A COURSE IN MIRACLES
June 21st 2015
We’re discussing the Obstacles to Peace. Why? What is the purpose of overcoming the Obstacles to Peace? Is it so that you might ultimately rejoin with the Father—abandon your independence from the Father and reunite—and come back into your natural divine relationship with Him? Well, yes, but not that alone.
The simple fact is, you did not get a divorce from your Father—you did not claim your independence—with total independence, if I may put it that way. You claimed your independence by joining with a Brother or a Sister in a mutual agreement to decide what everything meant, what everything means, to take the place of the movement of Creation that the Father Is, so that you might have, with a Brother or Sister, a unique experience of your Own.
And so you didn’t just walk in, we’ll say, into the Presence of the Father and deny Him, and walk away independent from Him. No, that cannot be done. The only thing that can be done and the only thing that happened was, that you and a Brother—without walking into the Father’s Presence at all to ask Him or tell Him anything—said to each other, “Well, I’m looking at this and I’m looking at that. You know . . . there must be a different way to look at this.
“Because we are the expression of the Creator, we must be able to be creative. So let’s you and I make up the meanings. Let’s decide what everything means. Let’s decide how we’re going to deal with everything and we’ll forget about the Father. We’ll just have fun altering what He has made.”
And so, as part of the Atonement, the undoing of that mutual act of independence must occur. And so the overcoming of the Obstacles to Peace is not just to undo the separation and independence from your Father that you have been engaged in. It is to undo the separation and independence from your brothers and sisters as well.
Well, does that now all of a sudden throw a complication into the picture? I mean, after all, we’ve been talking about overcoming the Fear of God, the fourth obstacle—the last obstacle. And I made it clear last week . . . I reminded everyone . . . that you are neither behind the point of perfection nor advancing toward it. You are at that point and you must understand yourself therefrom. I pointed this out so that you might be able to easily grasp that you’re making this journey Home . . . from Home.
Well, there’s an additional little piece to this. And that is, that your brother, your sister is neither behind the point of perfection nor advancing toward it. Your brother or sister is at that point, just as you are, and you must understand them therefrom.
“Oh-h, in other words, we’ve got to go back together? I can’t [chuckling] independently abandon my independence?”
That’s right . . . that’s right.
Now, this isn’t really new. All along throughout the Course, you have been reminded in one way or another that your Salvation lies in your brother, not in yourself—that you can’t prove your divinity or worth, your brother must! And likewise, your task is to bear witness to your brother’s or sister’s divinity, holiness, perfection.
So, keep this in mind as we continue on in this new Section:
The Lifting of the Veil1
Forget not that you came this far TOGETHER.
You came this far with each other—with your fellow man. When you have practiced the two-step, when you have practiced the holy instant and you have asked, “What is the truth here?” you will remember that for the most part, the question has referred to something regarding your brother or sister.
“What is the truth here with my sister or my brother? What is the truth about my brother that I may feel and comprehend and understand so completely that that’s the way in which I regard my brothers or sisters and is the basis upon which I treat my brothers or sisters so that I become, as you have said, a benign presence,” a presence in whom it is easier for your brother to embrace the truth about himself. You see?
This is the wholeness of the process of Atonement.
So . . .
Forget not that you came this far TOGETHER. And it was surely not the ego that led you here. No obstacle to peace can be surmounted through ITS help. IT does not open up its secrets, and bid you look on them and go beyond them.
[Chuckling] Of course not.
IT would not have you see its weakness, and learn it has no power to keep you from the truth. The Guide Who brought you here . . .
. . . the Holy Spirit or your Guide.
The Guide Who brought you here REMAINS with you, . .
. . . now, at this point in your increasing clarity . . .
. . . and when you raise your eyes, . .
. . . to once again look at God and violate the pact you have with the ego never to do that . . .
. . . when you raise your eyes, you will be READY to look on terror with no fear at all.
What terror? The terror that has been established in you by your impossible, independent thinking that has caused you to see God as wrathful and as one who will take out His wrath on you for having denied Him.
. . . you will be READY to look on terror with no fear at all. But first, lift up your eyes and look upon each other in innocence born of complete forgiveness of each other’s illusions, and through the eyes of faith, which sees them not.
You see? You’re going to have to go back Home together. So, as you lift your eyes to look at God without fear, on the way you need to give your attention to your brothers and sisters.
Now, you have been doing this. As we have gone along, I’ve constantly pointed out to you that when you practice the holy instant, it is to be an agent for change for your brother, to be a witness on behalf of your sister’s holiness and so on.
So this isn’t something new that you’re now going to have to do before Atonement can be experienced. It’s just that there is no way for you to look at the Father without fear and join with Him without bringing along with you, your brother, whom you have joined with, because you have been practicing the holy instant, and you have been able to witness for him or her. And you have witnessed. And it has brought you to the point where you can now look at what we’re discussing and dare to take the next step of looking on up to the Father without fear.
No-one can look upon the fear of God unterrified unless he has accepted the Atonement, . .
In other words, unless he has begun to experience what the Atonement means, as a result of his genuine and humble practice of the two-step, the holy instant . . .
. . . No-one can look upon the fear of God unterrified unless he has accepted the Atonement, and learned illusions are not real . . .
. . . that they are nothing more than wild imagination that has its source in nothing, at least nothing valid, and therefore, have no power whatsoever, except the fear which you introduce and exercise as wildly as the imaginations were formed . . . and scare yourself.
No-one can stand before this obstacle . . .
. . . the fourth obstacle, The Fear of God . . .
. . . alone, for he could not have reached thus far UNLESS his brother walked beside him . . .
. . . the brothers or sisters that you have been willing to use as justification for abandoning your best judgments, and turning to the Holy Spirit or the Father to know the truth about them.
And no-one would dare to look on it without complete forgiveness of his brother in his heart.
Why? Because the love that is embodied in the forgiveness extended to a brother is the language of Being, through which the communication of unity moves and finds expression—actualization.
Stand you here a while, and tremble not.
Stand you here in this regard of your Brother or your Sister and your forgiveness of them, before forcing your way further on into looking at God without fear. You’re not going to be able to look at God without fear, without your brother or sister standing beside you in your unconditional loving embrace.
Stand you here a while, and tremble not. You will be ready. Let us join together in a holy instant, here in this place where the purpose GIVEN in a holy instant has led you.
Let us join together in this conscious awareness of forgiveness of your brother and sister, knowing that it is an integral part of lifting your eyes all the way to look at God without fear, and thus overcome the last of the four Obstacles to Peace.
And let us join in faith that He Who brought us here together will offer you the innocence you need, and that you will accept it for my love and His.
Now let’s understand this clearly.
. . . let us join in faith that He Who brought us here together . . .
Who is that He? That He is the Christ that your Brother Is, even though he doesn’t believe it and you don’t believe it. But the presence of your Brother, we’ll say, being a problem, is what is causing you to turn to the Father for clarification and for healing—not just for yourself but for your Brother. The Christ, the one that is neither behind the point of perfection nor advancing toward it, is confronting you, and brings us here together.
So . . .
. . . let us join in faith that He Who brought us here together will offer you the innocence you need, . .
See? Your innocent Brother—the one who’s neither behind the point of perfection nor advancing toward it—is extending you Love. The Christ of your Brother is extending you Love because right now He is at the point of perfection just as you are—even though he and you believe differently.
Nor is it possible to look on this too soon.
In other words, there’s no justification for delay whatsoever. Let’s get on with the transforming elements that move you beyond the Obstacles to Peace.
This is the place to which everyone must come when he is ready. Once he has found his brother he IS ready.
Once you have found your brother, whether he’s expressing Love or a call for Love, you are at a point of readiness, actually, to know the truth that heals both your brother and yourself, else you wouldn’t be confronted with anything.
Yet merely to reach the place is not enough. A journey without a purpose is still meaningless, and even when it is over it seems to make no sense. How can you KNOW that it is over unless you realize its purpose IS accomplished?
I will tell you, you will Know the Answer to that when you do it, when you are willing to look into your brother’s eyes and remember God, instead of what you have determined he is, and instead of what he has determined he is with your help.
And it is here you choose whether to look upon it . . .
. . . actually do it . . .
. . . or wander on, only to return and make the choice again.
So, you don’t only get one chance. You can approach it and re-approach it over and over again. But the conclusion to this process will not arrive . . . you will not arrive at the conclusion until you actually make commitment to the joining with the same strength that you made commitment to the act of independence. That means you will have to express with energy, with that which evokes real change in you—a resolve in you. But it can never be too soon to look on this.
So this is where we are. This is the point in the abandonment or the overcoming of the fourth Obstacle to Peace that you are ready for and that it is time to tackle.
To look upon the fear of God DOES need some preparation.
And I will tell you that every time you actively engage in the holy instant, desiring of the Father or the Holy Spirit to Know what the truth is here, right now, on planet Earth, no matter what it is you’re doing, your practice of that prepares you. You have been preparing yourself.
To look upon the fear of God DOES need some preparation.
And that is not meant to imply that you haven’t already been engaged in it. At least if we have been meeting together and you have been hearing what I’ve said and you have been practicing that.
Only the sane can look on stark insanity and raving madness with pity and compassion, but not with fear. For only if they share in it does it seem fearful, and you DO share in it . . .
Listen to this:
. . . until you look upon each other with perfect faith and love and tenderness.
And that’s why you practice the holy instant so that you, sooner rather than later . . .
. . . look upon each other with perfect faith and love and tenderness. Before complete forgiveness you still stand unforgiving. You are afraid of God BECAUSE you fear each other. Those you do not forgive YOU FEAR. And no-one reaches love with fear beside him.
You see now, the importance of practicing the holy instant now . . . now . . . now . . . now, throughout your day, right here on planet Earth, right here in what you have determined to be “the human condition”? Because that’s the way fear is lessened. And with fear lessened, what lies underneath it, which is Love, emerges fully and is the transforming element.
This brother who stands beside you still seems to be a stranger. You do not know him, and your interpretation of him is very fearful.
Pay attention when you listen to the news, whether it’s news of your city, of your country, or of another country or of another group. This brother, these brothers that you see whose behavior is illustrated in the news, this brother who stands beside you still seems to be a stranger. You’re frightened. You feel justification for fear.
You do not know him, and your interpretation of him is very fearful.
Mind you, it says your interpretation of him is very fearful. It doesn’t say “he is very fearful.”
. . . your interpretation of him is very fearful. And you attack him still, . .
. . . we’ll say, at the least, by simply being afraid of him.
And you attack him still, to keep what seems to be YOURSELF unharmed. Yet in his hands is your salvation.
Mind you, I know you like the idea that the truth about you is that you are neither behind the point of perfection nor advancing toward it, that you are at that point and that somehow the task is to understand yourself therefrom. But the call is for you to do the very same thing about your brother, whether he’s shooting people in a church, whether he’s shooting people in a dark alley, whether the one shooting is a police officer misbehaving, whether it is a group of people in the Middle East who are wreaking havoc, whether it’s a country that’s wreaking havoc. The fact is, that these brothers are, just as you are—the Christ—the holy Sons and Daughters of God, just like me. And you must come to the point of extending to them the same acknowledgement that I am extending to you, because that is the transforming element.
That is very important.
. . . in his hands is your salvation. You see his madness, which you hate because you SHARE it. And all the pity and forgiveness that would heal it gives way to fear. Brothers, you NEED forgiveness of each other, . .
Mind you, we’re no longer talking at the moment about lifting your eyes up to look at God without fear, because this must be part and parcel of it.
. . . you NEED forgiveness of each other, for you will share in madness or in Heaven together.
You see? Together!
And you will raise your eyes in faith together, or not at all.
This may be difficult to hear. It may seem impossible, like an impossible task, but that’s part of your fearful mindset and is not what will be conveyed to you when you engage in the holy instant on behalf of your brother, so that you might become cleared of false information which it is inappropriate for you to be indulging in or believing.
Beside each of you is one who offers you the chalice of Atonement, . .
Beside each of you . . . I’m not talking here about angels or your Guides. I’m talking about your brothers and sisters whom you can see and touch.
Beside each of you is one who offers you the chalice of Atonement, for the Holy Spirit is in him.
. . . not behind or advancing toward the point of perfection.
. . . the Holy Spirit is in him. Would you hold his sins against him, or accept his gift to you?
“Why, he’s not giving me the gift of salvation, he’s giving me the gift of fear. He is threatening me. He’s brandishing a gun in my face. He is proving to me that I can’t go to sleep at night and be in my peace.”
Well you know what? We’re talking about two different “entities,” if I may put it that way. If you’re going to be difficult and harsh with your brother in that way, you must be hard and harsh with yourself, because you are not behaving as though you are at the point of perfection and understanding yourself therefrom. You are engaging in fearful, aggressive, mean-spirited responses. “He is doing this.” “He is doing that.” “He isn’t doing anything to make me feel comfortable.” You are not in the Silence.
You are not, and have not said, “Father, what is the truth about him?” so that you can open up your mouth and say something entirely different, and know that it’s the truth about him and that therefore your behavior needs to be entirely different from the tirade and attack you engaged in, in belittling him.
[Raj didn’t read these sentences: Is this giver of salvation your friend or enemy? Choose which he is, remembering that you will receive of him according to your choice.]
He has in him the power to forgive your sins, as you for him.
And remember, he’s the only one that can forgive you your sins. You can’t forgive yourself yours. And you are the only one who can forgive him his. And that is your task. And you will only be able to do that if you engage in the holy instant, if you abandon your right to your own awful independent thinking.
He has in him the power to forgive your sins, as you for him. Neither can give it to himself alone. And yet your Savior stands beside each one.
You, standing beside your brother, are the Savior that is standing beside him. And your brother, who is standing beside you, is your Savior.
Let him be what he is, and seek not to make of love an enemy.
Is this becoming utterly clear?
Now, let’s remember something: God is all. God is omnipotent. There is none other than God. Therefore, there is no actual opponent. There is no actual conflict. And because that is the unalterable fact, you are guaranteed, and all of your brothers and sisters are guaranteed of coming into the conscious realization that you don’t need to be judging each other to be something less than they are and treating them as though your perception of them is true. You are bound to become free of that.
In other words, the very nature of Being, the very nature of the movement of God guarantees the success of overcoming the Obstacles to Peace as well as the manifestations of them, such as war, jealousy, hate, mistreatment, and so on.
Creation is made to work the way God is Making it, the way the divine intelligence is Being it, right now.
Behold your Friend, the Christ Who stands beside you . . .
. . . who happens to look like a police officer who doesn’t obey the law, who looks like a family member who isn’t behaving like a family member.
Behold your Friend, the Christ Who stands beside you.
Be willing to see your brother as That, just as you find yourself willing to consider the possibility that in actuality you are neither behind the point of perfection nor advancing toward it. You are there.
How holy and how beautiful He is!
. . . your Brother who is the Christ, just as how beautiful you are to Him as the Christ that you Are.
You thought He sinned because you cast the veil of sin upon Him to hide His loveliness.
And the word “Him” and the word “His” are capitalized. That means the Christ that He is, the Christ that you Are at the point of perfection where each of you is right now, but refusing to believe it.
Yet still He holds forgiveness out to you, to share His holiness. This “enemy,” this “stranger” still offers you salvation as His Friend . . .
. . . speaking of the Christ of you, the one you really Are, right now.
The “enemies” of Christ, the worshippers of sin, know not Whom they attack.
They don’t know, just as you don’t know when you’re attacking, that you are attacking and they are attacking the holy Son or Daughter of God. And thus they instill a false perception and seem to back it up with commitment and force, willfulness, strength.
This is your brother, crucified by sin, and waiting for release from pain.
You see? You can’t really go on and raise your eyes to look at God without fear, without loving your brother, without being willing to see your brother through God’s eyes. And when you are engaging in the holy instant, practicing the two-step, you are opening yourself up to the realization of what your Brother and Sister really Are.
Would you not offer him forgiveness, when only he can offer it to YOU? For his redemption he will give you yours . . .
What does that mean? It means that what you give you get to keep. What you give is conferred upon you. What you confirm in another is confirmed in you. That’s what that means.
For his redemption he will give you yours as surely as God created every living thing and loves it. And he will give it truly, for it will be both offered and received.
You see? Given! What you get to give, offer, you get to keep . . . you receive.
There is no grace of Heaven that you cannot offer to each other, . .
And that’s what you’re all supposed to be doing on your Globe. And you are needing to treat each other as the divine one’s that you Are, and educate each other in that awareness, rather than trying to prove that each other is flawed and must pay a penalty for it.
There is no grace of Heaven that you cannot offer to each other, and receive from your most holy Friend.
In other words, your flesh and blood brother and sister. You must be willing to see your Brother and Sister with the same assessment of Their Holiness that you are willing to give to yourself, as a process of your Atonement—as a part of the process of overcoming and abandoning the Obstacles to Peace.
Let him withhold it not, for by receiving it you offer it to him.
“Oh, I can’t be bothered with him! I’ve got to Wake up! I’ve got to Wake up! I’ve got to give my attention to looking at God without fearing Him.”
I’m going to tell you something. Find at least one brother or sister whom you are willing not to determine to be a distraction from your holy quest to look at God without fear, and ask God for the clarity and the awareness of truth about that brother or sister, because that’s an essential part of the process.
Redemption has been given you to give each other, and thus receive it.
You see? Oh, no, you’re not gonna be able to look at God without fear and then receive it from God—one on one, privately. Not the way it works.
Redemption has been given you to give each other, and thus receive it. Whom you forgive is free, and what you give you share. Forgive the sins your brother thinks he has committed, and all the guilt you think you see in him.
You can’t walk into the presence of God to look at Him without fear with a grudge up your sleeve against a brother. That’s not honest. That’s conflicted. It doesn’t work. It doesn’t fit.
Here is the holy place of resurrection, to which we come again; to which we will return until redemption is accomplished and RECEIVED.
Wow, if you are experiencing a disease that has caused a portion of your body to deteriorate so that it is not fully present, you don’t ask for the ability to be comfortable and not die from it. You ask for transformation, regeneration, redemption . . . redemption!
Now, if you deserve redemption because you believe you are the holy Son or Daughter of God, then certainly your brother and sister do also, and it behooves you to extend that to them willingly.
Here is the holy place of resurrection, to which we come again; to which we will return until redemption is accomplished and RECEIVED.
In other words, redemption is the body whole again, and redemption is brothers in harmony with each other—no longer fighting, no longer untrustworthy, no longer dangerous—because someone has taken the time to treat him or her as though he or she is holy, and has been willing to take the time to present the ideas and the education necessary to make the truth viable and acceptable and reasonable, even though it is so different from what everyone has been conditioned to feel and believe.
Think who your brother is, before you would condemn him.
I think of who you Are, you holy Son and Daughter of God. And because I do, I recognize your holiness and I treat you as though you are holy. And I tell you to rethink your concepts of yourself and abandon what doesn’t fit your holiness, so that you will not punish yourself through mean-spirited, self attack, and might extend to yourself the Love that the Holy Spirit and I and the Father are constantly enveloping you in.
And offer thanks to God that he is holy, . .
. . . your brother . . .
. . . and has been given the gift of holiness for YOU. Join him . . .
. . . your brother . . .
. . . in gladness, and remove all trace of guilt from his disturbed and tortured mind.
Educate him! Speak . . . and do not speak that which condemns or insinuates fault or short-comings or unacceptabilities.
Help him to lift the heavy burden of sin you laid upon him and he accepted as his own, and toss it lightly and with happy laughter away from him.
That’s what all of this is about. This is what the overcoming of the Obstacles to Peace is about.
I said last week, that when you do go into the Silence, and when you do silence the thinking, the first thing you notice is that everything is at peace—you are, but not just you. Nothing that is going on arouses fear or anger or anything other than peace in you. And you see it anew. This is what you need to anchor yourself in so that you might share the truth of it with your brothers and sisters who are not at peace.
Help him to lift the heavy burden of sin you laid upon him and he accepted as his own, and toss it lightly and with happy laughter away from him. Press it not like thorns against his brow, nor nail him to it unredeemed and hopeless.
Before you raise your eyes to look at God without fear . . .
. . . Give each other faith, for faith and hope and mercy are yours to give.
Now, let’s be clear. The reason they are yours to give is because, if you’ve practice the holy instant after having silenced your thinking and have asked to know what the truth is here, it is revealed to you by the Holy Spirit—speaking for the Father—to reveal the Father to you . . . and you have It to give. That’s the way it works.
Into the hands that give the gift is given.
What you give you get to keep—that’s the way you “have.”
Look on your brother, and see in him the gift of God you would receive.
You certainly want it for yourself. That’s why you’re endeavoring to practice the holy instant. That’s why you are willing to consider abandoning this right you think you have to determine what everything is and to be successfully independent. That’s the whole reason.
It is almost Easter, . .
. . . at the time this was written.
It is almost Easter, the time of resurrection. Let us give redemption to each other and SHARE in it, that we may rise as one in resurrection, and not separate in death. Behold the gift of freedom that I gave the Holy Spirit for BOTH of you. And be you free together, as you offer to the Holy Spirit this same gift.
You see? This is the practicality of what this is all about.
And giving it receive it of Him in return for what you gave. He leadeth you and me together, that we might meet here in this holy place, and make the same decision.
Who is that he? The Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit . . .
. . . leadeth you and me together, that we might meet here in this holy place, and make the same decision.
To overcome The Fear of God brings peace on Earth, good will toward men. And that’s part of the redemption and resurrection.
I love you all and I look forward to being with you next time.
1Course In Miracles (reference pages)
Chapter 19 – Section: THE FEAR OF GOD
Sparkly Book–p. 472 / JCIM–p. 197 / CIMS–p. 397
First Edition – p. 391 / Second Edition – p. 420
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A Course in Miracles Study Group with Raj, June 21st 2015
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