A COURSE IN MIRACLES
August 23rd 2015
Last time we were together, we ended up with these thoughts from the Course. Speaking of your brother or sister with whom you have found a holy relationship, it says . . .
Here is your Savior and your Friend, released from crucifixion through your vision, and free to lead you now where He would be.1
This beautifully expresses the union involved in the forward movement—the togetherness of it, the singleness of purpose.
And further . . .
The lamp is lit in both of you for one another. And by the hands that gave it to each other shall both of you be led past fear to love.
Now, suddenly we have a new section entitled:
SIN AS AN ADJUSTMENT
And it begins . . . which is a continuation of where we left off . . .
The belief in sin is an ADJUSTMENT.
It is an abrupt change. The reason being, that to have this mind-changing, life-changing realization of your holiness and your brother’s or sister’s holiness, is the breaking of a long established and well established set of perceptions which you have used to determine what everything is, what everything means, and what all of it can be used for.
And so, this sudden realization of your holiness and of your brother’s holiness, and indeed the holiness of all of mankind—all of the Brotherhood—causes you to be put in a position of re-evaluating, we might say, all of your past perceptions. It requires you to be willing to look at the world you have been looking at, and being willing to see it anew, according to the Vision that it’s all God and it’s all holy—that it is the Kingdom of Heaven occupied by, enjoyed by, embraced by the holy Sons and Daughters of God.
And so, . . how can I put it? It’s a time of radical transformation, the abandoning of habitual perceptions, and habitual ways of behaving in favor of the behavior that is appropriate for holy Sons and Daughters of God who have no need to defend themselves anymore, and who no longer believe that the world and universe is something God has nothing to do with . . . and because God has everything to do with it, it is not what you had perceived it to be. It is not a polarized, conflicted universe, but it is the Kingdom of Heaven in infinite perfect harmony.
Now we’re going to take a look at the mindset that the holy Sons and Daughters of God, who have discovered a holy relationship, have just left.
So it begins:
The belief in sin is an ADJUSTMENT.
And the word ADJUSTMENT is the key word.
And an adjustment is a CHANGE; a shift in perception, or a belief that what was so before has been made different. Every adjustment is therefore a distortion, and calls upon defenses to uphold it against reality.
Now you can look at this two ways. You can look at this as something you’re seeing with brand new eyes from a point of clarity that you have found yourself in because you KNOW that you are a holy Son or Daughter of God. Or you can look at it from your present vantage point and have an explanation of what you’re seeing that helps you to be willing to release it more easily.
So let’s back up:
. . . an adjustment is a CHANGE; a shift in perception, . .
Now, we’ve talked about this before, and for context, I will repeat it: When you and a brother or sister decided you wanted to do things your way—that you wanted to get a divorce from the Father—you did it with the intent to be able to say what this is, what that is, what this means, what that means.
Now, obviously Creation already existed in Its completeness, in Its ever-moving expression of perfection in wholeness. And so, when you decided you wanted to be giving the definitions as to what everything was, you had to be altering the meaning of that which already existed because God made it so.
So, . .
. . . sin is an ADJUSTMENT . . .
It’s a change.
. . . a shift in perception, or a belief that what was so before . . .
. . . Creation, in Its perfection . . .
. . . has been made different.
And of course, it’s been made different at your hand and the hand of your brother or sister.
Every adjustment is therefore a distortion, . .
. . . it’s not the actual creation of something new. It’s an alteration, a distortion of that which already is—that which already was . . .
. . . and calls upon defenses to uphold it against reality.
Now to understand this more simply: There are frames made for glasses which they say . . . they use the word “memory” to describe it. The metal frames have a memory, so that if you sit on them or bend them, they do not stay in a new configuration. The memory causes them to return to their original state. If you squeeze them or attempt to bend them, you find yourself experiencing resistance. The metal—the memory, you will say—provides resistance to being bent out of shape. And that resistance remains in place until you let go of the glasses and let them return to normal.
It’s important to understand this because the definitions, the misunderstandings, the misperceptions which have been applied to the Kingdom of Heaven that cause it to appear to be a material world and universe to you, that alteration doesn’t change anything. And the Actuality of God’s Creation resists, we’ll say, your attempt to change it. And that resistance remains in place until you abandon your attempt.
Now, that is defined as life being difficult—as the “human condition”—which is fraught with dilemmas and illnesses and everything unpleasant.
But what it is, is an ever-present help—if you want to call it that—an ever-present intent that causes you to have the Truth available to you again, as soon as you abandon your expression of “will” and let it be replaced with humility.
You are not sinners who have sinned so badly that you cannot experience Reality or God’s Love until you’ve gone through major steps of paying a debt. No. The Kingdom of Heaven is constantly pressuring everyone who’s dreaming dreams or imagining imaginations and believing them . . . it’s constantly pressuring you to abandon them and, without your having to do something new—in fact, in the absence of doing anything and humbly yielding—the “frames of the glasses” resume their shape. The Kingdom of Heaven simply registers with you.
Everyone is constantly being pressured to Awaken.
This is so important.
Every adjustment is therefore a distortion, and calls upon defenses to uphold it against reality. Knowledge, . .
. . . or what I have called, Knowing, . .
. . . requires NO adjustment, and, in fact, is lost if any shift or change is undertaken.
That’s like saying the experience of the Kingdom of Heaven requires no adjustment. And, in fact, is lost if any shift or change or attempt to change It is undertaken.
For this reduces it at once to mere perception; a way of LOOKING in which certainty is lost, and doubt has entered.
“Oh yeah, sure . . . I’m sure we can all look at everything and say it’s the Kingdom of Heaven. I guess that’s a way of looking at It. But I prefer to think of it as a universe—a physical universe—that functions according to the laws of physics. And of course, the laws of physics, because they are laws, demonstrate the reality of the physical universe as a physical universe.” You see how the logic, the concept, is used to reinforce itself?
When that happens, the experience of the Kingdom of Heaven is lost. You become unconscious of It. The Kingdom of Heaven doesn’t go away or disappear. You simply become unconscious of It, in preference to being conscious of the definition you are choosing to validate and make real to yourself and behave according to.
Mind you, what we’re describing here is the perspective that those who have joined in a holy relationship and who have experienced God’s Love so clearly that their holiness is clear to them, this is what they are in a position of becoming free of.
We’re talking about it though, because one doesn’t abandon old habits easily. And so it’s important not to be surprised that there are ongoing corrections of perceptions that will occur.
Knowledge requires NO adjustment, and, in fact, is lost if any shift or change is undertaken. For this reduces it at once to mere perception; a way of LOOKING in which certainty is lost, and doubt has entered.
I will comment here . . . that the moment doubt has entered, and the experience of what Reality is becomes a mere perception, then there is like, infinite choice! Wow! How fantastic! How interesting! You see? Nothing is dull anymore with only one way of seeing everything and interpreting it. You see? And so it’s enticing.
To this impaired condition ARE adjustments necessary, because they are not true.
And having experienced and practiced the holy instant to the degree where your holiness and your brother’s or sister’s holiness is clear to you, and you are able to join in a holy relationship, you are in a position of being able to deal with these adjustments to an impaired condition so as to have the Truth completely replace the definitions which you’ve created and loved and held onto.
Who need adjust to truth, which calls on only what he is, to understand?
You . . . you holy Sons and Daughters of God . . . are the presence of Truth embodied. For you to experience the Truth is inescapable because of what you Are and it doesn’t have to be understood, it doesn’t have to be reasoned out so that you might have a concept of . . . You know the Truth when you’re not introducing anything else into the picture.
Adjustments of any kind are of the ego.
Well, of course. When you got the divorce from the Father, everything that followed was adjustment. Life became a matter of making adjustments. We’ve talked about them as mutual agreements, and coming up with new definitions. These are just adjustments—alterations applied to the unchangeable perfection of the Kingdom of Heaven, the Presence of the Father, and actually, the infiniteness of you.
Adjustments of any kind are of the ego. For it is the ego’s fixed belief that all relationships DEPEND upon adjustments to make of them what it would have them be.
What it would have them be, instead of what they Are. What it would have them be in order to gain an advantage. What it would have them be in order to become wealthy. What it would have them be in order to be in control . . . and on and on and on.
Direct relationships, . .
(Chuckling) . . ones in which no adjustments have been introduced . . .
Direct relationships, in which there are no interference’s, are ALWAYS seen as dangerous.
I’m going to read that again:
Direct relationships, in which there are no interference’s, are ALWAYS seen as dangerous.
Heaven help you if you should become trustingly spontaneous instead of willfully calculated. Heaven help you if you became unpredictable, transformational. Oh…no.
Direct relationships, in which there are no interference’s, are ALWAYS seen as dangerous. The ego is the self-appointed mediator of all relationships, making whatever adjustments it deems necessary, and interposing them . . .
. . . where? . .
. . . between those who would meet, to keep them separate and prevent their union.
Why do you think there are mutual agreements? Why do you think there is something called, “cooperation?” Where did the concept of “working together” come from? From a fundamental idea of separation—of independence. Two things that are independent can agree with each other. They can also disagree with each other. They can cooperate with each other or they can fight with each other. You see? And the cooperation presents the approximation of harmony when activity occurs that Love is not present in. You see?
It is this studied interference which makes it difficult for you to recognize your holy relationship for what it is. Everyone has a holy relationship. Everyone is in a holy relationship insofar as everyone is a holy Son or Daughter of God who hasn’t changed from what God created him to be or what God is creating him as, in this moment. And in that sense, everyone is a holy Son or Daughter of God in a holy relationship.
But, as long as the concept of independence is revered above all else, and as long as mutual agreements and adjustments have been arrived at that allow for a certain modicum of harmony to seem to be present, without actual union of everyone involved, one is not joined, one is not connected. There is no actual relationship. It’s only what you could call, “a relationship by association.” The cat is lying by the tree. There’s a relationship there. But the cat doesn’t know the tree and the tree doesn’t know the cat. And so there isn’t really a relationship. You see?
So, now you have had an experience of the Love of God so profoundly, that you, without a shadow of a doubt, have discovered that you are holy and that your Brother or Sister is also. And therefore, what made it difficult for you to see your holy relationship, is not as strong, is not as confusing, is not as undermining as it had been.
The holy do not interfere with truth.
Those who are Awake, those who have had an experience of their holiness do not interfere with truth. The very fact that there was an infilling of God’s Love in you that transformed your awareness of yourself was an indicator that you didn’t have to create the experience, that the experience was awaiting the opportunity, intent upon registering with you. You see?
When you didn’t interfere with truth, Realization occurred.
The holy do not interfere with truth.
Those who truly engage in the holy instant do not interfere with truth.
They are not afraid of it, for it is within the truth they recognized their holiness, and rejoiced at what they saw. They looked on it directly, . .
. . . in the holy instant, in the moment of Revelation . . .
. . . without attempting to adjust themselves to it, or it to them.
It was just wholly allowed.
And so they saw that it was IN them, not deciding first where they would HAVE it be. Their looking, . .
. . . their practice of the holy instant . . .
Their looking merely asked a question, and it was what they SAW that answered them. YOU . . .
. . . and I’m going to add, “on the other hand” . . .
YOU make the world and THEN adjust to it, and it to you.
That’s what the orphan does. That’s what the independent one does—the one independent from the Father and the one who actually has established independence from his brother or sister with whom he got the divorce from this Father. You see the unexpected consequence of engaging in an illusion—or I’m going to say, a delusion.
YOU make the world and THEN adjust to it, and it to you. Nor is there any difference between yourself and it in your perception, which made them BOTH.
You see? You decided who you were and you decided what the world was. No, I’m going to put it this way: You decided who you were and you decided what the Kingdom of Heaven was and you called it something else. But you created them both, and thus you made adjustments which completely covered over the Kingdom of Heaven and the holy Son or Daughter of God that you Are, from your conscious experience.
This is what the holy relationship moves you beyond, this is what the practice of the holy instant moves you beyond.
A simple question yet remains, and needs an answer. Do you LIKE what you have made? – a world of murder and attack, through which you thread your timid way through constant dangers, alone and frightened, . .
. . . and I’m going to add, excited at it all, . .
. . . hoping at most that death will wait a little longer before it overtakes you and you disappear?
Why? Because of the adventure of it, the potential of overcoming the threat—excitement that you never had as a holy Son or Daughter of God in the middle of the Kingdom of Heaven.
YOU MADE THIS UP. It is a picture of what you think YOU are; of how you see YOURSELF . . .
. . . how the orphan sees itself. Which of course, wasn’t something you planned on when you first said, “Father, I want a divorce. I want to define everything for myself.”
A murderer IS frightened, and those who kill FEAR death. All these are but the fearful thoughts of those who would adjust themselves to a world made fearful by their adjustments.
And they look out in sorrow from what is sad within, and see the sadness THERE.
But gloriously, this is what you experience relief from when you engage genuinely and humbly in the holy instant and let your holiness be revealed to you, together with the holiness of your Brother or Sister.
Have you not wondered what the world is REALLY like; . .
Oh, yes, I know. The world is not real. The world is an illusion. The world doesn’t exist. But then, why would I have said this:
Have you not wondered what the world is REALLY like; . .
. . . well what world are we talking about? It’s the world that adjustments have been made to. That’s the world.
Have you not wondered what the world is REALLY like . . .
. . . without the adjustments applied to it that have been applied to it?
Have you not wondered what the world is REALLY like; how it would look through HAPPY eyes? The world you see is but a judgment on yourself. It is not there at all.
Key words: The world you see. The world you see as a result of the adjustments you have made, is not there at all.
Yet judgment lays a sentence on it, justifies it, and makes it REAL. Such is the world you see; a judgment on yourself, and made by YOU . . .
And I will say . . . overlaid upon the Kingdom of Heaven without changing the Kingdom of Heaven one bit.
This sickly picture of yourself is carefully preserved by the ego, whose image it is and which it loves, and placed outside you in the world. And to this world must you adjust, as long as you believe this picture is outside, and has you at its mercy.
Key point: only . . .
. . . as long as you believe this picture is outside, and has you at its mercy.
This world IS merciless, and were it outside you, you should indeed be fearful. Yet it was you who MADE it merciless, and now if mercilessness seems to look back at you, . .
. . . what? . .
. . . it can be CORRECTED . . .
. . . because you can change your mind. You can look anew. You can engage in the holy instant. You can dare to conceive that God possibly is All-in-all and that you are the direct Expression of God in which All that God is, is embodied. And that your place in this, is one of being that which acknowledges God as your Source—That which is presencing Itself right where you see yourself. You see? It can be corrected because you made it up.
Now you won’t be able to do it by going out and trying to change “the world.” The experience of Who and What you divinely Are needs to register with you first, because in that realization of divinity does the divinity of everything become revealed for you as a fact.
This then gives you the courage and the ability to abandon the world of adjustments that you have habitually created and reinforced, but which you know enough now to let go of without any sense of real loss.
Who in a holy relationship can long remain unholy?
[Repeats] Who in a holy relationship can long remain unholy? The world the holy see is one with them, just as the world the ego looks upon is like itself.
It’s the same old question, which voice are you going to listen to? The Voice for Truth or the voice for fear—the Holy Spirit or the ego?
The world the holy see is beautiful because they see their innocence in it. They did not tell it what it was; they did not make adjustments to fit their orders. They gently questioned it and whispered, “What are you?”
Like I said, when you practice the two-step, the holy instant, you become still, you still the thinking. And in the quietness you say, “Father, what is the truth here?” The holy . . .
. . . gently questioned it and whispered, “What are you?” And He Who watches over all perception answered.
That’s what happened in the holy instant when your holiness was revealed to you. That’s what happens in the holy instant when your holiness IS revealed to you.
Take not the judgment of the world as answer to the question, “What am I?”
The world BELIEVES in sin, . .
. . . no, wait a minute, what world? The world . . . the world you see believes in sin, because the world you see is the result of adjustments you have made to the Kingdom of Heaven. And so, naturally it is impossible for you to conceive of a world that isn’t governed by adjustments, when adjustments that you have created, created the world you’re looking at.
The world BELIEVES in sin, . .
. . . in adjustments, because you, through your adjustments, created the world you see.
. . . but the belief that made it as you see it is not outside you. Seek not to make the Son of God ADJUST to his insanity.
Whew! That is the proper description of the human condition, where everyone seeks to make the Son of God adjust to insanity. And that’s what the holy instant is the exit from.
There IS a stranger in him, . .
. . . the Son of God . . .
. . . who wandered carelessly into the home of truth, and who will wander off. He came without a purpose, but he will not remain before the shining light the Holy Spirit offered, and you accepted. For there the stranger is made homeless . . .
. . . the orphan, the one who indulged in making adjustments.
For there the stranger is made homeless and YOU . .
. . . the holy Son of God, the holy Daughter of God . . .
. . . are welcome.
Hey . . .
Ask not this transient stranger, “What am I?” He is the only thing in all the universe that does not know. Yet it is he you asked, and it is to his answer that you would adjust.
That’s the way it has been working. And if, after your Vision, after your transforming experience of the Father’s Love, if you out of habit ask again of this transient stranger . . . well, you must catch yourself and abandon the question and get back in the holy instant, remember your holiness, and be consistent with it.
This one wild thought, fierce in its arrogance, and yet so tiny and so meaningless it slips unnoticed through the universe of truth, becomes your guide.
This concept or idea of what you are—the adjusted you—is just a collection of concepts, miniscule, meaningless.
To it you turn to ask the meaning of the universe. And of the one blind thing in all the seeing universe of truth you ask, “How shall I look upon the Son of God?”
You see? These things are things that you will become aware of as clarification of how the illusion worked when you join in a holy relationship with a brother or a sister.
Does one ask judgment of what is totally BEREFT of judgment? And if you have, would you BELIEVE the answer, and adjust to it as if it were the truth?
Well, you would and you have, but you don’t have to anymore. And you realize this in the clarity of your experiencing yourself as the holy Son or Daughter of God.
The world you look on is the answer that it gave you, and YOU have given it power to adjust the world to MAKE its answer true. You asked this puff of madness for the meaning of your unholy relationship, and adjusted it according to its insane answer.
You see, this is not an indictment. This is clarity—the kind of clarity that one experiences as a result of the active engagement in a holy relationship.
How happy did it make you? Did you meet with joy, to bless the Son of God, and give him thanks for all the happiness which he held out to you?
Well . . . no, not hardly, because [chuckling] you, looking through your adjustments, saw someone in need of adjustment, and someone to create adjustments called “mutual agreements” with, to protect yourself against his unscrupulousness, which had to be there because it was part and parcel of your need to make adjustments in your perception of him in the first place.
Did you recognize each other as the eternal gift of God to you?
No. But now you are able to look at your brother, your brothers and sisters, and acknowledge that. You are able to look at your brothers and sisters, and, I’m going to say, determine it to be true, so that your thinking is consistent with the truth and aligns you with the capacity to experience it beyond thought.
Did you see the holiness that shone in both of you, to bless the other? That is the purpose of your HOLY relationship.
That’s the purpose of this relationship you now find yourself experiencing.
Ask not the means of its attainment of the one thing that still would have it be unholy.
Don’t in your, let’s say, immaturity of experience of a holy relationship, return to that voice you used to inquire of to find out how to proceed. That’s all it means.
Give it NO power to adjust the means and end.
Prisoners bound with heavy chains for years, starved and emaciated, weak and exhausted, and with eyes so long cast down in darkness they remember not the light, do not leap up in joy the instant they are made free. It takes a while for them to understand what freedom IS. You groped but feebly in the dust and found each other’s hand, uncertain whether to let it go, or to take hold on life so long forgotten. Strengthen your hold, and raise your eyes unto your strong companion, . .
. . . the brother whose hand you’re holding, the sister whose hand you’re holding in this new experience of holy relationship . . .
. . . in whom the meaning of your freedom lies. He seemed to be crucified beside you. And yet his holiness remained untouched and perfect, and with him beside you, you shall this day enter with him to Paradise, and know the peace of God.
That simply means, to experience being infinitely without any adjustments placed between you and what you are experiencing, causing you to not see what it truly Is and keeping you from feeling your Oneness with It.
Such is my will for both of you, and for each of you for one another, and for himself. Here there is only holiness and joining without limit. For what is Heaven but union, direct and perfect, and without the veil of fear upon it? Here are we one, looking with perfect gentleness upon each other, and on ourselves. Here all thoughts of any separation between us becomes impossible. You who were prisoners in separation are now made free in Paradise. And here would I unite with you, my friends, my brothers and my Self. Your gift unto each other has given me the certainty our union will be soon.
Share, then, this faith with me, and know that it is justified. There is no fear in perfect love BECAUSE it knows no sin, . .
. . . no adjustments made to anything.
. . . and it must look on others as on itself. Looking with charity within, what can it fear WITHOUT? The innocent see safety, and the pure in heart see God within His Son, and look unto the Son to lead them to the Father. And where else would they go but where they will to be? Each of you now will lead the other to the Father as surely as God created His Son holy, and kept him so. In your brother is the light of God’s eternal promise of your immortality.
Hear that again:
In your brother . . . In your brother is the light of God’s eternal promise of your immortality.
Your brother is absolutely essential.
See HIM as sinless, and there can BE no fear in you.
Now that’s the end of this Section. And before I end, I must bring out the fact, that to see the holiness of your brothers, to function in the world in light of your realization that each and every one are holy Sons and Daughters of God, you are going to be called upon to deal with those in whom correction is called for, because they do not see this yet.
And when it says here that you will see the innocence of your brother, it means that you will see what is true about him and you will disagree with what is not true about him.
And when your brother comes to you and asks of you for something harmful, for something that keeps the illusion alive, for something that would demean you or cause you to sacrifice your clarity, your recognition of their innocence will require you to give what is needed and which is revealed to you on the spot! It will not be a prepared response, but it will embody the experience of two of my disciples who came upon a beggar at a gate asking for alms. Their response was: “Silver and gold have we none, but what we have we will give you.”2
So your recognition of the holiness and the innocence of your brother will cause you to say, “I cannot give you what you are asking for. I don’t have that, but here’s what I have.” And you will share the correcting truth, the healing truth that comes to you on the spot, new and fresh and unrehearsed. Why? Because you’ve been willing to connect with the holiness in that one and [have been] able to be Real with him.
So, you will not be foolish. What I just finished reading, which sounds very idyllic in a way, will prepare you to be joined carefully and wisely with the conscious intent not to introduce any adjustments—meaning any of your own personal concepts—and to respond from the unadjusted union with the Holy Spirit, which is your right Mind.
This is the way transformation will occur.
I love you very much. Love each other likewise. And I look forward to being with you next time.
A Course In Miracles (reference pages)
Chapter 20 – Section: SIN AS AN ADJUSTMENT
1 Sparkly Book – p. 482 / JCIM – p. 201 / CIMS – p. 405
First Edition – p. 399 / Second Edition – p. 429
2 Bible: Acts 3:6
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