Accepting the Atonement for Yourself
Transcription of David Hoffmeister’s talk at the ACIM Conference in San Francisco, February 2007. You can listen to the talks at our ACIM Conference website.
Thank you so much for coming. It is really an honor to be here and be joined with you. The topic we are going to talk about tonight is accepting the Atonement. Everyone who is familiar with A Course in Miracles knows that if A Course in Miracles was a symphony, then the Atonement is the crescendo. If we think of it in terms of notes, you might say that the Atonement is the keynote. It is what everything is leading to in your work with A Course in Miracles.
I don’t know about you, but for me simplicity is important. Years ago I thought to myself, if I am going to experience truth, or reality, it must be very, very simple. This world is very complicated and heaven is nothing like this world, it is not fragmented. So, it must be the big “AHA”. Almost as though it’s been under your nose all along as you were running along frantically trying to be good enough or to work hard enough or practice enough. Atonement has been under your nose all the time. It has always been there and it is just a matter of stopping instead of running around and seeking and searching so hard: it is to just relax and behold it.
I would start off this talk by saying that Atonement is a total commitment. The ego doesn’t even know what commitment is. It is so impulsive. The ego is like a little wild child, it doesn’t have a parent. That is because it really doesn’t have a parent. It doesn’t have a source. It is like this wild, frantic fearful thought that has no parent. It has no sense of stability. It’s impulsive, it’s complex, and the Holy Spirit is like the answer in the mind, the bringer of the Atonement, putting the Atonement principle into action for the mind that has fallen asleep.
It is so tranquil and quiet and still, that the Atonement and the Holy Spirit literally do nothing. It just looks and watches and waits, and judges not. It is just a state of pure stillness. But in order to open your mind to accept the Atonement you have to be ready and willing for something completely different than anything you’ve known in this world.
A Course in Miracles is a tool for your mind to use. You might say the first step is that Jesus and the Holy Spirit first have to get your attention. They have to catch your attention with the desire to see something differently or to have a change of mind. You might say the first part of this whole plan of awakening and accepting the plan of Atonement is to let them get your attention, whatever it takes
You really have to be ready for the Course. I’ve traveled around the world many times and I’ve been in 19 countries and I hear the same stories. Some people have used it and it sits on their bookshelf, used it as a doorstop, they used it to put their plants on, and then one day suddenly, they just go “Hmmm, I think I am supposed to read this book.” And something gets their attention. Sometimes it falls off the shelf and it hits them in the head, or something very dramatic, but first Jesus has to get your attention.
And once Jesus has your attention then you have to be willing to open up for miracles. You need to be convinced that there is another way of looking at the world. You shouldn’t be concerned and feel pressured because it is the Holy Spirit’s job, it’s Jesus’ job to convince you. You just have to be willing. You have to have a little bit of willingness.
Through many, many, many miracles, you prepare your mind for the Atonement. The Atonement has been described in the Course as the first miracle, and the last miracle, and all the miracles in between. Atonement is different from miracles per say in the sense that, some of you have read the section on The Last Unanswered Question [in Chapter 21]. You may have answered the first three but the last one has a sense of certainty. The last one has a sense of finality where you cannot go back and vacillate.
When you are practicing the Course you have a miracle, then the ego seems to come back – but not with the Atonement. The Atonement is a principle that takes you to a state of certainty of who you are. What I mean by this is, for example, there is a workbook lesson, titled, “I will accept Atonement for myself”, which is lesson number 139. The very first sentence of this lesson is “Here is the end of choice.” The end of choice – how relaxing must a state of mind be where there is no decision to be made? Where you don’t have to ponder alternatives, you just rest and be who you are. Here is the end of choice. That is why that this Course is really about training your mind to accept the Atonement. To ‘accept the correction’ is a synonym for it. That is what I am going to talk to you tonight about.
Just to give you a little background on me, my name is David, I got the Course delivered to my lap in 1986. When the Course came into my life, I said “Oh my God, this is my escape from fear and doubt and misery.” I felt an immediate recognition with it. I studied it for an average of eight hours a day for the first two and a half years. It is like you were drowning and someone threw you a life raft and said “grab hold!” That is how I felt when I found the Course. I felt like this was the answer to an unspoken prayer. I studied it for so many hours a day. You can imagine immersing your mind so deeply into something, and after a couple of years instead of just reading the words a Voice started to speak to me very clearly in my mind and started to guide me very specifically. “Call so and so.” “Go here, go there.” “You forgot your keys, go back.” Like a little bird on my shoulder chirping away, like having a little miniature Jesus. I would say that really started to speed up my Awakening because I was being guided very specifically. And Jesus saves time. The whole point of this is to save time. Not to prolong time and to extend time, but to collapse time, that is what miracles do.
So after about two and a half years of this I went to my first conference. I was introduced to some who were speakers there as, “a walking ACIM encyclopedia”. There is nothing like getting introduced as an encyclopedia to spur you on. I don’t want to be an encyclopedia. I could quote verses and tell you what page number and so on and so forth, like a scholar, but I wanted the experience. That launched me into an experience of listening to the Holy Spirit and following the Holy Spirit, and feeling the joy and the inspiration of being in tune with the Holy Spirit.
What I tell people is that when they do the workbook lessons, you should do them with such anticipation that every day you expect to wake up. You expect that lesson to be the One. Instead of thinking in your mind, well, I’ve got 365 and if I don’t get it I can go back and do it again, which is only buying into this sense of time. I just expected to wake up. I would go, “Ah, another day! Another lesson.” And I would give everything I had to the lesson.
To go for an experience that will end your doubting, to go for an experience that takes you beyond theories and concepts, is what Atonement is about. It is the sole responsibility. It may seem like in this world you have many responsibilities, and many duties, and many roles and many obligations, but I can assure you that as you keep allowing the Holy Spirit to guide you, you keep coming back to, “Oh. But I just have one responsibility. Just to accept the Atonement. And I need to be guided very carefully by the Holy Spirit.”
It is not about abdicating on responsibilities and just affirming the truth and affirming that you are the child of God. It is about letting Holy Spirit handle what is going on in your mind with integrity.
You will not be asked to lie and break promises and to cut and run. You are going to be asked to follow so clearly, so intricately, so loyally, that all things are handled through you by the Holy Spirit. There are still things that you face every day but Holy Spirit handles them. Some of you remember in the Bible, Jesus said “Be like the lilies in the field,” and “Seek ye first the Kingdom of Heaven.”
In the Course, Jesus is saying that once you have accepted His plan as the one function you would fulfill, there will be nothing else the Holy Spirit will not arrange for you without your effort. Holy Spirit will go before you, making straight your path, and leaving in your way no stones to trip on, no obstacles to bat your way. When you accept your function, everything in this world is completely orchestrated for you. You literally live a life that has no problems. No personal problems, no societal problems, no health issues, no financial issues, no relationship issues; that is what salvation is. That is what Enlightenment is. It is realizing as we study in lesson 80, “Let me recognize that my problems have been solved.” that in the Holy Spirit they are solved. Not in the ego. So that is why we have to go so deeply into that.
For me it has been an experience of listening and following, and listening and following, to the point that you feel a merge taking place, an integration, in your mind. There is no longer a leader and a follower; there is no longer a guide and one who is being guided. The personality, the mask of being human, just starts to dissolve away. You feel yourself as the living presence of God, as the living Christ, as the I Am presence.
You must be clear that in order to consistently experience this you can make no exceptions to the miracle. That is what the workbook is about, making no exceptions. Go through your day willing to make no decisions by yourself, willing to let every decision be made by Holy Spirit through you. If I make no decisions by myself, this is the day that will be given me.
It is like lesson 135 where Jesus says, “A healed mind does not plan. It carries out the plans that it receives through Listening to Wisdom that is not its own.”If there are plans to be made, you will be told of them. That is the feeling. “Oh, you want me to do this? Okay, okay…” Where will I be in Feb 2007? It is given. But there is no sense of pressure in it. You flow in that Divine Flow and you keep your integrity. If the Holy Spirit gives you a plan or a prompt, you follow through.
Not only is Atonement a total commitment, it is in the present moment you start to understand what the Course means when it says, “Atonement might be equated with total escape from the past and total lack of interest in the future.” Isn’t that a lovely phrase? You can just let that wash over you. Total escape from the past and total lack of interest in the future.
That sounds so relaxing because it takes the stress of trying to figure things out away from you. It takes the stress of having to work out your salvation. It sounds a lot like Grace. Total escape from the past and total escape from the future.
What I want to talk about tonight is how this is very practical. This is safe. This is sure. You can have confidence in this. Be certain of this, Instead of being gullible or instead of being ‘airy-fairy,’ or some of the other words we’ve heard that people have talked about over the centuries, such as ‘Pollyanna,’ or “Why don’t you get grounded, you are living up in the clouds.” I have a friend in Argentina , and her whole family says to her, “You and your miracles, you live in the clouds, you live in the clouds everyday.” She just smiles and says, “Come join me.”
It is lightness. There is no sense of trying to convince anybody of anything. You don’t have to proselytize. There is no need to try to force something; you are not trying to change anyone’s mind. You are trying to let your mind be guided and changed by Holy Spirit. You aren’t trying to change anybody else. And it brings you into a sense of relaxation and joy when you allow this to occur.
I think we’ve heard some great speakers today saying Jesus “orchestrates” things, and how He is orchestrating our lives. That is one thing that really caught my attention. I read in the Course that Jesus was saying, “If you will be a miracle worker for me, I will orchestrate time and space for you.” Orchestrate time and space for me? Wow. That sounds really interesting. They never taught us that in high school or college.
How to orchestrate time and space! Jesus says time is in the hands of the miracle worker. Wow, that’s a change. Instead of being a human being stuck in time like a fly stuck on fly paper, what, time is in my hands? The miracle worker is in control of time, because Jesus says I will perform miracles through you if you will let me. You don’t have to be perfectly clear. If you were perfectly clear, there would be no need for miracles in the first place. But just for an instant, you need to be fearless. Just for an instant, relax. And trust in my readiness, Jesus says. Don’t worry about your readiness, trust in Mine. I will perform the miracles through you. But they cannot be performed in a state of doubt or fear. Doubt and fear just block what’s there, but you have to relax.
Over the years I’ve had to change from a person who was very quiet and shy. I was voted most shy in my senior class and listed that way in the yearbook. Nobody thought I’d ever go around the world and talk about God and things they tell you never to talk about in public. And I thought, “Oh boy, Moses stuttered and now here we go. I get to go around the world and talk about God.”
What happens is miracles are involuntary. It is not like you have to consciously control what you are going to say and whom you are going to talk to. You can see I have no script up here. I am enjoying the talk along with you, as always. I am listening to what the Holy Spirit has to say, as if it is for the first time. Because it always feels that way, it always feels that way.
When you are a miracle worker, time and space are orchestrated for you. Let me give you an example. I get invitations all around the world. I was invited to Cali , Colombia , and I had not been on many trips overseas. I was going down to Miami , Florida to go down to Colombia .
I got down to Miami and there was a hurricane coming right into Miami and the airport looked like an evacuation area. There were people trying to get out of Florida to get back to their homelands in South America . Babies were crying, it was very crowded; people were all over the place. I was supposed to meet my friend Susana, a friend and translator who was flying all the way from the Canary Islands and then with me across over to Colombia .
When I got to Miami I just kept looking around for her in this sea of people, and we found each other and got on the plane. As soon as we got on the plane and it was in the air, they announced that they had shut down the entire Greater Miami airport. And I joked about it. I got to Colombia and I said, “Yea, Jesus was holding off the hurricane. You can just imagine Him saying, “Okay, he’s almost through, good there he is.”
Think about it. You don’t think about yourself as so important that a hurricane gets put on hold. When you are watching the news you don’t think, “Well, if I was down there, that baby would not come NEAR me because I’m doing God’s work.” I tell you that example because I’m not fooling when I tell you that Jesus says I will control time and space if you will perform miracles.
I was just going down there to let the Holy Spirit speak through me. You’ve heard of people that lay and bust clouds with their mind? Oh, clouds are little things. Your mind can move mountains, stop hurricanes. It is so powerful that there is nothing in this world, in this entire cosmos that is more powerful than your mind. You have dominion over the entire cosmos when you are a miracle worker.
I’ve been down in Venezuela for example. Some of you know what is going on in Venezuela with Chavez. I went to Venezuela . I landed in Merida and Caracas . I was on television twice, I was on eight radio interviews, and the military there was doing war games. They were preparing for an invasion from the United States taking over the oil fields. I’m talking about miracles and love and sharing healing, and they’re doing war maneuvers. They were in a state of alertness for an impending invasion. I do not fear for my life because I do not identify with the body. I feel invulnerable. So I will go wherever the Holy Spirit would have me go. When you are performing miracles you might remember the line in the Bible, “If God is with us, who can be against us?”
Isn’t this a GREAT profession that we’re being called to? If you are in your state of miracle mindedness and state of readiness, then nothing can be against you because everything is being used for good. All things work together for good, the Bible says, and the Course says. It feels good to feel invulnerable. It feels good to feel powerful. And Jesus says in the Course, all power is given you in heaven and earth. All power is of God.
If you follow the ego you can believe in manifesting. You can say that you manifest your soul mate and your yacht. Some of you have seen the movie, “The Secret.” You know the mind is very powerful We are not trying to diminish the power of the mind, but once again, all power is of God, because God is the Creator. So power is of the Spirit. Even when you seem to be able to manipulate the dream and have the dream come out in a certain way, that is just a step along the way. Who could be content with such small things when the Kingdom of Heaven is your inheritance, when Eternity is your inheritance? You may like to tinker around for a while with time and space, but a happy dream is worth more than being able to control or manipulate the world.
That is why it has gotten to the point in my life where peace of mind is no small gift. I live in such a state of peace and happiness and joy that I get invitations to talk on Enlightenment with people that are into Bhagavad-Gita or many different traditions, and ACIM is generally what I use. It is near and dear to my heart, but now it has gone beyond the Course. It is just joining everywhere I go.
I’m going to read you a few sentences from lesson 139 and to me this is really great. This is what makes it all worthwhile. This is what Jesus said, in paragraph number nine, “We have a mission here. We did not come to reinforce the madness that we once believed. Let us not forget the goal that we accepted. It is more than just our happiness alone we came to gain.”
It is more than our happiness alone we came to gain. What is coming next?
We accept that what we are proclaims what everyone must be along with us. Everyone must be along with us…Do you realize the implications of that sentence? What we proclaim for ourselves is what EVERYONE must be along with us. We’re not talking about gurus who’ve got it, and devotees who grovel and bow and say, “I want to get what he has got”. If you accept the Atonement, then EVERYONE goes with you! Everyone has to be enlightened if you are enlightened. Do you see the implications of this? Do you see how this old game of “I’ve got it and you don’t,” isn’t going to fly with this Course? If you are enlightened, everyone that you perceive is enlightened. You must treat everyone with the same enlightenment that you experience. If you are love, everyone is love. Are there exceptions?
What that means, what the reading in the review section we just opened up means, is that when you allow your mind to be changed, every mind is changed. I can change all minds, is what was read, along with mine. Listen to that sentence. I can change all minds along with mine. It must be that there is only one mind that needs to accept the Atonement. Not six billion, just one. And the one, of course, is your own.
It isn’t about trying to get Mom and Dad to accept the Atonement. Some of us have tried. We know how that feels. All you are doing when you accept the Atonement is you are allowing a transformation in which you realize that everything is connected and we all share one mind. As they say in South America , “Una Sola Mente.” One Mind.
It doesn’t matter what angle you want to come at it with. Some of you have heard of the movies, What the Bleep Do We Know? and Down the Rabbit Hole. People all over the world love movies. In all of the 19 countries I’ve gone, everyone says, “ Hollywood , Hollywood , tell us about Hollywood !” So, I bring Hollywood with me. I have What the Bleep in my pocket, or Matrix, all the greats, the T ruman Show, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I even wrote this thing called theMovie Watchers Guide to Enlightenment. Everybody loves movies.
They sit there like they’re going to be entertained and all the sudden they have such a big smile on their face. They are grinning from ear to ear and have the twinkling eyes. I am in a big auditorium like this with people that I’ve never met, and we all have the goo-goo eyes and we’re all totally in love by the time we get to the end of the movie because we all share the same parable. We are all watching a parable of awakening. From the Matrix, “You are the One.” Doesn’t matter what language you translate that into, everyone is like, “Ooo, yeah, yeah, I could live with that.” It is so precious to experience this and to be able to let the Spirit pour through you in a language that can reach everyone in a meaningful way. It has to come in a meaningful way; it can’t just fly over everyone’s head.
When I first went down to Colombia , I did many gatherings and basically 93 percent women showed up. The macho men were not so interested in oneness, seemingly, until after two weeks I was talking to the women and I asked them what they wanted out of life. They said “I wish I could communicate this with my boyfriend or with my husband. That would be the most important thing to me. More important than anything else I want to share this with everyone and share it with my partner.”
They rented the zoo theater, and they had me show What the Bleep Do We Know?because they said that their boyfriend/husbands were into science and quantum physics, but couldn’t stand all this Jesus talk. They said “He doesn’t want to know anything about religion but he loves quantum physics, he loves science”. So, we put on the headsets and I did a translation of the movie What the Bleep Do We Know. You should have seen the looks!
I was kissed by 48 women because everyone was so happy. They were so happy because they were able to look at each other and say, “That is what I’ve been trying to tell you. I’ve been trying to tell you that for the last 20 years!” It was a language gap. They both were coming at it from their own semantics. They both had a different language, a different vernacular. All they needed was that little bridge, and what the Holy Spirit gives is that little bridge, so the gap disappears and we’re joined. That is what Atonement is about. Atonement is about accepting it for yourself.
When I first started traveling and doing this around 1991, I went all over the place. I was first guided to go spend time with people who had spent their entire lives working with A Course in Miracles. I figured that they were very dedicated and I would like to talk to them. The Holy Spirit said everyone you meet is going to give you a nugget of gold. Everywhere you go you are going to get a nugget, a recognition. You are going to have a miracle that is going to show you the way back to the Kingdom of Heaven . I look around and see people I stayed with as I’ve been doing this for 16 years, following my prompts, and we have such intimate connections. It is like you have known people forever even though you just meet them for the first time. It is an interesting quality with Course in Miracles students and teachers. What that did was to help me to join with everyone I met because I was expecting a gift, a jewel, from everyone.
It didn’t have to just be Course in Miracles students; I invite the Jehovah Witnesses into my house. My family used to go run and hide in the back of the house, because they’d say, “Oh, my God, he’s opening the door; they are in the living room!” They would be sitting there and I would join with them on Jesus. They adore Jesus. There was our nugget. We could join on that and rejoice on Jesus. The Mormon Missionaries go out around the world. When I went to Temple Square they would come up to me. One of the Mormon missionaries came up to me and said, “I love Jesus. I love Jesus and I gave my life over to him and I am so happy.” And I said, “I know exactly what you mean!”
You simply join in what you have in common. There is no time to pick apart semantics and pull things apart, you are there to join. You are there to feel the connection, to see that there is no gap. To me, that is really what ACIM is about. You train your mind so completely to join that you reach a state that Jesus talks about in the Song of Prayer, and He puts it in italics, He says, “Do not see error.”
Do not see error? Wow. What kind of state of mind is that?
Most of the time as you are working with the Course, first you spot the error. You spot it either in yourself or someone else. You are quick to spot it. Then you say, “Help. Help me get back, back into my right mind.” Most of the time when you work with A Course in Miracles in a practical sense, you are going to spot it first. You spot it, you got it. You perceive it, you believe it, that is what I say.
The more you purify, by allowing the Holy Spirit to purify your heart, it is like the Beatitudes, “Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.” That is where this Course is leading. It is leading to such a state of purity that you actually don’t spot the error any more. Do you know what kind of state of mind that is?
You may have seen some of these movies, “The Man Who Knew Too Little”, with Bill Murray. “Being There”, with Peter Sellers. Chancy Gardner was so happy, so content, and so clueless about the world. He’s pretty clueless. He says, “I like to watch.” Now there is a dreamer of the dream. With Mr. Magoo those physical eyes aren’t working too well, but he can walk across the highway, he can go wherever. He is so happy. These are the kind of role models you start to open up to when you are working with ACIM. It is kind of humbling, actually, when Mr. Magoo becomes your role model.
“Who do you believe in? Buddha?”
Wow, that is an interesting saying; it is a “Magooism”.
Then, you start to have fun with it and have joy and fun and you relax with it. Then you start to take it as a compliment when someone comes up to you and says that you are “kind of out of it.”
On the Magoo meter you are getting pretty high there! It sounds a little bit like salvation in ACIM terms. In the Course Jesus says salvation comes with the realization “I do not know the thing I am, what I am doing, where I am going, or how to look upon myself or the world.” That’s where you are heading, in case any of you were worried. But remember, you are safe. You are invulnerable, so in one sense you can relax with it. You aren’t being carried off just to be adrift and end up sleeping in the streets.
Some of you know from Eckhart Tolle that may be part of your journey, a park bench here and there, we’ve all had those, but it isn’t your end point. You just end up with a state of being the dreamer of the dream. You are having a lucid dream where you are just aware that you are dreaming. At one point, Jesus said t hat’s what the function of God’s teachers is: “awareness of dreaming.” A very interesting awareness of dreaming. Remember, if you are the dreamer of the dream, the dream can’t hurt you. You are dreaming it. You aren’t in someone else’s dream.
Some of us have worked in jobs where we felt the boss had a pretty strong dream going on there, but the Course trains your mind to turn it around and see. “No, I am the dreamer of the world of dreams. No other cause does it have or ever will.” It is a sense of empowerment.
What I am saying is that Atonement, Enlightenment, is very, very practical.
You go through many phases with the Course. It has a Teacher’s Manual where there are teachers and students. Even though Jesus comes right out at the beginning and says that there is no difference between the teacher and the student, it is all the same, you are just teaching yourself all the time. Even if you think you are apart from the learner or from the teacher, it is all going on simultaneously. He has levels of teaching; He talks about the three levels and goes through these.
I seemed to be so happy years ago that I would have people show up and say, “I’m your student.”
I’d say, “What is this?” It got to the point where you start to realize that teaching and learning is really equated with thinking. You are thinking either with the ego or you are thinking with Christ. And you are teaching all the time. There isn’t a role of being a teacher or a role of being a student. You start to pay very close attention to your thoughts and learn to hand them over to the Holy Spirit when they aren’t loving, when they are attack thoughts.
It really is that simple. You start to realize that you don’t want to freeze down to a concept or into a role. As soon as you do identify with a role, even if it is ACIM teacher, and someone comes up and steals your role, you say, “Ah!”. If you have a charge, if you have a reaction, that means you are identified with an illusion, with a concept.
Just like Buddhism, this is a Course in emptying your mind of everything you think you think and think you know. It does so in a very systematic way. It prepares you to be still, to be open minded, to be of tranquility.
A tranquil mind is not a small gift.
Meditation, for example, starts out with practice. You do have to be vigilant for God and His Kingdom. You do have to work at training your mind to jump off the trains, as they say in Buddhism, or to sink beneath the leaves and let the leaves flow over you.
But there comes a point when your life becomes a living meditation. You can be singing Zip A Dee Doo Dah like we did today and you are in meditation. You can be walking, you can be eating, and your eyes can be opened or closed. You start to realize that meditation doesn’t have anything to do with posture or breathing. Those things can be very helpful at the beginning, like having quiet places to go and to focus on your breath. I’m not dismissing those. What I am saying is where you are leading in terms of Atonement is independent of the body, and independent of time.
There can seem to be noise or no noise. There can be someone screaming and shouting or a room full of quiet people. You start to realize that you can’t be interrupted. If all things work together for good, what would an interruption even be? An interruption wouldn’t exist. What I am talking about is a state of mind that has no distractions. One of the things I found important in accepting Atonement is realizing the Holy Spirit uses everything in form to reach the state of Atonement.
Another name for the ego is reciprocity. When we look at special relationships, that is really like a core of co-dependency. A core of special relationships is when you are in an interactive relationship where you make a bargain to give to them, but they better give back to you or else!
There is a lot of fish in this pond and I can find another fish if you don’t reciprocate. I’ll take the garbage out this week but next week, you reciprocate. Reciprocity is what the ego is.
If you study the lives of the mystics and saints like Mother Theresa or Saint Francis, you read in their prayers that they are always talking about giving, extending, radiating, and not looking for anything to come back. They are just in the joy of the giving. In Saint Francis’ prayer,” I want to love instead of to be loved.” You aren’t looking for that “be loved”; you are simply extending the love. Why? Because giving and receiving are the same. If you are extending the love, guess who feels whole and complete. You do. The same with Mother Theresa, she would do the simplest things for everyone she would meet, because she was seeing Christ in everyone she met. It is very simple, it is just extending love.
It became very apparent to me at the beginning of my journey that that Jesus was speaking to me and saying the same thing that He told the Apostles 2000 years ago. “Freely you have received, now freely give.” Be very generous with miracles. Shine the light. Take time for everyone who comes into your awareness. Treat everyone with love, with care, with compassion. Because when you meet anyone, you are really meeting yourself. When you think of anyone you are really thinking of yourself. The way you treat everyone is the way you treat yourself and you need to be in that mode of not looking to get things back.
When I first started, I said, “Jesus that sounds good. I don’t know about this planet in particular, I think it is kind of practical to ask for things and have some expectations.” And He said, “Freely you have received, now freely give.” I was told very specifically by Jesus, “You will never charge money for anything. You will never charge a penny for anything. Nothing you write, nothing you say, no counseling, no talks, and no gatherings. Freely you have received, now freely give.”
The more I got into this, the more I realized that I was freeing my mind of expectations because love makes no demands. If you are living in a state of trust that you believe that the Holy Spirit will meet your needs, whatever you believe that they are, then you are trusting in Divine Love to meet all your perceived needs. You aren’t putting that on your brothers and sisters.
Think of how wars are fought over territorial disputes. Or think of how children fight over a bigger piece of pie, or neighbors fight over where a fence has come. It is just that when we get into a state of ego, of personalities, then it seems as if the defenses are there. It seems as if you have to fight and protect yourself, but this isn’t our Self.
It is really about trust for me. When I began doing this I didn’t know how practical this is for me. I don’t know how this is going to work. But Jesus said, “Trust me. Go forth and do this” That has continued for the last 16 years. I have watched how the Holy Spirit has orchestrated it so that everything is taken care of. He says that it won’t be done by your own efforts. “He will go before you making straight your path and leaving in your way no stones to trip on and no obstacles to bar your way.” It is almost like a fairy tale, like something that you might read in a fairy tale book. That is where this is leading; it is leading you to such trust in Spirit. You are being led to such a state of God dependence that you can relax. You can relax in your function, in your vocation, in your purpose.
People say, isn’t that carrying it pretty far? Yes, it is carrying it pretty far, it is quite uncompromising. I would say that if a healed mind is relieved of the belief that it must plan then you can go your way rejoicing and trusting that everything is working out for your own good and that is when you can truly relax. You don’t have these expectations that people should act differently. Or you don’t believe that they should give you this or give you that. The should and the aught to begin to dissolve away. You are in a state of giving. It is very practical. When I have fully given my mind over to it, I have been rewarded with the certainty that all things are working together for good. It is a state of non-judgment.
These gatherings that I do are not talks or lectures, I really don’t do that. Someone was telling me that there were some people in the audience that wanted to ask questions that couldn’t be heard, so I have the microphone and I’m opening the floor up to everyone for questions.
The Question and Answer Session
Questioner: I want to ask about the trust issue. What has been your experience with trust when it comes to people with terminal illnesses, with people who are dying. What are your thoughts?
David: For those who didn’t hear, when you are working with trust, what happens when you confront someone with a terminal illness? How does your trust meet with a terminal illness in this world?
I had that experience back in the 1990s. I was visiting a student of mine in Michigan . He was staying with his girlfriend and she belonged to a community. One of the members of the community had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and was really on his deathbed. Literally, he was on the couch in his sister’s house, and he was dying. He was reaching the final stages of the terminal illness.
You’ve seen the cereal commercial, “Let’s get Mikey to do it?” My student, said, this is great, let’s get David to go over to the dying man’s house and see what happens! Maybe we’ll see a Lazarus kind of thing, let’s see what happens when you bring David together with a terminal illness!
The way I prepared for this was prayerfully. It was a very somber scene in the world’s perception and the grieving had begun. The man was lying on the couch and his sister was there. I just went in there and sat and went into prayer. I am always willing in that state of prayer to be used by the Holy Spirit. But I don’t know what will happen, I never have a clue. The Holy Spirit is the how.
Part of the scenario there was that his sister was Catholic. After I prayed for several minutes all of these words started pouring through me. I started speaking, I started sharing, and a few ideas from the Course in Miracles started to come out. The sister was getting nervous. At one point she said “I feel very uncomfortable with whatever is happening here. You and your friends are going to have to leave”. The man who was on the couch, who was dying, with all of his strength raised his arm up and said, “NO. Let him continue.”
As it turns out this man who was on the couch dying had been a Course In Miracles student. I didn’t know this; I was just invited over there. He said, “I want to hear what he has to say.” “I studied this Course and there were things that I had difficulty accepting. I feel like this is the Holy Spirit speaking to me now.”
The whole situation turned.
I tell that example because we need to have such faith to trust in the Holy Spirit and not to prejudge the situations where we will be called on to speak. This was a situation where the Holy Spirit wanted to come through and it seemed to change the whole complexion of everything.
I had another situation with a man who was on his couch and seemingly diagnosed with the advanced stages of cancer. We had such a powerful and Holy encounter that his eyes were twinkling when I left because we had joined so deeply in purpose that he realized he had a choice. He wasn’t wasting his time and waiting to die, he was interested in praying and reading metaphysical materials from his couch.
You start to realize that everything is the result of a decision. When we use the phrase “terminal illness” that means a sickness that is destined to lead to death. You come to a state of such trust that you are taught by Jesus that there is no death. In fact, that is a workbook lesson, “There is no death, the Son of God is free.” What you do is bring that attitude, you bring the joy. When you have transcended death in your own mind, you have transcended grief.
Another example is that I was asked to speak at my Grandmother’s funeral. My Grandmother Lillian lived to be about 99 years old. But all my life we had these deep talks about God. She would say, “I just don’t believe that God would send anybody to hell. I just don’t believe it.”
I’d say, “Me either.” She was such a loving woman that in all the years I knew her, I could never do anything wrong. I never did anything wrong in her eyes. It was a symbol of unconditional love to me.
I was asked to speak at her funeral. I got there and was praying about it. She was in my mind and what I heard was, “I want to speak at my own funeral.” I thought, okay, this is going to be interesting. I’ve heard of ventriloquism, but to show up at your funeral… I got up and they already had a minister who had done most of the service and Lillian just came pouring through me. People were touched and starting crying because she had touched so many lives. Whatever was said, people recognized her. They started crying and the whole place was crying.
I spoke for five minutes. It was a celebration. There was not a shred of grief in it. She really didn’t believe in death! She was letting everybody know it. “Now that you are all here, now that you can’t see me anymore, I’ve got some good news for you. There is no death.” Afterwards, the minister came up to me and said, “I wish I had a notepad to take down notes of what was said.” At the cemetery there were all these flowers that everyone had sent, and I was saying, “Take these flowers. Take them with you and celebrate this day. This is a day of joy and of celebration. Remember Lillian for who she really is. She lives in your heart forever.”
That is what I mean by not believing in terminal illness or in death itself. In the world a funeral can be a very somber thing. Grief seems in this world almost natural, a grieving period. But when you reach a state of forgiveness, of “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world”, you can be truly helpful.
Another example of forgiving terminal illness is when I trained to be a hospice volunteer. I trained as a volunteer along with a minister who had been diagnosed with leukemia. We went to Wendy’s to have a frosty. He was telling me that he had been diagnosed with leukemia and it had spread through the blood system and he had only so long to live and this and that. I prayed and I looked him in the eye and said, “Is there someone in your life, a dear one, a loved one that you are not on speaking terms with?” He was shocked. He said, “Oh my God, how did you know about my sister?” I asked him if he was talking to his sister and he said they hadn’t spoken in years. They had a big falling out.
I told him that his problem was not leukemia. It is interesting to talk to someone who has been diagnosed with leukemia and be honestly able to tell them, “Your problem is not leukemia; there is a grievance that you are holding in your mind against your sister. That’s where you have to do the work. Don’t worry about what the doctor says, how long you have to live.” I gave him an assignment. I told him that I wanted him to go home and call his sister.
I saw him two weeks later, as we were training for hospice. It was interesting that we were training to work with people with terminal illnesses and he had been diagnosed with one. He came to me two weeks later and he said, “You are not going to believe what happened. I went home and I called my sister. We put it behind us. We laughed, we cried, and then I went in for more tests and they couldn’t find a trace of leukemia. The doctors were astounded.” I said that is what doctors do. They are like unhealed healers. They try and do the best that they can but they don’t realize that the healing is in the mind and not the body.
He was so happy.
I finally got to go in the hospice ward. I was with doctors and nurses and they were feeling heavy. I talked to them and they said they felt like they were on the front line of a war zone. Not so much with the patients, because they were there to give them painkillers and administer love and compassion. But when the families come in and everyone breaks down in heavy grief, they felt like they were right there in Vietnam on the front line. It was just heavy. The more I was there, they asked, “What is it with you? You waltz around like you are Fred Astaire dancing in hospice! Is there something you know? Would you let us in on your secret? Why are you so happy?”
I said, “Life is real. Life is eternal. It is beyond the body.”
They said, whatever it is, we feel it. Some of the patients had gone into comas or were not responding. They are laying there in a state of comatose and I walk into the room and they perked up. They would say, “Hi” I would say, “Hey, hi there.” Then they would say, “Can I ask you some questions? I want to talk about my sister or this and that, and they would go from comatose to animated with me and ask these questions. Basically, what I would always tell them is that they were loved, they were innocent, they didn’t do anything wrong, you did a great job, go to the light, you are the light.
The next day I’d come in and hear, that patient, so and so, checked out. So instead of trying to save lives, you start to realize that you aren’t trying to save the body, just wanting to share innocence. You are giving the same gift to yourself. You are perfectly innocent. You didn’t do anything wrong. That is what the healing is. The body is just a temporary vehicle that you use. It is just like a pencil. You can use it. But your life is the Resurrection in your mind. When it comes to something like terminal illness there is a great line in the Course that helps save me every time I get caught. “Jesus says, “the mind was sick that thought the body could be sick.”
What Jesus did was to simply resurrect His mind. Everyone is familiar with the Jesus story. Thirty years of public ministry, a crucifixion and a resurrection scene. But what they never told us, the preachers and the ministers, was that the resurrection occurred before crucifixion. Before crucifixion? Wait a minute, David, you have the story wrong! Before? Yes, remember when Jesus was at the river Jordon with John? Jesus walked out and told John to baptize him and John said, “No, you should baptize me, you’re the One.”
Jesus told him, “No, baptize me.”
John baptized Jesus and a dove flew down and landed on Jesus’ head. And a Voice spoke and said “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” Did you ever notice what happened after that scene? Jesus started going around talking to people in a very different tone. “Before Abraham was, I Am.” Does that sound like a human being to you? “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me.” Does that sound like a human being? Jesus’ mind was resurrected before his public ministry. And that little skit at the end of his earth ‘life’ was such a tiny little skit. It was like, “Well, we have to leave an example. What kind of a skit can we do? Judas, here, we want you to play this part. Here we’ll get some silver for you. But whatever you do, let’s do it quickly, let’s get this over with. We are going to make it a quick little skit.”
Jesus was telling the Apostles exactly what was going to happen before it would happen.
“When the temple is torn down it will be rebuilt in three days.” Hmmm, resurrection. Jesus knew exactly what the script was. There was no betrayal. This was just a bunch of characters acting out a skit to demonstrate innocence, sinlessness.
Questioner: I have been studying the Course for a few years. It has taken me from a place of loss to a very happy, healthy, wealthy, place. But something has come up which is disturbing. Maybe you could help me. I keep asking, “What next? What would you like me to do next?”
Now Jesus seems to say, romance and sex pleasure, it is time to let that go. It just doesn’t seem right because I really like girls.
This isn’t a Course that wants to take away the little bit that we have is it?
David: Yes, it reminds me of when I was in South America . I was in a group of all women and there was one man there and he fell out of the circle we were all sitting in onto his knees in front of all the women and said, “What about sex?” He was down on his knees. That is a good question. What I will say is this. The ego is the belief in lack in the mind. It is like a prism and when light comes into a prism and it splinters into all those colors, similarly when the miracle impulse comes in, beaming into your mind, it goes through the filter of the ego. Since the ego is the belief in lack the impulse comes out on the surface of consciousness, when the mind is still believing in the ego, as what Jesus calls “…a distorted miracle impulse.”
In other words, it really is a call home to God. That is when you have a craving, when you feel an attraction to a woman, when you feel lust, or call it whatever you want, it is really God calling. Think of it as God dialing your number and saying, “Come home. It is time to come home, time to go on the highway to heaven.” When that light, when that bright light, that miracle impulse, comes through the ego, which is the belief in lack, it comes out on the surface of the consciousness as a craving. That is why all appetites involve getting. It doesn’t really matter whether you are hungry, you are thirsty, you are horny, you are hot, you are cold, you are restless: it comes out in many different ways.
Actually, when Jesus dictated the Course, the first text from the shorthand notes, the Urtext, says “sexual impulses are distorted miracle impulses”. ThenJesus decided to have Helen go back and change “sexual” to “physical” because He was simply being more general. Like I was saying, when you are hungry, when you are thirsty, or any time you crave something in this world, it is because you believe the ego, which is lack. You are simply following what seems to be a need or a desire.
The Holy Spirit is such a gentle presence, He says, “I know you believe in lack. That’s okay.” We have a Course here with a workbook and mind training program to work on this thing. Nothing will be taken away from you (in the sense) that you need to experience miracles. [You just need to learn to listen and follow.] You need to call so and so, hug so and so, comfort the person, wipe their tears, be a translucent instrument for God’s love. The more that you do that, the more you get filled up within from your miracle impulses. You are going to be a miracle worker.
We’ve had examples throughout history. Some of you know of Saint Francis. St. Francis and his band of merry men took the vow of celibacy. You might have seen the beautiful movie, “Brother Sun, Sister Moon” where Giacondo is having these lustful thoughts for a woman and St Francis hears him say “I can’t do it, I’ll ruin everything.” St. Francis says essentially that everyone is trying to open up and love God to their capacity. And If celibacy feels like a distraction to loving God, then be fruitful and multiply. “But with a wife”… Francis says as he goes off.
In other words, you need to trust the Holy Spirit for everything. The Holy Spirit is not going to give you a pathway that seems like deprivation and sacrifice, because you will quit listening to the Holy Spirit if you start feeling that. It would be like, “I don’t want to feel like St. John of the Cross. What am I going to do, Dark Night of the Soul? What do I have to go through?” You have to be given a carefully developed curriculum, step by step, to build your confidence in miracle working. What Jesus says in the Course is that “all real pleasure comes from doing God’s Will.”
As we open up to what that is, we grow in confidence. We grow in spirit. People can look at my life and say, he trusted the Holy Spirit. No job, no girlfriend, no money in your bank account to call your own, no house, no car to call your own, how does that feel? I can honestly tell you that when you are in a state of joy there is no feeling of sacrifice of anything. And what is joy going to cost you? It will cost you nothing of real value. But you have to let the Holy Spirit convince you. I had to let the Holy Spirit convince me.
There are no set rules. It is not like the church. There are no “dos” and “don’ts.” There are no guidelines, no what is a sin and what is not a sin. You will be guided by the Holy Spirit for the situation where your mind is at. That guidance is just for you. There is no standard answer that is like a rigid moralistic thing where you have to do this or that.
I worked with a couple once that was having sexual problems. The wife was studying A Course in Miracles and her libido was going way down. The husband was Jewish and was telling her that they were supposed to have sex and he wanted it at least three times a week and wanted it on Monday night and Thursday afternoon and Saturday night, and she was saying, ‘no way’.
Basically, I worked with them to say: “How about if we can work at a common goal of being spontaneous. You see, how about if you can join together and try to tune in to one another so that you can receive spontaneous prompts and try to practice that instead of saying one should change or the other should change.”
It seems our time for this session is coming to an end. Thank you so much for coming. God Bless You.
Okay everybody, we’re going to start, we’re going to have a lot of fun this afternoon. Since we’ve just come in we’re going we’re going to start out with some music and some singing, it is another sing along. It will just relax you. First I will say the words, because the room is divided up into sides. So you are going to sing to each other, we will sing together. I have a friend in Denmark who wrote this rap song, we are rapping for Jesus and rapping for the Holy Spirit. First I will tell you the lyrics so you can just let them wash over a little, they are pretty simple. Then Peter with his great Holy Spirit voice is going to sing them so you will get the melody. Then we will do it all together as a praise to God. Start over here with the first line, “I’m the Holy Child of God in Heaven:” The second one is “I’m the Holy Light that shines always.” Over here, you will sing, “Walking through this world in perfect safety.” Over here, here’s your line, “From darkness and from fear I know I’ll raise.” Now the chorus is really super simple. There it is. The chorus is everyone signing together, “I’m so happy.” That’s it, that’s pretty easy. That’s God’s Will for you, perfect happiness. Peter is going to sing it for you – imagine a little hip hop action, a little hip, a little rap, a little bebop. He could do the hip action too, so you can remember how it goes.
(A beautiful song of praise follows from the gatherers at the event.)
That’s the goal, to be happy. How do we forget that the only goal in life is to be perfectly happy? Sometimes when we’re growing up people will say things like, “Well, the airplane went down and God’s Will was for that plane to go down.” And as we’re children we think, “That’s nasty.” But to know God’s Will to be perfect happiness we realize we need to forgive. We need to open our mind to that perfect remembrance of God’s eternal, eternal love. That is what this is all about.
The topic for today is the one I talked about the other day, which is Accepting the Atonement for Yourself. In fact in A Course in Miracles, Jesus says it two different times in two different ways, that the sole responsibility of the miracle worker is to accept the Atonement for himself. The sole responsibility of the teacher of God is to accept the Atonement for himself. When you think about that it means that out of everything that you possibly could conceive of being your goal and your purpose, Jesus makes it really straight when he says “sole responsibility.” he means only. And when Jesus says only He certainly doesn’t mean one among many. That is what we’re going to talk about today.
What a great session this morning with Gary Renard. I have to say it was a beautiful launch into this time we’re going to have together today. What you heard this morning was beautiful metaphysics from ACIM, that really are clear. And as Gary says, the metaphysics themselves aren’t that important. Whether or not you can spout the metaphysics and be eloquent, that isn’t really that important. But to have a grasp of them is really important for the practical application of them. Because if you don’t have the metaphysics clear, then even if you are applying them correctly, if you’re applying a misunderstanding, then you just get more confusion. That’s not what this Course is about. I just want to thank Holy Spirit, Jesus, and Gary Renard for that great presentation this morning. Not only clear metaphysics of A Course in Miracles but also lots of humor and examples. When you put the combination of all those together, you just have to be very grateful, because it saves times. That presentation is one that collapsed a lot of time for the whole universe. It was so clear, crystal clear.
Sometimes people ask me about feeling anxious and afraid in their mind and when they are feeling off and don’t know where they are off, or just feel like dark clouds rolled in and don’t know where they came from. They were having a happy day and all of the sudden clouds just rolled in and the happy day went out the window. But, as the Course teaches, I am responsible for what I see. I choose the feelings I experience and I decide the goal I would achieve. And everything that seems to happen to me, I ask for and receive as I have asked. That’s pretty tight, airtight. That is breaking away from victimization. It is really a tight picture that Jesus is painting, which is good. You want to get to a point where you can claim Christ control of your mind instead of ego control. You reclaim your inheritance, and that means to think with Christ and to think with God.
I would say that if you had to boil all the seeming errors that students make down into just two categories to try and simplify things, the first category would be metaphysical errors where people read the Course and work with the Course, sometimes even for many years, but because of the ego resistance they really don’t want to understand what Jesus is really teaching. Because if you begin to open up to what He is teaching, the ego is out of business. So of course the mind that is feeding off of and identifying with the ego is going to try and do everything it can not to wake up. Some of you have had the experience when you read the Course and you read a line and say, “What was that? What did I just read?” Eyeballs move over the words but the ego is saying “No way. You’re not going to get that one today. No, No, No. You’re not going to do that.”
That’s why it is so important to be clear of the metaphysics that Gary was talking about today. It seems like you are here. You’re really at home in Heaven but you are dreaming of exile. And the dream seems very real. Like the analogy he used, where the child is told by the parent, ‘It is okay, you made this up, and you forgot that you made it up.’ Those metaphysics are just important starting points. I would continue on by saying that the second category that A Course in Miracles students fall into that gives one the most difficulty is transfer of training errors. That is where you are working with the Workbook and you are practicing with the lessons and the ego wants to make exceptions to whatever it is.
Okay, you’re doing lesson 48, “There is nothing to fear.” Then you think, “I’ve got that mortgage payment due on Friday, how much money is in my bank account, uh oh, how much money is in my bank account?” You start to realize that you do have fears coming up, you have to look at what they are, and that is where the metaphysics can help you out.
When I would work with people, I would just say, when you get in a real bind, whenever you start to feel afraid or jealous or angry or envious, or just raging, it is good to have some of those workbook lessons in mind to help pop you out of it.
I call it 5, 6, 7 and 8.
5 I am never upset for the reason I think.
6 I’m upset because I see something that is not there.
7 I see only the past.
8 My mind is preoccupied with pas t thoughts.
When you put those together in kind of a cause and effect kind of relationship, you say, “Oh, I’m upset because my mind is preoccupied with past thoughts. I’m living in the past and still rehashing this instant of terror, this unholy instant when the separation seemed to occur.” I’m just replaying it here and the ego is projecting out a nice scenario so I can point the finger and go, “Oh, I’m upset because it is too cold in my house, the furnace went off, or I’m so upset because I just got fired, or I’m just upset because somebody cut me off on the highway or my wife told me she was leaving me.”
Those kinds of things seem very real in this world. But that is why we need 5, 6, 7 and 8 over and over to release the mind from this false cause and effect relationship, as if the world is doing it to you and you are at the world’s mercy. It seems as if you are at the mercy of the dream and you’re not.
Now let us use this time to work on transfer of training because that is the second major area. You start doing the Course and Jesus says, okay, we’ll start off with lesson 1, “Nothing I see means anything“. Let your eyes move around the room and glance on all the familiar objects, this chair does not mean anything, this couch does not mean anything…” When people get to a certain point (maybe when they are looking around and they have pictures of mother and father, or pictures of son and daughter) they say, “Okay, we’ll skip over that one. Okay, this lamp does not mean anything…” That’s an exception. You just made an exception. Jesus says let your eyes move fairly evenly across the room and remember, whatever your eyes land on, it does not mean anything. He is using it as a practice to undo the specialness of thinking there are certain images in this world that are much more important than others.
People say: “I can forgive my roaches; I can forgive this chair, but my MOTHER? Do you know what she did to me and how many years, I can‘t forgive my mother.” But that is what we are talking about – the transfer of training.
There was a great story I heard years ago from Ken Wapnick. He went to visit these nuns. He went to this church and entered the sanctuary area and the nuns were all studying A Course in Miracles. They had invited him to come and talk to them about metaphysics. Basically they were practicing lesson 1, letting their eyes move across the sanctuary, “These pews do not mean anything, this stained glass window does not mean anything…” – and they got to the point where they came to the Eucharist. They said, “of course we’ll skip that.” We can’t say that about the body of Christ. But actually Jesus says that in the Course. Jesus says that I can’t share my body with you, I can share my mind. Jesus would actually say that seeing the meaninglessness of the body is a good practical application of His Course. Do it with the Eucharist too. But when you’ve been raised with a system that sees that body as sacred, it takes undoing of the belief that there is anything sacred in form. Your mind is sacred. Your Being-ness is sacred. Everything in form is part of the forgiveness lesson. You can see it that way.
Gary Renard touched on the mind this morning and I would like to focus on it today. The mind, in the full awareness of the Atonement, knows that the separation never happened. The full awareness of the Atonement is that the separation never happened. I have traveled more miles than you can even imagine. I’ve been doing it for 16 years and always hear the same questions, “How did the impossible occur? To whom did the impossible occur?” I call them the top questions. How did this happen in the first place? How could perfection, how could God, ever make a mistake? Or how could Christ, who is a perfect Being, ever make a mistake? And basically, it is a statement. When you ask the questions, “How did the impossible occur?” or “How did this happen in the first place?” there is an assumption underneath the questions. And what is that assumption? That it happened! Of course the ego likes that assumption. Then it can ask all kind of questions including how this happened.
It is like you are on a wild goose chase to find the right theology, the right teacher, the right technique, the right mantra. Oh my gosh, the guilt at trying to solve that question. But the very assumption is something we have to learn to release. There will be no theology that will come along to get you out of this. There isn’t going to be a concept. There will be an experience that will come that will end your doubting. In the Course that experience is the Atonement. The Atonement is full awareness that the separation never happened. In this respect, A Course in Miracles is a launching pad. You are on a launching pad where you are ready to take off in a rocket and get up in orbit where you have no sense of gravity. You are happy and free. A Course in Miracles is a book that is just designed to help you get up into orbit, into Being-ness, into your perfection.
One of the errors I’ll talk about today, one of the metaphysical errors, is spiritualizing matter. When you try to take anything in form and make it special or spiritual, this is the error. For example, you’ve heard, “Go to India and bathe in the Ganges , it is a sacred river.” Or you may have heard that the oil that Mary Magdalene put on Jesus’ feet is the sacred oil. How much does it cost now? I want some of that oil that was on Jesus’ feet. Or it seems to play out with food and drink. Drink from the sacred water. We know from Catholicism you get baptized with holy water – it isn’t just tap water, it has to be holy water. The water is supposed to be blessed by a priest to make it holy. These would all be spiritualizing matter errors, or trying to make something sacred in form when only your mind is sacred. The ego wants you to believe that there are certain things that are sacred in form so then you won’t forget them. You will cling to them, you will ritualize them. You will hang on, hang on, and hang on. That is an example of spiritualizing matter. That is one common mistake.
Another error results if you start to see anything in form or in the script as being causative, since images are really unreal effects of an unreal cause. The images of the world are unreal effects. And the unreal cause is the ego. The Course teaches that God didn’t create this world, God creates the eternal. God creates in Spirit. You know we are all familiar with the phrases in the Bible, “Hold no graven images before the Lord thy God.” I always thought about golden calves and stuff like that. Jesus is saying the image is of the cosmos, the graven images are like a veil drawn over the face of Christ to cover the Light.
I’ve had three experiences in my life where the three dimensionality just collapsed and all of a sudden this blazing of light just started streaming through, almost like a movie theater when the film burns and the light just pours through and everything goes into a flash of light.
Three times I’ve had these revelatory experiences, where I was like, “Wow, this is really flimsy. This is just a thin little veil; this is nothing solid at all.” And yet, when you believe in the ego, the mountains seem solid.
Jesus says, ‘you believe you stand on solid ground beneath’ …and from the ego’s perception of the body, the ground does seem to be solid. Unless you are talking about magicians, usually you don’t walk through walls without getting a bruise and thrown back.
That is what we are talking about in the sense that you have to be so thorough in realizing that your mind is causative. That the world is unreal images made from unreal cause. That is what the ego is. There is a real Cause. That Cause is God. God is the Creator. God is the prime Creator. God has Creative ability and Christ has Creative ability. That is why Christ is a co-Creator because Christ can Create in Spirit as well. But these creations are pure spirit. Christ is not an image maker; the ego is an image maker. That is the image that has to be released and forgiven.
That is why it is so important to be really clear on these things. The other point that is really important is that you start to realize that comparison must be an ego device, for love makes none. Every comparison that is ever made is made by ego. When you say to yourself, “How do I improve?” there is an “I” that you believe in, and an “ideal self” that you believe in. You are trying to go from one illusion, a limited self, to another version of a limited self. You have to watch very carefully with the metaphysics. For example, even the song that we used to open up the conference, “Accentuate the Positive, Eliminate the Negative” actually metaphysically,…if Jesus were here, …. ‘Well, sing it with joy, but’ …. the positive and the negative are two sides of the same coin. That is why the power of positive thinking is unrecognized error without exposing and realizing that in this world both positive and negative are ego. Both the positive and the negative, for example compliments and criticisms, are both of the ego. One of them seems to puff the ego up and the other seems to rip the ego down. Remember, the ego isn’t real. So all this puffing and ripping down …is not doing much good for non-judgment. To reach a state of non-judgment is literally transcending the positive and the negative.
That is why when you are working with A Course in Miracles this is a radically different thought system than a lot of the things we’ve worked with. A lot of us have been trained to be positive, to stay on the positive side. But then when you start working with the Course you realize that you need to let go of the belief that you have the ability to judge, to break apart and sort good or bad. Gary was talking today about Genesis, that you can’t eat from the tree of good and evil. There it is, good is positive and evil is negative. What I am saying is that they are two sides of the same coin. That is why you can use discernment. As you use the mind training exercises, more and more you open up to this state of mind called forgiveness. Forgiveness does nothing. It looks, it waits, and it watches and does nothing. It is like an observer, where you just observe the thoughts without any kind of attachment. You just observe with complete detachment. So that is another important distinction to remember about this. When you are going through this mind training that is important.
Let’s start applying these things to things that people who work with the Course deal with every day. You are reading articles and you are looking at things and then you go to your ACIM group and go okay let’s read the prayer on page 72. And someone answers, “What version? The JCIM version, the Hugh Lynn Cayce version, the Urtext version, are we talking about the published version, the first edition of the published version or the second edition of the published version?” Okay, let’s try and simplify things here. We do not want to get into the ego’s traps with comparison here.
Do you remember what happened with Christianity? You have the Gospels and the Gospel of Thomas and you heard Gary talking about the other gospels, and then you get scholars that start comparing and contrasting the scriptures. Let’s compare the NIV version of the Bible with King James Version and now…look at the Course. You have to recognize that the ego is sitting back there like a little spider in the web laughing, going “Ha, ha, ha, ha. Got’em hooked again! Now there are versions of the Course!” You do not want to turn into scribes and the Pharisees. You know when Jesus came He talked a lot about the scribes and the Pharisees. He said to the scribes you are so focused on the letter of the law, that you are missing the Spirit of the law. Like Gary Renard was saying, Jesus was light, He was humorous, and He was clear and simple. He was not going to get caught up in the tactics of the Pharisees. That was 2000 years ago.
Now, here you are being trained as a Miracle worker and what do you do? You go to your Course group and you have different versions. Well, I believe this one, or that one is most accurate, or this one is more helpful for me. There are comparative studies that have been done on the Course versions, they are being compared and contrasted. What I say to you is, don’t lose sight of the goal. And that is forgiveness. Comparison is an ego device. Slice right through this ego distraction. It is the ego trying to prolong time. If the ego can get you confused and befuddled, it is happy. The ego is prolonging its seeming existence in your mind. We don’t want this. We want to shorten time.
I’ll give you a practical example. I went to Sweden to the first Scandinavian conference of A Course in Miracles. Students came from the four Scandinavian countries and I said that was I going to talk about some basic metaphysics. A man stood up and said he had studied all three versions of A Course in Miracles. In fact, he had them on a lap top. His wife said he peddled his bike and he took his laptop and read A Course in Miracles. The people he met thought he had map GPS, but he had all three versions of the Course and he peddled on his bike and didn’t seem to hit anybody. He wanted to spend about the first hour giving a discourse to everybody who there on comparing and contrasting the three versions of A Course in Miracles and everyone was thoroughly confused.
The point is, there are metaphysical differences, and there are words that were taken out of the Urtext by Jesus for a good reason. They were edited out. There are words that were taken out of the Hugh Lynn Cayce version for a reason by Jesus. They were taken out for a good reason. I’ll give you but one example because I will not get into this whole compare and contrast thing. One example from the Urtext, “God created time as a learning device.” Does anyone see a problem with the metaphysics of that statement?
Let’s just take the publisher’s version of A Course in Miracles and let’s use the metaphysics of the publisher’s version on that one statement from the Urtext. If forgiveness is learning to release the belief in time, and Jesus says in the Course you cannot forgive something that God created, Jesus says it is absolutelyimpossible to forgive something that God created. What God creates is real. You can’t forgive reality. You can only forgive illusions.
Continuing on from the statement from the Urtext that “God created time as a learning device,” if you believe that God created time then of course you may take the next step and say, “If God created time, then maybe God created space.” What’s the next step after that? God created the world! God created bodies! Then after that you say, “If God created all this, I don’t have to give it up. I might as well hang out here, I have God’s blessing. He created it in the first place. If He is mistaken, it is His problem! It’s not MY problem.” You see what we’re talking about? That is one of the most extreme examples of metaphysical errors in other versions of the Course. If you do work with other versions of the Course, be aware of the errors. Let the Holy Spirit be discerning for you so that you do not get distracted and get into these debates. Jesus says in the Teacher’s Manual that this Course is not controversial. But if you seek for controversy, you will find it.
The ego is very sneaky. It tries to make copyright controversies, controversies between A Course in Miracles teachers. It is always trying to come up with some kind of controversy. This is so that you will believe that the controversy is real and will lose your peace of mind. You will start taking sides. Boy, the ego loves it when you take sides and you do this as soon as you decide on this or that one, who is right and who is wrong in your opinions. The ACIM book designed to undo all opinions. Listen, and if suddenly you hear yourself saying or thinking, “In my humble opinion…” stop! There are no humble opinions! If you have ANY opinions there is no humility and no humbleness.
There is another thing about Atonement. Atonement is the awareness that the separation never happened. You can see that when you go into a state of miracle-mindedness, it is a state of non-judgment. You are simply seeing the false is false. You don’t have to deny what your body’s eyes seem to see. They are still reporting a world. You don’t have to go to sleep at night and as you wake up in the morning open your eyes and scream, “There is a world. I am a sinner!” It is not about that. Jesus says let’s practice with your body’s eyes, with what they seem to see. Do not get hyper or freaked out because of what you seem to perceive. We are going to work with your mind. Projection makes perception. We’re going to learn as you go deeper to release attack thoughts.
When you release these attack thoughts, there is nothing left to project. You don’t have the guilt left in your mind anymore and therefore you see the world differently. You see a forgiven world shown to you by the Holy Spirit. They always said that St. Francis saw the plants and the animals sometimes glow for him. Some of you might have seen the Celestine Prophesy with the glowing and glimmering lights. That is good, when you start to see glimmering lights, plants that are glowing and auras and halos. Don’t freak out. That means vision is coming! You are getting ready to see with the vision of Christ. The Course even says you will see light around familiar objects, so you should really be happy when that happens.
Another example of a common error is this idea of contradiction of terms. A lot of you know the more common ones like “military intelligence”. That is an interesting one and an obvious example of contradiction of terms. What does the military have to do with intelligence? True intelligence is living and thinking with God, experiencing with Jesus. Once you study A Course in Miracles, the ego is sneaky, sneaky, sneaky. It would have you combine certain words in the Course and hold on to these concepts. Then, you will spend the rest of your life trying to achieve and obtain these concepts.
Let’s practice with some very sneaky ones. We’ll start off with a real sneaky one: physical resurrection. We have to explore that a little bit. We all know the story of Jesus. There was seemingly a crucifixion. Jesus told them all what was going to happen, “the temple will be torn down and rebuilt in three days.” Jesus knew what was happening in the script, it wasn’t a surprise. He didn’t say, “How did they get me?” It was more like He said, “What thou doest, do quickly.” It was more like let’s leave a little skit here for humanity to teach innocence and love. Basically, there seemed to be a crucifixion where nails went through Jesus’ arms and legs and then there was a resurrection and there was a rolling away of the stone.
The most common use of the phrase of physical resurrection was describing an event that took place at that time. When the angels came and the stone was rolled away and there was Mary Magdalene saying “Ah, He is risen.” There is a scene in place and time and it was called in Biblical terms the “physical resurrection.” Well, I used in my earlier talk the story of the dove landing on the head of Jesus and the Voice from above saying “this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” It is like the Voice for God speaking with a little bit of special effects from the dove. If you look at the story, after that point, Jesus started to say some interesting things: “I Am the Way the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father but through me. Before Abraham was, I AM.” That was the Holy Spirit speaking, actually. “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” That wasn’t a man saying, you have to believe in this man with long hair and blue eyes. That was the Universal Spirit saying “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.” It is the same Spirit that all of us who listen hear.
I just give that metaphor because the resurrection is of the mind. When Jesus went in the river Jordon and got baptized, there was nothing that happened to His body except that it got wet. He was wet. When He came out, the Voice came out. And then He began speaking as the Christ, the Holy Son of God. If you look at the grammar of that, “Before Abraham was, I AM.” That’s not going to fit into the human grammar books. That is saying before the past was, is the present, is eternity. If you follow that teaching, He is saying the same thing said in the Course, that the present is before time was. He says it in A Course in Miracles, “The present is before time was.” It isn’t waiting at the end of time; it is waiting for you to release time in your mind. It is waiting for you to collapse it and release it. That is just a step too. What I am going to teach you right now is about the Atonement. In the Atonement, the resurrection doesn’t come before the crucifixion; the resurrection wipes out the crucifixion completely. It says there is no death.
So you don’t even have to stick with that story. But the reason I told that story is the temptation to look at scenes from the Bible as transfiguration scenes and think that the body was transfigured. But if the body is an illusion, the body is neutral; you can’t transfigure something that doesn’t exist. You can’t transfigure something that is neutral.
It is the mind that goes through the transformation. It is very important to remember that physical resurrection in the truest sense of the meaning of the word is an oxymoron. Resurrection is of the mind and has nothing to do with the physical. It transcends the physical. That is why we call it metaphysics. Meta is beyond the physical.
Here is another example.
Sometimes I am hearing things about the celestial speed up that are being spoken about in Course teachings. Celestial speed up? If you ask those who have really studied the Course they will say, “Time is an illusion and entirely neutral, how can you speed it up or slow it down?” If neutral means nothing, and time is an illusion, how can you have a fast illusion or a slow illusion? Aren’t fast and slow back to the world of duality? See how sneaky the ego is?
Sometimes I will hear people say, “We’re living in fast time now, it is all part of the celestial speed-up.” Well let’s go back to the term ‘celestial speed-up’. If you look at the term ‘celestial speed-up’ it is just at the beginning. Basically, before Helen started hearing the Voice of Jesus in her mind, she was really concerned with what was going on. She was having dreams and visions and basically the Voice came through and said there is a ‘celestial speed-up’ going on and people are being called from all over the world to take their part in the plan Atonement.
That was a very early thing that He told her. Why did Jesus even use that term ‘celestial speed-up’ in the first place? It was because she was so frightened about what was happening in her life. She was having visions, there was a Voice in her mind saying, “This is A Course in Miracles, please take notes.” She needed something that would give her a sense of purpose. ‘As if’ there is an evolution going on, a healing going on. But again, the deeper you go into A Course in Miracles you see that it is all determined. The point of Awakening is determined. All you can do to bring that Awakening into your awareness is desire it. You have to desire the truth, and then truth returns to your awareness.
You see how important this is? The ego says you have to DO lots of things to get salvation. You’ve heard of it in the Bible, “salvation through works”. Am I good enough? Did I do enough service, Jesus? Did I forgive enough people? When is enough, enough? You get to the point you start to realize you need to be able to release this idea of salvation through works and open to Grace. Open to willingness, the desire to have that experience come into your awareness. There is a line in A Course in Miracles that says, “Truth will be returned to your awareness by your desire as it was lost by your desire for something else.” You see how important desire is in the scheme of things?
Let’s look at a line about the Holy Instant. “You cannot prepare for the Holy Instant without placing it in the future.” That is a real interesting line. You cannot prepare for the Holy Instant without placing it in the future. But guess where the Holy Instant is? Think of all the spiritualities that advocate meditating so many hours a day, meditating in a certain posture, using a particular breath, using a particular mantra. They are all aimed at future enlightenment. Sneaky, sneaky, sneaky. There are millions of people doing all different kinds of rituals everyday and they have this unconscious thought in their mind that “this is going to get me there if I just do it well enough. How many hours a day do I have to meditate“? “Maybe if I get the right mantra. Or, I could go to India and look in the goddess’ eyes and she could give me Darshan. Or, if I could just touch that guru on the back at that holy mountain I could get the Shakti energy and have it transfer into my body and my body will have it.…” On and on and on
Let’s get back to the simple teachings of A Course in Miracles where we started. No spiritualizing matter. Like Gary was speaking about this morning. Every time you are upset, lesson 5… I am never upset for the reason I think, I am upset because I see something that is not there, I see only the past, but only because my mind is preoccupied with past thoughts.” I need to release those past thoughts. In fact, that is lesson 23, if you make it that far. I can escape from the world I see by giving up attack thoughts. Is this simple? Jesus laid it out. We’re going for the fast track.
Another thing about Atonement, read the “I need do nothing” section. WOW. Where did Jesus stick this in the book? You’ve got 31 chapters, 365 lessons, then somewhere in the middle of the text He sticks in an “I need do nothing” section. That’s got my attention! I was reading that book eight hours a day and doing those lessons and I happened to pop the ACIM book open one morning and read, “I need do nothing.” What is this? Did ego throw this in here? This is going to throw off my rituals! Ego is trying to throw me off! Is this an ego distortion? Look closely. Jesus talks about meditation, He talks about contemplation, He talks about fighting against sin. And what does he call these things: meditation, contemplation and fighting against sin? This is coming from Jesus Christ in a Course in A Course in Miracles and He calls them “tedious and time-consuming.” What?! Oh my God. Don’t tell your traditional spiritual teacher that those are tedious and time consuming. What are we going to do, go for instant salvation here? What’s going on with this? I pop the book open and see the subsection, “The Immediacy of Salvation“. Oh, “this is great.” Be not content with future happiness, for it is not your just reward. For you have cause for freedom now.
That sounds kind of familiar. That Now business is starting to come in pretty strong. In a book that has 365 lessons Jesus is saying ‘Now. Now is the only time that there is.’ You can read it as it is sprinkled throughout the ACIM book. So you know that this is a pretty powerful tool. If you’ve got eyes to see and ears to hear, get ready. Expect to wake up. This is straight from the Master. The Master is speaking directly to your mind saying you can do this. In fact, it is inevitable. You can’t even mess this up. God’s will is guaranteed. Salvation is guaranteed by God and you can’t even mess it up.
So when I get to the I Need Do Nothing section, I said, “Well, if I am not supposed to meditate and contemplate and fight against giving into temptation, what am I supposed to be doing?” Jesus says, “Your way will be different.” Not in the goal, but in the means. Basically he is saying, ‘A Holy Relationship is given you as a means of salvation.’ It is given. You don’t expect it, it just comes along. It jumps out at you. I thought as always, we are here for transfer of training, we’re here for practice with situations, with issues, with difficulties that come up in awareness, and we want to make this as practical as we can to save time, so I thought I would open it up to the audience.
Question and Answer Session
Question: I’ve been on that section for a week. The very first paragraph says it is your one responsibility for just an instant….to realize that you are not a body. Would you say that has to do with the Holy Instant or just with forgiveness? Does this have to do with the Holy Instant or is this like in the Teacher’s manual where you don’t see your own self interests?
David: It is the Holy Instant. It is not in the future, so that is why you can’t prepare for it because it is not a future event. That is the Holy Instant. Think about some of the lines right near that section. Jesus says “In no single instant does the body exist at all. It is always remembered or anticipated.” Do you hear that, past and future? There is another line that says, “Atonement might be equated with total escape from the past and total lack of interest in the future.” Do you see the commonality between these teachings? This is why we are talking about Holy Relationship as a means of saving time. The next obvious question as you look at is, what is a Holy Relationship? You’ve got my attention, Jesus. He says, “You and your brother are together.” That is how He defines the Holy Relationship. It gets kind of simple. Just like when Jesus says, “The truth is true and only the truth is true.” “You and your brother are together.” What He is really saying is, we share the same mind. You and your brother are together is not talking about bodies. Minds are joined, bodies do not.
Jesus is talking about the singularity of mind. That is really what quantum physics is pointing at. Advaita Vedanta and all non-dualistic paths throughout history, including A Course in Miracles, are all about practicing letting go of time and opening to the Holy Instant. So that is very practical.
Now, let’s take one more look at some errors. Another thing I would say about errors is (some of you have heard Miguel Ruiz and the Four Agreements) one of the four agreements is not taking anything personally. That is what Gary was talking about this morning when he was going into subject-object. As long as you believe you are a human being and you are the subject and there is an objective world that is outside your mind, and quantum physics is showing that consciousness is not that way at all, then you will take things personally. Whether it is a mosquito that seems to bite you, or somebody cuts you off on the highway, or somebody frowns at you, if you see it through that ego lens of subjectivity, that is where you will take it personally. So, to accept Atonement is really to say, “I was mistaken about this whole subject-object thing. I was misperceiving. I was seeing the world through a distorted lens.” The body’s eyes do not see and the body‘s ears do not hear, but they are told by the mind what to see and by the mind what to hear. Just like the mind tells the body what to feel.
That’s pretty radical. When we are used to the experience that I have a sore back or I have a sore throat or I have a headache, it is literally described as if the body is feeling. People say “I can’t go to work because I have a headache.” In other words it is used as a justification. The false belief is: “My body is telling me how I am feeling and I have no alternative but to accept what it is telling me.” Sometimes people will even say listen to your body, your body is speaking to you. Well, literally, metaphysically, the mind tells the body what to feel. You will hear people say: “you are storing all your tension in your shoulders. All your thoughts and your memories are being stored in the body.” The body doesn’t store anything. The body is a projection. You have to come back to the thoughts. What thoughts am I clinging to? Am I clogging up the mind and blocking the light in my mind? These are all examples of transfer of training errors. These kinds of examples are important to note because they are tricks of the ego. The ego wants you to fall into these common traps.
Question: I’ve been studying metaphysics for many years and it seems to me that if a bunch of different metaphysical schools are telling me that something is happening around 2012 and the way I understand it so far is that maybe it is possible to have a physical universe that is not dualistic. I’d like to hear your take on that.
David: Thank you. Yes. A universe that is not dualistic is inevitable. Because a universe that is non-dualistic would have to be whole. Some people have referred to this as the big picture. Instead of this tunnel vision of subject object-split, there’s got to be a higher way of looking at the world with my Higher Power. Quantum physics calls it the observer. If you can get back far enough in the mind to be the observer you will see that everything is interconnected. That is beautiful. That is seeing One thing. If you can see the entire cosmos as interconnected that is beautiful. And that’s what Jesus is calling the forgiven world. The real world. True perception. He’s talking about a way of seeing like that. Now, as far as putting that in 2012, putting it off in the future, I have to go back to the metaphysics that Gary Renard was talking about this morning, when he was saying yes there are a lot of spiritualities that say if we pray, if we work on our consciousness, and if we purify our awareness, that we can change the future. Everybody remember what Gary said about that this morning? The future has already happened. It’s gone. It’s over. It’s done. If you remember what Gary said, he said, that’s why you can’t change it.
It’s like going to a movie and watching Gone with the Wind twenty-five times. And you are saying to Rhett Butler, “Don’t you tell her that.” We’re getting to that part of the movie again and you are mistreating her. “Don’t you. Don’t you tell her that.” He says, “Frankly my darling I don’t give a damn“, and you say, “Ohhhhhhh you did it again!” You say, “I’m going to watch it a 26 th time Rhett. I’m going to give you one more try!”
That’s basically what we’re talking about in trying to change the future. That’s a really deep thing because you could say the Course says if you forgive it promises “a future unlike the past.” That is one of those stepping stone metaphors. He gives you a lot of rungs on a ladder, like, here we’ll give you a carrot and here a piece of celery there – now just keep coming. But if you follow what Gary was teaching today, remember I said Gary was teaching it really straight, he was giving it to you very straight -that the future is already over.
Wouldn’t that explain why the psychics and Nostradamus could seem to predict the future with such accuracy? Oh, maybe they were just reading the Akashic records and they were allowed to read that. They were just reading the past. When we talk about prophecies and things like that and the psychic gifts that Gary was talking about this morning, it is important to keep it all in the overall context of the metaphysics of time. Then you say I want to complete my forgiveness lesson and come back and live in the present moment. And I’ll let 2012 go now.
Question: I know ACIM talks about the script is already written. Does that mean that all my thoughts are scripted as well? Like when I choose forgiveness as opposed to listening to my ego, is that something that is outside of my control as well? If I choose ….I got distracted again and I get angry, and I forgive that and I release it, was that going to happen anyway?
David: Very good. That was good. We’re going to be Enlightened when we walk out the door today. “The script is written,” a phrase Jesus said in the workbook. The script is written. A lot of time teachers will get into “well, it’s the Holy Spirit’s script, it’s the ego’s script, got to watch with the right one”…The script is written…basically the key word in that statement is the last word. Written. Past tense. The script is past. The script is over. It is kind of like watching Gone with the Wind. It is NOT an interactive thing. You can tell Rhett not to say that line, but it keeps playing. It is in the script.
But also I would say that the value of that is the Course is leading you to what Jesus calls a “purified form” or a “purified version” of the past which is the forgiven world. This is when you take all the meaning that was given to the world… “I have given everything I see all the meaning that it has for me.” “I do not know what anything is for,” and when you let go of all this meaning of that the ego has written upon the world. For a moment it is blank, and then the Holy Spirit comes in and goes, “Ahhhhh forgiveness. Here let’s bless it. Now you are a Friend to the world.” He says that at one point in ACIM. He says “You are a friend to the world” in the Workbook. So that must be a whole different way of looking at the world.
When you start to get into difficulty is when you try to analyze “the script is written“. That can be a real mind bender. Think of it this way, time is simultaneous and it is not linear. The problem with getting into analyzing “the script is written” is that the script in a play or in a movie, is a story. It is a very linear story. Every time I would have students come to me and get all wound up about “the script is written” and say, “Can I rewrite the script? I saw the movie The Secret, can I manifest? Do I have the power to change the script?” it would seem very confusing for them. The clarity is that you have to forgive the past. You have to let it go. What that means is that you have to realize that time is simultaneous when you forgive.
Time is not like a string of spaghetti. Let’s look at the string of spaghetti. Past, present, future, it looks very linear. What happens if you turn the spaghetti on its side and look right down the edge of it? What does it turn in to? A point! A point instead of a line!
When I would work with students and they would get all caught up into trying to figure out “the script is written,” with questions such as ‘Is my future Enlightenment in the script? What does that look like?’ I would say, “Are you a point or are you a line?” Let’s use the real simple terminology. Point is forgiveness, point is simultaneous. Some of you might have read the Seth material through Jane Roberts. Here is a metaphysical teacher that says the same thing: that time is simultaneous, it is not linear. That takes the ‘script’ metaphor and explains it. Jesus in ACIM at one point talks about time as a carpet that rolls up – you’ll remember that from the Course. But that is just a linear metaphor, and again, this is just a rung on the ladder. You get to a point where you release trying to figure those out.
It would be like having a ladder reaching up to Heaven and you get on the seventh rung and say, “Let’s hold a seminar.” We’ll pick the best scholars and we’ll analyze rung number seven.” And Jesus is at the top calling, “Come on, keep climbing, push up, and don’t stay there.” Don’t camp out on the rungs. No camping on the rungs. You remember the little sign, “No Camping Here?” Just remember to push off. Reach higher and higher. Because when you get to the top of the ladder, the ladder disappears.
It’s not like when you get back to Heaven, you sit around like a 12-step program in your little group and tell your war stories. “Oh, remember those lifetimes three million years ago where you killed me and then I killed you back, and then next you killed me.” You don’t have war stories in abstract love. It is just Divine love, everything is love. The ladder is going to disappear. But you do have to follow the Course. You just have to allow yourself to keep opening, opening and following those symbols that Jesus teaches you. And they will jump out of the page. You know how you look at the Course and you’ve been reading it for 10 years and you look at a sentence and it just goes “Wham!” and it leaps off the page because your mind is ready for that experience, that insight, at that moment. That is why Course students are funny because they read the paragraph and they get into these big intellectual debates and discussions about what the paragraph means, and finally after 20 minutes they read the next paragraph and say, “Oh.”
Now that is the human condition. …always got to figure things out. Figure it out!
Question: I guess I am right where I’m supposed to be. I had an occurrence. I am glad you mentioned the Four Agreements. I was told by someone that is from A Course in Miracles study group that I need do nothing. And what that set up is that I find myself getting agitated when I think I’m in control as far as my work is concerned and other people. She said there is no need for me to get agitated. It is like that discussion yesterday with Terri about the sword and judging them if they are not doing what I think they should be doing as fast as they should be doing it.
A situation that just happened before I walked in [here] and there are probably no mistakes and I should not take it personally. I was at Endeavor for a month and I saw these people and I was in love. And they are here. There are like forty of them. And it was the most incredible experience I’ve ever had in my life. And I’m not trying to sell people into going there, I’m just telling you. I haven’t seen them since I left, which is Christmas. They are all here and they all love me. I’ve been here for 28 hours with them. They were going off for coffee, two of them, and this one lady was so happy to see me. She wanted me to go along for coffee. And the lady that I spent hugging yesterday, the one who told me I need do nothing, she didn’t want me to go for coffee. All these people that are so metaphysical and spiritual, I’m not trying to have a resentment, I’m not trying to have a sword, not trying to have a judgment, but I’m asking how can you be so loving…because it is the body? One of them wants me to come, the other one doesn’t. But they are both saying the same thing. That I need do nothing, and it is all in my mind and not to judge. What is that about? They live together in the same place, 24-7, 365 days a year. They may never see me again. I didn’t know how to interpret that and I didn’t want to take it personally. It is about not feeling included. That’s what I want to talk about, is it just a body thing or is my mind filled with errors?
David: Thank you. Practical application. Thank you. What it comes down to is the power of sight, the power of interpretation is always our own. It is back to that quote I was sharing: “I am responsible for what I see.” I choose what I see. I’m unaffected, not an effect of images. What you start to realize is that the question is really getting clear of what your purpose is and what are you called to? Jeffrey ( Lake ) and I talk on and on and on about following your prompts. It comes down to the Holy Spirit prompting me to go to that coffee shop or not. It comes down to the simplicity of that, but the ego tries to make it much more complicated. The ego tries to analyze the motives of others, this one and that one… Jesus actually says in the text, “Analyzing the motives of others is dangerous.” Because you can’t do it without involving the ego. And you are trying to let go of the ego. So you don’t want to invoke or activate the ego, you want to release it. I would recommend reading from the Workbook lesson 133, “I will not value what is valueless”. There is a part where Jesus says, “Every decision you make brings you everything or nothing.” He is not talking about whether to go to the coffee shop or not. He is talking about purpose. He is talking about the real alternative. When you can see the alternatives exactly for what they really are, it is a simple choice. We have to expose the ego. The ego wants to make guilt attractive so you’ll be lured into temptation. Purpose is what the purification is about.
Question: I was told that it was a manipulation. I chose not to go to coffee with them, I wanted to go but I wanted to hear you. So Holy Spirit had me come here. I didn’t like hearing it was a manipulation, so hearing what you don’t want to hear on the other side – where did that come from?
David: Remember that if someone speaks a word to you, the power of interpretation comes back to your own mind. People can tell you everything, and people usually do tell us everything. We hear everything. For example: “You’re wasting you time and this and that….” But then the power of interpretation is your own. You always have that power to join the Holy Spirit.
We are doing practical application, what we are going to do right now expresses living in Divine providence. I love to give. I enjoy giving, giving, giving. I was told by Jesus 16 years ago, “Freely you have received, now freely give.“ You will give the joy of God away; make a joyful noise to God. We have a bunch of CDs & MP3s. We are wrapping up our visit and it is our great joy to give these to you. You may take one home and stick it in the CD player and it may help give you an answer to something, or you get a DVD and see something that helps you out – so just intuitively choose.
I just want to say I am very honored to have been invited to this conference. I am honored that we have Jesus and Holy Spirit guiding us so surely toward an inevitable Atonement, inevitable Awakening.
Please feel free to take a gift from us. We love you! Thank you so much for coming.