ONLY ONE MIND (UNA SOLA MENTE):
There is one light, one holy radiance. There is one life of God creating us. There is one truth: We are forever one Extension of God's love, one Self, one mind. (from One Self)
David began his journey to spiritual enlightenment in 1986 when he encountered A Course in Miracles and recognized it as the tool he had been seeking for a radical transformation of his mind and perceptions. In the early years David studied the Course with passionate intensity, often reading it for eight or more hours a day. After two years of this study, David began to seek the company of other students of ACIM, attending as many as five groups a week. He was startled to find that a Voice was speaking through him with great authority, so that many began referring their questions to him.
Among family members, friends and teachers, David was always known for questioning everything, rather than accepting conventional answers. Thus he was delighted to find in the Course support and encouragement from the Voice of Jesus for his careful examination of every idea, belief, concept and assumption in his mind. Jesus became David's internal teacher, answering his every question, guiding him to hand over the day-to-day management of all relationships, circumstances and events in his life, and providing inner discernment as to the writings and teachings of others. Several hermitage experiences helped David to free his mind from ego chatter and enter into deep silence, where he ultimately experienced enlightenment.
In 1991 David was impelled to make another leap of trust and to begin traveling around the United States and Canada, sharing his clarity of understanding related to A Course in Miracles. He followed Jesus' instructions to "become as a child", allowing himself to be totally dependent on the Holy Spirit for money, transportation, shelter, food and the words to speak in countless ACIM gatherings, churches, metaphysical and spiritual groups and a host of holy encounters with persons who knew nothing of the Course. David found that it was his constant joy and peace that was the best teacher in all encounters, and that it was this peace that all his brothers and sisters were seeking. The Voice of Jesus told David – as it instructed the apostles 2,000 years before, "Freely you have received; freely give." Thus David has never charged for his time, teaching or any of the many materials he gives away, but has been supported entirely by love offerings. In all his years of traveling and sharing the wisdom of Christ, David has become a living demonstration of the principles of A Course in Miracles, such lessons as:
"I am sustained by the Love of God.""I am the light of the world.""I will step back and let him lead the way.""In my defenselessness my safety lies.""God's will for me is perfect happiness."
David learned through countless miracles that he could perfectly trust the Holy Spirit to provide for him and guide him through every situation. Everything he seemed to need to accomplish his purpose as a teacher of God was given without his making any effort whatever.
In 1996 David was guided to a small house in Cincinnati, Ohio, called the PeaceHouse. It became a place of quiet and meditation between travels, but also a place where he could welcome those desiring to step back from the world and to go deeply within the mind to discover the Christ within. David's move to the PeaceHouse opened a new phase of his ministry as Holy Spirit guided him to acquire computers and learn internet technology. The result was the creation of a number of websites. His main website, http://www.awakening-mind.net, today offers a huge array of resources related to A Course in Miracles and the metaphysics of Christ. Always a lover of music, and seeing it as a path to God in its own right, David has set up a number of Music Pavilions on his website highlighting a variety of artists who share spiritual ideas through music. Also available on the site are video clips of television interviews he has done, audio recordings of gatherings and teaching sessions, searchable archives, and writings such as Mind Overhaul, Purpose Is The Only Choice, and The Movie Watcher's Guide To Enlightenment. (David sees movies as another helpful path to God.)
While the computer ministry was unfolding, a friend was inspired to help David establish a non-profit organization, the Foundation For The Awakening Mind, which now serves as a framework for coordinating all aspects of the ministry and for handling larger donations.
In late 2001, Resta Burnham began visiting David at the Peace House and having a series of "kitchen table talks" in which they plunged deeply into the metaphysics of A Course in Miracles. While Resta had been receiving spiritual songs for many years, this joining with David sparked an explosion of music – nearly 100 songs in the first year of their association. David used these songs – a collection Resta was guided to title "Music of Christ"– as the basis for Music Pavilion III on his website. In mid-2002 Resta was led to acquire the tools to record her own CDs, and by the end of the year a total of eight CDs had been produced, with an average of 20 songs each. Like David, Resta felt clear that she was to give the music away for free. Holy Spirit dictated this "Copyright Policy" to accompany every CD:
"Beloved Child of God: The Music of Christ is for You who are the Christ. Its content, like Yours, is eternal and cannot be changed. Please do whatever you like with its form, including copying, sharing, changing, arranging, performing or selling. May this music help you to remember You. Amen"
A music website was created, http://www.musicofchrist.net , where all the songs and lyrics are available for free download. The music is also available through David's main website.
In 2002, David began a new cycle of traveling and sharing in gatherings around the country. This time the "Messengers of Peace" included Resta and Kathy Martin, whose invaluable work included setting up gatherings and handling all communications and logistics with our hosts.
In January 2003 Resta received a request for CDs from Patricia Besada in Argentina. This began the swift and miraculous unfolding of David and Resta's trip to Argentina in March 2003, accompanied by Dave Powell and Kerri. In 19 official gatherings and numerous informal ones, David shared his illumination and joy with rapt audiences throughout Buenos Aires and in the towns of La Plata, Maipu, Mar del Plata and Miramar. Resta performed the Music of Christ and gave away CDs at every gathering. With Kerri's help, she even received her first song in Spanish, "Dios, Dios", which audiences were invited to sing.
Argentines embraced the Messengers of Peace with much warmth, gratitude and passion. Although David and Resta spoke no Spanish, we discovered that love and the desire to communicate were all that was necessary for the free flow if ideas. Argentine students of A Course in Miracles demonstrated a hunger for truth a, great willingness to enter into the mind training disciplines provided by Jesus in the Course. They also were in touch with their emotions, so that many gatherings seemed equal parts laughter and tears. Patricia Besada and Valerie Monk, both long-time students of the Course and translators of many English Course writings into Spanish, set up all the gatherings and did the translation work for many of them. Other translators included Monica Escudero, Maria Cristina Uhart, Anastasia Voyatjides, and Alcira Bentlila. (We also discovered there were a lot of "backseat" translators who like to help out when someone seemed stuck.) Finally, we wish to especially thank our host family– Richard, Marcela, Norman and Martin Campbell (and Treca!)– for giving us a home base of such warmth, joy, kindness and laughter.
"Una Sola Mente"
– Only One Mind – is a composite of the Argentina gatherings with David, incorporating questions and answers from many of them. Interspersed throughout the dialogues are lines from the Music of Christ, wherever it seems they will shed more light on the topic being discussed.
One mind, one mind, All is one in the one mind. One mind, one mind, I AM forever one. Love is, joy is all there is to be. Truth is, light is all there is to see. (from One Mind)
David: We are honored to come to Argentina and accept your invitation. Resta has brought her music. Kerri and David Powell are with us. It is always a blessing to meet myself over and over, and that is how I see the travels that I make. I have traveled around the United States for the last twelve years, holding discussions like we're going to have tonight, in which all questions are welcome and we let the Spirit within bring the answers. It is a great joy to share the light of Christ. We have all been called as miracle workers, and we have all answered. Now is where the joy begins. Nothing of our former life ever brought us lasting happiness. Our happiness and our function are one. There is no greater joy than serving God.
I do not give talks or sermons. I let the Holy Spirit orchestrate the gatherings, so everywhere I go the Holy Spirit speaks through the many. I listen to and recognize the Holy Spirit's Voice. These gatherings are opportunities to ask questions and have discussions that raise the ego up into awareness, so that it can be released. Without questioning it, it is assumed to be true and remains unconscious. A lot of the spiritual journey is giving your mind permission to ask questions. There is only one ego, and as we expose it, it disappears for everyone. The work you do with your mind is there for everyone in the world. It is a very profound calling, the most profound calling there is. The journey into your heart requires only your willingness. Christ or the inner Spirit really does the work. Your spark of willingness, together with the power of the Holy Spirit, ignites the light in your mind. So I invite you to ask your questions today, because one question is everyone´s question. Every question will help bring illumination to all of us. There are no good questions or bad questions, no smart questions or stupid questions. Feel free to express anything that comes to your heart.
Q: How did you accomplish such a joy you are showing us. How is it you are so happy?
D: I hold onto no concepts or beliefs, and therefore I have no expectations. This enables me to live in the present moment, with no past thoughts and no future worries or concerns. I have no attachments or possessions. I have given up any belief in them. Whatever seems to be helpful in my teaching shows up: plane tickets, cars, food, etc. I have forgotten the old way of living. Past learning does not light my way. What I learned in ten years of college has been unlearned, or the Holy Spirit has taken those symbols and translated them so I can use them to teach peace and freedom, the pathway out of the world. I no longer use form symbols for pride or personal gain. That is the joy. As Jesus taught, I give all glory to God.
Laugh, laugh. Remember to laugh. Remember it's only a dream. Ego, schmego – wake up, amigo! Stop crying and have a good laugh. (from Laugh, Laugh)
Q: To get to this state of mind, did you experience resistance?
D: Yes, much resistance, many tears. Much darkness had to come up. It took many miracles to convince me that it was okay to trust God. The journey into the mind has very intense emotions, and at times it can feel like your world is falling apart. It's just that, being invested into this world, the mind is upside down, and now the Spirit is turning the mind right side up, toward the Light. The only way to have a peaceful world is to be peaceful for yourself. It is totally an inside job.
Q: Tell us about how you started.
D: When I was a child, I never felt like I completely fit into this world. While others were deciding what they wanted to be when they grew up, I had no clear idea of what I would do. In high school when they gave me aptitude tests, the scores came out very funny. It was as if there was no vocation waiting for me. Now I can laugh and think of the teachings of Jesus: "I am calling you out of the world." Still, I attempted to find a meaning and a vocation. During the many years in college, I spent most of the time in the library reading in psychology, philosophy and religion, asking deeper questions and looking for the meaning of life. Through the years of searching, I was able to eliminate a lot of questions because I saw that none of the disciplines saw the same world. For example, the chemist did not see the same world as the psychologist. As I came to understand the underlying assumptions of each discipline that I studied, I realized that no one had the answer. Some professors even admitted to this! I saw that there was much arguing between the disciplines, and the Spirit inside told me that it was my perception that was distorted, that I had to do inner work before I could see a peaceful world.
Nothing in this world can help me. No one in this world can tell me Anything about peace and salvation. A voice inside my mind is saying It will help me find the way in Through the quiet door of meditation. (from The Deep Within)
A Course In Miracles came to me in 1986 as an answer to an inner prayer for a systematic way of clearing the mirror of my mind, of learning to trust the Spirit and listen to the Voice and lay aside all judgment. So I immersed myself in the Course and for the first couple years read about eight hours a day. Even during this period, the ego had much resistance to A Course In Miracles. My eyes would get very heavy, but I was gentle with myself because I knew I had discovered the escape from this world. I would let nothing get in the way of it. So I would take a walk, have a snack, or have a swim and then come back with full passion and my eyes open and read the Course for many hours more.
Come, come, you who are yearning. Come, come, out of the darkness. Come, come, you who are burning with loneliness. Come, come, lift up your heads now. Come, come, gather your courage. Come, come, you will be fed now with tenderness. (from Come, Come)
Q: Didn't you have to work?
D: In the beginning when I received the Course, I thought I was ready to ascend! (laughter) I asked the Spirit to point me to the nearest mountain, and the Spirit said: You are far from ready. I was given very practical advice to go back to the relationship I was in, to wait and receive guidance as to a job I was to get, and use the income from the job to pay off loans and debts. This was an intense period of about eight months in which I had to learn to pray and let go of the years of college learning that were getting in the way of Holy Spirit working through me. The Holy Spirit uses the skills and abilities, but the purpose of the Holy Spirit is very different from the ego's purpose. The ego wanted to use the skills to prop up the personality self: pride, fame, achievement, status – these are all ego goals. So in answer to your question, the first couple years I was given specific assignments and these jobs allowed me to pay off loans and learn how to listen and follow the Voice of the Holy Spirit.
Q: How did you question your ego?
D: In the Course, the Workbook guides your mind to question everything you believe. For example, Lesson 50: "I am sustained by the Love of God." Jesus speaks of many things that the ego believes it is sustained by – pills, money, protective clothing, knowing the right people, a list of many false idols. So it gave me lots of clues of what to question. Then I got to Lesson 76: "I am under no laws but God's." He continues with even more ideas to question: laws of economics, laws of medicine, laws of nutrition – even laws of friendship! – lots of unconscious beliefs that have to be questioned and released. It is all the past conditioning that we have learned in this world. All of the beliefs, such as education, building a career, planning for financial security, are based on linear time. They try to cover over the present moment, the holy instant. So that gives you an idea of the questioning I had to do.
What is it for – does it serve the light? What is it for – does it serve the Christ? Does it bring me joy, or a stab of pain? Does it bring me peace, or the fire of hate? Can I truly say that it comes from God? What is it for, what is it for, what is it for? (from What Is It For?)
Q: Do I have the power to decide?
D: In heaven there is free will. The only reflection in this world of heaven is the power to choose. What you have the power to choose, moment by moment, is your state of mind. It seems in this world that there are other choices. It seems as if every day is filled with a menu of choices – when to wake up, which dress to wear, where to go, who to call, what to eat. These are all delusions of decisions, for the script of the world is already written. That is why the psychics are able to predict events with much accuracy. All events, encounters and circumstances of the scripts of this world are the past. Moment by moment, you have the power to interpret what you are seeing. You can interpret it with the Holy Spirit – in which case you will have peace and happiness – or you can interpret it with the ego which analyzes and breaks apart and judges. The mind is always upset when it is interpreting events with the ego.
Q: How can I release all attachments, like the special relationship with my husband?
D: This is a big question – that Jesus spends nine chapters on! (Laughter) When the mind seemed to fall asleep and forget the kingdom of heaven, it believed it was lacking. In heaven it is whole and complete. The ego then tried to offer a substitute for the love and intimacy of heaven. Thus were special relationships made, to offer completion as a God-substitute. So your husband is in the position or role of providing you unconditional love, but this is impossible for a human being to do. When we pick a partner, a life partner, deep down we are saying: You are my best chance at receiving unconditional love. Out of six billion other people, I have picked you to offer me unconditional love. And if you aren't able to fulfill this role, divorce is always an option! (Laughter) So, the best way to perceive your husband is as a reflection or mirror of the thoughts and beliefs that you still hold. When you are tempted to get angry at something that your husband does or doesn't do, it will be a wonderful opportunity to get in touch with your unconscious beliefs. No human being has the power to upset one's self. It is always our own thoughts and beliefs that take away our peace. So A Course in Miracles offers a way to transform your special relationship into a holy relationship in which you share the purpose of the Holy Spirit and experience much joy and much gladness.
I release you, my brother, to be who you are, My savior, the Christ who abides in God's heart. And I'll be there with you, for we're truly one, Beloved of the Father, His Son. (from I Release You)
Q: Can a spiritual path such as the Course be a path of loneliness and isolation?
D: At times in working with A Course in Miracles, or many spiritual paths, the ego does experience loneliness. It is a feeling of separation that is buried very deep. I chose to face those feelings by going off to live in a hermitage in the woods, where the lonely feelings came up in my face! So often when you remove distractions, you first become in touch with loneliness and emptiness. The appearances that were given meaning, you withdraw the meaning from. And for a moment – or many moments – it can seem like a meaningless journey. It is just the ego being raised up into awareness.
Q: Perhaps this is an aggressive question, but what is the difference between A Course in Miracles and a brainwash?
D: Brainwash involves conformity: to a particular belief system, or a structure, or an individual or group. A Course in Miracles could better be called "mind-washing", because it attempts to wash away all attack thoughts, all grievances and all judgments, to leave the mind in its natural state of non-judgment. As Jesus taught, "Judge not, lest ye be judged."
Wash me in light. Bathe me in holiness until there is nothing left to block out Love's Rays. Wash me in light. Undo my guilty fears. Wipe away every tear. Clothe me in grace. (from Wash Me In Light)
Q: Is it possible to study A Course in Miracles and try to apply it among people who know nothing about it?
D: Yes, that has been my path. Most of the people I come in contact with are not ACIM students, but just ordinary people– waitresses, flight attendants, mechanics, garbage men, people in stores. It is really about changing your thinking, and not about trying to change other people.
Q: Even within special relationships?
D: Yes, even in special relationships, Jesus taught that before you remove the speck in your brother's eye, you must remove the beam from your own. What you will experience is that people will be drawn to you who share your new purpose. You will find many "mighty companions" who relate to you more in terms of vibration than biology or common interests. That is a step in waking up. When you reach the point of enlightenment, you will see everyone the same. There will be no distinctions or differences that have any meaning anymore. That is the joy!
Sharing the joy, shining the light, Singing the bliss and soaring in Christ, Sharing the peace, shining the truth, Singing and soaring with you. (from Sharing The Joy)
Q: How long will it take me to reach this point of enlightenment? (much laughter)
D: Jesus says in A Course in Miracles that whenever you become discouraged about how long it will take to change your mind so completely, you should ask yourself: "How long is an instant?" It does come down to willingness. The ego wants to be right about the world that it made. The Holy Spirit asks your mind: Would you rather be right or happy?
Q: In order to learn the Course, is it necessary to have a master or a guru or a guide to follow?
D: No. A Course in Miracles is a tool that opens you to the connection to the guidance of the Holy Spirit within. It is helpful to have witnesses of unconditional love. It brings a reflection of your own mind. In the end you see that everything is your mind.
Q: What do you mean by "witnesses"?
D: They are symbols in form that demonstrate the love that is beyond form. Form or behavior can never be the unconditional love that is abstract. So the first step is to be open to miracles and with this, symbols of love begin to show up in awareness. This is just a step towards enlightenment, because symbols of love imply that there are other symbols, such as symbols of fear. So, one may say Mother Teresa is a symbol of love, and Adolph Hitler is a symbol of fear.
D: When you allow the Holy Spirit to wash your mind free of all judgments and comparisons, you will see everyone and everything as the same.
There are no differences. We are the same. We share one holy Self, one shining Name. (from We Can't Go Home Alone)
Q: It would take a million years to reach that instant!
D: Enlightenment is not something that occurs in the future. Enlightenment is now. God is not dangling a carrot of salvation in the future. That would be a cruel God! God wants you to receive enlightenment now. So you must question all of your beliefs in time. All concepts of this world are based on the belief in linear time. The present moment is the closest approximation of eternity. It takes trust to open to the present moment, relying and depending on the guidance of the Holy Spirit and releasing the past learning of the ego.
Come to the Now. In the Now be free. Come to the Now. In the Now lies peace. (from Come To The Now)
Q: When you started your path with the Course in Miracles, were you married?
D: No. (Laughter)
Q: When one is married or in a relationship and starts to study the Course, you change. How does one study the Course and keep on in a marriage?
D: What you are raising is the question of union. Marriage in this world is an attempt to come to the experience of union. A Course in Miracles helps you discern between the true experience of union and the ego's make-believe union. The ego teaches: relationship or union is bodies together, minds apart. Maintain a sense of individuality yet be coupled as a union. The Holy Spirit teaches a different view of union: minds joined as one, bodies may come or go. The ego attempts to maintain a belief in privacy, where secrets are kept from husbands and wives. It is afraid of losing its individuality. Relationships therefore are best thought of as opportunities to unlearn the ego. The false sense of union will dissolve or fall apart. It is inevitable. It takes trust in all relationships to stay with the purpose of the Holy Spirit. The ego is appalled at the new purpose, so as you open to the Holy Spirit, sometimes it can seem like a very bumpy ride. You may be guided to stay in a relationship, to spend time being single, or perhaps guided into another relationship that will be another opportunity to unlearn the ego. Truly the only union that is real is the Christ mind, at one with God forever. This is union. This is what everyone longs for.
God has created us one with Himself. Only in Him we live, in His mind dwell. He calls to us, "My Child, awake, and seek no more the dreams of hate. My holy Son, My precious Christ, forever in My love abide. (from We Can't Go Home Alone)
Q: How would the Course teach us to see the current world situation and the war?
D: Studying A Course in Miracles involves a large turnaround of mind. The mind that is asleep and dreaming of separation perceives many problems on many levels. It perceives inter-psychic problems, interpersonal problems, problems in neighborhoods, countries and international affairs. The training aims to realize that there is no order of difficulty in miracles. A miracle can solve any problem there appears to be. The sleeping mind is convinced there are many problems that have many degrees of severity. A sore throat seems to be very different from a world war, yet both are upsetting. So all problems and conflicts are equally blocks to inner peace.
So let us look a moment at the concept of war. The Course teaches"The war against yourself is almost over now." This is good news! It is describing the war of the mind which is attempting to hold two contradictory thought systems: love and fear. These two emotions do not go together. In heaven the mind is unified in love, so to attempt to hold onto these two thought systems, as if they both are real, the situation is intolerable. A cosmos was projected out to see the split in mind as if it was in the world. The mind that is asleep sees good guys and bad guys, victims and victimizers and many, many dualities – as if they exist in the world. The world is a giant distractive device to see the hurt and pain of the mind as if it is in the world. So the healing that the Course leads to is to release all scraps of fear so that the mind is clear and free of all attack thoughts and grievances. When this occurs, one perceives the world with the Holy Spirit as one whole tapestry in which all things work together for good. The present moment is very literally the end of all war. When you have forgiven the error, you see a very different world. It is impossible to judge against anybody else, because you see that the mind is one.
Many years ago, Gandhi was asked if he believed in the devil, and he replied that the only devils are the ones running around in our own hearts. So A Course In Miracles is just one path, among many paths, that lead to purity of heart. When you see that all is one mind, there is nothing to defend or to protect and your mind is all inclusive. This mind does not know an enemy. In this mind there are no countries, no nationalities, no cultures. This mind is incapable of seeing differences because the error of differences has been exposed.
Vibrations of love, softer than light, quietly heal confusion of mind. Vibrations of love, singing of Christ, gently reveal a world beyond time. (from Vibrations Of Love)
Q: Does the Course have anything to do with Freud's teachings about the life instinct and the death instinct?
D: You are referring to the ideas of "eros" and "thanatos". Yes, Sigmund Freud had many contributions in understanding the mind. The eros that Freud described was still related to the body. The thanatos, or death wish that he described, was also still related to the body. Jesus reveals in A Course In Miracles that the ego is the death wish and the ego is a belief in the mind. The form is only a symbol of the ego belief. Jesus pulls the definitions of life and death away from form and into states of mind. Death is anything that is not constant joy – irritation, annoyance, murder or rage. Even a sigh of weariness, fatigue, is a representation of the ego belief. The Spirit's purpose brings a feeling of vitality, unlimited energy, joy, and is not related directly to the body. For a time, it seems to be demonstrated through the body – in smiles and hugs and many expressions of love. But in deep meditation, the mind begins to lose awareness of the body. The body is only a teaching device and is very temporary. The body and world become more peripheral in one's own consciousness as you become aligned with the Holy Spirit.
A body I am not, but spirit pure and free With a shining heart of truth that lives eternally. (from Shining Wings Of Peace)
Q: I have suffered many panic attacks, yet deep in my heart I know God exists. What can I do to experience the existence of God and love and be healed of the fear?
D: Panic attacks may continue for some time as you work closely with A Course In Miracles, because you are going through the darkness into the light. At times it can seem very intense and it may be wise to step back a moment, as you have done. The Spirit will gently guide you back when you are ready.
Q: Do you meditate a lot?
D: Once it seemed to be a practice that involved sitting, eyes closed, and time periods. Now meditation is a state of mind. The mind is still, even when the body seems to move, and the words seem to come.
Q: What tells you that the Course is true?
D: It is my experience of happiness and joy. A Course in Miracles points beyond theology and beyond concepts to a living experience. I did not want another theology – I had read many. As I began to experience miracles and felt the peace and the joy and the freedom, and it lasted longer and longer, I could see that the ways I had sought in the past for peace and freedom and love were all based on circumstances and looking for things to be a certain way. The miracles showed me that my state of mind was a decision. Jesus told me, the one right use of judgment was "How do I feel?" He told me to be honest about my feelings. Joy and happiness are the most honest feelings. When I was able to release the fear and the guilt, the happiness was lasting.
There is one peace within the soul of us. One shining joy flows from our holiness. There is one Will that will our happiness, That's ever blessing us with Love divine. (from One Self)
Q: With Jesus in your heart, you seem to be powerful.
D: Yes. "Invulnerable" is the word that comes to mind.
Q: Perhaps you know this country is having difficult economic problems. Is it possible to live in a country such as Argentina and at the same time read and practice the Course?
D: Yes, it is inevitable to practice the Course wherever you seem to be. Take for example poverty. That was part of the transformation that I experienced. I used to believe that poverty was tied into material conditions. Jesus taught me that poverty was the same as ego thinking. There are many people that have much wealth and possessions that truly live in poverty because of a sense of lack and ego thinking. To the ego there is never enough. So this helped me realize that poverty was a state of mind. In trusting in the Holy Spirit, everything I seemed to need to share the message is provided effortlessly. Coming to Argentina is a good example of this. Plane tickets – Dave Powell donated frequent flyer miles so we could come. We use donated money for taxi fares and for food. It is the Holy Spirit's money and resources. It is the Holy Spirit's plan. We do not consider which countries are rich and which are poor. In the Holy Spirit's plan we listen and follow, and it is always a gift to one's Self.
I surrender to blessings that fall down like rain. I surrender to healing that undoes my pain. I accept Your tenderness, enfolding Your Christ. My mind yields to Your caress, Your love for Your child. I surrender. I surrender. I surrender to You. (from I Surrender)
Q: What is the precise technique you used to undo the ego? (Laughter)
D: The formula! (Laughter) There is a way to recognize the ego. In all ways, shapes and forms, the ego belief says: There is causation in form. For example: "You hurt my feelings. You make me mad." Things that we learned as little children – "my sister got more than I did." It also relates to all of the disciplines and sciences. For every action, there is a reaction. There are causes in the world and effects of those causes – causes and consequences. The Course retrains your mind to see that your mind is causative. The form is never causative. The form is a false effect of a false cause. The false cause is the ego. The ego is the belief that the separation from God is real, and the world of appearances arises to witness to that belief. So as you practice the Workbook lessons, the false causation is undone. The ego says, Eat too much food and you will be fat. The ego says, Exercise, and you will be thin. The ego says, Eat these foods and you will be sick. The ego says, Eat those foods and you will be healthy. Food is not causative! Exercise is not causative! Pills and medicine are not causative! The sun cannot make you hot. It is all thought.
That's not the reason why. That's not the reason why. The problem's not out there. You have to look inside. . . Your world is made of thoughts, of concepts and beliefs, The source of all your pain, your problems and your grief. With courage you must look at all your dreams of sin, And let them be dissolved by the light of love within. (from That's Not The Reason Why)
Your mind is not at the mercy of the world. It is limited by ego thoughts. As you release the ego thoughts, your mind is free and limitless. Jesus demonstrated this 2,000 years ago, calming the seas, saying things like, "If you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you can move mountains." The mind is moving all of the planets and spheres! It is that powerful. Helen Shucman once asked Jesus, What is the relationship between astrology and the lives of men and women, if everything is a choice of mind? Jesus said, Your mind is so powerful, it is moving all the people around, and beyond that, all of the planets and spheres. That is powerful! So, you start to realize, as A Course in Miracles teaches, "I am responsible for what I see. I choose the feelings I experience, and I decide the goal I would achieve. And everything that seems to happen to me, I ask for and receive as I have asked." Nothing is by accident. Nothing is random. The mind calls forth witnesses to what it believes, so we are back to questioning the beliefs to be free. It is very empowering. When you follow the Course, you are no longer at the mercy of the world. You see that you are not a small human being in a vast world. You see that the world is in your mind. It is a reflection of your thoughts. As you change your mind, the world you see changes as well. As within, so without. And enlightenment shows there is no within or without. Hay una mente! One mind cannot be split, even into inner and outer. In God's love, all is one.
There is only light free of form and time. There is only peace shining in one mind. There is only truth, the Father one with Christ, And love is all I am. (from Love Is All I Am)
Q: Is it accurate to think of the Course as a reinterpretation of the Bible?
D: Yes, I think it is important to see that everything in form can be used by the Holy Spirit or the ego. The Holy Spirit has used the Bible for centuries to lead to the kingdom of heaven within, and there have been many saints and mystics who have followed that path. The Course is another tool now, but you will find in it what you want to find in it. Some people take the Course and throw it in the river. Some flush it down the toilet – there are many such stories I have heard. One woman was so angry with the Course that she tore out the pages one by one and threw them in the trash. A Course In Miracles is very direct, and the ego is very frightened of such a book. But it is important to realize again, that all form is neutral. It is the desire of the heart that brings salvation. The ego is frightened of the Holy Spirit. There is a line in A Course in Miracles that says that the ego "enjoys studying itself." So the Course is meant to be a tool that leads to the experience of Christ, just as the Bible was meant to lead to the experience of Christ. Just as 2,000 years ago with the scribes and the Pharisees who focused on the form but missed the spirit, you do not want to fall into that trap. Do not make A Course in Miracles special. It is just a tool to help you go within. The ego is the voice of comparison. The ego may attempt to compare the Course with the Bible, as if one is better than the other. Form is neutral. You will find in the Course or the Bible what you are looking for. The ego always finds sacrifice and punishment and penance and uses the symbols of the world to teach its thought system. The Course was written in such a way to make it easier to avoid these traps. So if you have willingness, you can reach the experience to which the Course points.
Spirit says, My child, give Me your dreams to bless. All that is required: your little willingness. Out of the darkness fly, a phoenix to the sun. Rise into the Light. Remember we are one. (from The Little Willingness)
Q: Does the Course choose us?
D: Yes, the question is always: Did I choose the Course or did the Course choose me? In the introduction to the Course, it says that this is a "required course. Only the time you take it is voluntary." Later on in the Teacher's Manual, it says that you are not in charge of the form. Your willingness to wake up is reflected in the form. In one sense, there is a destiny with form. Everything in form, the script of time, has already happened. This world is truly over and gone. The ego keeps calling it back, as if it's still here. The Holy Spirit solved the belief in separation in one instant. Now it is mind training to accept that instant, to accept the correction. It only seems to take time.
Come with Me, My child, I'm calling you, Forever calling you out of the world. (from The Call)
Q: Are all forms of sickness lessons that we need to learn?
D: Sickness is an impossible lesson! Sickness and the ego are the same lesson. The Holy Spirit is a lesson and the ego is a lesson. They are different lessons. So, the mind that clings to the ego is trying to learn an impossible lesson, one that can never be learned because fear is not real. It would be like beating your head against the wall to try to learn the lesson of fear. The Holy Spirit is a lesson of forgiveness. It is the only lesson that can be learned, because it reflects the love of God. In the kingdom of heaven, there is no need for forgiveness. Truth needs no correction. The mind asleep is in need of the correction, and that is forgiveness. The ego has a different version of forgiveness. The ego says: "You did this thing against me. I have the evidence. I saw it with my own eyes. I heard it with my own ears. But, out of the kindness of my heart, even though you have wronged me, because I am superior, I will forgive you." The Holy Spirit teaches a different version of forgiveness: You forgive your brother and sister for what they did not do. The grievance was a misperception, a setup of the ego to blame another person, to blame the person that you think you are, to blame the government, blame the weather, to blame something in form for your state of mind. Forgiveness lets go of the setup. That is why forgiveness is always a gift to yourself. It returns the mind to peace.
Let's begin again: See me as I truly am. Let's begin again, with one heart that understands. Let's forgive what never was, the hate that could not be And share the holy light of peace in Love's reality. (from Let's Begin Again)
Q: What do you think about karma? Does Jesus speak in the Course about it, or not?
D: Jesus does not speak of karma in A Course in Miracles, and if karma is understood as paying for past wrongs in the present, that would be the ego's view of the human condition. A Course in Miracles teaches the power of the present moment and does say that all decisions are based on belief. So it is important to question and clear away all beliefs. It is a Course in emptying the mind, and until the mind is emptied of all ego beliefs, it will seem as if the past is causing the present. Though Jesus does not speak of karma in A Course in Miracles, he spends much time talking about cause and effect, so I will give you some basic metaphysics on cause and effect:
In heaven, cause and effect are together. This is why Jesus taught, The Father and I are one. God is the cause. Christ is the effect. They have an eternal song of gratitude. This is the gratitude of creation. When the mind seemed to fall asleep, cause and effect split apart and turned around. "Split apart" meaning that that is the gap of time, and "turned around" in that what was made seemed to be the maker. That is why the mind that believes it is in this world believes it has its origin or cause from conception, intercourse, a man and a woman coming together. When someone asks this mind where it is from, it gives a city and country. It does not say, I am from God, because cause and effect are split off and turned around. This sleeping mind now believes it is at the mercy of a world that seems to have causes in it. For example: the sun makes me hot. . . The ice makes me cold. . . You hurt my feelings. . .You made me mad. . .You let me down. . .This city is too congested and makes me claustrophobic. . .and on and on and on. So this Course is a course in turning cause and effect back around, seeing that everything is a decision in your own mind, that you are never upset by the world and circumstances, never upset by outcomes, but just upset by ego thoughts. "My attack thoughts are attacking my invulnerability." "I am never upset for the reason I think." "I can escape from the world I see by giving up attack thoughts." It is an inside job. It does not depend on anyone or anything changing in the world. "Seek not to change the world. Seek rather to change your mind about the world."
So if you feel afraid, or angry, blue or sad, Remember that you choose each feeling that you have. Listen for the Voice that's waiting in your mind To help you choose again and help you to decide There's another way, another way to live. There's another way, a way you can forgive. Each feeling and each thought is something you have made. Give it back to God and take His love in trade. Fill your mind with light and let the darkness fade. That's the other way. (from Another Way)
When you bring cause and effect back together, you see that enlightenment is now. There is no gap of time that you must wait for God to give you salvation. God would be cruel if He made you wait for happiness. God wills you complete happiness, right now. So, to review: Turn cause and effect around and bring them back together. This is Atonement, complete forgiveness. There is no problem that will not disappear in the power of this moment.
Q: However. . . (laughter) What about the lesson, "All things are lessons God would have me learn."? Therefore, we have to learn because we have previously made decisions that were mistaken. So karma seems real to me in that sense – correcting mistakes, rather than paying for mistakes. My understanding is that karma is the law of cause and effect.
D: As you sow, you will reap. . .What goes around comes around. . .
Q: Yes. That's why we have to learn, because if we didn't have to learn, we wouldn't be here. Do you follow my thoughts about this?
D: Yes. Jesus uses the terminology of education: learning, lessons, a course. The more you work with A Course in Miracles, the more you realize what he is really speaking about is not learning – but unlearning, peeling the onion of consciousness of all false ego beliefs. It's very much like Zen meditation, emptying the mind of everything it believes and thinks. So the uses the terms"learning" and "lesson" because that is what the mind is accustomed to. Yet every experience teaches that to be happy, I must let go of all learning. The ego world is built on learning. It learned belief upon belief upon belief, and concept upon concept upon concept– never to stop and ponder what it was doing, learning itself deeper into darkness, forgetting the original light of creation. It is much like a teacher using an overhead projector, laying sheet upon sheet onto the projector, and what comes out on the wall is a picture of shadows: body, male/female, tall/short, young/old, Argentine/ American, ACIM student/non-ACIM student. It shows up on the screen of the world. We have to remove all of the sheets so that the pure light can be reflected on the screen. So it is really all about unlearning – even though it has 365 lessons! If you get one lesson completely, your Workbook practice is over. It could be Lesson 5, or 135. Go at every lesson with such passion that you expect to wake up this morning. Don't assume that you will be doing this for years and years. If that is what you expect, that is how it may seem. Your mind is that powerful.
Getting clear, getting clear, wiping away all images of fear. Getting clear, getting clear, remembering our purpose being here. (from Getting Clear)
Q: There is a section in the Course that says, "I need do nothing." It seems like a contradiction with all the study required by the Course.
D: Yes, our friend Kerri has taken "I need do nothing" as her path. She did the first 50 lessons, discovered this section in the text, and closed the book! (Laughter) It does seem like a contradiction, but the goal of the Course is to come to silence. The text and the workbook help remove the obstacles to the silence of the present moment. If your mind is already prepared to enter into the divine silence, you do not need A Course in Miracles. The "I need do nothing" section gives you the fast track – if you are willing to take it. You give the mind permission to rest in stillness and to forget the body. In that section it says, "At no single instant does the body exist at all." It is always remembered or anticipated. Only light is the present moment, and the Workbook is designed to take your mind down beneath the clouds of the ego to the light within.
I am home, I am home in the light. I am home, in the I AM of Christ, Loving arms gently cradling me And rocking me in peace. (from I Am Home)
Q: It seems difficult to believe that something so perfect as the human body is not created by God.
D: If you take an honest look at the human body, your perception of perfection may change! It seems to be born, but then it seems to die. It seems to bring many pleasures, but it also seems to bring many pains. The ego hates the body. It believes it deserves a better home. The ego does not know of heaven, and the body was made as a substitute home. It tries to dress it up and make it pretty, like painting lipstick on a skeleton. (Laughter) Yet to the Holy Spirit, the body is neutral. It is neither beautiful nor ugly. It is neither good nor bad. It is a symbol, just like a tree or a car or a pencil. To the Holy Spirit, the body is a learning device, or, based on what we have just said, it is an unlearning device. It helps you unlearn a sense of pride, of uniqueness, of individuality. The ego seems to be insulted at every turn of the spiritual journey. So coming back to your original question, that which is eternal is perfect. God is perfect. Christ is perfect, and creation, which is spirit, is perfect. The body, the sun, the stars, the planets, even the black holes, seem to have a beginning and they will seem to have an ending. In that sense nothing in form and nothing in time and space is perfect because it will not last.
In the mirror, what I see: Is this body really me? A face, a form, eyes and ears, hands and feet, sighs and tears? Is life a time that's sweet and brief? Am I condemned to death and grief? Then a Voice that's soft and kind imprints Itself upon my mind: You are more. You are more. You are more. My child, you're more, so much more. You are more. (from You Are More)
Q: If everything was so perfect, how could the separation have happened?
D: You have asked the number one question that I am asked as I travel. In the Clarification of Terms section, Jesus addresses this question. Jesus says there are many questions the ego will ask: How did the separation occur? To whom did the separation occur? And many other forms. There is no answer, only an experience. There is an experience that will come that will end all doubting. When you ask the question, "How did the separation occur," you have an unconscious assumption or belief that the separation did occur. That is what you must question, because separation is never understandable. Atonement is the awareness that the separation never happened. That is your sole responsibility, to accept the Atonement or correction. You are not responsible for the error. You do not need to analyze or figure out the error. You just need to accept the correction. This involves not attempting to project responsibility for the ego. So, when anger arises, and fear and guilt, and the ego says: Get rid of it, put it on your brother and sister, do not listen to that voice. See it as your own thought and quickly give it over to the Holy Spirit. Quickly! Once you have given it to the Holy Spirit, it is already gone. It is the attempt to protect it and hide it from the Holy Spirit that seems to keep it in your consciousness.
Unlock the door and open it wide. See with the Spirit there's nothing to hide. Hold up to the truth all things that you fear. Wherever the light comes, the dark disappears. (from Pull Up The Shades)
Q: The "quickly" seems difficult. We are so used to carrying the guilt and fear. Will that time period of carrying the load get shorter as we practice?
D: Yes, let's address this carefully, the idea of holding on to guilt, clinging to it very closely. The mind that believes in the ego is attracted to guilt, because the ego is guilt. There are aspects of the mind that the ego does not want to come into awareness, or the game will be over. That is why I encourage so many questions. The ego does not want certain questions to even be raised, for the answer will be apparent as soon as the question is asked. Asking questions was my path to God. I did not have a lot of support for it in the world, but Jesus says to learn this Course requires willingness to question every value that you hold. Not one can be kept hidden, or it will obscure your learning. So let's look at an example of this. God is pure oneness. The ego is the belief in opposites. The ego believes that there is an opposite to love. That is why this is a world of duality and opposites. The world reflects the ego belief. The ego teaches the sleeping mind that there is a difference between pleasure and pain, and everyone who walks this world believes they can tell the difference between pleasure and pain.
The weather's too hot and it's room is too cold. It likes ravioli and jewelry of gold. (from Person)
Further, this mind believes that pleasure is to be pursued, and pain is to be avoided. It spends great efforts and energy at pursuing pleasure and avoiding pain. All education of this world is in some way based on this premise. Now you see the convincing job that the Holy Spirit has, to convince your mind that pleasure and pain are the same. On the surface this seems crazy, but Jesus gives us the reason why they are the same: What serves a common purpose is the same. Pleasure and pain both reinforce the reality of the body and are a denial of the spirit. This is an example of an idea the ego never wants to reach awareness, because once you see it for what it is, you will see that all real pleasure, which I will call joy, comes from doing God's will. It is really very simple. As you experience more miracles, the joy of your heart bubbles up. It attracts you, it draws you to experience more miracles! The joy is coming from within your own heart. It is not coming from getting the job that you want. It is not coming from getting the soul-mate that you want. It is not coming from moving to the tropical islands, and many, many more illusions. The joy comes from your purpose. That is your direct connection with God. By listening to the Holy Spirit, you will experience joy. And the possibility of pain and pleasure fades away from your consciousness.
Under His wings shining with light, He murmurs my name. He calls me His Christ. Nestled in love, rocked in the bliss, I let go of dreams. I want only this. (from Under His Wings)
Perception is selective. Just as you can choose to listen to someone at a party, or listen to a favorite song being played by the band, or focus on how humid the room is, you can choose to aim your mind to the Holy Spirit. This is where the joy comes. There is no sacrifice! The pleasures of this world are fleeting, transitory. If you look at this honestly, you will see that this is so. The pleasure of a delicious food, a pleasant scene, the pleasure of sexual orgasm – all have time limits. They start and they stop.
They do not offer lasting joy. They are not really gifts, because they are offerings of the ego, and the ego wants you dead, which means remaining in amnesia about your Christ Self. So this relates to your question about why we hold onto things. The judgments of the world make some images attractive and the mind believes that they are valuable and does not want to let them go. It is still convinced that they are real, and therefore values outcomes that will bring about the things it still wants. They are like "fool's gold". They look very beautiful, but when you touch them or embrace them, they dissolve away, because they do not last.
Resta: Maybe I can read the words of Metaphysical G.A.S. and they can translate them.
D: Yes, wonderful.
Metaphysical Good Advice Song (G.A.S.)"Pain compels attention, drawing it away from [Holy Spirit] and focusing upon itself. Its purpose is the same as pleasure, for they both are means to make the body real. What shares a common purpose is the same." ACIM
Give up the pleasure; give up the pain. You might not believe it, but they are the same. They say you're a body and death is your goal. You're broken in pieces. You'll never be whole. They share the same purpose: attacking God's Son. The pain and the pleasure are one.
Give up the bad things. Don't search for the good. Don't do what you shouldn't. Don't do what you should. Illusions are unreal, no matter what kind. The world offers nothing to satisfy mind. All forms are unworthy of God's holy Son. The good forms and the bad forms are one.
Give up your concepts of less and of more. You cannot be wealthy; you cannot be poor. Your function is wholeness. You make God complete. No limits restrict you. You're forever free. Eternal the union of Father and Son. The rich thoughts and the poor thoughts are one.
There can be no conflict between me and you When we know One Mind is all that is true. The ego would teach us: defend and attack, That someone has stolen the power we lack. But no dream can fragment the Love of God's Son That always and always is one.
There's no need for healing an unwounded heart, And no need for joining what can't come apart. It's all in perspective, the way that you see. Look with the Spirit at reality. You have one Creator, and He has one Son, Who always and always are One. (By the end of the translation, the translator was in tears!)
D: As you deepen in your vocation as a miracle worker, you will find that you are guided to give everything away freely. That is how you stay in the joy, by giving it away and extending it. It strengthens it in your awareness. So early on in my travels I was given the instructions that I was not to ask for compensation, to "take no thought" as to what I should wear or eat, to travel and share the message of joy and trust that the Holy Spirit would handle all the details. This is the undoing of the ego concept in reciprocity, in "I'll scratch your back if you scratch my back", of exchange, bargaining and competition. It seems like a very different way of living and it seems very radical to the world, but it is actually natural, and miracles show that everything is provided without the need for personal control or personal effort. Everything happens effortlessly, and this is the divine ease.
Q: Please talk about the gospels and the Course.
D: You might say that A Course in Miracles is a further clarification and illumination of the gospels. The gospels were written down by apostles who still believed in the ego. They were not able to understand many things that Jesus taught. Their ego ideas of sacrifice tainted their perception of the crucifixion. They perceived that God had an innocent son suffer and die for the good of mankind. Jesus did not suffer, and the Christ cannot die! The resurrection was a small symbol pointing to a very great lesson: that you cannot kill the Christ. A Course in Miracles reinterprets some sayings from the Bible and gospels. Jesus says he could never have said: "Betrayest thou the son of man with a kiss?" because Jesus did not believe in betrayal. Jesus could never have been angry in the temple. That would have contradicted all his teachings. Jesus could never have said, "I do not come to bring peace but a sword".
Q: I read Ken Wapnick's idea that what Jesus did in the temple was just a teaching device.
Q: Because it was a very public place.
D: Yes, yes. That's how I see it, that turning over tables of commerce in an the house of God was a demonstration that commerce and the ways of God do not mix. Just as the crucifixion was an extreme teaching device, an extreme way of teaching love.
Q: Please go into detail about the term "awareness" as it is used in the Course.
D: Awareness as seen in the Course would be conscious awareness of one's beliefs, which implies that there are unconscious beliefs. So you might say that raising all beliefs into awareness shows them for what they are. If they are assumed to be true, it is beyond conscious questioning and you live from those beliefs much like a robot is programmed. That is why it is so important to bring them up, so you can be fully conscious.
Q: Would that awareness be the "I AM"?
D: Not the awareness that is described in the Course. The "I AM" is beyond all beliefs. That is why Jesus says this is not a course on teaching the meaning of love. It is a course on removing the obstacles. The "I AM" and Christ are the meaning.
I am spirit, unbound and free, holy vibration, pure energy, Everywhere, nowhere, beyond, within, Eternal silence that sounds and sings. (from I Am Spirit)
Q: The body is a symbol of the ego. When the body is no longer necessary and we are out of the body, what happens to the ego?
D: One assumption in your question is that the mind could even come into a body. You must believe this before you believe you can leave the body.
Q: Well we all believe that. That is why we are here.
D: You see how deep this goes!
Q: Okay, well we are here now, and we are learning.
D: That is the assumption. I once went to a Course group, and they said: David, be practical. We are all in bodies, and I said, we must look at those assumptions. Who is the "we"? Jesus asks this in A Course in Miracles: Who is the "you" who believes he is in a body? So we might say that it is impossible to lay aside a body and leave a world still going. When you ascend, as Jesus did, you lay aside the body and the cosmos – it is all the same hallucination.
Many times people will ask, where did Jesus go? But there is no "place" in heaven. Jesus says in the Workbook, "We say `God is' and cease to speak." God does not know of time and space. The world is the sleep of amnesia. Even quantum physics now is coming to this same conclusion. One quantum physicist in Australia came to the same conclusion as Jesus. (laughter) He used the exact words that Jesus uses in Lesson 132: "There is no world!" - exclamation point.
When Jesus adds an exclamation point, he is making an emphatic statement. As we give up all judgments of specifics, the mind remembers its abstract state that has no limits or barriers.
Q: "I am not a body. I am free. I am still as God created me."
D: That's it! So, in several of the groups here in Argentina we have looked at the ideas of incarnation and reincarnation, which still implies soul or spirit coming into form or the body. The experience of healing sees that the mind or soul never enters the body. Jesus taught in the Bible: "That which is born of the flesh is flesh. That which is born of the spirit is spirit." Never the two shall meet!. Spirit is eternal and the world of flesh is temporary. When you bring darkness to the light, only the light remains. The light does not battle the darkness. Just like when you walk into a room at night and turn on the light switch, there is no battle. The darkness is gone.
As if there is no world, as if there is no world: A cosmic dream, a made-up screen where figures dance and swirl And nothing means a thing, except the truth within: That I am mind, by God designed. He's calling me to live As if there is no world. (from As If)
D: Now I would like to address a topic that surely will come up in your Course groups: healing. This is very practical. Many will have questions about healing. As Resta's song [Metaphysical G.A.S.] just said, "There is no need to heal an unwounded heart, and no need for joining what can't come apart." This relates to what I would share about healing – and "joining", that's another word that you'll encounter in your groups. This is the teaching on form and content. Joining together often implies bodies coming together, like Course groups, Course conferences. But the joining is never in form. You can only join in purpose.
Joined in one purpose to heal what never was. Peace is our purpose, forgiving and living in love (from Sharing The Joy)
Until you are aware of the purpose, you may seem to join with your brothers and sisters and feel sad when the bodies go apart. Just like in relationships when there seems to be a parting. But what could come apart was never truly joined. It is the same with healing. Healing is associated with the body, yet in A Course in Miracles, Jesus says, "Don't ask the Holy Spirit to heal the body." That can seem like a striking statement, but it points to a deeper understanding of healing. As I said earlier, the Holy Spirit sees the body as neutral. It is just a neutral device. It cannot be endowed with the attributes of spirit or ego. It cannot be sick or healthy. It is not really born and does not really die. You can think of it like an object, like a pen. (David takes Resta's pen and begins to talk to it. Much laughter throughout.) It would seem ridiculous to say, "Resta, your pen is looking well today." Or, "Your pen is looking pale today." Or, "I think your pen is dead. Oops – no, it's still alive! It was dead, but I brought it back to life." This is as ridiculous as thinking a body is the same way. As long as you attempt to heal the body, you are attempting to heal something that cannot be healed. All healing is of the mind, and you will know that you are healed by the peace and joy and happiness you feel.
Sweet Magnitude: come join its song of joy That Heaven sings united in one Voice. All sacrifice and pain are done as we remember we are one. (from Sweet Magnitude)
There is no sense of pain. There is no sense of conflict. You will even lose a sense of fatigue in listening with the Holy Spirit. You will feel a sense of vitality, a sense of alertness, and this is healing. It is fragmented perception that is the sickness. The entire cosmos is one beautiful tapestry to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit does not pull one thread out and say, "This one I like the best." The Holy Spirit does not compare one thread to another thread. The Holy Spirit sees the tapestry as whole. If you read Lesson 136 closely, which says: "Sickness is a defense against the truth", you will see that the sickness is an attempt to pull a part from the whole. The ego attempts to do this and, for example, pulls a body out of the cosmos, gives it the name of a body, puts all kinds of characteristics on it – male or female, young or old, tall or short – and sick or well. Just pulling the part out from the whole is the sickness. Therefore, what is projected onto the part is just a further error. That is why the most important realization in awakening to heaven is that the problem is a perceptual problem, looking through a "darkened glass", as it says in Corinthians. You cannot see with the vision of Christ if you keep looking through the ego lens. So A Course in Miracles is simply a way of clearing the glass and learning to see the whole as whole.
Tapestry, tapestry of images within my mind. Tapestry, home video. My mind's the screen. Tapestry, don't hold on. Watch them flow. Some figures come, some figures go. Don't try to fix or rearrange. No differences. They're all the same. Forget their names. Let all things be one seamless, gentle tapestry. (from Tapestry)
Q: Does the Holy Spirit give specific instructions as to how to deal with perceived sickness, like seeing a particular doctor?
D: When you open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you will receive specific instructions. These instructions seem to be very individualized, based on what you believe. The Holy Spirit has to reach the mind in a language it can understand and with concepts which it can understand. It is like climbing up a ladder. Once you reach one rung and push off, you move to the next. I recall one woman who came to a gathering of mine and was very distressed. She had been in metaphysics her whole life, always telling her friends and family that sickness is all in the mind. She had just been to the doctor, who diagnosed her with cancer. She did not feel she could go home and face her family and friends, for they might ridicule her instead of pitying her. She told me of a past life regression she had in which she was beheaded by guillotine, and now had cancer in the lymph glands on her neck. I told her to go ahead to the hospital and proceed with the surgery and see that the scalpel or knife, that would be coming to the same place on the body, would be a symbol of healing. And that she should see the doctors and nurses as angels, and share all of her wonderful ideas with them in the hospital. This is an example of working with the belief system. If the mind was not too frightened of healing, it would be healed in an instant. The Holy Spirit will never force healing unless it is welcomed. Healing would seem to require a letting go of everything that is perceived, and at times the mind is too resistant to that. The sleeping mind would rather remain tiny and call forth a witness of sickness to prove that it is right about its tininess. This is the insanity of the ego. It will never make any sense, but it can be forgiven.
Take me past my terror of the light, The clouds of guilt that make an endless night. . . Carry me into the deep within, Where holiness in shining silence sings, Where God in love claims me as His own, Where I am truly home, in the deep within. (from The Deep Within)
Q: Is "positive thinking" helpful in making a better world, just by having positive thoughts?
D: Positive thinking always implies an opposite. This is why affirmations are not the complete picture. If you use positive thinking or affirmations and still have unconscious ego beliefs, it is like putting sweet icing on a cake of mud! This is why the path of the Course and all true spiritualities is bringing the darkness to the light – rather than trying to cover the darkness and push it down. The journey is often wet with tears, and there are many intense emotions as you allow the feelings to come up. One of the things I am enjoying most in Argentina is the willingness to express emotions and cry. In many gatherings I have in the United States, people do not allow themselves to cry. But this is very healing and cathartic. It is actually more helpful than to wear a mask and pretend. My friend David Powell was noticing at the meetings that there are mostly women, and occasionally one or two men. We were discussing this last night at Marcela's home, and I was relating that in the sexual stereotypes, it is more acceptable for women to cry. Marcela's husband Richard stated that the "macho men" never come to these groups (laughter). This is just another demonstration that it is all based on beliefs and not really a male/female issue. Crying can be a symbol of openness.
Love, in the tears of forgiveness, undoing sad memories: Cleansing and healing is love. Love is weeping. (from Water Meditation)
Q: Do you have more men in the American Course groups?
D: There are places where there seem to be more men, but generally I don't notice. I've come to the place where I see everything the same – people, dogs, objects – the tapestry is whole. There are no animate versus inanimate objects, no organic and inorganic, big or small. I see no difference between the city and the country, or highly populated and rural. It is all a matter of purpose. There is a wonderful section in A Course in Miracles called "Setting the goal". If you put your goal out front, it is like carrying a torch of light. When your goal is clearly set, you will perceive everyone and everything witnessing to the goal you have set. You will see no exceptions. When you do not set a clear goal, the situations in your life just seem to happen, and then the ego always looks back on what just happened and decides whether it likes it or doesn't like it. This is always very frustrating. In the story of Lot's wife in the Bible, she was told not to look back or she would turn into a pillar of salt. Think of that the next time you start looking back on something that has already happened. That is the ego, and it freezes your mind in the past.
Lay down your burdens. Cast off their weight. Say yes to mercy. Say no to hate. Let it go. Let it go. Let it go. Forget the nightmares of guilt and tears. Release defenses. Throw out your fears. Let it go. Let it go. Let it go. (from Let It Go)
Q: I want to go back to the image of the mud cake and the sweet icing. There is much willingness to uncover the darkness, but occasionally we realize how little we really do uncover. What is the best way to go about uncovering it? I feel like I'm not making much progress.
D: Much of the sweet icing is affirmations and positive thinking and what I call "people-pleasing" – walking on eggshells to smooth things over in the family, or Course group, so as not to rock the boat. So the sweet icing and the people-pleasing seem to serve the purpose of keeping things rolling smoothly. Then you call on the Holy Spirit, and He forces all of the darkness up into awareness, like a giant glacier of light, forcing thoughts into consciousness. This is much more helpful than the people-pleasing.
Q: But we always want to be loved, that is the reason for the people-pleasing.
D: Right, right.
Q: But we are not worthy of their love.
D: Very good.
Q: We doubt. Why do we always doubt that others love us?
D: That is how special relationships came to be. There was a deep sense of incompletion and lack in the mind.
Q: Imagined needs.
D: Yes, and instead of going deep within the mind and facing this lack, the ego said, run away from it. So the separation was forgotten and pushed out of awareness, and God's Answer, which was given immediately and solved the problem in an instant, was pushed out of awareness also. And the ego said: "Run! You have done something terrible. Run out into time and space. God will not chase you there. God will not come into the darkness. You will be safe in the darkness."
Q: Full of guilt! (laughter)
D: The ego doesn't tell you that. So, the ego says to the mind: "you have thrown away heaven." The ego tells the mind, "God is angry. You cannot go back without being punished. You can't think that God will let you rip your mind away from Him without a price to be paid. So hide in the dust." Now, the turnaround comes when you take the hand of Jesus, go down in the dark basement, step by step, and realize that none of this darkness is true. The ego says to the mind: "You made a bargain. You cannot change your mind now. You are stuck." The Holy Spirit says that is not a real bargain. God has nothing to do with the bargain. Come with me to the final cornerstone on which this whole cosmos is built. We will lift it together. You will see that God loves you. He is not angry.
Brother, I will go with you. You will not be alone. Brother, I will go with you and light your journey home. Brother, I will hold your hand, walking with you side by side. Brother, I will hold your hand and join with you in Christ. (from Brother, I Will Go With You)
So, in answer to your question, I would say let your feelings come. Realize your power of interpretation. See that by being honest with yourself and your feelings, you will speed along the awakening for everyone. Where the mind anticipates loss of love, it will find a blessing instead. The people-pleasing is like false contracts that have been made to keep the illusion of love in place. When you let go of these contracts, you find enormous blessing, beyond what you could imagine. You no longer hold your brother to expectations and therefore your mind is released. The former roles which seemed to be the love were part of the icing on top.
You don't have to pretend to be someone you're not, A puppet who moves on the strings of my thoughts. The role I've assigned you has cheated us both Of the light and the glory that lives in the soul. But patiently yields to each mask we put on That proclaims we're not children of God. (from I Release You)
Q: I have been thinking about words and how words hide the truth. When we say things to the others, the others don't really get what we are saying. They hear only what is inside of them! The same happens to each one of us. It is important to decode their language when we speak with others, so we can really understand what they are saying. It is very difficult to say what you really feel inside, because we don't know what it is. Only when we are loving. When we love, we know who we are.
D: The Holy Spirit looks past the surface and sees that they are calling for love. It is as if they are saying deep inside: Please show me that I am loved. This is always the case.
Q: At the same time, when I tell my brother or sister that they don't understand me, I am making the same plea for love. If we are one, I am talking to myself!
D: Yes, that's exactly it.
Give me your blessing, God's holy child. Love and forgiveness are there in your smile. Dark clouds dissolving; light shining through. With Christed vision, the dark we undo. (from Give Me Your Blessing)
Q: Is Jesus in the real world waiting for us all to wake up?
D: In A Course in Miracles, Jesus says: "When I awoke, you were with me." So many times people think of Jesus ascending to the right hand of God. The best way to think of it is that Jesus was the first to realize the unreality of this world and to wake up from the dream. Now the Voice of Jesus and the Voice of the Holy Spirit are the same Voice. Jesus obviously was not a man. He is the Christ Spirit that reaches through the Holy Spirit to the mind that still believes in illusions. God is in heaven. Christ is in heaven. The Holy Spirit, the third part of the trinity, is perhaps the most difficult to understand. There is an aspect of the Holy Spirit that is eternal. It was created by God and will remain with Christ and God forever. There is another aspect of the Holy Spirit that is an illusion. The light of the Holy Spirit seems to take the form of a Voice. In A Course in Miracles it is called the Voice "for" God. Not "of." A very important distinction: Voice for God, representing God, not the Voice of God. God has no Voice! So, that aspect of the Holy Spirit that seems to take on a Voice is the kindest answer to separation. It is a gentle Voice. It never commands. It reminds the mind of all the love of Christ. It offers suggestions. It does not make threats. It is very kind. That is probably the best way to think of Jesus right now.
Speak to me, holy Voice. Let me hear only you. Guide my steps, holy Voice. Teach me how to undo Every choice lacking love, each ungentle mistake. Help me choose once again in the light of God's grace. (from Holy Voice)
Q: How do you see the difference between A Course in Miracles and traditional psychology?
D: Traditional psychology offers a study of the mind. It also has many hypotheses and theories about human behavior and defense mechanisms of the mind. A Course in Miracles is written from an Awakened mind. It is like a road map out of the guilt of this world. It uses the terminology of Christianity, psychology and education, but has very different meanings for many of the words. For example, "salvation" is more than a belief in Jesus and his death on the cross. It involves accepting the correction in the mind to the belief in separation from God. This requires a careful questioning of the ego and loosening the mind from all ego beliefs. Psychology could be described as the study of the problem. A Course in Miracles provides the way to the correction. It is truly a teaching in forgiveness. The Course teaches that forgiveness is for your own misperception. It releases the grievance in your heart and allows you to see that nothing was done to you apart from your own wish and that you are willing now to release that wish.
Q: Aren't we all conditioned to see things in a certain way because of the culture we grow up in?
D; Yes, I found that to be true. In college I studied many different cultures and saw that there are many different cultural scripts – conditioning – and so I began to wonder what my own script was. It is kind of like a fish swimming in a fishbowl, coming up to the edge of the glass and peering out, wondering what is outside this glass. This is how I saw my own mind. So for maybe six years in college I began to question everything that I believed. I began to open my mind and not assume that I knew what was happening. For me this was a difficult time period because many people around me in my own culture were telling me: David, you are wasting your time. Pick your part and play your part like everyone else! You will grow old and you will die like everyone else. That was not good enough for me. I felt there had to be more than that.
Do not be deceived by what is on the screen. Your holy mind's asleep and dreaming bitter dreams. The figures that you see are images, not real. Don't blame them anymore if you would truly heal. (from That's Not The Reason Why)
Q: How does the mechanism of miracles work? Is it the Holy Spirit, or prayer or a personal state of energy that makes you open to receive a miracle?
D: I will give you a helpful quote from A Course in Miracles:"A miracle is a correction. It does not create, nor really change at all. It merely looks on devastation, and reminds the mind that what it sees is false." So the key to miracles is a willingness to suspend the meaning you have given something and look upon it in another way.
Q: A change in perception – that is the mechanism of the miracle?
D: Yes. You might say that miracles are the means of awakening. They always involve perception. It is possible to have revelatory experiences, experiences of pure light, in which you see beyond the veil of perception, but these experiences are very rare. The mind is afraid of the light because it thinks it will lose the world it sees. Miracles are the gentlest way of returning the mind to the awareness of God. They collapse time, the time that is needed to unlearn the ego. For example, our meeting today will bring illumination and clarity that will save thousands of years for everyone. Miracles bring benefit to everyone.
Miracles fall into our lives. Miracles open up our eyes. Miracles make us realize we are united. Open the tomb. Come forth and live. Open your heart, release, forgive. Let your own spark of God within be ignited. Peace, like flowers blooming bright in the colors of the Christ, Spreads its fragrance and its holy light. (from Miracles)
Q: Are miracles done through prayer?
D: Yes, prayer is the mechanism for receiving miracles. It is the willingness to give your mind to the Holy Spirit to use for miracles. Spirit performs the miracles through you. The only condition required is that there be an absence of fear. Miracles can never be performed in a state of fear. Miracles are really our vocation, no matter what you seem to do in this world. Everyone here has been called as a miracle worker and Jesus does not ask for a resume! The Spirit just asks for the willingness. With willingness miracles begin to occur more and more.
Q: Do they occur simply with faith?
D: The question of faith is one of: What do you have faith in? Faith is not something that is present or absent. It is like prayer. Be careful what you pray for, for prayers are always answered. So it takes attention to see where you have invested your faith.
Q: Does this mean you can have positive faith or negative faith?
D: I would say you can have faith in the Spirit or faith in the ego.
Q: What do you mean by prayer?
D: Prayer is the desire of the mind. It is the inner altar. When the mind believes in the ego, this altar seems to be defiled. The altar does not have a single devotion to God, but has many idols on it. So desire or prayer is splintered. As long as the mind believes in the ego, prayers will involve asking for things and petitions because the mind believes it is lacking. It is impossible to ask for prayers beyond the level that the mind believes. As trust in the Holy Spirit grows, the belief in lack and incompletion is dissolved away. It's like a progression up a ladder in which your trust grows stronger and stronger and the need for things and control falls away. The highest prayer that one can ever ask is: Father, what is Your Will for me? When the altar has been cleared of all idols, this prayer is asked and answered – immediately. God's Will for us is perfect happiness.
Kneeling at the altar then with this dear and holy friend, I see the crown of thorns has been replaced. Pure white lilies shining there with their fragrance bless the air, Reminding us of God's sweet love and grace. (from The Altar)
Q: What are the characteristics of the miracle?
D: The mind that made up this world, the ego mind, is a closed system. Everything perceived by the five senses witnesses to separation. The five senses of the body are part of the ego system. The miracle is a perspective that sees the false as false. In the Bible there were seeming miracles like the parting of the Red Sea, or raising of the dead, healing the sick, and the multiplication of the fishes and loaves. There may be some byproducts to miracles which seem to involve sudden shifts in form, such as an illness that seems to leave the body immediately. But most of all they are simply shifts in perception, where at one moment you were thinking with the ego and you shift over to alignment with the Holy Spirit. The most significant miracle is always your state of mind. In a world of darkness of guilt, your joy will stand out like a bright star in a dark sky. Another sign of miracles is the sense of synchronicity where things happen effortlessly without planning. It is as if you are just watching them, with no personal effort in making them happen. That is the strongest characteristic I find: life seems like a flow. When you have let go of ego investments, you see that you have no control of outcomes. You do not try to control persons or events or situations. You behold the perfection that is always there. The more that you are in this flow, the more natural it feels, and the old way of perceiving is washed away and forgotten. It feels as if the past never happened. The thought of a grievance never arises.
Giving the love we have received, Cleansing the mind of pain and grief, Laughing at what we dreamed before. Joining as one we rise and soar. (from Texas Song)
Q: How many times should one do the Workbook to get the internal practice going?
D: There is no set answer for that question. The Holy Spirit's guidance is highly individualized. The end of the Workbook says that this Course is a beginning and not an end. Practicing the Workbook lessons is just a way to learn to hear the Voice of the Holy Spirit. After you have practiced with the Course, this will seem very natural. It is mostly a matter of willingness and readiness, and not so much a matter of time. A Course In Miracles does say "The ego enjoys studying itself." So if you have studied it for 25 years and done the Workbook many times, you want to be aware of this trap! It is kind of like the scribes and Pharisees in the times of Jesus. They got so involved in the letter of the law that they missed the spirit of the law. You do not want to make a ritual of A Course In Miracles. The Course aims at the experience of forgiveness, and the structure is designed to fall away.
Q: How do we realize that we're not in an ego trap?
D: Jesus does say there is one right use of judgment: How do you feel? Your feelings are your barometers, like a touchstone. This is a way of moment by moment learning to be honest about your feelings. That is why at the beginning it takes a lot of persistence. When the mind is untrained, it is often upset. The mirror is very dark and needs to be cleared.
Shine through the masks of scarcity, conformity and smiles. Shine away all images in which I thought to hide. (from Shine Through Me)
Q: What is the importance of meditation?
D: A Course In Miracles Workbook is a designed technique for guiding the mind into meditation. Jesus does not assume the mind is already trained, so he has designed a system to take you slowly, step by step, and the further you go into the Workbook, the more exercises you will find guiding you into the silence. It does not emphasize body postures or breathing techniques or chants, but it rapidly clears away the debris and the clutter and the chatter.
You are my destination. Wherever I go, you're there. You are my destination on wings of prayer. You are my sweet vibration. You are my meditation. You are the celebration of love I share. (from You Are My Destination)
Q: When we are absolutely in the ego and we are doing the Course and the lessons, what do we do? Because theory is fine, but give us something practical we can do when we get stuck.
D: You have to feel out what works for you. What I did was to use a tape I had of sayings from the Course combined with gentle music, and I would just relax and listen to this tape, and the ego would always melt away. One time when I was in the situation you describe, I went to a chair in my living room and sat down and said to the ego: I'm not leaving the chair until you leave my mind! I have nowhere to go and nothing to do. (Laughter) So there were no distractions. Often the ego wants you to get busy and distracted. A Course In Miracles is a quick way to undo the ego, and the ego resistance to it is enormous. If you reach a point where it seems too extreme, it is okay to set the book down for a time. The Holy Spirit and Jesus will never get mad. There are stories of people using the Course as a doorstop or a plant stand. But when the time is right, they pick it back up. There are other stories of people reading the Course and having great difficulty understanding the meaning. Then through a moment of insight and readiness, they can read the Course and understand more deeply. It is really a matter of willingness in the mind, and not a matter of how much you read or how fast you go. Always be gentle with yourself. If you miss a practice period or two, just notice the mistake, give it to the Holy Spirit, and begin to practice again. Don't compound the error by beating yourself up for missing a practice period.
Q: Is the ego less resistant to the Course in children and teens?
D: One thing that is wonderful about A Course in Miracles is that it makes no distinction between children and adults. It sees everyone as a brother or sister and keeps the focus on one's own mind and thoughts. Children can be witnesses to your mind of innocence and playfulness and spontaneity when you are in the miracle. Yet to the ego, they can seem to offer a struggle. Children are wonderful for undoing what the Course calls the "authority problem." The mind that tried to make itself denied that God was its author and made up a world in which there were many authority issues: issues seemingly between children and parents; between citizens, between belief systems, between citizens and government, between nations. So all of these present opportunities to hand the situation over to the Holy Spirit and see that there is no struggle between persons. The struggle is trying to hold on to the ego.
Beauty in the wind, making flowers bend and sway. Hear the children laugh, running in the beauty of the day. (from Beauty)
Q: What are magic thoughts?
D: Jesus speaks of magic in A Course in Miracles as anything in form that is given healing belief. In practical terms you may think of medicine, exercise or treatments of the body as different forms of magic. Jesus teaches that all healing is of the mind. But if you are too frightened to accept healing of the mind, at times a mixture of magic and miracles is necessary. So medicine could be thought of as a temporary device that will bring temporary relief until you learn to accept the healing of the Holy Spirit. Magic is not thought of as evil. It is just used until the mind is ready to accept the miracle. The severity of the sickness does not matter. Miracles bring healing to depression and psychological states of mind, and also encompass the removal of symptoms from the body. The main teaching is of releasing attack thoughts and grievances, for these are what produce all forms of disease. All illness is mental illness. All healing is of the mind.
Give Me your dreams and I will undo them, With mercy renew them, removing all hurt. Give Me your dreams, all of your suffering, Made out of nothing, denying your worth. (from give Me Your Dreams)
Q: Nico here [her son, sitting beside her] is nine years old and is a student of the Course.
D: It is good to start early! You do not have to develop an ego and then learn how to let it go. It is best to undo it as soon as possible. This will save much time.
Q: He already knows his purpose, which is to be happy.
D: Yes! That is God's Will for us, to be perfectly happy.
Q: And as the child has a free mind, he learns very quickly. They say that a child of a year or 18 months is given a toy and in 90 seconds the child sees everything he needs to see. He drops it right away because he has seen everything it has to offer. (Laughter)
D: There is a man in the United States who wrote a book titled Everything I Need To Know, I Learned in Kindergarten.
Q: Robert Fulgum! It has been translated into Spanish.
D: I once had a wonderful encounter with a first-grader. I asked her to describe her experiences in kindergarten. Did she learn to respect others' property, to get along with other students, to share? Was there a snack time, a little siesta? Did she have fun? Was she very happy? She said yes to all of my questions. Then when she began to describe all of the subjects she was taking – reading writing, arithmetic and many others – I asked her why she was doing it. She stopped and looked at me for awhile, and her father said, "Where are you going with this?" (Laughter) But the point was that all our learning of differences, which is most of our education, tells us what to pursue in this world and what to avoid in this world. Jesus says in A Course In Miracles that forgiveness involves letting go of all judgment, emptying the mind of all it thinks is good and bad, right and wrong, pleasurable or painful, and letting the Holy Spirit wash the mind clean of everything it thinks it believes and knows. The real miracle happens when you trust in the Holy spirit to handle all things. To the extent you try to retain some control, you will still experience conflict and distress. The Course teaches: Let go and let God! When we align with the Holy Spirit, all of our problems disappear. They were figments of our ego imagination.
I am a child. I play in the garden of light at Your feet. We never are parted. Through every sweet day, I'm learning Your lessons of love. (from I Am A Child)
Q: Today while doing my lesson I found myself getting angry. I really felt like quitting and running away. Then another part of my mind said no, I should continue. There seem to be two parts of my mind – the one that wants to run and the one that wants to persist.
D: Yes, you are describing a split mind. The part that is in contact with love is the sane part. It keeps calling you to heaven and to release the other part to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit cannot come into your mind and take away the fear or error unless you voluntarily give it over. The Course is about bringing illusions to the truth. It is about bringing the darkness of the mind to the light of the Holy Spirit. There is no battle going on between God and the devil. God is pure love. In truth, God has no opposite. This cosmos is the result of the belief in opposites. It is very difficult to hold two thought systems in mind, one of love and one of fear. They have no meeting point. The split is intolerable, and so a cosmos of time and space was made as a giant screen for ego projection. Thus was a world of duality and opposites made, past and future, male and female, cold and hot, fast and slow, high and low, big and little, on and on. It was made to see the split in the world, instead of in one's own mind. To blame the world instead of accepting forgiveness within: This is the ego system to keep the illusion going. When you get angry, the ego says "blame this person or blame that thing." But by projecting blame, you keep the anger! When you see that the anger comes from your own attack thoughts and grievances, you can then release those thoughts.
Shadows dwell in Shadowland, and you can never understand Their shadow talk and shadow deeds, their shifting thoughts and shadow needs. They tell you all about their hurts, how they are victims of this world. They search for other ghosts to blame, the ones who caused them so much pain. (from Shadowland)
As long as the error is projected, the ego is protected in the mind. Jesus knows that you will get angry many times. The Course does not advocate stuffing or repressing feelings. As you do the Workbook, the feelings of hurt will come up. This is your opportunity to release them. Jesus teaches: Anger is never justified. Pardon is always justified. This is another way of saying, Love your enemies. Bless those who curse you. Anger is never about what it seems to be about, so let's look at some basic metaphysics underlying the anger:
When the mind believed it fell from grace and separated from God, it was very afraid. The ego voice, which is the voice of fear, told the mind it was guilty and must run away. You might say that the garden of Eden spoken of in the Bible describes the world of time and space. The cosmos is just like a giant fig leaf with which the mind tried to cover itself. God is pure love and oneness. Therefore God cannot come into duality. Duality is the hiding place. To the mind that believed it had separated from God, the ego said: "Here is your new home now. Be content with the body as your new home. We will make up everything that you seem to have in heaven. We will make a new kind of love, with bodies. We will make a new kind of freedom, with movement of bodies. We will make a new kind of happiness with pleasures of the senses, to take the place of your home in heaven." Some belief systems even teach the immortality of the body, but the body is temporary, as are all the fleeting pleasures of the world. They come and they go, but they never satisfy completely. The ego wanted God to bless its new world and give reality to the fantasy of time and space. The anger is because God cannot do this! God is divine love. God knows Christ as divine love. This love is abstract light, total joy, constant communication, gratitude, infinite, perfect. God would not be God if He granted the ego's wish, so all anger is a temper tantrum, wanting the temporary to be true and real. Forgiveness releases the illusion of this entire cosmos and remembers the reality that God created eternal.
My Spirit I have sent to you to help you to forgive, To see that what you dreamed is false. Only as love you live. (from Song of the Self)
Q: I lost my son eight years ago. I didn't ask God to take myself instead of him, but just let things happen. Then when I started studying the Course, I questioned myself as to what I would have done if it happened today, how I would have acted differently.
D: It is a common mechanism of the ego to ask ourselves how me might have done something differently. This goes at the basic premise of the "hypothetical" – as if things could be different than they are. As you begin to see that cause and effect are together, you see that everything that seemed to happen was part of a prearranged script. When the mind seemed to separate from God, it projected out a giant cosmos with many, many scripts, many scenarios, many stories, and the Holy Spirit was given in a single, simultaneous instant that solved the whole problem. All of the scripts and stories of the world are all the past. This is unlike the linear version that the ego teaches, which is divided into past, present and future, where it seems that some scripts and stories are past and some are yet to come. So the mind that is seeing it this way is still trying to pull the past into the present, reliving memories and stories over and over as if they are still going on. But the Holy Spirit sees that they've all been solved.
As if there is no time with moments in a line. The point of power is right now here in my holy mind. The script is in the past. Illusions cannot last. The gentle scenes, forgiven dreams, I watch with joy and laugh Because there is no world. (from As If)
There is always anxiety and worry when we deny that it is all past. Then you get into the realm of the hypothetical: What if I could have... Perhaps if I hadn't... on and on, the mind goes around and around. I was traveling in Florida some years ago and there was a woman traveling with me, and we met a man at a church who was a philosopher at the local university. He had heard me give a talk, and he came to me and my friend and said, "David, please be practical. Do you mean to tell me that if a man came up to your friend and put a knife to her neck, that you would stand there as meek as Jesus, in total defenselessness, and just watch whatever was happening?" And I said to him, come to the gathering tonight and raise this question for the whole group, and I will use this for a teaching on the "hypothetical". The ego has a lot of hypothetical scripts, a fearful imagination, but once you begin to see that everything that seems to happen in the world is just a reflection of your thoughts, you find that when you are without fear, there is no threat or danger that is possible.
Discover, discover that no one is other, But part of your own holy Self. Discover, discover each beautiful brother Can free you from ego's dark spells. (from Awaken, Awaken)
The ego believes in the hypothetical. Your insurance agents believe in hypotheticals! (Laughter) Your doctors believe in hypotheticals, so you find doctors telling patients how long they have to live. You find insurance agents saying how many policies you must have to be secure, and you find that all of the world of busy-ness is based on hypothetical thinking. The miracle is not hypothetical. It lets you see the false as false. It's really that simple. When you get into the miracle, it is as if you were watching a play in which you see that all the actors play their parts perfectly. It is only the ego that divides the story up and says it does not like this part or that part. It decides which ones are the victims and which ones are the victimizers, but God has nothing to do with a script where there can be victims or victimizers. The Bible teaches that all things work together for those that love the Lord. In A Course In Miracles Jesus says all things work together and there are no exceptions, except in the ego's judgment. So all hypothetical scenarios are just fearful imaginations. We could never have done anything different than what seemed to happen. And with this there is peace.
Q: What if a man did threaten your friend with a knife? (Much discussion and laughter as it becomes apparent the questioner did not understand David's previous answer on hypotheticals.)
D: It may seem difficult to grasp because the mind believes that there are fearful situations. The miracle shows all of the situations are the same. If the Holy Spirit is always present, and He is, there can be no situation where danger is real. If you identify with the body, danger will seem inevitable, because bodies can be destroyed. It is the Spirit that is invulnerable, and when you align with the Spirit, there is nothing you can perceive that will be fearful. When you align with the Holy Spirit, you will not experience either pain or pleasure. Joy becomes your emotion, for that is the emotion of the Spirit.
Are you a body or bright spirit? Are you a sinner or the Christ? If you would really know the answers, Then gently look into my eyes. (from Forgiveness)
If spirituality is not practical, then it is mere theology. A Course In Miracles aims at the experience of inner peace, the complete transformation of your mind, and while it may seem difficult to change your behavior, it takes even more effort to change your thinking. Your behavior will follow automatically as you change your thinking. The thought system to which the Course points, which is the Holy Spirit's, is completely different than the thinking of this world. And so it can seem that there is a lot of resistance in working with the Course. But if you persist I promise that the rewards will be worth it! There is nothing more precious than peace of mind. It is truly God's gift to us. We were meant to be peaceful naturally and all the stress of this world is unnatural. A Course In Miracles teaches that our thinking is causative and we are not at the mercy of the images of the world. So our peace and our upset both come from thinking. That is why it is so important to be attentive and watch your thoughts. The mind that is addicted to this world has not been trained to pay attention to thoughts. It has been distracted by many appearances, like a hall or mirrors at the carnival. And these distractions have become so habitual that they seem like the natural ways of human life. So now we are going to turn the tables on the ego and look at the Holy Spirit's way of perceiving the world.
Be lifted up, high above the ground. Be lifted up where holiness looks down And shows you that the battlefield of angry ghosts was never real, And shows you all is in your mind. The world's a mask you hide behind. (from Be Lifted Up)
Q: When have an experience that is upsetting, like an argument or some conflict, it is like a film in my mind. Does the other person see that same "movie"?
D: All judgments are part of a personal, private mind. It seems as if some of these tapes are shared, but that is not the case. It is as if you are looking with blinders and making up everything that you are seeing. It could accurately be said that no two people are seeing the same world. For example, you may have ten eye-witnesses to an auto "accident," but none will agree on the details. This is profound when you stop to think about it. It's why there is no peace in this world: because there is no universal agreement on perception. Even if you ask a million people to tell you the color of the sky, you would need only one exception to prove that perception is not universal. Most will say the sky is blue, but several who are colorblind would disagree. The only way there can be peace and harmony is to see the world from the Holy Spirit's perspective. This is the perception that Jesus achieved by aligning his mind with Holy Spirit.
Shine with me. Align with me. One mind have we of light. Live with me. Forgive with me what is unreal through Christ. (from Elder Brother's Song)
In this perception there are no enemies. Everyone is seen as an equal and as one. This perspective makes no distinctions. So in answer to your original question, when you are looking through the ego lens, you are seeing a private world that is entirely subjective, colored by judgments, and that cannot be shared with anyone else. From the ego's lens, arguments and conflict are inevitable. This is why even in the best human relationships, when two people seem to be dear friends or soul-mates, there will still be differences of opinion. Until the ego is undone completely, the relationship is used by the Holy Spirit to flush up unconscious beliefs so that they can be released to the Holy Spirit. People usually enter into friendships and marriage to gain a stronger sense of intimacy and connection. The relationships may seem to have a positive goal. For example, the goal of marriage would be union, and the same with friendship. What A Course In Miracles teaches is that the only true union is at the level of the Christ mind, where the Creator and Christ are one. So we can say from this that a more practical goal for a friendship or marriage is the undoing of the ego. This is not usually in one's marriage vows! If you keep the undoing of the ego as the context for all your relationships, this will help your work with A Course In Miracles. Those who work with the Course and expect all their relationships to improve immediately are often very disappointed. The Course helps take the cover off, exposing expectations and false beliefs, lots of people-pleasing mechanisms that are built into the relationship. So if we use relationships as a topic, this can help us approach a deeper understanding of forgiveness.
Dreamer of the dream, I hear your call for help. Gladly do I give love's answer to myself. Forgiving dreams I share and my willingness to see That you are not a dream. In Christ as one we're free. (from Dreamer Of The Dream)
Q: You have said that from the Course's point of view, competition is undesirable. My question is, what do we do in this plane we live in, where there is competition in everything – like competition for a job or promotion? How can we live practically without competition?
D: Jesus began with practical instructions 2,000 years ago. His teachings then were also greeted with much resistance, as if they were impractical. He said things like: Take no thought for what you should wear and what you should eat." In terms of vocation, he simply said: Follow me. It did not matter if they were tax collectors or fishermen. It did not matter if they were single or married. He just looked into their eyes and said two words: Follow me. For a young wealthy businessman, he said: Sell all that you have, give to the poor, and follow me. When a man protested that his father had just died, Jesus said: Let the dead bury the dead. There was not even an allowance for a period of grieving, because Jesus was the "way, the truth and the life", and had nothing but good news to share, nothing to grieve about. In terms of vocation, Jesus said: Look at the lilies of the field. They neither spin nor toil. The lilies certainly did not fight or compete, and Jesus said, Look how our heavenly Father has clothed them. When you study A Course In Miracles, you find the message of Jesus has not changed, not in 2,000 years – and it never will. For myself, I had to realize that in order to serve God completely, in order to serve one master, I would have to learn how to trust. There is no way I could even attempt to live his message without taking a leap of trust. In the Workbook, Jesus says we believe we would starve if we didn't have stacks of green paper strips and metal discs. He says that all the things that we believe support and sustain us in this world are just foolish beliefs made to take the place of truth. He told me that the truth would sustain me in all circumstances, without exception. He repeated his teaching of 2,000 years ago: Seek first the kingdom of heaven, and that all other things would then be given.
Do you dare to be happy? Do you dare to be free? Would you walk out of prison if you had the key? Would you rise up from bondage and claim your true throne? If you found a great treasure, would you call it your own? (from Do You Dare?)
D: The Holy Spirit has a great sense of integrity. When I first picked up A Course In Miracles, I told Jesus: Money does not grow on trees! And I had debts and bills to pay. Jesus told me to begin working with the Course and He would give me specific instructions, he would get me a job so I could pay off my debts. This happened immediately. Not only were the loans paid off, but a big chip of pride was knocked off my shoulder, the pride of being independent and providing for myself. Jesus began to dissolve away the Protestant work ethic I had been raised with and helped me open up to divine providence. You must be very humble to accept sustenance from God. That was my biggest difficulty in my early travels: letting go of pride, the belief that I personally was responsible for my survival on this planet. At first this was hard to believe, because all my training taught me the opposite. I had lived a life of competition, competing in sports, competing for grades, competing for jobs. Jesus said: No, the messenger is worthy of his keep. He said: If you will let me speak words through you and bring hope and cheer to your brothers and sisters, I will take care of all the details of your life. For twelve years, Jesus has kept his word. Everything I seem to need is provided for me, with no effort on my part.
Peace requires letting go, letting be and letting flow. In the flowing, always home, you'll be a child of peace. (from Child Of Peace)
Q: What religion do you profess?
D: My experience of religion is the experience of inner peace. This is different from the world's conception of religion, which seems to involve theology and doctrines, history and rituals. Religion is easily described as living in the present moment, free of past hurts and grievances, free of the worries and concerns of the future. I accept invitations to many groups. During the past year I have spoken at a Catholic center, a Miracles-Buddhist center, Course groups, Power of Now groups, Conversations With God groups, etc. So I do not adhere to one religion as the world sees it.
Q: Being alert or attentive: What should one be alert about to avoid falling asleep?
D: You are speaking of what I call "attentiveness". It takes great willingness to be attentive to the Holy Spirit, because the mind that sleeps is in the habit of mind wandering. This is the chatter of the ego. A helpful metaphor may be one of trains. Ego trains are constantly running through the mind and attentiveness and meditation involve training your mind to hop off the trains. Each time you notice you've gotten back on, you hop off again. You train your mind to be aware of the silence that is beyond the trains. As you question the ego belief system, you are getting at the underpinnings of the trains. This way you can dissolve the train before it leaves the station!
Q: What is it that sends thoughts to my mind?
D: All thoughts arise from one of two sources: the ego or the Holy Spirit. Miracle impulses come from God and call the mind to return or to wake up. Often these impulses pass through the ego's lens and come into consciousness as cravings or yearnings. These do not seem to be cravings for God. They seem to involve physical conditions. For example, hunger or thirst. All hunger and thirst is really for love, even though on the surface of consciousness they can seem to be for food or water. As you are able to clear the mirror of the mind, you are able to receive the miracle impulses directly. For example, the Holy Spirit may guide you to call someone or visit someone or take a trip or write a letter. By following these impulses, the mind opens itself to joy because the Holy Spirit is using the body to express ideas of love and hope. All ego thoughts involve lack or control and always involve dependency on form. When you are listening to the Holy Spirit, the Spirit can use all the symbols of the world but has no investments in them. Take money: it may come to you, and if it is from the Holy Spirit, there is a purpose for it, but there is no charge or guilt around it. It will be used in the purpose of joy. It comes easily and goes just as easily, without concern or worry. It is the same with other symbols as well. As you work more deeply with A Course in Miracles, you will gain a greater discernment of ego thoughts versus thoughts from the Holy Spirit. Thoughts from Holy Spirit are always kind. They remind the mind how loved it is.
Holy Christ, holy child, calls the Voice in your mind. Shining soul, pure and whole, call the voices from home: Waken now from your dream. Know how much you are loved. Holy Christ, holy child, we are one. (from Do You Dare?)
Only the ego commands and demands and threatens. The ego is always the voice of fear. So if you are feeling fear, it is good to stop and pray, and not to act based on that fear. People have asked me if fear serves any useful purposes. Fear is always of the ego and therefore serves no useful purpose.
Q: When the body dies, does one pass to a higher plane?
D: Death does not take you to a higher plane, nor does it take you to the kingdom of heaven. Practicing miracles does take you to a higher plane of consciousness. As you learn to open your mind to complete forgiveness, all limits are removed from consciousness. It can seem as if your consciousness is being "raised" but in truth consciousness does not have levels. You either forgive or you hold a grievance. With forgiveness it is all or nothing. Even if you were able to forgive ninety-nine percent, you would still be unaware of reality. A Course in Miracles is about accepting Atonement, the correction to the belief in separation. Atonement is complete forgiveness. It is the willingness to look upon the truth because it is the truth, and see that truth has no exceptions. Love and an opposite to love cannot both exist. God is a state of mind that is pure love. So in this sense there is no error possible in God. In heaven there is nothing to forgive, but for the mind that believes in illusions, it must learn to forgive or release those illusions.
You have not sinned. Fear not to turn within And joyously go to Him Who gave you life. You have not left your Creator. There is no death. Call on the truth. Be blessed. In God's love abide. (from The Call)
Q: You say that there is nothing to forgive, and that seems like a nice idea. Yet there are situations that happen and I go back over them in my mind and feel there really is something to forgive. How do I release them?
D: In every conceivable situation, the Holy Spirit sees the whole picture. The Holy Spirit does not break apart the scene into those who have been mistreated and those who have acted in harmful ways. These memories that arise are coming from the belief that it is possible to be hurt by something other than your own mind and thoughts, something outside "you". It does not matter whether the harm seemed to be physical or just a glance or a look. When these memories come, it is important to see that they are thoughts, attack thoughts. They are not our real thoughts. When you can see these thoughts as attack thoughts, you have the power to hand them over to the Holy Spirit. When they do not seem to be thoughts, and you believe that there are people who have actually done these things by their own choice, forgiveness would be impossible. You cannot forgive something that seems to be outside of your own mind. So first the Holy Spirit has to train you that everything is thought, that all illness is mental illness, that all grievances are mental grievances. You cannot release something to the Holy Spirit until you see that it is your own thought and your own misperception. This is a big turnaround, because the mind is so identified with the body. It seems that this body makes many mistakes, and it seems like other bodies make many mistakes. Looking through the ego's lens is really the only mistake, and as you give up all attack thoughts, you clear away the lens that you were looking through. You are then able to look upon the world with the Holy Spirit.
Shine through the shadow forms I see that blind me to the real. Shine through the body's nothingness, that Christ may be revealed. (from Shine Through Me)
Q: How can we overcome the ego that does not allow us to live freely?
D: The most important thing in overcoming the ego is to first realize that it is a belief. It was made by believing in it, and it is dispelled by withdrawing your belief from it. The ego wants you to believe that the enemy is outside of you. It wants you to point the finger and blame others, while it stays hidden in the bottom of your mind. When you feel upset, you always have a choice of what to do. You can blame the body that seems to be yourself – and oftentimes physical sickness seems to result – or you can blame other bodies around you, in which case there is much screaming and shouting. Or you can follow the Holy Spirit's guidance and see that this is just the ego within yourself that is coming to the surface, just a train of thought that is passing through, and this is your opportunity to let it go. The ego does not like to be questioned. It wants you to assume that that's just the way things are. The ego is like one big assumption that you are vulnerable and can be attacked. As you question this belief system, you learn to live by the thoughts of God. You get intimacy by listening to the Holy Spirit instead of looking for it in bodies coming together. ou learn to rely on divine providence rather than the laws of economics. You receive your freedom of mind from miracles instead of money and mobility of the body. You receive your peace of mind from Jesus instead of looking for peaceful environments. In miracles you are happy for no earthly reason. You are not happy because of outcomes and circumstances – getting a promotion or from receiving a compliment. There is inner strength that comes from following your heart, and you bring this light with you wherever you seem to go. So it is entirely an inner job, and as your mind changes, so does the world you see.
Out of the dark, into the light, there I will go. Out of the pain, choosing the Christ, remembering I'm whole. Singing a song of gratitude sweet, casting off doubts, unfettered and free. Out of the dark, into the light, there I will go. (from Shower Song)
Q: I would like to talk about the holy relationship. One sometimes tries to have a good relationship in hopes that it will become a holy one. Is that an ego trap?
D: When you give your relationship over to the Holy Spirit, it may seem to get a lot worse before it gets better. (Laughter)
Q: Yes, yes, yes!
D: The reason for this is that the Holy Spirit's purpose is very different than the purpose for which the relationship was started. The old purpose was designed to bring about a sense of completion by bodies coming together. That is the ego's definition of a relationship: bodies living together under the same roof. The ego wants the bodies together but the minds separate. The ego bases relationships on common interests in the world and teaches that the more common interests, the better the relationship will be – what the world calls having a good match. And even though these relationships may seem good at the beginning, the unconscious anger and hatred will soon surface. Each person wants the other to change and become more like itself. And you can see that you have a bargain on your hands, as if a compromise must be reached. In this world compromise seems like a good thing, but Jesus teaches in A Course In Miracles that "Salvation is no compromise of any kind."
I will not compromise. I will not sacrifice. I'll not believe the lies of sin and lack. I will not buy the bait of judgment, doubt or hate. I will not rage at fate, by fear attacked. But I will shine my light, let Spirit heal my sight To look upon the Christ in everyone. And love I will extend, thoughts of forgiveness send And let my sadness end, guilt be undone. (from Love's Manifesto)
The Holy Spirit's purpose sees what is most helpful for everyone. No one wins and no one loses. In the ego's purpose there are always winners and losers. The ego only knows gain and loss. To the ego there is only so much love to go around, so love seems very special and only to be given to certain persons. There is a section in the Course about the healed relationship. It says that after the Holy Spirit is invited into a relationship, both people are usually "appalled" because the new purpose is so different from the old one. The new purpose asks that nothing be kept hidden from one another, which is a reflection of the idea that nothing be kept hidden from the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit cannot take anything from your mind unless it is voluntarily given over. So opening to holy relationship requires much willingness, because it will seem to really rock the boat. I'm sure you have noticed this with your partners and families.
Q: Yes, yes, yes! (Laughter)
D: It is Jesus calling you out of the world, and the ego or the world seems to react and says, "Just where do you think you are going?" But the more you gain confidence in listening to the Holy Spirit, you see no one is being left behind and you are simply opening your mind to include everyone and reject no one. This is beautiful!
My brother, sing with me redemption's song, And our united voice will bring the dawn: The dawn of peace and holiness, relationship of gentleness. The separate dreams forgiveness heals. The real world is by love revealed. (from We Can't Go Home Alone)
Q: When you establish a holy relationship with someone who doesn't study the Course, does one talk about and share one's inner process of working with the Course or just try to demonstrate it through the changes that are happening within?
D: It is always helpful to share what you are going through, but you must let Jesus direct you as to where to do this sharing. You are getting in touch with being a miracle worker, but you must give up control on where you think that miracles must be bestowed. Jesus said in the Bible that those who "have ears" will hear. You will find it very frustrating if you try to share these inner experiences with those who are not ready to hear them. As you open to being a miracle worker, the HS will guide you to others and will guide others to you. These will be opportunities to share your new purpose. You cannot even assume that you must share this purpose with your partner. This is the meaning of the teaching in the Bible, that father will be turned against son and mother against daughter, for My Name's sake. The Christ energy is like a vibration. As this vibration becomes stronger and stronger, and as you are willing to open your mind, many new witnesses will come to your mind. As I followed the Holy Spirit's direction, I have traveled many, many miles for the last twelve years and met thousands of my brothers and sisters that are hungry to awaken. It is as if the Purpose has orchestrated my life for me to experience the joy in my heart. We all start with biological families and partners, but as the love in our heart grows stronger and stronger, our circle of family and friends grows larger. We meet these people based on our desire to give. We are not looking to get something from them. The blessing comes from sharing the joy, not from receiving anything material. It is as if we spread many seeds, not looking where they land or if they seem to germinate and flower. The joy is in just flinging the seeds!
Flowing, flowing in the light. Drifting on its gentle tides. How precious the ones who share the joy, Remembering the truth that we are whole. (from Texas Song)
Q: Why doesn't A Course In Miracles ever mention Mary? Does she really exist? It is said that when Jesus died on the cross, he offered her as our mother.
D: It often happens that supernatural events are added to the lives of saints to make them seem more special. For example, saints in various traditions are described as having a virgin birth, because it makes them different from other people. Or they may have supernatural powers, which also sets them apart from other human beings. In A Course In Miracles Jesus says, "I was a man who saw the face of Christ." He is saying that he went through the same temptations that everyone has to go through. If Jesus was born a deity, he would not be a good learning model for everyone else, because he would have been enlightened from birth. That would be an unfair advantage. It would be like trying to learn from an alien. Mary was a mother like all mothers. Mary was the mother of Jesus, but the Christ has only one Parent. God is the Parent of Christ. The ego wants to make certain persons special, and have you worship men and women. But Jesus taught that he is not a body. He is Spirit and the Spirit is real. The Spirit is prior to time. Thus he taught, "Before Abraham was, I AM." You can say this of everyone, including Mary. "Before Mary was, I AM.""Before David was, I AM." The I AM presence is not a man or a woman, and that is what this Course aims at, coming to the I AM presence. In my own awakening I have had students who wanted to follow me, but I tell them I am not a teacher and they are not students. There are no leaders or followers in the IAM presence. No one is ahead and no one is behind. This is the undoing of all specialness around the body.
We are the same in holiness. We are the same in holiness. Our sameness is true and differences are unreal. We are the same, one child of God. We are the same, one child of God. Spirit has come that oneness may be revealed. (from We Are The Same)
The Holy Spirit will use the symbols that the mind believes in. For example, to someone who was raised Catholic, Jesus, Mary and angels can all be very helpful symbols. Mary may appear to this mind and speak to it. She is a symbol of comfort, safety, wisdom. For some, Mary is more helpful as a symbol than Jesus, because they are afraid of Jesus and Mary seems more soft and welcoming. This is wonderful because it is helpful to the mind. All religions have their saints, deities and symbols. Some people have near-death experiences and some see visions. These are all symbols that the Holy Spirit uses to assure the mind that everything is okay. All things are in the hands of God, so to speak.
Q: I have been facilitating two groups here, for the past three years. Yet I feel I must be a total beginner because just before this meeting started I was feeling great anger, and I don't know how to deal with it!
D: When emotions are so strong, it gives you a strong impetus for a change of mind. When anger arises, the ego temptation is to project that anger and look for causes in the world. But it is really the ego having a tantrum, demanding that God make this world real. The ego has been at its game a long "time," always hoping to wear God down and get Him to grant reality to the ego's fantasy. But God would not be God if He did this. God is Eternal and Pure Love. God's creation Christ is also Eternal and Pure Love. The ego is the belief that it is possible to leave the mind of God and make up a world completely different from the kingdom of heaven. The ego has defined God as angry. It tries to tell God how to be God, and the ego has convinced the sleeping mind that it is not possible to go back to the kingdom of heaven. Every time anger arises in the mind, it is the ego determined to be right about the world it made.
We imagine that God is real mad, And to squash us will make Him so glad. But love cannot hate. Like itself it creates. By the ego's tall tales we've been had! (from Laugh, Laugh)
In A Course In Miracles Jesus says that you must look on the full extent of your hatred before you can let the hatred go. So everyone who works with the Course comes inward to that point where the anger is very intense. It is rage. And the more you work with A Course In Miracles, the more you realize that the anger is not because of anything in the world. In this sense it is a very generalized anger. You feel angry, but you can't even think of anything specific to be angry about. With this, you know that you are getting close to the bottom of your mind. The ego set the world up as a world of duality, and the ego is the belief in private minds with private thoughts. We have had many hilarious experiences as we go deep into the mind. Resta can attest to the rage that has come up from deep down. She can tell you the story of when Kathy took her place driving.
Resta: Last July I took my first trip with David and Kathy, and we drove out to the Midwest to do gatherings. We were in my car on a fast highway, and Kathy had offered to do some driving, so I was in the backseat and they were in the front seats. I began to feel very afraid. It seemed like we were going too fast, that we were too close to other cars and I felt we might crash any minute. I started to feel rage at the way she was driving. And then, I felt rage that anybody could drive differently than me. And then I felt rage that there were other people! (Laughter) So I told them about it, and we had a good laugh. Kathy then started driving very carefully! (Laughter)
D: So the key is, when the anger comes up into awareness, call on a miracle and be able to laugh at it.
The images that pass before perceptions glass Will never, never last. You'd better learn to laugh. (from Streaming Dreameo)
Learn to not take it personally, because anger properly perceived is always a call for help. It is as if your mind is saying: Please teach me that I am not this person. When you perceive with the Holy Spirit you will laugh. With everyone that I work with and at the many gatherings I speak at, I am always encouraging people to get in touch with their feelings. If you are not able to acknowledge your feelings, then you are twice removed from letting it go.
With Kerri it has been the same way. On the way over here she was telling a story about how she was enraged in one of our cab rides here.
Kerri: Yesterday I was in a cab with David and Dave Powell. A song came on the radio that the driver liked so he turned the radio way up loud. For no seeming reason I became extremely angry. For the past few weeks I've had this feeling of being completely out of control because I'm letting go of a lot of old beliefs and eelings. I didn't know what to do with my anger yesterday so I kept my mouth shut. Fortunately the driver soon turned the radio off. This is just an example of how you can become very angry over nothing.
D: There are two things that will really flush the anger up: Silence and relationships. You will find that when you attempt to meditate, as you go much deeper, the ego's anger is stirred up. With everyday relationships, it can seem as if the ego is in your face. This is really a time for gratitude, because the anger had been kept unconscious and now has come up for healing. It is never what is happening in the world that is causing this. It is just that your mind is ready and willing for it to be healed. So even though it feels difficult and intense, it is something to celebrate. Now you can let it go. That is why it is so important for you to feel and speak about whatever you are in touch with. It is also important to be gentle with yourself.
That's not the reason why. That's not the reason why. The problem's not out there. You have to look inside. That thing that someone did, the words that seem to hurt Are only in your mind, and that's where you must search. (from That's Not The Reason Why)
Q: You have spoken of attracting others through vibration. Could you explain?
D: When I meet people I often feel that I have known them forever. It is not like a relationship of this world. We don't have to "catch up" on things or try to fill in the blanks, because we recognize each other. To recognize someone, it means you have known them before. This has nothing to do with the physical form, but it is a recognition of the vibrations. It is as if before we fell asleep, we all laughed and celebrated together and said: I will find you. And then when we seem to find each other, we rejoice and we laugh and we dance, and we lose track of time altogether. So this community of vibrations has no boundaries. As you open to this vibration, everyone is your dear friend. You are not your brother's keeper – you are your brother! And so, however you treat others is how you treat yourself, and you know that it is okay to love your Self. Love is wonderful.
Do you know we are bright wings of light, in Spirit joined? And as we learn to beat as one, we fly to heaven home. Safe and soft, sweet and strong – the mighty wings of Christ. (from Mighty Wings)
Q: We feel that there is a great need to get to know Jesus and to connect from the heart. Is it only we who feel this way, or do you find this need expressed everywhere you go?
D: To get to know Jesus is to get to know your Self. Jesus is a good topic to go into deeply. It is impossible to get to know the historical Jesus, because the true Jesus is the I AM presence. Many people have resistance to the name of Jesus and have a lot of issues with him. Some have been raised to fear him. Even Helen Shucman who scribed the Course became angry with Jesus. Much of her poetry expresses feelings of abandonment and rejection, as if she was saying: How could you leave me here? On the flip side are feelings of making Jesus special, as if he is somehow different from everyone else. One of the most confusing parts of ACIM, for many students, is when Jesus says: "Forgive me your illusions." People ask me: Why do I have to forgive Jesus? Of all people, why Jesus? I can see forgiving my uncle Fred or my Aunt Jane, my father, my mother, my children, but why do I have to forgive Jesus? What Jesus means by this is that we must forgive the illusion. He means you will have to forgive the body. You will have to forgive the concept of the person of Jesus. You will have to forgive the apostles. You will have to forgive the whole drama of 2,000 years ago. And while you're at it, you have to forgive all of history. In other words, the Christ idea is not male or female, and the Christ idea was never a body. This is the final step in accepting yourself as Christ and involves forgiving the person of Jesus. Jesus encourages us to accept the lessons: "I am as God created me." "I am Spirit." "I am not a body. I am free." So you ask a very good question about Jesus.
Many Christians want to have a personal relationship with him, and this is like a stepping stone for them. What they really want is a sense of intimacy with Jesus, as if he is guiding them in their hearts.
I have come to comfort you and be your loving friend, To take your hand and walk with you and lead you home again. (from Jesus' Song)
But as you work with A Course in Miracles, you will see that all personal relationships are undone, and you are left in a divine relationship with our Creator – just like Jesus, who said: "I and the Father are one." God is no respecter of persons. Even Jesus when he was in a teaching session refused to stop it for his mother. He continued teaching, saying "Who is my father, mother, sister, brother?" His hand swung across the whole room: "He that does our Father's Will is my father, mother, sister, brother." So no person was special to Jesus. He saw that everyone was the Christ.
The peace of God is shining in me now and shines in you as well. And as we see the unity of light, we remember Christ as Self. (from Why Wait For Heaven?)
Q: How do you apply what we are learning to things that happen in the world: hunger, strife, war. We contribute financially to help with these things, but what is the most helpful attitude toward world problems?
D: Last night as I was leaving a gathering, a woman asked me the same question. She said she did not want to be indifferent to the world. She wanted to act from a feeling of love and compassion. She said: "What do I do with the feelings that come up when I watch images of war or starving children?" The Holy Spirit would have us realize that all of our feelings are coming from decisions. He asks us to be honest about those feelings and to look closely at the thoughts behind the feelings. He does not teach us to turn away blindly and be like cold and stiff robots. Mother Teresa is an example of one who let the love of God flow through her. When someone was hungry she fed them. If someone was sick in the street she pulled them off the street. She learned how to live very simply and let God move through her without letting an interpretation of pity creep in. Pity is an arrogant thought that says you are better off than others. If you are acting out of pity or guilt, you are reinforcing the separation in your mind. So always ask the Holy Spirit how to be "truly helpful", remembering the prayer at the beginning of the Course. Then act appropriately as the Holy Spirit moves through you, from a spirit of lightness and joy.
Let the Spirit work through you, Your actions, words and feelings. Let the Spirit teach through you In miracles and healing. (from Let The Spirit)
To inspire is to be in the spirit. So whether you work at a soup kitchen, a hospital or a shelter for the homeless, it is your attitude that is really teaching. When I worked with dying patients in Hospice, I was in complete joy. The doctors and nurses told me how helpful it was to have someone peaceful and happy in their midst, because they typically felt so sad and depressed about the dying. I realized there was no death, so I was used by the Holy Spirit to speak to these people. I would be carrying a tray of food down the hall, and someone would call me into their room. They would be coherent and alert, and ask me questions about the meaning of life. In most cases they were just hanging on because they were afraid to let somebody down. So even in their final hours they were"people-pleasing"! I told them, Don't worry about it. Just go to the light. The next day I was told this person had died. You really start to realize that life is not of this body. Life is a state of mind. It's kind of funny to think that six billion people are running around doing crazy jobs and occupations, full of stress, trying not to die – when they are all afraid of living! Nobody in this world is aware of how much they fear love. But when you work with A Course In Miracles, you come to see the fear of intimacy. You learn to drop the mask, but also feel the fear of dropping the mask. The ego says: "Look at all your past relationships, how you put your heart on the line and got hurt." The ego says it is not safe to love. It teaches that love always leads to hurt feelings. Now we have to listen to the Holy Spirit and learn that it is helpful to forgive and love. You realize that you cannot give away something you do not already have. So the more that you practice loving, the more you realize you have love and you are love.
I allow my love to shine, to shine, to shine. I allow my love to heal and bless the mind. Soft and gentle is its light, Radiance from the Face of Christ. I allow my love to shine, to shine, to shine. (from I Allow)
The first few steps are the most difficult, because you are going against all of your past learning. Maria and I were talking about world travels. Like Maria, I was raised to think you could love just one person and such a belief makes it seems awkward to open up to many people. But as we follow our inner guidance, we learn that's exactly what we have to do. Then we see how silly our old ideas of relationship were. We see that it is possible to be in love with everyone! Love is not limited. The ego says there's only so much to go around, so you'd better save it. But you find that the more you give it away, the more you have – and it feels good.
That's how you know it is of the Holy Spirit.
Love created you to be just like itself. The love you are is all that's real. Love longs to waken you from guilty dreams of hell. All you've imagined love will heal. (from Follow Love)
Q: The hardest thing for me is the constant sense of guilt. Would you speak about that?
D: The ego always believes that sins are in bodies. So there are all these memories in the mind of things that you seemed to do that you shouldn't have done, or things that you didn't do that you should have done. The human condition is always based on comparison. Guilt comes from accepting ego roles. Let's take the role of mother. How good is a good enough mother? There is this ideal in the mind of a "good mother", and the mind is always measuring itself against the ideal. It never feels good enough. You could take the role of wife. How good is a good enough wife? There are always guilt thoughts about: Could I have done more? Am I giving enough attention to my husband/child? When I get involved in other things, am I neglecting my husband/child? So the ego has set up a world of many roles, and it always tries to make the mind feel guilty about not fulfilling those roles. The Holy Spirit brings the end of guilt, because the Holy Spirit gives the mind healing as its role. There is never any guilt in healing. So as you advance as a miracle worker, your self-concept will expand. You may have started out as a wife and mother, or as a math teacher, a gardener, and a good cook. Now Jesus is training you to be a teacher of God. As you work more with Jesus, you will realize: I am more than a woman, a wife, a gardener and a cook. I am more than all of these roles. Your consciousness will expand. You will be used in situations that you could not have imagined, as your circle grows bigger – just as when your circle grows by coming to Course groups.
Family, family, holy and whole is my family. Kindness and love are the sweet ties that bind The family that lives in the mind. (from Family)
The Holy Spirit knows that the mind is afraid of letting go of these roles, so He does not yank them away all at once. That would be too frightening. Step by step, as you get into your function, your view of yourself will expand as you take your part in God's plan What the Holy Spirit is really doing is widening your perception. Most people live their lives with blinders on. They think of every decision in terms of their family and loved ones. They think of each decision as to who will benefit and who will be harmed. Christ teaches that every decision you make is for the whole universe, because your mind contains the whole universe. This is how you learn to let go of guilt or unlearn guilt. You let the Holy Spirit move through you and your vision expands. You think of every decision in terms of how it will help you and how it will help everyone. You learn that the words that you are speaking are really for everyone. You learn that you have no secrets. When you follow the Holy Spirit, you have mucho energy! You can seem to do more in one day than you did in one week, and everyone is included. If you have loved ones who say: "I don't understand what you're doing; I like the old self better than the new self; I want the old self back" – you will realize that these are just ego doubt thoughts, and you are saying "bye-bye" to these doubt thoughts. So it is important to say to everyone in your circle: "This is my journey and I must follow it. You are invited to come with me, or not come with me." The second part is very important, because without it you would be trying to change them.
Bodies seem to go apart, but spirit's ever one. No matter where we go in life, our love can't be undone. The Christ in you and Christ in me is all we really are, And while we dream of separate roads, we're joined within God's heart. (from Song Of Parting)
This is a Course in changing your own mind. As you let go of being concerned about others and experience many miracles, you will find that some of those who turned away now turn back. But even this is not your concern. When I was going through my awakening, I had many struggles with relationships. I asked the Holy Spirit what I was to do. He gave me the metaphor of a deck of cards and told me: All of the relationships in your life were dealt by the ego. The ego picked your parents, your friends, your teachers. During the unholy instant all "relationships" of bodies were spun out. The ego's goal was guilt, and therefore you have experienced guilt in all of these relationships. Now bring all of the cards together in one deck and hand the whole deck over to Me. Let Me deal the deck. Some of the old cards will come back, but they will be brand new relationships, freed of the past, with no guilt. I will deal you many new cards. Many will come to witness to the love in your mind. The old dealing was the purpose of death. The new dealing is for your esurrection. Just remember, you must give Me the entire deck. You cannot keep a few cards for yourself. If you still cling to a few of the old cards, you will still feel guilt and still feel limited. So that was my big leap, to hand the whole deck over to the Holy Spirit, and it was the greatest thing I've ever done in my life! I cannot begin to tell you all of the people I have met from letting the Holy Spirit guide my life. There is never a sense of attachment, never a sense of expectations.
Heart to heart, join with me heart to heart To laugh at the guilty dark and wipe away tears. Heart to heart, when we join heart to heart, Our happiness we impart to our brothers so dear. Soul to soul, peace is our only goal, Remembering we are whole and one in God's sight. Going home, learning we're not alone. God's magnitude is our own, the Source of our life. (from Heart To Heart)
When you're in the Spirit, nobody can let you down. You are not looking to your brothers and sisters to meet your needs. The only Purpose you come together for is to share the joy of the present moment. Now your Purpose is to give, and that's why you're not looking to get anything back. This is also why I could never charge any money for anything that I do, because that would be an expectation. What I find is when I give everything away, the Holy Spirit handles everything and I never want for anything. The Spirit is always giving. So this transforms all the relationships. It gives you great trust in Divine Providence.
The light is free to shine. The rain is free to fall, And I am free in holiness to give my life to God. The sparrow's free to fly. The wind is free to blow, And I am free in holiness to ride the Spirit's flow. (from Free In Holiness)
Q: It seems like one must have a lot of education to understand the Course. How can we grasp it if we do not have this education?
D: In this world education seems to be a wonderful thing. During my ten years of college I seemed to learn many skills and abilities, as well as a lot about how the world operates. But intellect is not always a helpful tool in understanding or experiencing truth. A Course In Miracles is written for the ego mind that is highly intellectual. There are a lot of large words. I once met a woman who was awakening rapidly yet had no college education. She loved reading the Course and she was very tuned in to listening to the Voice for God, the Holy Spirit. I asked her what she did when she came to big words she had not seen before. She said that the Voice in her mind substituted a smaller word that meant the same thing. This was a striking example to me of how what really matters in reaching enlightenment is our willingness rather than our intellect or education.
Undo the doing. Untry the trying. Unlearn the learning. Unstrive the striving. Release the holding. Cast off your worries. Unthink your thinking. Slow down your hurries. (from Be In The Being)
Most of what is learned in this world will have to be unlearned. This is because the learning of this world is based on false cause- effect relationships. Every discipline has this basis. I have heard of people with two PhD's who cannot make any sense of A Course In Miracles. They can read the words, but the mind is too resistant to the ideas. This is a course in undoing, and all education is about building on concepts and making knowledge ever more detailed and specialized. Take medicine as an example, where there are so many specialties requiring additional and specific training. A Course In Miracles is about stepping back in your mind and seeing the big picture. It is also about letting go of control. The education of the world teaches what to pursue, what is valuable, and what to avoid, what is harmful. All of the education of the world involves judgment. The curriculum of A Course In Miracles involves the relinquishment of judgment. And so you begin to see that the world cannot be understood, but that peace and understanding do go together. The only way you can know that you truly understand something is when your mind comes to peace.
The intellectual learning and all the skills that I developed for the world have been redirected to the Holy Spirit's Purpose. In college I was very shy. I would never have imagined speaking to groups. I learned a lot of information and my vocabulary increased, but I had no purpose for the information. Now that I have opened my mind to the Holy Spirit, all of that education is helpful for me in reaching people. I can meet people from many different cultures or who have studied many different disciplines, and the Holy Spirit uses the language in my mind to orchestrate conversations so that there is a sense of joining and joy. It has given me a great appreciation that there are many paths (in form) to God, yet the Content is always the same.
Come to the Spirit. Be free. Gently He helps us to see That together we shine as the single Christ Mind. Joined in the Spirit we're free. (from Come To The Circle)
So the Holy Spirit puts the words in my mouth, keeping the Content consistent whether I am speaking to a mind identified as Jew, Hindu, Catholic, Taoist, scientist, or atheist; Content is the same regardless if I am speaking to little children or people that are very learned. The Content of joy stays the same but the words that come out are in the form that is most helpful. It is striking to look at education, because education has been seen as a solution to the world's problems. But if you look at some of the world's most "educated" or "civilized" societies, you still see the same perceived problems: murder, stealing, rape, all kinds of crimes. Education and money have never solved these perceived problems. Then you come to A Course In Miracles, and it says this is a course in unlearning. It says that the mind that believed in the ego has learned this world. It has educated itself to believe it is possible to separate from God. When this mind finally reaches a point of disillusionment with the world it made, then it is open to unlearn everything that it thinks it knows. It is open to becoming humble. A mind that is not humble will not begin to unlearn. It already thinks it knows and cannot be taught that it does not. So education is really inverse, and "intellectual understanding" is a contradiction in terms and not a primary step to to living in the present moment. A mind emptied of concepts is at peace.
All glory to God and gratitude to Holy Spirit for guiding us to join with our beautiful brothers and sisters in the One Mind that knows no limits or boundaries or nationalities. In conclusion, we let Christ have the final Word:
"Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." Mt 28:20
Always I am with you in your journey of the mind, Closer than your heartbeat as you dream of form and time. Always I will help you to choose the path of light, Always in remembrance we are the Christ.
Always I will guide you on my road of peace and grace. The lamp I hold is shining. I won't let you go astray. Live with me and think with me and join with me in love. And always, brother, always know we are one.
Always God enfolds us in His vast eternal heart. Always Spirit shows us that we have not gone apart. The Son of God is dreaming of a world that never was. In heaven we forever abide in God's love.
Always I am with you until always is no more, Until the mind remembers what it is and what it's for. Together we'll be shining, one Self of radiant peace That now and for always is whole and complete.