CONVERSATIONS WITH RAJ
VOL. 4, NO. 3
QUESTION: I want to learn about the role of the mind in relation to the creative process. I'm talking about the conscious mind versus the Universal Mind -- or the higher Mind -- relative to the creative process, the life-force, free will, and the process of getting answers to questions. In terms of individual creativity, you indicated the following progression: Consciousness, intuition, meaning, intent, and form. What I would like you to address is which mind controls each of those functions, and to what extent?
RAJ: You must understand that what you are referring to as the "conscious mind," as opposed to Cosmic Mind, is descriptive of the limited experience of mind which I have referred to as the ego sense of self, the ego consciousness. You must further understand that truly, nothing ever happens from the level of the ego! There is no causation, whatsoever, from that level. It -- the ego -- is a false or partial experience of the Cosmic Mind, which must yield up its artificial boundaries so that ultimately the only experience of Consciousness is the divine or infinite Mind, which is what is commonly known as God.
The list you have refers only to the Cosmic or divine Mind. However, until the partial or limited conscious experience has expanded into its divine Wholeness, so that there is no finite experience, the role of the "conscious mind," the ego sense, is literally to be the observer of what the infinite Mind is unfolding. As long as the artificial boundary exists, then the creative movement of Life that is really inseparable from the limited ego awareness, will seem to be something outside itself -- meaning the ego sense -- with no conscious connection. It is for this reason that its role is to simply be the observer and the "cooperator with" what this divine Mind is unfolding.
Now, you must understand that what I have just described here is not the normal function of the ego mind -- the "conscious mind," as you have put it. Its usual function is an active denial of the infinite Mind and a drastic ongoing attempt to substantiate itself as "creator" and as "all that is." So, what I described to you is actually the role the "conscious mind" must play in the process of getting beyond the artificial boundary and accessing its greater capacity to be aware, so that it can more closely approximate, or embrace, or allow itself to be filled by the divine Mind, the Totality of which the finite, partial, ego sense is a small part.
Ultimately, every Individuality will find that he is inseparable from, indistinguishable from, the Cosmic or divine Mind! So, because what Individuality truly is, is present at this moment, even though It is not being accessed, it is appropriate for the individual to realize that truly speaking, he is what could be called a "co-creator."
Now, this must be understood carefully.
As long as one is separated from what he Totally Is by a finite, artificial shell, then the sense of himself that is embraced within that shell can appropriately feel that it is a co-creator with the rest of the Totality, which is on the outside of the shell. Yet, the creative ability from within the perspective of that shell can only be seen as a "co-creator." It does not mean that that which is within the shell is, independently from the Totality, able to create.
However, recognizing the capacity as co-creator instills in the finite sense of self, which is embraced by the shell, a sense of its greater capacity, by virtue of What it is outside the shell. And this is one of the things which allows the finite sense of self to desire to break through the shell and experience its Oneness with "the Creator" -- God, the Life-Principle.
As the shell dissolves, the sense of "co-creatorship" also dissolves and yields to the immaculate awareness of simply being the creative Life-Principle in the act of being Life.
Until that experience is "achieved," it must be very clear that the ego is totally unable to create anything except the apparent resistance to the experience of Wholeness. It only seems to be able to create the artificial shell of separation. That is why I have made it very clear that the key to Waking Up is the desire to experience the Wholeness of one's Being that goes beyond his present frame of reference and the willingness to allow that "greater capacity to be aware" to fill him -- to let it come into him at the level of his conscious awareness.
This, therefore, constitutes a yielding to, and a flowing with, something beyond one's present sense of Self, and that is what effectively dissolves the shell, because one's energy is not vented in the direction of maintaining the establishment of the finite ego sense -- the artificial shell.
Any time any human being manifests creativity, it is because there has been a weakness or a flaw in the shell, which has allowed the direct experience of some of What is beyond the shell, some of the active movement of Creation that one's Whole Being is in the act of being. So, although it appears to have been an act of creation by an ego, it never has been.
As soon as this is realized by an individual, his sense of personal or private accomplishment will no longer be valid for him. This can cause one of two things to happen. It can cause the individual from his ego standpoint, to feel invalidated, turned into nothing worthwhile, and thereby cause greater resubstantiation of the tiny sense of worth and value of the ego. Or it can cause that one to not re-energize his ego and continue to pursue the flaws in the shell. And to cause those flaws to become even greater by his desire to access the experience again of Creativity that was constituted of his momentary experience of unity with That which is outside the shell.
This one will no longer concern himself with the praise or the sense of accomplishment that, in the past, had always accompanied his creativity. He will want to increase his experience of peace and joy and equilibrium that accompanies the experience of Creativity, the experience of his Integrity -- the integrity between what is inside the shell and That which is outside the shell.
This individuality will end up being creative in everything he does, the more he releases what you have called the "conscious mind," and which I call the "ego sense of Self," in order to access what he is in his Totality. And it will not be because he wants to be great. It will be because being absolutely appropriately Creative is the very Nature of Being at all times, and that one will be coming into a clearer experience of that.
In other words, he will seem to manifest more and more of the Cosmic Mind, or the infinite Mind -- not as though he is beginning to absorb God or embrace the infinite, but because he is releasing the boundaries that cause him to seem to be finite and obscure the fact that he is as infinite as his Creator -- as infinite as his Being is, which is the full or complete expression of the divine Mind, the Father, the creative Life-Principle, or God.
QUESTION: Does the Higher Mind completely control the Life-Force, or is that controlled by the ego or the conscious mind?
RAJ: There really is no way to speak of the Life-Force as separate from the creative movement of the Cosmic or divine Mind. The substance of Mind is the energy, Itself, that is denoted by the words "Life-Force." The movement of Mind is the movement of the Life-Force. The movement of the Life-Force is the movement of the divine Mind. They are one and the same thing!
It is the inherent intelligence of the divine Mind, which governs the manner in which the movement of the Life-Force moves, but they are not separate "things" which interact with one another, or which are governed by one or the other.
QUESTION: Where does free will fit into this picture?
RAJ: What you know as free will is literally, at this point, that which is the establishment of the artificial shell, which I spoke of earlier. It is an act of will which denies the Totality of one's Being, causing one's Being to seem to become greatly limited, and then allows for the boastful substantiation of the "greatness" of that tiny piece of Totality, which is called "the ego."
Now, in the process of Awakening, the use of free will becomes limited to the intent to get beyond the shell. The intent to get beyond the shell does not arise out of the limited sense that one experiences from within that shell. It arises out of the deep memory of that area of the Totality of one's Being, which is embraced by the shell, which has not ceased being part and parcel of the Whole.
So, the motivation, the insight, the dynamic factor, which causes one to reach beyond his present sense of self, is arising out of the ingrained, unalterable awareness or Remembrance of what the Whole is all about. This, when it becomes a dominant feature of the apparently limited ego sense, allows the exercise of decision or "will" to be made on behalf of breaking through the shell, rather than energizing the shell further. This is brought about through a willingness to yield to what one is deeply Remembering about what he divinely is, or what he Wholly is.
As I have said before, the only appropriate use of free will is to choose not to use it, because using it constitutes the act of energizing the shell. As free will is given up and the shell dissolves, then what has been called the Will of God, or the Will of the Father, begins to be experienced as one's own Will. But it is a "willing" which comes from the Totality of what one Is, which embraces all that exists. And therefore functions in absolute harmony with everything that is -- with the Total experience of the creative Nature of Self, which is in no way different from the creative movement of God.
If you think about it, you can begin to understand why it seems to be so difficult to wake up, so difficult to access one's greater capacity to be aware -- because it humiliates the ego. It cuts at the root of everything that allows one to be proud. It seems to invalidate one's worth that he feels he has created by his conscious intelligent actions. Yet, what it does is that it opens the individual up to an experience of his Integrity that far surpasses any experience of integrity he has had from a tiny, personal standpoint. It opens him up to the experience of the absolutely profound divinity of everything, the Meaningfulness of everything, because there is an unblocked awareness of the Fact that everything is holy.
Religious or holy experiences are profound experiences because there is so much more meaning to everything in that experience than man has experienced from his traditional three-dimensional frame of reference. The reason is because he is experiencing everything, at least momentarily, in its full Meaning, in its full Intent, in its full Purpose. So, the loss of ego satisfaction, the loss of pride, the loss of a finite sense of self-worth ends up being no loss at all -- except the loss of a limit of one's self-experience, which has become subsumed by, consumed by something vastly infinite, but not at all incomprehensible.
QUESTION: What controls the process of getting answers to questions? Let's say the "conscious mind" poses a question, and we go to the Higher Mind, or the infinite Information, or whatever we want to call it. What I'm trying to get at is: How is this question answered? I get that there might be some sort of magnetic matching process, but the mechanism is certainly vague to me. For example: I pose a question to you. How in the world do you select the answer to that question out of the infinite number of possible answers?
RAJ: The simplest way I can explain this is that when you ask a question, it is an expression of the fact that you have come up to a limit -- a limit of knowledge, you might say, a limit of knowing. The limit is like a fence, but not a picket fence that you can see through. It is a solid fence, which you cannot see beyond. It is an "edge" between what you know and what you don't know. And what you don't know is what is on the other side of the fence.
Now, when you ask a question of your Guide, your Guide simply helps you to cut through the fence, so that you can see specifically what is on the other side -- which is always the answer to your current ignorance.
If you inquire of your Knowing directly, the inquiry, itself, postulates the fact that you believe the answer is present, even though you are not seeing it, perceiving it. In other words, you are expressing, by virtue of asking the question, the fact that you do not believe the "wall" for what it seems to be -- the end of knowledge. In that expression of what can only be called "faith," you do not energize the wall. You are willing to violate the wall. You cease validating it, which weakens it, and causes you to begin to be able to discern what is on the other side of this block to your awareness. In this way, you are able to move beyond that boundary of ignorance.
When you are up against a particular limit, you are up against a particular view that is on the other side of that "wall" -- or, let us say, a specific answer to a specific question; a specific "other side" of a specific point on "this side" of the wall. So, there are not an abundance of answers to be given or to discern. It is like being at the border of California, going east, and you say, "What am I coming to?" There is only one RAJ: Nevada. It you are going north, there is only one RAJ: Oregon. It is easy, because that which is on the other side of the place where you are blocked is a specific knowledge.
QUESTION: So, the information is always available, is what you're saying?
NOTE: On March 15, 1987 at a gathering in Seattle, Washington, of those interested in or curious about A Course in Miracles, the following question was asked. It was followed a few days later by the second question on the same subject from another Course student. The issue of whether the body and the world are material or spiritual, real or illusion, is one of concern to Christians and non-Christians, Course and non-Course students, alike. Both questions are included, even though there is some duplication.
QUESTION: There has been some confusion amongst Course purists who look at the lines that say the universe is totally illusory, and they can recall your having said things like, "There's no such thing as a counterfeit three dollar bill" -- that there is a framework of Reality about the universe that we so misconstrue that it is almost totally illusory. They make a big thing about whether the universe is totally illusory. Can you clarify that?
RAJ: Pain and suffering is an indication of insanity. To see an illusion is not an indication of insanity. It is an indication of adopting what is a partial view and believing it to be total. That is a deluded sense, which sees illusions, but it does not constitute insanity.
For example: If you have a white horse, and you put on a pair of red glasses, those glasses cut out all of the spectrum except the red light. So you are receiving data about only a part of the total spectrum of light. It causes you to see a "red horse." That does not constitute insanity. However, if you believe that a red horse is bad luck and you suffer from the presence of this "red horse" in your experience because of your fear of bad luck, that is insanity.
In other words, if you buy into the partial sense, and you have built structures around the false picture, the incomplete picture, you have stepped over the bounds of sanity.
You must understand that you are confronted every day with nothing but Reality. The fact that you are looking at It through the lenses of belief structures that cause you to be unable to experience Reality in Its absolute perfection does not mean you are insane. It means you are deluded. And it means that what you are seeing is a false interpretation, a false experience of something essentially Real, divinely Real.
Awakening is not going to do away with this marvelous universe -- this infinite expression of divine Principle, or God. It is not going to do away with any of you, because none of you are illusions. It is not going to do away with your bodies or any of your structures. But, as I mentioned earlier, it is going to do away with the sense of polarities. So, substance will be deathless. It is deathless. You don't experience it that way, but it is deathless. It is eternal. And every idea and every form that manifests that idea is an eternal idea.
Don't worry, the aardvarks are existing! They were a divine idea. They are a divine idea. Your belief structures allow you to experience it no longer, here. But, being divine ideas, they exist and will be available to be experienced again.
The capacity of your body to become ill and die will be lost. That is part of the manifestation of the sense of opposites, conflict, polarity. That is not real. But your body is -- not as you experience it at the moment, but, nevertheless, right there where the partial sense of it is being experienced, it is present in its absolute divine perfection, and I have said before that it is a body of Light.
You will always have that which specifically identifies your Individuality. But, by the same token, as you begin to access your Self as Consciousness or Mind, rather than a physical organism, you will begin to recognize that all forms are part of the infinitude of your infinite Being, because each one of you is the full expression of the Father. And all that exists is the infinite expression of the Father. Since the Father has not withheld a thing in His creation of you as His Self-expression, then part of your experience of being totally Awake is to experience your absolute Oneness with everything without losing Individuality.
The first lesson of the Course proves a stumbling block for many. "Nothing that I see means anything." I encourage you not to let that stop you. I encourage you to assume that it means that everything that you see has more meaning than you have ever dreamed. Therefore, the meaning you have so definitely assigned to it is so far from what it truly is that it is not worth hanging on to.
Now, why would it be worth letting go of your best sense of the meaning of everything you see? Because in letting go of it, you let down the defenses you have against experiencing it more truly. So, it is the most practical thing in the world that you can do to walk around and look at everything and say, "This doesn't mean anything."
QUESTION: In our conversation on Dec. 9th, 1986, you said, "Contrary to popular belief, the body is not an illusion." Then, again, on Jan. 18th, 1987, you said that the body is the manifestation of the Father. My understanding of A Course in Miracles is that, "I am not a body," and that the physical universe is all an illusion, a dream. My request is for clarification on this apparent contradiction, but I'd like to go on with the rest of the question first.
In the Song of Prayer booklet, at page 15, it says that the body must die. However, on Jan. 18th, you said that the body was intended to become "ever more and more perfect."
My speculation is that my Spirit or Soul-being holds my body in its form and that my Being has the power to make that form perfect -- in other words, the epitome of beauty and function as a human form -- but that the decision to do that is not one I can make at a conscious level. It is a decision that comes from my higher Being, and all I can do consciously is listen for it so that if I am to have a perfect body, so be it. If my lesson is to be a cripple, and learn thereby to achieve forgiveness, so be that as well. Therefore total acceptance is the way. So I have a question around acceptance versus "willing" to improve a situation.
My question continues: You and the Course, in my perception, essentially are stating that disease and death are wrong, and that part of me, which is still judgmental projects this statement as a judgment by you! Am I mistaken to entertain the possibility that disease and death simply are, and that failure is as beautiful as success, disease as beautiful as health, and we are here to learn to love it all?
RAJ: The first part of your lengthy question is, indeed, becoming an issue. But it is an issue, which will move into clarification and not simply remain an issue of contention. First: Body -- form of any sort -- is not illusion. Unmanifested God is nonexistent God. The Life-Principle is the movement of Creation. If there is no Creation, there is no Life-Principle. There is the infinite manifestation of the infinite Life-Principle, or God, and that infinite manifestation is experienced as the conscious experience of something! That "something" is what constitutes form.
The misunderstanding comes when it is not perceived that all form is an idea -- an idea, which has substance, an idea, which has visibility to the infinite Mind of which it is the creation. When the substantiality of an idea is thought to be "material," constituted of polarized energy, a state of delusion has been entered into.
When you touch the table in the room there, and you do not realize that the event is one of Mind perceiving Its infinitude, and the substantiality of Its infinitude; when you do not realize that the experience of weight, of duration in time, of solidity, and all of the factors that contribute to your experience of that table are conscious experiences of conscious ideas, then you are perceiving through a state of ignorance.
When you say that it is wood, that the wood came from a tree, that the tree grew from a seed, and that it grew through nourishment of various chemicals, and that therefore it is a living life-form native to your planet and that it has nothing to do with God, then you are misperceiving. When you believe that the tree as well as the table, are forms independent of any divine idea that is serving as a matrix for that form, you are existing in a state of ignorance, illusion, or delusion. Form, as matter, is illusion; but form, as Spirit, held together with the Intent to express a divine idea, is truth.
Now, you are not a body. Your physical senses tell you that you are, and the data they provide you distracts you from being aware that you are the consciousness in which the experience of form or body is existing.
You are consciousness. You are not a body. As you begin to yield up the very firm beliefs that you have gathered from the five physical senses that tell you that you are a body, and you begin more and more, through your practice of meditation, to experience Yourself as the Awareness, the unlimited or infinite mental context in which the experience of form is going on, you will begin to find that you will identify yourself less and less with this specific form that has two arms, two legs, a torso, and a head. And you will, begin to experience your Oneness with all other forms, as well. You will be able to experience yourself, as Consciousness, in the sunset, as the tree outside your door, in the water, in the air -- in everything. You will begin to experience your inseparable Oneness.
You will also find that as your belief that you are a body, and your belief that the body is a material and mortal organism, yields to your awareness of yourself or your identification of yourself as Consciousness, that your body will then begin to report back to you better health, better form, better balance, better symmetry. And then it will begin to report back to you less density, until finally you experience it as a body of Light. And none of this requires that you die physically in order to experience it.
What you are experiencing right now as the forms in your world, constitutes a very partial experience, a very limited experience of Reality, and the limitation of the experience is created by the limits of your ego sense of it all. As the ego is released, and as you lean more substantially into your divine Being, the illusory perspective will begin to yield to the more infinite view. And you will begin to see form, or body, in its larger context -- or shall I say its more spiritual context. You will find that the only thing that constituted "illusion" was the limit of your ability to perceive the whole spectrum of Reality.
It is not what you are experiencing that is false. It is that you are not experiencing it in the context of the Whole that constitutes the falsehood. There is, therefore, no contradiction.
You are not to assume that it is necessary for the body to die. But you are to assume that it is essential, in terms of your Awakening, for the false limit of perception of body to yield to the infinite view, so that you may find that body is a conscious experience of an idea; an idea held in the divine Mind, God, and which is therefore eternal, and which is therefore going on in its absolute, flawless perfection at this instant, even though your limited scope, or limited ability to perceive the full spectrum, is causing you to experience it in a very partial and distorted way.
There should never be an acceptance on your part of illness or death as though it had some divine value in your process of Awakening. The only way it can have any value is to illustrate to you that you are at a threshold of expansion -- that, indeed, you have come up against a limit of a belief structure that it is time for you to yield up, to find to be invalid, and to move beyond. But it is the belief that must be moved beyond, not the body!
Disease is the manifestation of inharmony, of conflict. Conflict is nonexistent in the omnipresence of God, and God is not a Kingdom divided. Therefore, illness is an illusion. The body is not illusion, but illness of the body is. Death of the body is.
When I ascended, I did not "drop" a body behind. I did not leave it anywhere for someone else to bury. And, I did not take it with me to discard in secret, either. I cannot be without body. However, that now means, for me, that I cannot be without the infinite manifestation of God. The infinite manifestation of God is what constitutes my Identity, my Being, because I am the direct expression of the Father, from Whom nothing has been withheld.
"It is the Father's great pleasure to give you the Kingdom," the Whole. The All that God is, is expressed fully in you as conscious Individuality, and me as conscious Individuality. So, you are some part of the infinitude of my Being. And I am some part of the infinitude of your Being, just as every blade of grass and every planet and every star and every hydrogen atom and everything that exists is some part of your Body -- a Body of infinite ideas, infinitely expressed and expressing.
Any evidence of duality or conflict is an illusion. That includes sin, sickness, and death. But that, which can apparently become sinful, sick or dying, is not an illusion! And the "creator," you might say, of the illusion of sinful, sick, dying Life in any form, is the belief that one is exactly as the five physical senses portray him to be. It is the five physical senses that provide the ego with the data to "create" a self-identification that is false because it is partial.
Now, for me to say that disease and death are wrong is not a judgment. It is a statement of fact. Disease and death are a mistaken idea! They are not Actualities. To be clear on their illusory nature is intelligent! It is unintelligent to embrace them as though they were some part of the infinite unfolding of an undivided Life-Principle, or as an integral part of the infinite Self-expression of that Life-Principle.
It is very important to become clear on this point, because if the point is not clear, there will come to be great self-depreciation of one's body, and of the world, and of the universe. Why value it? Why take care of it if it is meaningless, if it is a total illusion? You on your planet are already treating it as though it is meaningless, that it has no divine purpose for being. And the carelessness is being reflected in the pollution and the damage that is being done.
This situation will get even worse if the Course is misunderstood by its increasing number of students to say that all of it is illusion. The illusion lies in the belief that God has nothing to do with it, and that every life-form that you see is not the manifestation of an infinite, divine, flawless, indivisible Intelligence. And therefore deserves the utmost honoring, and the utmost valuing, and the willingness to look beyond the surface presentation, to look underneath the ego, to look beyond the apparent flaws to find the essential divine spark, the essential divine idea that is manifest as this or that particular form.
You see, if you say that where you are is an illusion, then there is nothing having enough substance to separate it from Reality for there to be a little gap to cross over from. The little gap is the gap of ignorance -- the gap of ignorance between reality and the current perception of It. When you walk across that little gap and stand in Awakened, Enlightened Conscious Being, you will look back and find that what was on the other side of the little gap is there in its true form, in its true reality. And there will be no "little gap" to find anywhere.
Crossing over the little gap will not get rid of the Universe. It will not get rid of body. It will get rid of the illusion that is the manifestation of ignorance. It is the equivalent of the scales falling from your eyes. It will not be the annihilation of everything your eyes ever saw, although everything will be experienced with such purity and such clarity that it will seem to have been changed.
Nothing will have been gotten rid of except the distortion that caused you not to experience Reality as It Is, and has caused you to experience Reality in a distorted way. Whether you are ignorant or enlightened, Reality is what is confronting you, and Reality is what you are experiencing. Reality will not go away, only the ignorance.
Now, I encourage you to think about this seriously because you cannot possibly arrive at a point of experiencing Reality if you are denying the very Place in which It is going on!
Conversations with Raj is published monthly by Kairos, Inc., P.O. Box 71280 Seattle, Washington, U.S.A. 98107. Subscription price, prepaid, one year $36.00; single copy, $4.00. © 1986 Paul Norman Tuttle. All rights reserved.