CONVERSATIONS WITH RAJ
VOL. 9, NO. 5
PEACE IN KOSOVO
As television networks begin to play the newest theme songs and graphics for the latest war, one is hard put to answer the question, "Is this a show I want to get interested in?" Yet, it is more than a show, and the question cannot be answered or discarded lightly. The real question is, "Is this show what I choose to use as the source of my perspective?"
Indeed, no matter what media source you choose, you will be getting second-hand information, since those writing the scripts or articles are not likely to have asked, "What source am I going to use for my perspective."
When you ask the question, you must ask another question which must be answered first: "Why do I want to have a perspective about any of this in the first place? Is it because I care? Is it because I want to know how to defend myself? Is it so that I can know who to blame? Or is it so that I may know what to give in order to heal the manifestation of fear?"
I will tell you this: If you try to formulate your own answer, your own perspective about the meaning of these events, you will not bring the essential element into play which will transform illusion into the nothingness it is, leaving in its absence the evidence of harmony and peace. What is that essential element? Peace—Peace that you have let into your mind before you look upon your world.
The source of your perspective can be nothing less than Peace, if it is peace that you would see. The gift you give must be the Peace with which you see, else you will only see the "something more" that you would introduce by having an opinion of your own. This is what causes war.
Peace is the language of Love, because Love is defenselessly embracing everything It sees. It communicates the innocence of everything It sees to everything It sees because Love is a feeling, not a thought, arising out of Soul, directly from the Father, God.
Until Peace is established once again in Kosovo, you will be tempted to abandon Peace, take sides, and hold the "enemy" in shackles forged from ignorance, not Peace or Love. Do not take the bait!
I have said before that prayer is "saying yes to God." This means abandoning your will, forsaking your "capacity" to have a thought, opinion or perspective of "your own." Prayer simply heals because there is no longer present anything to hide His presence, His omnipotence. Prayer "makes" no enemies and takes no prisoners, because when you say yes to God, they disappear.
It is time for prayer, instead of studying the grisly images provided by the network news, proliferating propaganda in the printed word, and the ego's fascination with self-righteousness. Your brothers are my Brothers, too—our Father's Sons—no matter what the ego sees Them as or causes Them to be. Perspectives change Them not, nor can they cause me to abandon Them to some false definition formulated by an "independent" mind.
Do not abandon anyone involved in this "new war" to definitions calculated by a mind untutored in the Truth and broadcast widely through the media. Say yes to God and ask how He sees things. Then hold your Brothers in that view unswervingly. Your allegiance to your Father's view is your allegiance to your Brother's innocence, and that is prayer that heals.
March 24, 1999
FORM IS NOT ILLUSION
QUESTION: You said, "Contrary to popular belief, the body is not an illusion." And again you said, "The body is the manifestation of the Father."
My understanding of A Course in Miracles is that I am not a body, and that the physical universe is all an illusion, a dream. So, the first part of this question is for clarification on this apparent contradiction. But, I would like to go on with the rest of the question first.
QUESTION: For example, in the Song of Prayer booklet, at page 15, it says that the body must die. However, you said that the body was intended to become ever more and more perfect. My speculation is that my spirit or soul-being holds my body in its form and that my Being has the power to make that form perfect—in other words, the epitome of beauty and function as a human form—but that the decision to do that is not one I can make at a conscious level. It is a decision that comes from my higher being. And all I can do consciously is listen for it, so that if I am to have a perfect body, so be it. And if my lesson is to be a cripple and learn thereby to achieve forgiveness, so be that as well. And, therefore, that total acceptance is the way. So, I have a question around acceptance vs. "willing" to improve a situation.
You and the Course, in my perception, are essentially stating that disease and death are wrong. And that part of me which is still judgmental projects this statement as a judgment by you. Am I mistaken to entertain the possibility that disease and death simply are, and that failure is as beautiful as success, disease as beautiful as health, and we are here to learn to love it all?
RAJ: The first part of your lengthy question is indeed becoming an issue. But it is an issue, which will move into clarification, and not simply remain an issue of contention.
First, body—form of any sort—is not illusion. Unmanifested God is nonexistent God. The Life-Principle is the movement of Creation. If there is no Creation, there is no Life-Principle.
There is the infinite manifestation of the infinite Life-Principle, or God, and that infinite manifestation is experienced as the conscious experience of something. That "something" is what constitutes form.
The misunderstanding comes when it is not perceived that all form is an idea—an idea, which has substance, an idea, which has visibility, to the infinite Mind of which it is the Creation.
When the substantiality of an idea is thought to be material, constituted of polarized energy, a state of delusion has been entered into. When you touch the table, there, and you do not realize that the event is one of Mind perceiving It's infinitude, and the substantiality of it's infinitude... When you do not realize that the experience of weight, of duration in time, of solidity and all of the factors that contribute to your experience of that table, are conscious experiences of conscious ideas, then you are perceiving through a state of ignorance.
When you say that it is wood, that the wood came from a tree, that the tree grew from a seed, and that it grew through nourishment of various chemicals, et cetera, and that therefore it is a life-form native to your planet and has nothing to do with God then you are misperceiving.
When you believe that the tree as well as the table are forms independent of any divine idea that is serving as the matrix for that form, you are existing in a state of ignorance or illusion, or delusion. Form, as matter, is an illusion. Form, as Spirit, held together with the Intent to express a divine idea, is truth.
Now, you are not a body. Your physical senses tell you that you are, and the data they provide distract you from being aware that you are the Consciousness in which the experience of form or body is existing. You are Consciousness. You are not a body.
As you begin to yield up the very firm beliefs that you have gathered from the five physical senses, which tell you that you are a body, and you begin more and more, through your practice of meditation, to experience yourself as the unlimited or infinite mental Context in which the experience of form is going on, you will begin to find that you will identify yourself less and less with this specific form that has two arms, two legs, a torso and a head. And you will begin to experience your oneness with all other forms as well.
As Consciousness, you will be able to experience yourself in the sunset, in the tree outside your door, in the water, in the plane, in the air, in the flying, in everything. You will begin to experience your inseparable oneness.
You will also find that as your belief that you are a body, and your belief that the body is a material and mortal organism, yields to your identification of yourself as Consciousness, your body will then begin to report back to you better health, better form, better balance, better symmetry. And then it will begin to report back to you less density, until finally you experience it as a body of light. And none of this requires that you die physically in order to experience it.
What you are experiencing right now as the forms in your world constitutes a very partial experience of Reality, and the limitation of the experience is created by the limits of your ego sense of it all.
As the ego is released, and as you lean more substantially into your divine being, the illusory perspective will begin to yield to the more infinite view, and you will begin to see form, or body, in its larger context—or shall I say, it's more spiritual context. You will find that the only thing that constituted illusion was the limit of your ability to perceive the whole spectrum of Reality.
It is not what you are experiencing that is false. It is that you are not experiencing it in the context of the Whole, which constitutes the falsehood. There is therefore no contradiction.
You are not to assume that it is necessary for the body to die, but you are to assume that it is essential, in terms of your Awakening, for the false limited perception of body to yield to the infinite view. Why? So that you may find that body is a conscious experience of an idea—an idea held in the divine Mind, God—an idea which is therefore eternal, and is therefore going on in its absolute flawless perfection at this instant, even though your limited ability to perceive the full spectrum is causing you to experience it in a very partial and distorted way.
There should never be an acceptance on your part of illness or death as though it had some divine value in your process of Awakening. The only way it can have any value is to illustrate to you that you are at the threshold of expansion—that indeed, you have come up against a limit of a belief structure which it is time for you to yield up, to find to be invalid, and to move beyond. But it is the belief that must be moved beyond, not the body.
Disease is the manifestation of inharmony, of conflict. Conflict is nonexistent in the omnipresence of God, and God is not a Kingdom divided. Therefore illness is an illusion. The body is not illusion, but illness of the body is. Death of the body is.
When I ascended, I did not drop a body behind. I did not leave it anywhere for someone else to bury. And I did not take it with me to discard in secret, either. I cannot be without body. However, that now means for me that I cannot be without the infinite manifestation of God, because that is what constitutes my Identity, my Being. Why? Because I am the direct expression of the Father, from whom nothing has been withheld.
It is the Father's great pleasure to give you the Kingdom. The Whole, the All that God is, is expressed fully in you as conscious individuality, and me as conscious individuality. So, you are some part of the infinitude of my being, and I am some part of the infinitude of your being, just as every blade of grass and every planet and every star and every hydrogen atom and every thing that exists is some part of your body—a body of infinite ideas infinitely expressed and expressing.
Any evidence of duality or conflict is an illusion. That includes sin, sickness and death. But that which can apparently become sinful, sick or dying, is not an illusion. And the "creator" of the illusion of sinful, sick, dying life, in any form, is the belief that one is exactly as the five physical senses portray him to be. It is the five physical senses, which provide the ego with the data to create a self identification which is false because it is partial.
Now, for me to say that disease and death are wrong is not a judgment. It is a statement of fact. Disease and death are a mistaken idea! They are not actualities. To be clear on their illusory nature is intelligent. It is unintelligent to embrace them as though they were some part of the infinite unfolding of an undivided Life-Principle, or as an integral part of the infinite Self-expression of that Life-Principle.
It is very important to become clear on this point, because if the point is not clear there will come to be great self-depreciation of one's body, and of the world, and of the universe. Why value it? Why take care of it, if it is meaningless, if it is a total illusion?
You, on your planet, are already treating your planet as though it is meaningless—that it has no divine purpose for being. And the carelessness is being reflected in the pollution and the damage that is being done. This situation will get even worse if the Course is misunderstood by its increasing numbers of students to say that all of it is illusion.
The illusion lies in the belief that God has nothing to do with it, and that every life form that you see is not the manifestation of an infinite, divine, flawless, indivisible intelligence which deserves the utmost honoring, the utmost valuing, the willingness to look beyond the surface presentation, to look underneath the ego, to look beyond the apparent flaws to find the essential divine spark, the essential divine idea which is manifest as this or that particular form.
You see, if you say that where you are is an illusion, then there is nothing having enough substance to separate it from Reality for there to be a little gap to cross over from. The little gap is the gap of ignorance—the gap of ignorance between Reality and the current perception of It. When you walk across that little gap and stand in Awakened enlightened conscious being, you will look back and find that what was on the other side of the little gap is there in its true form, in its true Reality. And there will be no little gap to find anywhere.
Crossing over the little gap will not get rid of the universe. It will not get rid of body. It will get rid of the illusion, which is the manifestation of ignorance. It is the equivalent of the scales falling from your eyes. It will not be the annihilation of everything your eyes ever saw, although everything will be experienced with such purity and such clarity that everything will seem to have been changed. Nothing will have been gotten rid of except the distortion that caused you not to experience Reality as It is. Whether you are ignorant or enlightened, Reality is what is confronting you and Reality is what you are experiencing. Reality will not go away—only the ignorance.
Now, I encourage you to think about this seriously, because you cannot possibly arrive at a point of experiencing Reality if you are denying the very place in which It is going on.
BODY AND IDENTITY
QUESTION: Tell me...why have I been struggling with intimacy for all my life, and why am I so hard on myself for being born a certain sex? Do I have the full range and capacity for intuition, creativity, emotion, and love that comes from the heart, or am I limited in these things because of my body's male sex?
RAJ: Every individual, male or female, is Whole. Every individual is the presence of Consciousness being conscious. And every individual, in his or her process of Awakening, must discover that (s)he is not the body and that (s)he is not bodiless.
Soul, Mind, Spirit do not reside in or arise out of any thing. Rather, all things arise out of Soul, Mind, Spirit.
You are Soul, Mind, Spirit because God is all there is of you. You, therefore, embody the full range of intuition, creativity, the capacity to feel the Meaning of every thing, and love that comes from the heart, together with integrity (strength), substance, and sovereignty.
Start with the body as that which defines you and you will have no basis for peace. Start with God as that which defines you and everything will fall into place. Women suffer from half-ness just as men do, but it's not because they really aren't Whole.
Now, sooner or later you're going to stop "kicking against the pricks," because sooner or later you're going to find out that it's not accomplishing anything and you will find no further use for it. In the meantime, it makes no difference to me. I still love you.
You can be angry as long you want. No one will stop you. But you don't have to want to. And that's really the bottom line.
QUESTION: For the past decade, ever since I've been a teenager, I've been wanting to be in an intimate romantic relationship with a woman. But, I'm failing miserably in this area—and, like with most of my other shortcomings, I've been blaming it on being born a male—and I don't know if my soul mate is ever going to come in my direction this lifetime.
Will I ever fall in love again? Will I ever be able to trust that I can be in a healthy relationship after far too many setbacks?
Will I ever be loved, cherished, and honored by a woman who is brave enough to be my partner?
RAJ: The real question is whether or not you are going to invite a relationship. There is a great difference between wanting and inviting. And how do you invite? By actually having something else or should I say someone else on your mind, other than you.
Finding someone "brave enough to be your partner" and presenting yourself as a failure or, at the least, someone with shortcomings will absolutely block the event called "relationship."
Relationships are for giving. Giving requires an "object" of your gifting—as in "object of your affection." Self-concern and self-depreciation are evidence of making yourself the "object of your attention." And if you come into the potential for a relationship and you are the object of your attention, the potential for relationship is absolutely blocked.
What is beautiful about relationships is that they undo privacy—separation. What you really want is not to be alone. But as long as anyone has himself as the object of his attention, there is no experience available other than "alone."
Find the part of you that is capable of caring—even though the part of you that experiences great self-lack is still present and active—and then act out from that capacity to care. A little self-discipline will help you continue to choose to act from your capacity to care, causing you to neglect the tendency to energize the part of you that feels incomplete.
You do not realize how loved and lovable you are, but to the degree that you are willing to recognize the lovableness of another and extend love, you will begin to feel loved and lovable.
You are bound by the very nature of your Being to experience fulfillment in a relationship because the fact that you are All One must sooner or later undo the illusion of being alone.
The keys to this experience of fulfillment are "intent" and "discipline." In other words, a change of behavior on your part will be required. You must intend to have an object of your affection, and then you must use a little self-discipline to carry out that intent rather than continuing the habit of evaluating yourself and thereby being the object of your attention.
Love—which can only be extended—must replace the ego's insinuation that you must get yourself straight before you can love. Love must become more important to you than anything else.
The Love with which you are loved by the Father, is the Love which it is your birthright to extend to another, and in that extension find your wholeness and fulfillment—your experience of your adequacy and competency.
NEW JOB DESCRIPTION
QUESTION: Last summer I began a new job, went to California to learn it, expended money and much time in the process, and have had a very, very hard time making a go of it. My situation financially is very precarious—an understatement—and I do not hear what the Father would have me do. Can you help me to know what the Father wants from me? I believe I am willing, but I must be blocked somewhere that I cannot see at all, and maybe I am way off the mark generally in my life. Thank you for everything.
RAJ: Last summer you found a new avenue for extending Love, for practical caring—not a job!
The ego has convinced you that you are the appropriate object of your attention. And when you become the object of your attention, Love goes out the window! When Love goes out the window, fulfillment follows It. When aloneness replaces All Oneness, the experience of Wholeness is nowhere to be found. It's that cut-and-dried!
In the stress of self protection we forget that "divine Love always has met, and always will meet every human need." This does not mean that divine Love will privately and always meet your need. Fulfillment can never be private. It means that when you have an object of your affection, when you let in the experience of caring, divine Love is extended through you to the object of your affection—the one you feel care for. As that extension occurs, you are blessed. Your need is met in the meeting of your brother's need. You see?
You know this, but you forget it when you are convinced that your need is different from the needs of others, and needs to be attended to first! Well, it just ain't so.
QUESTION: I found in the Bible two years ago, before I found the Course, where "God" created and "LORD GOD" made, in Genesis. I saw this and it jumped out that the two were not the same, then I found the Course, and it was more clear. What I am asking is, is "LORD GOD" our ego? and the other, God, our Father?
RAJ: I will answer your question with another question: "What is it that makes things out of things?" And another question: "What is it that doesn't even make things out of ideas, but Whose ideas are the things, themselves?"
Indeed, the Creator creates by being, and the maker makes by "doing to" that which has been created, and it really doesn't matter what you call either one of them. One is, and one is imagined. One is Real, and one is not.
You have a quick eye—or should it be "I"—and I know others will enjoy seeing the shift, in the beginning of the second chapter of Genesis, and just how explicit it actually is.
Thank you for bringing it up.
QUESTION: Last June I was able to connect with my guidance, who has been willing to answer every question I have posed to him. It seems like a very easy thing to do (hear these messages), so somehow my ego wants to discount what guidance tells me. Yet, some of the answers I receive are so profound. I have tried very hard not to let my ego get in the way of the message, and I do not want "him" to think I don't appreciate what I am hearing. I have been very appreciative to this guidance for all the help I have received.
So, my question is, have I been talking to my guidance; is this Guide who he says he is; and what percentage of the information am I correctly hearing? I would appreciate anything you could tell me that would help me to see more clearly.
RAJ: You ask what percentage of what you're hearing are you hearing accurately. I can safely say ninety percent. But I will tell you something: In the beginning, that is not the most important question to ask. The most important question to ask is another question. In other words, the most important question is a question that produces more clarification.
If you are always going for greater clarity, the importance of how clearly you have heard diminishes. The real problem arises when, having heard an answer that is either difficult or that you don't like, you become less than curious. And, curiously enough, you question your guide's integrity rather than questioning him further.
The key always lies in remembering to ask more questions! And it also lies in remembering that obedience to what your guide says is a "no-no." Blind obedience is self-disrespect, and it is this self which must ultimately come forward and be revealed as the Christ that you are.
You ask, "Is this Guide who he says he is?" And the real question is, "Are you the one who has the inherent capacity to recognize Truth?"
If you don't recognize Truth in what is said, it doesn't matter who your guide says he is. If you do recognize Truth in what is said, it still doesn't matter who your guide says he is. But I will tell you something else: You do recognize him. It is your doubt that asked the question.
I'm full of smiles right now. In spite of your question, you know and we know that you have been talking to your guidance. Smile at yourself, as well. Be forgiving of your doubt. Be patient with your faithlessness. And persist in what you know you don't intend to abandon.
QUESTION: I have been terminated from my job in sales of computer training. Was it because of me personally? Was it something I did wrong? Or was it because I needed to move on because it didn't identify purpose.
I have another opportunity to go into financial services as an insurance and financial consultant.
I desire to have my income increase to a six-figure income. I have a desire to be a philanthropist in the world and help raise money to finance a fund for children who are in need. Also I desire to get out of debt, and the income I was making will not be enough. I need to increase my income 10x's and more.
I want to have the income and the time to do what I want to do when I want to do it. For me this identifies purpose. I desire to be prosperous and thereby benefit myself and then be able to extend it to others. There are many things I would like to do in this world and money for me is an exchange of value to another, and that value is Love. I believe that sales can be the vehicle for me to use. I need to get out of debt before anything else.
Raj, on a practical level what do you see as the next stage of unfoldment for me now that identifies purpose. I desire to be in business for myself. I now have developed skills to do that. What identifies purpose for me now? Thank you.
RAJ: You said:
"I desire to have my income increase to a six figure income."
"I have a desire to be a philanthropist in the world..."
"I desire to get out of debt..."
"I desire to be prosperous..."
"I would love to be able to build a fund of money that could be used to help children financially everywhere."
"I want to have the income and the time to do what I want..."
"I believe that sales can be the vehicle for me to use."
"I need to get out of debt before anything else."
"I need earning potential where the sky is the limit."
Would you be surprised to find out that what you want is getting in the way of your fulfillment? You've shared what you desire, what you would love, what you want, what you believe and what you need. But there is a very essential step, which must be taken in order to find out what you really desire, love, want, believe and need. That step is to choose for your Peace.
I have told Paul often, and I know you're aware of this, that "your income comes from being centered." It is in the Peace of centeredness that Paul, as the presence of conscious intent, disappears. This means that there is no "Paul" present, desiring, loving, wanting, believing or needing. And this is the meaning of Peace. It means that there is just Paul present as conscious awareness, Mind.
I cannot over emphasize the significance of choosing for your Peace. Why? Because it is in the absence of who you think you are and what you think you want/need that the Allness of God can register with you as all there is of You.
I am aware that modern metaphysical thought suggests that if you provide a vessel—a plan, a desire—God Will fill it, and that is the way to manifest your good. But that's not the way it works.
How it works is embodied in these words: "Not my will, but thine be done." And the meaning of those words is embodied in the act of abandoning your will. And the act of abandoning your will is accomplished by choosing for your Peace—going within, becoming centered. In the absence of the conscious act of will, His Will becomes your conscious experience of being.
Instead of saying, "Here is what I want, need, believe and desire," you need to say, "What is my Father's plan for his beloved Son—me?" You need to be willing to acknowledge that until you have heard from the Father what His will is for you, you don't truly know what you need!
You will save yourself time and distress by not attempting to accomplish your best judgments as to what will meet your need, what will be fulfilling, what will constitute success. Ask the Father. Don't tell Him. Let there be humility and let there be receptivity. Be willing to "not know."
A word to the wise: Needs are always basic. Being basic, they are always easily met. It has been said that "divine Love always has met, and always will meet, every human need." So, where are you going to look for your needs to be met? To a personal capacity of your own? Or to the Father's Love? You have the constant opportunity to remember not only that you're not in charge, but that you don't need to be. There is a God.
Keep things simple.
QUESTION: I've listened with great joy to you over the years and now find myself following a path that leads me to actively speak for what I find myself wanting or desiring in my life. This seems somehow contradictory to what I've heard from you.
It seemed that you were saying to let the Divine appear through me as I listened, a seemingly passive approach. I now feel that God moves into expression through my own thoughts and desires and that my function is to speak the Word(s) that appear within me with the awareness that they create/reveal a new expression of the Divine One in the world. This has led to an entirely wonderful experience of enjoying myself and my world and the people in it.
Is this speaking of the "Word" what you have been talking about? Again thanks for everything you are and will be.
RAJ: What you find yourself doing, or shall I say the way you find yourself now being, is not at all inconsistent with what I have been saying.
When you use the words "what I find myself wanting or desiring in my life," you are not referring to what you think you want or desire. I have said before that desire includes within itself everything necessary to its fulfillment. When this desire is felt within—and is not arising from thinking—the energy of its fulfillment is felt by you as yours, even though it didn't originate in a puny little ego. And so, you speak and act on its behalf.
Desire is the leading edge of fulfillment of Purpose. In other words, desire is the initial experience of Purpose fulfilling Itself. Your actions and words are simply a cooperation with what is Happening, and are not proactive.
You are still being passive (from an ego standpoint) because the intent "behind" the desire was established by God and not by you "separate from God."
QUESTION: I have two questions about my health. The first one is about my eyes. Since I first got my glasses five years ago, my vision has gotten worse, not better as I had hoped. Is there a particular block in the way of this healing? Secondly, the shin splints are still not healed and I'm wondering if glucosamine sulfate would help to rebuild the tissue or if there is something else needed.
RAJ: First of all, you think there really is a world "out there" to see and focus upon—a world of form to be seen by form. But I'm going to give you a little practice to engage in. Not an eye exercise, but a mind exercise.
At least four times a day, I want you to pay attention to the experience of seeing. And as you look at whatever object is in your line vision, I want you to remember that there is no matter. All is Mind, and the experience of seeing is actually the experience of Mind in the act of recognizing one of It's ideas.
Although you may not have thought about it, you are aware that your ideas do not take up space, nor is there an experience of "distance" between them. They are directly experienceable, with no separation between the observer and the observed. There is, likewise, no separation or distance between you and anything you see. There is, therefore, nothing for your eyes to focus upon "out there."
You and the object of your attention are inseparably one, as Mind and that of which It is aware. As you look at the object of your attention, stop trying to see it as an object in space and feel, instead, for its Meaning in you. It isn't matter. It isn't in space. It is some aspect of the infinitude of your Being as an idea in Mind. The observer and the observed are entirely mental and entirely unified. Don't try to make this so. It is so.
This practice will help remind you that you are Consciousness, in which everything exists, and that you are not a body in which a mind resides and from which it can observe a universe of bodies external to it. This practice will help you to stop straining to see. It will help reduce the sense of difference between you as the observer and the object of your attention as the observed. And as that sense of difference diminishes, you will find yourself seeing more clearly. In fact, your eye exams will reflect perfection.
As far as the shin splints are concerned, I encourage you to use the same exercise. I want you to remember that they are not "matter." I want you to remember that your feet and ankles are ideas, fully tangible to the Mind that formed them (had the ideas).
You are welcome to use the glucosamine sulfate, but what will correct the problem will be your neglecting to bind what is an idea to a very definite concept of form as matter which can only behave according to "laws of matter"—physiology and biology.
In the language of A Course in Miracles, the healing of your eyes and shins can occur because "an idea never leaves its Source," and therefore never changed. When you forgive them—your eyes and shins—by releasing them from your material definitions, you will see them as they Are.
VALUING THE FORM
QUESTION: You said in the article "Thank God Waking Up Isn't Up to You" that healing isn't complete unless you experience absolute perfection of the body. So is that something we should desire, or is the desiring placing value on the form? I sometimes get confused with this issue. Every once in awhile I experience clarity with this and then it leaves and I'm left confused. Could you please comment on this?
RAJ: Let's get down to brass tacks, here. I have said before that unmanifest God is nonexistent God. Would you expect the manifestation of God to be imperfect? Would you expect the visibility and tangibility of what God is being to be flawed? No.
To desire to see the perfection of God expressed does not constitute the valuing of form unless you think the form has nothing to do with God. In fact, the only reason anyone sees imperfection is because he thinks the thing seen doesn't have anything to do with God!
DEPRESSION AND MELANCHOLIA
QUESTION: I was wondering if you would speak about depression/melancholia. It's purpose, if you will.
I have always had bouts of depression and it sometimes seems as though there is no reason for these periods of darkness. Until recently (like this morning) I would wonder what is wrong with me. This morning I flipped through an unread book and read parts of a chapter on depression. What I got from my perusal was that people mistakenly try to get rid of depression but what they need to do is work with it or accept it as part of their Soul's expression. I now find myself almost thinking of my bouts of depression as a gift instead of a curse. (Ah, the miracle of perception.)
I am seeking more clarity on this subject.
RAJ: Depression is inherent in the experience of "disconnect," of isolation. And isolation is never a matter of really being separated, but rather a manifestation of not letting in. There's your shift of perception!
Depression is the telltale indicator of a grievance being held against something, which is another way of saying that the one experiencing depression is unwilling to embrace the "unembraceable" until justice has been exacted from the "unfair" situation. A point to ponder.
Now, you don't have a Soul. You are Soul. Soul is all there is of you. God, being God right there where you are, looks like you. God is Soul. God is incapable of using an illusion for any purpose, even though you might learn something from employing an illusion.
Depression is not "something wrong with you." It is something Right with you which you are denying or blocking the experience of. "Injustice," you say. No. It's the fact that you know that justice is your birthright, and Justice is what you have come to believe you cannot have. Your belief constitutes a resistance. And resistance to your birthright is depressing!
Actually, resistance to your birthright is something You are incapable of accomplishing. Because You are incapable of it, any attempt You engage in will be met by Your Sanity reminding you not to do it. You call the reminder unpleasant, uncomfortable. And in your false sense of isolation, you attempt to deal with it—overcome it. It's healing message is: Don't try to do what you can't do. It is Love relieving you of the stress of trying to be unnatural.
QUESTION: You stated: "God is incapable of using an illusion for any purpose, even though you might learn something from employing an illusion." How might I learn something from employing an illusion?
I would also like confirmation if I understand the first part of your answer to me...I am the "unembraceable" one and if/when I can truly embrace myself, the depression will no longer be an issue?
RAJ: You asked, "How might I learn something from employing an illusion?" Well, you might learn that it is unfulfilling. You might learn that you don't want to waste your time doing that again. You might also realize something quite specific about yourself, about your thought patterns and how they have held you back. The Holy Spirit is always "working" to turn your problems to your advantage—realization of Truth.
You said, "I am the 'unembraceable' one and if/when I can truly embrace myself, the depression will no longer be an issue?" Are you the unembraceable one? Or is it someone else, and you're assuming it can't be them and therefore must be you? In other words, if it is another whom you can't embrace and you're taking the "blame," then embracing yourself will still leave them out in the cold, real healing will not have occurred, and the depression will continue. You see?
I encourage you to take another look.
DAUGHTERS OF JERUSALEM
QUESTION: It happens that I read simultaneously your newsletter called "The Patriarchal Concept Of Woman" and the last thing you said as Jesus with your feet on the ground as reported by Lucas [Luke].
Lucas [Luke] 23:28 "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. For the time will come when you will say, Blessed are the barren women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed. Then they will say to the mountains, Fall on us! and to the hills, Cover us! For if men do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?"
I would want to have a clarification. Could you elaborate on it? Were you the one who said that to woman? What do you mean?
In relation to this I have other questions:
1. What can we do as women, other than "to challenge man in woman's territory as well as in man's territory" (as you suggested it in your newsletter)?
2. And how could that be, especially in a world so firmly established in what seems to be a deeply religious attitude to perceive, see, think, and treat woman as unequal and as guilty? My friends and my family and myself have been educated as if this feeling of unequalnessness and guilt are part of us being feminine.
3. What do you think of this idea of femininity understood as a virtue, and further as a value to be practiced by woman to please God's Will—and this kind of—education is still the base these days, especially in what are called undeveloped countries.
I know this world as I am seeing it is not real, but it happens that I am still here in the human form called woman, and meanwhile the whole world is not awake. What can be done with this situation so "universally" accepted and imposed on earth?
What else do you have to say to women that you think we do not know and that may be helpful for us—like menopause and what it really is and why we experience it as opposite and painful to what you said of it, being an affirmation of life?
RAJ: Relax, my dear. I never said it. Nor would I.
What would I say to women? Respect yourselves. And if you find that difficult, ask yourself, "Whose sister am I?" You are my sister! We have the same Father. Respect is your Birthright! But if you do not hold yourself in the esteem due a daughter of God, you will withhold the wisdom and love that grace your nature because you will neglect to stand for Principle in your relationships.
I will tell you something else: A woman who has self-respect will not fight against male domination. She will find no need to wage war against men. Her native wisdom—which never abandoned her, even though she abandoned it in the name of her "femininity"—will emerge once again. And what were once called "feminine wiles" will serve that wisdom, reflecting the best of what had once been called "manipulation," and become a benign "force" for good, for dignity in male-female relationships.
When such wisdom-in-action is embodied in woman, the process of education loses the elements of coercion, and the "student"—man—finds no call for defense. Thus, relationships, can grow in new ways.
It also sets an example for daughters, mothers and sisters who not only have accepted their "unequalness" as valid, but who try to force you to accept it for yourself.
Love and wisdom, which are forever yours, provide the natural context—the harmonizing or healing context—for the redemption of relationships. And they flow spontaneously, from a daughter of God who remembers she is my sister, and not just the sister of siblings who have forgotten who their Father is.
With much love, I embrace you and all of my sisters in the acknowledgement of who You Are.
QUESTION: I've listened over and over to your answer to the mother who had two sons with schizophrenia. It was at a gathering in Kingston. You told her she would not likely find complete relief.
The pain of watching a son or daughter suffer with mental illness is relentless. My son's pain is relentless. How does one find joy in the midst of such heartache and seeming hopelessness? I know there are many parents in the same circumstances—financial, mental and physical exhaustion. Your tapes, Raj, are and always have been my greatest comfort. But the pain is now almost too much to bear.
It seems the intensity of my mother's death at the same time I was finishing a project and my son was in crisis has sent me into a backslide of reaction and panic. Now I'm almost afraid to get still, that I won't be able to handle the sorrow. I've lost the ability to see miracles and so they aren't happening. But then maybe I'm trying to tell God what the miracles should look like.
I'm also ashamed that I've had no trust and no energy for life or maybe even appreciation...and most especially gratitude.
RAJ: I'm only going to commiserate with you for a moment by acknowledging that I know you're exhausted and at the end of your rope. I also know that no matter how exhausted you are, you don't want to be stuck there.
So, what's the first step out of it? It is to abandon trying to be personally responsible for solving his problem! Actually, it is a matter of giving up your life-long ethic of being responsible for everyone! God did not go on vacation and leave everything in your hands!
It is very difficult for you to allow others to have their learning experiences without introducing your beneficent "help," whether it has been asked for or not. This is a mistake. It assumes that another's point of learning, another's threshold of enlightenment, is not appropriate because it does not meet the criteria of your definition of "proper learning." And yet, every threshold you have moved over, and from which you gained so much, did not meet someone else's criteria of "proper learning."
I understand that it is very easy to forget this when confronted with the call for help called "suffering." You must not forget that God is working His purpose out, no matter how much better you think you can handle it.
Now, it is one thing to be nurturing, supportive and helpful, and it is quite another thing to lift responsibility from another's shoulders and carry it yourself, or at the least believe that you ought to be able to do it even though it's difficult—financially, mentally, and physically exhausting. If you lose perspective as to where the responsibility lies for his healing, you will try the impossible and then burden yourself with guilt for failing. This is what you've done, and this is what's exhausting you.
I will tell you something else: You're actually beginning to get mad at God because you aren't being able to make others be happy, be well, or live. And you are mad at Him because you think He ought to be helping you to be a transformational presence in others' lives. After all, isn't that what all of your spiritual study and growth has been about?
Well, let me ask you this: How much of your actual growth, how much of your actual spiritual insights, were forced upon you? Done for you? No, no one's stubborn will is ever violated. No growth ever occurs until it is allowed. And it won't occur with your son until he says it's going to occur!
Learn from your experience. It's what you've been taught to believe that's getting you into trouble. You know that you have always been the key to your learning—and actually that is now a capital "K" Knowing. Be with your son from There. In the clarity of this Knowing, you will not attempt to relieve him of anything. You will not try to do the impossible. You will not wear yourself out. And you will empower him by pointing him in the direction of his power.
Don't waste your time or your energy by complaining or being depressed by the fruitlessness of your being "so good"! As long as you are distracting him from his power by asserting yours, you are not "being good." And at the bottom line, you know this.
You are going to have to use a little discipline and ask for a little divine help to keep you in your clarity, and therefore your self-appreciative normal state of mind wherein you do not become depleted by your son's constant confrontive plea for someone else to take responsibility when no one else can!
Don't interpret the willingness of others to make you responsible as an indication that you are loved and needed. Above all, don't feel good about it! It is an indication that you are needed, but needed as that presence which is unwilling to comply with self-irresponsibility. Be the "adult," and express what he needs rather than what he wants.
Your energy, your joy, your inspiration and your gratitude will be ever-present when you refuse to sacrifice your Integrity in the face of others who want to sacrifice theirs.
I know I've given you a kick in the seat of your pants, but nothing less will snap you out of this fog. And, I have demonstrated for you what you need to do with those who would give their power away to you.
QUESTION: My question concerns my teaching career. I have been teaching for 18 years and within the last few years I have become very frustrated. My students have always been predominantly "at risk" and need constant attention, but it seems that I am at a loss as to what I can do to reach them.
Knowing that I cannot change another's behavior or attitude, I am wondering if you could help me to shift mine? Or do you have any ideas that I can use to reach my students? I feel overwhelmed and sometimes I allow them to drain my energy. I am really working on this aspect, but until I move on to a new job, I will have to deal with this. I've had class discussions about this and I really feel I am the key factor available to make the shift within the classroom.
RAJ: The problem is that you are no longer able to look at them and think, "They're just like me." You could say that it has become more difficult for you to see yourself in them. As a result there is now an element of foreignness about "them," and you are no longer at ease.
In the beginning, when you recognized yourself in your students, you would think in terms of "we." But as they became more "foreign," it began to be "me" and "them." You see? It has not become a full-blown distinction yet, but if and when it does, you'll find a complete breakdown of communication.
You say that you are beginning to feel frustrated by not being able to connect with them. This may be the point where you can recognize yourself in them. They, in their lives, are not feeling "connected" either.
Their distresses are just like yours, although the details may not be the same. And the answer lies in abandoning the sense of "difference" and the block to communication that it places between you.
They need a friend! But it is difficult to be a real friend to someone who is not fundamentally like you. Indeed, they may be "at risk" but are you so different? Not really. You must find the ways in which you can identify with them—not their background, not their lingo or their behavior, but with them!
As you do, communication will improve, connection will occur for them as well as you, and the joy of teaching will fill your classroom again. Their background will stay the same and other teachers' experience of them may not change, but their experience with you will prove to them that their "disconnectedness" is not absolute.
And you may even prove to be an inspiration to the other teachers.
TEACHERS OF LOVE
QUESTION: At this moment, I feel like the ocean trying to pour itself into a glass of water. It's overflowing and overwhelming. The question I have for you, Raj, is: How does one teach only love in and outside of time, forever, given that death is not real and that we are?
RAJ: The only way you or anyone else can teach love is to succumb to it yourself. And then, by your very presence, you will teach it. But it will not be something you can describe or give a "how-to" to.
So, how do you, in practical terms, do that? How do you succumb to love? Well, you've got to find some way to let it in. And the only way to let it in is to stop blocking it. What you have to do is stop doing what kept it out. That's why the first lesson in the Course is so valuable, because the way you keep out love is the same way you keep out God, and that is by having definitions of everything, definitions of anything.
In the willingness to say, "Nothing I see means anything," is the way you become free of the practice of having definitions that block the infilling of Love which is the presence of God—which is your true and only nature. In letting that be all there is right where you are, you become the movement of Love—the Love that is extending Itself. But, there never is an "extender" of Love involved. There never is someone who has themselves on their mind as being "a teacher of love."
So, again, it's so simple, because, as I said, every blade of grass, every leaf on the tree, is an opportunity to see the divinity that is there. And in the desire to see the divinity that you don't have any knowledge of at the moment—or so it would seem—you become free of the definitions you superimposed on it, such as, "Oh, it's just Matter," or "Oh, it's all illusion," or whatever definitions you give to it. And there's the opportunity for the influx of its Meaning to register with you.
Well, what is that? That's letting in God! And letting in God is an experience. It's not an explanation. And you just are the presence of Love that everyone and every thing can feel.
So, you know, it isn't reading books, it isn't attending church. It's being defenseless with a simple blade of grass. It's being defenseless with the pull chain on the ceiling fan. It doesn't matter whether you say, "Well, that's just something the human mind of man created out of some metal." It doesn't matter what you say or think about it.
If there is something there that you are experiencing, become defenseless against it by abandoning the definition you gave it. Be willing to not know what it is, because in that void of not-knowingness there is an emptiness, which can be filled by What was always there. You see?
And then, a simple thing [the pull chain on the ceiling fan] that appears to be an inanimate collection of little balls made out of metal which is purely utilitarian, can begin to register with you as Love, Itself—living Love that is recognizable and looks like that. But it doesn't even matter anymore what it looks like, because it's alive. It's not only alive, it's alight. It's lit! And not only that, it is radiating Love and loving you, and you feel It.
And something happens: A light goes on! You say, "It's just like me. I'm just like It, because although It still appears to be over there, I'm experiencing inseparability from It. And we're the same Love, loving Itself."
You're touched. Your heart is touched. And it melts. What you thought it was [the ceiling fan chain] doesn't even matter anymore, and the fact that it didn't disappear doesn't matter to you anymore—which maybe you thought it would because "it was all illusion." The only thing that was illusion, was that you saw it as something other than it was. Now you're willing to let it be the way it appears to be because the appearance isn't what matters and never was what mattered. And what you thought it was never mattered, and doesn't matter.
In this state of conscious awareness, of, shall I say, "Mindfulness," there's no materiality. There's no space and no time. You're not fooled by an apparent experience of distance that would suggest time, because not only is the Love there (as the chain) the same Love that you are, so is the intervening space.
There is an experience of the perfection—and these simply are inadequate words—the perfection of everything. And the perfection of everything is experienced as something that is paradoxical. It is absolutely one and indivisible—exquisitely and perfectly indivisible—but at the same time constitutes an absolutely infinite experience of diversity that truly isn't diverse at all.
The unity is the unity of you. And yet, you might say you have suddenly gotten infinitely bigger. And yet, as with each individual ball on the pull chain, you, apparently identifiable sitting there in the chair, are still identifiable specifically, even though simultaneously the experience is a universal experience.
Now, when Paul is joined with me defenselessly, as he is right now, he is experiencing somewhat of what I am talking about. And when anyone does it, it is felt beyond his apparent physical shape. He teaches Love by being the place where Love can happen, and not by conscious design, because that which has a conscious design to teach love is that which is separate from the love. You see?
It's the same thing with being a teacher of God. One who is a teacher of God is one who has abandoned whatever his definitions of those words meant and allowed himself to be in the not-knowing place, free of definitions. He is one who has invited God in and said, "Thy will, not mine, be done," and who has not said it so that after he has the experience he can come back and be separate from God and teach everyone what he has learned.
Where all of you are headed is to that place where you say, "Thy will, not mine, be done," and you let yourself into that place, and then you stay there forever. Then you're a teacher of God—except the words won't make any sense to you, because all you're doing is, in any given moment, being utterly appropriate—not by any definition of appropriateness that you have ever had, but one which will be apparent to you because it's that same kind of perfection of every aspect of Reality—the perfection of the chain, the Love, the space in between the chain and where one perceives himself to be, and so on.
The teacher of Love is the one who finds himself to be totally helpless, totally unqualified to be a teacher of Love—without any capacity to be anything of value on his or her own—and instead of resisting that experience, stays with it. Allows it.
In that place of incapacity—of perceived incapacity—one is free of definitions. How can someone so useless and incapacitated have any kind of valid concept that would be true? And so one has lost faith in his personal capacity. You see? That's the threshold of Awakening, because you've prepared a place—which isn't full of your definitions—for Love to enter, for God to enter, and illuminate all that God has always been being, right there where that space had been overlaid with all your concepts. You see?
As many of you know, I have been asking Paul for quite some time to be in that place all the time. And I've asked him to do it by saying, "Let me respond to everything." It's very hard for him to do this. But until he allows himself—and I say this not to draw the focus to Paul, but because it applies to everyone—I ask him to do this because if he will do it without having an ace up his sleeve, an option to take control later, then in the experience he has of letting me respond to everything, he will be able to remember the fullness of what it felt like to not be in control, and to experience the Movement of Creation as something not separate from him. That's how you be a teacher of Love. That's how you be a teacher of God. That's how you wake up.
So, as I said, you're faced constantly with the opportunity. Everything that's in your face, from a blade of grass to a pull chain is there to have its divinity recognized. And if you take the opportunity to abandon your definitions and be present with these things defenselessly—meaning sans definitions—you are putting yourself in that place where the influx of Love can occur and you can be a teacher of Love because you're not trying to be a teacher of Love, and you're not trying to define everything. You see? It's simple.
Everyone is confronted with the opportunity every day, every moment, no matter where you are, no matter what you're looking at. If you're in a jail, the jail bars, the cracked paint on the wall, hold the promise of Awakening if you're willing to look at them minus the definitions you've given to them and the definitions you've given to yourself.
You wake up by doing nothing! By being nothing! I mean by that, by not being a concept—a righteous person, an unrighteous person. The person who thinks he's good is as bad off as the person who thinks he's bad. It's a definition! And a definition is like having on a pair of sunglasses, or a pair of glasses that distort the image, that keep you from seeing what's really there.
Well, if you wake up by doing nothing, does that mean you don't have to go to work tomorrow morning, you can just sleep in and do nothing? No, because, you know, the Kingdom of Heaven isn't going to go away. The Movement of Creation isn't going to stop happening—and That is what is confronting you every single moment, giving you the opportunity or the invitation to see what It divinely is.
What you have to stop doing is interposing your definition of everything between you and every thing! So, you're going to have trouble if you don't get up and go to work tomorrow morning, if you don't go to the bathroom when you feel the need.
There are things that it will be appropriate to do. But the point is, approach those things with innocent eyes, with the curiosity to see what's there divinely—the curiosity to see the divinity of everything. It's so simple. It's very spiritual, but it's not at all religious.
You have described yourself as a spiritual activist, which is sort of like talking about dry water, because you can't have a spiritual activist. You can only have a spiritual "yielder-to," a spiritual allower, a spiritual let-er.
True spirituality is what you experience in someone who has gotten out of the way. The fact is that it might appear that a lot happens when someone gets out of the way. It won't be because (s)he had an agenda, but because the movement of God happens without hindrance when someone stands out of the way.
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