"Smack dab in the middle of the Kingdom of Heaven!"
From: The Raj video - 1986
QUESTION: Can you talk about some of the ways we can be awake more frequently than we are currently?
RAJ: There is really only one way, and that is to desire to wake up. You see, the desire to wake up makes a statement to the effect that you acknowledge that you are asleep. That is an honesty which is essential to waking up. It is the equivalent of saying that what I am seeing is illusion. It simply means I acknowledge that I am not seeing anything in its ultimate, natural, primitive state.
When doubt is cast upon what you believe at the moment, it opens the way for clarification to occur. But as long as you are positive that you understand things correctly, you are a closed mind.
Now, there is one practice which is essential in one form or another to waking up, and that is a practice which causes you to become still. And it is the equivalent of the biblical instruction, "to go into your closet and to pray to thy Father which is in secret," which means: which is in the silence, which is in the absence of your busy ego-thinking. And so, the practice of becoming still, which is generally described as meditation, is essential in one form or another.
I would encourage you not to use any form of meditation which involves posturing, such as yoga, unless you are already highly skilled at it and have gotten to the place where you are not having to get past your body and the complaints about the postures.
It is not complicated to wake up. It does not require a rigorous exercise or physical process, it simply requires becoming quiet. To be conscious is not the equivalent of thinking. It is quite possible to be absolutely, totally conscious with no thought whatsoever.
Now, when one becomes still, one becomes definitely established in the moment of conscious experience that he is in. The process of meditation pulls you out of the future and the past. It allows you to be totally present with everything in the now. And the now is the holy instant, the now of conscious experience.
You wake up by moving through dead center of the moment of conscious experience that you are always in. If you understand that, you will not see yourself as moving toward your salvation, and that maybe someday, sometime, some lifetime, you may achieve it. It’s right smack dab in the middle of the moment you are in, at this moment.
So, become still and then ever so quietly desire to know the Truth about anything you want to know the Truth about. "What is the Divine Reality of my toe that I stubbed today, that is killing me? What is the Divine Reality right there where it is throbbing? I want to know the Truth about my toe. I want to know the Truth about paying my bills appropriately and in a way that meets everyone’s needs when I don’t seem to have enough.
Desire to know whatever you need to know. If you don’t have any burning issue, just open yourself up to Knowing, with a capital "K," not the ego beliefs and reasonings—desire and silent listening are the key. It is that simple. Keep it that simple.
The Kingdom of Heaven and the Divine Reality of You do not constitute prizes which you must win or earn; they are your birthright. You must claim your birthright. It must have priority over and take precedence over any other goals.
Now, as I said, gently desire it. The more gently you do it the less ego control you bring to bear upon your desire. Desire it gently and then be still and allow it to unfold in and as your experience. Let it in. This is the real definition of love.
Love is not something you extend to something else. It is the acknowledgment, the letting into your conscious level of awareness the Reality of each and everything you see, including yourself. Love is an act of receipt. When you desire to experience yourself Divinely, that desire is the opening of the door that allows you to experience yourself as you are.
As you know, the ego is nothing more than a simple defense mechanism. It is an act of defense. It is an act of blocking. And if you think love is an act of reaching out over your defense system and over someone else’s defense system to reach them, you are sadly mistaken. Love is the letting down of your defense system so that, that which is Divinely presenting itself to you—even though it thinks it’s an ego and acts like an ego—can be seen and acknowledged by you, is what constitutes the act of love. It is what is healing. But it isn’t something you have extended to another, it is something you have let yourself experience. You have let the Divinity of that one in. You have not defended yourself against perceiving it. It’s much easier than trying to project it through space, through your belief structures, through the others belief structures and somehow connecting with him. Neither his defense systems nor yours will allow you to succeed in that endeavor.
So, you make a conscious choice to experience what is Real in yourself and in others. You invite the experience of the Reality in. There is nothing that can block the fulfillment of that desire, because the process does not engage the ego in any way. It does not violate the ego’s structures. It simply disregards them. The ego has no defense against disregard! Withdraw your attention from it, and it has no power. Fight it and you substantiate it.
There isn’t any process to waking up. Regular church attendance, even doing the daily lessons for three hundred and sixty-five days will not get you into the Kingdom of Heaven. They contribute to your arriving at a point of giving up, of relaxing and allowing the Holy Spirit or allowing your guide or allowing your inspiration and enlightenment to fill you. They help you arrive at a point where you can logically and feelingly release your defenses so that the Kingdom of Heaven can begin to get into that place where you have been hiding behind your defenses and register with you. Love is letting in that which is constantly confronting you, Divinely speaking.
QUESTION: Raj, the "Course In Miracles" teaches "In our defenselessness our safety lies." And I’m still not clear what I am defending. Is it this personality that you talked about earlier?
QUESTION: My body? This ego?
RAJ: You defend your feeling of vulnerability. You feel vulnerable because you do not experience who you Are Really. You defend a very finite experience of your Totality, because you are experiencing everything through the five physical senses only. You feel small. You feel separate. You see this tiny ego sense is a very small area of the Totality of your Being. And this is important to understand. It is not a separate reality. It is a finite or limited part of the infinity of your Being. With this partial experience of what you totally are, you end up with a very biased, incomplete sense of self, which cannot help but feel vulnerable because it’s totality is not available to it to substantiate its invulnerability.
In this biased frame of mind change cannot be allowed. Change threatens whatever the status quo is that has been able to be established by this finite sense. Change increases the sense of vulnerability. And so, everyone defends themselves against their fear. And their fear is of change. And so, everyone defends himself or herself against his/her enlightenment, because enlightenment is going to mean changed perspective. It is going to mean experiencing yourself differently. This is one of the reasons that there are guides. This is the reason there is the Holy Spirit to help you grasp that that which is beyond your limited sense of self is your Self, totally unforeign to you, because it is you in your Divine actuality.
Now, the ego cannot perceive the meaning of what I have just said. And if you have understood what I have just said, then that means that that part of you, that part of what you Divinely Are that is constituting this limited ego sense, is hearing and understanding. No matter how much you close down your Infinity, no matter how tiny you make it, still what is embraced within the boundaries of the ego structure is what you Divinely Are. And so, it is always present to recognize and respond to the Truth. This is why, when you are willing to love your brother as yourself, it strengthens him. Because whatever degree of your Divinity you are able to own and acknowledge allows you to recognize the truth about your fellow man and acknowledge it in him. And it strengthens him. And it strengthens you.
What are you defending yourself against? The Kingdom of Heaven. What are you defending yourself against? Your Christhood, your fulfillment, your experience of your Inviolable Eternal Being. Understand that to deny that, is totally sensible to the ego because it is a defense mechanism. And the only territory it has to defend, is the territory it has created by means of imagination. But understand that, that territory is right in the middle of the Kingdom of Heaven, Reality.
This evening is a Divine event of Christ’s sharing. That is what is really happening. Not one of us is more important than the other, or less important. And whether you see it or not, a Heavenly event is transpiring; Reality is going on perfectly in this spot. And all that keeps you from seeing it, is your fear that if you let it in you will lose your identity. And I tell you that you will gain your identity and lose the artificial imagined sense of yourself that seems more real to you at the moment. You will lose only the limitation. I want you to understand though, that even if you do not let it go in this moment, it does not change the fact that every event is a Divine event and is going on in the middle of Reality or the Kingdom of Heaven. It is not a "far off" to get to.
You have nothing to protect yourself against. And understand that your defense creates that which you must defend yourself against, because with defensive glasses on, all you can see is the need for defense. Defensive glasses see attack all around it, right in the middle of the Kingdom of Heaven. It’s preposterous! And you say, "but I must do this, and I must do that, and I must go through this process, and I must yield up this" and so on. All you need to do is take off the glasses! or at least stop squinting and saying that you cannot see the perfection.
You see, it is in the relinquishment of the defensiveness that you put yourself in the position of being receptive to the clearer perception, which you call the healing of a problem. It is something you are absolutely conditioned against doing by the ego. You are told that it is idiocy; that it is foolish to love in the face of hate; that it is foolish to be centered in the middle of a crisis. And yet those who dare to do so find all evidences of a crisis dissolving.
Do not be surprised that you feel the need for defense. It is not justification for self-criticism. It is perfectly understandable from within your present frame of reference. But there is a greater frame of reference. And you have the option to desire to experience it and not blindly assume that things are exactly the way you are perceiving them at the moment based on the information you presently have. The information that you presently have is not enough to give you peace, is it? But that’s no problem. The information you need is present and available, because all of what you Divinely Are is present. And the steps that will identify resolution as opposed to conflict, will come to you when you stop validating what your mind is telling you is happening, what your conditioning is telling you is happening.
I want you to remember that at this instant and at every instant you are in the middle of Reality, Perfection, the Infinite unfoldment of Life, God, and that It is You and You are It. You cannot even say that you are inseparable, because there isn’t even that much separation. And therefore, when you seem not to have enough information to be at ease, you can assume that the information is nevertheless present, available to you and just waiting to be let in.
You are inviolable. Your well-being is inviolable. Believe it! If it is inviolable, the experience of inviolability is available to you, it is active at this moment and anything that your reasoning is telling to the contrary is illusory. Be willing to invalidate the illusion. Do not energize it by rehearsing it in you mind, by playing it over and over and feeling the feelings of fear and at some level enjoying the drama.
Be willing to even assume that your inviolability is an active vital fact and then take time to be at peace and desire to experience it. And understand that the experience of it relates to everything going on in the three-dimensional frame of reference. And therefore, the experience of your integrity will constitute the integrity and harmony of your life on planet earth. It will not be etheric, untouchable, but wonderful to feel while you are starving. That’s not integrity. Right where the illusion seems to be Reality is functioning flawlessly and it is right where the illusion seems to be that your fulfillment is present to be experienced. Not in a fluffy pink cloud, wonderful spiritual nonsense. Fulfillment is the meeting of the need right where you are. And the reason it can be fulfilled right where you are is because Reality is the only actual thing happening right where you are.
Now, Reality might not conform to your concepts or to your goals, but it conforms to you. It conforms to everything that is wholesome, healthy, fulfilling, satisfying and meaningful today with your dense body. Reality is always present at all belief levels and available to be experienced in language of present perception. That is so important to understand. You are never absent from your Good. And as long as you seem to be bound in the ego frame of reference you will always find your Good, with a capital "G", available in language, in terms that meet the need in spite of the ego sense. Again, the reason being, that no matter what you believe, you are always smack dab in the middle of the Kingdom of Heaven.
From: Raj at ACIM Conference - 1992
RAJ: Good morning. Although I am always with you whether you are aware of it or not, I am glad to be with you in this, shall I say, more conscious way this morning. And while we are apparently together here in this room, I want you to be aware that we are all together with everyone else in this conference. And we are all together with everyone on your globe. And we are all together with all the Sons and Daughters of God. And everyone of those who are totally awake, are totally conscious with you of everything that is going on this morning. I say this so that you may begin with a sense of being included in a much larger scope than you ordinarily allow yourselves to think about.
Now, as long as this is the first session for all of you for this conference let us start with the question: "What is A Course In Miracles?" And remember that you cannot ask what is A Course In Miracles without asking: "What is A Course In Miracles and me?" Because without you there is no Course In Miracles. And without you there are no miracles. This is very important, because it becomes very easy to think of the Course as something separate from you which you can study and learn. That is your conditioning. Especially, the use of the term "course," seems to specifically apply to an educational process which you have always experienced as learning—the taking in of something separate and different from you.
I’m going to give you a different picture. You and the Course are like a strip tease dancer who comes out on the stage surrounded with multicolored balloons, with nothing on underneath. The dancer usually has somewhere on her hand a little thorn or prick that she can pop the balloons with. But in this case, it is the Course that is the prick—the trigger if you will—that pops the balloons of your ego that obscures who you Really Are.
And you know what? It does it when you aren’t looking. It does it when you least expect it. "The bridegroom cometh when ye think not." And both ways that that sentence can be interpreted are correct. The Christ of you penetrates your limited perception when you least expect it. And also when ye think not—when you are not thinking.
You will not think or understand your way into the Kingdom of Heaven. You will feel your way into the Kingdom of Heaven. And I’m not talking about emotions, I’m talking about feelings. Feelings are Soul, with a capital "S"; sensing, Soul sensing. Sensing everything that you are experiencing from your Soul. Emotions are ego reactions. They are the egos equivalent of feelings. And you know what they are reactions to? They are reactions to Reality, when it is inconsistent with the ego’s definition of how a thing ought to be or what a thing is.
Miracles are not controlled by your thinking, nor by your understanding. I will tell you something: A MIRACLE happens and you understand. You do not understand and then experience a miracle. And a miracle happens when you are undefended. And so, this illustrates a most important point: thinking blocks miracles. In fact, thinking as you employ it, constitutes your defense against the conscious experience of Reality.
Now, I said thinking as you employ it. You employ it to attempt to get to an understanding of something. But, if you are willing, if you are truly willing to do what the Course says and look at a thing and say, "What I see, does not mean anything." If you are willing to set aside any meaning that you have given to it, you provide the opportunity for the experience of what it Divinely Is to register with you. And then you will spontaneously and appropriately employ your thinking to give a voice to what you have found yourself knowing—what you have found yourself understanding. But the understanding comes always as a revelation. And revelation occurs when ye think not.
Now, let’s be wise, I’m not saying for all of you to leave and be thoughtless. Until you’ve learned how to hear, by virtue of listening, you had better think. Because your current thinking constitutes your current common sense. And without it, you would be behaving in a most unintelligent manner.
The point is, as frequently as you can, everyday, listen. Be willing to set aside your best judgments and your conditionings, and even your most spiritual concepts about how a thing ought to be. And ask God, "What is Your point of view of this? What is Really going on here?" The more you do this, the more you will hear experientially what you need to know. Then, your thinking and your expression will express what you find yourself knowing, and you will be a transformational Presence in your world without even trying.
The Bible relates my healing of a blind man, who then went and showed everyone that he could see. And the priests asked, "How did this happen?" He said, "I don’t know. All I know is that whereas before I was blind, but now I can see." This is the way the Course works. Don’t read it as though it is going to give you an understanding that will give you better control in your world, where you can be a conscious healer, where you are giving conscious direction to your Awakening or to someone else’s Awakening. Read the Course and let it change you.
I’m going to encourage all of you to do something: Read the Course, each time you pick it up, as though you had never read it before; as though you had never attended A Course In Miracles group meeting; as though you did not now have a large group of friends—or even a small group of friends—whom you could speak intelligently with about these things, and where you have all arrived at some mutual agreement and you feel safe with each other, etc. Read it as though you were picking it up for the first time.
Also, as you go through this conference, I encourage each of you to pretend that you brought a relative with you who won’t have anything to do with the Course, but somehow you managed to get them to come with you and they’re sitting beside you. If that really happened, you would listen to everything that was said with an ear to how this individual would be hearing it. You would not slip into your comfortable, accumulated understandings of the Course. You would sort of simply flow unconsciously with the wonderful truths and even the stimulating ideas that are expressed.
Your greatest asset when you picked up the Course for the first time, was that you had no preconception. And in reading it, it threw you off balance. As you know, many sentences—not just paragraphs—but many sentences are like an Alfred Hitchcock movie that has a little twist at the end. And you thought you knew where it was heading, and boom, it wasn’t! And you had to read it over because you were surprised.
Don’t underestimate the value of being thrown off balance, because indeed, it is your ego that gets thrown off balance. And when it gets thrown off balance, your Divinity has the opportunity to register with you, because your ego’s defense is weak at that moment.
I’m going to ask you why do you want to understand a thing? At the bottom line, it is so that you will never have to consider it again, and can become unconscious about that particular thing. You can tuck it away, as having it under your belt, and never have to look at it as though there is anything else to be known about it. You want to understand so there is a sense of security, and security to the ego means sleep. It means, not being fully alert, so that you might have the opportunity to experience a thing through the eyes of God, which are truly your birthright to see with.
Now, what is this "ancient journey" that you have come to the end of without realizing it? It is the end of the journey of thinking without asking God what is going on. You call it being an independent thinker. But I want to point out something to you. You cannot be an independent thinker alone and lose the conscious experience of the Kingdom of Heaven. You must join with someone else who also has chosen to be an independent thinker. Except it’s a little bit of a farce, because the two of you must agree on your independent thinking, and in agreeing to a definition of the Kingdom of Heaven (or of a part of the Kingdom of Heaven) that is not the same as the Father’s Knowing of Himself in that thing you create a sense of fantasy of separation from the Father, and a joining with the one that you have this mutual agreement with.
The moment that happens, you move into what I have referred to as the three-dimensional frame of reference. Not an evil place, not truly an illusion, but a limited perception of the only thing there is to perceive—the Kingdom of Heaven. It is limited by the fact that you have chosen to give your own definitions to it in tandem with someone else, other than the Father. And immediately you have time and space, and you are a tiny object in the middle of it. And so instantly, eternity and infinity, which are truly an indivisible experience of the eternal now seems to be spread out on a time-line from an infinite past to an infinite future. And you are working your way along that line. And so, immediately you have something ancient. The word "ancient" is meaningless, truly.
Now, why are you at the end of an "ancient journey" without realizing that you are at the end of it? Because you never ever left the Kingdom of Heaven. And you never stopped being the direct expression of God, even though you joined with another in a false definition of it all and seemed to lose the conscious experience of it. It is sort of satisfying to think that maybe you are at the end of an "ancient journey", like finally, maybe you’ve arrived.
But the reason you are at the end of an "ancient journey" is because you never went on an "ancient journey." And at this moment and at every single moment of consciousness that you have experienced, you have been smack dab in the middle of the Kingdom of Heaven. And you have been the Sons and Daughters of God, nothing less and nothing more. It is imperative that you begin to understand that not only are you already at the destination you feel you have to work so hard to get to, but you never left. You are all the beloved Sons and Daughters of God in whom God is well pleased, even if you are not particularly pleased with the dreams you have created for yourself in your exploration of independence.
So, how do you get off the wheel of history? How do you consciously end this "ancient journey"? You must withdraw from the special relationship. You must withdraw from the mutual agreement as to what a thing is, as to what everything is. Again, I encourage you, especially during this conference, to frequently say, "Nothing that I see means anything. Nothing that I hear means anything." Why do you do that? Not because it’s all meaninglesss. No. But because, if you are willing to abandon your confidences as to what it all means, you leave yourself open to the penetration of God’s point of view into your awareness.
Most of you here, are feeling really good about the fact that for three and a half days you are going to be with people who think like you think. Well, what about the poor souls back at work, or in the neighborhood? And are any of you really different from them? And might not your tendency to feel good because you are with like minded people mean that contrary to your expression of intent for being here, it might be nice not to have to be so conscious for a few days; not be in the place where you would have to be as active an expression of love; not be where anybody is going to make waves.
I will tell you something: love the waves! I’ve said it before—become a surfer! Stop wanting to be on the stable ground. Let yourself be with the Movement, that to you, doesn’t feel particularly stable. Value the instability, because God is a Movement. God is an infinite Movement of Creation. And the only stability there is to that Movement of Creation is the absolute indivisibility of that which is moving, which means that the infinite aspects of that Movement will be perfectly orderly, because they express the harmony of the indivisibility of that which is moving; the purity of that which is moving.
I encourage all of you to be willing to abandon what you have termed security. Because again, your demand for security is the means you see, or which your ego sees, as the way not to have to be conscious. And waking up is about being conscious—in your Right Mind—experiencing your birthright as the infinite expression of the Mind that God Is, the infinite intelligence that God Is.
You have heard of God spoken of as All Knowing, and you have taken that to mean, Knowing everything. But I would like you to think of it differently from now on, all there is to God is knowing. And therefore, if you are the direct expression of this God that is nothing but knowing, you must be the presence of knowing. But you won’t discover the experience of knowing until you stop thinking and start listening. And so, listen this weekend.
There’s no one special here to hear. I mean by that, no one more special than you. The only thing that can possibly hear Truth, is the Christ of you; whether you are listening to me, whether you are listening to any other speaker this weekend, whether you are reading the Course, or even something else. It is the Christ of you that recognizes the Truth.
And when the Christ of you recognizes the Truth, because ego thinking hasn’t gotten in the way, you are having an experience of being at one with the Father when He experiences everything that He has made. Except we’re going to change that slightly—everything that He is making. And "behold, it is very good." "Behold, it is verily God, Himself." That statement is a statement of self-recognition. It is a statement of the operation of the infinite Mind of God. God Moves and God sees the Movement and recognizes Himself in It. And the Movement is a Movement of Intelligence, what you can best comprehend as the Movement of Mind. And the Mind that Moves and sees It’s Movement and recognizes Itself in It, experiences Itself as tangibility and visibility, but no materiality associated with it. This is what it is your birthright to be experiencing at this moment, and throughout the weekend, and when you go home.
To look at a thing and discover the materiality of it, the non-mental, non-idealistic nature of it disappearing, so that everything begins to appear to you in fairer form, so that you are not seeing through a glass so darkly; this is the way you get off the wheel of history; this is the way you embody the fact that the "ancient journey" is over. And it is the way you discover the fact that you never went on it, as a fact.
Now, it’s a simple fact that if you dare to listen, you must listen for something. And the very act of listening is the act of abdicating separateness. It is the way in which you join.
Now, read the words in the Course and let them justify letting go of them, even if for a moment, to practice what the Course says; and listen and dare to hear. And then, you will find yourself in the first stage of being a teacher. You will suddenly find out what trust means, because doubts will come up all over the place. "Are you really hearing? Is this really trustworthy?"
And your ego will come in with plenty of arguments to tell you "this cannot possibly be the Voice for Truth. This can’t be the Holy Spirit. This can’t be the Christ. This can’t be your Higher Self. This is just you fooling yourself." And you must weigh this, this is where the reality, the transformational aspects, the miracle of The Course In Miracles comes into play. Because at the bottom line, the value of the Course is there to help you arrive at such a conviction in the Allness of God, and of your fundamental Divinity, that you are willing to abandon your confidences in what you believe and lean into—let go into—the underlying everlasting arms of the Father. Yield up your will for the Will of the Father, which is your true will.
Again, the way you get off the wheel of history, the way you discover the fact that you are at the end of an "ancient journey," is to stop thinking. Because it is by means of thinking that you join with another and arrive at a mutual agreement as to what a thing is; different from what the Father is Knowing about that thing.
This is what happened when each of you picked up the Course for the first time, or the second time, or the tenth time. Just remember, you don’t want to get the Course under your belt in a conceptual way. You want to relate to it as though it has something for you at the moment you open it, that may have nothing to do with anything you’ve ever seen in the Course before. Read it with fresh eyes. Read it with lack of confidence. Read it with vulnerability. In other words, read it as though you are really who you Are, instead of "a student of the Course." Because the simple fact is, that until you are Awake you are experiencing a certain amount of misery and limitation and lack, and that is what makes you reach, it is what causes you to reach genuinely, rather than with a vested interest to get support for your private sense of what is right.
Don’t try to cover up your uneasiness with things, with platitudes from the Course any more than from the Bible or any other book. Feel where you are at any given moment. There will be a certain degree of insecurity to it. And it is because of that insecurity that who you Divinely Are can penetrate the limits of your present point of view. Don’t read the Course to become strong, read the Course to become weak—weak in the ego.
Again, the reason the Course is there for you to read is because aside from your intellect, it is able to trigger your Awakening, pop your balloons, leave you naked in front of everyone else, so that you might have the opportunity to hear everyone gasp; not because of how ridiculous you look, but because of how meaningful the Presence is that is there that had been covered up by all of the confidences of your ego. I cannot say that will give you something to think about, but be with it, abide with it, what we have considered together this morning. And let it move you; let it mature you.
And know that at any time that any of you wish to know the Truth, it is present with you; I am present with you; the Holy spirit is present with you; the Father is present with you. And many that you cannot imagine stand in support of you and will respond. And know something else, that you are waking up from a short dream right in the middle of the Kingdom of Heaven. In other words, you’re already there. All that is required now, is a simple element of curiosity—not a long process of redemption.
Wheel of History & Ancient Journey & Looking with New Eyes
Continued from ACIM Conference - 1992
RAJ: Good morning. Yesterday the question was asked if the sign of an Awakened One is the experience of perfect peace. And the fact that everyone around that One experiences perfect peace, how is it that the crucifixion could have happened? In other words, how could those around me not have experienced the peace and the gentleness of Love, and thereby have been unable to engage in the act that has come to be known as the crucifixion? It is a good question. But it illustrates what the Course calls level confusion.
How many of you understand what level confusion means? How many do not? Those of you who do, may be surprised to find that you do not, either. Level confusion is not something to have an intellectual concept of. And I’m going to share something at a more experiential level that will help you to know what it means, without yet being able to put it into words.
Many of you have had the experience of being asleep at night. And when you were children, your mother would call and say, "it’s time to get up." And you were having a dream. And in the dream one of the characters is hollering, "it’s time to get up." Or somebody comes while you are sleeping and shakes your shoulder. And in the dream, the person standing next to you reaches up and puts his or her hand on your shoulder and shakes it gently to get your attention. That is level confusion: where an event that is happening at another level is interpreted as an event within another level. That is level confusion.
Now, this is very important, because it’s going to change the way you approach the rest of this conference as well as the way you approach your daily life when you return to your homes. The Course and the Voice for Truth do not address you from the level of the dream, but from a level outside the dream, to rouse you to a different order of awareness.
If you are having a night dream, and you are in a righteous argument with someone, and indeed your mother or someone calls the Real You to wake up, is that going to create a feeling of satisfaction for the one arguing with you in the dream, if you are going to completely withdraw from the dream? No!
So, are you here as students of the Course to have a clearer perception to make everyone else be better or happier; or are you here to wake up to a different order of things? Really speaking, with a capital "R", there are no such things as levels. But if you are caught in an experience of fantasy—which is what a dream is—then there do seem to be levels, because Reality seems to be unavailable to you at that moment and your dream has become the substitute for Reality. True, it is said, that as you begin to reach beyond your conditioned thinking, as you begin to desire to wake up and know the Truth, with a capital "T", the unhappy dream begins to shift to a happy dream.
But that’s not the point. It is a "benny" you get; a "perk" you get. It is very easy, especially as one begins to study and embrace and attempt to embody the principles of the Course, to think that it’s purpose is to change everything for the better. And so, it can begin to be used as a means of control of the dream—which is not the point.
And so, indeed there are many Course In Miracles meetings that are far from peaceful and loving. And there are families where non-Course members of the family and Course members of the family begin to experience strife, as though the conveying of ideas and principles and the use of particular language is what constitutes embodying the Course. When the point is: the internal shift of awareness that causes you to feel less and less the need for defense so that you may be more genuinely you and express the love that you find, is indeed the substance of you which almost no one in your world will object to.
Now, there is a necessity for me to be very precise, because in the use of the illustration of a dreamer in a night dream, and the fact that what is experienced is pure fantasy, and when you wake up the world of that fantasy disappears, that illustration cannot be used appropriately to give you a context in which to understand waking up. It is instead the daydream, such as you had when you were in school and the teacher was talking, and you were gazing out the window and were a thousand miles away—or imagining yourself out in the yard playing. Here, your fantasy is a modification of Reality, not a total substitute for it. In effect, the Course is the loud noise of the teacher getting your attention while you are daydreaming so that your attention comes back to a proper perception of Reality, rather than the modified one that you have engaged in as a means of escape from boredom.
It is important to understand this, because at this very instant there’s only one thing going on, God, right here. And it looks like me, and it looks like you, and it looks like a building, and it looks like grass, and it looks like cows, it looks like a group, it looks like food, it looks like camaraderie, but it’s all God. If God is, indeed, Omnipotent and Omnipresent, where is there room for another creation? There is none. Therefore, you are at all times confronted with Reality, with a capital "R". At all times you are confronted with the Kingdom of Heaven and you are either seeing it clearly or through a glass darkly.
Through the lens of the ego you have a misinterpretation of it, a misperception of it. And that is why the Course says that ultimately perception will disappear. Perception of what? Perception of the Kingdom of Heaven. You will no longer have a perception of it, you will Be the conscious experience of it. Any perception you have of it, must necessarily be biased, partial, incomplete.
Divinely speaking, you all have the capacity to imagine. But if you imagine and you join with another in that imagination—if another joins you in that imagination—now it is not imagination, it is misperception. And the bonding between the two of you in the mutual agreement as to the reality of that misperception is what constitutes a special relationship. You think that a special relationship is a word that describes every relationship you have, and especially the most important ones to you, the ones with your husbands, or wives, or children. The special relationship is the mutual agreement to treat a daydream as though it were real, and as though Reality were not going on at all.
Now, I picked the subject the end of an "ancient journey," because that is what waking up is, and that is what the end of a special relationship is. I want to be very, very clear on something. The end of relationships with each other is not the embodiment of a holy relationship, is not the end of a special relationship. Be wise, because the ego will suggest to you that you are in a special relationship and you must get out, and that will be representative of your spiritual growth. The fundamental basis of the ego is to not be in relationship at all, but to be independent, separate. "But Father, I’d rather do it myself. But Mother, I’d rather do it my way. I’d rather see things the way I want to see them."
I’ve said before that relationships are the crucible of Awakening. Why, and especially committed ones? Because that is where the greatest opportunity is to let down your defenses and be present with. How can you join, if you are not present with? Value your relationships. And know, that it is not a teaching, and it is not a language, it isn’t verbiage that exalts a relationship, it’s love—the willingness to recognize that which is Real, with a capital "R", in each and everything. Relationships are essential to Awakening. They are essential to joining and yielding up the false sense of self-satisfying separateness.
Now, you are here. You seem to be listening to me, and you are at this conference and you seem to be listening to a marvelous banquet of spiritual expressions of Truth. But all of you are listening to what you are seeing with, or listening with. And if you are listening with insight, you hear that which is insightful. And if you listen with defense, you hear that which justifies your sense of separateness. So, are you really listening to me, or are you listening to what you are listening with? And if you are listening to what you are listening with, are you not in a process of finding yourself in your world?
And so, can there really be those who are more enlightened than you, or more worthy of listening to than you? If you are hearing anything of value from them, it means you are listening from that place of value and are hearing yourself, and discovering the oneness of that which seemed to be separate.
I’m going to give you another way to think of "the journey without distance." It happens that this statement comes from Christian Science literature, but truth is truth no matter where it appears. "You are neither behind the point of perfection, nor advancing towards it. You are at that point, and must understand yourself there from."
This "ancient journey" is a journey that has happened while you have been the Christ—the direct expression of God. And it has happened smack dab in the middle of the Kingdom of Heaven. Because you as the Son or Daughter of God, and the Kingdom of Heaven are the only things that are Real and truly available to be experienced.
And so, the journey has been a dream—fantasy—experienced right in the middle of the Kingdom of Heaven. It has constituted an ignoring of the Kingdom of Heaven and the energizing of a different perception of the Kingdom of Heaven that you and someone else have agreed upon, so that you might have the experience of a different point of view from the Father’s point of view. Which really means, a point of view different from what feels like Home to you, a point of view different from you feeling the congruence of you.
And you cannot have that different kind of feeling without, what I call, "garbage truck bells." When a garbage truck is backing up and there is greater danger, there are bells that ring. And so, if you are going to indulge in a limited perception of the Kingdom of Heaven, which constitutes insanity, there will be bells; there will be what you will call fear, because it is not natural to you. And it is really, initially not fear, it is just a warning bell that says, "Don’t linger too long in this limited perception. Get back Home." Fear is not a punishment, anymore than the bell says something is wrong with this truck. It just means, be alert, because there is not enough clear vision for you to be safe.
And so, there is no penalty for having a partial private view that is handed down by God. It’s just that when you are out of sync with your capital "S" Self, or what you Divinely Are, you are going to feel the uncomfortableness of not being in your natural place.
Now, if the only thing confronting you here and now and during this whole weekend is the Kingdom of Heaven and God’s Truth—because there truly isn’t anything else Real happening—then, if you are willing to look at it with curiosity, to know God’s Truth, and if you even grasp a little bit the fact that the truth that you see is the truth that you are willing to listen with, and therefore it is a conscious experience of unity and perfect equality, then you provide yourself with the greatest opportunity for your perception to be cleared.
And the likelihood is that you will go home beaming with great joy and great news for everyone else about how marvelous this workshop or this conference was. And what I want is for you to go home and not neglect to be aware that it was the wonderfulness of what you chose to listen with—it was the wonderfulness of you that you are so happy to share with everyone else. And if you get that idea, if it registers with you deeply, you may well go home and say, "You know the conference itself was so-so, but my perception of it was marvelous. And I learned something. I learned to look with better eyes. And that’s the good news I have to share with all of you." So, learn to look with new eyes. Learn to abandon the confidences you have in what the meaning of everything is, because at the present time they are definitions you have arrived at without having asked God what the meaning is, without saying, "what is God’s point of view here?" God’s point of view is your point of view, truly.
Now, the ego is a defense mechanism—nothing else. And it is superb as a defense mechanism. Don’t think that you can use the principles of the Course to overcome the ego. You can’t! But what is the one thing that the ego can’t defend itself against? Disregard.
So, how do you get off the wheel of history? How do you truly consciously experience the end of an "ancient journey" that was not a journey at all, because you never left Home? You do it by turning your attention to some other source than your conditioned thinking. You join with the Holy Spirit. You join with the Father. You join with me. You reach out with curiosity.
The ego will be most happy if you will just stay in your nice little cell and be happy. The way you disengage from the ego is by reaching out to that which is different from it, and neglecting the ego. And because you have, for so long it seems, been incarcerated within the limits of the ego, it seems as though you are reaching out to something beyond yourself. And that doesn’t seem to be such a wise thing. And the ego will say, "be careful, you’re giving your power away." It will use psychology against you. But there is no way at the moment for the reaching out to seem to be different from reaching out to that which is beyond you, because you are at the moment, by definition, a circumscribed limited entity. That’s the ego’s perception, which you seem to believe is true of you. And that’s why trust is the fundamental point, because you must dare to trust.
What most of you think trust is, is confidence—something that you have confidence in. Confidence will not get you to wake up, because it will always be confidence in something you are already familiar with. Trust takes you beyond what you are familiar with, and therefore it will always be trust into the unknown. What you already know keeps you bound.
Now, what is the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit is your Divinity held in trust while you dally with the ego. Therefore, when you are reaching out beyond the limits of the ego; when you are trusting into the unknown; when you are turning everything over to the Holy Spirit so that it may turn your experience to your advantage, you are reaching out to and joining with that disowned part of you—the rest of the infinite of you that you temporarily ignored while you had the exciting, thrilling, fearful experience of limitation. It is important to understand this, because it will reduce your fear. It will reduce the degree to which the ego can try to scare you out of waking up.
This is how you come to the end of the "ancient journey." Some of you contemplated the title of this conference gathering and discovered that the word "ancient" has warm, meaningful connotations; as though that which is ancient might be closer to the truth, that which is ancient is that which has endured and therefore must have substance to it. Don’t value the ancient.
It isn’t the end of an "ancient journey," it’s the end of a journey of ancientness. And what I mean by that is, when you sacrifice the infinite view--God’s point of view, which is your birthright to be experiencing--when you sacrifice the infinite view, infinity immediately gets stretched out on a line, past to future and immediately there is history. Immediately Omnipresence becomes ancientness, an infinite unending potential. But it’s a perception, a misperception of infinity--your capacity to be conscious wholly without limit of any kind.
And to consciously experience the infinite Movement of God as the Movement of You, not a little ego experiencing this infinite movement, but the You that you truly Are experiencing your birthright to have the Mind of God, you might say.
God self-expressed is not man. God self-expressed is God. And if you want to call It man, and woman, and tree, and birds, and grass, etc., fine. But don’t get too hung up on the words you use to define it. The infinite manifestation of God is GOD expressed, not a different presence from the Father. And if God is the infinite Intelligence, the infinite Mind, and the Father has withheld nothing of what He is from His Self-expression called You, then you must be that infinite Mind. That infinite awareness must be your natural conscious experience of being conscious.
Indeed, you are not a body, you are Mind in which all conscious experience of form is going on. When you identify with a form, you lose your infinite perspective, and it seems to be material; not of God, capable of dying, etc.
I will tell you something to set the record straight: when you wake up, everything will not disappear. Your limited perception of it will be gone, and you will see it as it is and you will not seem to be in the middle of it or inside it. You will also not be preoccupied with it. Because as that conscious awareness or Mind, that is the Presence of God’s Mind—you, your attention, your experience of your aliveness, your vitality, etc.—will be inseparable from the conscious experience of the Movement of Creation.
People talk about being co-creators with God. Co-hyphen-creator, implies two things cooperating and that is not what it will be. You will, by virtue of not claiming the right to your own private mind, find yourself to be the conscious experience of the Movement of Mind, that is God Being Creation. And the experience of that will be where your attention will be; not on the specifics, not on the visibility and tangibility of that creation. Where you give your attention will be different, but everything will still be present except for the misperception of it.
Now, I am able to be conscious right here in this room, without sacrificing my infinite awareness of every aspect of the Movement of God, which is infinite. Divine awareness is specific and universal simultaneously. And there is no way to explain that, but that will be your experience.
In order to get to that experience you must begin to value where you are, and you must begin to value each other, and you must not see the Course as that which helps you rise above such mundane things as human relationships. There isn’t a single human being in this room, you are all Christ’s. You are neither behind the point of perfection nor advancing toward it.
So let go of the ethic of progress and begin to, as you go through the rest of this conference, see with fresh eyes, see with curiosity. "Nothing that I see means anything," means, "nothing that I see means what I think it means. And so I’m going through this conference with curiosity to discover the truer meaning, as it is being set into motion by the Movement of God."
Now, peace, when you allow yourself into it, by going into your closet and praying unto the Father which is in secret, which is in the silence, does not give you an alternate experience, an alternative to anxiety. It is not just another arena of emotion, it is a direct experience of your Being, of your Self, with a capital "S", your Being with a capital "B." It is a direct experience of God, and you cannot avoid being aware of the oneness of you and the Father. And when you allow yourself to experience this peace, the fact is that you will generally find a happier dream occurring. You are likely not to find the resistance that I did, or seemed to. But more important than that, is that you have allowed yourself into a new order of conscious experience in which you may have the opportunity to get to know yourself more truly. And in choosing for that truer experience of who you Are you get closer to the little gap, that place where all control is lost, and where you can easily slip through into your conscious experience of having a will that is not separate from the Father’s—and wake up.
Curiosity is the active means by which you abandon your confidence in what you think a thing is. And when you abandon what you think a thing is, you are neglecting the ego. In being neglected and having no occasion for defense, because it is not being attacked, your connection with the disowned part of you, called the Holy Spirit, can occur spontaneously. Don’t be curious about the here-after, be curious about the here-and-now, because here-and-now is where the opportunity to wake up exists, because it is the Kingdom of Heaven and you are the Christ.
The end of an "ancient journey" is over because it never began, and that is why it is a "journey without distance."
It is good to be with you. I am going to say, it is good to be with you knowing that you know I am with you. And indeed, I am always with you. You hear what you are listening with. Listen with new ears, and with an expectation of an answer. And that is the way you abandon the ego and end the journey.
Don't Forget to Laugh
From: Raj at Hood River - 1990
RAJ: Good morning. There’s one thing I want to suggest to everyone here and that is, that throughout this weekend do not forget to laugh, do not forget to be happy. And when you leave do not forget to laugh, and do not forget to be happy. Because indeed moving down your spiritual path, engaging in your process of Awakening and enlightenment is not meant to be serious and heavy duty.
All of you are conditioned to approach something that is important to you as though it is a task at hand that you must be deadly serious about. When in actuality what you are confronted with is the opportunity for expansion, for growth, for a fuller experience of real fulfillment. And that never comes with a heavy heart, with a heavy mind, with heavy duty work. And so do not allow your conditioning to cause you to—out of habit—work hard at your Awakening.
Now, everyday you wake up, and whether you think about it or not you start your day with a premise, a mind set, if you will, "well, another day on the treadmill," or "wow, I wonder what today is going to bring." And your mind set—your premise—will absolutely govern what you experience. And so it is well to pay attention to what your conscious or unconscious premises are as you start your day, or as we start this weekend. Because, as I said, they will absolutely govern the way you experience what happens.
Now, I will tell you that my premise for this weekend, and my premise for every moment is that we, all of us, are smack dab in the middle of the Kingdom of Heaven, right in the middle of Reality, with a capital "R", no matter how you have been conditioned to perceive it. And every single one of us is the Son or Daughter of God, absolutely sinless, absolutely perfect, absolutely guiltless, absolutely innocent. Everything that will follow from my words will be based upon that premise so that this weekend can serve to allow you to release your self-inflicted sense of guilt, your self-inflicted sense of separation from Reality, or from God, or from that which is True. So that you might go home with a clearer sense of who you really Are, and what all of this world and universe Is, so that when you begin your day you may have a new premise.
You have come with a sense of yourself. Some of you with a sense that life is going very well for you. Some of you that you have major problems that cause you to doubt your integrity, that cause you to doubt your innocence—and you can even point to those who will verify that you are not innocent—and thus undermine your capacity to embrace yourself lovingly and with appreciation.
But I will tell you something: not one of you has ever stopped being the Child of God, the direct expression of God. And no matter what you have come to believe about yourself, it hasn’t changed who you Are. I will tell you something else: the only thing that keeps you from experiencing your divinity, your absolute Christhood, and the only thing that keeps you from experiencing your world as the Kingdom of Heaven—your Universe as the Kingdom of Heaven—is your conditioning, your beliefs, your mind sets, your premises upon which you base your perceptions of your day.
And so there is cause for joy right now as we proceed into the weekend, because we are here to uncover your divinity and to uncover, let us say, the mind sets or beliefs which are causing you to misinterpret your world and yourself and thus blind yourself to your fulfillment.
Mind you, I’m not talking about intellectual fulfillment, or conceptual fulfillment. I’m talking about your coming into a place within yourself where you give yourself permission to embrace yourself as divine, as guiltless, as innocent, as having absolute integrity; where you do not have to deal with witch messages—w-i-t-c-h, witch messages that your conditioning causes to roll around in your mind undermining your ability to love yourself and feel good.
If you do not leave this weekend with anything other than an awareness that you are suppose to feel good, it will have been worth it. Because that will become part of your premise for your day—each day.
It is a pleasure to be together with you.
Smack dab in the middle of your humanity!
From: Raj at Issaquah 1990
QUESTION: I’ve been having a lot of trouble lately making decisions. Well, I get confused, because there are the things that I want to do, and I have another set of ways of looking at it that I’m trying on.
My question is how to reconcile a couple of things that seem in conflict. One is my deep concern over the state of the eco system—the earth’s environment—and what I understand as damage to it, and my responsibility in that and how I make choices in my lifestyle that effect that; both the earth itself and the other beings, human and others that share the planet.
And growing out of that, a belief that at its crudest way of describing it is: "live simply so others may simply live." And the belief that there is an order to this; that God’s order is in fact operating in this too, and that the limitations that I’m seeing may in fact not be limitations. And I want to know what the Reality of that situation is.
RAJ: It certainly is possible to become quite complicated and complex, intellectually, so as to create unnecessary confusion. But if you are willing indeed to live simply, if you are willing to become simple, if you are willing to let go of arrogance—I’m not addressing this only to you, I am speaking generally of mankind—if you will become less arrogant, if you will allow yourselves to become humble, you will find it infinitely easier to feel at home where you are. And in the valuing of genuineness, not egotistical arrogance, but simple genuineness, you will in the most practical terms begin to be able to be absolutely appropriate relative to your planet.
So many of the destructive things that are being done on your planet, relative to the ecology, are done in the name of money. I don’t just mean in the name of making money, but I mean it in the sense that to alter what is being done that is unhealthy to the planet will cause a loss of money that can’t be justified, because money is the all-important god. To stop doing some of the things which are harming the planet would require everyone to become a little bit more responsible and not have things done for you that involve chemicals, and smoke and other elements that are harmful to the ecology, as well as harmful to life.
Now it is not necessary for everyone to become farmers again, but it is necessary for mankind to arrive at a point of acknowledging that it is an integral part of life on the planet. Man is not the lord of the planet, he fits in—he has a place. As I indicated earlier, I am not in charge of this weekend, and I am not governing it and neither is Paul. We are fitting in. And we are allowing the Movement of divine intelligence to occur in language of present perception so that the greatest fulfillment is brought forth.
It is the same thing with mankind’s relating to the planet. Man is not going to feel the unity of everything if he holds himself arrogantly apart and superior to it. And so there is a need for enough humility to pay attention to what really means something.
Now I could sit here and I could talk for hours, and sound just like your ecologists, your Green Peace, your people who are intent upon not continuing the wholesale destruction, not only of your Rain Forests around the equator, but your beautiful forests here in the Pacific Northwest. But you know what? Those things need to be expressed. But what needs to be brought out more emphatically here and now, is the need for each of you to dare to humbly see that you fit into a Wholeness and be willing to yield to it with honor and respect.
We have spent this weekend talking about yielding to the Father; yielding to your capital "B" Being; yielding to your Birthright; allowing; letting go of control; learning to operate at a level of genuineness and humility—all of this relevant to Awakening and your coming into your Right Mind, your natural Sanity, with a capital "S".
All of this is not just going to happen in your head, as I have also said, it is going to relate to the way you behave with others, and to the way you behave relative to your world and the way you treat yourself. And it is going to involve what will be radically altered perceptions and awareness. You are going to feel different about yourself, not think different about yourself.
Now if Awakening is a matter of yielding to that which is beyond your present concepts, and if in that yielding you come into a direct experience of unity with All That Is—meaning, let us say, God and the Brotherhood of Man—it is necessarily going to also be reflected in a willingness to yield to and fit into a larger whole called the infinite expression of God. And so it is going to mean treating your world differently. In fact it’s not going to be a matter of treating your world at all, it is going to be a matter of no longer acting separately from it—treating it well or treating it poorly.
Your divinity is accessed right through the center of your humanity, not by rising above your humanity. Your divinity is going to be found at the essential core of your humanness, with all of the apparent flaws that you presently conceive your humanity to hold or embody. The reason is that, that’s where the least amount of arrogance is. It is humiliating to get into your humanity, to be utterly human. But that’s where the essence of your divinity is. And every attempt to rise above your humanhood has been a denial of the very place where your divineness is deposited for safe-keeping for you to access.
The more Real you allow yourself to be as a human being, and the more Real you allow yourself to be as part of the flora and fauna of this planet, the more you are free of arrogance that would somehow set you apart from it all. And there is a peace there that is the threshold of your discovery of the unity of it all; not in a limited human aspect, but in its divine Reality.
So indeed, you have money that you can spend. And that is not a sin. And it is not something to be distressed about. But if you are willing to be genuine—humane—you will know how to spend it so that it stands in support of humaneness.
Stop dividing the experience of existence into divine with a gold star, and human with a black star. Stop demeaning your humanness. Being human is where you find yourself to be at the moment. You are not experiencing yourself in some marvelous light-filled divine sense. And if there is anything, it is my intent to communicate to you—by virtue of our being together—that this divinity that I have been talking about and encouraging you to embrace is smack dab in the middle of your humanity. It’s right smack dab in the middle of your not knowing what anything means, really—which none of you like to say that is the truth.
But you see, when one is willing to let himself into a place where he doesn’t claim to know anything about anything, he puts himself at the threshold of revelation. And when one let’s himself be genuinely and simply human—as I said yesterday, willing to simply be with another without defenses—that’s when the magic happens, that’s when, what I will call the grounded revelation of divine Reality occurs.
And so let it start with the love for your planet as well as the love for yourself. And don’t gripe if you have to separate the paper from the tin, from the food—it’s an act of love.
There is indeed so much that you use to live that is not needed, and it does pollute. Use what you need. And the things that you need, let them be exquisite. You cannot afford to have exquisite things, because you must have so much of everything, when you really need so little of it. You would experience a much greater sense of wealth if you surrounded yourself only with what you need. And because you don’t need as much as you use, you could afford to have exquisitely beautiful things, which in the long run would, shall I say, create a greater market for individual creativity—handwork, artwork.
And individuals would find themselves experiencing more fulfillment, because they could do those things which are truly beautiful, because there would be people who could pay for it, because they haven’t spent it on so much that is nonessential.
And thus, you would find yourselves visiting with each other and enjoying each other’s homes. And it would be, if I may put it this way, like walking into a museum, which at the moment is literally the only place where utterly beautiful things are present to see. And these beautiful things should be in your homes, and should contribute as an expression of your value, of your divinity.
Now it is not appropriate for all of you to get on the bandwagon and get out there to create a raising of the conscious awareness relative to respect and love for your planet and a willingness to fit into the whole. But those of you who can raise a voice—do. And the rest of you live it to the best of your ability.
One final thing. Do not feel guilty if you have been arrogant. Guilt undermines your peace and your experience of your integrity. And without your peace and integrity you will not be available and present to be an agent for change in the manner that I have described, in terms of effecting changes in behavior relative to your planet.
If you are learning to look at your fellow man or woman with a willingness to recognize that which is Real in them—in other words, their Christhood, their divinity—extend that same willingness to everything in your world: be willing to look at it with a willingness to see God’s expression of fulfillment of purpose. If you do both of these things, your behavior toward your fellow man and your world will naturally change. And that will be part of the transformation.
This is indeed the Kingdom of Heaven, and you are indeed Christ’s. And we are brothers and sisters. And it is time for all of us to claim our Birthright, consciously and together, and behave as the Sons and Daughters of God. What does that mean? Obedient children? No. Truly it means claiming no other mind than the Mind that God Is that is expressed in you as You, where relative to you and your fellow man and relative to your universe this is where the joy of life awaits you; in that experience of being who you Are, Truly.
Love yourself, love your fellow man, love your planet and learn to be willing to fit in. Learn to be so unspecial that you can really feel your oneness with your fellow man, right straight through from whatever level of ignorance and incompetence you might be feeling now, to the full revelation and experience of your absolutely competent wholeness.
It might be insulting to your ego to acknowledge that you’re in the same rotten place that the guy next to you is. But I’ll tell you that when you don’t have to put up the front anymore, it becomes possible for you to say, "I’m in a lousy position, but you know I know I’m worthwhile." And the person next to you will say, "Boy, you know I’m in a lousy position and I know I’m worthwhile. It’s the shits, isn’t it?" Ah, and now you are together. And you are together in an acknowledgment that things are not so hot, but that somehow it doesn’t make a statement about you—either of you. And there is a beginning of awareness of oneness with a positive sense, a divine sense.
And if there is that awareness coupled with an experience of union with your fellow man, it is as though you can link your arms together, not to overcome the world, but to simply embrace what is true about you together without any sense of superiority or inferiority. Just an experience of lovingly being together without the burden of having to put forward a false pretense, a front. It is laborious to try to be something that you are not.
All of this ties into the process of yielding that was brought up earlier today. How far do you have to yield? Well, all the way to the bottom. Everybody wants to rise to the top. But you know what? It’s at the bottom where the essence of what you truly are is. Being an ego is always an attempt to be more than you are.
Now if you existed before your ego—which all of you did—then you existed as the present and full expression of God. If the ego is an attempt to be more than you are, then the ego is an attempt to be more than what God is. And literally, when you begin to let go of the ego and sink back to the bottom, you’re sinking back to the top. You are sinking into that humiliating place—as far as the ego is concerned—of your utter perfection and innocence; something that is constituting you just because that’s the way being is. And that is why coming Home will be a relief. And that is why you always feel better and more congruent when you give up trying to be successful, trying to be better.
Again, your divinity is accessed right through the middle of your humanity. Your divinity is accessed right at the bottom of what your ego has been trying to be. So if you let go, you’ll end up at the top of the heap. And the more you can let that register with you, the more you will be able to let go of the ace up your sleeve and the less you will be inclined to approach your spiritual path as a test.
I will tell you something: It doesn’t take any skill to wake up. It takes giving up to wake up. And when I say giving up, it has no connotations of failure. It means allowing yourself to be human and loving it—humane, loving to be humane, letting go of preconceptions and judgments, and being willing to see that which is Real in each and everything right where you are today—now. I will get off my soapbox.
Struggles and Processes
From: Raj at Princeville - 1991
RAJ: Good morning. Welcome to yourself. Because all that you see is some aspect of the infinitude of your Being. And all that you will hear is some aspect of the infinitude of your Being. And when you go back home to your own residences you will be experiencing some aspect of the infinitude of your Being.
From the very beginning of the development of this workshop, I insisted upon having the workshop in this room. It is the most expensive room that a workshop has been held in. And Paul knew full well and good that we had held a workshop here two years ago in a tent that only cost $250 for the weekend. He was very well aware that there was no need to have great expense in order to have a gathering of meaning and of fulfillment. And so he asked why? Why were we to do it this way, which seemed to him to be more difficult, financially speaking? And I said, "Because it is as good a part of the Kingdom of Heaven as any other part of the Kingdom of Heaven."
You are in the Kingdom of Heaven. And when you go back home you will be in the Kingdom of Heaven, because there is nothing else available for you to experience—there is nothing other than Reality available for you to experience. We could end the workshop right now. But we will spend additional time, if you will, elaborating on that simple, ultimate, profound fact. Because at this point all of you need language—words to express that simple fact. And not all of you have a familiarity with that fact that you may embellish to help you relinquish all of the confidences you have that you are not in the middle of the Kingdom of Heaven, and indeed there is a material world and universe that you must deal with before you can get to the Kingdom of Heaven.
And so all of you, whether you are consciously on your walk, consciously on your spiritual path of Awakening, all of you are in need of experiencing life more truly.
Now, this means that you must let go of the concept—and it is just a concept. You must let go of the concept that you are in a less desirable place, having to one way or another earn your way to the place you all want to be, which literally is a place without strife, without care, without concern, without suffering. That’s a negative way of putting it. What you want is a place where you are experiencing peace, where you are unconcerned, where you are not constantly thrown into experiences that create self-doubt.
Now, for those of you who have heard what I have said in the past, there are some things I will repeat this weekend, because they need to be heard over and over again. And one of them is that at this very instant all of you are sitting in the middle of the Kingdom of Heaven with your eyes all squinched up saying, "I cannot see the perfection." But it isn’t because you are in an unreal place, it is because you don’t have your eyes open. And you are not looking, because the assumption has been made that there is nothing Heavenly to see where you are—that Reality isn’t truly available to you yet.
It isn’t that it isn’t available, it is that you are not giving yourself permission to see, because you think there is nothing to see. And you also, for one of a million reasons, do not feel worthy of experiencing it yet, because you have been convinced that you must go through struggle and strife and must earn the right to experience Heaven, to experience union with the Father, to experience the Father’s point of view. I am telling you that that concept is utterly false.
I am here to remind you in as many ways as it is needed that the only thing confronting you is the Kingdom of Heaven, the only thing confronting you is Reality, and the Father’s point of view is your Birthright to be experiencing. There is no legitimate call for delay.
Now, there is a book, "Graduation, The End Of Illusions." Well I’m going to tell you something, don’t get hung-up on graduating. Don’t get hung-up on the pomp and circumstance, the cap and gown, the sheep skin and diploma. Get the hell out of school! And do it by beginning to realize that because it is your Birthright to experience everything that you are experiencing from God’s point of view, it is already available to you, it is already your birthright. You don’t have to earn it. You don’t have to work to get to it.
Oh, I know many of you say, "Well, I’ve left the church. I’m not into obedience’s and rituals to earn my way." But you know what? You have—most of you—traded the religious obedience’s for getting your mind straight, thinking clear correct thoughts, because you think that your thinking is responsible for the world you see.
And so now you are going through mental disciplines—mental obedience’s—in order to begin to discipline your thought well enough to deserve the influx of the perception of truth and Reality—and you’re still caught in process. And so you’re still working your way through. There is no justification for you to feel better than those who are still caught in religious observances and obedience’s. You are still caught in the ethic of effort, except now it is a mental discipline.
No one by virtue of their thinking is creating anything except distortions in the perception of the only thing there is available to perceive: Reality—the presence of God being the Movement of Creation that is called the conscious experience of Being, which looks like this. The infinity of which you do not yet have available to you, because you are thinking that all that you see is not the Kingdom of Heaven, that you are tiny and stuck in the middle of it and are working out your salvation.
What a wonderful thing to realize that everything that you are observing is Reality, either clearly seen or seen in a distorted fashion, but that nevertheless it is Reality that you are seeing. Do you see how that awareness helps you to more clearly place yourself in a context of being divine, not having to work into the Kingdom of Heaven off in the clouds or after death? And can you see how that fact helps you to invoke (if I may use that word) curiosity, where you had felt that curiosity was useless?
You see, you are not behind the point of perfection or advancing toward it, you are at that point and you must understand yourself there from. You are neither behind the point of perfection, nor advancing toward it, you are at that point and you must understand yourself there from. But there are some of you who love the advancement, and the struggle, and the overcoming. What I am saying is too easy.
But I will tell you something. What you mean is that what I am saying takes away from your ego the opportunity to take credit for arriving in the conscious experience of the Kingdom of Heaven, because I’m saying you’re already there. It is the use of your ego, by means of your thinking, that you blind yourself to being smack dab in the middle of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Those who want struggle and process will not hear what I am saying and will not glean from it the experience of relief that is available to all of you at this very instant if you can dare to let go of the valuing of your processes.
"How do I improve myself," you say. Well, you do it by letting go and just loving yourself. Why do you want to improve yourself? Because you have been convinced that you are less than the best, and whether you have left the church or not, you embrace and embody and express the idea that you are sinners.
That is a harsh farce that has been laid upon mankind and held in its face, in its nose. And you are not sinners and you were not born in sin. You are, everyone of you at this very instant, the direct expression of the Life Principle, the infinite Mind, the Father/Mother/God. At this very instant you are nothing less than that.
Now, have you come here to learn from a master, a great teacher? Because if you have and you don’t realize the meaninglessness of that idea, you will go away with some wonderful stimulating ideas, but you will not go away with a clearer, truer sense of who you are and who I am. Beware of teachers. Not because teachers are dangerous, but because your projection of your concept of what a teacher is and who you must be as not being a teacher, creates a distance that isn’t real and causes you to feel separate in the presence of the opportunity to experience unity.
I am your brother. We are family. And I don’t happen to have a dense, stupid family to relate to. I have equals who cannot truly be anything less than I am, because we are all nothing more and nothing less than the direct expression of the Father/God, the Mother/God, the Life Principle. In other words, each of us truly at this very instant is the experience of consciousness that is the infinite Mind that is God, being the Movement of Mind that constitutes conscious awareness, which experiences its conscious Being as ideas, which are perfectly tangible to the mind that is experiencing them. That is what each of us is, not independent from each other, but in absolute unity.
And so, as we move through this weekend I want you to understand that you are not here to think. You’re not here to get some good metaphysical treats and triggers that will stimulate you further in your awakening process; but rather imagine that the last day of school is out, and that we’re going to have a party. We are going to enjoy being together experiencing communion—family in its truest sense.
I will tell you something. What promotes your so-called process of awakening is your realization that you are not alone and your willingness to let yourself be with, not be with something, but be in a state of withness, of not holding yourself apart. Don’t make me greater than you or you will create a distorted perception, not only of me but of yourself.
And I will tell you something else. I am not going to brow beat you like an older brother into your enlightenment. I am simply going to be with you in confirmation of who you really Are. And I am very glad to be with you in this fashion, at this time. And I look forward to the time when everyone of you will be able to enjoy being together without any sense of separateness at all—no sense of difference.
Paul is very unhappy at sitting so much higher than you, because he is aware of the fact that the difference of position implies what should not be implied. But it is for the comfort of your necks that he is where you do not have to crane to see him.
Now Paul greeted and welcomed you to Hawaii; I am going to welcome you to the Kingdom of Heaven, because that is where we are all the time—Reality is what is confronting you all the time. And we have always been together, even when you have been dreaming by means of your incorrect, unclear thinking that you are in a place that is not Heaven, where Reality is not available for you to experience until you have deserved it.
QUESTION: What can I do in order to receive more of my answers from within. And how can I be sure that the answers are true and from the Higher Self. Will I be able to get answers instantly without going into a twenty minute meditation, or not?
RAJ: I will tell you first of all—and this is for everyone—when you listen, do not make any requirement for what is heard to be true. To the degree that you make requirements, you are expressing faithlessness, doubt, and you are not truly yielding into that place where the knowing can occur. You will be on guard.
In the beginning, in the first few weeks that Paul and I were conversing, he wanted to hear four or five words before he would repeat the first one into the microphone so as to not look foolish if the answer was wrong.
It is necessary to be unconditionally listening, and when you are making a requirement of any kind you are in a state of self-protection. Self-protection is defense. And defense definitely blocks your willingness to hear. It is willfulness, not willingness. The more trust you allow, the more you can depend upon the answer being heard truly.
I will tell you that the answer will always be exactly what you need in terms of your clarification and Awakening. What happens is that when self-protection, doubt, distrust come into play, you are blocking and what you hear is likely not to be what is being said.
Waking up is literally a practice of trust. It is well for you to ask and to allow whatever "comes through" to come through. You can analyze it to death afterwards—and you will. But be unconditional in the listening. As a result of listening unconditionally and benefiting from what you hear, your trust will increase and then you will be more able to listen unconditionally with less feeling of need to protect yourself.
I will tell you something, it is only one who is Awake, one who is totally enlightened who can communicate with you when you are listening within. Those who are not Awake are as bound as you are by their limitations, their three-dimensional frame of reference. And so, you’ll only be hearing, ever, one of two things—either it will be your ego or it will be true guidance.
Now there is a difference and there is a measuring stick that you can use to tell the difference between your ego and your Being, with a capital "B". When you are truly listening unconditionally, there will be peace in the area of your solar plexus. But when your ego is what is being experienced, there will always be an uneasiness in the area of your solar plexus. Some of you will experience that sensation in the chest area, but for the most part it is felt in the area of the solar plexus.
I will tell you, when you come unguarded into communion with your guidance—with your guide—you will experience peace, and there will be no distorting presence present. When you begin to do this you can tell your ego that it will have its chance when you are through listening. And then you dare to be unconditional and make no requirements whatsoever upon what is heard.
I will tell you something, you don’t really know what you need to hear. And you don’t really know what is true, that’s why you are having problems and are asking questions. And what is true is going to require you to be open beyond the level of the problem, else all that you will hear is what you already know, and that hasn’t solved the problem for anyone yet.
And so you must be willing to hear whatever is said if you want to hear something beyond your habitual thinking that is keeping you in "the human condition." So it may sound unintelligent to say, "don’t require what you hear to be the truth." But you see, I am not saying let it be a lie, I am saying, don’t be defended in the process—be unconditional in the process. Because you can’t, as it has been said, solve a problem from the level of the problem.
Why else would trust be absolutely essential to waking up if it weren’t for the fact that you are having to be willing to operate at a level beyond your habitual thinking structures, a level that you are not apparently familiar with. You have confidences in what you are already familiar with—no trust is needed there.
So, understand that trust means listening, being conscious unconditionally. And in that state of unconditional listening you will hear most perfectly. And what you will hear will move you out of your ignorance.
From: Raj at Carmel, California - 1985
QUESTION: - I have this body that likes to expand and I would like to know --- I don't feel like it's a matter of what I eat anymore. I feel like it's something to do with something else and I'd like to have an answer. I think a lot of people have this problem. Maybe it's not even a problem, but I have a feeling it's a state of being. But I'm not sure, so I would really like an answer on this cause it's been with me all my life.
RAJ: - Without going through any intellectual processes, you know without a shadow of a doubt that you don't like it. So, do not waste your time fooling yourself into thinking that maybe fat is beautiful. By the same token, do not hook into the idea that fat is ugly. But pay attention to your thoughtless perception that you don't like it.
Harmony is the nature of everything. Harmony is beauty. It is the balance of outline, form and color. Beauty is beauty and everybody recognizes it without needing to be taught what it is. You see, there are already many things you Know - with a capital "K".
Now — there are two things to remember. First of all, it is the intent of your ‘being' to fulfill itself perfectly and it has infinite capacities with which to do so. This means that it is not governed by current economic conditions, current physical conditions — it has infinite capacities — infinite resources with which to fulfill itself.
The second thing to remember is that it is the intent of your body to identify you perfectly. Your body has one purpose for being and that is to render your individuality visible and tangible to consciousness.
Understand this; if your individuality is the direct expression of the life principle, if indeed it is the very presence of God in expression, then your body's intent is to render God visible and tangible. Your body's intent is therefore absolutely divine. This means it is your ally; your friend. This means that any demeaning of it that you engage in, it means that any fear you have of what it is going to do next, any defensiveness you employ against it so that it will not lay you up, is totally inappropriate. It is to treat an ally like an enemy.
Your body is egoless and so it cannot be offended. It doesn't care what dream you are engaged in because it is actually intent upon identifying God. However, your defensive stance, your fear will distort your perception of your body. And since your mental attitude constitutes an incongruent division of your consciousness, it is uncomfortable.
Now, let us return to the fundamental fact that it is the intent of your body to identify You — not your ego, but You — your individuality perfectly. If that is the case, you can afford to withdraw your defenses. You can afford to dare to begin to love its intent even though it may not be physically tangibly apparent at that moment.
As you back off from your defensive stance, your vision will clear and you will begin to see your body more clearly. The clearing of your vision, which results from your reduction of fear and increase of trust in its fundamental nature, will be called healing — verifiable healing.
Now - I am going to share with you an authorization. This is ‘not' an affirmation; it is an authorization. It is this: I authorize my body to release whatever is not necessary to its perfect functioning and I withdraw any conscious or unconscious authorization to the contrary.
PAUL: - Now, this is me. An example of an unconscious authorization is one where so-and-so says, "Boy, I sure had a bout with the flu last week." and you say, "Gee that's too bad." and in your mind you say, "I hope I don't get it.", and there isn't any clear-cut challenge to the idea that you need to be in any way subject to it. Or when the commercials come on that advertise the summer colds and the winter colds and tell you ahead of time that, "It's time to get ready for the summer cold.", and you listen to it and there isn't any objection in you that says, "How ridiculous! I don't have to buy into it one way or the other. That doesn't apply to me."
When you just listen to it and it sits there and perhaps you think, "Well maybe this year I'll get through it without getting one.", you are saying it is a potential for you and in that sense it's an unconscious authorization of it which at a later time may pop up in your experience. On the other hand, if you hear it and you just off the cuff say, "Ridiculous! How can these people believe this stuff?" or "I don't buy into that." or "B S" or whatever, but some clear-cut awareness that you are exempt. It's more that you are simply not available to that belief level. You don't have to buy into it. Okay, so those are examples of unconscious authorizations where there isn't a challenge to the idea that you might be subject to some illness. Okay, now just a minute.
RAJ: - It must be very clear that this authorization is not a manipulative mind-over-matter affirmation. What it amounts to is that when you are acknowledging the meaning of this authorization, when you are contemplating it, your thinking happens to be perfectly in line with what it is already the intent of your body to be. At that point, you are not introducing the distorting energy of fear and distrust of your body. In effect, you are not providing the distorting element. Rather than using the human mind to manipulate your body, you are literally setting the human mind aside in its manipulative aspect and abiding with the truth.
I would encourage you to utilize this authorization. That which is not necessary to the perfect functioning of your body, that which might be in excess, whether it is water, whether it is flesh, whether it is too much or too little of any other function of your body — your authorization of it — the release of it — will bare fruit. Love your body for what its divine intent is. Do not criticize your body for what it appears to be, whether it is overweight, whether it is blemished, whether it is broken, whether it is too big [or] too little in particular areas — love it. You will find it reflecting back to you, what you are looking at it with.
I want to reaffirm that the universe which Mind, with a capital "M", God has created, expresses ineffable beauty, balance, proportion and meaning and therefore it can be your appropriate expectation to see beauty, harmony, grace, gracefulness, balance, artistry, manifesting itself more and more as what you call your body. That it is not manifesting these things at this moment is an illusion, but your body is not an illusion and you will not be able to move through to the clear perception of what your body is if you don't begin that movement with love. Depreciation of your body for any reason, will keep you bound with whatever problem has apparently caused that self-depreciation.