CONVERSATIONS WITH RAJ

JULY 1995

VOL. 8, NO. 11

THE YEAR OF INCORPORATION

QUESTION: I would like to know, what does 1995 bode for us?

RAJ: It is what I am going to call the year of "incorporation." It literally is a year in which everyone is going to find themselves called upon to put into practice what they deeply feel the truth to be.

Now, I do not mean to imply that it is going to be a year of trials in which you are going to be called upon to practice what you preach, or put your money where your mouth is. What I mean is that it is going to be a year in which it is going to be easier to practice what you preach, easier to "risk" the chance that what you know to be true is true, and to live it. Thereís going to be a little bit more courage spontaneously and naturally present with everyone to do this. It means that everyoneóand I am speaking globallyóeveryone will feel more strength, causing him or her to feel less cowardly, less inclined to blend into the woodwork.

This does not mean everyone is going to go out with a staff and lead everyone else. But it means that what Iím going to call a natural conviction in the reality of good, or of goodness, the reality of Love, will be felt. Everyone will feel less timid and more able to speak up about the value of Love. Iím not talking about anyone becoming preachy or "talking spiritual talk," but really being able to express loving ideas as though itís the most practical thing in the world rather than the most spiritual or romantic.

So, everyone is going to be called upon to practice what they believe. But the reason theyíre going to be called upon to do it is because the courage and strength to do it will be there, and the naturalness of doing it will make it inevitable, will make it easy. And, do you know what? It doesnít matter where you are in your spiritual maturity. Whatever degree of love, whatever degree of maturity youíre at is what you will find yourself able to express or bring into play.


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WHEN LOVE COMES INTO THE PICTURE

QUESTION: I have a question. I thought I heard you say that you canít use illumination to understand the egoís vantage point. And a few months ago you said that this was the year of "incorporation." What Iím wondering is: What are we incorporating if weíre not incorporating the Fatherís point of view into the world we made? I wonder if you could just speak to who or what it is that needs incorporating.

RAJ: To put it simply, the year of "incorporation" means that time when one allows the Fatherís point of view to be his or her own point of view, in which there is no ego point of view to do anything to or with.

When you let the Kingdom of Heaven be the only thing present, when you let It be the only thing registering with you, you have incorporatedóyou have let inóthe Fatherís point of view, allowing It to be substantiated as the only point of view. It is as though you are letting the Fatherís point of view be incorporated in you, except that when you do that, you have abandoned the egoís vantage point, and so, it is not present to be improved or understood or dealt with in any way, because all it ever was was a misunderstanding of Creation.

The year of "incorporation" is the time when you let that mind be in you which was also in me. You see, the world that needs improving is the misperception of the Kingdom of Heaven (which is incapable of being coerced, manipulated, or changed from Its perfection in any way). So, incorporation is when one lets in the experience of Reality. It replaces the misperception of Reality which is currently called "the world." In that sense, one could say that there is a new world. But one wonít call it that. One will call it the Kingdom of Heaven.

If one actually had the opportunity, if there was enough time to make an observation as the shift occurs, one would say that the world is being improved. In Biblical terms, That which is seen will remain the same, but the scales will fall from your eyes which interposed a distorting influence upon what was seen, and you will say, "Oh, it never was the world that needed to be improved. It was always the Kingdom of Heaven. It was always Reality. It was always Creation, the Presence and Movement of God, and I just didnít recognize It."

So, nothing is going to come into this world and bring it closer and closer to that which is ultimately desirable, because "this world" is only the Kingdom of Heaven misperceived. And when the misperception vanishes, it will be the Kingdom of Heaven seen truly. You see, there has been only one thing going on. And so, Awakening will be the recognition of It, rather than the improvement of the concept everyone had about It.

The way the shift starts, as well as the way the shift ends, is when Love comes into the picture, which I have said before is the willingness to recognize that which is Real in each and every thing. If there is willingness to recognize that which is Real in each and every thing, then necessarily one has a willingness to abandon all of his prior definitions of It. And that is the meaning of forgiveness. Thus, you could say, you end up seeing with Godís eyes and you see the Kingdom of Heaven, realizing that "the world" that you had been defining It as, It never was.

It is only the habit of learning for the purpose of improving oneís quality of life, improving society, et cetera, that causes one to think that enlightenment is for the purpose of improving the world, when, in fact, itís the realization that the world never was "the world" as everyone perceived it, but the Kingdom of Heaven as God is being It.

QUESTION: Thatís very beautiful. Iím wondering a couple of things. One thing Iím wondering is, what will it feel like? And the other thing Iím wondering is, people talk about things disappearing because theyíre "in the world," and Iím just wondering, does that really happen? Do things disappear? Do we still all have each other, and all the things we love, and . . . I mean, is it going to be good?

RAJ: How will it feel? There is a word for it . . . Bliss. You have had the experienceóan out-of-the-ordinary experienceóof feeling "big," huge, not confined by your body. Imagine feeling a million times larger than that.

And then take your greatest experience of love, of feeling loved, of feeling Love, Itself, and multiply it by a million.

Then remember a time when you were with someone and were able to be what you would call "completely defenseless," and therefore completely present with and in touch with him, and multiply that times the Brotherhood and Sisterhoodóthe infinite Self-expression of the Father, which, for lack of better words, you call "mankind," but, I mean every single one, because never for a moment will you experience any sense of distance from any of them.

Then, remember your greatest experience of peace in which you knew that you needed do nothing, nothing, to be Whole, so that anything you do does not lead to an experience of Wholeness, but is, itself, the Movement of your unrestricted and illimitable Wholeness which, because it has no objective goal, becomes a pure gift of innocence and beauty and intelligence.

And then, imagine that such Movement, because of the all-inclusiveness of the Father, is not in any way reducible to an act of yours, but an Act or Movement that reflects and embodies Meaning for every single one of the Brotherhood and Sisterhood, and identifies joyful fulfillment for everyone in the moment it is happening. And, likewise, that every other individualized expression of God, in his/her Movement, is experienced by you in its fullness as that which is your fulfillment.

You say, "Will everyone be here?" I will tell you that everyone will be hereóthose that you currently know, and those whom you have forgotten that you know.

QUESTION: Wow! I wasnít really expecting that. Iím feeling very moved by what youíve said, and I just wonder if you can address the feelings that Iím having. I mean, why does it make me cry when you talk about something that sounds wonderful?

RAJ: Whenever your Soul is touched, you cry. You are moved. It has nothing to do with sadness or grief. The tears, and what you describe as "crying" are a conditioned response to something Real. Others might find themselves laughing uncontrollably. Others might even find themselves levitating. So, do not be distracted by the form, which it has taken.

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AS IF IT NEVER HAPPENED

QUESTION: Well, I have something thatís bothered me for a good many years. Iíve been in the Course eight years. But I imagine with a lot of us old people that have been raised with a church and your Christian teachingsówhich meant a lot to us, and we grasped so many of themóweíre having a hard time getting rid of Ďem. Iím getting rid of an awful lot, and I am thankful.

RAJ: And there is a lot that you donít have to release.

QUESTION: Yep, I know. But then, you know, you still hang onto it. That is the main part of my question. The Course tells us that it never happened. And I go back and think about these teachings, and thinking about different things that have happened in my life, as if it never happened. I have not yet been able to say it never happened. I have to say itís like it never happened. Thatís about as close as Iíve been able to come to it. And I know this is a dream. I can have a dream and I can wake up, and I start mulling it over in my mind, and then I have to say, "Oh for heaven sakes, itís just a silly dream. It never happened." But I canít tell myself, so far, that that is the way my past life is. And I canít get past that little hurdle.

RAJ: Well, your past life, your life experience, your existence, having what you would call a life experience, did happen. There is something real. Itís you. Whether you were understanding and perceiving everything as it truly was is a different matter. But there has been something Real. And every expression of Love that you have expressed has been Real. You cannot just wipe out a lifetime.

QUESTION: Thatís what gets me, when they tell me, "Oh, it never happened." I canít think that. Thereís too much that you feel and a lot of it is love and . . .

RAJ: Letís put it this way, what wasnít Real that you thought was Real didnít happen. If you are in a funky mood, experiencing the blues, and somebody comes in and makes a simple remark that has no particular meaning to it, but because of your frame of mind, you hear it as though your mother was saying it to you, what you heard didnít happen. The thing that was "as though your mother said it to you" isnít what happened. The benign remark was what happened. Or perhaps even an expression of love was what happened. But because you were in a funky mood and it had the sound just like when your mother said it to you, you reacted. That didnít happen. But something did!

The misperception of everything, which you think is the way it really happened, never happened. But Reality has been going on all along.

You will also find in the Course that it says that the Holy Spirit has held every expression of Love that you have ever expressed, intact for you to see when what hasnít ever happened fades from your sight, and then you will be able to see all of the Real things that happened because they wonít be obscured any more. Do you see what I mean?

QUESTION: I think so. All the things that are tied up with the negative things, I could probably say never happened. But I want to hang on to the real love part. And I donít have to let go of that? I mean, when I had some real expression of love from a person, showing me . . . well, I suppose showing me the face of Christ where I didnít see it before . . . that I donít have to let go of?

RAJ: Of course not. Even if you let go of it, it wonít go away.

QUESTION: Yeah, itís still there. Okay, thatíll give me another thing to think about.

RAJ: And really just be more actively curious to see the face of God in your brother and to see what is Real wherever you are looking.

Iím sorry, but no matter how many people use the Course to wipe everything out, you cannot say that the stirring of your Soul when you look at a beautiful sunset, or the Soul response in you when you walk through Butchart Gardens, is not happening and is not Real. You cannot say that. And you cannot say that there is nothing going on there to have elicited this Soul response. Soul has to be there to be met by Soulís response in you.

QUESTION: I suppose thatís why I want to say itís like it never happened and yet I donít want to feel that it didnít. Like you say, when you look at a beautiful sunset or a beautiful flower, there isnít a reason in the world why you have to say, "Well, that didnít happen." But I think I can let go and say the bad things never happened. I think I could do that a little better.

RAJ: Can God, who is indivisible and therefore incapable of experiencing friction or dissonance . . . it takes two to be dissonant . . . if God is incapable of being divided, then God is incapable, by virtue of His infinite Self-expression, of manifesting inharmony, unloveliness, dissonance, sin, disease and death. And so if you are seeing any of those things, you may know that they are not of God. And if they are not of God, they are not Real, but are an imposition upon your sanity by insane thoughtsóan illegitimate imposition, because you are the Daughter of God. You see?

QUESTION: Yeah, I thank you.

RAJ: You see, the fact is that as you recognize the unreality of what seems to be going on, because God is not their Sourceóand God is the only Source of anything that is Realóyou cease to fear those things. And in the absence of your fear, which seems to give them life, they disappear and you have healing, or you have an improvement in your life. Why? Because you are being with Life with less fear, or with no fear. You get the point?

The purpose of the Course is not to deny Life, but to deny the blocks to the experience of Itís perfection.

Actually, when you see a beautiful sunset, or you see a beautiful flower, you can still say, "Maybe, in spite of my Soul-response to this, Iím still not seeing all that God is Being here. And so, even though this is so Soul-satisfying, Iím going to be curious. Iím going to say, ĎGod, if thereís more of what you are Meaning by this experience I am having, please disclose it to me. I wonít even hold onto the perfection of this moment as though itís the ultimate. I accept it fully, but if thereís more, let me experience it.í" The exercise of genuine curiosity, curiosity to see greater good than even the best that youíre experiencing, is what will promote your Awakening.

The purpose of the Course is not just an internal witch hunt to get rid of illusion, but to inspire in you the desire to see more of God everywhere, because one of the other services that the Course provides is that it does, in a way that most everyone can understand, promote a realization that maybe the way everything is being experienced is not a true experience. Well, that shouldnít make one scared. That is not the purpose of the Course. And it is not to put one into a grand state of denial, but rather that, "If indeed everything is not truly the way I think it is, I can be curious, more curious than ever before, to experience it the way it is. And I will ask God, rather than my memoryóor I will ask the Holy Spirit rather than my experienceóto define it anew to me, so that I can see it with less misperception."

The purpose of the Course is not to uncover the fact that everyone has been misperceiving. All that could do would be to create guilt. It is to say, "there is another way to look at this." You see? There is another way to look at this. Who has been looking at it the way she has been looking at it is really not important. What is important and inspiring is, "there is another way to look at this," there is the way God is Meaning it all to be, so that one can say, "Oh, I would be interested in experiencing that!"

The Course is not a practice of denial. Itís purpose is to inspire curiosity so that one abandons more easily his convictions about things and can let in Godís point of view.

QUESTION: And the lesson, "I can look at it differently," has been one of the biggest helps to me in the Course, because I donít know how often I come up against something and I say, "I can look at this differently." And I usually can.

RAJ: Indeed. Now, remember that not only can you, from your thinking place, look at it differently, there are usually multiple different points of view that one can have without ever asking God for His. You see what I mean? So, itís not just a matter of shifting to another mindset thatís more positiveóalthough shifting to a more positive mindset is certainly intelligent. But, when you say there is another way to look at this, let it mean there is Godís way of looking at this. There is always a different way of looking at it until you are seeing it Godís way.

You see, you cannot have a misperception of nothing. So there is always an answer to your misperceptions. A problem is a misperception of something Real. And so thereís always an answer to the problem. Thereís always the Real thing not covered over with a misperception. Again: Thereís always an answer to every problem, because a problem is a misperception of something Real, something God Created.

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AGENDA-LESS BEING

[Before this conversation took place, those involved were joined in meditation. At its conclusion, and before anyone had a chance to ask a question, Raj spoke as follows.]

RAJ: Remember this Peace, and donít forget that Peace is agenda-less. Whenever you are experiencing it, you are not experiencing agendas. And then remember that whenever you have agendas, you are not experiencing your Peace. They are exclusive of each other. Absolutely exclusive of each other.

If, therefore, Peace is without agendas and Peace is the cornerstone of Awakening, then agendas block Awakening, agendas block clarity, and especially agendas block Love.

Out of Peace arises Movement, be-ing. Out of Peace arises a Movement of Meaning. And as one allows that Movement of Meaning to find expression through him, he appears to actóthere are actions. But, they are agenda-less. They are agenda-less because there is no predetermined conclusion, nothing to be accomplished, because the Movement of Meaning is Fulfillment, Itselfóas I have said before, like the wave.

Now, when one is not in his or her Peace, one necessarily has agendas, and these agendas arise always out of fear. And they are clothed in memory, lacking the Impulse, which the Movement of Meaning has and is. Agendas are always means of self-protection, which one engages in because of the inevitable feeling of vulnerability that is inseparable from the loss of Peace, together with the experience of Joining, which occurs when one is in his Peace.

Joining always occurs, whether or not there seems to be another with whom you are consciously aware of having Joined, because in the absence of agendas, which is the definition of Peace, one is defenseless. You see? One is not maintaining a boundary.

So, remember this simple thing: When you are experiencing Peace, you are not experiencing agendas. And when you are experiencing agendas, you are not and cannot be experiencing your Peace. They are exclusive of each other, and one is valuable and one is valueless.

And, I want you to remember especially that when you are meditating and experiencing Peace, you are experiencing communion. There is no way for you or anyone else to experience Peace alone. Those are nonsensical words, as nonsensical as the term "dry water." You cannot experience Peace alone.

If there is aloneness there is separation, and that is not capable of constituting an experience of Peace because it is a fearful experience. Therefore, whether you hear words or not, if you are experiencing Peace, you are having an experience of communion with the Brotherhood. This is why, in the valuing of Peace enough to be in It, you stand at the threshold of an emerging conscious awareness of communion, an ever-increasing conscious experience of communion which is filled with, for lack of better words, the communication of Meaning.

It is very valuable for all of you to realize that when you are not in your Peace, when anyone is not in his Peace, whenever anyone is in the place of agendas, every act that one engages in is colored by a need for self-protection. And in that sense, no actions truly embody genuineness. There is always an agendaóan agenda, which cannot be verbalized or its senselessness would be exposed. And so, one manipulates, skillfully or unskillfully, his actions and the actions of others, in order to create whatever will give him some sense of safety.

This does not mean that all relationships should be invalidated, or that relationships should not be indulged in because they are for the most part devious and dishonest. What it really calls for is the willingness to engage in relationships with the desire to be from, well, your Centeróto be from that place of union in which your Peace is an already-present fact, rather than something that has to be manipulated into your experience and is dependent upon the cooperativeness of those in your experience.

Indeed, expressions of ingratitude are one of the means of coercion which mankind uses to try to force the behavior of others to create some semblance of safety for the one who is feeling vulnerable. In the presence of overt manipulation, in the presence of ingratitudeóthe purpose of which is to shame the recipient of the ingratitudeóa need for defense by the recipient is created. And, of course, the spontaneous defense is, "You donít understand me. I am worthwhile, and if you feel justified in holding a grievance against me, then you donít recognize me, and therefore I must protect myself. And so, I will defend myself with ingratitude, too. I will be ungrateful for you. I will hold grievances against you." And thus one gets further embedded in isolation.

You know, sometimes the bait seems so inconsequentially small, and so one is not alertó"Ah, I can handle that"óbut do you know what? The hook that the bait is on is always the same size. And if you take the bait, you get the whole "package." So, be alert for whatever niggling little suggestion presents itself to you that says, "There is justification for grievance." You see, grievances are not just recognitions of what is untrue or inappropriate. Grievances are "getting even" for what is incongruent. You see? Getting justice. The recognition of what is incongruent has no charge to it. It is just a simple recognition of what is valuable and what is not, which allows for choosing for that which is of value.

Simple. Simple. Simple.

Discernmentóthe ability to distinguish between what is of value and what is notóis available to you only from your Peace, because that is the only place where the difference will not be perceived as attack and therefore a call for defense. You see?

QUESTION: I wonder if you can help me feel within myself the difference between the discovery that one had better have terms, and being agenda-less.

RAJ: When I have spoken about "having terms," I have not meant that you should "create" terms, "think up" some terms to apply for you safety, for your self-protection.

At the bottom line, if you are staying within your Integrity, you must necessarily be in touch with your Integrity. And to be in touch with your Integrity, you must be in your Peace.

Now, in your Peace, the only thing available to you to experience is what is Real. And it is what is Real that becomes the "terms." So, ultimately your "terms" are, "I will not participate in unreality." And so, when someone perceiving themselves as an ego, invites you to participate in that context, you must, in effect, say, "I have no response to that." You donít have a response. You donít have a response of agreement or disagreement, because either way you are sucked in, as it were. There is no response. There is no willingness to participate, pro or con.

So, whatever the form of the invitation to join in mutual agreement in that which is incongruent with Reality, there can only be one response: An unequivocal refusal, as it were, to participate. "I will never join you in this activity! Nor will I subject myself to your ongoing attempts to engage me in that activity . . . ever!

Do you understand?

QUESTION: Iím reminded of what we discussed yesterday afternoon about not engaging with abusive situations, and we were getting hung up on that word, "forever," thinking that it meant abandoning our brother or our sister. But what weíre abandoning is not them, but the activity that theyíre asking us to join with.

RAJ: Exactly. And, if they choose, within themselves, to identify with the activity, then when you say, "I will not subject myself to any ongoing invitation to participate," it will seem to them as though you are rejecting them. So, you must be very clear within yourself that when they claim that you are rejecting them, you are not. And that the moment they abandon the coercive attempt to engage you in that activity, then that which you have refused to participate in will be gone, and they will not find themselves denied the opportunity to be in your experience.

QUESTION: You said, Raj, that we will begin to notice even greater contrast in the choices that people will make this year, and Iím wondering, does this also mean a greater contrast within our own mind when we shift from the one vantage point to the other as well as observing that in others?

RAJ: Of course! After all, if you are experiencing greater illumination, then where, in dimness, all you could see was a large rock, now you can see the speck of dirt! In other words, where before it took something gross to register with you, now the minuscule registers with you, and you could say, "There seems to so much more to see that is distressing," which in the past was not bothersome at all because it was too dim to see it.

With greater illumination, the insanity of insanity is blatant. But in the dimness of dreams, it is not obvious, and is called "normal." As I have said before, in the experience of greater illumination, one can become distracted by the abundance of dirt, and forget gratitude for the experience of illumination. Thus, Awakening can be experienced as a curse when the attention is on what is illuminated rather than on the Light, Itself!

When the attention is on the illumination and the insanity of insanity is obvious but not what youíre interested in, then the illumination "buoys" you up, lifts you, and your function becomes clear to you, and the multitude of niggling justifications for grievances gets swallowed up in the Love that you find yourself filled with.

You see, you are all emerging from one vantage pointóthe vantage point of the egoóto the vantage point of the Fatherís perspective. And as this shift occurs, the horribleness of the vantage point of the ego becomes obvious. If the tendency has been to think that illumination has as its function the transformation of the egoís frame of reference, and therefore one is reaching behind him into the Light for the Truth to bring It in front of him to transform and make better his ego experience, then all one will see is the awfulness of that which he is trying to transform, when, if he would really turn around and face into the illumination, willing to anchor himself/herself there, the contrast would disappear.

So, indeed, the contrast will seem to increase. But that does not mean that it is something that you will have to cope with by means of clarity, by means of illumination. It is not something that you will have to defend yourself against. The point is to turn around and stop trying to relate the Fatherís point of view to the egoís point of view, stop trying to relate Truth to error, stop trying to relate clarity to a situation to try to improve the situation.

QUESTION: Well, thank you very much.

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THE CALL FOR LOVE

QUESTION: You speak of those having agendas. How is this related to recognizing when it is a call for Love? Because a call for Love invites clarification, and having agendas is specifically oppression.

RAJ: Very simply, every communication is either Love expressed or a call for Love. Now, there is an element that needs to be very clear here in order to understand the truth of that statement.

No one knows what Love is until they silence their thinking, until they silence "the human mind" and Listen, allowing themselves to be filled with what Love is. As a result, even communications of love are calls for Love, because so very few of those you know are speaking from the experience of Love, on the spot, at the time the communication is occurring. This is a very important point.

What is commonly thought of as love, humanly speaking, is usually imbued with elements of control, elements of mutual agreement which have nothing to do with any experience of Knowing. Therefore, these expressions of love are calls for Love, just as with obvious expressions of hate or manipulation or fear or jealousy, et cetera.

To put it very simply: If you are not communicating with someone who is Awake, then no matter how loving or unkind the communication is that you are experiencing, it is a call for Love.

In other words, every single experience of communication is not only an opportunity, but in actuality is a demand for the listener to abandon conditioned responses which, no matter how kind and loving they are, are not the Love that is called foróthe capital "L" Love that is the only Love.

So, you could say there is never really a time that you can relax and abandon the Joining with one who is Awake "because everything that is going on is loving." The only time that everything that is going on is loving is when you are Joined with one who is Awake. The fact is that no matter how harmonious things might seem to be in your relationships, there is never really the Peace, because everything isnít all right. There isnít that experience of Peace which there is when you are Joined with one who is Awake and, truly, everything is all right, everything is harmonious.

So, you can rest assured that in every encounter you have with your fellow man, you are experiencing a call for Loveónot a love that you, from experience, know anything about, but the Love that is present if, at that moment, you choose to be Joined with one who is Awake, and be with your world and your fellow man from that union. This is why the Course says that teaching what Love is, is beyond the scope of the Course. It canít be taught. It canít be understood. It canít be grasped. It is the only thing that will find expression through you when you are Joined with one who is Awake, and yielding to that unity.

Love is not something that can be acquired, learned, or practiced. It can only be allowed. This is the meaning of "God with us"ómeaning God walking in the world, so to speakóbecause Love is the unobstructed presence of God, present in every encounter. When Love is allowed, you will never hear anyone say, "Well, I was being loving." The "I" that would say that will have to say, "I donít know what happened, but it was magnificent! It was wonderful! It was meaningful!"

Hopefully, if one allows Love, he will not abandon that union to stand in that place where he would say, "I donít know what happened, but it was wonderful," because no longer being from that kind of "place" where one would comment about the movement of Love, is what waking up is about.

QUESTION: So, then, itís not about me meeting a call for Love in terms of my using principles, or my understanding of what the Course is teaching of how to love as it is commonly understood?

RAJ: That is exactly correct.

QUESTION: Often a call for Love is really a call to meet anotherís agenda.

RAJ: Another way of saying that is that a call for Love is always a call for confirming whatever that individualís present frame of mind is, even though it appears to be calling for help to get out of that frame of mind.

QUESTION: And so, Love can be experienced as a rejection by the one who is making the call for Love. In other words, one asks for help, and help is givenónot on the terms it is asked foróand can often be experienced as a rejection by the one who has asked for help. And so, the helper must obviously tolerate the impasse . . . or is there something you can offer to clarify such confusion?

RAJ: The assumption is that when one has Joined with one who is Awake, the appropriate response will be experienced as rejection. But I think you will find, in considering all of my responses to everyone I have spoken with, they have never felt rejected. The assumption that they might feel rejection arises out of your experience that when you have come from a loving place, you have been met with anotherís feeling of rejection. This does not happen when one is Joined with one who is Awake, with the response coming from that union.

QUESTION: I am specifically referring to a couple of instances where I have been Joined, and the response has been, "Well, this is not love. This is not loving." And that certainly has been a very clear response, even when there has been a real clear connection on my part.

RAJ: There is a difference between not liking what one hears and feeling rejected. When I used the word "rejected," I meant where the individual feels that he or she essentially has been undercut, invalidated, turned into "nothing."

QUESTION: When you talk about allowing in the unobstructed presence of God, and being Love, it sounds easy. But sometimes it feels like itís hard to do, and whatever can be added about that, I would appreciate.

RAJ: The only thing that makes it seem hard to do is that it requires one to be out of control. But, I will tell you that it is much more laborious and much more risky to try to successfully be loving all by yourself. And so, I would encourage you to remember the words "risk" and "risky," because you are able to identify with the riskiness of being loving in the face of a call for Love, which is really a call for confirmation of a frame of reference already embracedóone in which anger has created discomfort that has created the call for help, you see. That is risky! And "risky" isnít easy.

QUESTION: Itís like walking into a lionís den, huh?

RAJ: You see? You do understand. What you must also realize is that, to the one who is expressing them, overtures of love, friendliness, expressions that embody kindness, and so on, are just as calculated to confirm oneself, and so it is still a call for Love. It is still a call for Joining.

In other words, expressions of distress seem to obviously call for clarity to replace it, even though at the bottom line they are calling for a confirmation of the mindset, which is responsible for the distress. In exactly the same way, expressions of intelligence and apparent clarity are calls for confirmation of the mindsets, which have elicited those expressions of intelligence and apparent clarity.

If you stop and think about it, you donít really know hardly anyone who is expressing, pleasantly or unpleasantly, a desire to escape whatever might confirm their present mindset to themselves. You know almost no one who desires to get beyond that which confirms who they presently know themselves to be. That means, then, that any conversation, any communication, any encounter with a brother or sister, does not have as its bottom-line thrust a request to be moved beyond everything they have ever known! And yet, recognizing the call for self-confirmation as a call for that which is ultimately distress-producing, one can see that the only appropriate response is Love, because That is the only thing that will trigger and spontaneously promote insight and Remembrance which will allow a shift beyond the present sense of self to occur. And that is the only thing that can ever be truly helpful.

So, when the Course talks about responding to a call for Love, it doesnít mean coming from a place of loving-kindness. It means coming from a place beyond your present sense of what love is.

QUESTION: Beyond a present sense of who and what I am, as well.

RAJ: Exactly. Exactly.

QUESTION: Thereís never a reason, then, not to come from capital "L" Love. If everything going on around us is a call for Love, together with what weíre doing when weíre not Joined, whatís the choice there? The choice is not to be the presence of Love and to try to act kind and loving, and piss everybody off, maybeóyou know, try to use techniques from the Course that are ultimately obnoxious and not helpful at allóor we invite in a Presence that really we know not of. I mean, itís like we donít know who weíll be as that Presence.

RAJ: Youíve got it! And the taking of this step, this investment in the Void, is ultimately what the Course is all about, not the words that are between the covers.

QUESTION: It feels like I have such a habit of being the resistance to what God is being. It seems risky to let that go, and it seems worse to be out of control. Yet, to be the resistance to what God is being is not a fulfilling place to be. On the other hand, to be in the moment and invite Love in to be me, which is God to be me, feels like itís going to be too hard or require too much vigilance or too much "paying attention."

Couldnít I just relax and be my shitty old self? Do you know what Iím saying? It seems like itís too different. I guess what it amounts to is: Why would I want to, in the moment, choose to relinquish who I think I am for "I donít know what the heck Iím going to be"? You know?

RAJ: Very simply, you will do it either because you are suffering, because it hurts too much not to do it, or you will do it out of simple curiosityónot frivolous curiosity, real curiosity. Either way, you will do it with commitment or resolve. And you wonít do it until you want to do it. I, of course, encourage you to do it out of a spirit of adventure, letting the explorer in you go "where no one has gone before."

The very fact that you recognize that engaging in life in the way you always have is risky means that you have arrived at a point where there cannot be the degree of investment in it that there used to be. There is not the justification for total commitment to it. And that, in itself, means the scales have shifted, and the ease with which you can dare to explore this other "risky" activity is greater. It really is that simple. It really is that black and white. It really is that uncomplicated.

QUESTION: What keeps coming to me is what you said earlier, to remember that I have not chosen to follow someone elseís agenda if they are not Joined. I mean, I have to keep remembering that I havenít chosen for that!

RAJ: Now you have to see that it is equally nonsensical to choose to follow an agenda you have made for yourself without being Joined. Who you think you are in an unjoined state is no more valuable or reliable than anyone else in an unjoined state. However, your insistence upon withdrawing from a mutual agreement to address or conform to otherís agendas, which are the results of their decisions that you can do nothing about, constitutes an essential step in your Awakening because your agendas are yours, and are the result of your decisions. You can do something about your agendas. You can make a new decision. You can make a decision to abandon your agendas and succeed.

So, you might say that the first step in embodying your Integrity is the withdrawal from mutual agreements to conform to otherís agendas or to conform to mutual agendas, so that all that is left on your plate are your agendas. This is called "taking your power back," and it is only the first step, not the last.

Once the only things for you to deal with are your own agendas, you can opt with relative fearlessness to Join with one who is Awake, to begin to explore whoever the heck you really Are with some courage, and abandon this power you thought was yours in favor of the indivisible and therefore invulnerable Wholeness of You which is really the unobstructed presence of God.

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IS TIME GETTING "FUNNY"?

QUESTION: It has felt to me as if time is slowing down. It feels good inside me as an experience, but then I start having these worry thoughts about, "Why, Iím not going to get to work on time," and, "Iím not going to get enough done," and, "What will people think of me?" And that kind of stuff. And then that feels like it makes a conflict within me. And so Iím just wondering if you might address: Is time getting "funny"? And what are we to do with it, and how are we to be with a funny sense of time and be appropriate?

RAJ: It is a wonderful question. You see, time and space go hand in hand. If time is getting funny, or, as you put it, slowing down, what this really means is that you are experiencing less obligation to time. In other words, time is ruling you less. Deadlines are fading from your experience as something valid to live in response to. What do you do with this experience? You pay attention to it. You abide with it. It is an increased experience of timelessness.

Now, you asked: What will people think? What about those I am responsible to? And, indeed, it is that "thinking" which introduces conflict into the picture when conflict is not a part of timelessness.

The more significant aspect of these questions is that when you begin to wonder what people will think, when you begin to wonder if you are being responsible to others, that is how a world "out-there" is createdóimaginatively created, not really created. And that is the way co-dependence comes into play. That is the way oneís sovereignty is lost. That is the way one loses his Center.

Now, initially, your questions come into play as a matter of "thoughtfulness" and "caring." It comes as a very positive thing. Mind you, as I said before, no matter what size the bait, the hook is always the same size. And the suggestion of caring about and for someone else, and being responsive to them, is bait! And the hook that you get is the sense of timeóthe sense of time that is an obligation and the bringer of guiltóall because you have indulged in a sense of space, a world "out-there."

What everyone sooner or later will have to discover is, that when one is not responding to a world "out-there," when one is not allowing conflict to come into the state of Peace that is natural to him, then one will always be thoughtful. One will always be appropriate. But it will not be because itís a response to "the world," or a response to an obligation, or a means of establishing respect, or of being respectable.

It is natural to be what is called "thoughtful" when one is in his or her Peace, when one is in his or her experience of timelessness. And if you will just abide with this "weird" experience of time rather than thinking you have to do something about it, you will allow yourself the opportunity to experience yourself being appropriateóbeing where you need to be when you need to be there. Not because of time, but because fulfillment of Purpose is always orderly. The Movement of Being is always orderly.

If you take the bait, you get the hook. And once you get the hook and you are caught in the sense of time and space that you have created, the awfulness of it becomes apparent. The overwhelmingness of "obligation" to what others think and what others expect, and what others consider to be respectable, becomes more and more blatant, until you realize that you cannot possibly respond to it all. And then, one way or another, you find a way to become unhooked, and you do it by saying, "In spite of all the obligations, Iím going to choose for my Peace." And you do it, and you step out of time and space. And if you stay there with the clarity that is there, and with your capacity to be in touch with the Love that You already Are before you do a thing, then your actions will reflect the order of the Movement of Being, the order of the Movement of Fulfillment.

So, rejoice if time is becoming a little weird, and pay attention to the nature of timeless experience.

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FORGIVING OTHERíS PERCEPTIONS

RAJ: Iím going to answer a question that one of you is reluctant to ask out loud. The question is: How does one forgive a brother who has not forgiven you, and is perhaps even aggressively attempting to extract justice based on his misperception, his unwillingness to withdraw his judgment.

Iím going to answer it this way. Whenever Paul wants to speak with me, and before every Gathering when Paul is being quiet and having everyone else be still, too, he dedicates his attention. He does it by sayingóand these are his own wordsó"I allow only for that which expresses the Christ consciousness, and only that which is in harmony with the Purpose of Being, the Fatherís Will." And then he repeats something that he had memorized as a youngster. It goes like thisóand he says it because to him it expresses the same idea in different words, words that he was familiar withó"Thy will, not mine be done. Let the reign of divine Truth, Life and Love be established in me and rule out of me all self-will. And may thy Word enrich the affections of all mankind and govern them," implying that it is his intent to let His word, Godís word, enrich his, Paulís, affections, and he has that same wish for everyone else.

Now the point is that if Paul, or any of you, value your own limited, self-righteous thinking, that is all you will hear. It is what "A Course In Miracles" refers to as the "voice for the ego." And the Course correctly teaches that there are only two voices: the Voice for Truth and the voice for the ego. The Voice for Truth is the Voice which is expressed by one who is Awakeómeaning, one who is not claiming a personal private point of view of his own, separate from the Fatherís point of view.

When you are listening to the voice for the ego, whatever occurs does not embody divine Meaning. When you are saying, in effect, "my will, not thine be done," you will not experience His Will. In other words, you will not let It in so that It can register with you. When you say, "Thy Will, not mine," then His Will is what becomes available to you.

So, in order for Paul to hear the Voice for Truth and share It, he has made a decision not to listen to the voice for the ego. In effect, he says, "I allow only for that which expresses the Christ consciousness, and only that which is in harmony with the Purpose of Being, God."

So, let us say that you are not engaging in judgments regarding your brother, that you have withdrawn judgment, and so you are standing free of that which would bias your behavior toward your brother negatively. But, for your brotherís reasons, he holds a grudge, embodies a judgment against you, and insists on attempting, as I said, to extract justice. What do you do then?

Well the first thing you have to do is be humble enough to recognize that you have been in that spot before, too, and it seemed totally reasonable to you when you were engaging in it. Do you see what that does? That joins the two of you in what Iím going to call reasonableness. Thereís no self-righteousness in it, no front that says, "Well, you can behave like an asshole, but Iím not going to!" Thereís judgment there.

When you recognize that that individual, for whatever reasons, is behaving that way because it seems totally justifiable, and you remember that there were times like that for you, it means you understand. It doesnít mean you agree. But it establishes for you a common bond of compassion, and hate and judgment canít enter into whatever follows.

If this one is being abusive and confrontive in the attempt to extract justice, you must be as selective as Paul is when he sits down to talk with me: "I will allow only for that which expresses the Christ consciousness, and only that which is in harmony with the Fatherís Purpose." And if what this individual wishes to express is not expressing anything consistent with the Fatherís Will, you must agree to disagree. You must say, "No, I will not join with you in this pattern of behavior. I hold nothing against you for it, but Iím not going to confirm your point of view by getting into a cat and dog fight. You must stop this behavior with me. And if you insist on continuing it, you must get out of my presence."

You have to learn to say the word "no." Paul has to say the word "no" to his own thinking and his own judgments, which might crop up in the course of things I have to say. He must say "no" to them if he wants to continue hearing what I have to say. When Iím finished, of course, he can explore whatever his ego has suggested was important. But if he wants to hear that which is transformational and healing, he has to not value his conditioned responses, no matter how justifiable they seem to be.

It is not your responsibility to try to heal your brother, or change your brotherís mind. But it is your responsibility to say "no" when that one is practicing fear that has grown to a point of hate. If that one does not want to hear the truth, which will melt the fear and the hate, and insists upon the right to just vent anger in hopes of establishing "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth," you must say, "Stop! I will not participate! I am not available for this. Period!"

Now, sometimes the ego is really sneaky and it says, "Well, the Course says that you must forgive me for what I have not done." Well, I will tell you something: Until that one stops doing it, the Course does not require you to be an idiot. It requires you to be the Love that says, "I am not available to confirm to you the rightness of your hateful, judgmental position by tangling with you. And so you must stop until you are willing to embrace the fact that there is another way to look at this." That is Love. To tangle will cause you both to muck around in miserable experience.

The only thing that will transform an unjust situation is to abandon the call for justice, withdraw judgment, and in so many words say, "I allow only for that, coming from you, which expresses and confirms your divinity, in which your justification for hate can find no foothold. And I will be there for you in support of your discovery of that. But! If you insist upon avoiding that, and just expressing your hate, I am not available." Just because you study the Course and have heard the words "unconditional love," does not mean you are to tolerate abuse.

QUESTION: What if youíre in a situation where you have a silence and avoidance instead of confrontation, verbal confrontation? How would you interpret those actions?

RAJ: Is it comfortable for you? Is it meant to be comfortable? When someone is being silent, they are being silent for a reason, many times to get to you.

QUESTION: Right. Weíre not together very often, but whenever the attempts are made to get together, the avoidance and the silence has been constant. So you tend to kind of say, "Well, the heck with it. I donít want to deal with it. Whatís the problem? I donít know whatís going on." Whatís another way to look at it to interpret those . . .

RAJ: Well, it can be summed up very simply: Donít do what you donít like. Donít do what doesnít feel good. Donít try to work it around in your head to make everything fit together in a way that will make things become the way you would like them to be. Donít do what you donít like.

QUESTION: So you say, just let it go?

RAJ: If itís no fun, let it go! Yes! It isnít complicated. Your simple common sense says, "If liver doesnít taste good, donít eat it." Keep it simple. You will find that when you stop doing what you donít like, things that you donít like will stop happening. You will have fewer experiences that you donít like.

QUESTION: Thank you.

RAJ: Youíre welcome. There will be a time when what I have said will sound like a most wonderful and happy thing. And I hope it will not be too long.

QUESTION: Well, I understand letting go. Itís just wondering why these actions take place, when weíre totally innocent to the situation. And kind of wondering why . . .

RAJ: Thatís the bait! And so, you see, then you end up having to figure out what you did that brought this upon you, and youíre still hooked into something you donít like. Donít do what you donít like. Donít do what isnít enjoyable. And donít say, "Well, I ought to be able to do it. And if I were able to do it things might change." Thereís something real simple, and something very full of integrity that is embodied when you pay attention to your gut-level feelingsóthe things that donít come with a lot of head explanation.

You try liver. You donít like liver. You donít bother to eat it again. It doesnít have anything to do with interpretations or thoughts.

Again: There is something that is full of integrity which is embodied in your paying attention to what feels good and what doesnítónot what you think is supposed to feel good and what you think isnít supposed to feel good. Donít do what doesnít feel good.

So remember the key is choice. You must make the choice between the voice for the ego and the Voice for Truth. The Voice for Truth heals, is transformational, is illuminating, enlightening and will give you the experience that will trigger your Awakening. Listening to the voice for the ego, no matter who itís coming from, does the opposite, and has the opposite as its goal. And through it all, remember that your brother is not the ego any more than you are the ego. But your brother or sister, at times, is confused and is listening to the voice for the ego, just as you have. So, you can love the one who is there, who is the Christ, while refusing to embrace behavior that is not enjoyable. And that is Love.

When a child is thoughtless and hurtful, you say, "No!" You donít reason it out, and you donít give a long explanation about the Theory of Kindness. You say, "No, this behavior is unacceptable!" You see? You must do this with yourself, too. And in this way you will not end up being abused. And you will not join with a brother or a sister in confirming their fear by becoming fearful and attacking in response. It is not unloving to say, "I will not attack you. But you must stop attacking me until youíve got your peace of mind back." That is Love.

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IN THE MIDDLE OF INSANITY

QUESTION: I am a bit puzzled. It has become clear that sometimes the Awakened beings such as yourself will say things that are not perceived by us to be true, but rather are meant to move people in the right direction. But this brings up a more fundamental concern that I have, which is: If what is said is not necessarily true, then how do we know that anything is true? How do we know what to take as being meaningful? I have a hard time allowing myself to Listen fully, knowing that what Iím hearing may not be true.

RAJ: Well, I will tell you one thing, Listening within for Guidance can only increase in "accuracy" through practice, through willingness. How much of an adventurer are you? What I mean by that is, are you enough of an adventurer to Listen for the hell of it, just because itís an interesting thing to explore the potential of? That is one way you can do it. And by persisting in doing it you will acquire a backlog of experience which will begin to register with you as to the meaningfulness of the experience and the value of it.

Thereís another aspect however that has nothing to do with being an adventurer. It really has to do with something far more fundamental and basic. One can engage at this more fundamental level as a result of great stress, or just because one finds himself or herself motivated to do so without a stressful circumstance. It comes from paying attention to the obvious. And the obvious is that you exist and you donít know everything. You exist and you experience want. Whether itís wanting to understand, whether itís wanting to be more comfortable, it doesnít matter. It is a fact that you exist, you are conscious, and you donít know everything. And not knowing everything is not something any of you can be totally at peace with. So, there is always, somewhere in you, an undercurrent of uneasiness, of unsettledness.

If you are in the middle of a very stressful life, if your life is being very wearing, very strenuous, you sooner or later come to a point where you recognize that youíre incapable of continuing to cope this way. Under these circumstances there is more motivation for somehow escaping this strenuousness which you cannot embrace any more with willingness.

At this point one either takes some ultimate step to relieve himself or herself of the strain, such as committing suicide or living with such anger that it begins to be debilitating to his health and he soon expires, or that one, who is too exhausted to continue being authoritative under the strenuous circumstances, gives upónot gives up through an act of will, like committing suicide, but gives up in the sense of stopping all of his or her attempts to figure out the answer. And at this point that one reaches out, not always to the same conceptual place, but that one says, "help!" And at that point where one says, "help," one begins to Listen.

So the point is that whether you are in a strenuous circumstance, or whether you are in a comfortable circumstance, you exist and you donít know everything. And in either case you can or will arrive at a point where you must give up attempting to do it yourself and say, "help!" It really is that simple. It really is that fundamental.

To arrive at that point where youíre willing to say, "help," is most often experienced by everyone as a place of personal failure, because saying "help" means you are not being self-competent. Itís an abandonment of feeling competent.

The simple fact is that the estrangement, which everyone feels from life, is a result of an attempt to author oneís experience. The feeling of separateness and the experience of not knowing everything is a result of having claimed a place of authority in life and a right to be responsible for it all. And the moment that assertion of authority was expressed, each one who expressed it experienced a loss of knowing everything, and therefore an experience of isolation from everything and all of the Brotherhood.

So to tell you the truth, whether what you hear is the truth or not is not the issue! The issue is whether or not you are abandoning a position of "authorizer." Once you do that and you dare to Listen and you experience Guidance, that Guidance will be geared to your rapid, complete release of the inclination to be in charge of your life.

I have said it before and I will say it again, I am not a universal answering machine. And neither are any of your Guides. We are very specifically present on your behalf in terms of promoting your relinquishment of that which hasnít been working for you, but which you have believed has. And we will do whatever works!

I realize that knowing this means that you have to have even greater trust than you thought. Because if indeed the one you are Listening to is trustworthyóbecause that one will never surprise youóthat would make it easy for you to trust, to entrust yourself, to turn yourself over to that oneís Guidance. You see? But if that one is not going to dependably tell you what will allow you to maintain the status-quo with some gracefulness, ah, thatís another level of trust.

Do you see that the latter scenario which I just described really is an attempt on your part or anyoneís part to still exercise a little bit of control in the process of your waking up, in the process of your coming back into your right mind? And what that means is, that it is an attempt to keep active a little bit of you "not in your right mind" in the process of coming back into your right mind.

Each one of you turned your back on Reality. Each one of you closed your eyes to Reality as a specific act of will on your part, because you said, in one way or another, "Father, Iíd rather do it myself." "Father, Iíd rather see it my way." "Iíd rather do it my way."

Now you are going to have to come back Home with the same degree of commitment from within yourself. Youíre going to have to do it for your reasons. And again, at the bottom line, the reason is, you exist and you donít know everything and you canít be totally at peace when you donít know everything, when you are not experiencing your union with All That Is as a totally conscious experience.

If you were going to get absolutely trustworthy answers which would allow you to yield the authority for your experience over to Whoever that truthful one was Who was providing you with answers, that would not constitute you in your Integrity making your commitment to seeing everything clearly, and doing it because . . . why? Because itís uncomfortable for you not to know everything and you donít want that experience any more.

If you could absolutely trust your Guidance to not throw you a curve, but to be absolutely dependable so your sense of the status-quo wouldnít be upset, and you did in fact give your power away, a time would have to come when you would say, "what I am experiencing, which I do not like, is your fault!"

So Iím not going to let you off the hook by saying that Guidance is absolutely truthful. Therefore, you cannot check out of the process by turning everything over to your Guidance. If you havenít felt a motivation within you that has arisen from your uncomfortableness with not being at one with everything and not understanding everything, then donít Listen for Guidance. Donít engage in this. And donít start a game with your Guide or anyone elseís Guide, where you are passing the buck, giving away your authority, and saying, "Well, I can dare to do this because that one is expressing the Will of the Father. And the Will of the Father would not be expressed as a lie."

Well, Iíll tell you what: It is the Will of the Father for you to be in your right mindóevery single one of you. It is the Will of the Father for you not to be experiencing any form of insanity. And if, because you are experiencing a sense of isolation and separation that isnít real, you want to govern the way in which the Father loves you so that it wonít upset your insanity or your inclination toward misperception, well I tell you, the Will of the Father will upset you, will be That which will undermine your intent to hold on to a little bit of your insanity. Why? Because your insanity must be broken, it must break down. Itís seeming integrity must lose its integrity.

And so the Will of the Father, because it is for you to be experiencing your Sanity, will not honor your egoís rules. Because it is the Fatherís Will which is being expressed by means of the Guidance you reach out for, you can count on it that what transpires will not strengthen your ego and put you in a deeper level of insanity or ignorance. In that sense, it is Love expressed implicitly and specifically because it promotes the breakdown of your craziness. And you can depend upon that!

Generally speaking one starts to reach out for Guidance as a means of improving his ego experience. But that is not its purpose. Its purpose is to free you from misperceptions that you didnít know you were experiencing, so that you might come back into inner balance, clear perspective that doesnít misunderstand anything.

There are those who also listen for Guidance just as you are listening at this moment. I mean by that, that you listen for Guidance and it is not direct within yourself. It is being shared by someone else who is Listening. And you can have your reasons for doing it which may not be at all ethical or honest. Why? Because it is not happening as a result of an awareness that has arisen in you that you exist and you donít know everything, and you are not comfortable with that state of affairs.

"Well," you say, "Iím really doing okay. My life isnít awful. In fact, itís much better than many people I know. I just want to Listen to improve things a little bit. But I donít want you to rock the boat too much." Well, if thatís the case and you really are Listening, and you really are allowing Guidance to register with you, you can count on it that your pleasant little life is going to be upset, because at the bottom line, your pleasant little life is the equivalent of someone in a mental institution who has adjusted to being there.

So all I can say to you is, find out why you are Listening. Find out whether you have any motivation to Listen really, or whether you are Listening because other people are doing it and it seems to be the "in" thing. "Guidance is pretty big these days and many respectable people are speaking of it positively." Well, I will tell you, thatís not a good reason to Listen. However, even if you Listen for the wrong reason, if you truly let the responses register with you, you will be, by hook or crook, through honesty or dishonesty, truthful or untruthful answers, moved toward that place where you will feel the fact that you exist and you donít know everything and you are not comfortable with that state of affairs.

This is part of your return to your Sanity, and it is part of what will ground you where the experience of Guidance can really begin to move you away from the valuing of insane ideas and the recognition that they never were really yours. It is part of what will ground you in your connection with your essential Being which is not separated from anything, including the conscious experience of Knowing everythingónot as an intellectual knowledge, but a direct actual connected experience of everything, all at the same time, with nothing unavailable to your conscious awareness, not even for a millisecond. And that is the place where you will feel your Wholeness. There will not be any dissatisfaction with the state of affairs.

So again, all I can say to you is, find out why you want to Listen. And let it be the most genuine reason you can find within yourself, the simplest reason. I have said, and I will say it again, the simplest reason is that you exist and you donít know everything and you are not comfortable with that state of affairs.

But! Donít take those words that I have said and say, "Well, they make sense, so I am going to start Listening." I donít want the words to make sense! I want you to connect with that Place in you where those words arose from. Then when you Listen, because it is coming from a humble and genuine place of self-awareness, your experience of Guidance will be able to be more transformational because thereís less game playing going on in the process of your Listening. Thereís less tendency to require the Guidance to conform to your insane perceptions of things so that It wonít upset the status-quo more than you can bear.

Do you have a follow up question?

QUESTION: The main message that I hear is that we are all separated and that that separation is what creates the illusion that we call reality, and that the direction to go is toward Awakening and become one with the Father . . .

RAJ: Which means becoming one with what all of this Really is, rather than the misperception of It that you are inserting between yourself and the experience of what it Really is.

QUESTION: But the only evidence that I see that that is the case is words from people such as yourself. And once again thereís the conundrum that I donít know whether any of this that is being talked about is reality or whether it is just the direction that some people need to move for their growth. As a side note to this: A number of people who have been experiencing guidance have been saying that thereíll be massive changes to the face of the planet and various areas of land will be sunk beneath the oceans, etc., etc. And others have said that these things wonít happen. And it is very difficult to look at this and try and get any kind of a coherent picture, and I guess itís the lack of a coherency that disturbs me.

RAJ: Now, Iím going to ask you: Are you saying that the lack of coherency that you observe in channeled information is your justification for not engaging in the experience of Listening for Guidance yourself?

QUESTION: No, itís not a justification for not engaging . . .

RAJ: Iím simply going to say that the discrepancies that you see cause you to have questions, cause you to want some understanding that will put to rest the distress that you are feeling regarding the inconsistency. I am saying that that is the equivalent of your knowing that you exist and that you donít know everything, and not being comfortable with that state of affairs.

So you have described something to me which you could perceive as a call for, or a justification for, finding out for yourself, rather than saying that "everyone else is saying one plus one equals three, an inconsistent answer, therefore I will not engage in having a question which I will pursue by Listening."

QUESTION: An interesting thought.

RAJ: Now the simple fact is that you are not required to do anything. Youíre not required to Listen. Youíre not required to join the masses who are finding themselves very stimulated at the thought of actually connecting with Something beyond their present awareness of everything. So, donít do what you donít feel motivated to do. And when you do feel motivated to do it, do it, and own it!

I will tell you that the minute you own it for yourself, you will become very practical. But as long as you are letting someone else do it for you, you are likely to abandon that level of practicality. And then (chuckle) because you have given away your power, what you hear is going to trip you up, because it will not support your increasing your insanity by giving your power away.

QUESTION: One thing that I donít understand is, it seems that on the one hand youíre saying to give up, to ask for help, to admit that you donít know everythingóthat I donít know everythingóand that one needs to go back to the Father and become one with the Father again. On the other hand youíre saying that in order to do that one must keep oneís power, which seems to be very much an act of ego and of remaining separate and in control of oneself. Those seem very contradictory goals.

RAJ: When you do something for someone elseís reasons you are in an unhealthy state of mind. When you do something for your reasons it promotes Sanity. I am saying donít Listen because everybody else says itís the right thing to do. And donít Listen because youíve been told that all of the answers will be true answers. I am saying pay attention to the obvious about you at this very moment: You exist, you donít know everything and you are uncomfortable with that state of affairs.

Now this "I" who is aware of existing and doesnít seem to know everything and isnít comfortable with that state of affairs, is RealóReal with a capital "R". It is the essential You which is the presence of the Father, because no matter how insane you become, no matter how gross the misperceptions you are experiencing, you cannot stop being the essential Being that you are, which is the presence of God. And so you must start where you are. And what I am saying is, disengage from the game playing and the manipulation that you do with others. Donít do things for other peopleís reason. Donít give your power away in that manner.

Yes, keep your power by being in touch with yourself enough to know that you donít know, and that you want to know. And then, from that little bit of Sanity, Listen or reach out beyond all of the games you have learned, all of the means of manipulating your world that you have developed, all of the skills that you have developed to authorize a happy lifeówhatever your definition of "happy" isóand give yourself the opportunity to experience an influx of clarity and inspiration and enlightenment which will reveal the Wholeness of this essential Self which has felt dissatisfied, so that the tiny dissatisfied part can begin to crumble and disclose the Wholeness of You that it is your Birthright to be experiencing.

So, yes, you have to own your power so that you can be grounded enough to make a conscious choice to Listen for whatever is available to you beyond your current sense of limits. And in that process of saying "help," or of inviting an influx of That which you are not presently aware, you are abandoning the position of the independent authorizer and you are letting something else in. That is also an essential part of your regaining your Sanity, coming back into your wholemindedness.

Indeed it is very similar to one in a mental institution. The one, who is there, experiencing whatever he is experiencing, is essentially the Real Individual. And the Real Individual who is there, covered over and distracted by great amounts of unintelligence or unintelligent "connections," if you will, must arrive at a point of being willing to reach beyond the current perceptions he is employing. And you could say that that takes an act of will, of that one owning his or her power. But the power is used for the purpose of neglecting to reinforce the crazy perceptions and behaviors in favor of something beyond it, which that one doesnít really comprehend in the middle of the craziness. And until that one makes the conscious choice for Sanity from somewhere in the middle of insanity, it doesnít matter what all of the helpers do. You see?

QUESTION: I think that I do see and I think that my sense of playing games, if you will, is strong enough that I can also see that if you invert all the arguments they still work. And that the choosing, as youíre suggesting, can also be choosing to walk into a state of insanity, rather than out of it.

RAJ: Indeed. But the process of walking into insanity is a process of increased isolation. And this is why the element of Joining is essential to walking out of insanity into oneís Sanity.

Now you have enough food for thought.

QUESTION: Thank you.

RAJ: You are welcome.

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TERRORISM

[The following are the concluding remarks made at an afternoon Gathering in Kingston, Washington about two weeks after the bombing in Oklahoma Cityóa day designated for "national mourning."]

RAJ: If you were all sheep, you would have been engaging today in a national day of mourning. "Someone" got the idea that it was appropriate for you "sheep" to be guided into a therapeutic healing process which you were in need of because those who decided to have it had already deluged you with other leadings, other suggestions, other perceptions of events which created great distress, even though the event itself was not that distressing.

I am not meaning in any way to minimize the sense of loss which has been experienced by the immediate families of those who died in the blast. But, I want you to be very aware that this thing here (motioning toward the TV) is not a window on the world as much is it is a means for your minds to be guided in a manner that generates incomeówhere money is the bottom line of everything that appears on this tube.

I want you to understand that terrorism had nothing to do with this event. And yet, you have been guided to perceive it as terrorism. I will tell you that there was a meeting in the CNN agencies where it was decided what words were going to be used. Very little of what you saw was spontaneous. Very little of what you heard was spontaneous. I bring this out so that you will be alert and not be led like sheep. Donít let your perceptions be decided for you. And donít assumeóany more than you are to assume that your Guide tells you the absolute truthóthat truth is what comes out of this tube.

Now, Iím speaking on this subject because it is pertinent, and what I want everybody to understand is that terrorism doesnít happen "out-there." It is not events that terrorize and itís not people that terrorize. The "terrorizer" is your own conditioned thinking and your own tendency to be led around like sheep, your own tendency to allow your memory to create conclusions about what is happening in the present instead of paying attention to what is actually happening in the present and discovering what is really going on.

As Iíve said before, you use your memory to hold your world hostage to your concepts about it. In that sense you terrorize your world and your brothers and your sisters and your parents and your children, et cetera, by holding them to your best or worst last experience of them, instead of paying attention to who they are in the moment, now. And paying attention to them in the moment, now, is the only thing that can possibly uncover their innocence or the innocence of your worldówhich is really the Kingdom of Heaven and not just "the world."

Forgiveness is withdrawing the judgments and the memories that you insert between yourself and everything you see, holding what is Really there hostage to your definitions.

When you are willing to spontaneously avail yourself of your best thinking, your best judgments, and your best memory, and you are not paying attention to what is really in your face, you have abandoned your ability to experience your oneness with everything, your Wholeness. And that act, that decision, is the terrorizer. You use that rather than opting for your Peace, rather than opting for the clarity that comes to you when you set aside your best thinking, your best judgments and your best memory.

We all need to be very practical. None of you are Awake at the moment, and so there is going to be illusion that you are experiencing. That was the fact before you ever thought about being on a spiritual path or waking up. As far as illusion goes, no matter what its nature or what its apparent size, itís the same old story.

So, letís not be shocked and self-righteously hurt, or claim that itís so much of a surprise that it has undermined our capacity to have faith in God. There is nothing new about it. And whether it seems cruel, thoughtless, maliciousóand you can add a lot of emotional terms to itóit still amounts to a misperception of the only thing thatís going onóReality, the Kingdom of Heaven.

If you could see, like I can, that there was an absolutely uninterrupted experience for everyone who apparently died in that explosion, you would not be able to respond to what comes out of this tube that pulls on your heart-strings and suggests that grief is valid and fear for your safety is justifiable.

The only way anything coming out of this tube could get to you, is if there is something in you that opts for abandoning your Peace in favor of the "pleasure" and "satisfaction" of reaction. Thatís where the terrorizer acts. Itís in your very own decision! And nothing "out-there" can make you make that decision.

Being clear like this doesnít mean being insensitive. It doesnít mean that you say, "None of that was real. Nothing is called for from me, except to see that it wasnít real." No, when you choose for your Peace, when you choose for being in that place where you can Listen and hear, intelligence and Love will dominate. Intelligence will not be overridden by emotion and reaction, which would cause inappropriate behavior.

There is a call for help on the part of those who were injured, and, whether you like it or not, on the part of the perpetrators. And so intelligence will respond with that which helps, binding up the broken bones, bandaging the wounds, getting the people to the place where care and comfort can be given, extending nurturing compassionate Love to those who are grieving. But the compassion and the nurturing and loving response that is given will not be tinged or riddled throughout with anger and a call for justiceó"an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth." It will not be, "You poor soul, look at what that bastard has done to you." It will be Love that says, "I love you. I embrace you. I know you are hurting. I want to do whatever I can to let you know that you are not alone. I am with youówarmly, lovingly with youóeven though you feel you have been abandoned by the dependability of your world and abandoned by whoever you lost. You are not alone."

You will be intelligent and appropriate, but not with vindictiveness, because the minute you choose for vindictiveness, you have moved back into the "mental institution," you have moved back into the insanity where two powers and the ability to be separate from God exist. Where misery exists.

The terrorizer lies in the decision you make within yourself to abandon your Peace, and the clarity and Love that reside within you which allow you to be nurturing, and appropriate, and intelligent, and helpful in every way imaginable, humanly speaking.

Now I truly am not feeling heavily serious in what I am saying. And I am so glad that those of you who came today, did not come to celebrate a day of national mourning.

It has been for us a day of recognizing Truth, of recognizing Love, of being willing to consider the possibility that life is not fundamentally conflicted, and that there is a way to have the experience of that unconflictedness. That there is a way to become Sane again. And becoming Sane againówhich means not indulging in that act of terrorism which is the inner decision to abandon your Peaceóis what will cause healing in the world.

Healing in the world is not actually going to be a matter of changing a bad unhealthy world into a good healthy world. As Iíve said before, it is going to be a matter of abandoning your confidences about what this world is so that what it Really is can begin to register with you.

The simple fact is that if everyone let what was Really there [in Oklahoma City] register, the building would be whole again. But Iíll tell you something else, it would have different tenants. What I mean by that is that government would be God expressed, and there would be none of those agencies existing to occupy it.

So, I will leave you with that thought. There is much that is marvelous and wonderful awaiting your willingness to see. And I smile because you have such treats in store for you, and you might as well begin to be curious the moment you walk out the front door. Thank you.

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MULTIPLICITY IN UNITY

QUESTION: I want to know how it is that differentiation exists without separation, and how we have or express a unique individuality, each one of which is necessary and perfect, without that being a different point of view, so to speak. How can each uniqueness reflect uniqueness without being different?

RAJ: This is a difficult thing to express in language, but there is really a simple way to convey the meaning. Distinctness, which is separate, is like a diamond held in a pair of tweezers, or in a ring that you are looking at. There are many facets, and each facet is different from the otheróit has a different angle, it has a different shape, itís in a different position. And from this standpoint, if one facet wanted to communicate with another facet, the communication would somehow have to go through space, above the diamond over to the other facet.

Multiplicity in unity can be grasped if you view this diamond from its interior. From its interior there is only one interior. You see? This interior, however, has facets, and if you were to identify with one of the facets from the interior of the diamond, you would see how you were connected with every other facet. In fact, you would be able to understand how it could be that Identity is really the whole interior of the diamond, even though your point of experiencing your identity is a particular facet.

This means that the substance or being of every other facet is the same as yours. It is the interior of the diamond. The interior, you might say, is the body of the facet. And thereís only one body, which all facets share. And so each facet is definitely distinct but not different, not different as separate. And so the unity of Being is the conscious experience of every single facet, while at the same time, you might say, having specific identity.

Now the problem is that although this description I have just given of the interior of the diamond and the facets is the fact about every single one of you at this instant, in this room, you tend to look at yourselves from the outside of the diamond where there is a facet here that is not connected in any way with a facet on the other side of the room. And you try to communicate through space to each other, not realizing that in the centered Peace of your Being which I was just talking about, you are at one with everyone in the room, without any loss of identity, of specific individuality.

You cannot use the example of the diamond in absolute terms, but God is like an infinite diamond, meaning immeasurably huge, with, you might say, billions of facets. And each facet constitutes a specific expression of what the whole interior of the diamond is, which is God. And the whole interior of the diamond is the presence of each of you specifically identified as the facets. So, you are all One.

I have said before that the most direct route to your fellow man is right through the center of your Being. But, do you know what? You canít allow for that connection, that interior-of-the-diamond-connection, to register with you if you are afraid of your brother or your sister. And indeed, when you look from outside the diamond and you feel separate rather than unified, your view of all of the other facets is going to necessarily involve fear, because your feeling of tininess is going to cause you to feel insecure and therefore vulnerable to anything you look at "externally."

All of you have heard a great deal about forgiveness. And forgiveness is very important because itís the way you withdraw your judgment upon your brother that says heís an enemy, or heís a threat, or sheís a witch, etc. Forgiveness is withdrawing your judgmentówhich causes you to be afraid to connect with your brotheróbecause you have chosen to see him as innocent, or to see her as innocent.

It is essential for you to be willing to give permission for this experience of your brotherís and sisterís innocence in order to know that you donít have to maintain a guarded stance from the outer surface of the diamond which is your facet. And when you donít need to guard, you can shift from the outer surface to the inner surface of the facet that you are, in which it becomes obvious to you, that . . . what? The interior of the diamond, which constitutes the wholeness of you is what constitutes the wholeness of this other facet too.

More than that, this interior of the diamond is God. And you are inseparable from God. And therefore, God, the Movement of Creation, is what really constitutes you. This just canít be seen, comprehended or experienced as long as you are seeing the facet that you are from the outside of the diamond.

God is both universal and specific. And that means that you must be, at one and the same time, universal and specific. But your specificness does not constitute a means of identifying you, yourself, separate from anyone or anything else in any way. Do you see?

QUESTION: Yes, but whatís the utility of "facet"?

RAJ: Right now, when you Listen for the possible answer, what comes to you?

QUESTION: Infinite expression.

RAJ: Infinite expression without division. God infinitely expressed is still infinitely One. Why did you ask the question?

QUESTION: Well, I asked the question because I was feeling worthless, and like this facet was of no particular use.

RAJ: I asked you why you asked the question, because your saying it makes the answer relevant for everyone, more relevant than just grasping how multiplicity can be unity.

QUESTION: Thatís a lot to ask for, Raj.

RAJ: Itís already the way it is. It isnít asking for something that you might get or you might not get.

QUESTION: No, I meant asking me to say it out loud.

RAJ: But youíre not so unique . . .

QUESTION: No shit!

RAJ: . . . that youíre the only one who has ever felt worthless. Nevertheless, I appreciate the courage you expressed by sharing it. Now, how worthless do you feel compared to before you asked the question? In other words, has the answer helped?

QUESTION: Well, youíll no doubt be amused to know that itís satisfied my logic, which is to say, I understand in a logical way that thereís not a way out of being a facet. My ego canít find a way out of being a facet. I anticipate that joy will come some time later.

RAJ: I would like to continue a moment regarding this illustration of the diamond and the facets. Why does Godís self-expression become expressed as facets? Because in order for God to be fully expressed and fully expressing, it takes infinite expressions.

Now, if the interior volume of the diamond is what constitutes the volume of the presence that you are, then every other facet is essential to your wholeness, and contributes to it, substantiates it. And I am bringing this out because it is important for you to know specifically that when another facet seems to be obviously fulfilled, it has to be your fulfillment, too.

Every single member of the Brotherhood, whether incarnated, whether they have passed on, whether they are totally Awake, or whether they are still dreaming, every single one is absolutely essential to your completeness. And therefore, their fulfillments are part of your fulfillment. And no one needs to ever be jealous of anotherís good, because, if nothing else, it does provide for you the proof that fulfillment is possible no matter how conditioned you might be to the impossibility of your fulfillment.

Rejoice in anyoneís experience of fulfillment. Just remember to look at it from the interior side of the facet of the diamond. And then you will see that that personís good is not going on over there out through space, but right in the volume of the presence of your Being which is the interior of the diamond. Then you will begin to feel that oneís joy as your joy in exactly the same way that when you say "Yes" to God and let Godís point of view in, you experience Godís Joy at the Movement of His Being which is Creation, because youíre not looking at it all from the outside where all there seems to be to you is just the little surface of a facet that is definitely separated from the other facets by very specific lines.

You all need each other, because you are all facets of the Wholeness of what you each are if you are looking at yourself from the interior side of the facet, and where the volume of the Wholeness of the infinite manifestation of God is obviously your Wholeness.

There is a different way to look at relationships, and I have just described itóand everything, because every blade of grass, and every leaf and every flower and every petal is a facet as well.

Thank you for your question.

QUESTION: Youíre welcome.

[New questioner]

QUESTION: Well, I loved your description of the diamond and the facets and being on the inside looking out. I have this great longing, instead of being on the outside looking in, to be in the inside looking "out." Thatís where the frustration is with meóbeing on the outside knowing that thereís that inside looking out.

RAJ: But what helps each of you to shift to the interior view is abandoning your independence. The assertion of independence is what flips one to the outside of the facet. And so, when you say, "Help," when you say, "God help me," or when you say, "Holy Spirit show me what I need to know," whenever you break the act of independence by joining with the Father, with the Holy Spirit, with an Awakened One, you, if you are genuinely Joining, will find that you have slipped to the inside.

The only thing that causes there to seem to be an outside to infinity, an outside to God, is when one asserts authority separate from Godóan independent authority or independence. You see?

It isnít going to take a lot of education or a lot of learning. It isnít going to be difficult to slip to the interior of You. All it requires is a real desire to be led by One who Knows. And I will tell you that those of the Brotherhood who are Awake gladly and joyfully await the request for help from anyoneóthe interest that anyone might express to not be aloneóbecause They know that not only is that the way the one who is suffering from independence will come back into his Wholeness, it is also the way the Wholeness of the Brotherhood, or shall I say the Wholeness of the infinite expression of God, will come closer and closer and closer to experiencing Its Wholeness/Oneness consciously.

And so, you might say from the interior of the diamond there is a resounding joy whenever there is the first indication that an independent one wants to come Home, and is expressing the first step toward Home by saying, "help," by saying, "I donít want to be alone any more, someone join me"ónot, "someone join me in my independence so that I can know my independence is right on," but, "someone help me by joining with me so that I am no longer alone." So, there is an abundance of joyous help or support available to everyone the moment they desire to let someone else inósomeone who is Awake, someone who Knows.

Just remember, the only thing that causes you to be on the outside looking in, is a decision to be independent. And itís very easy to stop being independent. All one has to say is, "Help!" All one has to do is say, "God?" No more even needs to be said. The very act of saying, "God?" means that you are addressing something other than yourself, that there is something more important to you than what you think and what you feel, and what you think everything is supposed to mean. The moment you address anyone other than yourself, you have said, "I am not alone." And the flip, the shift from the outside of the facet to the inside of the facet can happen.

There is a lesson in the Course that says, "Today I will make no decisions by myself." Ah, thatís the way the flip or the shift from the outside looking in, to the inside experiencing infinity, occurs.

QUESTION: Thank you.

RAJ: You are welcome.

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THINKING OR LISTENING

QUESTION: Whatís been going on the last couple of days? Whatís with the flow of negative thoughts and depressing feelings?

RAJ: You must be alert! Misdirection is the art of the ego. It is not the subject matter of the thoughts, it is the source that matters. Are the thoughts expressing the voice for the ego or the Voice for Truth? The artful misdirection of the ego causes you to assume that they are your thoughts. But, I will let you in on a little secret: You are incapable of having thoughts. What are called "thoughts" are either expressions of the voice for the ego or the Voice for Truth. You are either "channeling" the voice for the ego or the Voice for Truth.

When the voice for the ego is being expressed, it remains hidden by suggesting, or leaving the impression, that these are your thoughts. When you are Listening to the Voice for Truth, it is very clear to you that these are not your thoughtsóin other words, you are not the originator of themóand therefore you are not misled into a sense of a private or personal existence which is verified by the presence of thoughts which you are originating. You always remain intact in your Integrity when what finds expression through you is the Voice for Truth. So, when you find yourself thinking, "Boy, Iím having some lousy thoughts today," you can catch yourself and remember that you are incapable of having thoughts at all!

In all of your life, when you have thought that you were thinkingósurprise, surpriseóyou have not been thinking at all! And it is only because you thought you had been thinking that you could seem to say, "I," and mean a presence, an individuality or a personalityóa thinker.

As you emerge from ignorance, you will discover that thinking created the illusion of a "self" which was doing the thinking. This does not mean that you have not always been present as Awareness, as Consciousnessóas the Conscious Experience of Beingóbut the only way in which you come into a clear experience of what that means is when you do what I have called Listening. When you are Listening, you are disengaged from the voice for the egoówhich can only be experienced as thinkingóand thus you have abandoned the stance which seems to have been identifiable as a separate entity, a specific individuality, distinctly separate and different from every thing and everyone else.

Now, I will tell you an unpleasant but wonderful fact, and that is that you are going to find that thinking is going to be an uncomfortable experience. I mean by that, that any apparently positive potential that you used to associate with thinking will seem to no longer be available. Thus, all thinking will be recognizably unpleasant. And if you do not catch yourself believing that you are thinking, the apparent process of thinking will seem to have only one effect, and that is to drive you further and further into insanity, further and further into misery. You are going to find it impossible to use thinking to buoy yourself up, to jack yourself up, to create a better frame of mind.

What makes this wonderful is that it will no longer be possible for you to justify thinking. It will more and more clearly become something from which you want and need relief. And the only relief that will be available will lie in the abandonment of thinking, instead of better thinking.

How do you abandon thinking? By choosing to Listen.

It used to be that by thinking, you could arrive at the best. But that option has almost completely faded, and thinking will only bring you to the worst. You see, as you begin to know the Truth, the lie cannot seem to present itself in a false facade of pleasantness, of friendliness, of constructive processes. And if you think that you have been a thinker, capable of thinking well, it will seem to you that you are becoming nothing more than the presence of insanity, of misery, and so on. But, I have told you something today that I have not put quite so clearly before, and that is that you are incapable of thinking, and therefore any suggestion of, or any apparent experience called thinking, is an illusion that has nothing to do with you.

If you will remember on these occasions when you are experiencing misery, that you are incapable of thinking, it will remind you not to try to improve your thinking, but to stop entirely and choose to Listen. Why? So that the Voice for Truth, which forever leaves you in your Integrity, might be the only thing which finds expression through you, and in allowing that, providing yourself with the experience of your real Identity, and your Joy, and your Worth, and your Meaningfulness.

Now, who, in their right mind, would let somebody else do their thinking for them? I will tell you, if you are having thoughts, then someone else is thinking for you, because you are incapable of thinking. That means, even when you were doing your best thinking, you were being run around by someone or something else.

Now, so that you will not think unclearly about what I am saying: I do not mean that you have been run around by another person or another power. You have been run around by what Iím going to call "a body of information" called concepts. And from a state of self-awareness which is constituted entirely of this "information" called concepts, it seems that everyone else is demonstrating the validity of your thinker-hood by being thinkers, themselves, which compounds the "information." It compounds, complexifies, and makes increasingly "reasonable," the existence of mankind separate, apart, and totally different from the Brotherhood of Man, the Sisterhood of Man . . . kind.

Again, this is how time and space are created, together with co-dependence. And again, there is a simple key: You are incapable of thinking. Thinking is an illusion.

Knowing, with a capital "K," is the only valid experience of Consciousness, and It is experienced only when Listening is engaged in.

Ultimately, when you realize that you no longer have any choice between thinking and Listening, Listening will become swallowed up in a forever experience of Knowing. It only seems as though there is a Listener when one is vacillating back and forth between thinking and Listening. When one stops vacillating, one stops Listening, and Knowing becomes the permanent conscious experience of Being.

I have not intended for this to seem at all complicated. There is really only one thing to remember from this conversation, and that is: You are incapable of thinkingóalways have been and always will be. Thinking good thoughts, thinking bad thoughts, makes no difference. Itís all illusion, because there is no thinker.

QUESTION: I wonder if Iím more susceptible to being run around by this "information" because of location. Is there more "information" here on the Mainland than there was on Kauai? Something about being back here has caused me to conceive of myself more as a person, as the "thinker." Has that made me susceptible to the "information"?

I guess Iím sort of answering my own question. To the point that I know who I really Am, Iím just going to be That. But if Iím thinking Iím something other than I really Am, then I probably get a whole wealth of what confirms to me that I am the illusion.

RAJ: Old habits and attitudes expressed by others, do remind you of your old habits, and do seem to renew their value. These were not reinforced on Kauai, since so very few of those around you had life agendas, relationship agendas, any kind of agendas. More often than not, whether it was a grocery store clerk, or a waiter or waitress, most of those you ran into were not overcome by their role. They were truly more preoccupied with their peace and their joy at being where they were. Their preoccupation was not with specifics, but rather a general sense of peace and integrity. And as a result, this is what was reinforced or confirmed in you.

Here on the Mainland, the individuals functioning in those same capacities are highly focused on those capacities as . . . what? A means of survivalóthe means by which something small and inconsequential is attempting to cope with surviving, attempting to cope with lack and overcome it, whereas lack and the overcoming of it were not the predominating factors on the island, no matter how "poor" an individual was.

QUESTION: Iím just curious about whether the fact that the role didnít overtake them, and that they didnít feel inconsequential, and the peace that they felt, was because of the Hawaiian culture? Or is it something like the landscape that gave rise to the culture, or . . . What is it about that place? Or is it the place?

RAJ: It is a combination of the physical characteristics of the placeónot the least of which is its remotenessótogether with the culture that developed there, plus the fact that "civilizing" influences did not reach it until approximately 100 years ago.

What must be remembered is that every location on your globe is, in itself, as pristine and untouched by civilization as Hawaii is. That there are egos running around with their well-conceived definitions for it all, hasnít changed what it all is. And so, the "physical environment" is not the transmitter of craziness. If everyone will look at where they are with the same innocence that one looks at Kauai, or Hawaii, one will be able to find confirmation and support for all that he loves about Hawaii.

Just because you have returned to the Mainland does not mean that you must once again adopt survival techniques, even though everyone around you seems to be engaged in them.

QUESTION: But, we donít seem to have the support that we had there in Kauaiómeaning the support for "no thinking."

RAJ: You were already engaged in the release of thinking before you went there. Support or lack of support for it is irrelevant to your choice. The only thing that makes the choice easier is doing it. And the only thing that makes it harder is not doing it. Whether there is support out-there bears no relationship to the ease or difficulty with which you find yourself thinking or Listening.

Again, I must ask you, who is going to be your Teacher? And then, remember that thereís no one out-there to teach you anything. You only have two apparent choices for teachersóthe Voice for Truth or the voice for the ego. Letís make it even clearer. The only two teachers you seem to have are: Listening or thinkingówhich means, the whole thing is an inside job.

QUESTION: But it sure is nice when the inside matches the outside.

RAJ: Well, it all depends on Who youíre looking with, and not "whatís out-there." And although Iíve said that in an off-handed way, it is a Law. It is absolute.

QUESTION: What did you say? I didnít hear what you said.

RAJ: What you see depends upon Who you are looking with. And then remember that looking with the egoís vantage is not to be looking with anything!

QUESTION: Just to de-mystify Listening a little bit, if Iím thinking, and then I realize that Iím thinking, and realize that I canít have thoughts, and they evaporate, isnít Listening whatís really present all the time when Iím not engaged in thinking? And isnít the Knower who we really are when weíre not believing that weíre a thinker? I just ask that because I feel itís important to say that itís probably effortless, or natural.

RAJ: Indeed, that is a good point. It is effortless. In fact, when effort is brought to the act of Listening, it blocks Hearing. It is in the absolute absence of effort that one discovers Who he or she is. And it is only because this occurs in the absolute absence of effort that the utter naturalness of it can be obvious.

QUESTION: Would it actually be more accurate to say, instead of being the Knower, we would be the Knowing? Because the other still sounds like weíre thinking something about ourselves as a presence. But we would just be presence.

RAJ: Indeed. I have not used the word "Knower."

QUESTION: No. I used it in my question.

RAJ: I have always indicated that one would Know. And, indeed, the verb, Knowing, is absolutely correct. The Course refers to it as "knowledge." However, from experience had at the level of the egoís vantage point, knowledge is interpreted to be "acquired information" instead of an experience of Knowingóan experience that could be called knowledge, but which is not information, data. It is an all-embracing awareness from which nothing is left out.

For example, let us use the word insight. One has an insight. It occurs in a moment, is all-inclusive in nature, and is capable of being such a broad insight that it would take you three days of speaking ceaselessly to convey in a sequential manner the full meaning of the insight. Knowledge, as it is usually thought of, is the "sequential explanation." But "knowledge," as it is used in the Course, means that experience of Knowing, which the word "insight" expresses. In other words, to understand the word "knowledge" correctly, as it is used in the Course, it is a living experience of vital Truth which is complete within Itself in the instant It is being experienced.

Again: Knowledge is thought of as facts stored in a mental library, which one can access by means of memory. But that is not the meaning of the word "knowledge" as it is used in the Course, because knowledge isnít stored anywhere, and knowledge isnít facts. Itís the living conscious experience of what God is Being, what God is Knowing, because that is what God is: all-Knowingóand it is not the word "all" that is to be emphasized, it is the verb Knowing that is to be emphasized. It is to experience Godís point of view. Thatís the definition of the word "knowledge."

QUESTION: I cannot but be impressed by the seeming difference of being here versus being in Hawaii, in regard to the aggressive nature of thinking Iíve experienced in the last few weeks. Why is it so difficult here?

RAJ: It is really very simple. The presence of competition and survival techniques being consciously practiced invites one into an attitude of defense. It suggests a high potential for victimization, increasing a sense of vulnerability, which tends to cause one to engage in similar activities of survival, distracting you from remembering that in defenselessness your safety lies.

Competition and engagement in survival techniques were not predominant in the environment on Kauai. It is that simple.

QUESTION: Then why are we here? In other words, there must be a reason for being here.

RAJ: Donít be sidetracked by what others are or are not doing. The only issue there is here, is your choice to think or to Listen. Why gripe if there seems to be more call for Listening? Why gripe because Listening seems not to be demanded somewhere else? You are avoiding the learning here by focusing in on the fact that there seems to be less choice available to you, and that because of the predominance of that which promotes thinking, something inequitable is occurring. Just get on with Listening!

The thinking of others only registers with you when you are thinking.

QUESTION: What is it called when Paul is speaking words and ideas from a Joined place, since thoughts are being expressed, but itís not thinking?

RAJ: It is what I have called "being appropriate." Indeed, what is Known are ideas, but in spite of the confusion that is manifest in your dictionaries, ideas and thoughts are not the same. They have two different sources.

Ideas receive their impulse from God. Thoughts arise out of "the mind of man." And by that I simply mean the ego. Thoughts are the means by which thinking is accomplished, while ideas are the object of Knowing, as well as being that which gives rise to the Known. Ideas are the Movement of the Mind of God, which is called Creation. That is why they are transformational.

I have said before that the ego never had an original idea. The fact is that the ego never had an idea, original or otherwise! When one Listens and experiences Knowing, what happens if that Knowing is allowed into expression, is not something which leads to an end result. It is that which is in balance. It is that which is congruent with what is Really transpiring at that very moment. It causes balance to replace the imbalance that gave rise to the questions, which called for Listening. You see? Oneís natural estate, as Mind, replaces the unnatural vantage point of the ego, which is no vantage point at all. That is the simplest way I can put it at the moment.

QUESTION: Thank you.

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WHO DO YOU WANT YOUR TEACHER TO BE?

QUESTION: This question has to do with living more peacefully in what appears to be an ever more violent world. A number of years ago, I felt I was led to choose a vegetarian way of life, and not contribute to what I felt was violence in the world. My question primarily is, what is our real relationship with the rest of the animal life on the planet, and how will that unfold as we begin to wake up?

RAJ: How does one live peacefully in a world that seems to be increasingly violent? It is the best question you could have asked. And the simple answer is that you must value your Peace more than you value what your world appears to be being or doing, whether it seems to be being or doing it "out-there" or being and doing it "to you."

Peace is not circumstantial. Peace is the very continuum of your Being. Peace is ever-present within each one of you as the fundamental element of your existence. Unfortunately most people think that peace is circumstantial. In other words, that peace is when behaviors of people and things are happening in a nonconflicted way which allows everyone not to be defensive. And so, everyone tries to change or govern circumstances so as to have those conditions called harmony. On this basis, however, most of what is called harmony is enforced rather than natural, and that is because everyone is governed into cooperation.

The only way for Peace to be natural rather than coerced in the relationships of people and things is when the behavior which is occurring amongst people and things is arising out of what I am going to call a preexisting Peace that one or many have connected with in themselves. Then the behavior which arises out of that connection with the essential Peace of their being will always be unconflicted and of a nature that tends to promote, without conscious direction, harmonious results, harmonious responses, harmonious tendencies.

Now, do you want to know what does violence to your world that causes your world to appear to be violent? It is each one of you, choosing to respond from memory, choosing to respond to the world based on conditioned responses, based upon memorized principles, based upon traditions, based upon values that have been taught to you.

You see, as long as you value your best judgments, as long as you value your best thought processes, your best concepts, as long as you value them more than being in touch with the Peace of your Being which is the essential element of your Being, then your behavior does not arise out of clarity. It may arise out of very intelligent reasons. It may arise out of what you would call very high motives, very loving motives. But I will tell you something: If you are not in touch with the essential Peace of your Being, you have no means of getting close to the experience of the Love that you are, and therefore any high or loving motives or behavior that you bring into play in dealing with your world do not arise out of your experience of the essential or actual Love which is the substance of your Being.

Therefore, all of your loving behavior, all of your intelligent and principled and constructive behavior, still ends up being part of the means by which all of you manipulate your world into a reasonable level of cooperation so that you may have what is called peace, but which I have already shared with you isnít the experience of the essential Peace of your Being which is forever present with you, is unalterable, and is the place in which you must be grounded if you are going to be a transformational presence in this world that seems to be becoming more violent.

Now Iím going to back-track. When everyone relies upon history, memory, conditioned thinking, tradition, one puts himself in a position of knee-jerk responses to life. They may not be sharp knee-jerk responses, but they are automatic responses, neverthelessóresponses that you have developed based upon your best judgments.

This does violence to your world because youíre not responding to the world. Youíre responding to your own interpretations of the world based on your conditioning, and you are letting your responses come from your conditioning. And itís all non-transformational, itís all non-healing, because when you judge what you see based upon your concepts of what everything is, and then your responses to your concepts of what everything is come out of conditionings also, then you are not really seeing the world, and you are not being in the place where you can respond from your Peace.

Now, you may feel that I am being a little ridiculous to say that coming from your best intelligence, and coming from your highest sense of love does violence to your world and creates a world that seems to be violent, but let me tell you something: If you havenít valued your Peace, which is available to you in the withinness of your Beingóin the quietness of the center of Youóthen you cannot be in that place where you can see the innocence of everything. And if you cannot see the innocence of everything, then you cannot help but feel vulnerable and base all of your responses on self-protection. Thus, when you approach your world and everything in it from a fundamental basis of self-protection, you are in a mode of attack.

Self-defense is attack. It says, "You are not to be trusted. I am ready for whatever you throw at me." And if you are basing your actions on that premise and it is directed toward something which is innocent, that which is innocent will say, "You donít even know me. You donít even see me, and your behavior toward me doesnít fit. I donít deserve the stance you are taking relative to me. You are taking an antagonistic stance toward me because of who you think I am, or because you think that you are in a world which is violent and hostile, and you are lumping me in with that. It is an unkindness that you are confronting me with, with your lousy attitude."

So, everyoneís "fundamental" fear of life constitutes a response to life, which is not congruent with what life really is. And it elicits a similar response from your world, from your friends, from your enemies, from those who are going to become enemies because you are approaching them in a defensive manner, and so on. The very attitude is an antagonistic one, and does violence to your world. And when your world responds and says, "Do not behave this way toward me, because I do not deserve it," you say, "Aha, you see? I do live in a hostile world."

Your concepts, the use of your memory as a means of avoiding being actually connected with your world and what it really might be, does violence to your world. But, do you know what? It does violence to something else! It does violence to you, because your definitions of everything which you have developed over the years, and your conditioned responses to your definitions of everythingówhich may or may not have anything to do with what the world really isóthese two elements create in you, fear. And this fear, which your mental manipulations and gyrations have caused, says to you, "You donít have time to connect with your essential Peace. In fact, if I have anything to say about it, I will keep you disconnected from your Peace for so long that you will forget that Peace is an essential element of your Being which canít ever be taken away from you because itís never circumstantial. I will keep you so busy that you will forget."

So, I am taking time here because it isnít the apparently violent world that is your enemy, and it isnít a seemingly violent world that needs to be dealt with. It is the tendency that each one of you hasóand everyone who is not Awakeóto value your definitions of what the world is, and your conditioned responses to your own definitions!

Why, you can sit on your front porch, with a gentle afternoon breeze blowing, and the birds singing, and the rustling of the leaves, and depending upon what you may have been listening to on the TV, you can sit there and begin to fuss and fume about what the militia may be doing in Washington state. Or whether maybe their reason for existing is valid, and begin to fuss and fume and feel unsafe about Washington, D.C., and whoís really controlling things. Is it our government? Is it the U.N.? Is the world losing control? Do I need to have more control? Are things really becoming unsafe, unhealthy for life an this planet? May everything be going crazy?

Even in a moment of unclarity, Paul, himself, said, "The world is going crazy when a ride at Disneyland is called "The Tower of Terror," when terror has nothing to do with the meaning of The Magic Kingdom and everything that Walt Disney expressed.

Do you see? Thinking based on concepts, thinking based upon conditionings, can cause one to sit on the front porch in fear, when nothing but the serenity and beauty of the Movement of God called Creation is actually happening. So, where has the violence occurred? The violence has occurred in the thinking processes, which have been based on memory and conditioned responses. And the violence does violence to you because it creates in you what seems to be valid fear and therefore a justifiable vulnerability.

And yet, if you had the presence of mind to do a meditation, or if your wife or mate or partner came out the front door and said, "Why donít we do a meditation," and you said, "Okay," and you did a meditation, you would find yourself connecting with your Peace, the silence of the Peace of your Being, in which there is no experience of vulnerability, in which your capacity to Love rather than fear is obvious, and in which there is the presence of Mind to be able to discern what is true and what is not, and what requires response and what does not.

Now, the one sitting there before doing a meditation has become part of this "violent" world of which he or she is afraid! Do you see? And his or her fear and justification for fear, and justification for taking control in some form, strengthens everyone elseís unintelligent response which makes the world appear to be increasingly violent.

So, stop worrying about the world. Because, do you know what? No matter how you conceive it, the world is the Kingdom of Heaven, because thereís only one thing going on, and that is the Movement of God being All That Is. And any other perception that any of you are having is a misperception based upon conditioned thinking, conditioned responses, memory, all of which are being utilized as the means of "being present in the world" instead of valuing the conscious connection with the Peace of your Being which is within each one of you more than that, and insisting upon not approaching your world until you have connected with that Peace, and thenóand only thenófrom there, looking to see what there is to be seen.

When you do that, you withdraw from, shall I say, the camaraderie, the joining that you do from your fearóthe joining with everyone else who is fearful. You withdraw from that. You lessen its strength. You lessen itís apparent presence. And instead, you become a presence of connectedness with the essence of Being that others can join with who are also valuing their Peace more than their spontaneous conditioned responses to how things appear to be to them.

Who do you want your teacher to be? Do you want your teacher to be fear? Or do you want your teacher to be Peace? Do you want your teacher to be Love? Or do you want your teacher to be that which justifies defense?

When you hear that which justifies fear, whether it is a commercial relative to summer diseases or fall diseases, or whether it is someone promoting defense and fear relative to those who are taking over the world, are these the teachers you want? Are these the teachers you are going to invite in and listen to? Or are you going to look for and listen to the teachers of Peace, the teachers of Love?

The teachers of Peace will direct you to the Peace that resides right in the center of you, which is always available to you if you will value taking the time to connect with It more than you value knee-jerk responses, conditioned responses to what you think is going on in your world.

There is a difference between behaving peacefully and being connected with the essential Peace of your Being. And the difference is that when you are behaving peacefully, you cannot inspire Peace. But when you are in your Peace, when you are connected to It, you can and spontaneously will inspire that same sort of connected Peace in others. And so, if indeed it seems that you are in a violent world (separate and apart from any violence you do to the world by virtue of staying at the level of conditioned responses), you will, by virtue of having valued being connected with your Peace, be able to respond to those who havenít discovered their Peace and are still responding to their misperceptions, in a way that inspires them to feel free to abandon their fear and its justification.

This is something that cannot be legislated. It is something that cannot be coerced. One cannot "cooperate" into connected Peace. One must be inspired into It because someone is embodying It so perfectly. And do you want to know something? To embody It perfectly doesnít require any of you to become experts at embodying It. Many of you connect with It when youíre soaking in a hot-tub and you arenít even trying. And many of you connect with It when you are meditating. And every time you connect with your Peace, you connect with all of It, and It imbues all of you with Itself. And the knot of fear in your stomach is gone! And your perspective is nonreactionary. And youíre able to see what seems to be going on, and what it will take to correct itónot through coercion, but through sheer inspiration.

Iím very glad you asked this question.

Please remember that it is not the violence in the world that needs to be addressed. Itís the violence each one of you does to the world and to yourself by responding to the world from your conditionings, rather than connecting with it after you have valued your Peace so much that you got into It first.

In response to the other part of your question: As one Awakens, one does become more tender. One does become more sensitive. One does value life more. And the killing of things for your survival will cease, whether it is an enemy in a different uniform, or whether it is a cow.

QUESTION: Thank you.

RAJ: You are very welcome.

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CURIOSITY

QUESTION: Have I been curious enough?

RAJ: (Chuckling) Being curious is not supposed to be work. There are not really degrees of curiosity. One could decide to be curious right here, and scurry around the house, looking at everything, being curious about everything, and then go out in the yard and down the street and through the other peopleís yards, looking at the trees and every leaf and every worm and caterpillar and bug. And one could go out in the front yard, lie down on the grass and just look at the sky.

The very act of looking is the act of paying attention. The act of paying attention is the act of being curious. And what you need to know is, that wherever you are looking, God will appear. And so, in the quietness of lying on your back looking at the sky, or lying in the bed looking at the ceilingónot glazed over, but actually looking at the ceilingóyou are engaged in all there needs to be of the act of curiosity.

It isnít where you look, but that you look. And wherever you are looking is where God will appear, is where your Good will begin to register with you consciously. You see?

You see, the ego does everything out of fear. The ego does everything compulsively, because that is what creates the sense of "aliveness." It does everything compulsively out of fear, which makes the resulting "experience" seem vital and meaningful, because, I well tell you, that without fear motivating it, the actions would be obviously useless and meaningless.

Now, what happens is, that as one opens up to the truth, as one allows truth to register, and insight and clarification occurs, the habit of compulsion out of fear gets applied to this new experience of the spontaneous flow of Meaning, and one begins on his "spiritual path" compulsively, with urgency, as though fear and coping with what is feared is essential to the continuing of the spontaneous flow of Meaning as though that flow is not truly spontaneous. And so, oneís spiritual path becomes just a continuation of fear-driven being, and the Peace and the joy and the confidence that is now available to you by virtue of the experience of the spontaneous Movement of Meaning is lost to you.

The purpose of truth is not to protect you against error, but to reveal that there is no error to be protected against, just as light is not there as a defense against darkness, but is, itself, the nonexistence of darkness, in which darkness no longer seems to be there to cope with.

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INNOCENCE

QUESTION: What do I need to know?

RAJ: What do you need to know? You need to know your innocence. No, you need to feel your innocence. You need to know that you donít have to prove your innocence by means of your life. Your life is not the vehicle or means of proving your innocence, and yet, that is what almost everyone uses his life for. And so, a burden is attached to what should be pure joyóthe pure joy of inhaling and exhaling, the joy of being conscious of the world, the joy of being with the world and with everyone. And as a result, everything and everyone become the tools for proving innocence, for proving innocence.

Do you know what? Itís always an attempt to prove to someone else that youíre innocent, to change their mind about yourself. And thus, relationships become the means of doing that which has nothing to do with relationships. And mind you, what I happen to be saying now applies to everyoneónot just in this room, but everywhere, everyone who is not yet Awake. And so, this is of value for everyone.

Living life and being in relationships is supposed to be an experience of joy that comes from feeling oneís innocence, feeling the Fact that one does not have to prove himself or herself to anyone else, or to be anything for someone elseóand conversely, for anyone else to be something for you. Innocence is inseparable from each one of you.

I encourage all of you to contemplate what life would be like if you didnít have to "prove your innocence." You use other words. You say that you have to prove that you deserve respect, else no one should rightfully respect you. Or, respect isnít automatic, therefore one needs to live respectably to gain respect.

Well, Iíll tell you something: As long as you are all engaged in gaining respect, or becoming respectableómeeting the definition of "respectability"óyou canít possibly be connected with your essential Being. You must constantly be preoccupied with how you are coming across to your world, and you must constantly be assessing your world to see whether they are perceiving you the way you need to be perceived in order to feel your worth, or in order to feel your Peace, or in order to feel your substance, or in order to feel loved.

When you choose, on the other hand, to opt for being connected within yourself, being in that Place where your Peace is available to you in the world, then preoccupation with proving innocence, or proving worth, or demonstrating respectability that is recognizable to others, becomes not only nonessential, but it drops out of view entirely. And instead of nothing being left, thereís just Youóeach of Youóin your essentialness, in your genuineness.

When I say "genuineness," I mean that experience of yourself which calls for no apology, no justification, no proof of anything. Thatís the experience of your innocence. But if you donít know that you are innocent as an unchangeable Fact, an unalterable Fact, then attempting to prove your innocence will seem totally justifiable and will seem to preclude you from exploring the innocence that is yours, that doesnít need to be proven.

Until you know that your innocence is inviolable, you will find no justification for abandoning the demonstration of recognizable respectability that changes your fellow manís mind about you and gets you respect. And yet, you must abandon that in order to just be able to be. And I will tell you that anyone who opts for their Peace, opts for the experience of their innocence. Anyone who relaxes and abandons all attempts to gain respect, anyone who does that, becomes truly meaningful to everyone else.

That is what you need to know today.

QUESTION: Thank you.

RAJ: You are welcome.

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THE GREATNESS OF WHAT THE FATHER HAS CREATED

QUESTION: When Raj says to you all how much youíre loved, that always placed a question in my heartó"How much could I be loved?" And then when Heíd go on to say that He is pleased with all that He sees, I now can understand, from what is shared on an ongoing basis, how pleased He truly must be with all of His Brothers and Sisters. And it brings a dimension of life when you allow thatówhen I allow thatóthat itís like nothing else to be experienced in the ego state.

RAJ: And what is it you allow?

QUESTION: The greatness of what I am, the greatness of what the Father has Created, and the greatness of His children, and being so willing to give so much of Themselves.

RAJ: Indeed, few of you dare to let yourself be flooded with, infilled with, the Love that it is your inheritance, your birthright, to be feeling. And I invite you all to dare to let the experience happen by inviting it. And again, when you invite it, do not misunderstand and think that I am saying that Iím giving you something to authorize into your experience. It is not something that gives you another opportunity to be an authority in your life.

Invite the experience in without any requirement upon it. You might say, "If God loves me, I would like to have an experience of what that means"ónot an understanding of what that means, but an experience of what it means. And then treat that request like a seed that you have planted and let it bring itself forth without any attempt on your part to coerce it forth.

Let. Let. Let. Let in.

Even if the experience lasts only a moment, you are likely to feel overwhelmed or fill-fulled. And even if it disappears from your experience, it will remain with you. It will not disappear from your awareness entirely. And it will indeed constitute a marker in your life after which, never again could you ever return to a sense of yourself and of your brothers and of life the way it was before that marker for you.

And do you know what? It means that never again will you ever be able to feel quite as guilty as you did before. And it will undermine any ongoing inclination you might have to continue to indulge in guilt. Thank you for sharing.

QUESTION: Thank you.

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Volume 8, Number 11 / July 1995

Conversations with Raj, © 1995, is published by the

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