The Experience Beyond Belief
The following transcription is a segment of a 2003 gathering with David in Lafayette, LA. This discussion focuses on the true teachings of Jesus and the perspective of A Course in Miracles.
David: I grew up as a Christian in a protestant church. So I studied the Bible and I went through confirmations and I really learned the Bible. And in the Bible we were taught, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” There are other parts of the Bible where it says that which is eternal is eternal and that which is temporary is temporary. It does say that in the Bible in Corinthians. In A Course in Miracles, Jesus really starts to drive the point home. He says that what God creates is spirit. That spirit is changeless, eternal, perfect, it’s never ending. And that this world of time and space, the stars the planets the galaxies the black holes… none of this entire cosmos is eternal. Through history they would look up at the stars at night and they would sing love songs, “As long as the stars burn in the sky, I will be in love with you.” And then the physics professors come along and they say, “Those are just burning gases. If that’s as long as your going to love, you’re love is going to burn out.”
The physicists teach us that the cosmos is expanding. They are measuring it and it’s actually expanding and they think that at some point it will reach an equilibrium and it will start to implode on itself. It will start to collapse and close down on itself. A Course in Miracles is saying, “Don’t worry. God is eternal. God is prior to this physical universe, this cosmos”. What was Jesus teaching us when he said, “Before Abraham was, I am.”? He was saying that our Christ nature is prior to time. Our Christ nature is eternal. Jesus was saying, `I and the Father are one. And what I’ve done you are going to do. And greater things than I are you going to do.’ In this sense he was saying that, `you are going to remember the same oneness that I remembered for everybody, I am just the first one to wake up from this dream.’ Jesus never wanted to be known as a healer of bodies. Have you ever noticed how all the symptoms of the body would leave around him left and right? They’d touch the hem of his garment. The blind could see, the lame could walk. And he’s say, “Tell no man”. He was not interested in being known as a physical healer. He had too important of a message. He was here saying, “My kingdom is not of this world. I am calling you out of this world.” Jesus was saying our kingdom was in this light.
This light and love that God created a perfect and divine light is our reality. And this world of images… these are the graven images. We are not talking about golden calves here, we’re talking about stars, planets, bodies… the entire cosmos is a veil that was drawn over this love. And in order to release yourself and wake up to the kingdom of Heaven which is within us, we have to let go of all of this sin, the missing the mark, the error, the judgments, these concepts that were made up. So when you really follow the Course you start to see that metaphysically, God created the heavens, and the ego projected the earth. The ego is synonymous with sin. The earth is temporary, it will not last forever. Nothing of time and space will last forever. In fact, think for a minute about what time is. Time is increments of measurement. Seconds, minutes, days, hours, weeks, months, years, centuries, millennium. Do you think you can measure eternity? Even though there’s nothing in this world that shows it, there’s something deep within us that, when we hear eternal, `Ahhhhh.’ Or when we hear forever, or everlasting, there is something inside of us that just, `Ohhhhh’. That’s what the Holy Spirit is reminding us of.
Participant 1: Are you saying that A Course in Miracles is does not hold that the God of the universe created the earth because it is an actual manifestation of the ego?
David: Yes. Yes, because it’s temporary. And because God is eternal, God did not create the earth or the universe. The next thing that people say is, “If God didn’t create it, where did it come from?” Anyone who just looks at the planets and the continents, much less this solar system, much less this galaxy, much less all the galaxies… the scientists are looking with their powerful telescopes for the source of the Big Bang and what I’m saying is that the belief that you can separate from your creator, that’s the big bang. That’s the most ludicrous idea, that God could create you perfect and that you could say, `No. Sorry, that perfection isn’t good enough. I’m going to come up with a little teeny human concept. I’ll make myself. And if it’s not a good enough self, then I’ll go on Oprah and have a makeover. Or I’ll go to self improvement courses and I’ll make a richer little self. I’ll puff this little self up with fame, with pleasure, with fortune, with all the things of this world. I’ll puff this little self up until I get the self that God created’. But guess what? That’s the tempter, that’s the lie of the serpent, that’s the sin, the error to think that you can improve upon what God created at the very beginning. So, enlightenment is coming back to the present moment and leaning to accept yourself as Jesus Christ would see you, as the living Christ. The Course teaches that Jesus was the first one to wake up from this dream of separation and duality, and he is calling everyone else to accept the Atonement, the correction, that he was able to experience for himself.
Participant 2: Well, I believe that God did create the earth, and that he did create all of us. I believe that.
Participant 3: Me too.
Participant 2: And I believe that because I believe in that, I believe that everything that happens, happens for a reason.
David: Yes, well I certainly agree that all things work together for good. What the Course is saying though… we are back to that original question about forgiveness… in other words, if the separation did occur and if all this fragmentation of duality, conflict, war and death had anything to do with God then it would be everlasting. In other words, God is eternal and what comes from God is eternal. You don’t get apples from orange trees, and you don’t get pears from peach trees. And what the Course is saying is real simple to follow. It is saying that you don’t get physical [matter] from spirit. In the beginning was the word. That word is Christ. Christ is the word of God and that is such a beautiful pristine light that everything that sin or error would try to cover that light over with is something that needs to be forgiven. Now, when we talk about forgiveness, there’s a part in the workbook where Jesus says, `You believe you have to forgive the truth. This is not a course on forgiving the truth. The truth does not need forgiveness, it’s the error … the illusion that needs forgiveness.’ When I was reading the Course for the first time, and I was going through it… and everyone always talks about `God forgive me,God forgive me, God forgive me’ and I get to the part in the course and it says, “God does not forgive for he has never condemned. And there must be condemnation first, before forgiveness is necessary.” I had to read that one twice. But listen to it, let it sink into your heart for a minute. “God does not forgive for he has never condemned. And there must be condemnation first, before forgiveness is necessary.”
Participant 3: I was asking a little while ago, I was trying to ask you about sin and sin nature. I believe when you are born into this world, you are born into this world with a nature that doesn’t want to serve God. And I believe you have to make a choice in this world.
David: I agree totally.
Participant 3: Not just a choice to serve God, but a choice to accept that Jesus Christ was actually born of a woman, actually lived on this earth just like we were, was actually tempted in every way that we were yet he didn’t sin, and is the only way, the only way, that you are going to get to the Father which is where everybody needs to be. I believe in the creation thing, I believe that God the Father had his son Jesus Christ there before creation. Because the Bible says, like Jesus told the Pharisees, “Before Abraham was, I am”. Jesus always said, `I do nothing unless I hear my Father doing it, or unless I see my Father doing it.’ So everything he did, he did in submission to his Father. And he did acknowledge that his Father was God, his father was the Creator, his Father was the one that was doing all the miracles through him, his Father was the one that did everything through him.
David: Sure, and that’s the beautiful thing. What I find in my life is that the peace that passeth the understanding of the world is an actual experience. So what I said at the beginning was, that’s why regardless of what belief is, regardless of what the theologies are, and there are a lot of different ones on this earth you know that as well as I do… there are a lot of different claims about what God is and so on and so forth… just think for a minute that true religion is inner peace. In other words, if I profess a religion and I have anger in my heart… If I profess a religion and I have hurt or pain or guilt then I am not living up to the standard that Christ set. Christ was an example of love. He loved beyond everything that this world offers. Christ is an example of salvation. Christ offers salvation because, even in the garden of Gethsemane, when Peter cuts the ear off of the soldier who comes to get Jesus, he puts the ear back on. We are talking about a love that is so transcending that it goes beyond this world entirely. And that we are in total agreement on. What I’ve had to do as I’ve gone through this experience is… if I have hurts or angers or things that come up in my life, I’ve had to learn to give them over to the Holy Spirit. I’ve had to learn to say, `Okay, thank you for the theology, thank you for the Bible, thank you for the scripture, thank you for the guiding light you’ve given me, but I am going to have to be a demonstration of that light that’s going to be showing that Christ is real. I’m going to have to be his hands and feet on this earth. I’m not going to have to go around and profess it while my peace of mind is not there. So, what I’m talking about…
Participant 3: When Jesus was in the temple and he was driving them out, you don’t think he was a little angry there? When he was driving them out of the temple when he had the whip and he was driving them out, he wasn’t happy.
David: What I would say with that is, let’s look at his teachings. If he said on the cross, “Forgive them for they know not what they do” if he says, “Bless those who curse you” if he says, “Forgive your enemies” if he says, “forgive, seven times seven” what I am saying is, whatever interpretations you have… Remember when he taught the parable of the prodigal son who squandered all his father’s inheritance? He felt like he couldn’t even go back because he felt that his father wouldn’t even take him on as a hired servant, and the father ran down and killed the fatted calf and put shoes on his feet. Jesus was teaching that God is a God of perfect love, transcending the law of the old testament where God seemed to zap a tribe here or there and was kind of anthropomorphic, kind of a human God. But what Jesus was teaching is that God is a God of perfect love. The other thing that Jesus taught was, “I and the Father are one”. We remember that teaching. So if God is a God of love and Christ is a Christ of love, the true meaning of Christ is a pure love that literally transcends sin. That literally, be of good cheer, I have overcome the world, satan is underfoot… that’s a transcending love. Now, what we need to do is we need to really be honest here. We need to ask, `How can I be the salt of the earth… how can I be the peace of the world, if I’m not peaceful?’ You see how that works. In other words, how can I be a beacon of God’s love and a beacon of Christ if I’m not loving, if I have grievances or if I get into distractions, the ways of the flesh? Then I am not going to be a witness or an example for God or Christ. So what I am saying here is that I had to look at the theologies and everything that I was raised with and I had to say, `It’s experience that counts. I need to be honest with myself if I still have those hurts.’ Now what I am speaking of as salvation is an experience, not as a belief. I know many sincere Christians who will profess belief in Jesus Christ, and will profess the very things that you said. I think it’s a wonderful start, but the Bible also teaches that we have to have a renewing of our mind to be in accord with God. So even someone who has a born again experience and really…
Participant 3: No, we were predestined to serve him before we were born again. And see, he said he knew us all before creation, he knew us all before the beginning of time.
David: Yes, sure.
Participant 3: He choose us in him before the beginning of time and he also said that, `many are called and few are chosen.’ Are you saying that every person on this face of this earth has the Holy Spirit in him when they are born?
David: Well, it’s more like what you said just five or ten minutes ago where you were saying that you believe that everyone that is born into this earth has a sin nature. And that is what I am saying that everyone that believes that they have left the love of God is in error and that is where the correction is needed. So, Jesus is a great way-shower. He comes along, he says, “Before Abraham was,I am”. He’s saying just what you’re saying that before time was…
Participant 3: He was speaking that because his Father was telling him to speak that. He wasn’t saying that of his own accord. He wasn’t saying, `Before Abraham was born, I am.’ He was saying, `Before Abraham was born, my Father who sent me lived. That’s what he was saying.
Participant 4: Excuse me. You know what I have to do with these pretty complicated ideas in my simple mind to understand them, I have to ….. [?] What you said is, God wants us to have joy and happiness. I understand a child’s role and a parent’s role. As a parent and a child, I can understand that. And the way I look at it is, like this thing with Columbia and death. You wonder, `Is this God’s will, death, people dying?’ The way I look at it is like you have your father in the house and the kids are playing in the back yard. Death is asleep to God. It’s just like going to sleep. We are playing in the backyard, we’re bickering and fighting and all this, and if someone goes to sleep we don’t freak out. When my daughter goes to sleep I am happy to see her sleep. God sees things eternally. And so if I am in harmony with him, I’ll see things eternally. And I can accept death and the will of God…what people call the will of God… God’s in the house and the kids are out there fighting, that’s not the will of God. That’s father sitting in the house and the kids are just being kids. And I like what you said about how we are really here to have joy and happiness. We are in the backyard and a child’s work is play, that is what a child is supposed to be doing. In a way, I think if we are to be as children, our lives should be play and joy and happiness. And that can be work, I am not saying that you can’t have fun. Work can be hard but it can be joyful too. I enjoy my work. I have to try and get simple, for me. Because you can just argue semantics and everything and it is really, it’s just getting childlike and asking your Father in heaven and I think he’ll show you these things that we need to know.
Participant 2: You said something earlier about forgiveness…
Participant 2: …that God doesn’t forgive because he hasn’t condemned. Well, I believe he does forgive. The ten commandments, there’s no variables with that. You did or you did not do it. You committed a sin. He forgives you because he loves you and that is the whole power of forgiveness. If we can’t believe in forgiveness and we can’t believe in condemnation, what do you believe in?
Participant 5: If God would forgive that would mean that he held a grievance and God is incapable of… perfect love is incapable of holding a grievance of any kind. He doesn’t keep track. To the ego, it can’t conceive of a creator unlike itself. And because it keeps score of all it’s grievances it perceives it’s creator as one who keeps score. And because of the guilt and fear inside, we project that guilt and fear onto God and so we perceive a vengeful, and a fearful concept of God. To the ego, to say that you are perfect that would be blasphemous to God. Jesus said that he was perfect, and they said he wasn’t perfect as a man. He said, ‘I am perfect even as my Father in heaven is perfect.’ And so what they did is crucify him because they said he was being blasphemous to God. So the ego guards the belief in sin as sacred. You can’t even question the fact that we are all sinners. But what we really are as David was saying, is just perfect spirit, and that has never sinned. If sin were real, God would not be. Because, sin means that his creation could actually be corrupted and could come into this world and do things that actually violated God’s laws, and that would mean that what God created could actually change. God creates only changeless, he creates just like himself. He creates spirit, and spirit is perfect, it is changeless and eternal. And the ego is just the temporary world that we see. In fact we have never left the mind of God. As you begin to undo the ego you realize,`I’m perfect spirit and all these things that I thought happened, and all these things I thought I did… first of all I didn’t know who I was. I thought I was a body’. The belief in a lot of religions seems to be, `I’m a body but I also have a spirit that may go on after I die. But what I am beginning to see, and what the Course is teaching is that we are not bodies at all, we are spirit and we just identify with a body. And when the ego begins to fall or dissolve in the light of awareness and the Holy Spirit you see that you are not a body at all. You can experience yourself as a spirit. It’s not a belief, that you believe yourself as a spirit. It’s experiencing yourself as spirit and not being limited by this body. You don’t identify with this and this is flesh. Christ said, `In order to see the kingdom of heaven, you must be born again’. What does it mean to be born again? It means to completely recognize yourself as spirit, completely break the body identification. And that’s what the Course really gets at, it undoes that identification with the body. The body is the limit on spirit, but spirit is limitless, that’s how God created it. But when we believe we are a body we seem to be stuck inside this little bitty space and we seem to be separate from each other and separate from God. That is the littleness and the isolation and depression that we feel. And when that’s undone you recognize yourself as spirit….
David: Do you have some comment?
Participant 4: Well, I have to stir the kettle.
Participant 4: I now remember why the Course in Miracles group asked me if I please wouldn’t come back. Does the Course In Miracles allow a place for the Christ that we are to become. In other words, taking the physical, and becoming the Christ which is what Jesus did. You understand my question? In other words, literally doing without dying, what he did.
David: Well, you could say that what the Course says is when you forgive, when you let go of the belief in linear time we’ll say, the past and future… then you are in a state that is in alignment with the Christ. So we could say that…
Participant 4: So what you’re telling me is that you cannot become the Christ.
David: Christ is just a state of mind which is. Become would be the future.
Participant 4: What is the spirit if it is not the Christ?
David: It is the Christ.
Participant 4: If your spirit is the Christ, it houses the body.
David: Think of the body of Jesus like a puppet. Jesus was the pure reflection and demonstration of divine love…
Participant 4: So, in this physical form that I sit here in, which is not my real self, which is the physical form that I use as a vehicle for the spirit to travel in this dimension, in this 3rd dimension. This 3rd dimensional being can transform to that other vibration which is the Christ within. Literally taking the physical to the next level. Does the Course allow that thought to be there? … [?] taking the physical body into spirit which is what Jesus did, but once he was placed in the cave.
David: There is a belief [?] in physical immortality. Jehovah Witnesses might even say, physical immortality for 144,000 or something like that. What the Course is saying is that physical and immortality don’t come together. When Jesus said he was calling you out of the world, he was saying that our heavenly kingdom is spiritual. So, when it says he transcended to the right hand of the Father it is basically saying that he is a representation of the spirit being one with God. Part of what forgiveness is, is letting go of the temporal or the conceptual of what is belief and opening to `knowing’. I live a life of joy. I am never threatened, I am absolutely invulnerable. I flow around and I have a ball because I am not identified with this body. I go to a Catholic center one night, a Buddhist center the other night… I have a lot of fun with everybody whether they believe in God or whether they don’t believe in God. Christ has taught me to see the Christ in everyone. There is no one I cannot see the Christ in. I live in a state of the present moment, in total joy. I live in a state where Jesus said, `Freely you have been given, freely give.’ I love talking about God. That’s one thing I loved about Jesus, he gave all the Glory to God. He never pointed and said, ‘Look at me.’ He always said, ‘It’s God’. Jesus couldn’t stop talking about God because he loved him so much. And that’s what I’ve been doing for thelast twelve years, going around talking about the love of God that has no end, that is so profound that I can’t find a grievance. I can’t find anyone to debate because I don’t even see a debate. A Course in Miracles says, ‘Do not see error.’ It is saying that if you align your mind with the Holy Spirit, you are with the correction. You are with the love of God. When people say things like, ‘How do you live this practically?’ Well, you give it away. I have been out there for twelve years giving this love away. I have never had to worry about clothing. A messenger is worth his keep. I get taken in places. I live a life like Jesus and the apostles lived. I don’t have to charge anyone because the heavenly Father provides for me in every way, shape and form possible. I don’t have to have any expectations whether people are going to agree with me or not. That’s not my concern. My concern is my joy and being a reflection of God the Father, of the Christ idea that love is real and love is true. So for me, that is what the joy of life is, to go around and demonstrate the love of God.
Participant 2: Since you don’t believe in error, do you believe there’s a devil?
David: The devil was the ego. But remember what Christ Jesus said that the devil is underfoot, be of good cheer. I’m that good cheer that Jesus was talking about. I am saying that when I am lined up with Jesus, and you said it, when Jesus Christ is with us, who can be against us. Right?
Participant 2: So people like Hitler and Saddam and others, do you see error in their ways?
David: I see that the mind that is looking through a darkened glass will find enemies. I see that the teachings of Jesus are; love your enemies, bless those who curse you, forgive seventy times seven. One time they asked Mahatma Gandhi about that. They said, ‘What do you think about the devil? Is there a devil?’. And he said, ‘The only devil there is, is the one running around in our own hearts,’ Jesus said the same thing he said, it’s not what you put in your mouth that defiles… you know where he said that devil is, that devil is serving something than the loving God that created you. That would be sin to try to serve something other than God and other than Christ. When I am saying that I am a demonstration of the love of Christ I am saying that the love of Jesus Christ has no opposite. This is where  is talking about the ego trying to project onto God what it’s belief is. The ego is the belief in conflict so it projects the conflict onto God and says that God is in a battle with the devil now. What I am saying is that’s not a fair fight. That’s not a fight at all. The love of God is all knowing and all powerful, all loving. What force or idea can stand the face of an all knowing, all loving and all powerful God? That is not a battle. The sinful nature that we are talking about that has to be forgiven, guess where it is? It is not in Saddam Hussein. It’s not in Hitler. It’s in a mind that believes that it can actually live an existence apart from a loving God.
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