CONVERSATIONS WITH RAJ
VOL. 8, NO. 8
I greet you all with love and welcome you all to the new day and indeed encourage you all to let go of the past. Be alive to your innocence, because it is real. Guilt is not real. It is a thought, imagined and believed, superimposed upon but never changing That which is innocent. It's justification is always an act based on ignorance or confusion—a lack of clarity—and one cannot be clear about what one is not clear about. Therefore, every act is an expression of each one's greatest clarity.
Again, if you knew better, you would do better. Thus, everyone stands at a point where judgment could be made and where judgment must not be made. The symbolism of a half-empty or half-full glass is more than a nice positive reinforcement here. It is an imperative! This means that no matter what each one is doing, he or she is standing at the threshold of a "fuller glass."
I will tell you, it does not matter whether one is standing there willingly or willfully, aggressively or yieldingly, defensively or undefended, one cannot become more ignorant—the glass cannot become less full. The opposite of growth cannot occur.
Every member of this extended family can be grateful, if they so choose, for every other member, whether they grow awkwardly or not, because the real issue is not being alone in your ungraceful growing.
Every single one of you has an advantage—one that is not consciously enjoyed by everyone yet. That advantage is that you know about Listening. There is an alternative to awkward emergence from ignorance.
So, there are two things. One, your unalterable innocence, which justifies Love. And, two, the advantage of Listening to know what is appropriate so that there is more grace to your emergence from a sleep, an ignorance, a confusion that it is not your birthright to experience.
It is inconsistent with all that is Real for any of you to feel alone, but you will unavoidably feel alone if you indulge in judgment. The half-empty glass is not a flaw of character. It is an illusion a distraction from the fact that one stands at the threshold of waking up, even if one misunderstands where he or she is standing. Therefore, no one is ever lost. No one is ever on the outside. No one is an enemy!
I will address an issue here—an active misunderstanding. Be very aware that if you do not employ the advantage you have of Listening, your actions will arise out of ignorance, like a sleepwalker, and the experience will be awkward. Let's be very clear: Because you are innocent, because you are nothing more nor less than the presence of what God is, you are always safe, but if you choose to act or be aware without Listening, and therefore in a state of ignorance, a very real sense of danger will seem to be your experience, a very real ignorance of unity will occur, a very real stressful awkwardness will seem to be characteristic of what follows.
So, if you do not wish to suffer from misunderstanding and awkward haphazardness in your lives, remember your innocence so that you may love. And then Listen, so that grace may be characteristic of your lives together, whether you are in one spot or spread out.
At the bottom line, it's all about not being alone—Life is. It isn't about making a mark in the world. It isn't about accomplishment, goals, or success in the world. "Seek ye first what It's all about, and all these things shall be added unto you. A little secret to add grace to your Awakening!
"The only thing you are ever afraid of is being wrong and having to pay a penalty for it. In order to be wrong, there must be another who is your judge, and you must stand in obedience to him who sees not with the eyes of Love."
UNCEREMONIOUSLY GRABBED FROM YOUR HANDS
QUESTION: I am on a leading edge, and I'm having great difficulty with it. And I would like some suggestion from you as to how to work through it, and possibly how long it will take.
RAJ: Succumb to it!
Why are you on your leading edge? Is it really because some event in the world took place, or did the event in your world take place because you were ready to move on, and for you to remain longer where you had been would have been inconsistent?
It is absolutely necessary for you to realize that there is a different way to look at this, and then be willing to. And it is also absolutely necessary for you to see that the event that has caused your distress is an integral part of the orderliness of your expansion.
If you are going to leave the loss of your job outside of God's domain, as though it were an event that could happen on the basis of world conditions—I mean by that, economics—or on the basis of ignorant ego dynamics in your workplace, then you will not be able to help but feel as though you are a victim. But, you are not a victim because there isn't one aspect of this that has happened outside of the omnipresence of God, and therefore it must truly identify your growth!
You think it is forcing your growth at a time when you ought not to have to grow, but your growth happens and then the evidence of it appears. For example, as you were growing up, you grew, and you found out you had grown because your shoes became uncomfortable. And you said, "Ow-w, I need to get a new pair of shoes. The old pair of shoes are no longer supportive and comfortable."
They didn't become tight because you did something wrong. They became tight because something right was happening. And you have been moved out of what you had thought was comfortable, but which could not contain you. Why? Because growing was already happening.
Now, Paul did not expect his job description to change, and you did not expect your job description to change. In other words, both of you thought you had some job security. But Being never stops to repeat Itself, and Being is constantly making all things new. And so, you cannot afford to hold onto "what was." If you do, if Paul does, you will become frustrated and angry and uncomfortable. I know this is a very trite example, but when Lot's wife looked back, she turned to salt. And it is absolutely essential for you and everyone else, and Paul to be willing to have the Forward Look.
You would only feel self-righteously upset at what has happened if you thought it was the result of local human circumstances. I will tell you, God was behind it. And, I am very well aware that you can have—and you even have had—moments of being angry at God. And that's all right. But, don't waste too much time shaking your fist at the heavens. If you are looking up in anger and frustration, you will not be able to see the fulfillment that is right in front of you in the process of identifying itself to you.
Now, I'm going to encourage you, as I said in the beginning, to succumb to this. In other words, accept this point of departure that you find yourself at. You thought you had arrived—as in an airport—at your destination. At least an airport where you would be able to stay for a number of years—a job activity that would be secure. You have found that instead of that, your next plane is leaving momentarily, and you are saying, "No. I deserve a rest. I deserve not to have to be alert and alive to continuing unfoldment of my fulfillment." There was a mindset there, an expectation of settled-in security.
Now, you are not the only one in this boat—and I do not mean the others in your company who also find themselves looking for work. I mean, indeed, every one in this room and everyone on this planet. You see, Awakening is occurring everywhere! Not just on the face of your planet, but all of those who, to your sense, have passed on, who are not yet awake, are also on the threshold of Awakening. And it is happening spontaneously. In other words, it is happening less and less as a matter of conscious choice. The reason is that there are fewer and fewer of those who are joined in a mutual agreement as to the reality of a false sense of Reality.
So, all of you, in a sense, are going to find yourselves displaced. And that is not something to fear, although you can choose to fear it. You will be displaced from your definite sense of being limited, of being subject to sin, disease, and death. You are going to be displaced from your sense of being mortal and sinful. You are going to be displaced from ignorance of Who You Are. And, it's going to happen whether you want it or not.
Oh, the ego doesn't like that! And that is specifically the problem you are experiencing relative to the loss of your job. Your ego doesn't like not having been in charge of leaving that job, and it does not like not being in charge of what is coming next. That really is what succumbing to the Father's Will means—yielding to the Movement of God that you really already are, each one of you. It is insulting not to be able to take credit for what is happening to you. And, do you know what? What is really insulting is to have marvelous things happen to you that you cannot take credit for.
Your very experience of being conscious, of experiencing life, is something that not a single one of you is responsible for. Therefore, life—existing—is a gift. Your conditioning says, "Take this gift of consciousness and use it to accomplish something." And that's where the trouble starts.
The first chapter of Genesis in your Bible says that God created everything and saw everything that He had made, and verily, it was very good. Verily, God recognized Himself in it. And it was finished. It was complete. It was Whole.
Then comes the allegory of Adam and Eve, who find themselves experiencing this expression of Wholeness. And they say, "Oh, we've got things to do. We need to decide what all of this is, and name it. And we need to do things with it. We've got the cows, and we can get them together and make more cows, and take care of the herd, and we can till the soil. And then we can feel really good about what we're doing, and develop a sense of who we are by virtue of what we do with all of this." And, in effect, they go about duplicating, from their point of view, what God has already finished, instead of being the ongoing conscious experience of what God is being,
Waking up is abandoning a private, tiny, personal sense of goals that you are engaged in, in order to have a feeling of accomplishment so that this little, tiny, separated sense of self can feel good about itself by virtue of its accomplishments.
Now, because—with every single one of you—that is the way you identify yourself, succumbing to or yielding to the already Whole and complete Movement of God without adding anything to it is a very humiliating experience. In effect, you are abandoning your current but very definite sense of who you are and what makes you a valid presence. If there is a lot of pride present, if there is a lot of self-confidence, if there is a lot of self-satisfaction—all based on what you do and how well you do it and how other people see you—this process of abandoning your sense of identity is very humiliating. It is uncomfortable. It is not easy.
Now, that isn't the way it's set up. It doesn't have to be uncomfortable. But it tends to be if you don't realize that there is something beyond your present sense of yourself that is a more fulfilling conscious experience of being than the "one" you currently are practicing.
For those of you who are familiar with A Course in Miracles and the Teachers Manual, you are aware that the first indicator, the first identifier of a Teacher of God—which is another way of identifying the Son or Daughter of God—is trust! Literally, this is addressed to those who are still sleeping and dreaming a dream, and thinking the dream is real. Trust is essential because in order for you to come into the full stature of who you divinely Are, you must abandon your present sense of who you are—your roles, your position, your sense of stature relative to someone else. You cannot depend upon your conditioned thinking!
There is a difference between trust and confidence, and most often what you call trust is a practice of confidence. Understand that confidence is a willingness to commit to something that you are already familiar with. That's what confidence is. Trust is a willingness to commit yourself to the Unknown. That's why it is such a big word. And that's why it comes first.
I told you yesterday not to value your understanding too much. And also, don't value your reason too much—at least not when it comes to your spiritual growth or your process of Awakening. But, that doesn't mean it is not valuable.
Any truly valuable religious teaching helps to express in thousands of different ways, the Allness of God and the nature of God as Love. Why? So that you, who do value reasoning and thinking highly, might have a context in which you can arrive at such a clear conviction as to the Allness of God that you can dare to abandon your present sense of yourself and trust into God, trust into the Unknown.
Paul was not willing to let go of his best thinking and his best judgments and his metaphysically correct thoughts, because they had worked very well for him. And he had been taught that this was "where it was at"—that his clearer and clearer perception of truth, his clearer and clearer reasoning about truth, would be that which would bring about his ascension, his Awakening.
He would never have connected with me if his thinking, clear and correct as it was, hadn't failed him. And yet it was essential for that to happen, just as it has been essential for you to lose your job, so that your very high level of self-confidence might become more obviously less desirable, less trustworthy, less of a place to put your confidence, and so as to promote your succumbing—meaning giving up your best concepts of what is right—and opening up, becoming defenseless against the Father's Will, Which is truly your will when you are in your right mind, when you are not confused.
To the ego it feels like catastrophe. It is disastrous. It is humiliating. But imagine yourself, if you will, in a little canoe on a big river, and you have a paddle, and the current is strong. You can wear yourself out trying to fight the current, but you will not overcome it.
You can say, "Oh, I want to go where the river is going, but I want to go my way. I want to be a little bit closer to the shore. I want the movement to be a little slower." And what happens? You paddle real hard. You work up a sweat. And it is hard. And you feel good about how well you have dealt with the current. And you get over where the current is a little bit slower, and while you're there, you notice this beautiful sandy beach and verdant fields and beautiful mountains, and you say, "Wow! I'd like to stay awhile. I'd like to step out of the boat."
Now, the river represents the movement of God, which I have referred to as the movement of your Being. The more you exert willfulness, determination to not be where the current would take you, the more you are at odds with your essential Being, the more you are at odds with the Movement of Life.
Now, Life, Itself, comes along and grabs your paddle away from you. And some of you complain at the inconsiderateness of Life. And some of you get the message and rejoice because you find your peace in yielding to the current of the river. Some of you have fashioned anchors, so that you are "safe"—not subject to the Unknown—because the river can't carry you where you can't see. And I am coming along and I am saying, "Cut the anchor. Throw away the paddle." And, indeed, in your case, if Life has grabbed the paddle away from you, I say, "Don't try to recover it. Don't waste your energy paddling with your hands. Lay back in your canoe and watch what the Father unfolds."
This is very important.
Every day, you and everyone else need to get up in the morning and acknowledge that if anything is going on at all, it must truly be God moving, being the Movement of Creation. Do not think that Creation occurred 75 million years ago, and that life is just a perpetual motion machine that God set into motion way back when. God is alive and well, and Creation is occurring at this very moment!
If anything is going on at all, it must necessarily be that Movement of Creation. And so, every single one of you must dare to look at the circumstances or experiences that seem not to be in your best interest, not representative of a loving and omnipresent God, and you must be willing to say, "There must be another way to look at this." You must be willing to say, "Nothing that I see means what I am currently interpreting it to mean." And then you must dare to become curious as to where God is in it, and where the evidence of a loving, intelligent, indivisible and therefore unconflicted God is.
I understand that that is not what your egos will agree with, but you must be unwilling to agree with the way your ego sees it, or you will never see beyond it. If you listen to what your ego says, you will, in effect, fashion a new paddle or wear your arms out trying to take control again, and the fulfillment that it is your Birthright to be experiencing visibly and tangibly will seem not to be there for you.
Frustration comes from a sense of powerlessness, and powerlessness promotes a sense of incompetence, and to feel incompetent is intolerable. But what you are feeling is the incompetence of the ego, and you must let the ego be incompetent and not follow its advice, not struggle to assert its competence again. It is only in the presence of the ego's incompetence, it is only in the presence of not feeling competent, yourself, and having your needs met, that you have the opportunity to discover that there really is a God "running things" in a manner that constitutes your security.
For six months Paul was unemployed when he decided that he'd rather do it his way and seek employment when I had pointed out to him that his appropriate activity was to allow others to ask questions of me. For six months his needs were met, but not by his own hand.
Now, it is one thing if your needs are met for a week or two. You can thank God, and after the week or two is over and things are stable, you can slip back into feeling responsible, yourself, and credit yourself with your intelligent handling of your life—and never learn a thing. You will thank God for the fact that your need was temporarily met, but of course you know that couldn't go on forever.
At the bottom line, you're thanking God for the "luck" of it. But, if your needs are met for six months, and you cannot take credit for it, there is no way you can see that as a fluke, as a mere happenstance that happened to bless you. It becomes clear to you that all of your life, when you have "been in charge" and you have raised your family, and you have paid the bills, and you have gone to work every day, and you have behaved in an appropriate manner and have created a life for yourself and your children that everyone else will look at and say is excellent, and that you will look at and feel proud of, there comes a point when, after having your needs met for six months not at your hand, you realize that all that you thought you were being responsible for was like preparing a second meal on top of the first meal—a useless overlay of effort and sense of accomplishment and pride. It becomes obvious that all of that was superfluous because God was already preparing a table for you, wholly and completely, and it didn't need to be duplicated by you.
I am speaking to all of you, but I am also speaking to the one who asked the question. How humiliating that discovery can be! Or how relieving that discovery can be.
Do you know why you struggle, all of you? Because you don't think there really is a God, even though you profess that you believe in God. To not be able to claim authorship and responsibility for the good you have in your life, and to find that your good continues to unfold for you, even at a pace that causes you to huff and puff to keep up with it—that discovery constitutes for each one of you such a clear experience of the fact that there is a God, that fear no longer functions or operates in you. If, that is, you are willing to succumb to the already-complete expression of Wholeness that God is being in and as you and your life.
"Oh-h-h," you say, "this is too radical!" Well, I will tell you: You do not have to jump off the deep end. If Life hasn't grabbed the paddle away from you, you can take the paddle and set it in the canoe with you—handy if you need it—and have a little bit of security in the sense that if you choose to, you can take charge again. You can explore the experience gently.
We must come back to this fundamental point. If the paddle has been unceremoniously grabbed from your hands, it is not because you have done something wrong. And if you seem not to be able to get control of the situation, it is not because you have become truly incompetent. It is because, as a part of your spiritual maturing process, you have arrived at a "size" in which the old garments of your identity are no longer comfortable and no longer fit, have split at the seams, and there isn't enough to them to keep them attached to you. Why? Because you have grown—not gotten fat!—but you have grown into a greater stature of your inherently divine Being.
To a certain degree you are enjoying a little temper tantrum. It's all right. It relieves tension. It doesn't faze God. And your fulfillment that you, from the center of your Being, are growing into is continuing to occur. What will make it easier is if you will stop kicking against the pricks, if you will stop kicking against the pressuring of your divinity to wake up, to be more conscious of that which more closely identifies your fulfillment of Purpose.
If you take a glass, and you invert it, and you put it down in a tub of water, the water will not fill up the glass. The air that is inside the glass will form a bubble. Now, I want you to imagine that the glass is turned upright while still under the water, and the bubble does not float out of it, but remains there. We will call this bubble of air the "hot air" of your ego thinking. And if you understand that in this humiliating experience that is going on, the necessity is to not generate this hot air, and you slowly yield, you become less willful, the volume of the bubble will decrease. What happens? Slowly the water around it begins to go down into the glass.
When you finally give up being mad at God, when you finally give up thinking that you have an alternative, when you finally give up thinking that you ought to be able to do something about this as your "puny little self," the hot air disappears entirely. And what has happened? You have been—if you are the glass—in-filled with the water. You will be in-filled by the Holy Spirit, which yesterday I shared with you was your divinity held in trust while you dally with the ego.
So, this awful thing called failure at being an ego is, in reverse, the letting in of who you divinely Are, and when the succumbing is allowed, you are at the point of revelation. You are at the point where your life literally will reconfigure in front of your eyes as an obviously excellent thing.
Every single one of you has at one time or another arrived at a threshold of humiliation, and ultimately transformation. What I have described here is really not unknown to any of you in this room. The degree of it may vary, but you understand the truth of what I am saying. And it is important for you to understand that if in the process of boundary-breaking that you are going through it seems to be very hard work, you cannot afford to say, "I must have done something very wrong." You must dare to acknowledge that you couldn't be having this experience if growth were not occurring.
For the one whose shoe has become too small because the foot has grown too big, it would be very foolish to take tape and bind the foot up to try to keep it small so that the discomfort of the shoe could be avoided. And so you must be willing to look on the other side of the coin, if you will. And you must be willing to say, "Hm-m-m, my ego would have no justification for being upset unless something that was undoing it, something that was truly threatening to it, was actively present."
What is the only thing that can threaten your ego? It's the dawning awareness of your divinity in your consciousness. It's the movement of what you divinely Are which uncovers the fallacy, the illusory nature, of this acquired sense of yourself that we are calling an ego. It means that the presence of God must be moving in a way that is uncovering what is purely illusory in your conscious experience. This is wonderful!
So, you must say, "Okay, I'm going to let my ego do its little jig, do its contortions, and its fantastic attempts to get my attention. But I, rather, am going to give my attention to the Movement of God that must be occurring in my life right here, else my ego wouldn't be making a sound. I am going to become curious. I am going to assume that the movement of something absolutely unconflicted, absolutely harmonious and utterly fulfilling, is asserting Itself in my life, and it really is my divinity pressuring me to acknowledge it."
Don't waste your time hooking into how bad things look, or the ego's suggestion that
this wouldn't have happened if you had been more responsible. The threshold of Awakening is the abandonment of all of your conditioned thinking about who you are and what the world and universe is, which is, indeed, not a happy place for the ego. But it is the place, as I said, where the bubble of "hot air" diminishes, and as it diminishes, the in-filling or revealing of the clearer experience of the Christ that you Are occurs. And so it is a most valuable threshold that you are on in that moment of despair and apparent misery—at least as far as the ego is concerned.
I am going to finish the answer to this question by reminding you that you do not stand in this apparently vulnerable and humiliating place alone. You are companioned with by Those who support you—not your ego—by Those who support the divine One that you are and strengthen It by joining with It so that indeed it becomes easier for you to make the shift gracefully.
Again, I do not say this so that you might feel that waking up is going to be very difficult. I say it so that if, because of resistances of one kind or another, you do experience it as difficult, you will not be able to just say, "Life is hell." There will be something in you that will say, "There must be a different way to look at this in spite of what I have been conditioned to think—which is that I must become reactive and do everything I can to get control again." You will not be able to forget that something else is called for—yielding further because there is something beyond the disastrousness and the humiliation of the pressure of your divinity, as it is defined by your ego. You will not see it as the dead-end that it seems to be, but rather as an unjust fence that it is not appropriate for you to be bound by, but is appropriate to be violated—jumped over, moved through.
At least now you know, if you do come up against such an uncomfortable experience, that there is another side to it which everything around you is geared to have you access and move into. It is just that life is not conforming to your current limited sense of what fulfillment is, and you are being required by your very essential Being to become free of the limitation that you are currently experiencing.
If, as a result of what I have shared with you today, you are able to quickly redefine the humiliating experience of loss and failure—not as an indicator of your incompetence, but rather as an undoing of a sense of competence that wasn't connected with the divinity of you—you will access the direct experience of your real competence as the Sons and Daughters of God. You will approach the experience with a Forward Look and some degree of intent to move through it that you would not otherwise have had.
Now, I cannot relieve you of your "predicament," because if I did, or if I could, I would simply help you avoid a new and bigger pair of shoes, a closer approximation of fulfillment of Purpose. It would be like a bud, still encased in the green leaves, which is feeling the tightness of its surroundings because its center is pushing forward, saying, "Would you apply a little bit of glue to the leaves so they won't come apart as easily, and help me be comfortable in my tininess." And I cannot do that, and would not do that, because it is not meant to forever be a bud. It is meant to open up and show its face. And that is all that is happening. The pressure of your divinity is not something to be relieved of, but yielded to.
I also know that in spite of the complaining and the inner kicking and screaming, you are yielding. I am confirming to you that that is the intelligent thing. And I am simply saying, "Do it all the way." "Go the distance," as it has been said.
"A quiet illusion is not preferable to a 'noisy' transformation."
YOUR PURPOSE IS TO GLORIFY GOD
QUESTION: Good morning. My question is why are we here and what is the purpose of our existence?
RAJ: What is the purpose of our existence here?
At times it is difficult not to sound very trite, but it is only because the truth is the truth, and it manages to come forth and hang around and thus keeps coming up.
It is your purpose to glorify God. It is not your purpose to glorify the ego. And you glorify either God or the ego by embodying either God or the ego. And what governs which it is you are going to do is your choice to identify with the body or to identify with awareness—to identify with form is another way of putting it, or to identify with Mind.
What I want to illuminate now is that glorifying God does not mean becoming a holy person. It does not mean becoming celibate. It does not mean becoming different. It means being more real right where you are. It means being more genuinely present.
When you are not covered with armor, when you are not highly defended, then obviously you, who had been under the armor, are more genuinely present. And because you are not armed, because you are not defended and therefore obviously ready for either attack or defense, others around you can feel safe enough to take off their armor.
You will find that as you glorify God, you will be perceived to be a more humane individual or presence, a more meaningful presence—one in the presence of whom everyone will feel love, whether you even know they're there or not.
Obviously, the more of you there are who are willing to be genuinely present and real—and I mean real in terms of your humanity—the more transformational change will occur on the face of your globe. Not just in the disappearance of violence and crime, et cetera, not just in greater harmony, but also and primarily in terms of mass revelation, mass awakening, mass insight, because in the absence of the business and busy-ness of defense, the mind and the heart are freed up to reengage the Soul.
What is your purpose? This is, of course, a question on everyone's mind at one time or another. And always one thinks of it in terms of a career or a specific activity. Everyone feels as though it's necessary to get their purpose pegged so they may devote themselves to it entirely, and not spend time doing what is irrelevant. The sense is that it is necessary to become anchored and definite—on the target. What you don't realize is that it's not a stationary target! So, getting it pegged will not bring you to a point of relief where you don't have to think about it any more. It truly isn't something specific.
Your purpose is to learn how to be so present and so in touch with yourself—I mean present with everything, and so connected with yourself—that at any given moment you are able to be utterly appropriate. And so, you may in one moment be a counselor, and in another moment you may be engaged in something else. And each thing you do will be significant because being in touch, being congruent with the moment you are in, means that nothing meaningless will occur. Your purpose is to glorify God—in other words, to not claim any other presence right where you are than That which expresses the Father's Will.
Now, your sense of yourself as an ego, and of yourself as having will-power and authority, causes each of you to feel frightened of embodying the Father's Will, because if you're not engaging yours, you're not in charge. And being in charge is part of your defense—ultimately, your defense against Awakening—because you are afraid if you get into that place where Awakening can occur, the verdict of "Guilty!" will fall upon you permanently.
Instead of finding a purpose, a life-purpose—there we are on that linear extension in time—instead of looking for a life-purpose, remember that your purpose is to be so present with others, present with what is going on, with a curiosity to see the "more" of what is divinely there than you are seeing at the moment, that you become a transformational presence just by virtue of simply being congruent in the moment, available in the moment.
Thus, every encounter becomes a holy encounter.
I will tell you something: What you call "religiousness" is, for the most part, totally sacrilegious because you equate "other-worldliness" with spirituality and religion—the spiritual world and what you're stuck with, the material world. Again we have the polarization.
What is a holy encounter? When I say that, I am not speaking in religious terms. It is an encounter of Wholeness. And, indeed, the word "holy" and the word "whole" both come from the same root word. You all hang yourselves on your spirituality, because you don't have a curiosity—since no one ever prompted you to think this way—to see that these spiritual terms relate absolutely to the secular life. They weren't meant to separate what you're experiencing from what is Real, but to help make what you're experiencing more Real—meaning, in its divine aspect.
Your purpose, then, is to be in that place where every encounter becomes a holy encounter—an encounter of Wholeness. Not an encounter of separateness and control. And when you are really present with, and when you are really not claiming an arrogant right to act on your own without sensing into everything so that you can be congruent with it—indeed, when you are not holding yourself apart, and when you are not trying to control things—then you can be available to the motivation felt within you and the energy necessary to act in the world in a manner that is fulfilling to you and fulfilling to everyone else, whether it looks like being an accountant or a concert pianist or a mother, or whatever.
So, you will appear to be many things, but you will not use those things as a means of defining who you are. You will be experiencing the joy of be-ing, on the spot, instead of being for the future, instead of being in the future as a result of calculating, before you got there, what you were going to be.
Everything you do will feel fulfilling, and nothing that you do will say anything about you to you. It is an interesting experience. I will tell you that it is an experience in which there is no feeling of responsibility—responsibility that you could be held accountable for. And that, in itself, makes being appropriate a joyful thing. It makes being a meaningful presence in the world a joyful thing. But, do you know what? It's very unsatisfying for the ego, because it can't take credit for anything. And therein lies your salvation. Therein lies your joy. Therein lies your peace.
For almost ten years, Paul made himself available for private conversations between others and myself. (He did not sacrifice himself. This was fulfillment of purpose for him.) There was great joy in what he was doing. And also, during that period of time, there were Gatherings of this sort that took place. Although Paul knew that he didn't create this job for himself and didn't feel responsible for it, there was over this period of almost ten years a developing idea, which just sort of percolated quietly, that this is what he would be forever doing.
In that sense, he felt a little bit of security from the "pattern" of behavior that had nine-and-a-half years of duration in his experience. Then, last January [January of 1992], I said to him, "We are not going to do any more private conversations, because there is a need to get this material into printed form and into the places where people go who are looking for this kind of information. And there is also a need to do more public Gatherings, because there are more people who want to hear.
Well, it took him a bit by surprise. He didn't know that his job description could change. And his confidence in its stability got in the way of his being able to joyfully say, "Fine!"
He made no charge for the conversations, but, that was an activity he had been engaged in, and people did make contributions, and his ego came into play and said, "Well, if you're not doing the conversations, people aren't going to have anything to be grateful for and even though Raj knows what he's doing, your ship could sink!" And his thoughts caused him concern.
He asked me, as a way to pin me down, how on earth we were going to reach more people in the Gatherings if no new means or techniques were going to be used in setting them up. I had explained to him that just as always, we would send out a brochure that would announce that Gatherings would be happening in particular locations. For six years that had been done—notices sent to everyone on the mailing list. And the groups were always an average of 25 to 40 people, no matter how many people were on the mailing list.
I told him, "Watch and see." It did not satisfy him because he didn't want to have to trust. He said, "All right." And I also assured him that all that was needed in order for this work to occur would be present; that it never had been there because of anything he had been doing. In other words, he hadn't been personally responsible for it. He didn't now need to think that maybe he had, in some small way, and that things would change for the worse.
As you can see, this Gathering is much larger than 25 or 30 people. And, indeed, all of the Gatherings since this change have been from 200 to 350 people. And Paul stands there and says, "I don't understand." And I tell him, "You do not need to understand. You simply need to dare to be present with what is going on, and available to the moment, and then fulfillment of Purpose occurs"—fulfillment of Purpose that Paul is not separate from, which he knows, but fulfillment of Purpose that is not the result of his exercise of control of any kind.
What is your life purpose? You could say, "to be on Purpose." On the mark. And the way you be "on the mark" is to be present with what is going on with curiosity, and a willingness to Listen to know what is appropriate rather than figuring it out.
What I am saying is absolutely true. It's not a relative statement of Truth. It is absolutely true. Paul is not unique. And so, each one of you can dare to be present with what is going on with curiosity and dare to Listen so that you can be totally congruent with the Father's Will—which really is your will, except that you have developed a separated sense of yourself. And then, being on Purpose will occur. It will be obvious that there is purpose in your life, which everyone can recognize and honor, and no matter what it is you are doing at any given moment, you will have joy. As I said earlier, the more of you who are doing this, the more it will precipitate Awakening right here, with everyone on this planet!
THE PARANOIA OF INDEPENDENCE
[Asked with reference to the Foundation's purchase of a home to house its activities and Paul and Susan.]
PAUL: I'm very uncomfortable. I feel like you have set something up that is not simple.
RAJ: Please continue.
PAUL: Where is the simplicity?
RAJ: The simplicity lies in staying with me, and that means not being impressed positively or negatively by what others think or do or say. Do not even consider their responses if you are not joined with me. The only thing that can "consider" their response without me is the sidekick—the imaginary sense of self that is totally illusory.
Now, I know you are bothered by the remark suggesting that maybe I am taking you down the primrose path, and there are all sorts of reactionary thoughts. None of them mean anything. I will remind you of our actual relationship for ten years. You have never been misled, and as you yourself have said, my guidance has included more than you would have conceived. And here you are, safe and sound, with no regrets or disappointments. Stay in touch with the facts.
Now, if someone is paranoid and dehydrated and you hand him a glass of water which you know he desperately needs, and he misunderstands the gift, believing you have put poison in the water, his reaction and accusation cannot justify withholding the glass. You know where the water came from, and you know what you have or have not done. Is the "primrose" remark going to cause you to overlook and ignore the obvious simple facts? It is foolish to let that happen. Stay with me.
Just because I included everyone from the start in this movement didn't mean that you were to abandon the totality of, the all-inclusiveness of God, our communion, and join independently with everyone so embraced. Your dependence cannot be with them because they are not awake. Paranoia is inseparable from independence, and if you join with those who are suffering from independence, you will feel and be influenced by that paranoia. But if you join with them with me, seeking my perspective only, our mutual observations, our joint perspective will not see or feel attack nor a call for defense, and you will have available to you the capacity to respond with Love—the Love that I am and the Love that you Are, but which you are not totally confident in when you are not joined with me.
You must understand that in "togetherness" with those who are dreaming dreams, you are alone. When you shake the shoulder of a sleeping friend there is no one consciously with you, and when he tries to brush your hand away, you know he is responding to a perception characteristic of the dream state. He has no recognition that it is a hand or that it is yours! You could construe his action as being directed at you, but you are still alone. He has not recognized you yet. Stay with me, so that I may help you understand the meaninglessness of that which is meaningless.
If one is objecting to waking up, it means he is not totally unconscious, and this is excellent! But in order to know the Truth of the situation, you must be with me and my perspective.
If arousal of the dormant understanding is the inevitable consequence of being the Christ—the transparency for the Father's Will—then you had better be and stay with the perspective and character of that which causes awakening. If your slumbering friend actually says, "Go away!" you cannot afford to interpret that as an expression of conscious will even though it seems to be more focused than a stupefied groan or a movement of frustration. In other words, it doesn't constitute a rational communication. You cannot know what it is without asking me.
You no longer have the option of depending upon another's perception of who they are and what they want or need. And just because they have the words or lingo that makes it sound as though coherent communication can occur, you cannot assume that you can join with them without me and be on solid ground.
You must learn this quickly, because, as I said, we are going to be making waves—promoting arousal. And if you believe that unconscious mumblings are coherent communications, you will have joined with and will be influenced by the paranoia of independence and will begin to doubt me. There simply is no leeway here for you.
PAUL: I understand, but not as deeply as I sense I need to.
RAJ: That is all right, Paul. The experience of paranoia is simply not tolerable to you, and it will drive you back to me.
PAUL: The multitude of questions I had about injustices and hurt feelings are gone. What do I need to know at this point about what we are doing in all respects?
RAJ: First of all, time has nothing to do with fulfillment. Wholeness is now. How it appears at any given moment is irrelevant to That which is appearing. Needs met is what you are experiencing now and needs met is what you will experience tomorrow and in August and in December, and so on. This movement is not a movement toward fulfillment. You must get this under your belt—embody it! There is no movement from lack to Wholeness. Today is the day to rejoice in.
Indeed, you must read the mail with me and answer the phone with me. Why would you do otherwise when you have not the means—the independent means—to know what is going on and what is needed? There is much that will be happening that you could not conceive of, comprehend, or cope with by yourself. And yet I promise you, you would not want to miss it for the world.
PAUL: One last question. Do you have anything to say about the recent article in the Lighthouse Newsletter about the new policy regarding copyright practices and limitations on the use of the words "A Course in Miracles"?
RAJ: Be of good cheer, for I will say what I will say, and you will share what I am saying, and it will express the Father's Will and not interpretations of the laws of the land.
We will not refrain from referring to the Course, nor will we change the name of the Foundation, and I will encourage all who are using the name of the Course as part of the name of their centers or study groups to continue to do so. To not easily identify the specific nature and function of a group or organization by its name is unreasonable.
Do not waste energy in reaction to that which is preposterous. Resistance provides handholds, making the one resisting easily controlled. Instead, remain connected with the real need—the need for unregimented freedom to explore and grow without judgment and guilt being overlaid on that process.
QUESTION: What was your intent regarding the copyright of A Course in Miracles?
RAJ: To insure that its specific form was permanently on record; to insure that it could not be altered without recourse—as the Bible has been by various copiers—by individuals who would then publish it in a manner indistinguishable from the original. The unalterability of the books must be the protection of what they are, and what they mean. Even the translations must be read in conjunction with the English original to glean the original meaning, no matter how skillfully the translations are made.
You cannot police interpretations. What is perceived by the reader changes constantly as enlightenment occurs, and you cannot start from a "wrong" place. Each one must start where he is with his first perceptions of the meanings of those unalterable words—even though those perceptions are necessarily flawed—without someone looking over his shoulder deciding whether he can express his first insights in any form.
One last point: It is not the responsibility of the custodians of the book—the "librarians," as it were—to insure that the readers understand the book they have "checked out." It is only their responsibility to insure that it continues to be "on the shelf" in good condition, available for those who have yet to discover it.
A COURSE IN MIRACLES
QUESTION: Can you please explain the statement from the Course: "As heaven and earth become one, even the real world will vanish from your sight"? 1
RAJ: It is because your present focus is on the world that you have difficulty understanding this. You try to imagine what it means in the context of a symbiotic attachment to the world, and are unable to conceive that in the conscious experience of the Movement of God, the world is not important, even though it's Real.
In the instant of conscious realization that the world is only Real—not real as opposed to unreal—the ego dies. In the absence of the unreal, which substantiated the existence of a source separate from the Father called identity, identity disappears—the ego "dies"—and for an instant one knows that he is God.
As an experience, one instantaneously finds himself minus the sense of himself. For lack of better words, a movement of hugeness replaces the sense of self and one is swept gently but powerfully into the unpolarized conscious experience of What God is Being.
The visibility and tangibility of the Movement of God in Its absolute perfection goes nowhere, but it is no longer important—as it is to you right now. For example, you get up in the morning and put on clean underwear and a dress and then go about your day without thinking about your underwear again. It is there, but it is not important. A more "proper" example is the beating of your heart, or the digestion of your food. It is happening, but it isn't important as a conscious experience to the activities you are engaged in in your day.
So, again, the Real world disappears, but not because it isn't Real. Rather, because the unnatural compulsive focused attachment to it, which the ego depended upon for its "existence" has dissolved, and the infinite perspective of God, the Sanity of the conscious experience of Being has returned.
As I have said before, it is very important to know that the body and world are real, even though your perception of them is deluded, and because you believe your delusion, the world you see is not real. If you do not understand this, you will deny the body and world categorically, and will not look where the Real world is to be perceived. Thus, you will seal yourselves a little longer in dreams, and I cannot allow you to use the Course to justify the opposite of its intended purpose. Let him who has ears hear.
QUESTION: In the Course you enjoin us to overlook error and you explain what you meant by turning, the other cheek. How is it possible to identify another's behavior as "unprincipled" and refuse to be involved with him, yet remain true to your counsel?
RAJ: As I have said before, there is a difference between discernment and judgment. To recognize a mistake is a matter of discernment, and judgment may or may not follow. Without discernment no correction is possible. With judgment, no correction is possible.
Discernment of a mistake means clarity is present. The extension of clarity without judgment is Love, and Love is healing. It is because of discernment that you can recognize the call for Love in attack. That is not a judgment. But to see attack as an act of hate or a call for defense, judgment must have come into the picture and love is absent.
One does not ignore a brother's suffering. The Course, itself, is a means of correction. Unfortunately, the word "correction" is interpreted as discipline or punishment rather than the uncovering of Truth, which is Love. If you are going to overlook or neglect to respond, let it be regarding judgment, but don't neglect to respond to the need, else you become an accomplice, thus ensuring the continuance of suffering.
QUESTION: What are the messengers of Love? 2
RAJ: Kindness; thoughtfulness; gentleness. They are gifts without strings. They do not gather, but embrace. They are the gift of recognizing what is Real in the absence of any other intent. They arise out of innocence, and thus see nothing, else. The messengers of Love bless and ask not for blessing.
Does the world change its behavior in the presence of the messengers for Love? No. Nor does it change in the presence of the messengers of fear. It remains the face of God, seen through God's eyes or not. The use that seeing is put to governs the result. There is a saying that "perception is reception," but let us be clear. Seeing is not for getting, but for giving. The messengers for Love are the means by which is conferred upon everything the recognition of what it Really is. This is Vision and not perception.
QUESTION: What could you say regarding my making the shift from identification with body to Mind?
RAJ: You must be like a bee looking for nectar. You must want what is sweet to the heart, to the Soul. You must desire ease and peace—not circumstantial or situational, but that perspective in which everything is observed with love. In other words, Listen before you look so that you may look with someone Who is not using the lens of the ego, someone Who is not looking to get, but to acknowledge from the Father's point of view, thus conferring blessing upon everything that is seen (experienced). Anything else is an act of self-defense arising out of an already-conflicted state of mind.
The conscious act of gratitude, which is incapable of being conflicted, begins immediately to release the manifestations of defense. It is not a matter of how well you are doing, but whether you are doing it. If you are doing it for a result, you might as well take a tranquilizer. If you are doing it because anything else is unnatural, then you will not analyze it to see whether it works. Commitment will be present. Unity will be its nature. And in such circumstances there can be no manifestation of conflict. To be natural is effortless and harmonious.
One does not let go of the "meaningfulness" of conflict easily. You are deprived here, [in your present circumstances] of stress, circumstantial complications, social tension, problem-solving and problems to solve. These are still perceived as meaningful. In this sense, the place you live is barren. It is a sad experience when you cannot get your fix. And yet, if you would have something to share, you cannot stand with someone else in that place where they already have what is there to have.
QUESTION: Just when I'm feeling good, I seem to be confronted with one more tense experience.
RAJ: You must understand that not being at Home is a tense proposition because defense seems justified. As you return [Home], shifts occur in which tension is released, abandoned. It will seem to happen in stages. You will come to the bottom of the barrel, very tense. You will give up and peace will replace the tension. You will get used to this freedom, and then begin to feel uneasy. You will not describe it as tension. Then you will let yourself into the realization that this is a new boundary—a subtler level of control or self-will, and you will give up again, experiencing an even deeper peace. The pattern will repeat itself. Thus, you will discover that the barrel was much deeper than you thought it was.
Each time you give up, it will feel to you as though you have reached the ultimate peace of your Being. And, each time you feel the subtler level of will/uneasiness, it will feel as substantial as the first. Thus, you might be fooled into thinking that you have lost ground. This is not true.
Each step away from Home took you deeper into will/defense. Each step was a decision—each decision requiring a greater exertion of will. Thus, as you return, you encounter these lessening points of decision—assertions of willfulness. Since each release seemed to be total, the new encounter with the subtler expression of willfulness seems not to be yours, but it is. It is in this way that you go Home—swallow the elephant—“one bite at a time.”
1 Page 196, 4th line, 1st edition
2 Page 215, 3rd paragraph, 1st edition
[The following are just a few of the many letters received since the building project began in March of this year. Your continued correspondence is welcomed. You are also once again invited to submit questions to Raj to be answered in future Newsletters.]
Dear Paul and Susan,
Enclosed is a love offering. I wish it could be more, but being retired, dependent on Social Security, it is all I can give right now.
I was amused at Raj's statement that $53.98 spent for a dinner at a nice restaurant for two would not be outrageous. It would be outrageous for my wife and me.
On the rare occasions when we are able to eat out, we go to a Sizzler's Restaurant where with Senior Citizen discounts we can get a nice buffet dinner for the two of us, at a nice restaurant, for less than $12.00.
I do appreciate the trials and tribulations that the two of you have been going through during the past ten years; appreciate it, that is, to the extent I can imagine the trials. I don't know how things will work out but I assume that they will since Raj is behind it all.
Dear Paul & Susan,
Indeed! What an experience for all of us. My support for you both is secure and unshakable. I have no doubt in this work and venture (re: property & house) and its fulfillment. I give thanks to the Christ in all of us who "keeps on knocking at the door."
The Update Letter #1 struck many chords relative to my own self doubts, frustrations and insecurities. Yet gave me such support and encouragement to strengthen my faith and to remain firm in trusting the Christ-in-me.
This awakening certainly is a "Shake, Rattle & Roll" number, but I'm sure it is definitely worth the dance.
On re-reading the update for the umpteenth time, I felt compelled to immediately write and send my love through this physical medium. I too, like so many others, am looking at building a house, repayments and such like. And I know that all this is effortless if I am but willing to release my concepts of lack, etc. And bingo! It's happening. I am gifted and so too is everyone.
Special thanks in print to Raj. I can be so demanding.
Continue always in your communion with us all—your experience sustains us in knowing we are not alone as we leap headlong into the "arms of the Father" not realizing in fact we have never left them.
Gold Coast, Australia
The writings, tapes and meditation help me through the day. I am trying to stay on track as I Listen to overcome the illusion that a relationship failed. The lesson of forgiveness is an hourly challenge. I do not blame my brother for "screwing up" my illusion, but thank him. I am 43 and learning to love who I truly am, and where I'm at. My tendency to talk about what is negative or to shrink from a challenge I perceive will be left in the dream.
I thank you, Jesus.
We look forward to your being happily settled into your permanent Home Base in Hawaii.
What joy to have such a base as you attend to the many varied functions with Raj, in this grand coordinated offering to humanity.
The time is certainly NOW!
Dearest Susan, Paul & Crew,
Thank you for the recent letters and "homework assignment." Frequently when "Conversations" arrive, they are timed perfectly and pertain absolutely to whatever hurdles that I happen to be doing not so well with in my life.
The fundraising letter did take me back a bit, though. This just is not the direction I thought an organization would be taking that had Jesus on the Board of Directors. The center is a great idea and it is long past the time that you should be concerned with fundamental questions of survival and living arrangements considering what you have given.
I really do believe that Raj knows what he is up to, though. I kind of think of him as a preschool teacher alone with a bus full of miserably unhappy kids broken down in a big dirty city on the way to Disneyland. He is trying to convince us that happiness is not a place, but all around us. We just won't be able to hear him unless we make the choice to stop whining.
The center is really probably secondary to the activity of those of us who will contribute to it. So you, like the gardener, can only do so much nurturing. You have planted. Now we will all trust that nature will do whatever it does to make the miracle happen, and we will all be amazed and stand here grinning at each other mindlessly.
Thank you so very much for your most recent letter regarding housing. I'm happy to learn that housing is being made available, and that the property will stay available too, as that feels just right! I had been looking forward to coming to Hawaii in February of 1994, or thereabouts, for the grand opening festivities, but, who knows, maybe I'll come anyway!
I am thankful to you—and all the other wonderful teachers/beings, who attempt to keep us on the path to higher and lighter "adventures."
I am also thankful for your enormous, everlasting patience. We human beings certainly must look like a sorry lot at times!
So, just keep pushing Paul and Susan ... and let them know that all is well.
I am thanking you with all my being.
I am happy to be in the fortunate position that I am in, where I am able to send you a further donation.
For a long time, I saw myself as poor, but listening to the tapes and Paul's (Raj's) answers, I came to the realization that I had more than I needed, as my wants have shrunk to the "Now," and knowing that I have made the Connection, I am rich beyond my wildest dreams.
I am privileged again to be with you all in this undertaking.
I found Raj's June 1 letter to be upsetting and lacking in clarity! Obviously, Raj was not getting through to us in the first place, or that letter would not have been needed. As it happens, I had saved all the "financial" letters, and I had the time to reread them. Upon doing so, I was able to get some sense of what Raj was saying in the June 1 letter. Generally I find the Raj materials to be much clearer than his previous efforts to reach us, and I continue to be dismayed by the June 1 communication. I hope you will convey this to Raj!
The enclosed is somewhat in support of the continuation of "the work" but is much more a statement of gratitude for your willingness to live the truth and to learn to do it in front of the rest of us! It must be a challenge at times!
La Mesa, California
This building project feels like a long reach to me, but I'll never know what is possible unless I do my own part toward it now and along the way.
Dear Paul and Susan,
I feel deeply supported by the Raj material that you are transmitting to all of us.
This opportunity to participate in the work of the Foundation means a great deal to me. My donation feels like I am giving myself a gift, which I am, and for which I wish to thank you both.
Rancho Palos Verdes, California
Dear Raj and Paul,
In response to your letter of June 1, I am enclosing a small offering to meet the current need. I have not sent money before because the amount that I can send is so small as to seem insignificant. On the other hand, if everyone on your mailing list were to send you only $5.00, there would be over $10,000 more in the pot.
Not that $10,000 is enough to do much, but you would know without a shadow of a doubt that your friends, to whom you have contributed so much, are with you and really care. My hope is that there will be someone, who can afford to meet your need, who will step forward and provide what is necessary.
Blessings to you all.
Dear Susan & Paul & Raj,
I've wanted to let you know my realizations about this building project. I am someone who spends little on myself (2nd-hand clothes, old car, small apartment, cut my own hair, etc.) I tell myself when my four sons are through school, I'll have more money for me.
When your letter about the building came, I felt then that it would be great and it would also be great if I could live in my own home.
I didn't see immediately, but it's becoming clearer. The two homes are closely tied. I have to look at what "level of poverty" I wish my God to live in—and it seems I've created Him pretty much on my own financial level. I know now the two are intricately tied—the level of abundance I'm willing to have in my life, and what I "see" for Raj—or the source of my inspiration (not total source).
This is terrifying. It has meant I've had to be willing to let more abundance into my own life, and when that starts to happen, I panic. My immediate thought is, "If I have that (good car, better job, larger house, etc.), people will expect this and that from me. I don't want to be put in that spot. I'm afraid of being criticized and I want to run back to my poverty level where I'm too poor to be expected to do much.
Well, I'm open to growing and it's been very uncomfortable. I've started dancing lessons with a friend on a lark and now I'm meeting scads of people. I've taken trips, had my hair done, and all without missing a payment on a bill or helping a son any less (although I notice my boys are really pushing to take care of themselves more and go into debt rather than take money from me.)
This may not make sense, but I want you to know I admire and love you. You have lots of courage, but then, so do I. This isn't about the facility so much as it's about being open to not protecting ourselves from too much good!
I'm with you, and I'm pretty scared. But don't stop sharing, okay?
You come to your heart in sweetness and light.
You know that your heart is heavy, up-tight.
It wants to be free, it wants to be strong,
But you have burdened it far too long.
Your heart continues to bear its pain.
"It doesn't matter…it's all the same."
How easily said, this fiat divine.
How wasted the years, how wasted the time.
And now you say, I'm to celebrate?
I beg that you bring me up to date!
If I'm to join you, I really must
Be free of the lacking of basic trust.
Yes, it's quite true, you've no need for concern,
Your love has begun, you are willing to learn.
How well you have followed this loving advice.
We give you much credit for persistence concise.
You're honoring your Light, you stand straight and tall.
You've opened your heart, you're a credit to all.
How deeply we love your for how willing your are.
Your movements relentless, no matter how far.
Volume 8, Number 8, August 1993. Copyright 1993 by Paul Norman Tuttle. Conversations with Raj is published monthly by Northwest Foundation for A Course in Miracles, P.O. Box 870, Hanalei, HI 96714-0870, a non-profit tax-exempt corporation. Phone: 808-826-7060. FAX: 808-826-6555. Subscription price, prepaid, one year in the United States and Canada $30.00 U.S., and Overseas $42.00 U.S.
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