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Location: The Kingdom of Heaven
A COURSE IN MIRACLES
The original subject as it was dictated to Helen was “The Way of Salvation.” And when the books were edited, it was changed to “Your Function in the Atonement.” The new Heading is appropriate. A key point—a very important point.
Let’s take a few moments of quiet time before we begin.
Good evening. And welcome to everyone who’s joining us on the Internet.
Well, several people found what I had to say Last Week to be difficult or problematic. I was, perhaps, never clearer in expressing the problem of the human condition and its answer. And to some degree, what I shared seemed to convict everyone to one degree or another.
Someone responded and said, “It was tough medicine, but I needed it.” Another commented that it knocked the wind out of their sails, because they thought they had been being a genuinely kind and loving person. But after hearing what I had to say and paying attention to their behavior, they discovered how, shall I say, shallow was their kindness . . . in other words, how easy it was for their “genuine kindness” to shift to anger or judgment if the kindness expressed was not received or was ridiculed or not cooperated with.
So it has put many in a position of having to reevaluate themselves and to the use to which they’re putting their mind. And it isn’t necessarily easy, especially when one’s behavior has been revealed to him by his very own observance to be self-righteous . . . to be self-serving . . . to be manipulative. That’s not an easy thing to swallow.
And yet, as I said last week, when one is disturbed by clarity, this is a forward step. Because clarity allows new decisions to be made that can effect actual change. And this is important.
Now there are many reasons that what I shared last week might be interpreted as being an impossible task. After all, the bottom line is that you are here to cover your Brothers’ back. You are here to be involved with your Brother or your Sister in a way that supports the illumination and disclosure of their divinity, the uncovering of that which results in healing. And that activity genuinely engaged in will interfere with whatever your goals are – whatever plans you have for yourself.That’s when you find out that you’re not as kind as you think you are and that your kindness is not as genuine that you thought it was.
And yet the call is for that kindness to become genuine so that your willingness to cover your Brothers’ back is engaged in with commitment – with real caring. Not an act of caring, but real caring, real involvement.Now, in some ways, as you’re willing to test this way of Being out, you will find that it will seem to call for you to abandon yourself. After all, if covering your Brothers’ back, if engaging in the genuine practice of love towards your Brothers and Sisters, if that is what is going to govern you, then you will seem to be at the mercy of, for lack of better words, your Brothers’ needs.
“Oh my goodness, I can’t do that, I have my own needs to take care of. In fact if I don’t take care of my own needs, I won’t be able to convince my Brothers and Sisters that I’m worthy of their attention and worthy of their support. And therefore, I can’t afford to abandon myself.” You see?It seems to be an impossible task, if you have to put yourself, not just in second place, but in last place. And yet, the way Home involves looking into your Brothers’ eyes and remembering God.
Again, an impossibility! An impracticality! Something that it is unreasonable for you to be asked to do. And yet, it’s not. It is the simple answer. It is the practice of the holy instant. It is the practice of the two-step where you shut up! And what that means is, you shut up your thinking . . . you shut up your agendas . . . you shut up your self-righteous urgency to take care of yourself as number one, and get everyone else to help take care of you while you imply to them that you’re taking care of them.
Now you, in order to come Home, must arrive at a point where you’re willing to reach out to the Father. You must be willing to arrive at a point where you will reach out to the Father and ask for help! “Father, what is the truth here? Aside from my best judgments, aside from my best agendas, aside from what I want, what is truth here? What is the truth that heals? What is the truth that transforms? What is the truth that Wakes us all up?”Again, a seeming impossibility. You say, “Well, I’m not in touch with my Guide like Paul is, or so-in-so is. I don’t have that skill, or if I do, I haven’t uncovered it in myself yet. And actually, I haven’t done it with total commitment yet, I haven’t reached out genuinely yet. I’ve reached out with curiosity as though it’s something interesting and perhaps valuable. But you know, I haven’t done it as though I needed to do it.” And that’s the problem.
Nevertheless, it seems to be another reason to say that what I shared last week is impossible and is unreasonable. And that’s why we are moving back about one hundred pages in the Text to a place that we’ve already read and shared together, which now is going to have far much more meaning than it did before and which will clearly express to you the factuality — the truth of what I shared last week. And it will state it so clearly, that even though it still seems impossible to you, you will understand that what seems to be impossible to you, must not be impossible, because here is an answer to the impossibility stated so succinctly that you can’t deny, for lack of better words, its pure logic.This section that we will be reading tonight, I ask you to write the page numbers on a post-it note and put it somewhere where you can always see it. So that when doing the two-step, when practicing the holy instant seems to you to be impossible or certainly not a reasonable thing to do constantly and consistently, you can come back here and see it stated very perfectly, clearly. So that it might inspire you to put a little more faith in the impossible – to put a little more faith in its possibility.
You know what? A shift is occurring. A shift of Awakening is occurring. And those who are beginning to be aware of it think it’s impossible. But those who join in actually pushing the envelope, if I may put it that way, by engaging in the holy instant over and over and over and over again, daily, hourly, all who engage in the pushing of the envelope help break the envelope, help break the bubble that seems to be holding you in the human condition.And so it’s important.
So, let’s go into the book now:
. . . that means, when you’re willing to cover your Brother’s back by standing close and with him, . .
Mind you, this is a statement of fact. Everything that I will be reading here, is a statement of fact which you can rely upon and which you should read with the comprehension that it’s worth being open to its Real Meaning. Again . . .
. . . when you’re willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, when you’re willing to stand in support of him even though he may have screwed you royally in the past, when you’re willing to stand with him to see his divinity, . .
. . . meaning, for by your proclaiming it in him . . .
. . . you see?
Another way of putting that is, you get to keep what you give.
Simple, straight-forward, factual.
What does that mean? That means that your insistence upon looking at him to see his guiltlessness by saying, “Father what is the truth here?” your doing that makes it yours. Because it reveals your Brother’s guiltlessness to you and when you see it about your Brother you immediately recognize that it’s the truth about yourself as well.
But you won’t see it about yourself until you extend it to your Brother first. Another seemingly impossible thing and yet that’s the only way it works and therefore, it is possible!
. . . grant his guiltlessness to him . . .
. . . to make that even clearer we could say, Yet truth is offered first in order to be received . . .
. . . you and your Brothers and Sisters.
This is important. This is why Reality is unconflicted. This is why harmony is the eternal fact. This is why eternity is eternity. There is nothing to break it up. There is nothing to break it down.
. . . God . . .
. . . because there’s nothing outside the One that God is . . .
You, at this instant as you are listening, are guiltless. That is the eternal unchangeable fact about you, one which you do not believe. And one which you do not experience, because you are maintaining a duality. God is both First and One. Singular, indivisible.Therefore, your attempt to be an independent agent is an attempt to create a second, in addition to God, which is impossible. And the impossibility of it is experienced as sin, sickness and death – the human condition. It’s not true. It’s not actual. But as long as this attempt to be separate and independent and a second to God, that is the problem that needs to be solved.
It means that anything you engage in independently, any thought you have that is not guided by the Holy Spirit or the Father, is the creative movement of the illusion – of mortality, period.It is never valuable. And to abandon it does not constitute the abandoning of yourself. Even though you identify so closely with your thinking, you believe that when you’re not thinking, you will cease to exist. Which is another thing that makes what I’m teaching seem to be impossible.
Your guilt never was present. You imagine it is. But it is not present.
. . . which is your true state . . .
. . . meaning guilt . . .
In other words, it is something you need to consciously engage in the release of by joining with the Father consciously, by having the conscious intent not to be separate, independent and isolated.
. . . you have to initiate . . .
This is a little tricky . . .
You see? You think you teach yourself things. But it’s in the absence of your teaching yourself things, it’s in the silence of the infinite Mind that you are, that the infinite Mind that God is as your Mind, can register [snaps fingers] with you. And then you learn because truth is revealed and perceived by you but not at your own hand.And as I’ve said before, this is what is insulting. And to those who are sorely identified with their thinking, it means that you’ve got to give up your existence. That’s what it seems like to you, which you perceive to be an impossible thing to willingly do because it feels like committing suicide.
There it is. You cannot teach yourself. But in the absence of your busy thinking – of your indulgence in self-righteousness – in the absence of that, the Father takes the last step. The Father reveals Himself to you. He will give Himself to you as He has always done.
What does that mean, He has always done? Yes, because Being is a Movement of God into manifestation.
Creation is the Movement of God into manifestation. God is always giving Himself to you as your Self, as your Identity. God is giving Himself to you as your Identity. And you see, as long as you’re attempting to maintain a puny little private sense of self, you are refusing the Gift of God, of Himself to you.
Do you see? This is slowly and clearly undermining any justification you might have for valuing and validating yourself as a private entity with a mind of your own, who has been given a gift of free will by God, you say, to act independent of God, to ignore God if you so choose. And that’s all fantasy. And it simply needs to be abandoned.
You can’t be forgiven for what you haven’t done. And you have not managed to be an orphan. You have not managed to be an independent agent acting in opposition to the Father. It can’t be done! And so you haven’t done it. Therefore you are not guilty of it and you can thereby abandon the feelings of guilt that keep you from reaching out to the Father and embracing Him and His Gift to you of Himself as all there is to you.
You see? It’s utter simplicity. But it requires the complete abandonment of self-will, which finds expression through self-righteousness.
What unforgiving mind? Well, the mind that gets pissed off when somebody else doesn’t pay attention to the kindness and the goodness that’s extended to them. And they don’t appreciate it and they take up your time giving you the opportunity to be kind and then waste your time by not taking it and using it and benefitting from it. You see?The anger that comes up is a manifestation of an unforgiving mind. And that means that the gift of kindness that you thought you were giving was an act of kindness – an act, not a genuine kindness. It’s the evidence of an unforgiving mind, resting just below the surface, ready to pounce if the good you are doing isn’t well-received.
That is self-righteousness. And self-righteousness, as I said last week, is the number one killer. It is that which keeps you separate from the Source of your Life which is your Father, Who, by making the Gift of Himself to you as you is the non-existence of an independent agent, and is the presence of You in your right Mind enjoying and perceiving Creation as it truly Is, so full of joy and love that there cannot be any occasion for mean-spirited, small minded self-interest, self-righteousness, self-importance.
Atonement becomes real and visible to them that USE it. It remains invisible to those who do not use it . . . to those who refuse to engage in the holy instant or the two-step and defer to something beyond their puny little self-righteous independent agent attitude.
. . . listen to this . . . where you are.
Do you see how clearly this is put and how it states that what seems to be an impossibility has to be a possibility else you would not be directed to engage in it? It is your unbelief that gets in the way of your hearing the truth of this. But it is so clearly said here that it will be easier for you to be willing to push the envelope and to press for functioning outside of whatever the current limits are that are binding you.
Period. Simple. Straight forward. The truth, as long as you are trying to deny Reality, Reality will be problematic for you, because it will continue to be omnipresent and omnipotent and it will not honor the limits you try to impose on it. And so it will always press itself against the limits you are trying to reinforce and you will call that opposition and you will try to get rid of it.
Hear it again:
. . . with all of your mind.What is that function? To cover your Brother’s back, to abandon your independence, to become vulnerable enough to let your Brother in and to feel into your Brother and care enough, so that the hurt that you find there is something you want to help get rid of so that you, with commitment, ask further of the Father or the Holy Spirit, “What is the truth here that will heal? Because I want to be fulfilling my function here.”
Of course not, you’re just going to keep the guilt in place – reaffirm it.
So, don’t try to understand this before you do it. You don’t need to. And you’re prejudice, because of the state of self-righteousness that you’re in, will tend to keep you from even being able to understand Creation. And so you must do the only thing you’ve been asked to do: be willing to look into your Brother’s eyes and remember God. Look at your Brother with the intent to find God there. That’s what you’re asked to do . . . and that you can do if you’re willing.
When you release the arguments you have and all the confidences you have put in place that hold you securely, and hold your Brother securely in the orphan state of mind, when you release those, when you stop reinforcing them by persisting in looking into your Brother’s eyes and wishing to see God and thereby covering his back, when you do that, when you release them, they are gone, because they never where actual, they never were actually there.
Now we’re going to get even more specific. This is what we’ve been talking about for the last few weeks and especially last week.
In other words, decide that your choice to be a self-righteous, arrogant, manipulator is a misunderstanding of yourself – of who you are – that you are employing. And so, deciding that God is right and YOU are wrong about yourself is essential to escaping from the bondage that you have created.
Remember there is no second to God, or third or fourth. There’s no outside of God. So everything that exists, exists within the Wholeness the Oneness that God Is, and thereby embodies or manifests that singularity, that indivisible non-conflicted Presence.
And I’m going to backup two sentences once more:
That’s not very satisfying to the ego. It’s insulting to the ego. And if you are wrong about yourself then everything that you have misunderstood or understood incorrectly about yourself, which you use to identify who you are to yourself, will have to go, will have to be released. And again, that seems like extermination – the end of you. And again, I say, it is not! And it is an essential step in the Atonement.
. . . God’s . . .
And that means you at this very instant . . . now . . . now . . . now . . . now, tomorrow, the next day, every single moment.Now here’s your task:
Let’s make this a little bit more understandable.
Well what is this loveless place made out of darkness and deceit? Well of course, it’s the self-righteousness you engage in. It’s that mean-spirited, ugliness, this arbitrary offensiveness just beneath the surface that comes into play when you are affronted by a lack of respect for the good that you are doing.
So when it says:
. . . it means, fail not to catch yourself in the act of self-righteous judgment and call yourself on it. Call yourself on it. Tell yourself to “stop,” and then stop using your mind that way. Do not energize the darkness and the deceit of self-righteousness. And right then and there, shift your attention to look at your Brother, even if you can’t look directly in his eyes, look at him or look at her with the intent to see God there and acknowledge God there, because if he or she exists at all, it is because God is making the Gift of Himself right there as your Brother or Sister.
Again, for simplicity: When you find yourself employing self-righteous judgment and you catch yourself, and you abruptly bring it to a halt and you replace it with the desire to see God in your Brother by asking God, “What is the truth here about your Brother?” then the darkness and deceit are undone. The self-righteousness in you is undone and it is no longer the number one killer in your life. Get it?
. . . for God’s Love . . .God will Himself exchange your gift for His.
You see? When you make that gift of wishing to see God in whatever you’re looking at, that is the gift you are giving to God. And God will receive it and exchange His Gift with yours. His Gift is: Being All there Is of You. Gifting You with all that He Is and nothing else.See now, here’s a little bit more of the seeming impossibility that this makes clear is possible, else it wouldn’t give you such a clear direction.
Um… the only way that makes sense is if you understand that you, in an independent position, making decisions, is this false independent sense of self that got a divorce from the Father and therefore can’t actually accomplish anything whatsoever, that you have to be willing to invalidate and not attempt to use. But as long as you are attempting it, then you have decided against your function in Heaven.
What’s your function in Heaven? Your function in Heaven is to refer to the Father, “What is the truth here?” and listen and hear His answer and embrace it. That’s your function in Heaven.
So again, before you make any decisions for yourself through the use of your puny little mind and your ability to use reason and logic and your ability to intermingle your intent with all of the mutual agreements that everyone has created in order to have societies that function half way well, when you are willing to invalidate that, and seemingly make the you, you thought you were, extinct, you are at the threshold of the Atonement.
. . . on Earth with your puny private little mind.
. . . listen:
Meaning: in recognition that you in your so-called independent state of mind do not Know the Truth. You do not know enough to make a decision that would be in harmony with Creation, with your Source and therefore with your Self. And therefore, that which divides you – self-righteousness – is still the number one killer. And the Atonement which is waiting your acceptance of It and your practice of It, continues to seem to be unavailable to you.
Yeah, let’s not answer that too quick.
A flip answer would be, “Well, I can’t. Well, I can’t. What do you expect?” Well, that’s not the answer. That’s just more self-righteousness. That’s more orphan talk.
The question again:
And here’s the answer:
“Oh God, there’s that impossible thing again. I’ve got to listen and I’ve got to defer and I can’t even hear my Guide. Thanks a lot.”Oh boy, got a little more self-righteousness don’t we. And it gets in the way. It stands in the way of your humility. It stands in the way of your saying, “Well, if I can’t hear from my Guide yet, but everything is set up so that when I reach out to my Guide or to the Father, an answer will be provided that will lift me out of the orphanage, that will lift me out of the human condition, that will free me from the self-righteousness, what will that look like? What is the answer?” And then you patiently and humbly continue to listen because you feel the need. Until you feel the need you won’t bring the commitment, the genuineness to the process, which is necessary.
. . . Who’s the one Who speaks for God? The Holy Spirit. What is the Holy Spirit? That which is nothing more than your right Mind, which you could never get away from, but which you could ignore by making so much independent noise yourself that you drown out the Voice for Truth – which is your right Mind. That’s why the first step of the two-step is to “shut up.” Simplicity.
The Holy Spirit – that which is nothing more than your right Mind – knows your function because it is you in your right Mind.
Yes, that is what you have been doing. And you do it by means of the self-righteousness that is just beneath the love and the consideration and the kindness that you bring into play with the conscious intent to manipulate for your benefit and then secondarily for the benefit of the one you are coercing.
. . . that which is nothing more than your right Mind . . .
. . . but of course, it seems most reasonable to you. It seems like the way of life to you. And what you’re being called upon to do seems to be impossible, simply because it’s been awhile since you practiced it and thus it’s naturalness and normalcy doesn’t feel natural and normal to you any more. And your need to survive is overriding your willingness to become still and therefore vulnerable, where God’s Love can reach you and turn the human condition into the divine actuality of you as the Son of God or the Daughter of God.
. . . what? . .
See, that’s the part you can’t do by yourself. You must stand with, along side the Father as you reach out to Him and as you make commitment to Him. But as you make commitment to Him, your gift of commitment He receives and exchanges with His Gift. And His Gift to you is the conscious experience of you as His only Son, as His only Daughter, pure, perfect, invulnerable, which you will experience as one of regeneration and redemption.
. . . not against God anymore, not independent of God.
. . . which really means, when you learn to listen to God and hear His Voice and decide with Him as to what He has said, . .
What does that mean, . . Only your own volition? Well, it simply means, only your will to have it your way. Only your insistence upon making up your own plans . . .
The Father says, “Here is the Truth.” And you say, “Yes, but . . . yes, but . . . yes, but . . . yes, but . . . yes, but . . .” And all the time you’re saying, “Yes, but,” you’re holding off on deciding with the Father on what the Father is Being. And so you delay the experience of Atonement and you continue the practice of self-righteousness and death still awaits you.
Deciding for yourself is an exercise of your own volition.
. . . that which is nothing more than your right Mind . . .
. . . what? . .
That’s the last straw. When the Holy Spirit does it for you – you poor little helpless bastard – that’s really insulting! I mean, the Holy Spirit doesn’t tell you the truth so that you as an independent authorizer can carry it out. No, because that independent, self-righteous bastard that wants to do it himself is the very thing that creates the whole illusion of sin, sickness and death.
So the ultimate of this is: That the Holy Spirit will tell you and then do it for you. And you will let Him do it, because you want to be through with sin, sickness and death.
And that’s the promise of it:
And that’s your release. When you give up the last vestige of a feeling of a right to engage in an independent activity, the Kingdom is given to you . . . given to you because it’s your Birthright and not because you’ve earned it.
And that is the nature of God’s Love. That’s the way Atonement works. It is not impossible. And I invite you to refer to this section that we’ve just read, over and over, so as to remind yourself that what seems to be impossible, must not actually be impossible or you would not have such clear unequivocal explanation of how to come Home.
I love you very much. And I look forward to being with you next time.
A Course In Miracles (reference pages)
Chapter 13 – Section: THE WAY OF SALVATION or YOUR FUNCTION IN THE ATONEMENT
All of the activities of the Northwest Foundation for "A Course In Miracles" are provided without charge or obligation. This is possible because of thoughtfulness, love extended without conditions. Such is the nature of Gift. As a result these materials are available to you, because someone like you has already gifted you with them.
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