“To have, give all to all.”
Because of the importance of Gift in everything we do, and the fact that there is no alternative which we can employ without altering the very meaning of what is given and received, I must persistently inspire the remembrance of it when things become dysfunctional. Why? Because giving without “return” built in is not the prevailing habit.
The prevailing habit is for giving to be the first step in a game of manipulation or negotiation. “I have been nice to you, and now I expect you to be nice to me.” “I have done you a favor, and now you owe me.” That is not love, that is leveraging. And that is not what I am teaching. Therefore, I must talk about it and point out the unexpected place where the opportunity for giving lies. Why? Because when having is associated with giving instead of with getting, one’s attention is in a different place!
You are the focus of attention when getting is engaged in, while another is the focus of attention when giving is engaged in. The first is isolated and exclusive while the second is embracing. The first is usury while the second is beneficent. The first is the way the world already works, and the second is the way the world will work when the meaning of Love is understood and embodied. I have been promoting this shift right here by functioning on the basis of Gift since the beginning, even though it has taken some getting used to and there has been a certain learning curve.
As I’ve said before, no one can buy what I am teaching, but absolutely everyone can have it as a gift! You already have it, and there’s nothing left to bargain about or barter for. And the reason you have it is because someone has already gifted you with it. The ego suggests that this is just double-talk, and that behind the artful misdirection, you are really being asked to pay. This is its interpretation of my inviting you to contribute support for making the Gift freely available to everyone who finds their way to these materials.
The truth is that you are being asked to learn! To learn something new. To learn something transformational—to be with your brother in a way that truly serves him, instead of requiring him to be with you in a way that serves you. What I am illuminating here is the foundation of a profound shift which might otherwise escape your notice:
Where you place your attention, together with your motive and intent, constitutes either the means of Awakening or the continued entrapment in illusion—and it boils down to giving or getting, respectively.
And so our relationship, here and through A Course in Miracles, calls forth in you your fuller experience of your divinity and demands new behavior consistent with the way things truly work. That is what I am called upon to promote, and that is truly what you want from me, even though it feels like more than you were bargaining for. Do not overlook the equivalence of “new behavior” and “your fuller experience of your divinity.” It is impossible to have one without the other—not because one is the consequence of the other, but because they are inseparably one. And because it will be new, not yet familiar, it will feel demanding until it does become familiar.
Here is a question for you. When you are drinking something through a straw, is the liquid being pulled up the straw or is atmospheric pressure bearing down on the liquid and pushing it up the straw? One might be inclined to ask, “What difference does it make? Either way I get to enjoy my drink.” You might likewise say, “I value what you have to share. What difference does it make how I describe the act I engage in of making a contribution? Sure, I can say that I am supporting the availability of these materials for my fellow man, or that I am ensuring the availability of the materials for myself. Big deal! Why are we quibbling over words?”
The answer is, because one is a conscious act of love and the other is a conscious act of selfishness. One is an extension of the very reason there are materials to share in the first place, which promotes Atonement, and the other continues to block the discovery of holiness which gives rise to acts of kindness and brotherly love—the transforming elements of redemption. It is a big deal!
Rather than quibbling over words, I am using them clearly and carefully so as to illuminate the profound effect of shifting from getting to giving. This is not an effect out there in the world, but in the transformation of your mind by your persisting in this unfamiliar use of it until it becomes not only familiar but normal, and involvement with your brother in the form of caring is no longer something more than you’re willing to engage in or secondary to some other goal. That’s a big deal, and it’s far more than a novel way to conduct business!
In contrast to the extremely high expenses facing us during April, which I shared about in the post entitled “A Glass of Water,” there have been fewer than usual contributions and we approach the 20th with less than $300 in the Foundation’s bank account. With $5,000 due on the 20th and $7,350 due on the 31st, both without grace periods, the need is immediate and requires a leap of faith for everyone.
Thank you for every contribution that has been made. Each one is greatly appreciated.
April 15th, 2016
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