Conversations with Raj
Vol. 9, No. 6 / November 2001
“You all need each other to
witness for each other with
[The following is from the Kingston Gathering
held on August 18th, 2001]
RAJ: You know, I just won’t let us get away from this subject of Love. The Bible says that I said: “As I have loved you, love one another.” And of course one of the commandments says, “Do not bear false witness.” Rather than approach this from the negative, “Thou shalt not,” I want you to think about loving one another as witnessing for one another—standing with another on his or her behalf.
That means that when your brother has chosen not to bear witness to his divinity, but rather to the worst in himself, you don’t agree with him! You don’t look at him and say what a bastard he’s being. That’s not witnessing for him. That’s not being the Presence that can transform and heal your brother or sister.
Or let us say you run into someone at work. You haven’t seen them for a couple of days, and they really look awful. They look like they need to be home in bed—puffy eyes, red eyes, you know, groggy—obviously not in the best health.
What are you going to do? Are you going to tell the first person you meet how lousy so-and-so looks today? “Boy she must really be feeling terrible.” What are you witnessing for here? Are you witnessing for less than that one’s divinity? What are you standing with that person for?
If you pass the news around as to how sick this person looks, you not only are not being the Presence that could heal instantaneously, you’re reinforcing the general attitude about that person, so that now everyone in the office is witnessing against that person’s health, against that person’s inner experience of her divinity.
Everyone’s witnessing—for or against another—is a teaching. Do you want to teach your friend that indeed she looks terrible and ought to be in bed, and is ill and has no choice about it? Or do you want to have gone within and remembered that the reason she’s in your experience is to have her divinity recognized, and as a result of recognizing it within yourself, having behaved in a manner that inspired her to realize she has a different choice, she has a different experience available to her—one of health?
When you witness for somebody, you end up convicting that person. You can either convict that person for their lack, or for their problem, or for their bitchy attitude, or formtheir illness, or you can convict them for their health, their wholeness, their divinity, because at least you didn’t forget who she really was—the direct expression of God, in whom God is well pleased, and from whom God has withheld nothing of what He is perfectly being right there where she is.
You have the option, and you enact the option by how you choose to witness for that other one, how you choose to stand with that other one. You do it all day long. You always stand with another on behalf of what they truly are or on behalf of what they think they are. And at the moment I’m not going to go into the fact that sometimes you witness for what you think they are, whether they think they are or not. That’s another matter.
“As I have loved you, love one another.” It’s the extension of love that changes or will change the world. And the way you witness for or against another determines how blessed the world is, and how much the world can bless you.
Now I’m bringing this up for a reason. Not just because of the truth of what I’ve already told you, and that it doesn’t hurt for you to be reminded of it, but because there is a tendency among those who are metaphysically oriented to become very heady and intellectual in their approach to life. As a result, they become inhumane, because they forget that they need to witness for their brother or sister, and they need to witness for their brother or sister especially when their brother or sister is suffering from something, and therefore isn’t the most pleasant person to be around—whether the unpleasantness is that the person is crotchety or angry and not expressing pleasant thoughts, or whether it’s someone who isn’t feeling well and therefore isn’t the best company because there isn’t the energy there, and the person is feeling lousy.
You know what? When your brother is down is when your brother needs a witness. When your brother is not in the best place, that’s when your brother needs a witness—somebody standing with him or with her through the thick of it, and making commitment to stand with that one until they come through on the other side of whatever the problem is.
You all need each other to witness for each other with commitment. That’s how you love one another. That’s how you love one another. You witness for each other, and you choose wisely as to what you are going to witness to about your brother, so that you don’t end up witnessing to the worst in him—whether it’s the “worst” in him that you are thinking about him, or whether it’s the worst in him that he is thinking about himself.
This takes application. This takes effort. This takes work. This requires commitment. But you know what? Each of you is worth it!
What do I do all the time? I witness for you on your behalf by not bringing up all your faults and your flaws and condemning you for them, but by reminding you of who you Are, and not agreeing with you when you express unclear concepts about who you Are. And I don’t agree with you when you believe those unclear concepts. But I also don’t say to you, “That’s a flaw you have.” I say, “It’s a misunderstanding you have that you can become clear of if you will remember who you divinely Are.” And I talk and talk and talk about what you divinely Are, and what your relationship is with your Father, Who is the Source of your being, right here and right now.
I say, “In spite of the fact that you see yourselves as physical organisms, you are not. You are divine beings right here and right now, and this physical body you think you have is nothing more than pure, divine energy, which has the Intent to identify what God is being right there, perfectly. And that therefore, it’s your ally,” that it is something that will always identify you, eternally, because just as God, unidentified, is nonexistent God, you, unidentified, are nonexistent you. And since you’re the expression of God, and are therefore, as eternal as God, then, what you see sitting here and what you feel sitting here in these chairs is eternal also.”
If it seems to you to be capable of becoming sick and dying, I’m telling you it’s not a divine fact. It’s an illusion that each of you has the option to let yourself have the experience of. And so I’m constantly witnessing to you on your behalf, so that you don’t get bogged down, or remain bogged down, in unclear concepts about who you Are and what this is [indicating the body].
When you don’t get it, I tell you again. I don’t get frustrated with you. You don’t need someone being frustrated with you when you’re not getting it. You need someone who talks to you in a way that makes you feel like, “Yeah, I didn’t get it, but no big deal. And therefore I can persist in trying to get it. I don’t have to defend myself. I don’t have to waste my time being distracted from getting it by proving to you, or somebody else, that I am not as bad as you think I am.”
Now, the way I am treating you is the way you need to treat others. Do you feel inspired by the way I treat you? I see you keep coming back. So, obviously I’m not pushing you away.
Most of you, when you’re here, are on your good behavior. But I know you when you’re not here, and your bad behavior doesn’t distract me or deter me or frustrate me or keep me from saying, “Hey, tain’t so. You don’t need to behave the way you’re behaving, and here’s why. Here’s the good news.”
You know what? Your brothers and sisters and the people you work with, they need to hear the good news, too. Not Bible-thumping good news, but someone who stands there with them on their behalf with unending encouragement no matter how discouraged they get, with unending encouragement no matter how nasty they get because they believe their discouragement, and someone who, by their lack of criticism, conveys that the other one doesn’t need to be self-critical, and conveys that here’s a safe place to be, and that therefore less defense is needed. And in the absence of defense, there’s a greater willingness to see things a different way.
Love one another. Bear witness to the truth of them, with persistence.
All of you, at one time or another in your lives, have been in a place where you could not conceive that you had a capacity to be something more than you were at that moment, and somebody else, you would say, “had faith in you.” Well, what did that mean? It meant they bore witness to what they knew was true about you, that went beyond your concept of what you were capable of. And by virtue of their witnessing to that, you were inspired to take a step you didn’t think you could take. You discovered that you could take it, because, as you say, they had faith in you. Well, they loved you enough to bear witness to the truth of you, and that is always healing.
Some of you have had the experience of being unwilling to embrace a possibility, and you were unwilling for five years to embrace the possibility. And someone else stood there with you for five years, in your declaration of your incapacity, and said “Tain’t so. Yes you can. I can see that you’ve got it in you.” They persevered, day in and day out, year in and year out, for five years, until finally, at some point, their conviction about you was able to be received by you and become your conviction about you.
Love one another that way, and remember, that the place where this kind of love is really needed is where your egos say it’s the least deserved. It’s when your friend, or your neighbor, or your boss, or your children, are persisting in presenting their worst perceptions of themselves. Just as when you do the very same thing, you deserve to have someone say there’s a way out of your terrible sense of yourself, you need to be the ones that do it for others.
You know what? It may be wonderful to talk about spiritual concepts, and how things work spiritually, and how different schools of spiritual thought treat things, and which ones are right, and which ones are wrong, but none of that means a hill of beans, because until it comes down to the place where you are relating to your brother and sister, here and now, in the ugliness and beauty of unclear thinking that goes on, and you persist in witnessing for that which is true about your brother and sister, until you do that, all this spiritual talk is tinkling brass, and there’s nothing to bring it to life, here and now.
Every single one of you is worth having someone stand and persistently, consistently witness for the very best in you, because the very best in you is the only thing that’s really here. All the worst of yourself that you think exists here is nothing but your imagination, and isn’t real. But as long as you are convicted by it—as long as you are convicting yourself to those poor concepts—you will suffer. And it’s needless. But you need someone to tell you it’s needless, so you can realize, “Oh, there is a different way to see this.”
I know I’m repeating myself. But you don’t get it, and so it needs to be repeated. I gladly repeat it, and you need to be willing to gladly repeat it to each other. You need to be willing to gladly repeat it to each other.
You know what? You can stand on the behalf of your brother and sister without ever using one spiritual word. Until you get that, you’re going to get hung up on your spiritual words, and you will lose the meaning. Hugs. Give hugs, a hand on a shoulder, a willingness to stand unmoving by the water cooler, or by the copy machine in the office, while someone is going through their shit, and being there for them wordlessly—just being an ear that is willing to listen.
What does that say? Without saying a word, without any metaphysical mumbo-jumbo, what does that mean? Well, first of all it means that they, going through their shit embarrassingly at work, aren’t scaring you off. What are you teaching? You’re saying, “You’re not scary when you’re in this position. You’re not scaring me. It’s okay.”
It’s also teaching them, “You’re not alone. You don’t have to be in this all by yourself, here at work.” It means, “We don’t have to talk about anything. You can just be feeling what you’re feeling, with me.” This is where the transformation occurs. This is where love is extended and experienced. This is where your willingness to witness for your brother and sister, demonstrates in the world that they’re not alone, that they’re worthy, that they don’t have to be afraid to be in the spot they’re in, that someone cares. And all of this without a word being spoken.
All of these words in the Course, in the Bible, all of these words mean nothing if they aren’t going to be translated into the human experience.
You know something else? Any teaching that says the world doesn’t exist, or this is all an illusion . . . if the meaning of those words isn’t carefully and wisely sought out, you will discount the very arena in which love can be extended, the very place where all of this spiritual talk has relevance.
If it’s all illusion, you won’t stand there at the water cooler saying nothing. You’ll say: “Aach,” and you’ll go back to your desk, and you won’t bother to witness for each other. You’ll have some quick, spiritual platitude: “Oh! That’s an illusion.” And you’ll satisfy yourself that there’s no requirement for you to do anything more, because in your realization that it’s all an illusion, that should heal. You’ll go back to your desk feeling pretty good with yourself if . . . if you’re that insane.
The opportunity is missed, not only to be transformational for your brother, but you miss the opportunity to find your capacity for persistence, your capacity for walking the extra mile, the extra hundred miles, your capacity to make such commitment to your brother or sister that you never, ever, have to abandon them again . . . forever.
Ah-h, now we’re talking about transformation, aren’t we, of you. But hey, this is where the glory is! I don’t mean the glory of God. I mean, here’s where the gloriousness of existence awaits your experience.
Most often, metaphysical, spiritual truths are used as a means to disengage you from involvement with each other, and this is a serious mistake. I didn’t say: “Love your metaphysical, spiritual truths.” I said, “Love your brother. As I have loved you, love your brother.” Don’t love the truth more than your brother, because the truth doesn’t mean shit if it has no relevance to your brother, and if it has no relevance to you. If truth is imagined to be different from your brother and sister, it becomes a harsh taskmaster that will grind your sense of your very own humanity down, until it crumbles and you become a hard-hearted teacher of irrelevance.
I have chosen my words well so that you might understand exactly what I mean, and so that you might grasp the fact that truth is not meant to be that which separates you from your brothers and sisters. Rather, it is not platitudes or words, but that which is revealed to you. Truth is revealed to you when you’re willing to remember that the only reason your brother or your sister comes into your experience is to have his or her divinity recognized.
You see, you don’t know how to recognize their divinity all by yourself, so you have to say, “Father, uncover it to me. Remind me of it. Help me to remember it so I may witness to it.” You see? Truth is a revelation, not a platitude. Truth is a direct experience of what is Real, rather than a string of words in a book that can be rattled off piously, or self-righteously, or as a justification for not dealing with the illusion.
Truth is a revelation, and it’s the revelation of that which is Real in your fellow man so that in the experience of it, you can bear witness to the truth about your fellow man.
“As I have loved you, love one another.” And even when it pushes your limits, even when it seems to require you to go beyond your capacity to persevere and to Love, be willing to do it because they deserve it, just as you deserve it.
I love you! And I’m speaking firmly so that you might get the feel for how much I love you, and how important it is to me for you to be less confused about yourselves, so that you won’t suffer from ignorance about yourselves, so that you can gladly bear witness to that which is true about you, and not require everyone else to be willing to stand and bear witness with you when you’re being difficult.
I have more to say about bearing witness.
There are two kinds of bearing witness. We’ve talked about what you might call bearing witness privately, meaning one-on-one, where you stand witnessing for the truth for someone else. Bearing witness privately is as important as I made it sound. But there’s a form of bearing witness which is in many ways even more important, and that is bearing witness, true witness, of your friend or neighbor to another. And you could call this bearing witness publicly.
Sometimes it is absolutely essential to stand with someone, bearing witness to the truth of them, to others. In some ways this is even more difficult, because usually the place where that is called for is when others are challenging your friend. So you have to put your mouth where your values are, and speak up.
You know also it says in the Bible: “No man cometh unto the Father but by me.” You may not have realized it, but one of the aspects of the meaning of that statement is, you must come by someone who is going to stand up for you. Not that the Father requires that, but because it is essential to have one stand up for you because you can’t stand up for yourself, all alone.
You see, the dream, the dilemma you’re all in, the human condition you’re all in, is a result of your having stood up for yourself, all by yourself—independence.
The reason you can’t come to the Father except by me is because essential to your coming Home is that you’ve got to be willing to abandon standing up for yourself, all by yourself.
You know the saying, “Pride goeth before a fall”? Well, you could say pride went before The Fall—self-satisfaction. “I’d rather do it my way.” “I want to be a fully self-realized person on my own.” And that was what precipitated The Fall.
You didn’t really do it that way. You said, in so many words, “I want to play with, I want to toy with the experience of independence.” You’re now so deeply in the habit of independence and self-authorized actions, and selfrealized personality, all on your own, that it’s humiliating to need to have someone else vouch for you, speak on your behalf, and have that be the only way you can come Home. You can’t come Home under your own steam. You can’t come Home alone. Someone must stand with you, speak for you.
You might say—and this is not utterly, absolutely correct—that the Father must see that you have no element within you of private, self-authorized self-assertion, that you are willing to be part of the Family instead of a proud, independent outcast. You see?
So, this subject of witnessing for your brother is extremely important. And you know what? You really won’t fully understand the dynamic of having me witness for you as you come Home, until you dare to involve yourself enough with your brothers to stand for them on their behalf, and witness for them and their integrity and their value and their divinity and their worth in front of another.
That’s where the test comes, in a way. Because although it can be difficult witnessing privately for another, one-on-one, continuing to be there on their behalf with encouragement and inspiration, it isn’t really like you have to lay yourself on the line. But when you witness for another in front of someone else . . . now you’re putting yourself on the line in front of others, and that’s exactly what I do with you as you come Home.
You might say that what was called the crucifixion was my putting my life on the line for you, as an illustration. Makes you stop and ponder, doesn’t it?
What if you can’t get Home without someone else witnessing for you? What if you can’t get Home all by yourself? Think about it. Contemplate it, rather than think about it. Let it sink in. Let it be real for you. Then, remember what I said: “As I have loved you, love one another.” Make the extension of witnessing for another in front of someone else for the purpose of declaring your commitment to what is true about your brother, and putting yourself on the line along with your brother. This is love, and not just talk, you see. This is putting it into practice. This is caring.
Talk is cheap. “Oh, I love you.” Well do you love him enough to stand there with him, on the line with him, on his or her behalf? Again, that’s where the work is, that’s where the commitment is. None of this is “nice ideas,” or you lose any value that there might be.
Now, there’s another aspect of bearing witness, and that’s something you do utterly privately. That’s when you’re at home and you start thinking about so-and-so. Well, if you’re not thinking appreciation about them, if you are grousing about how they treated you today, if you are contemplating how difficult they always are, you’re bearing witness. You’re bearing witness. And how you choose to bear witness in the privacy of your own mind makes a difference.
If you want to bear false witness by rehearsing in your mind all of the negatives about so-and-so, you become completely blocked as an agent for change in that person’s life. You’re occupying your mind in a way that is unprofitable for you, and causes you, for that period of time, to be in a miserable state of mind—totally unproductive, a totally insane use of your mind.
But, if you’re thinking of so-and-so who has been unpleasant, or seems to be ill, or whatever, and you are utilizing that time in your consciousness to remember their divinity, to remember what is true about them, and to contemplate that if there’s anything at all there where your friend appears to be, that it has to be God present, and that none of the behavior, none of the physical circumstances which are less than the best represent what God is being there, and therefore they can’t represent God, and therefore they can’t be Real in any divine sense, then you are using your mind in a way that causes it to be in harmony with the Truth about them that God is expressing. And it becomes possible for you to easily slip from your clear thinking about them to a direct experience of what God is seeing and being them as. When that happens, you become a healer.
Your Presence and your attitude and your witnessing for the truth for them, puts you in a position of experiencing realization of the truth of them—not thoughts about the truth of them—and because minds are joined, and one with God is a majority, healing can happen. Healing is the result of true witnessing for your brother. And that happens in the absolute, apparent privacy of your own mind. You see?
So you can bear false witness, accomplish absolutely nothing, and be in a miserable state of mind yourself, or you can bear true witness of your brother, and because your true witness, in your thoughts, is so close to the truth, Truth Itself can penetrate and give you the realization of the truth about them that heals.
So, this is a place where persistence is required. Within yourself, persist in choosing to be conscious of the truth about your brother, rather than idly letting your mind run over old tapes of all the lies about them, all the things that God isn’t being right there where they are, all of the things that even they seem to be insisting on expressing. You must be persistent on behalf of your brother.
Now, when you stop to think about it, if you’re utilizing your mind to witness to the truth on behalf of your fellow man, you’re not going to be in a miserable state of mind yourself. And, if the result of doing that is, you experience a realization, you might say, “direct from God,” well that’s not a miserable thing either. So do it! And do it with commitment. Do it, knowing that it’s blessing not only you, but your brother or sister. Okay? This really is what you’re here for.
I don’t mean you’re here on this planet or here in this lifetime for that purpose. You exist for no other purpose than what I’ve said before, glorifying God. And the way you glorify God is by witnessing truly about each other—acknowledging God right there, where five minutes before, you were willing to see a bastard, or a bitch, or whatever. This is where it’s at! Fortunately, there is an abundance of opportunity to do this. The world has not blown up, and there’s only two of you left. There are millions of you to witness for.
Everyone has a daughter or a son, or a parent or a boss or a friend or a relative that really gets ya where it hurts. If it’s getting you where it hurts, it’s because you are choosing to use your mind for some purpose other than witnessing for what is true about them—not because of what they’re doing. This is a very important point. You suffer because of what you’re choosing to witness for. It is never because of their actions.
As I look around the room, if I were to be coming from an ego standpoint, all of you provide me with ample opportunity to reject you. Yet, all any of you really need is someone who refuses to do that, and—in the face of all the justifications you provide for my rejecting you—I inspire you to a different viewpoint. Well, you know how that feels. You keep coming back for more.
You know what? As horrible as you all are, from an ego standpoint, you all know that you’re worth this kind of encouragement and this kind of brotherliness. You have no doubt in your mind. So does President Bush! And so do your daughters, and your parents, and your sons, and your relatives, and Aunt Minnie, bless her soul. So . . . again, this is where it’s at.
When you believe the ego presentations that another gives, and you bear witness to that, you are doing nothing to change the situation, and if you don’t like the situation, and you’re doing nothing to change the situation, don’t be mad at the bloke you’re mad at. Take responsibility, and do what will make a difference.
Now, when somebody gives you an ego presentation that you don’t like, and you confirm to him that he’s a bastard, you’ve got a game going. Your behavior elicits more of the behavior you don’t like. When I speak to you and share with you what’s true about you, doesn’t it elicit a different kind of behavior than the behavior your husband or your son or your daughter or your relative elicits from you? Doesn’t it?
You can make a difference by your response, and the difference will depend on whether that response is witnessing for what is true, or witnessing for what is false, because whatever you witness for, you convict that one to. You can convict one to waking up. You can convict one to healing.
Convict doesn’t mean putting them down, and proving it. When you convict someone the way I’m talking about, you inspire them to have a new conviction about life. They become convicted about something. Do you see what I’m saying? You all have the means of convicting others into the very best about them.
If you’re not doing that, then stop complaining because they’re such bastards, because you haven’t been willing to stand there with them, for them, day after day, month after month, year after year, until your steadfast conviction so clearly expresses to them that what you’re convicted about, about them, must be true, and they say, “Okay! I believe it! I’m willing to stop thinking about myself the way I was thinking about myself.”
So, remember this: You can’t witness for yourself, and your fellow man can’t witness for himself. Someone else has to witness for him or her. Someone else has to witness for you—one-on-one, privately, the two of you together in front of someone else publicly—and you must be willing to do it because that’s your function, to glorify God right there, and pronounce it, express it “out into the world,” so to speak.
Glorify God right there because that’s your function.
“And God saw everything He had made, and behold, it was good.” I’ve shared before that that means: “God saw everything he had made, and behold, it was verily God.” God being is a process, you might say, of God recognizing Himself. So the Movement of God is a Movement of God being, which naturally takes form as God expressed, or God expressing. The expression is in motion—God expressing, and God seeing the expression, and God recognizing Himself. God recognizing Himself is God glorifying God.
Now, if you are God expressed, then your function must be the same thing as the Movement of Creation is, which is God recognizing God. God glorifying God. So that’s why I say glorifying God is your function, which means recognizing God in each and every thing. You see?
That’s why it’s so important to be curious when you look at everything, like a leaf or a tree or a pair of eyeglasses, and not assume you know what it’s about, if you’re not seeing God there, and being curious to see what of God is there, because that’s the way you open yourself up to recognizing God in everything. Then you’re no longer at odds with God by seeing what you have decided you want to call everything. You see?
It’s your function to glorify God, because there’s really nothing else for you to do except to recognize God in everything . . . and bear witness to it.
Okay. I’ve said enough.
AMERICA’S NEW WAR
“This is not war.
It’s a sloppy use of words.
It’s a gang of bullies who do not
have the capacityto wage war.”
[The following is from the Kingston Gathering
held on September 22nd, 2001]
RAJ: I understand that you have a new television series, here in the United States, called America’s New War. And I’m wondering how many of you are already addicted to it?
Remember that no matter how much factual information is provided on this new series, you are still being fed a lot of propaganda. You are being encouraged to see things in a “certain” way. If you are aware that teaching is occurring, then you can be cautious in what you choose to learn. If you do not know that teaching is occurring, you may take everything that is said, hook, line, and sinker, your perspective will be changed whether you want it to be changed or not, and you are no longer in control. What I mean by that is that you’re no longer being conscious.
As most of you know, the Course says that everyone is teaching all the time. Every single one of you is teaching at every single moment. Right now, in your quietness, you are teaching each other that it is appropriate, in this setting, to be still. You see? If there were a few in the room who were chatting amongst themselves, they would be teaching that in this setting it’s appropriate to listen or chat. So, teaching is going on all the time, and learning is going on all the time. Be conscious of this fact, so that you may sort out what you wish to learn and what you do not wish to learn.
Why? Because what you learn, you will embody in the world.
Now, in the last Gathering we spent a great deal of time talking about witnessing for your brother or sister and that it is witnessing for the very best in them that promotes healing. And that the way to witness to the best in your brother is to become still within yourself, and listen to God—whether it’s through your Guide, or directly—for His perspective about your brother, and not choosing to rely on your best perception of your brother in order to have the picture you would hold of him or her.
Now, I would ask you: Since September 11th, how much of your time have you spent in the quietness within, asking God what is the truth about your brother? How many of you have remembered that you have the option to know and hold in your mind the very best about Osama bin Laden. Or how many of you have, with the pride of Americanism, joined with those who are saying, “Kill the bastard.” Of course, they’re saying that because they’re relying on their best perception—or they’re relying on the best perception they choose to use. They are rallying with each other, as a group, because they think that gives them force and power to get even.
Now, as it happens, Osama did not witness to the best in himself. But make sure that his poor witnessing to the truth about himself doesn’t cause you to witness to the least best in you, and thus become a force for terrorism against Osama bin Laden, or the Afghans, or those in the Middle East, or those who look like they are Middle Easterners.
If there’s one thing I want you to go home from this weekend remembering, it is that your witnessing to the truth about your fellow man—the witnessing you give to him that has been derived from your connection with God—heals, transforms, regenerates. You have the capacity, for lack of better words, to be a “force for good” in the world that is transformational. If you know that, it will be a little bit more difficult for you to choose to become reactive and to fall into an aggressive search for justice.
If you go for justice, you will not get healing. Is that clear? If you go for justice, you will not get healing. If you go for healing, you will always get justice. But justice will be that which blesses everyone involved. It will never be a matter of “getting even.”
Now, be careful about the words that are presented to you: America’s new W-A-R—war. “The new kind of war for the new millennium.” This is not war. It’s a sloppy use of words. It’s a gang of bullies who do not have the capacity to wage war, in the sense that war has been defined by world wars.
The use of the word “war” is made because everyone here in the U.S. and in the rest of the world is being rallied to bring their attention and their energy to do something about the neighborhood bully. But if it remains clear that what is being dealt with is a neighborhood bully, and not a nation, it will be clear that the response will be very different from real war. It will also elicit less fear. It will actually elicit more support from all citizens around the world, because they know it needs to be done. But they also know that if the sloppy use of the word “war” is used, it will potentially allow for greater force than is necessary to come into play, which would be a great mistake.
If, in a schoolyard, there are three or four bullies, who are starting a fight, what happens? Ah-h, the adults in the arena come out. They are not swayed by the energy that the three bullies are exhibiting, and they are not sucked into a response that is equally emotional. No. They, in the garb of their adulthood, use intelligence, and restrain the bullies from their activity.
Do they burn down the school? No. Because it’s clear to them that this is a handful of children out of all the population of the school who are behaving in a way that does not express the best in them, because they are not feeling the best in themselves. They know that the answer is to help educate those boys into a better understanding of the best in themselves.
Now, I want you to know something: As long as you hold someone or something responsible —whether it’s a person, or a disease, or an accident, or Mother Nature, in terms of a hurricane, let us say—as long as you believe you know what is responsible for the problem, and can place the blame there, you cannot heal those who were injured in whatever event occurred. You cannot claim a victimizer without having a victim.
If you want to demonstrate, through healing, that there is no victim, you must release the so-called victimizer from your definition of him as something less than the best that he is. If you exonerate, through healing, the perpetrator of the crime, the crime vanishes, and the effects of the crime vanish.
If a virus has invaded your body, and your body is deteriorating, and you, let us say, see the virus clearly as what it divinely is—or that it has no existence at all because it doesn’t express any of the authority of God—then the disease, the deterioration that it had precipitated, will vanish.
You see what I’m saying? You must not only heal the effects of a terrorizer, you must heal the terrorizer. You can’t heal only one or the other. So, you cannot wish for the best for the victims, and still hold the victimizer as being totally responsible for the victimization.
It’s a simple fact that if you’re in an accident and you have whiplash, or a physical problem generated from the accident, that those who go to court to “get justice” do not heal as fast because they must rehearse over and over to attorneys, to the court, the fact that they’ve been damaged, the details of the damage, and how it was unjust. Their healing is delayed. Perhaps, it’s never total, because they must continue to hold the victimizer guilty, and in order to hold the victimizer guilty, they must be able to show the effects of what that guilty party did to them. Do you see what I’m saying?
So, if you want healing from something—whether it’s an external victimizer or an internal victimizer called a virus—or even an internal mental victimizer called the practice of hate or fear, you’ve got to clear everything. You must see the innocence of everything.
You are here to recognize that which is Real in each and every thing. Each and every thing. Love is the recognition of that which is Real in each and every thing, and you don’t have the right to sort out which things are worthy of your loving.
You say, “Well, that’s really hard under the circumstances.”
Well, you know what? Osama will tell me the same thing, because he didn’t do what he did for no reason. He’s angry. And I’m not going to go into whether the anger is justified or not. How he chose to deal with it, was not appropriate. But that there was something to be dealt with is as clear to him as it now seems to be clear to all of you that there is something that truly needs to be dealt with in terms of terrorism. Do you see what I’m saying?
So be careful before you think you’re too much better than he is. Be careful that you do not make the assumption that he has no legitimate justification for his anger. His reasons may be faulty, but all of you have experienced faulty thinking that you have been able to justify and see as totally legitimate.
Whether you choose to deal with things constructively or destructively is your choice. But if you choose to deal with them destructively, you’re going to be met with a demand for correction of that choice.
So, there is a need for correction here. But how that correction can be effected, will depend upon whether or not you’re gathering your perception of the victimizer from God or from your egos. If you’re choosing the perspective of your ego, you’ve made the wrong choice, and correction will be needed. If you follow through on it before correction is made, you will have conflict.
Now, I want to come back to this point: Your choosing to witness on behalf of every one of your brothers and sisters, and your choice to do it from God’s perspective because you have been willing to abandon your emotional reactions and get into your peace so that you might connect with your Guidance, which reflects the Father’s Will, that is not only what your responsibility is, that is not only what your function is, but it has power to heal. Why? Because you are embodying that which has real Meaning in the world, because the Meaning is being gathered from the Father and you are witnessing for your brother.
Now, it might mean that this brother, who was not expressing the best of himself, is captured. It may mean that he goes to jail. It may not mean that he has a sudden transformation of his mind. But his ability to continue to act out his legitimate distress in a destructive way, will be stopped, and the opportunity for learning, and having transformation in his mind, can occur.
It is not your job to assume what the outcome of your willingness to witness to the best in him is going to look like. But you can count on it that the threat will be removed.
So, you have the power to make change. It’s not a personal power. It’s a reflected power. Your ego thinks you have personal power, and it tells you that you have personal power, and that’s the way it victimizes and terrorizes you. It terrorizes you by suggesting that you have authority of your own apart from God—apart from the very Source of your being—and if you buy into it, and you begin to try to act independent of God, then you are immediately and forever in some degree of fear. To live in ongoing fear at one level or another is terrorism.
Now, you have the power to change, by reflection—meaning that when you choose to go within, find your peace in the midst of the most horrendous events, so that nothing is more important to you than feeling and experiencing God’s point of view, then your conscious experience of God’s point of view does become embodied . . . not by any power you have personally, but because you’ve allowed the only power there is to be the only power present in your mind.
If you let this sink in, it will become apparent to you that if it’s your task, if it’s your function, to do this with Osama bin Laden, whom all of you have a certain amount of feelings about, it will become clear to you that the “bastard” you work for isn’t nearly as bad as you thought he was, and is much more tolerable than you thought he was. At least your perspective will have improved regarding your boss, or your spouse, or your children, or whoever it might be who might be being difficult, but not nearly as difficult as Osama has been.
As I said in the last Gathering, when you make the choice for listening to God, and experiencing the influx of His perspective, not only are you being an agent for embodied change in the world, manifest change in the world, you have the blessing of experiencing peace, while the world is being blessed by something you’re not personally capable of, but which you are capable of allowing to manifest through you. You see?
When you choose to listen to the TV, and all the propaganda, as well as the grief that is being shared, and you become reactive, you don’t feel good. But you also become ineffective as an agent for change. You might say, “Well, if I’m not feeling grief, I must be insensitive. I must be being inhumane.” Let me tell you something: If that is what being humane means—that you suffer and grieve along with everyone else—and it means that you cannot be an agent for change, which means that suffering must continue because nothing can change it, then how humane is that?
Someone might say: “Well, I don’t understand how you can be so peaceful in the midst of all of this. Aren’t you paying attention? Aren’t you alive? Don’t you know what’s going on? Doesn’t it mean anything to you?” And you say: “Yes, I’m aware of it, but I’m choosing to be aware of it from my most grounded inner place, where I am not so upset and reactive from my emotions that I can’t think clearly, and I can’t think intelligently, and I can’t see what really needs to be done. I’m not doing that. I know that I am more available to be the place where exactly the right thing can be done. It’s my choice to be that place where what I do matters, and I don’t do anything that doesn’t matter.”
Now, I’ve given this piece of advice before: Don’t watch more of the news, don’t watch more of anything that is distressing, than you can lift from yourself within twenty minutes after you have stopped exposing yourself to it. If you can only watch three minutes of the news before you have enough of a load of reaction that it will take twenty minutes to get back into your peace, then turn off the TV at the end of three minutes. If you can watch it for an hour, and it still only takes you twenty minutes to get back into your peace, watch it for an hour, if you are so inclined. But do not, do not, do not expose yourself to that which overwhelms you, because when you’re overwhelmed, and you’re out of your peace, you’ve lost your capacity to be the agent for change, which is what everyone is crying for.
I am going to suggest a broadened meaning for the word “patriotism.” Patriotism is a pride that a group holds—a nation. Let’s expand that to global patriotism, world patriotism.
What do patriots do? They stand together, don’t they? They stand together in conscious appreciation of their unity, don’t they? The only thing is that when it’s national, it means that they stand together in appreciation of their unity . . . against the rest.
The times are calling for worldwide unity being consciously felt as love for everyone in the world, so that that unification brings into the world or embodies that which nurtures health in the unhealthy spots, because love is what is motivating the actions within that unity.
Love is the willingness to recognize that which is Real in each and every thing. Everything! Everything is a Wholeness. It’s a Oneness. When a country has pride in what it is, it supports and nurtures what it is with its “membership,” you might say—its population.
The events on September 11th were something the whole world felt because it was an attack on peace—not an attack on the U.S. It was an attack that the whole world felt, and that was its point. So you see a unification occurring. Even though there is bargaining and there are political aspects to it, nevertheless there is a greater feeling of unity worldwide . . . and everyone needs to stop being afraid of world unity.
There is a fear of world unity. There is a fear of loss of national pride, of national individualism, and so on. And it’s got to go. It’s got to go, because every single individual on the face of this globe is really the visibility and tangibility of God. Therefore, everyone together is Family that no one can get out of except in their faulty imagining.
Don’t be afraid to band together in unity—not against anything, but as a most desirable invitation to those who are still trying to be separate from the Family, to come back Home into the Family.
Interestingly, the fact that none of you are totally Awake is because you are holding yourself separate—for pride, for the hit of experiencing imagined authority, for any number of reasons. None of us who are Awake have dropped any bombs on you yet, nor have we ferreted you out of your tiny little caves. But we do invite you, by helping you to see yourselves in a new way, as what you truly Are, and helping you to see that this clearer view of what you Are is safe for you, that it’s not dangerous to give up your autonomy.
It’s not dangerous because your individuality will not be lost in the process. The specific uniqueness of the expression of God that appears as you is absolutely essential to the Whole. For it to dissolve or disappear would constitute the lessening of what God is, which is impossible. So, you are being invited to come Home, into your right mind, and experience unity.
Now, some of you did really asinine things this past week, but you’re still worthy of my invitation and my encouragement and my love. You know what? Osama is somebody’s son. Well, I know, people want to forget about that. Let’s not . . . let’s not see him as too human. Let’s not see him as “like us.” He is somebody’s son, who’s worthy of being, let us say, worried about, concerned about, cared about, and endlessly provided the encouragement to see things in a better way, and to behave in a way that works better. If you’re worth it, he’s worth it.
So when you come Home and you yield to God, and you say, “Thy will, not mine be done,” you will find all the things that you didn’t do, which you thought you did, brought into perspective. Either they will disappear, or you will see the unction of Love that was God showing up there, even when you thought you were doing it all by yourself, and what was done will still stand to be valued.
Now, I’m going to become very extreme here. If enough people were willing to be an agent for change—meaning by that that they were willing to abandon all of the feelings that they had been encouraged to have, not only by the events that happened on September 11th , but by all of the propaganda that has come forth since—and you listened for God’s perspective, you would find the two towers there, fully present, undamaged, and everyone who had died in them, at their posts. The grief that everyone has been feeling since September 11th would vanish, even though a remembrance that the event occurred would remain.
I am telling you that there is no limit to the power of clear thinking. There is absolutely no power to unclear thinking, and unclear thinking will change nothing. I am letting you know just how radical change can be as a result of your willingness to say, “Thy point of view, Father, not mine, be done. Let me see Your point of view,” and knowing that in doing that you are going to have to release Osama from everything you have felt, and be willing to see him the way God is seeing him.
Dare to be radical, because healing is radical. Waking up is radical, which is why you’re not letting it happen—at least not letting it happen all at once.
Nevertheless, I want you to be utterly clear on your “power”—the power for healing that you are able to be by saying, “Not my point of view, Father. Not my reactions Father. Not my will, Father, but Thine be done. Let me experience what It is. I will set aside all of my reactions. I will set aside all of my extremely justifiable hurts and griefs and anger about all of this, because I know it will not heal a thing, and I am hurting from engaging those feelings.
“I want to know the Truth that will exonerate everyone from the negative effects of one person’s poor assessment of himself, and I am willing to see him the way You see him, Father, without reservation.
“I’m willing to give up my right to have my private, personal feelings about Osama bin Laden’s private personal feelings, because acting on the basis of personal feelings generates nothing but conflict. And as long as I am feeling conflict, I am miserable—which I choose no longer to be—and I know I cannot be an agent for healing.
“I refuse to remain within the confines of justice, because I want healing.”
If the Twin Towers do not reappear tomorrow, don’t stop. Keep embodying your function because it does transform. It means you’re on the beam, you’re not off target. You are fulfilling your divine function. Of what? Of glorifying God by insisting upon looking for and finding God everywhere you look.
is not the one portrayed
by the costume being worn.”
[The following is from the Kingston Gathering
held on September 22nd, 2001]
QUESTION: I wanted to ask a question about witnessing again. I heard some of your last Gathering, and you were talking about witnessing. And I may have heard it wrong, but I thought that I heard you say that you cannot witness alone, or for yourself. Did you say that?
ANSWER: I did, indeed.
QUESTION: Well, would you explain that to me?
ANSWER: The reason you can’t witness for yourself is because you are not a “stand-alone.” There is no “you” separate from everything else, to witness for itself.
When you do think that you are separate, then you think that you can witness on your behalf—you can witness for yourself well, or you can witness for yourself poorly. Depending on which you have, you’re either having a happy life or an unhappy life. But the fact is that the true experience of Being is that you are the Presence of God expressed. So Being is a matter of God witnessing for you by being all there is to you.
The reason you can’t witness for yourself is because you don’t exist separate as something that you can witness for.
Now, another can witness for you by . . . what did I say? By going within, and in their peace, listening for God to reveal His experience or perception of you. So, what happens there is that another, asking God to reveal the truth about you, is asking God once again, you might say, to witness for you, and nothing else.
When you are willing to stop trying to witness for yourself as though you were something on your own, then you’re in a position of yielding to God because you’re not busy carrying out your private, authoritative sense of life. You see?
So, another can witness for you by saying, “I want to see the Presence of God right there.” Not asking you to show the Presence of God, but letting it be a prayer, an inner prayer: “I desire to see the Presence of God right there where Jackie is” and letting God reveal it. If you are willing to let another witness for you by uncovering God right there, and you hold no further right to witness for yourself, then awakening can occur for you, where you do come back into your right mind.
So, Love is something you extend to another by desiring to see what is Real right there where that other one is, by asking God to reveal it to him, or her.
Love is not self-centered. Love has an object of its affection.
So, when I look at you, and want to see God, I’m not only glorifying God, but I am standing as a witness for you. I have an object of my affection.
Do you realize that when you are able to imagine that you are independent and solated, and capable of authorizing things, you no longer need to love, you no longer have to have an object of your affection, because you consume your mind with thoughts about yourself, and how you’re going to survive, and how you’re going to have to deal with this, and what you want to have happen in your life and then making it happen, and so on.
It’s entirely selfish. What it means is that if another is in your experience who is in need, if there is another in your experience who’s embodying not the best in himself or herself, but the worst, and they are at a point where they truly need someone to witness for them, you can say, “See you later buddy. It’s your problem. You created it.” You are able to avoid the work that there always is in involvement. You can stay uninvolved.
Somebody earlier, after the first break, said that everything that I had said sounded like a great deal of work—that witnessing for another, that being willing to ask for God’s perspective of Osama bin Laden, that having to be willing to recognize what was Real in other individuals in her experience who are being difficult . . . that this is an awful lot of work. This doesn’t sound easy.
Well if one is “enjoying”—and I use that word sarcastically—if one is “enjoying” autonomy, one doesn’t have to do the work. One can stay uninvolved. That seems much easier than involvement that never ends, involvement that arises out of a willingness to hang in there through thick and thin, consistently asking for God’s perception of the truth of that individual, and being there, day after day, providing support when that one doesn’t have enough faith to believe that he or she is valuable and divine, and not all of the horrible things that he or she thinks he or she is.
Yeah! From the standpoint of the ego—in its autonomy and a complete lack of necessity for involvement—involvement looks like work. But what you don’t realize is that the involvement which comes from inquiring of God to have revealed to you the truth about another, so that you might have that experience from which to relate with that other person, means that along with the insight comes an experience of what I’m going to call blissful Love, which makes the work effortless, makes the involvement nonlaborious, even though it is involvement deeper than anything you usually engage in with another human being.
So, the work that the ego sees it as, is really an activity that brings with it the sustenance, the nurturing that makes the activity buoyant and nonlaborious.
So, I can say to you: It’s not easy. At least not from the vantage point that you’re currently looking from. But it’s worth it, because when you go ahead and dare to engage in it, you will find yourself being infilled with that which nurtures and supports your commitment, so that although the involvement is total, it isn’t debilitating, and it isn’t strenuous, and it isn’t frustrating.
What better thing do you really have to do than be the Presence of Love, in the most practical terms, with your family or your neighbors or your fellow man?
Oh, I know! You’ve got to cover your ass.
No, you don’t. You might be here to cover your brother’s ass. You might be here to wipe your brother’s ass. I mean that sometimes that’s the literal kind of the ongoing Presence of Love that has to be extended to a brother if he cannot do it himself. And you do it, knowing that it’s Love. You do it because that other one is worth it. You do it because in the extension of the Love, it is teaching your brother something. It’s teaching your brother that he can let go of his sense of unworthiness of that kind of Love, so that his better sense, his improved sense of himself is evidenced as physical improvement so that he can wipe his bottom himself.
You are all disgruntled to one degree or another, just as Osama is, because you know everyone will not witness for you, and therefore you think you have to always have some sort of defense ready when they actually don’t do it, when they actually withhold their Love. And some of the self-protection becomes aggression.
Some of it becomes whining. To tell you the truth, if you have a multitude of whiners, you almost begin to develop a desire to have a large multitude of those who are aggressive. Whining is . . . whining is pitiful. Vocal aggression has some life to it, at least. Whiners tend not to get off the dime as fast as those who are aggressively expressing their distress. They’re ready to move. Their energy is in place to move.
If someone has the clarity to see what the real need is, then they can provide direction to this aggressive energy, which will encourage it to move in constructive ways that resolve the distress. You see?
The expression of Love always motivates and nurtures a constructive move out of whatever is distressing—whether it’s a physical debilitation, whether it’s a mental disturbance, or whether it’s a conflict of international attitudes. That’s how important it is, what we’re talking about today.
Don’t say, “Well, I can’t do anything about what’s happening out there.” I didn’t ask you to do anything about something out there. I’m asking you to watch how you’re using your mind, so that as more and more of you are being the Presence of Love, embodying the revelation of Reality that the Father is providing you with, the mind, you might say, “of the population,” shifts. As the individuals shift, the population is identified in a new way.
Not only that, because of the fact that the shift of your perception is impulsed by God, and therefore embodies Truth, then, because there is no defensiveness in you in your consideration of the world that God is revealing to you, and your Love is not diluted by fear or anxiety or hate or anything else, your benignness becomes obvious to everyone around you, and they feel safe with you, whether or not you’ve said a word to them. The mood changes, and the ripple extends, and it’s transformational. You see? You count!
I’m not appealing to your ego. You know, when there are tragedies, and when people are going through the sort of thing that has happened since the 11th, and people feel lost and vulnerable, any good psychologist will tell you that there needs to be some venue or arena for boosting your morale—I’m talking entirely on a psychological level—and so there needs to be communication that empowers you . . . but it empowers you as an ego.
I’m telling you that you count, not to empower you as an ego, but to remind you of the truth of you which was the truth of you before September 11th, and is still the truth of you, and is what will ground you in your safety and in your willingness to dare to extend Love—the willingness to witness to the best in everyone, even when it seems to be against overwhelming odds.
For those who have been doing this consistently, let us say long before September 11th came, the events of the 11th and since have not thrown you for as big a loop as those of you who had not done it before, and are having to scramble to cope, and ultimately find that you’ve got to back off and move into your peace and get your own balance before embracing what’s going on out there.
So, what was true for you before this happened is true now. And if witnessing for your brother in the way that I’ve been describing is new to you as of today and you’re having to employ it under stress, at least be glad that it’s being shared with you today, so that if, for any reason, there were another situation that was stress-producing, you would have already spent a long time getting into the habit of witnessing for your brother, and of gathering the Facts of Being from God, rather than the media. You will be able to be in your peace and be of more help under those circumstances, whatever they might be.
I do not want you to construe what I’ve just said to have reference to another attack, because the next stress might be something totally personal. It might be an illness, it might be a family member who’s going through a trauma, and because they’re your family it’s severely undermining to your peace. I am not suggesting another world situation.
The point is: The sooner you get down to the business of choosing for your peace, especially when there isn’t trauma going on, the better prepared you will be to see through the illusion of threat of any kind, if and when threat appears. That’s all.
Remember: That which God creates has as its function, to glorify God—to be the full expression of God that God is being right where each of you is. The willingness to embody that—I’m going to say, to internalize that, to let it be the all-consuming fact about you—brings with it all of the energy that is needed to do it as you extend yourself to your brother, with Love, for the purpose of healing.
It will mean, as I said, involvement like you’ve never comprehended before. But ultimately it is an involvement that is so total that the infiniteness of it becomes the infiniteness of you. Any sense of tinyness and separateness will become absolutely nonsensical, meaningless, absurd, and you will experience freedom from the suggestion that you could ever be tiny and vulnerable again.
There’s a different way we could talk about witnessing, and I’m going to put it this way: The ego is like a garment everyone puts on. It might more clearly be described as a Halloween costume. Today I’m going to be “A Terrorist.” Well, I’m going to be “A Princess.” Well I’m gonna be “The Good Guy.” Well I’m going to be “The Responsible Businessman.” Well, I’m going to be “The Best Darn Mother In The World, If I Have To Die Doing It.”
The ego is a sense of self that each one of you adopts . . . and embodies. It’s a costume that covers up You, and creates a certain presentation to the world.
Now, when I say you need to witness to the best in your brothers and sisters, and that you’re to call on God for the inner experience of what the truth is of them, I am talking about having revealed to you what is underneath the costumes that all of you are wearing.
Mind you, when you’re wearing the costume, you attempt to behave in the manner that the costume suggests. So obviously, then, your behavior doesn’t represent the You that’s underneath the costume, either. The simple fact is that without the costume, you’re all very humble. Very few of you look so beautiful that you act with arrogance when you’re naked.
So, the ego, in order to be validated, must become attached to or identified with the wearer of the costume. You see? Otherwise it’s simply obvious that it’s your best friend looking like Dracula, and you’re not fooled. Now, the tendency is to look at Osama, and all you’re seeing is a costume, and you’re saying the costume is him. “Get the bastard! Kill him!” You see?
To validate the costume, you have to personalize it. It has to become attached to a person. It has to become identified as the person wearing it. Otherwise, it’s just a costume. So, if you want to heal someone, whether the costume that’s being worn is “A Dying Person With A Disease,” or whether the costume is, shall I say, “An Attorney”—whatever it might be—in order for healing to occur, the costume must be impersonalized.
In other words, the costume must be separated from the wearer of it, so that you are not confused about the individuality who’s wearing the costume, for whatever reason he or she may be wearing the costume. The wearer of the costume is not the one portrayed by the costume being worn.
Now, let us say that someone is wearing the costume of “A Thief,” and breaks into your house and steals a possession of yours. Let us say that it’s something that you created—a painting that you painted, which you are very proud of. And he steals the painting. Now, you are affronted. You are experiencing a loss of something you felt some pride about. You are more than upset at the invasion of your space. You are upset at the personal affront to you that the stealing of this painting has constituted.
Well, now we have an individuality in the costume of “A Thief,” and we have an individuality in a costume of “A Self-righteous Ego.” If you want healing of the situation and the return of your painting and the resolution of the problem, you’ve got to impersonalize the ego in yourself. You’ve got to separate your costume—your ego reaction—from you, as well as separating the individuality wearing the thief ’s costume from his costume. Do you see what I’m saying? If you don’t impersonalize the ego, you are going to be stuck with the results of apparent ego dynamics.
To be willing to see the very best in another by being willing to let God provide the vision as to what is true about them is what renders the costume a costume only, rather than the identity of the one wearing the costume. That’s what allows for healing to take place. But as long as you say he is responsible, or she is responsible—and the costume is not separated from the individuality—you are caught by the illusion, and the illusion can’t evaporate. The illusion cannot be rendered null, void, meaningless, and therefore not something under which you must suffer. This is very important.
When something happens in a relationship or with somebody you know, or even with yourself, the first thing you must do is to impersonalize the ego, because the costume is distinctly separate from and different from the one wearing it. The one wearing it is whoever he or she was before she ever put on the costume, before he or she ever adopted an ego sense of himself or herself. What he or she was before the costume was adopted, and who he or she still truly is underneath the costume, is the Presence of God and nothing less.
Now, you can grasp what I’m saying, and so you have a “tool,” you might say. You have something you can practice. So, when you turn on the TV and you hear a commentator, or someone who is supposed to be noteworthy, make some derogatory remark about Osama bin Laden, you have two things you can do. You can separate the costume that’s portrayed for Osama, and you can impersonalize the costume of “A Commentator,” who’s speaking as though he knows the truth about Osama bin Laden, and recognize that both of them are whatever is revealed to you when you have caught yourself and been willing to listen to God to find out what is the truth about both of them.
The truth about both of them is, under those circumstances, that they are working with faulty information, and they are acting it out, making it sound as though it’s true, and that therefore, you have justification for being afraid and becoming defensive. And when you see that that’s just a costume, you realize, “I don’t have to believe that. I don’t have to be moved by the presentation.”
Again, I want to be perfectly and practically clear. If Osama is unwilling to change his costume, and if he insists on personalizing his costume and claiming that it is him, and acting in terms of what the costume presents, then your willingness to see the truth about him will bring order into play, which will quell disorder, and he will find himself restrained in one way or another.
This is not a matter of saying, “He is a perfect child of God, and everything he did was an illusion, and therefore I don’t need to react, and therefore, nothing needs to be done. Everything is as it should be.” This is some of the faulty metaphysical thinking that does occur. Disorder, chaos, is chaos. And order is the absence of chaos. Order is the law of Being, or God. Disorder is like darkness. Darkness is the absence of light. It’s not the presence of something else. Therefore, order is the law. Order dominates.
When you have impersonalized yourself, and you have said, “I refuse to act as though I am a reactive ego,” and you have chosen to become still, and go within and reach your peace, and then listen for the truth from there, you have, in effect, impersonalized what seemed to be your ego, and have reached that which is underneath the costume. You’re in a place where there is no reaction. You’re in a place where you can hear the truth.
Then, in hearing the truth, your perception of your brother becomes clearer, and his or her costume becomes just that for you—a costume, rather than that one’s identity—and you are no longer fooled by the costume or the behavior, even if they persist in the behavior. That causes, for lack of better words, order to supersede chaos, and whatever is necessary for order to be embodied or manifest in the world, such as capture and the subduing of this inappropriate behavior, will occur. You see?
The way it happens is by recognizing that the ego is a costume, different from the one wearing it, and your insistence upon coming from your costume-less Being while you consider and witness for another, regardless of his or her costume. You see? Is that clear?
“The ego is the only
terrorist there is, and its
job is to terrorize you.”
[The following is from the Kingston Gathering
held on September 22nd, 2001]
QUESTION: I seem to have more trouble dealing with ego attacks than I hear you addressing.
I was at work, and you know I work in a prison. And a couple of days after September 11th, the administration decided to have a shakedown in which, at that point, my job was to sit at a table, and one of the inmates would bring a bag of everything she owned, and I would go through it, and I would throw away anything that she wasn’t allowed to have.
And I attempted very consciously to stay in my peace, and if they had put coffee into the wrong container, I had to throw it out because it wasn’t in the right container. Several times, if a woman didn’t have a whole lot—or just the feeling on the inside of me—I went ahead and let her keep it. A couple of times I even took it out of the trash can and gave it back to her—different items—always being able to stay in a real comfortable place.
And I did a wonderful job at being able to stay connected with the inmates, and with the other people that I was doing the shakedown with—with Security. Then, Thursday morning, a woman came in to my table, and she had an attitude. She was brash, she was loud, and she was pushy. And she was telling me what I was going to let her have or what I wouldn’t let her have. And I went “there” instantly. And at one point . . .
ANSWER: You went into having an “attitude,” yourself.
QUESTION: I joined her. Exactly. Yes. But you see, I have all the power. I have all the control. I’m staff, and she’s an inmate. And I looked at her straight in the eye, and I took her items, and I just threw ‘em in the trashcan, whether they were contraband or not. And I just looked at her, ‘cause if she so much as talked back to me, it’s gonna cost her a year of her life in prison ‘cause I’d write a misconduct.
And I got real sick in my stomach. And I realized that it was as if it was bin Laden—the brash, loud, pushy, upstart—and the USA—me, the staff, all the power, all the weapons, all the control, all the authority. And what I ended up doin’ was I ended up goin’ to my classroom and hiding. I didn’t participate in the shake any more.
I’ve tried to forgive that with how I understand the three steps of forgiveness, which are: Step back, look at it, realize that her thoughts and my thoughts are in the same mind, but dismiss that mind as a false mind. And then let it be replaced. It hasn’t been replaced.
And on one hand, it’s like Raj never seems to talk about the ugly nasties—that it feels like it hits me in the gut with real malicious badness. And I would like some help with it.
ANSWER: Well, certainly, after all this time of my sharing with you all, it must have become obvious to you that the ego is the only terrorist there is, and its job is to terrorize you. Its job is to scare you enough to keep you from returning to your right mind. Its job is to create an undercurrent of vulnerability so that you become permanently preoccupied with saving yourself, defending yourself.
It is the ego which has said you can refine your soul. It is the ego which suggests to you that you have a cause to fight for, and a fight to win, and that you can win it. And the cause that you are to fight for is ultimate, absolute safety at your own hand—in other words, as a result of authority you are actually capable of having. And, of course, that seems to be worthy, and, from the ego vantage point, something to be sought after, because it would be very satisfying to be absolute authority. It suggests to you that that is your function. And you all get sucked into it.
You have to develop the ability, when the ego whispers in your ear that you’re worthless, but that one way or another you can work your way out of it—or whatever it whispers in your ear that’s negative—you’ve got to learn to quickly say, “Shut up,” and then, turn your attention to God. Sometimes even turning your attention to something practical like washing the dishes is helpful because, like I’ve said, the one thing the ego can’t protect itself against is disregard. But the ultimate disregard of the ego is to ask for a second opinion. Go to another Source for your information. Which of course means saying, “God? Help.”
I’ve said the ego isn’t your friend. I’ve said it’s untrustworthy. I’ve said that it is always working against your best interests—not to trust it. Again, at the bottom line: The ego is the fundamental and only terrorist there is. So! You need to be alert. You need to be alert to what voice you’re listening to—the Voice for God or the voice for fear. It is a terrorist which is the voice for fear. And then you must choose.
It isn’t always an out-and-out war. Most of the time it’s subtle. Just enough to keep you off balance. Just enough to keep you from having any self-confidence. Just enough to have subtle doubts about yourself so that you abandon self-respect. And sometimes it gives you good swift kicks.
Again, because it has no source, and therefore has no birthright . . . You have a source, and you have a Birthright, but the ego has no source. It’s imagined! It’s the result of imagination. The ego is the result of trying to imagine what it would be like to be on your own, and then following that imagination to its conclusion. The ego can never enforce itself upon you. It can never force you to do anything.
So how does it work? It works through suggestion. It suggests that you are unworthy. It whispers: “I deserve this.” But it whispers it in your mind, and so you think you are thinking, “I deserve this.” When you do not realize that you are only listening, and that you’re listening to one of the only two voices there are, you think it’s you. And you are caught.
But, if you realize that it is not you saying it, because you’re incapable of saying anything at all on your own—because you don’t exist as an independent entity that can speak on its own—then you will realize that you are the Listener, and you’re listening to one of the two voices, and it’s not the Voice for Truth. Then you can choose to not validate this voice.
You can choose to disregard it by saying: “Father, what is the truth here? What is the truth about me, as You see me? What is the truth about me as You are being me at this very moment, because I know I have no existence at this moment except by virtue of Your authority and Your expression of Your Self, which is all there can possibly be right here where I thought I was all by myself.” That’s how you shift your attention to the other Voice, and engage in disregarding the ego.
The ego’s function is to survive. I know I’m speaking of it as though it‘s an actual thing, but “the imaginative mental construct” called ego has one purpose, and that is to ensure its existence. In order to ensure its existence, it must convince you that you are it—the ego—and it must convince you that there are more important things for you to do than to be conscious of your Birthright.
If it manages to get your attention, and you move out of your Birthright because you’re not giving your attention to It, you immediately feel terrible. You immediately feel conflicted. Then you are fair game for the ego, because it will tell you that the overcoming of this feeling is your Purpose, and you can do it, and—it doesn’t say it this clearly—that your reward will be everything you had before you separated yourself from your Birthright, and you will have it without the Father having anything to do with it. You see? And that’s the prize!
Because this “imaginative mental construct” is a defense mechanism, it will see Everything There Is To See as though It is what it must defend itself against. The Kingdom of Heaven becomes that against which you must defend yourself. Now that’s real terror. And that’s real terrorism. But I don’t mean Real. I mean, if there is anything such as terror, that is what it is.
So, you must become alert, as I said. Be quick. When you feel kicked in the side, and the air sucked out of you, and the wind out of your sails, you’ve got to be quick and say, “Shut up ego. Shut up ego.” And immediately turn your attention to something else. Again, the best “something else” to turn it to is God, with a request, a reaching out beyond the boundary of the ego structures, and saying, “God, You tell me what’s the truth about me.” And lean into the answer. Become a dead weight that leans into and falls into the answer, without reservation—like you leapt off a building or a cliff. Leap into the Father’s answer, over and over and over again.
So what if the ego punches you and “does ya dirty”? It’s nothing but a bag of hot air. It can’t back itself up. It can’t enforce its point of view. It makes suggestions, like a hypnotist makes suggestions. You, at all times, have the right and the capacity to say, “No, I don’t buy into this,” or “Yeah, yeah, yeah. I buy it.”
You—the only thing that there is Real about the whole thing—must bring your willingness to validate the voice you’re listening to. You give it all the life it has because you’re the only part of the equation that is alive. The ego has no life. It isn’t a thing. It is a non-existent imagination. It is powerless. It must borrow its power from the only thing that is Real, and that’s you. You all give it your life and your energy, and you validate it, and then you cry and cry and cry because of how tough things are, and how mean the ego is.
You know what? When the ego punches you, it punches you with your own hand, using your own muscles because it doesn’t have any of those things. You say, “Yeah, yeah, yeah.” Punch. “Yeah, yeah, yeah. I am awful”. “Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m not worthy.” You give the voice to it. You embody it. You’re the one who brings forth the manifestation, because you’re the only part of the whole equation, as I said, that’s Real! You see?
Just because I talk about the ego, just because A Course In Miracles talks about the ego, just because psychology talks about the ego, doesn’t mean we’re talking about something actual. It’s a group hallucination and it’s an individual hallucination. It’s the Sons and Daughters of God taking the energy of God and using it to validate something that doesn’t exist, and then suffering from the misperception that follows.
There is no ego. And no matter how great and lengthy a definition you all—through the use of your imagination—can come up with, you’re still describing something nonexistent. You’re talking about nothing! Whew!
Is it obvious that such an endeavor or activity is a total waste of time? It is an activity that isn’t even really happening. But while it isn’t happening, and you’re making it seem to happen —you are forgetting to say, “God, what’s the truth here?”
Be careful that your definition of the ego doesn’t become so clear to you, and so understandable to you, that you feel overwhelmed and totally incapable of shifting your attention to something else— simply shifting your attention to something else—and in doing that, disregarding the ego, disregarding nothing, disregarding that which doesn’t exist.
Why does that weaken the ego? Because you’ve withdrawn your energy from it. You’re not giving it any life anymore!
“Trust is the antidote
[The following is from the Kingston Gathering
held on September 22nd, 2001]
QUESTION: Well, I have had a question. I would like for you to expound on this idea that every garment, every role, is one issue, and it’s about power and control. So whatever change we make in terms of garments, the real issue is to keep the suggestion that we have power and control, in any shape or form, real before our eyes.
ANSWER: Not only before your eyes but before your brothers’ and sisters’ eyes, yes.
QUESTION: So then it dawned on me that the perpetrator of this crime is being met with the same challenge of power and control, even though he may see the United States as the perpetrator of power and control.
QUESTION: And the other idea was that then the issue becomes control versus trust. And I just wondered if this is correct, or if you had anything more to say about it?
ANSWER: You really have expressed it quite succinctly. Always, the antidote to control is trust. But once again, trust is something you don’t do in your head. Trust is something you don’t do conceptually. Trust means you actually are willing to put yourself on the line where you do not have confidence in the outcome.
Overtures of trust and overtures of trustworthiness must find genuine expression in order to make a valid invitation to “the enemy” to sit down at the table and negotiate. That’s the way you break the power struggle.
But somebody has to begin to make the overtures, the invitation. Someone has to actually put into the air an expression that says, “In spite of your behavior, I will dare to respect you enough to trust you, and in doing so, convey to you that I believe that you are trustworthy. I extend this trust of your trustworthiness to you so that we might stop fighting and sit down and begin to talk.”
Someone has to make the investment of trust. And as is almost always the case, a situation of conflict exists because both parties have exhibited a lack of trustworthiness. So the overture or invitation to trust will not necessarily be received well, initially, and the invitation must be persisted in.
In other words, the willingness to witness to the best in your brother sometimes will need to be persisted in over and over and over. The very willingness to persist in it over and over and over, without responding in any other retaliatory way, is the only thing that will prove that the trust which is being extended is trustworthy. So, you have to care enough to do the work of reversing something that, in most cases, you helped put into place.
If the lack of trust in you, is not a result of something you have created, but is the other individual’s own baggage, you cannot sit there and say, “You’re just going to have to trust me.” You cannot sit there and say, “You can’t behave in this untrusting way, this ugly way, this unpleasant way with me, when I’ve done nothing to occasion it.”
The fact that the other one isn’t feeling trust needs to be addressed by patiently persisting in being trustworthy, in language of trustworthiness that the one not trusting can understand.
Your ego can tell you that taking that time is not justified because you didn’t create the situation, and whoever did create it should be the one to take the time to uncreate it. But the fact is that this brother or sister of yours who lacks trust needs someone—not necessarily the one who took the trust away—to care enough, to love enough to express the trust and persist until the lack of trust is so weak that they say, “Okay.”
Now, I said this at the last gathering. You don’t trust God. You don’t trust me. I mean, if you did trust me, you would have all awakened during this Gathering. You still have reservations because you are afraid for yourself of what will happen if you totally let go of control and take off your costume. If you trusted me implicitly, you would have already done it. That’s what I mean when I say you don’t trust me, even now.
Your lack of trust, and your unwillingness to be as loving of me as you are capable of, your unwillingness to be in greater harmony with me, your unwillingness to share yourself with me fully—and the list could go on—all constitute choices you are making to be rather unattractive, unpleasant, ugly, even if you’re not being obtuse about it. Your holding yourself separate from me causes you to be a less effulgent light source in my experience.
The light may not be as dim here as it might be in one of Osama’s camps, if I were there, but by comparison with those of the Brotherhood who are Awake, you could say you’re a rather dull, uninteresting, bland sort of light that’s not nearly as pleasant as the Light which is so effulgent from those of my brothers and sisters who are Awake.
So, I’m trying in a kindly way to provide a comparison without insulting you, so that you might understand that even at your best, right now, I could, if I were inclined to come from the ego, feel a preference for those of my brothers and sisters who are putting out a more radiant and stimulating and glorious light than you are. I could hold you in lesser esteem. And if I held you in lesser esteem, I could say, “Why bother with them when there’s so much glorious light over here?” You see? But I don’t. None of us who are Awake do.
So, we persist with every single one of you. Even if some of you haven’t been caring to listen and hear anything new for two or three lifetimes, we haven’t gotten discouraged. Discouragement is a meaningless word. So we hang in there with you, because you’re Us. And you’re worth it because we’re worth it.
The Us-ness of the Brotherhood is worth having every single aspect of It, every single part of It, “fully lit,” if I can put it that way. We can’t experience the fullness of Being when you aren’t. And your brothers and sisters, who are exhibiting less than the best in them, are part of you, and you need them. You need them to be encouraged, to dare to risk the chance that if they let their costume off or they let go of some of their control, that they will be safe. They deserve your unending encouragement— loving, unending encouragement—until they can finally say, “Okay.”
You know what? I suppose you could think that you can wake up and that’ll be it. Wonderful, glorious, magnificent. You know? But when you wake up, you’ll realize it’s not over, because there are others who are part of the infinitude of You who are sort of a dull, bland . . . not lowlife, but “low light” who, it’s perfectly obvious to you, deserve to be experiencing the fullness of the Light that they are. And you will join with us in extending to them what we’ve extended to you that has helped you wake up. You see?
You don’t have to wait until you’re awake to start loving your brother and sister, and loving them enough to embrace them when they seem to be unembraceable, and persist in finding ways that convey to them, in language of their present perception, the encouragement that will register with them and help increase their trust so that they can dare to let go of a little more control, and receive the blessing of your caring.
Trust is the antidote to control, but trust doesn’t happen spontaneously when the very mode of your being has been based on lack of trust—in other words, fear. You must understand that, so that you will dare to unendingly persist in offering trust, and being willing to back it up by being trustworthy, yourself, as the offerer of trust. You’ve got to stop saying, “It’s too much work,” or “Why does it have to be me?” And do it.
It’s usually easiest to do it with family. Because in one way or another you say, “Well, they’re part of me.” But when it gets beyond the family, you say, “Whew, they don’t have anything to do with me. Let their family take care of it.”
So you have lots of little groups of families, and you justify circumscribing your love to your immediate family. Hey! The Brotherhood of man is the Family of man, the Sisterhood and Brotherhood of mankind. We don’t have good words for it.
You had better start caring about the Chinese. You had better start caring about the Mexicans, you had better start caring about the Puerto Ricans, or the English or the Irish, because you are all Family. You’d better care enough to make the overtures of peace.
You make overtures of peace by allaying fear, and you allay fear by extending what could be called unwarranted trust. Not stupid trust, but trust that doesn’t seem warranted at the point where it’s most urgently called for. Continue to make the overture until your trustworthiness—your true intent—is uncovered clearly enough to the one who isn’t trusting, that he can say, “I will risk the chance that you are trustworthy, that I can trust you. I will invest a little bit of trust in you.” You see?
Now, you don’t have to take on the whole world. You don’t have to swallow the elephant whole. You can swallow it one bite at a time. So start with the person next to you. Start with the irritating grocery clerk, who’s irritating but not really a pain in the ass, and love her, or love him by asking God to help remind you what the truth is about her or him. Do it in uncharged situations.
I know I’m repeating myself, but you know what? I’m not going to stop until you get it. And I’m not going to be irritated with you for not getting it. But please don’t ask me to give you some new truth, because this is the ultimate truth, and the one that needs to be addressed.
The search for a more ultimate truth is just a way of avoiding getting down to the business of offering trust to others in an apparently untrustworthy situation—to witness for your brother when your brother is not witnessing to the best in himself, and is insisting upon holding his costume tight about him and saying, “The costume is me. Accept it!”
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