacting to those stories instead of your body. You’re having no direct connection with your body, you’re having a direct connection with your mind and your fantasy and your great confidence in your imaginations. And if you don’t stop that, you will not Wake up.
Well, if you are going to stop that, if you are going to stop relying upon the definitions you’ve applied to your body, and you’re going to begin to look at it with a willingness to see God there, to see the evidence of all of the characteristics of God there, such as eternality, such as harmony, such as perfection, if you’re not going to do that, then you’re going to stay stuck. And the fantastic thing is that all that’s necessary to experience release from it is to stop using your imagination and start looking at your body and your world with an invitation made to God to uncover to you once again your natural Birthright to experience all of Creation as the Kingdom of Heaven. That’s all. But you must do it.
Now, going into the book:
It is insane to use the body as the scapegoat for guilt, . .
. . . you see? You feel guilty because you’ve denied your Father, you’ve denied your Source. You’ve turned yourself into an orphan, you have no connection with the vitality of Life itself—the Presence of God. And then you use your body to convey guilt to your Brothers and Sisters. And you also use your body as a means of hurting yourself. And I don’t need to go into that. You all know that that happens and how it happens. So . . .
It is insane to use the body as the scapegoat for guilt, directing its attack and blaming it for what you wished it to do. It is IMPOSSIBLE to act out fantasies.
Why? Because what isn’t real, what is imaginary can’t be demonstrated—can’t be rendered visible. It can only be formulated in the mind, held to and as a result of that imaginary process, making yourself miserable. Or holding another guilty and making him miserable, not because you’re connected with him, but because you’re connected with your picture of him which you are projecting upon him and then challenging or correcting or harming. You see?
It is IMPOSSIBLE to act out fantasies.
They must forever remain nefarious mental insinuations that never become something.
For it is still the FANTASIES you want, and they have nothing to do with what the body does. IT . . .
. . . the body . . .
. . . does not dream of them, and they but make it . . .
. . . the body . . .
. . . a liability where it could be an asset.
Now here’s the thing: If you determine for yourselves that the body is an illusion, you will never have the experience of it being an asset. And yet that is exactly what needs to happen. Because in the recognition of it as an asset, there is an acknowledgement of value and an acknowledgement of value is, no matter how subtle it is, an expression of Love. And now you’re turning the tide, you’re shifting the frame of reference you’re using and your changing your behavior mentally. And that opens the door for God’s Perspective to infill you.
IT . . .
. . . the body . . .
. . . does not dream of them, . .
. . . fantasies . . .
. . . and they but make it a liability where it could be an asset. For fantasies have made your body your "enemy," weak, vulnerable and treacherous, . .
. . . Oh yeah, you may not think about it much because it’s too unpleasant. But you are afraid that one day it will kill you. One day it will just [snaps fingers] stop functioning and there you’ll be—gone—or some other illness or injury or accident will cause it to create problems for you.
So, your imaginations, your . . .
. . . fantasies have made your body your "enemy," weak, vulnerable and treacherous, worthy of the hate which you invest in it.
We’ve talked before about the fact that the word, “hate” is quite apropos and I’m not going to repeat myself tonight.
How has this served you? You have IDENTIFIED with this thing you hate, . .
. . . in other words, the body you see which is the definition you made up about it.
You have IDENTIFIED with this thing you hate, the instrument of vengeance and the perceived source of your guilt. You have done this to a thing that has no meaning, proclaiming it to be the dwelling-place of the Son of God, and turning it against him.
You have done this thing, you have done this, turned the divine part of Creation, . .
. . . You have done this to a thing that has no meaning.
So, you haven’t actually done it to something that is a divine part of Creation, you have done this to what you’ve ended up with as a result of the definitions you’ve applied to it. And that has no meaning. The body you perceive has no meaning. The body you have created as a result of fear and guilt has no meaning. That definition has been overlaid upon something that does: The visibility and tangibility of your individuality. And your individuality is the Presence of God expressed and expressing interminably eternally.
You have done this to a thing that has no meaning, . .
. . . your definition of it . . .
. . . , proclaiming it to be the dwelling-place of the Son of God, . .
. . . you. You exist in your body. Of course you’re not thinking of yourself as the Son of God. But in effect, that’s what the attempt was . . . to turn something meaningless, a false, a fake, a confused definition to be the dwelling place of the Son of God and turning it against him. Your definitions of your body hold it to be something that can function at odds with you and sooner or later it will! What is the saying? “There’s nothing sure but death and taxes.” The termination of your body, it’s acting in a manner that terminates your existence is something you’ve created by an imagination and a definition. It hasn’t turned your body into that. But it has caused you to be absolutely confident in the termination of your life because of what the body is and how it works.
Now it doesn’t hurt for me to be bold and frank about this. And it doesn’t hurt you to take a look at it because if you take a look at it squarely, you can see the nonsensicalness of it. You can see that indeed you have justification for learning something and changing the way you behave, especially when doing it is going to cause you to Wake up. It’s going to cause you to let that Mind be in you which is your right Mind which is presently being called “The Holy Spirit” while you dally with a tiny sense of mind making all these very creative decisions that result in blocking you entirely from coming back into your right Mind.
This . . .
. . . the body you have imagined . . .
. . . This is the host of God that YOU have made.
Your body is where God is Present expressing Himself as You—it is the host of God. It truly is . . . divinely is. But the host of God that you have made is the one that is bound to die and thus be the ultimate source of the failure of You to be successfully independent.
This is the host of God that YOU have made. And neither God nor His most holy Son . . .
. . . you…you…you…you . . .
. . . can enter an abode which harbors hate, and where you have sown the seeds of vengeance, violence and death. This thing you made to serve your guilt stands between you and other minds.
. . . of all of the Brotherhood, of every aspect of Creation which is the conscious Expression of God embodying or being fully conscious, able to communicate It’s infinite holiness to everyone and capable of experiencing the holiness of all the rest of Creation as It’s expressed.
This thing you made . . .
. . . this material body that can become sick and die . . .
. . . you made to serve your guilt [it] stands between you and other minds.
You see? When you said, “Father, I’d rather see it my way,” you decided to be private, not sharing Reality.
This thing you made to serve your guilt stands between you and other minds. The minds ARE joined, . .
You see? In spite of the fact that you have used guilt to stand between you and other minds, the minds ARE joined. The imaginary attempts that you engage in don’t change Reality at all.
The minds ARE joined, but you do not identify with them.
“No, I’d rather see it my way . . . Charlie, I’d rather see it my way. You can tell me your way if you want to, but I’m not going to be able to agree with you. And I may be willing to make some adjustments so we can get along, but I’m never going to agree with you. I’m never going to share with you one hundred percent.” You see? Privacy is absolutely essential and it’s maintained as though it were.
The minds ARE joined, but you do not identify with them. You see yourself locked in a separate prison, removed and unreachable, . .
. . . course, that’s your protection, being unreachable. If they can’t reach you they can’t hurt you.
. . . incapable of reaching out as being reached. You hate this prison you have made, and would destroy it. But you would not escape from it, leaving it unharmed, without your guilt upon it.
You need the body as a defense. And you’re not about to give it up, because you’re not about to become defenseless. And you’re not about to become defenseless because you’re afraid. And yet as we keep looking at this, it becomes clearer and clearer that being afraid . . . that the fear and the guilt are not part of Creation. They’re not actual. They are that which says to you, “Don’t separate yourself any further from the Father, because if you do it’s going to be uncomfortable.” It’s your sanity saying, “Don’t proceed any further. You are going to create for yourself a confused and illusory experience of the Kingdom of Heaven in which you can become lost, so preoccupied with self-defense against this fear and guilt that aren’t even real, that you neglect to do the one all important thing. And that is: To realize that the fear and guilt are meaningless.
You should write that down: Fear and Guilt are meaningless.
If you will consider that, you will find yourself beginning to have the courage to not respond to that which seems fearful, and which seems inseparable from guilt. The fear and the guilt will immobilize you in terms of your Awakening, in terms of your learning something and beginning to be in a new way that releases you.
Fear and guilt are meaningless. No if’s, and’s or but’s! Because fear and guilt are meaningless you can afford to set down the things that seem so fearful, and which you feel guilty enough about that you don’t think you deserve escape from them . . . and give your attention to other things, like for instance, praying: “Father, what is the truth here? What is the truth that my actions of defense against what I’m afraid of, cover up and cause me not to see, and keep me from seeing?”
This is a key learning: Fear and guilt are meaningless. If they are meaningless, they do not need to be dealt with, reacted to, distracted by. This flies right in the face of the conditioning of your imaginations. And if you attempt to practice it, it can seem to instill greater fear. But it is essential to engage in abandoning fear and guilt. It is essential. It’s the act which initiates release from bondage.
You hate this prison you have made, and would destroy it. But you would not escape from it, leaving it unharmed, without your guilt upon it.
Yet only thus CAN you escape.
You see? That’s what we’ve just been saying. The only means of escape from the bondage of mortality is to start using your body in a new way—defining it as something divine, that which renders visible the Presence of God called You. Embodying the holiness of God and therefore the holiness of You and where It’s every action blesses everything rather than cursing it with fear and guilt so as to distract you from releasing yourself from responding to fear and guilt and letting it be the motivation of your life.
[Yet] only thus CAN you escape. The home of vengeance is not yours; . .
. . . although you imagined it up.
The home of vengeance is not yours; the place you set aside to house your hate is not a prison, but an illusion of . . .
. . . what? . . .
. . . of YOURSELF.
You see? A definition you have created about yourself: “I am a body. I am not free. I am a mortal. I will die. And in between now and the time I die I will from time to time become sick and weak and there will be other times where I will become so upset from my polarization and my fear and guilt that I will act out harmful behavior against my Brother and Sister. I don’t want to do it, but there’s no way out of it.” You see?
Man, what a story line and what an amazing thing to believe it, and not believe what I’m saying and not believe what it says in the Course.
The body is a limit imposed on . . .
. . . listen to this . . .
. . . The body is a limit imposed [upon] the universal communication which is an eternal property of mind.
The body you made up. The definitions of it that you’re giving it and holding it to and holding yourself to and killing yourself with—seemingly . . .
. . . is a limit imposed on . . .
. . . what? . .
. . . the universal communication which is an eternal property of mind.
Remember? I said that every aspect of Creation, every leaf, every rock, everything is conscious. And every single conscious awareness, if I may put it that way, is absolutely in full communication with every other aspect of Creation. And what is the communication that It’s there to share? It’s there to share Its meaning. It’s there to share what It Is, the Presence of God that It Is. You see?
The body as you’ve defined it is a limit. You’ve created a tiny circumference to something, which is an Idea in the Mind of God.
The body is a limit imposed on the universal communication which is an eternal property of mind. But the communication is INTERNAL.
I said a long time ago: The most direct route to your fellowman is through the center of your Being . . . the most direct route to your fellowman is right through the center of your Being—in Mind.
Mind reaches to ITSELF. It does not go OUT.
Remember? This Section entitled: Dreams and the Body, began with these five words:
There is NOTHING outside you.
Within itself . . .
. . . Mind . . .
. . . it has no limits, and there is nothing outside it. It encompasses you entirely; you within it, and it within you.
What is it? Mind.
Mind reaches to ITSELF.
That is the means of communication.
It does not go OUT. Within itself it has no limits, and there is nothing outside it. It encompasses you entirely; you within it, and it within you. There is nothing else, anywhere or ever.
If that’s the case, if that’s the nature of experiencing Reality, you can see how foolish it is to continue to give a mean-spirited negative definition to your body which results in your never being able to come back into your right Mind as long as you’re committed to the use of your body as self-defense because you are treating fear and guilt as though they are meaningful.
The body . . .
. . . as you’re experiencing it as a result of the definitions you’re applying to it.
The body is outside you, and but SEEMS to surround you, shutting you off from others, and keeping you apart from them. It is not there.
You see? That does not mean that the visibility and tangibility of your individuality isn’t there. It means that the body that you have imagined and that you’re governing your every action toward it on the basis of, isn’t there. It is a fantasy. And as we’ve said, fantasies cannot be acted out. You cannot manifest a fantasy. When you believe you have, you are deluded. And if it is a serious enough delusion you’re put in a mental institution.
There IS no barrier between God and His Son, nor can His Son be separated from himself except in illusions. This is not his reality, though he believes it is.
This is not your reality, though you believe it is.
Yet this could only be if God were wrong.
So here’s the simple logic.
God would have had to create differently, and to have separated Himself from His Son to make this possible.
And of course, you can see the impossibility of that.
He would have had to create different things, and to establish different ORDERS of reality, . .
. . . much the way you have . . .
. . . only SOME of which were love. Yet love must be forever like itself, changeless forever, and forever without alternative.
What’s the communication? What’s the divine communication? It’s the expression of love, which gains its aliveness from your willingness to share yourself uninhibitedly, unprotectedly, uncalculatedly. The minute you make the gift of you, minus any form of self-protection, it is an expression of love that becomes illuminated—universal illumination—that everyone rejoices in experiencing and everything feels.
And so it is. You cannot put a barrier around yourself because God placed none between Himself and you.
Part of the learning and the change of behavior in you is not only abandoning the honoring of guilt and fear and treating it as though it were meaningful, it is that in the absence of communicating fear and guilt, you begin to communicate love. You approach your fellowman as though he is a holy Son of God and you expect to see the evidence of it. Why? Because you’re not about to spend one moment in your imagination creating a definition—a mean-spirited definition—of him. And in the absence of that, you are going to be the Presence of Love.
This is so important. It is the key to Awakening. Be with this and let it infill you and let it inspire you. Let it move you to change. Let it cause learning to occur, so that you find yourself in a place you were not before and so the past isn’t being repeated.
I love you all. And I look forward to being with you next time.
A Course In Miracles (reference pages) Chapter 18 – Section: DREAMS AND THE BODY 2 Sparkly Book – p.437, 3rd Full Par./JCIM – p.182, Last Par. / CIMS – p.368, Par. 54Chapter 18 – Section: BEYOND THE BODY First Edition – p. 360, 1st Par. / Second Edition – p.385, Par. 6
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