CONVERSATIONS WITH RAJ
VOL. 9, NO.1
LABORERS IN THE VINEYARD
QUESTION: In Matthew 20 thereís a story about laborers in the vineyard, who come at various times of the day, and theyíre all paid the same at the end. Would you talk about that?
RAJ: It is one of my favorite stories, because at the bottom line it refers to coming Home, it refers to Waking Up. For purposes of illustration, letís say that all of you who are aware of the idea of being on your spiritual path are the laborers who come to the vineyard early in the day, and you seem to be doing it all alone. You donít have huge groups of people with whom you can identify and get support. From the media you hear nothing of your interests and what you are alive to, and the lack of those of a like mind seems to be global, not just local. It makes you feel fewer and smaller.
To the degree that each of you choose for Truth and make commitment to finding that place in you where Truth is revealed, and then persist in remaining there so that you might at every moment know what is Real and what identifies fulfillment which the Father is being, the density of the "mass commitment to dreams or illusions" lessens. As there are fewer and fewer dreamers, the "global organization of dreamers" becomes smaller, and as a result it makes it more difficult for those insisting on dreaming to continue, because now their support group is diminishing.
The simple fact is that the last of the dreamers are going to start their Awakening process at the end of the day. And because there is so little support for dreaming, their "process" of Awakening will seem to be minimal. Theyíll get it just like that! And those who started in the beginning of the day could say, "This isnít fair." Yet, those who started in the beginning of the day have, by their commitment to being the presence of Love, made it easier for everyone else.
So, for those who might think it isnít fair . . . tough luck!
Expressions of Love are not quantitative. An expression of Love compounds itselfólike compound interest in the bank, where what you put in increases and you take out more than you put in. All expressions of Love are compound by nature, and become more than that little expression of energy which was put forth. You just canít escape the fact that the expression of Love blesses all.
There is something that wasnít brought out in that parable, and that is that the efforts of the workers in the beginning of the day will actually make the end of the day come sooner. In other words, because of the compound nature of the commitment to the expression of Love, all of those who are sleeping will wake up sooner in the day. And so you could all end up working only half a dayóthose of you who started at the beginning.
Of course, if you grouse the first half of the day . . . [group laughter].
You get the picture.
WHAT IS THY FATHERíS PLAN?
QUESTION: Iím trying to sell our house, and find that with so many different opinions from so many people, Iím struggling to stay in my Peace. So, Iíd like you to tell me how much I should ask for the house, when will it sell, and will I then move to Whidbey Island to sell my momís house?
RAJ: It doesnít matter what anyone else says, because youíre not in charge, and theyíre not in charge. The house will sell. And I will say that the asking price is appropriate. Where you will go after it sells will be a delightful surprise for you because Iím not going to tell you where youíre going.
The key, however, is to realize that you donít have to accommodate anything outside what you find yourself Knowing when youíre in your Peace. Now, remember that you donít get in your Peace so that you can become clear about how to be in the world better, or more effectively, which is another way of saying, "You donít get into your Peace so that you can learn how to be more effective when youíre out of your Peace." You see what I mean?
So, you value your Peace enough to choose for it, and then pay attention to life from within It, and be in the world from there! In other words, to the best of your ability, act in the world, not on the basis of your conditioned thinking, or anyone elseís, but on the basis of what you find yourself Knowing when youíre in your Peace. And if you begin to lose that groundedness, that Knowing, donít become more compulsive, trying to get things to work better in your world. Sit down, or stand at the sink and stop what youíre doing. Take a few deep breaths and at least be willing to connect with your Peace right then and there, even if you canít sit down and meditate for a full meditation period.
The real point is to remember not to succumb to the suggestion that you can figure it out for yourself. "Gee, it would be swell if it worked out this way." "Wouldnít it be wonderful if it worked out that way? It would fit into my plans so beautifully, and it wouldnít hurt anybody if it happened this way. Iím going to visualize it happening this way! Itís obvious that everyone, including me, would benefit." Except, you donít say "including me." You say, "Itís obvious everyone would benefit. It would be a blessing for everyone"óand, unsaid,". . . if I got it my way, because Iím such a magnanimous person." This is the way the ego works.
is thy birthright, man?
Child of the perfect One.
What is thy Fatherís plan
For His beloved son.
Thatís the question when you stand at the kitchen sink or talk to the realtor or consider talking with your ex-partner-to-be. Itís not, "What will work out best for me?" "What would work for me that could bless him so that at least I could look like Iím a thoughtful, considerate person?"
"What is my Birthright? What is my Fatherís plan for me, his beloved daughter?" When you ask that, it turns your attention in a new direction. After all, His Movement of fulfillment, identified as you and everyone else, may well be different from your most wonderful or most manipulative concept.
If you would just remember to ask that: "What is your plan for me, because I know it must be one of perfect fulfillment?" And then listen. And remember that whenever you are thinking, you are never in your Peace. Thinking is what you all engage in in order not to have to experience the Void. You think to fill the gap of nothingness. And yet the nothingnessóthe Void, if you willóis the womb of Creation, which means itís the womb of your fulfillment. You all think to avoid the Silence, and you all think as a defense against a "good" that you will not have a chance to pick. You see? "Iím a little afraid of what God might have in store for me." "It might be more good than I can take." "It might come faster than I can take it."
So, sometimes thinking is a defense against the influx of good, which might cause you to lose control. And sometimes thinking is a means of maintaining active independence from God so that you can have the thrill of authorizing something and being "creator" yourself. But at all times when youíre thinking, you cannot be experiencing your Peace.
Again, if youíre not experiencing your Peace, youíve lost the beam. Youíre off the track. The essence of the Nature of You is unavailable to Youóthat which constitutes your groundedness and invulnerability seems unavailable to youówhich makes it even more imperative to think. You think and lose your groundedness, which makes you more vulnerable, which makes it more imperative that you think better and better and better.
Your selling of your house, whatever you do with your motherís house . . . it all sits there in front of you as a delightful opportunity to experience the perfection of the way everything fits together. It all identifies fulfillment of Purpose set in motion by God, which is therefore not only flawless, but as beautiful in grace as the most exquisitely performed ballet, because the Movement of Creation is Art. Itís not just Creation.
THE WHEEL OF HISTORY
QUESTION: None of the teachings that I am aware of go as far as you do. You propose total enlightenment, waking up, ascension. Is this because Awakening would be too outrageous for most people to accept right now? Is this why those embracing you as "Raj" are so few?
RAJ: [Chuckling] Well, I want for you to imagine that this "path" that you feel that you are moving forward onówhether you call it life, whether you call it the path of spiritual growthóis circular and isnít going from the past to the future, from "less than" to "more than" what you have now.
If you realize that it is circular, then it becomes obvious to you that those you meet, with their little stands, selling their New-er Age concepts of how to move forward on your path more efficiently, are not going far enough because they donít get you off the path! You see?
What keeps you on this path which is circular and never gets you further ahead of where you were before? Well, first of all, ignorance of the fact that you can get off the path. And further than that, ignorance that getting off the path is the solution. As a result of that ignorance, you rely upon memory and the very creative use of the data that you have stored in memory so that, indeed, it seems as though everything is new.
It is ignorance of the fact that the intent you have to move forward blocks you from discovering what the real answer is. And it is in the absence of that conscious self-created intent that you can experience, in the very Peace of your Being, the Fact that you are already and you have always been the direct expression of God. You see, in order to access your Peace, you must abandon all intentóas far as your present conceptions of what the word "intent" means. You abandon it whenever you decide to relax and get into your Peaceóto abandon thinking. You abandon that which distracts you from your capacity to Know.
What is this circular path which you think is going in a straight line from the past to the future? It is what is called "The Wheel of History," the merry-go-round of life, if you will, and there is not a single original experience that can be available to you until you step off that wheel of history. Itís the wheel of memory. Thatís all it is. Itís the wheel in which you never Listen for That which is outside of memory.
Now, it makes no difference how many people are listening to me. Listening to me isnít important. But I will tell you that I do not have a stand at the side of this circular road in which you can get some new jewel, some "springier" walking shoes in which to bound forward. But, I have a place where you can sit down and take a deep breath and I can share with you that you have a place in you where you can sit down and take a deep breath and you can slip off, slide off, lose your footing and fall off of the wheel of history.
You know that is whatís happening. Iíve said before that there are more Awake now than those who are asleep. And so, the number of those dreaming dreams, the number of those going around this wheel of history, are decreasing. And in a sense, it is becoming noticeable, because when there was a huge crowd, you felt like you were really with "a movement." You could feel as though something important was happening. But as you find blank spaces in this road where there are no companionsósome, maybe, in the distance, and maybe a number closer behind youóitís as though the motivation to keep going around this wheel of history is beginning to disappear. "Well, if theyíre not all here, where are they? What are they doing?" You see, thereís a curiosity, and an awareness that maybe thereís another possibility.
It has never been appropriate for anyone to be caught on this squirrel-cage called the wheel of history. And yet, as I have said before, as many as want to have the experience, they can have it. Itís not against Godís Law. But it isnít the conscious experience of your Birthright. It isnít what you, in your true Self-hood, find natural and normal and full of joy. "Ah, yes, but at a stand I passed the other day, they said, ĎJust a little further and you will have refined your soul enough to experience your bliss and your Birthright.í" Well, itís a tease! And if you want to walk just a little further, or another three times around, you can. But! You each have the right, and you each have the innate capacity to step off the wheel at any moment! As it happens, there are no longer throngs of people that make it difficult to get to the edge where you can step off.
If you have always been able to step off at any moment you wanted to, and if stepping off constitutes "going all the way," well, then, it isnít that big a deal, is it? I mean, all you have to do is do it! You donít have to earn it. You donít have to become equal to it. Your soul doesnít need to be refined. You were never not ready for it. Itís just always been a simple choice thatís available to you.
And so, I guess you could say I go "further" than everyone else by not going as far, by saying, "Why donít we all just stop the crap! Why donít we risk the chance that abandoning our puny-minded intents to Ďaccomplishí will cause us to spontaneously be in a place where we can take a deep breath, a sighóa vacation from the trekóand in that Peace feel the substance of us, the substance of us that is constituted of the Presence of God being the Movement of Life."
In my little stand, where there are chairs and tables, thereís a back door. And when you go out that door, youíre off the wheel. In you, in this place of Peace, there is a back door, too, that you can go through. Now, I wonít leave the picture there, because that wouldnít be helpful. It might pique your curiosity, but it wouldnít be helpful. And so, as a practical example of what that might mean, I will say that Paul has gone through the back door this afternoon. He stepped off the wheel of history this afternoon. And what happened? Why, he still appears to be right where he was yesterday, in Kingston, Washington, in this house, being appropriate. In other words, when you go through the back door, you wonít step into the unknown. You wonít be swept up and separated from everyone and everything you love. And so you step off the wheel of history and it looks like youíre still in the same place.
Whatís missing? Whatís different? Whatís different is that the intent to "go it alone," the intent to self-improve, the intent and the attempts to controlóin fact, all of the old reasons that you used as conscious intentsóare gone. And so, you be in the world from a different place.
Now, that is just the beginning. But itís the step that breaks the pattern. Itís the step that gets you off the repetitive rehearsal of the past.
IS YOUR INTENT CREATIVE?
QUESTION: Does our intent manifest itself? Basically, can our intent, can our thoughts manifest themselves?
RAJ: Your question is very important. It is important especially because there is a great deal of confusion presently being expressed on this point. The reason there is confusion about it is because there is progression. There is a forward movement of Awakening occurring. And thus, as a willingness to embrace new perspectives begins to be embodied by all of you, and you do not know just exactly what the "new" will be, but you do begin to feel "what" of the old will no longer be, there is this experience of confusion.
Now, is your intent creative? Can your conscious intent cause events, or create a new future, etc.? Yes. But the circumstances are very specific under which a "yes" can be provided as an answer to that question.
If an intent that you have is arising out of current ignorance, if the intent that you have is arising out of a current fear, if the intent is arising out of a current experience of threat and vulnerability, then, "no," your intent cannot actually be creative. Your intent, in those situations, will always be drawn from memory in whatever form of defense you have in the past found helpful under similar circumstances.
That is not creativity. But, when you are willing to abandon your memory, when you are willing to abandon your prior experience, when you are willing to be in your Peace, drawing from the experience of that Peace, then you will feel the Movement of Creation that God is already being, and you will feel that Movement of Creation as inseparable from you. In other words, you will feel Its Motivation, and you will feel Its Motive, and you will feel It as yours, because in your Peace you are not holding yourself apart from that Movement as a separate observer which can accept, reject or modify it.
So, when you are in that place and you feel the Movement of Creation which God is being, and you recognize that you are having the feeling of It, then your intent is discovered to be inseparable from the Movement and, yes, your Intentóthe Intent you find yourself experiencing in that placeóbecomes cause to the fulfillment of that Intent which God was already being. And it is only in this sense that the word "co-creator" can be used relative to you.
You, separate from everything else, but somehow being conscious and intelligent, do not have the means to be the cause of Creation. But you, when you are not holding yourself apart, find yourself inseparable from the Movement of God, and you have the experience of being what I have referred to as "at Home," feeling natural, feeling your Nature, feeling at one with the Movement, and therefore the Intent of the Movement is at one with you.
In many ways this is exactly what Paul is engaging in this afternoon in being with me with his eyes open, because although he is present with everythingóactually seeing everything as we speakóhe is seeing it from his center. And so, the Movement of Being, which constitutes me speaking, Paul speaking, and you hearing, is inseparable from him. In many ways, although it is not registering fully with him, he is aware of being more involved than usual, even though he is not introducing anything into the picture. He is not doing more than he has done before.
However, when he has spoken with his eyes closed, it seemed to him that he was less involvedóthat it was all me, so to speakóand as though he were less consequential because he was relaying what I was saying. So, although it is not registering fully with him, he is having the experience of the Movement and of finding himself at one with the Movement, and therefore there is a greater feeling of Wholeness for him, a greater experience of substance. And in the end, it will allow the Movement, which he is not holding himself separate from in any way to more fully embody the Movement of God "in the world."
I promise you that if Paul, not joined with me, sat down in this chair and had a conscious intent to hold an afternoon of spiritual discussion, what would occur would have very little meaning because it would all be arising out of his memory of spiritual things and, perhaps, creative ways in which he would put those ideas together which would stimulate your egos, and perhaps give you quite a high.
You see, if you try to express intent to cause something to happen from a place where you are not very conscious, not much that is meaningful can happen. This you can see. The point I want to bring home is that from that place you certainly cannot be participating in the movement of anything other than the imagination. You cannot be involved in the Movement of Creation.
Iíve said before that cause does not lie in the three-dimensional frame of reference. In other words, it does not lie in what you see! It does not lie in a "physical universe." Cause is not a manifestation of physics! Everything you see is the visibility and tangibility of the Movement of God, the Movement of Creation, and that is a Movement of Mind. The experience that you see is the experience of Mind, God, experiencing the Movement of Mind that God is, and Its registering with Him as a conscious Fact.
You often think in terms of cause and effect. And so, when we talk about God, we are talking about Cause, and when we talk about effect relative to God, we think of the Universe. I want you to change the word "effect" to the word "event"óCause and Event. The word "event" is a movement, and the word "effect" usually means something staticóa static result, a definite fixed result.
Thatís a step in the right direction [changing the word "effect" to "event"], but if the Movement of Mind, which is the Cause, is Itself the Event, you can see that the Movement of Mind does not have a separate thing called an effect, or a creation. You see, God does not move along and leave little "droppings" of His Movement behind Him called Creation that can be specifically identified, forever unchangeable, eternal in the Path of Life. No. The Movement of Mind is the Movement of God, and that Movement, that Cause, is Itself the Event called the conscious experience of Being which looks like this [motioning to everything] and much more than you have ever experienced . . . that you can remember.
I talk a lot about Awakening. Awakening really means coming into your right mind. Ah-h, . . . coming into the experience of Mind which is the Mind that is Movingówhich is Godóand in coming into that experience, finding out that that Movement of Mind is really the Movement of Your consciousness, Your Mind, which finds no call for having a conscious intent to make something happen because that Mind is already the eternal Intent that Moves and is, Itself, the Event called "effect" called Universeóthe conscious experience of Being.
To the degree that New Age teachings are suggesting that you, on your ownóyou, as a puny little identifiable entityócan have a conscious intent, which will be an act of creation, it appeals to the ego and it draws great crowds. But as long as that intent to be creative from a tiny separated place continues to be inspired to effect change, none of you will arrive at that quiet point in the center of you where your Peace is. None of you will arrive at that point where, in the absence of your mental manipulations, you can feel the Movement of God and discover that It is the Movement of your Being, and find that there is a feeling within you to get with It!ómeaning, to get with the Movement that you find is already happeningóand in getting with It, finding your acts becoming appropriate and relevant in the moment, but not based upon the past! They become relevant in the moment, based on the forever new-ness of the Movement of God, and from the old ego standpoint one would say you become transformational.
It is an experience of fulfillment. But as I have also said before, itís not something you can take credit for in the way you used to be able to when you, as a puny separated little person, could have a thought and think that having that thought made something happen. That you could take credit for, and either suffer blame for it if it wasnít appreciated, or experience praise for it if it was appreciated.
So, I guess to sum it up, the real answer is: It all depends upon where the intent is arising from. If it is arising from a puny little separated sense of self, the answer is, "no." But if the intent is arising from the experience of Communion that you have allowed to happen, then the answer is, "yes," with this one added benefit: The intent is not yours alone. The intent is shared, and thatís why you canít take credit for it. But itís also the reason you can feel the fulfillment of it and the joy.
ATTACHMENT TO OUTCOMES
QUESTION: Raj, Iím feeling a strong calling to respond to the possibility of a venture, which is grounded in spiritual activity. And it requires financial backing that I donít appear to have at the moment, or seem to be able to get access to. In my quest of pursuing avenues, I have been surprised at the inability to have other people join me in the vision that this seems to involve.
I understand that I have a lot of learning in this process, but I would appreciate your addressing, if you would, something about my becoming the source, my ability to attract the financial means that seem to be necessary to move forward at this point.
RAJ: You must approach this without attachment to outcomes. You will not become the source of anything. But you can yield to the Source. And in yielding to It, you will know when to pick something up and when to set it down. You will know when to act and when to be still. What you want to do is to be on target each step of the way without having determined where the steps must end up.
You may speak to those who seem unable to catch the vision. Do not assume that "catching the vision" is what they are supposed to do. It may be that having vision verbalized and expressed in their presence is part of their trigger in areas of their life which have nothing to do with this venture that you are speaking of.
What you want is to be on the beam at each moment, where utter perfection has been expressed in that momentónot utter perfection relative to a future moment.
You must begin right now to let the possibility exist that you will not be associated with this potential venture in the final outcome. If you are preoccupied with the final outcome, you will not be fully present in the wonder of each moment, and the wonder of your being utterly appropriate in that moment, where, regardless of the future, you can feel that everything that you were involved in fit perfectly with everything else, even though you seem to be accomplishing nothing relative to the future.
Bliss is not the result of something that will happen, which always puts bliss off in the future. Bliss is the experience of being utterly appropriate in each given moment, so that you are not experiencing separation from the Movement of fulfillment which God is being, and which is looking like you doing or not doing certain things, saying or not saying certain things, accomplishing or not accomplishing certain things.
What I am trying to gently bring your attention to is being on the wave, in the flow in the moment, whether itís going to be a long ride or a short ride. You see? Then you will feel the success of being, not the success of doing or accomplishing. And if you are experiencing the success of being, then you will not become compulsively attracted to accomplishments in order to gain the peace and joy of being, or your bliss. And when youíre not distracted by a compulsive need to accomplish something for your good, youíll find your good accompanying you in every act, in every little detail of your day. And that is Heaven.
Fundamentally, you are on the beam. But to the degree that you are beginning to evaluate what is happening relative to a future outcome, you are moving further and further away from your ongoing present bliss, and thatís the real "call."
So, remember what I first said: You must approach this without attachment to outcomes. And have fun.
DESIRE VS. PREFERENCES
QUESTION: I would like clarification about the Movement of God which I experience as desire in my heart, versus the demands of the egoópreferencesóand how to distinguish more clearly the difference.
RAJ: Desires are always experienced as a motivation to give, and preferences are always a motivation to get. Desires do not arise out of thinking. Wants and preferences do. And they are based upon a sense of inadequacy and a means of accommodating the inadequacies.
When, in the silence of your being, you feel the Movement of God, which is the movement of fulfillment, it always comes as an inspiration to engage in an act of giving, to do something that blesses all. Whether you think of it as blessing everyone or not, it is a desire to engage in giving. It is a desire to "give way" to fulfillment.
It has been said that desire is prayer. What that means is that in the silence of each one of you, you feel the Movement of God, and itís always a movement "toward fulfillment." Desire is the leading edge of fulfillment, instigated by the coming forward of fulfillment, because thatís the Movement of God. One feels what is coming . . . one feels the good that is coming, and feels drawn toward it. And when one yields to it, one gives willingness for it and lets it in. One lets oneself be the vehicle or means by which it comes into fulfillment.
Desire never originates with some puny piss-ant little mortalósome finite limited mind. Desire is, Iím going to say, "Impulsed" by the Movement of the infinite Mind, which is God. And Itís motive is Love in expressing Himself/Herself. So that Impulse is felt as desire when one is not inserting his or her wants or preferences in place of being quiet enough to feel the Impulse of the Movement of God.
QUESTION: Yes. And when this Movement is consuming me, my part is to ask what, where, how. I mean, I get the feeling, and thatís my trigger to ask what, where, when.
RAJ: You get the feeling, and you canít help but be curious.
QUESTION: Itís like my career has been the most wonderful blessing for me to experience learning trust. I always tell people, "If you want to get in touch with God, get in commission sales only, and have a high overhead, because you really learn about the ebb and the flow." My business ebbs and flows. But if I look back, I see the consistency. When it ebbs, my ego goes to work: "Well, nothingís happening. You better go out and get a job." So, if I listen to that, and I get out of my Peace, what happens is, the flow stops.
Iím learning to recognize that and go with Guidance: "Tonight is not the night to do anything," or "Call this person or not that person." And what Iím discovering is: What you said earlier today really works. My abundance is wonderful, and my career is like . . . all my customers are extended family, and it just goes from one joy to another. And this is all possible.
I just wanted to be sure about this desire and still asking for guidance about what, when, and where, versus preferences coming from my ego, which would be in a fear state of misperceived lack.
RAJ: When you are wanting, when you are having a preference, you are not out of the way as an ego. When you are allowing the experience of the Impulse of the Movement of God which you call desire, youíre not claiming the presence of a "self" who can enact fulfillment into your experience.
QUESTION: Oh, absolutely. If Iím learning nothing else, Iím learning that. Itís very humbling.
RAJ: Fulfillment is always the result of desire, and itís never a matter of getting what you want. It is always a matter of getting what you desire, because what you find yourself desiring is the result of Listening to the Impulse of God which is setting into motion the Wholeness of His/Her expression of Himself/Herself right where you are. So, you only ever implement the manifestation of fulfillment by letting God bring it forth, and riding the wave of the Movement because in the silence of your being, you can feel the Impulse of the Movement of God and abide with It as It fulfills Itself and ultimately identifies the joy of being for you, because you donít ever really have a will separate from the Fatherís, a want separate from the Fatherís.
QUESTION: Iím finding the less I do, the more He does.
RAJ: No. The less you do, the more He has always been doing registers with you.
QUESTION: Exactly. And itís like he opens doors. I donít have to make an effort for anything. Itís justóI donít want to use the word "magical," but it is.
RAJ: Itís only magical in that everything happens without your having to author it. And that seems like magic.
QUESTION: Well, to end my comments with you, I feel this is whatís happening with me. Can you verify that?
RAJ: More and more and more. Yes.
QUESTION: I wanted confirmation on how Iím approaching my business and my life at this time.
RAJ: Yes. And the confirmation should inspire you to do less and less and less personally. It should inspire the courage to have greater trust.
QUESTION: It is, because Iíve also noticed that the water can be shut off in a twinkling of an eye to bring this to my attention.
RAJ: You can shut off your receipt of it in a twinkling of an eye, yes. Youíre saying that you notice that it is shut off more quickly. And so, then, that makes you feel as though the more awake you become, the less slack you have, and your ego says, "Itís not fair! Youíve been doing so well that you ought to have more slack than anybody else!"
The fact that there is less slack can be interpreted by the ego as the suggestion that youíre doing something wrong. This isnít true. And you need to be able to know within yourself that the less slack you have, the better off you are, because the less slack you have, the less you can become submerged in the dream, or ignorance.
The flip-side of that illustration of having less slack is something I shared in Yucaipa. And that is that all of you, everyone, is a puppet. No one exists without strings. Either you are the puppet or expression of God, or youíre the puppet of the ego. But you are never a puppet with no strings. Youíre never just whoever you think you are as a human being. Youíre never just expressing Steve, or Mary, or Trish, or Nick. Youíre always being the mouthpiece for somethingóGod or the ego.
Now, the reason itís valuable to understand this is that you wonít think that your spiritual path involves sovereign independence. It really involves yielding to something other than yourself. The self you think you are, the self you have imagined yourself to be, the self your parents or your teachers or your husbands have convinced you that you are, you are never that!
In understanding that youíre always the puppet for something, you then have the clarity necessary to choose your puppet master. And what I brought out in Yucaipa was that when you choose God as your puppet master, and you understand that your only choice in existing is to yield to the Will of God, it is as though the stringsóthe slack, if you willóbetween you, the puppet, and the hands of the puppet master get shorter and shorter, until finally there is no difference, no separation between the puppet master and you. And the Mind of God has been yielded into so completely that you realize that youíre Home, that the intelligence of God, the creativeness of God, is what had always constituted the presence of your mind, and youíre no longer fighting against it by trying to be either a puppet thatís nonresponsive to the puppet master, or a puppet that has managed to cut the strings.
As you increase in your capacity to trust, as you have the courage not to be the authorizer of your success or the good in your life, you find that you have ceased trying to be an independent puppet, an independent entity, and you have begun to yield to the Father, Whoís pulling the strings artfully, wonderfully, perfectly. And you get less and less slack.
The less slack you have, the more your attempts to be independent are uncomfortable experiences. If the strings are ten feet long, and you express a little independence, thereís a certain grace to the swing of the strings. But when theyíre half an inch long, the same amount of swing jerks you around unmercifully.
QUESTION: Thereís no leeway.
RAJ: Exactly. So, you may know that if you have less slack and more immediate feedback when you are being willful, that is a sign of how little distance there is between you, claiming independence, and You in your right mind, where the puppet master is allowed to be the Whole of You that He has always been, except in your imagination that you were something separate having the right to express independence.
Coming back into your right mind does not constitute losing your identity and getting swallowed up in God. It constitutes coming back into a conscious experience of your inviolable Integrity, back into an experience of your spontaneous and unaffectable joy. And perhaps more than anything, it brings you back into the full meaning of brotherhood, where your brothers and sisters have no walls of separation between them and you, where all of the most beautiful aspects of the sentimental reunion of families at Christmas time is magnified beyond anything you can imagine. Because not being estranged from your family is the joy of being.
So, let yourself be a puppet! And let yourself decide who your puppet master will be, because you are a puppet whether you like it or not. And choose your puppet master, and yield to your puppet master, so that the strings can shorten, and you can return to the fullness and the joy of Being which itís your Birthright to be experiencing.
YOUR INCOME COMES FROM BEING CENTERED
QUESTION: I publish a publication that I feel Iíve been led to, in what I consider the call of service. And what Iíve seen is people struggling, really struggling, financially. And yet theyíre determined to stay with that inner knowledge that this is what theyíre supposed to be doing. And I, along with them, feel the same way. Iím doing that.
I have moments of great surety that this is what Iím supposed to be doing. And then when the bills come in and thereís not enough money to pay them, Iím wondering whether Iím supposed to continue doing the service. I know inside Iím supposed to, but the material on the outside . . . itís like a battle, you know?
So, my question is, maybe I could just get a little bit more clarity on what thatís about and why we are doing this. And also, kind of a side question with my publication: Is there anything that I can be doing to elicit more financial support?
RAJ: Early on, I told Paul, "Your income comes from being centered." This is about as simple as it gets. He thought his income came from his "doing," from actions he took in the worldóactions, even, which were spiritually based and for spiritual reasons. But the real key lies in choosing to be in that space within yourself where your Peace is unobstructedly available to you, as in meditation, and then not abandoning that Peace as you begin to act in the world.
When the fear of failure or the fear of collapse or the fear of disaster of any kind gets less of your attention than your Peace doesówhich is available to you no matter how disastrous things appear to you to beóthen you find the apparent disasters and distressing factors fading. Itís a simple fact.
You are not required to overcome the failure of support from your world out there, or to overcome the potential failures or disasters that you can conceive probably will happen. You donít need to overcome them or do anything to them. You simply need to make the choice for your Peace. And if this means that you must meditate three times a day for twenty minutesónot go into a cave for months, unendingly meditatingóthen do meditate three or four times a day, so that the experience of Peace remains in your memory to some degree, at least until the next time you meditate and have the refreshing experience of It.
You know what youíre supposed to be doing, and youíre doing it. But your rational mind, judging events out there, creates worry, fear, doubt, and undermines your sense of your own integrity and the integrity of what youíre committed to. And yet you wonder if youíre not a little insane because, in spite of this, youíre not willing to abandon the commitment because it feels so "right on."
Again: Your income comes from being centered. Thatís another way of saying that fulfillment manifests when you have abandoned the attempts to create fulfillment for yourself and have chosen instead for your Peace. Youíve got to let yourself say, "I may be crazy, but Iím staying in that place in me where I feel Iím on the beam. Iím going to hold onto this feeling of being on the beam as though I am holding onto what little bit of real Sanity lies in me. And Iím not going to abandon it out of fear, or out of my best human judgment." You see? And then choose for your Peace as well, because in the Peace that you achieve within yourself, you find what Iím going to call the environment of your Self.
You find that environment, which is an environment of Peace, to also be an environment, which is obviously safe, because you feel no threat. And that environment, that experience, is very similar, if not identical, to the feeling you have regarding your purpose at this time, and your willingness to be committed to it no matter what. What happens is, that you could say the activity of being on the beam, which is the work you are engaged in, becomes recognizably the same, or of the same character, as the Peace of your being. They cease to be two different things, and come together. And in that place, everything that identifies fulfillment of this work, of this path you are on, will spontaneously begin to manifest.
People will call you up. Ways to continue the work will unfold. But the key lies not in finding more effective ways to be in the world to generate income. It lies in a radical and, to the ego, an insane commitment to an experience in which you are not distracted from Peace, and you are not distracted from your work.
Itís when you become mentally fragmented by distractions that the cohesiveness of the fulfillment of your Purpose for being seems to disappear. But itís when you come into the simplicity of the Peace of your being that you find that which you are committed to, in terms of the work, becoming nurtured, supported and strengthened by the simplicity of the oneness of the Peace of your being and your being on Purpose, or on the beam.
I will tell you that Paul thought that was the most impractical thing I could have told him. But I will tell you, itís the most fundamentally practical thing I could tell you. Paul has had, now, fourteen years of experiencing having his needs met without his doing a single thing from the level of his reasoning and thinking to generate it. And he "ainít" special . . . Paul isnít. So, no one else has to be special in order to have the same experience.
You know what commitment really means? It means not indulging in any distractions from a single purpose. Itís about the easiest thing one can do. And everyone can do it. And everyone is going to learn how to do it because itís the way you come back into your Sanity and the direct daily experience of Reality which isnít filled with conflict or threat or that which undermines and ruins your experience of your Integrity.
That in you which tells you that you are on the right track, and that you are on purpose, is not leading you astray. It is the wisdom of your Being. And I encourage you to honor it. What I encourage you to dishonor is the suggestion that you have justification for abandoning your Peace about it, because itís only in staying with your Peace that you can find that It is the nurturer of your fulfillment of Purpose, and you canít have one without the other. What this means is that the experience of fulfillment of Purpose will always be the result of the expenditure of no personal effort.
You have the feel of what Iím saying.
You will have to ultimately give yourself permission to stand in the world on such a radical basis and let the chips fall where they may, as far as what everyone else thinks. If more people donít do this, everyone else will not have the opportunity to see that thereís a different way to live in the world than the way theyíre living. They wonít have the inspiration to live another way, and they will compulsively continue to reach for and "create" their good.
There is a courage in you. And sometimes "they" and "them" and what "they" and "them" believe undermines or tends to disqualify the courage that you are able to feel without being overcome by doubt from within yourself. Iím encouraging you to trust this part of you which knows itís on the beam and isnít afraid, on her own, to follow through with it. Just remember to bring to that a commitment to your Peace, your centeredness.
Mind you, in all that I have said, I have not talked about lofty spiritual principles, or the application of complex spiritual ideas. Itís utterly simple, and can be found in the simple practice of meditationótwo, three, four times a dayóeven if itís for ten minutes at a time, but long enough to remind you of the experience of Peace that isnít circumstantial!
Iím going to just let you abide with that. Weíll take a break.
RAJ: Before we continue with another question, I would just like to add to the last answer.
To be engaged in a "good work," to be engaged in a "spiritual work," will never be sufficient to carry you through, any more than good looks will be sufficient to carry a marriage through. Whatever you are doing, whether itís a spiritual work or whether it is being an accountant, the only thing that will carry you through with an experience of your fulfillment is if you are unwilling to abandon your Peace. Why? Because when youíre in your Peace, youíre able to tell when youíre on the beam, and those two things, together, are what are sufficient to carry you through, because thatís where the commitment comes from which allows for the follow-through.
Some people say, "Well, I was engaged in an obviously good work. Why didnít it work out?" The focus was in the wrong place. Thatís why what I said to you is so "key" to your experience of fulfillment in what youíre doing. And it is something that itís important for everyone to understand.
High motives will never be enough, because somewhere along the line those motives can be successfully challenged. But the one thing that canít be challenged successfully is when you are feeling the stability, the security and the groundedness of being connected with your Being, because your Being isnít a private possession of yours. It is the very presence of God, undistorted by any concepts you have about being a "human being," with all the frailties and limitations which everyone says, or you have been educated to believe, are inherent in being a human being.
THE EYES OF INNOCENCE
QUESTION: You talk a lot about sin, sickness, and death, and I have a laymanís understanding of sickness and death. In the Bible it says, "Go forth and sin no more." My question is: What makes a sin a sin? I have no idea.
RAJ: It is really very simple. Sin is whenever you engage in an act of Self-denial. Whenever you engage in a denial of your essential divine Self-hood, you are "committing a sin." I say that because it always has detrimental effects.
Now, the question is: How does one deny his divine Self-hood? And again, the answer is really simple. One denies his or her divine Self-hood by claiming to be something else! Or by believing, with commitment, that he is something else:
"Well, Iím just a human
"I came from a sperm and an egg."
"My existence is pure happenstance."
"The purpose of my life is to make the best of a bad situation."
"There wasnít anything before my birth, and there isnít anything after my death. I am just a temporary physical event."
First of all, all of these ideas are false! Secondly, when these false ideas are held to be the truth, and you live your life with commitment to them, you are actively denying Who and What you really Are.
Now, I am not using the word "sin" in the awful way that religion has tended to use it. But, as we spoke about the last time we had a Gathering, when one is in a state of Self-denial, one is actually denying his or her connection with the Prime MoveróGod. In the denial of your divinityówhich is a Fact because you are the direct expression of Godóyou forfeit the conscious awareness which spontaneously accompanies a conviction as to your divinity and your inseparability from a divine source, and in the absence of that conscious experience of what it means to be divine, you cannot help but feel small, independent, alone and vulnerable. As a result of this, your living of your life is expressed from that place of awful limitation, and your life becomes a defense against all that makes you feel vulnerable.
Inseparable from this false experience of separateness from the Whole, life becomes a struggle to overcome sickness, death, and the fundamental sin of not knowing of your divine origin.
I enjoy playing with words, especially if it conveys enlightening meaning. The accent has always been wrong when the "original sin" is referred to. Itís not the o-rŪg-i-nal sin, as in the very first sin. Itís the ůr-i-gin-al sin. Itís the mistaken belief about oneís origin. And it is something which everyone practices now, not way back with Adam and Eve. You see? When you donít know of your divine originóand as a result of knowing of it being curious to have a greater experience of itóthen you will find yourself suffering from the origin-al misunderstanding, or sin.
In the state of ignorance which results from the origin-al sin, sin, sickness and death are what you are bound to cope with. But as you become aware, for whatever reason, that you have a divine origin and that there is a Godóthere is a Prime Mover, Which is divine intelligence, Whose every act is an act of Self-extension or Loveóthen you seem to become free of the effects of, or the practice of sin, sickness, and death. So, sin is simply a misunderstanding about your origin, a commitment to that misunderstanding, and the intent to live your life on the basis of that misunderstanding.
As a result of this, in addition to what Iíve already said, it causes you to be unaware of the fact that right here and right now youíre in the middle of the Kingdom of Heaven, that youíre in the middle of the only thing that can be confronting you because God is the only Presence and Power. And just as you donít have a curiosity to know the meaning and the experience of your divine origin if you think you donít have one, you likewise find yourself experiencing no curiosity about your world and universe as the Kingdom of Heaven when you think that it also is a fluke of natureóa temporary physical event. And so, all day long, as you are attending to life as you perceive it to be, you are neglecting with commitmentóbecause of your focus on what you think it isóto be curious to see the Presence of God and the Kingdom of Heaven right here. That amounts to a denial of It.
Again: When you are not looking to see whatís Really there because you are committed to what you think is there, you are, by virtue of your focused attention on what you think is there, blocking out, and in that sense denying, the Kingdom of Heaven. And so, you could say I have talked endlessly about the necessity of developing a curiosity to look at everything with innocent eyes. And you could say, "sinless" eyesóeyes that are not biased by a misunderstanding of your origin or the origin or All That Is.
I fully understand that at times you look out at your world and youíre absolutely convinced that God isnít here, and that the world as you perceive it is an "absolute" which is governing your experienceóand therefore the injustice that you are experiencing, you have no escape from. I understand that is the way it appears sometimes, based on what youíre committed to believe about your world. But, when you are willing to let there be a little weakness in your commitment to what you think you are, when you are willing to even just play with the idea that maybe, right here and right now, you are an utterly divine presenceóthat you are at this moment the forever fresh expression of Godóif youíre just willing to play with that idea, even though it seems totally unreasonable, do you see that your commitment to your definition of what you are and what everything is has been weakened because you are willing to consider another possibility?
When that weakness occurs in what you had been totally committed to before, the penetration of Reality has a chance of occurring, and you will experience transformation. Your world will begin to reflect back to you a closer approximation of the Kingdom of Heaven than you had allowed yourself to see before because you were so sure it was something else, something else that couldnít possibly have essential Love as its underlying makeupóthe Love expressed by the Father in His/Her expression of His/Her indivisible Integrity.
I want to bring out one other point in regard to this as well, and that is that at the times when you are so firmly convinced that there is no God and that crisis is going to grind you into nothing, at the very moment you are feeling this with such great conviction, that is the time when there is the greatest potential for breakthrough of what is Really going on.
To tell you the truth, itís when youíre all having a really "good" experience, with no threat, that you go through your days with a self-confidence that the way you understand everything to be is the way it is, and that therefore there is absolutely no need whatsoever for you to consider any other possibility.
"Why make waves?"
"If everything is going smoothly, leave it alone!"
You see? That attempt to keep everything on an even keel when it is going fairly well means that you are consciously insisting upon stability, solidity. But do you realize that if you actually were able to bring everything into an unchanging state of "perfection," that would be death? You would have taken Life and made it absolutely dependably unchanging, which is not the definition of Life.
"Behold, I make all things new." This is the dictum of the Prime Moveróof God. This means that there is going to be forever unfoldment of That which you werenít expecting. Now thatís not called stability! And yet, because it is the expression of an indivisible and therefore undivided intelligence called God, there cannot be polarities, there canít be contest, there canít be war, there canít be conflict. And therefore this Movement of "Behold, I make all things new," is utterly safe! And so, you donít need to get it to stop moving in order to feel safe.
Who, of you, would take a delightful 18-month-old child that you see in front of you and say, "Stop! Hold it there! No more growth. You are so perfect, I want to enjoy you just as you are, and I do not want you to change so that I have to change. The perfection of you is so delightful, I want to capture it." Well, you donít want to capture Life, either! But what you want to do is become free of this origin-al sin, this origin-al mistake, so that youíre no longer feeling separate from this intelligent conscious Impulse of "Behold, I make all things new."
When you are not experiencing yourself as separate from It, then It is the Movement of your Being. When you are not holding your conscious awareness of self separate from God, then the Mind that God is becomes revealed to you as Yours. And in that radical experience the forever Movement of "Behold, I make all things new," is no longer something happening to you. For you, it is You happening.
I do not want to belabor this point, but it is important.
I do not mean that you, separate from God, experience having the Mind of God, being able to do the things that God does. When all of you wake up, and the origin-al mistake or misunderstanding about who you are vanishes, you find that the infinite Creation of God, the infinite expression of God, is still infinitely expressed. But no part of the infinite expression of God is claiming that it is existing on its own. And so the whole Brotherhoodóthe whole Familyóof God experiences simultaneously being specific and universal. And so, you do not get swallowed up in God, but you do come to the experience of the Fact that God is all there is of you, and that you have abandoned thinking that you can act on your own. You realize that if you are acting, it is because God is Moving.
You each came here today from various points on this part of your globe, quite independent of each other . . . you think! But God moved, and you are here. God moved, and I am here. Why? Because for everyone here, this time, this moment, identifies fulfillment of Purpose for each one of you. Likewise, an hour before you all got here, wherever you were, you were stillóas a "group," you might sayóacting in concert, all intending to come here, or all in the process of coming here, because there was a Movement of God. And [speaking to a specific individual who had found tears streaming down her cheeks as she was driving to the Gathering] that is why you cried, because you were paying attention beyond the limits of just a puny little human being saying, "Iím going to a Raj Afternoon."
I do mean to convey to you that this moment is not any more divine, and is not any more geared toward the experience of Godís Purpose than that of an hour ago or a week ago, for each of you individually. I want you to understand that whether or not you have your world reflecting back to you as clearly as you do at this moment that you are the Presence of the Movement of God in the middle of the Kingdom of Heaven, that is still the Fact all the time!
Because of expectations and hopes, many people find themselves experiencing light bulbs going on [insights] regarding their divinity, regarding their essential worth, regarding their Integrity, when they come to one of these Gatherings, or to a meditation retreat, or any other single function that has as its motivation self-help. Why? Why does it happen there and not during the week when youíre in the middle of your work? It isnít because the event holds that in store for you, because every moment holds that in store for you. Itís just that you open the door of your curiosity. And Iím saying, let your curiosity be present while you are opening the mail, or typing the bossí letter, or correcting an employee, or filling out your tax forms, because if God isnít doing it, it isnít happening. But something is happening, and so God has to be in it. If youíre having a conscious experience, God has to be in it, whether you are misinterpreting the experience or notóand whether or not youíre misinterpreting "who you are" doing it.
Now, itís not really going to be possible to understand your holiness, because your divinity, your Sonship and Daughtership, your Christ-hood, your innocence, isnít constituted of ideas. Thereís not a spiritual way to say "itís in your genes," but it is in your essential Presence, which you experience as being conscious.
What I am enticing you to do, what I am inviting you to do by saying "be curious about your divinity," is not to be curious to have an explanation of your divinity unfold to you so that you can understand it. I want you to be curious to have an influx of an experience of it, like an intangible infilling of Love that lets you feel undeniably that you are not aloneóand your fear that youíre alone is what governs almost all of your actionsóbecause once you know that youíre not alone, and that what accompanies you is a Presence of Love which is so pure, It discloses to you your innocence. Why? Because only that which is innocent could be so purely loved. That is what I am talking about becoming curious about. That is what will replace the origin-al misunderstanding which became identifiable as sin when commitment to it occurred.
QUESTION: The second part of my question is: In Scripture it says, donít do things to allow your brother to sin. Now, donít do what? Or, am I not responsible for what they think, say, or do?
RAJ: It is impossible for you to be responsible for anotherís actions. The saying, "the devil made me do it," is a cop-out. Each one does what he does for his or her own reasons, always.
So, what responsibility, if any, do you have? Well, what you see is what you get. What you see is what you get. And when what you see changes, so does what you get.
What kind of eyes are you going to look through at your brother? The eyes of innocence? If so, what you will see will be innocence. If your brother sees himself, and what he sees is based on his origin-al misunderstanding, then his actions are going to arise out of that misunderstanding and will be inappropriate. But if you are looking through innocent eyes, if you are not suffering from that origin-al misunderstanding, you will not confirm to your brother his misunderstanding.
If you do not want to contribute to your brother sinning, you will be very careful what eyes you look through, so that you do not confirm to your brother that his actions, based on a misunderstanding, are valid. And if you are not confirming to him his misunderstanding, which is most certainly what he expects from you, you could say it "throws him a curve," because you didnít do the expected.
When you, looking through innocent eyes, respond to him on the basis of the innocence you see, which is not the response he expects, then you have provided fertile ground for him to realize that maybe the way heís seeing himself isnít absolute. "Well, if you see something in me that I donít seeówhich you must, because of the way youíve respondedómaybe there is another way to look at this." And that is the weakness in his commitment to his sense of himself which is all thatís necessary. It is a minimal level of curiosity, you might say, but that is exactly when opportunity for insight can occur.
Now, if he doesnít take the hint and doesnít get the insight, and continues, that is his decision. He is responsible for his acts from that point on, just as he was before. It simply means he missed an opportunity to have a new reason for doing something, and it is not your responsibility to see to it that he got the point.
All I am ever doing, when I am relating to any of you, is reflecting back to you that which you werenít expecting, because I am not confirming to you your current sense of yourself. And until each one of you is Awake, your Guidanceówhether it is me or whoeverówill always be reflecting back to you a clearer sense of Who You Are than what youíre expecting, because the point is for you not to continue to miss the experience of your Birthright.
YOU HAVE FORGOTTEN HOW TO LOVE
QUESTION: This is a time of transition for me. One might say Iím in a state of chaos reorganizing to a higher order, and I hope that this is true.
RAJ: You can count on it. There really is no other option.
QUESTION: Iíve been feeling lost and unsure of my next step. I feel the urge to move, but I donít know where, and I . . .
RAJ: Then donít move until you know.
QUESTION: I need to earn money, but have been unwilling to do work that seems menial to me.
RAJ: And you will continue not to have money as long as you make that decision.
QUESTION: Iíve written a book, but I donít understand where it belongs. I have a lot of energy and I donít know where to focus it. Iíve been feeling tired and angry, and feeling what I have to give is invisible or unvalued. I feel caught between what is true inside and the way life works on the outside.
RAJ: You remind me of Paul.
QUESTION: Is there a reason for me to be on the planet right now?
RAJ: What is your alternative? I am not being "smart" here, but I am asking you so that you might realize that the question really means nothingó"Why am I on the planet right now?" If you really have no alternative, then you might as well pay attention to being here. Obviously if this is where your presence of mind is, being aware, then this is where to give your attention. This is where to be curious. Continue.
QUESTION: I want to live, and I want to thrive.
RAJ: You want to live, did you say?
RAJ: I am very glad that you want to live, because again, you have no other choice. Donít want to live if you are already living. Continue.
QUESTION: Do you have any suggestions that will help me to proceed?
RAJ: Well, I will tell you that all of the things you have just talked about are nothing but distractions you are providing yourself with, distracting you from allowing yourself to be fully present in the moment as Who you Are. They are distractions from allowing yourself to be present in the moment fully enough and quietly enough to have the opportunity to experience what this Presence is that You Are.
You do not have to be afraid of finding out. You do not have to be afraid that you will find out that there is nothing really here of any value. As reconfiguration occurs, little elements of your life will seem to no longer relate to each other in a way that secures a sense of identity for you. And yet, you will find yourself still present, observing these elementsówhich had provided you with a sense of identity and substanceóno longer seeming to be cohesive. Their "disbanding," as it were, from that which seemed to hold you together, will not disrupt you from being the presence of awareness, or the presence of mind which is watching them do this. You will remain absolutely permanently present.
As these things which you had used in order to have a sense of identity seem to fragment and float away from you, you will find that there is less covering You up from yourself. And do you know whatís there underneath all these "things"? What is there about you that is eternal, forever present? It is Love.
You know, we talk a lot about Awakening. You hear talk about resurrection. I have spoken about coming Home, Remembering the truth about Yourself. This is true of every single one of you. And I know some of you have wondered, "What is it that I have forgotten, which Something in me is moving me to remember? What is it?"
I will put it this way: What you have forgotten is how to love. And what you will remember is how to love. Some of you have felt "out of place" since you were three months old, one year old, two years old. Some of you have never felt happy here. Well, Iíll tell you something: It isnít because itís such an awful place. Itís because you have forgotten how to love. You have forgotten how to be Love.
Iím going to take a few moments to share some things with you.
There is something quite essential to being the presence of Love. And what that is is a lot less than what you are bringing to the living of your life. In order to let the Love that you are move into expression, you must give up some thingsósome excess baggage. For example: defense, judgment, plans of your own, insecurity.
Interesting? You thought insecurity was something you had because you gave up security. And now Iím saying you must give up insecurity? Yes. Insecurity, felt and practiced, is a defense! It is a way to keep yourselves preoccupied, so that you donít find out whatís underneath this thing called insecurity. And whatís underneath it is this Love that each one of you Areóyour essential Being.
Fear is another thing that you will have to drop from your knapsack. Pride. Personal success.
Now, I agree that this is nothing new. And yet it is very important for me to reestablish in your awareness that all of these things stand in the way of your being quiet enough, being present enough with this presence of Mind that you Are, that you have the opportunity to discover the feeling of the Presence that you Are, which is a Movement of Love.
This book of yours, this opportunity to work and have income . . . what are they if theyíre not the opportunity to be in the Movement of the Love that you Are, so that you might let It find expression. They are not means of getting anything.
Who are all of these people who, for whatever reason, donít find value in anything you have to share? Well, they arenít an audience to validate you by finding value in what you have to share. They are "opportunities" you have to share, and fulfill your Purpose for Being in the giving, whether itís received, whether itís understood, whether itís valued or not.
I want to tell you something: More than the items that you would share, itís the fact that you are giving without self-protection, without fear, without judgment, without self-righteousness, which constitutes the real Gift. The real Gift is when you are being present, not covered over by anything whatsoever.
I want to come back to the fact that any distress you might be feeling is not because of circumstancesóany of the list that you "read off," at the beginningóbut because you have forgotten something. And this is true of everyone in any aspect of their lives. You are afraid, you are judgmental, you are defensive, you are unforgivingóon and on. Why? Not because there are justifications for these things. It is because you have forgotten something. And so, the answer lies in your Remembering. And this is what you could call a reconfiguration at a higher level. We could say reconfiguration at a more fundamental level. And that which is more fundamental is more universal! It is therefore more natural. It is not something you are working toward, but something you are letting yourself into.
All of you, please remember that you cover over the fundamental Presence of your Being, which is the Impulse of Love which has Its source in God. It is a matter of covering It over with distractions of fear, judgment, hate, self-righteousness, goal seeking, willfulness, "doing good" based upon thinking rather than the Good that you would spontaneously "do" as a result of being conscious of yourself as the Presence of Love. You cover over the Love that you are with things which you have come to conclude are essential to survival. And because you think they are essential to survival, they are worth every ounce of energy you can bring to them so that you can survive. And yet you have no choice but to survive because you are the essence and presence of Life in action already!
The things you were concerned about in the expression of your question, all had to do with survivalósurvival relative to the dynamics of relationships and the power they seem to hold over the ease or lack of ease of your survival. And I am giving you a new point of attention. The point that I am drawing your attention to is That in you which is underneath all of these distractions, Which is the presence of Godówhich I am calling the presence of Love. And you, being the presence of Love, are the absence of fear, hate, anxiety, judgment, and on and on and on and on. Therefore, This, that I am redirecting your attention to, is something very valuable, because It is you experiencing the essential Integrity of your Being so completely that fear and all that follows fear is nothing but nonsense, nothing to attend to, because you are not blocked in any way from being the fulfillment of Purpose that God has in mind in being you at this very instant.
I want you also to understand that although this could sound like a dissertation on the spirituality of being, I am describing the Actuality of Being right here in this instant, which is absolutely relevant to right where you are, right where every one of you is. Iím expressing the Truth of the instant youíre in and the Truth of You in this instant.
You say, "I understand what youíre saying, but when I leave this room and Ďgo back into the world,í what youíve said isnít going to mean beans, because Iím going to have to relate to the world the way the world says Iím going to have to relate to it."
Well, thereís another one of those distractions again. Itís not true. There is no reason for you to abandon the genuineness of the Presence of You which is Love and cover It over with a disguise, pretend that youíre somebody else, forget who you Really Are and never make the full Gift of your Self. There is no requirement for you to do that.
There is no requirement for you to be ingenuine. You can be present in a new way. And the discovery all of you have awaiting you is that when you refuse to be present in the world covered over by fear and defense, you will not become dysfunctional. Thatís the discovery you have waiting for you.
You will not become such a radical presence that no one will understand you. You will be even more meaningful. And the primary reason that you will be more meaningful is because in your expression of yourself there will be no apology for what you are expressing, because there will be no fear there. And when thereís no fear, people know they are safe. And when people know they are safe, they lower their defenses and they let something in. And what could possibly cause someone to lower their defenses but the presence of Love?
QUESTION: Raj, Iíve discovered that my basic needs are food, clothing, shelter, oxygen, water, love and self-esteem, and Iím trying to take care of them physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Am I missing anything?
RAJ: Yes, indeed. You missed the answer that occurred just before the break. The things that you listed are not your needs. Your need is to remember how to love. And when you remember how to love, then all of those things that you listed will spontaneously be dealt with appropriately.
All of those things that you mentioned are what Iím going to call "the things of the world" which all of you, when you leave here, will be inclined to think you must attend to, and that they have more importance than your finding every way you can to be still within yourself so that you might feel the Movement of Love which is the Movement of You, and then dare to make the Gift of That as you attend to the activities and things which you listed.
QUESTION: One of them was love.
RAJ: However, when you used the word "love" in that list, it did not mean love as I am talking about. It meant love as you or others conceive love to be.
Being the conscious experience of the Movement of Love that you Are does not fit any format at all. In fact, it wonít be something you do for someone, and you will not see it as something that comes to you from another. If it is the presence of utter safety, if itís the presence of the Integrity of You that canít be violated, and therefore you arenít experiencing even a suggestion of violation, or threat, then your very presence and your actions will be spontaneous rather than premeditated. They will be goal-less rather than goal oriented. And so you wonít love for a reason. You will just be the presence . . . well, as crazy as it sounds, the presence of benignness, which almost sounds like no presence at all.
You have no idea how powerful the presence of benignness is, how powerful the presence of "no threat" is. Why? Because it puts everyone and everything in your vicinity at rest. It puts everyone and everything in your vicinity in a conscious state of an actual awareness that they donít need to be defensive. And this will be the effect of your presence even if you are lying on the couch sound asleep, expressing nothing willfully.
You know what? Every one and every thingóand when I say "every thing," I mean the plants, the animals, even the walls, the furnitureóevery thing will have an actual experience of feeling loved.
If you stop and think about it, if somebody could walk up to you, and by his very presence cause you to have an experience of utter safety, of fearlessness, that would be experienced by you as the most loving thing that has ever happened to you. And yet that one would not be trying to love you. You see?
The list that came out of your mouth so rapidly is the rat-race that everyone is caught up in, keeping so busy keeping everything in order that they say they donít have time to be still and feel the Presence of Themselves which is there underneath all the busy-ness.
Fortunately, whether any or all of you have the time, or think you have the time to become still, you will find that reconfiguration will occur of the sort that prompted the previous question, and all of these things requiring your attention will seem to fragment. It will be harder and harder for you to keep juggling all of the factors and keep them straight, until finally they fly out of your hands, and your caring for this long list which you were so sure of will become unachievable for you. This will be very disconcerting.
I have shared with you today what the facts are, and as a result, you donít have to wait for an unasked-for reconfiguration to occur. You can begin to be less attentive to that list and more attentive to Whatís there in the presence of You underneath all the busy-ness of taking care of these things, so that you can ultimately attend to them from that genuineness of You. That will promote reconfiguration without the stress, and the reconfiguration will be more graceful.
YOUR REASON FOR EXISTING
QUESTION: Iím feeling really out of sync. Just way out. I donít know whatís going on. The last year has been the pits, and Iíve had some physical problems that are very distressing to me, particularly with my eyes, neck, and circulation. I think all of this could be resolved if I could become still, but Iím having a lot of problem with that. I canít shut up long enough for meditation any more.
RAJ: There is a place in each of you, which longs to Remember. Your Sanity accompanies you no matter how far into insanity you willfully move. It is impossible to totally forget Who and What you Are, and what your Purpose isóyour Reason for existing. I donít mean your reason for existing "in this lifetime on this planet." I mean your Reason for Existing!
"Well, Iím here to help my
husband on his spiritual path."
"Iím here to help my wife."
"Iím here to save the dolphins."
You are here because God is expressing Himself/Herself, and it looks like you, and you, and you, and you. And the Presence of God, which is the Presence of You, can never be totally deniedónot even in the imagination. And so there is That in you which longs to Remember, longs to have the experience of Who and What you Are, so that your/Its fulfillment isnít denied and isnít buried, but is being consciously experienced.
So, no matter how faint it is, youíre not unconscious of it. Connect with it.
Iíve said it before: Whenever Paul sits down to speak with me, he says, "I allow only for that which expresses the Christ consciousness, and only that which is in harmony with the Purpose of Beingóthe Fatherís Will." In other words , he expresses a desire, a focus, if you will, an intent for the time that is to follow. And then he says, "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"ónot meaning the words which are going to come out of his mouth, but may His word enrich the affections of anyone else who has and expresses the same desire which he has just expressed, and govern them.
So, feel, no matter how faint the feeling is, the desire which you have to Remember who you Are. And then say something similar to what Paul has said. Do it often.
Now, I want you to remember that no matter how much you have become used to thinking, reasoning, and coming to conclusions in an orderly manner so that you might have an orderly life, God has still been the one in charge. And if you abandon the sense of personal responsibility for keeping everything orderly, chaos will not result, because God will continue to be in charge. But, in the quietness of the "inactivity," of not keeping everything straight yourself, you will be able to experience more Peace, and you will find yourself able to attend to what needs to be done. More than that, you will find yourself feeling, without going through a thinking process, a Knowing of what is appropriate when it comes to dealing with those things. As that begins to happen, you will feel more secure, and you will feel even less need for being in charge by means of orderly thinking.
It is difficult for many to let go of being in charge, especially if they have been excellent at it, and especially if the practice has contributed to their sense of being valuable. But thereís a blessing that you have been missing. There is a blessing that all of you have been missing who have become pretty efficient at being in charge of your long lists of things. And the blessing that has been missed is that God loves you, and that it hasnít been necessary for you to scrounge through life like a "common" man when by Birthright you are royalty, and your fulfillment is your Birthright.
As you express this desire, I want you specifically to include the desire to experience Godís order in your life without your having to create the order yourself. As I said on another occasion, you might say, "If, indeed, I am loved by God, might I be given an experience of what that feels like?"
The distresses, physically, that you have spoken of are an attempt on your part to try to be responsible when you are losing the ability to be responsible.
Here is the way it works. You have gone along in your life and things have been relatively smooth. And now it seems that things like eyesight and aspects of your physical body are . . . well, Iím going to say "failing" to one degree or another. And then you say, "Iíve got to get control of this." And itís not working! What you didnít know in the beginning was that you werenít responsible to begin with for the perfect or smooth functioning of your body.
Now, when things start seeming to move out of your control, no matter what the details areówhether theyíre physical, whether theyíre circumstantial, whateveróit means that reconfiguration is occurring. And I am not speaking of a reconfiguration called death, ultimately. Itís a point of growth where there truly is a Movement occurring from the Essence of You which says, "Youíve got to let go of control. Youíve got to let go of this wrapping, this garment of responsibility which you have wrapped around yourself in the fullness of your Birthright, and hidden Yourself with."
So, I am assuring you that what is happening is not a call for fear. Andódo not be frightened by this wordóit is a call for "succumbing" to the fundamental You, Who has slipped your mind for a lifetime or so, but Whom it is time for you to Remember.
Your desire, which arises out of Something in you that knows there is something you have forgotten, and therefore there is something for you to remember . . . your desire to feel that and let that be the springboard for inviting inspiration and revelation, that is what will allow the graceful move into a greater experience of fulfillment. And I mean by that more health, clearer vision, no glasses, no systemic irregularities, and on and on.
I canít say this too often: It is the Fatherís good pleasure to give you the Kingdomóthe whole Kingdom! All that God is, God gives to you as your Self. It is like having a bank account, which has all there is of the wealth of the Universe in it and it awaits your going to the telleróto the window, as it wereóand saying, "I am ready to make a withdrawal." Itís waiting for you. Itís gifted to you. But you will not enjoy the gift until you say, "Yes, Iím willing to receive it."
It is inevitable, because this Wholeness is part of the Sanity of You which accompanies you into whatever degree of insanity you enter. It is because it accompanies you that it is inevitable that it will finally override the willful insistence upon lack of any kind, the willful insistence upon working for your Wholeness when itís an a priori Gift that you couldnít abandon even if you tried, and therefore you havenít succeeded in abandoning, since you have tried.
It is inevitable that transfiguration will occur. It is inevitable that you will wake up. And itís inevitable right now! Itís not in a Certificate of Deposit that you canít cash out without a penalty until three more years have elapsed. I tell you this so that when you become discouraged and argue against the possibility of your experiencing it in this lifetime, you might be able to say, "No. Raj says the whole gift has been made and is mine, and it is inevitable that it will register with me, and therefore I will persist with my desire . . . my desire to say, "Yes, Father, Iím willing to receive it."
And you know? No matter when you finally say yes, whether itís here or hereafterówhenever you do itófor you it will be now. And since whenever you do it will be now, let now be the now. You see what I mean? It doesnít have to be the next lifetime. It doesnít have to be a year or two down the road after you have spiritually grown to the point where you deserve it.
Whenever the "now" is that you do it, you will feel that you have not grown equal to it because youíre not yet Awake when you make that decision. So, even if you wait two lifetimes from now to say yes, you will still feel no more worthy of it. Any "now" that you choose to say yes, you will get it, because . . . well, the vault is full of your abundance, your fulfillment, and the vault is straining at the seams, intent upon your recognizing it and saying, "Yes, I will receive."
I said earlier that the thing you have all forgotten is how to love. Well, the Father hasnít forgotten how to love, and the Love with which you are loved by the Father is what is in the vault, and It cannot be contained. And so It insists Its way through the walls of the vault that you have built in order to keep It at a distance from you so that you might have this "glorious" experience of creating your own success on your own!
When I said you need to become quiet and you need to let go of all of this excess baggage so that you might experience the essential, genuine presence of You and discover that this presence is the capacity to Love which isnít blocked in any manner, I meant that you will have remembered to let the Presence of God in where you are, and that the Presence of God is what is really right there where you are. You will have remembered that it is Godís purpose which is your purpose, your reason for being hereówherever "here" might be, however infinite "here" might be.
A Course in Miracles says that Love cannot be taught. That means that Love cannot be practiced. And the reason Love cannot be taught is because itís the Movement of God, the present spontaneous genuine Movement of God right where you areóthe Movement of Love being the Movement of Creation in this instant. Itís all of the things that I described earlier.
So, when you are remembering Who you Are and What you Are, it means that you have become defenseless against God. Thatís what the quietness is, the stillness. And the Movement you begin to feelówhich has nothing to do with fear or goals or justice or any of the long list of thingsówhich feels like being loved and is the Impulse for being without fear, righteousness and defense, this is the way you come Home into your Sanity.
Now, I have described something that in a way could seem magnificent. But I donít want it to be turned into a lofty idea. Hereís the practicality of it: When you say, "If I am loved, then I desire to have an experience of what that means," you are talking about something that will allow you to sit next to anyone without any defenses yourself. And whether that one knows where itís coming from or not, she will involuntarily find herself feeling no need for defense, either.
To remember Who you Are, to have the experience of being loved by God, allows you to be able to be a presence which is recognizably new to your brother, to your husband, to someone sitting next to you who youíve met for the first time today, and be a transformational presence. You could say, in the simplest of terms, that remembering how to be Love is remembering how to be "present with" your fellow man, uncovered by anything that blocks you from making the Gift of What you Are.
You could say it is as though there is a veil, and you are on one side, and God making the Gift of Himself to you is on the other. God making the Gift of Himself which is the Presence of You, is on the other side, and "what God is" is insisting on penetrating the veil. And when you, on the other side, are saying, "I desire to remember what it is I forgot," you are making an invitation "against the veil" also, which is in harmony with, synchronous with what the Father is intending. And when that happens, there is less of what it took to maintain the veil.
Now, thatís not the whole picture, though, because the reason for desiring it, the reason for remembering Who you Are, is so that you can be That with your fellow man, here! You see? It isnít something between you and God, and to hell with everyone else.
If you have forgotten how to be love, you have forgotten how to love your brother. It hurts your heart not to be able to love your brother. That is the fundamental thing which everyone is suffering from. They just didnít know it was their Function. They forgot it was their Function.
You could say, "Father, help me not be in a way which causes my brother to constantly feel the need to reinforce his defenses. Help me remember what I have forgotten. Fill me today with all Thou art, because I know when you do, I will remember Who I Am. And when I remember Who I Am, I will be able to be me. I will be able to be me with joy! I will be able to be me with my brother!
Iím going to end the answer to your question by simply stating this for everyone: Be careful you donít get sucked into believing that the world is an illusionóand everything in it that you seeóbecause if you do, you will have no brother to be the fulfillment of your capacity to be Love. You will have no reason to remember what you have forgotten.
This is very important!
CHRIST CONSCIOUSNESS & PRAYER
QUESTION: You used the term "Christ consciousness," and without being a nit-picker, Iím trying to see if I am understanding your use of that term. Is that where the state of mind, from my point of view, is willing to be guiltlessóthat is, that guilt is no longer present, forgiveness is complete, and yet the mind is in a perceptual state?
RAJ: When it says in Genesis that "God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good," it means that God saw something. Godís Self-expression is not unknown to God. Godís Self-expression is Godís Self in action. For mind not to be conscious of something would be for mind to be unconscious. But the infinite Mind, the infinite intelligence that God is, is conscious of something. And all there is for It to be conscious of is Its own Movement. You could say that Godís ideas are recognizable to God.
If you want to call the recognition of Selfówhich is the Movement of Mind that is God, called Creationó"perception," then yes, "the Christ consciousness" is in a perceptual state.
The Course uses the word "perception" to identify the fantasy that everyone is engaged inótheir daydream, their imaginative distractionóand I am not absolutely strict with the use of the word "perception," because all of you must understand that you are going to be experiencing something as you Awaken. It is just that the misperceptions, which have been overlaid upon Reality will have vanished, leaving Reality perfectly clear, without any distortion applied to It at all. So, the experience of "recognition" will be uninterrupted.
In most instances, I use the word "misperception" when speaking of what the Course calls "perception." And I use the word "perception" for the undistorted recognition of the Kingdom of Heaven, because you will arrive at the point where you will not be blocking the experience of Godís recognition of what He is Being.
The Christ consciousness could be called that experience of being aware in which there is no assertion of any private bias, or any right to have a private biased perceptionówhich would be a misperceptionóof Reality.
Does that clarify it for you?
QUESTION: Yes, it does. Thank you.
RAJ: If you donít understand that the world is not going to disappear, if you donít realize that youíre not going to disappear, if you donít realize that the experience of being conscious isnít going to disappear, all of you will find the most ingenious things to do on your path of Awakening so as to delay Awakening as long as possible. None of you wants to arrive at the point of oblivion.
Through the rational use of the mind, and even through the use of reason, you can arrive at a point where you can explain everything away . . . even the mind that is explaining it away. If you manage to work yourself into that state, you will find nothing to trust. You will find no comfort zone. You will find no place from which you can dare to entrust yourself, yield, succumb, to anything outside yourself, because in that state you will mightily practice self-preservation, even though you are in a state of complete turmoil.
This is the way the ego works, though. This is the way the limited, vulnerable sense of self operates. It is this mode of operating which has bled into the study of the Course, the study of Christianity, the practice of religion. This is why everyone is trying to rise above the world, rise above sex, rise above anything that means anything. And so, there are students of the Course who are insisting that the Course wipes out the world, wipes out the body, wipes out every manifestation, every evidence of anything.
I will tell you, it takes a great leap of faith to step off the edge into an Absolute emptiness, which you are assured from the beginning is there. And this is not what the Course teaches. This is the way it is being interpreted, because the vantage point from which the study of the Course began was one of defensiveness, was one in which the world had already been conceptually split into material and spiritual, good and bad, etc.
For those to whom the "getting rid of the world" is important, they will perceive the Course as stating this absolutely, when the fact is that if God is all, if God is infinite, then all is God. If something is being experienced, if something is in your face, it must be Reality perceived clearly or, in Biblical terms, perceived through a glass darkly. But whichever it is, it is Reality, the Kingdom of Heaven, which is being experienced.
Now, this doesnít make it easier, but at least your approach will not be a conscious attempt to confirm the nonexistence of everything. The reason I say it isnít easier is because youíre still faced with having to give up the misperceptions, which you are convinced of. And they are perceptions, which you have great commitment to, because they are a part of your self-preserving motive as a frightened limited ego sense of self.
So, it does indeed feel as though you are stepping out of the known into the unknown when you genuinely say, "What does this mean?" "What is the meaning here in this cup?" "If my husband isnít a dirty old so-and-so, what is he." And if part of your happiness in life is converting dirty old so-and-soís, then to lose that perception of him is to lose your purpose for being.
All of the "ways" in which you see each other and each thing, you employ because they serve you in terms of your safety and your self-preservation. And so, in the willingness to look at your brother with innocent eyes, you must be willing to abandon the one who has been judging and proclaiming guilt and basing her life on that judgment. In order to see your brother transformed, the seer of your brother has to let herself or himself be transformed, and some other function than self-preservation has to be allowed to happen.
QUESTION: Since we are all on our leading edge, and are basically where we are supposed to be, will you please explain to me the need for prayer, the power of prayer? Scripture tells us, "Pray without ceasing," that things can change. Iíd like that clarified, please. Thank you.
RAJ: Prayer, if it is genuine, is the means of reaching out beyond yourself, abandoning pure self-reliance, inviting in That which is greater than you. It is an act of joining, rather than an act of maintaining separation and being separate. It also expresses the common sense we were talking about yesterday, because no matter how confused any of you might be by your fantasies, you know that it is illegitimate for you to be experiencing pain. You know itís not natural. You donít have to be spiritually educated. You donít have to be "advanced." You know that itís not legitimate and that you have a right to be free of it. That is what is so wonderful about humanity, because when itís not overridden, itís humane.
It also happens that whatever the pain any of you are experiencing at any time, it is the dissonance which occurs when you are aggressively trying to do the impossible.
When you are trying to redefine the Kingdom of Heaven and "usurp" the authorship of God, you are attempting to do the impossible, and it hurts. Youíre going against the grain. Youíre 180 degrees out of sync. So, the moment youíre in touch with your humanity enough to recognize that the "hurt" is illegitimate, that itís unreasonable for you to be suffering, and you couple that with reaching beyond your own best judgments, your own best concepts, your own skill, you are actively withdrawing commitment to the redefinitions youíve been giving to the Kingdom of Heaven, which is what has caused the pain.
Pray without ceasing.
"God, you mean I donít get any relief from praying?" Well, if you stop thinking of prayer as a petition, an asking of God for a favor, and you see prayer as an act of glorifying God, why would you want relief from being in an active state of conscious appreciation? Thatís what glorifying God is. When you look at your neighbor or your mate or the flowers in your garden, or the sky or the stars, and you are filled with awe and gratitude, thatís prayer! And everyone has for the most part forgotten how to do that. You watch the news too much! What I mean is, you watch the news and you donít realize the degree to which it is providing you with the definitions of what is going on in your community. You say, "Yeah, itís pretty bad," and you forget to look with appreciation. And when appreciation sinks out of sight, then you look with fear, and you donít know whether you want to get on the elevator with "them."
Carl Sagan, with all of his degrees and intelligence, has told you that the world is, indeed, just a physical event, a fluke. So, what is there to glory in? And so, you stop, you forget to glorify God. You forget to engage in active appreciation. The reason you do is because you have accepted certain definitions, and the one definition which has been totally abandoned is that this is the Kingdom of Heaven, and everything that exists is the direct and current expression of a living God Who is pure Love, and therefore the nature of all that He is Being is utter and pure harmonyósuch harmony that you will find when you are Awake, that you will be able to hear the beauty. You will be able to hear the beauty, and what you hear will be beautiful.
Now, Iíve said before that Love is the willingness to recognize that which is Real in each and every thing. Thatís prayer! Prayer is the willingness to recognize that which is divinely Real in each and every thing. So, praying without ceasing would be to have the experience of seeing that which is Real in each and every thing unceasingly.
Do you have another preference?
Itís not only your Birthright not to be experiencing aches and pains, or fear, or terminal disease, itís your Birthright to be experiencing what is Really there where the pain seems to be aggressively present. Not only to see what is Really there, but to hear its beauty.
I want to come back to this idea of the world and the body not being real. If it is all illusion, flat-out illusion, and when you Awaken it will not exist, then you have no basis for asking for healing of it, because healing of it would constitute its disappearance. And so, when I healed the man with the withered arm, his arm should have disappeared, instead of being "whole like the other." You see? If itís all illusion, then thereís no need for prayer. And I will tell you that the only alternative you would have left to Awakening would be to be forced into it through excruciating suffering. Doesnít that sound a little bit like the voice of the devil? But itís true.
Itís important not to get sidetracked from glorifying God. And you have only one place in which to glorify God and itís right where you are, and itís with your house plants and your windows and the colors and your relationships. You see?
It would be foolish to love an illusion, wouldnít it? Metaphysically speaking, you all would say that you could comprehend the concept that cancer was an illusion, and you wouldnít want to love it. Well, few of you are so inconsistent in your logic and thinking that you would say, "Well, cancer is an illusion, and I am not going to love it, and Iím beginning to understand that the world is an illusion, but I am going to love it." No one is going to be that inconsistent. So, if youíre going to call the world an illusion, youíre going to have to stop loving it. Youíre going to have to stop loving your body.
What is the absence of love . . . like "what is the absence of light"? The absence of light is not another presence, but itís called darkness. And the absence of love is not another presence, but itís called hate. So, if youíre not going to love it, youíre going to be denying it. Thatís hate. And youíre going to be indulging in this impossible thing called denying the Presence of God. And itís going to hurt!
So, letís remain clear. Prayer is a valid activity to engage in. It is the means by which you wash the scales from your eyes which have been blinding you to Reality right here. Love is the willingness to recognize what is Real in each and every thing. Thatís prayer. Thatís your Function. That is what will transform the world. And to do it without ceasing is to abandon some so-called right you think you have to have a different point of view about it all.
QUESTION: Thank you.
THE LORDíS PRAYER
First of all you must understand that a prayer is only reasonable and meaningful in a frame of reference which has as its primary characteristic the sense of separation. And a prayer is always an unconscious desire for the return of the experience of unity when disunity is what is being experienced.
"Our Father who art in Heaven."
Well, thatís a good start, because one is reaching outside of his present sense of things. It is an acknowledgment that there is something more than oneís present sense of things. That is the beginning of what I have been calling curiosity. Until there is an interest in something beyond oneís present experience, one simply exists in it, unconscious of any choice, and simply endures whatever he is experiencing and calls it fate. "Our Father who art in Heaven," meaning: "some place more real, some place happier, some place different from what I am experiencing." The first line of The Lordís Prayer is like the first lesson in the Courseó"Nothing that I see means anything." The first line of The Lordís Prayer says, "What I am experiencing is not so dominant in my life that it hasnít occurred to me that there is something more."
"Hallowed be Thy name."
This is an expression of honor, an acknowledgment of the divinity of That to which the pray-er is reaching out. In so many words it says, "I do not know Who you are that I am praying to, but I do honor you as being That of which I need not be afraid."
"Thy Kingdom come."
"I desire to experience your point of view. I donít know what it is, but I desire to experience it because I am no longer absolutely addicted to my current sense of things, and I am willing to have something penetrate it. I am willing for the light that you must be to penetrate the darkness I seem to be experiencing."
"Thy will be done."
I will tell you something: This has not been the last line of "The Lordís Prayer." But in the present time it is. "Thy will be done," not mine. In another channeled work called Science and Health, which is not generally thought of as a channeled work, there is an interpretation of that line which says, "Enable us to know,óas in Heaven, so on earth,óGod is omnipotent, supreme."
Now, "Thy will be done" is a relinquishment of any personal agenda, a relinquishment of willfulness, a relinquishment of arrogance, a relinquishment of dependence upon oneís own best judgment. It is the ultimate invitation for the conscious experience of Reality undistorted by any personal private sense of self. It is the invitation for the sovereignty of God to fill the individual pray-er with that divine awareness which God Is, and that divine Mind which constitutes the pray-erís Real mind.
"Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed by thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done."
This, practiced, would cause no pray-er to be further present to finish the rest of the prayer. However, when I first shared this prayer, no one was ready to finish the prayer there, or comprehend that that is the ultimate end. And just as I am being with you today, I was being with them then, in perfect appropriateness.
This first part of the prayer acknowledges That which is desired, the nature of That which it is desired from, and, to whatever limited degree, a willingness to stand in an attitude of receipt. But it was necessary, because of the ignorance of the true nature of God, to continue the prayer in a relative rather than absolute mannerórelative to the human conditionóbecause it was thought that God was a wrathful God, capable of love and hate, who could dish out catastrophe and disaster and famine and poverty, etc. And the people needed a new language that expressed a new concept of God more closely approximating the Reality of God.
"Give us this day our daily bread."
The very first word of that sentence was "mind blowing," if you will. Give us this day our daily bread. Meet our need, our very human need, through a gift. It doesnít say, "give me the opportunity to earn my daily bread." Give us this day our daily bread. Initially that was an almost unfathomable concept of Godóvery transformational in terms of conscious awareness.
Again, it was a matter of not only understanding God in a new way, but expressing a willingness to stand in receipt of what now I would call your Birthright, their Birthrightóthat they deserved their daily bread just because they existed, because of what they divinely Are.
"And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors."
Ah, here was a little bit more conscience being introduced. In other words, that as the pray-er was willing to forgive his brother, he should be forgiven of the Father, that Love is reflected in love, that indeed one cannot expect to be forgiven of the Father without forgiving in return, relative to oneís fellow manóthat they really are not two different things. It made it clear that one could not move into relationship with the Father and get the goodies and leave oneís fellow man out in the cold, because that isnít the nature of Reality.
"And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil."
Lead us not into evil, but deliver us from evil. This was a correction of the wrathful and hateful and spiteful concept of God. It allowed the people to more easily release this polarized sense of God. Obviously, only a God which is single of purposeóindivisibleĖcould have the inclination and love and kindness to not lead one into harm. Again, that was a new concept of God and was more deeply moving to those who heard the prayer than it is to you today, because generally speaking there is a more positive concept of God today than there was then.
You see? "Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. Lead us not into temptation," humanly speaking, "but deliver us from evil"ódeliver us from temptation, deliver us from the whispered suggestions of the ego. Thatís the temptation, the hypnotic suggestion. These phrases all have reference to the human experience from which the pray-er is wanting release.
"For thine is the kingdom, . ."
Not mine. And therefore my agendas are meaningless, and my agendas are not what Iím interested in.
". . . and the power, . ."
"Thine is the power." These are powerful words. "Thine is the power." I donít have any power of my own.
You have heard the words, "I of myself can do nothing." "If you have seen me, you have seen the Father." If you have seen each other, you have seen the Fatheróit wasnít just me. Thine is the power. These words allowed for great Movement to occur, great calling into question of the idea or concept of personal poweróthe ability to just get up and willy-nilly go to the store and get a dozen eggs because youíve done it before, and why would you need to see whether it fit in or was appropriate? You certainly could accomplish it without catastrophe.
"For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory . . ." not just for a few minutes, but . . . "forever."
These last phrases "refer everything back to the Father," as I have been saying in the last couple of days.
This prayer, if it is halfway embraced, halfway willingly treated as though the words really mean something, brings into play spontaneously the curiosity that weakens the ego structures enough to allow for the penetration of Truth to occur.
I would encourage all of you, presently, to finish the prayer at the line "Thy will be done." This is an essential aspect of Graduation, of Awakening. It is the equivalent of the last lesson in A Course in Miracles, which, in effect, says, "I will make no decisions by myself. I will forever listen for Thy voice. I will not lean unto mine own understanding. I want to Know, and I will Listen."
In this more distilled form, it will indeed draw greater reaction from your egos. It will not like your consciously reminding yourself, "Thy Will, not mine be done." But in this more distilled form it will indeed promote more rapid and even more graceful transformation and Awakening: you all coming back into your right Mind, you all finding your eyelids fluttering open so that you may see the Kingdom of Heaven right in front of you.
Do not say the prayer as though it is a string of words, the rehearsal of which will do the trick. But dare to believe that the words really mean something and that what they mean will be the undoing of the ego structures, which incarcerate you in a totally insane and false sense of yourself, causing your release.
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