. . . that is the Question!
“Gift” is not only a noun, it is a verb, and as a verb it is an act arising out of love. It is important to understand that if it is not arising out of love, then it is a form of leveraging, manipulation, negotiation or control, and is not a gift at all. It is also important to understand that the alternative to “gift” is . . . . . . . . .
That’s right! There is no alternative. Either what one does is motivated by love or it is not! If it is not, it is not love and it is not a gift, because something other than giving is occurring.
It is clear to Paul and Susan that Love is reflected in love; that Love is the transforming element of Awakening; and that Love is the foundation and superstructure of Brotherhood—even though the prevailing concept is that love (caring) is the foundation of brotherhood and making money at it is the superstructure.
Unfortunately it is not clear in the world today—although it needs to become clear very quickly—that if making money, if conducting business, is the superstructure of brotherhood, then those “loved” become the servants of “the business of making money,” and this is abuse! It’s black and white! There is no other way to look at it and remain Sane!
If Love is not the bottom line, then something else will become the bottom line, the experience of Brotherhood will be superceded by the pain of abuse, and defense against its insult will make it almost impossible to feel the call to Love—to feel like giving and engage in the act—which is the foundation of Brotherhood.
You hear me discussing this subject of Gift quite often, and many of you wonder what the frequent calls for financial support have to do with A Course in Miracles and a website devoted to its teaching. You come here, you say, to learn about the Course, not to hear the ongoing drone of the neediness of those who are giving voice to the voice for Truth which the Course teaches of. It might be said, “They certainly aren’t very good examples of what the Course teaches.” Or, more honestly, “They certainly aren’t very good examples of what I want the Course to be teaching.”
But you know what? The Voice for Truth doesn’t cater to what one thinks he wants, but what he needs. And what mankind needs is a shift from getting to giving, from relating in terms of commerce to relating in terms of love, to be moved out of the tidy complacency and lack of involvement found in transactions into the messiness and vulnerability and wonder of actual connection with one’s Brothers and Sisters without the shield of stable intellectual codes of behavior—able instead to flow with the undulating, ever-moving, unpredictable freshness of being conscious together . . . with care!
This is very demanding and disconcerting to those who have become inured to needs through escape into mental and spiritual perspectives, trading Life, which is divine, for security—dependability, evenness, unsurprising mediocrity or worse, and isolation.
The problem is that Life has no respect for walls built against Its vitality, exhuberance and originality. “Behold, I make all things new.” It gets in the way! And what is getting in the way now is the need for Love because Love has been denied—ignored! And ignoring it hurts! And abandoning the control and safety enjoyed by denying human need and hiding in a cloistered space up in one’s head seems even more frightening than the “hurt.”
“How do I do it?” you say. “Why do it?”
“Why not apply the practices of ‘the business of making money” more diligently, more comprehensively? Why not even see countries as businesses instead of democracies or republics, where the citizens are the customers?” “Why not intensify the overlooking of the foundation of Brotherhood—Love—and more diligently establish our unique interpretation of the superstructure of Brotherhood as the foundation instead?”
“Why do it?” Because the pain of abuse will increase if you don’t. Why do it? Because someone loves you enough to contradict your present “values” and tell you to do it, pointing you to A Course in Miracles as the authority for involvement instead of the excuse for overlooking need. Because it’s time to get your noses out of the book where Love is learned about, and into the daily, worldly laboratory of human relationships where what cannot be taught—Love—is experienced because the defenses against It have been replaced by the willingness to care.
“How do I do it?” That is the question. Depending on your resistance, either difficultly or gracefully. That is the answer.
If you are highly resistant, the pain of the abuse will finally move you to explore and embrace the foundation of Love. If you are less resistant, you will simply proceed. But either way, you will be faced with a level or degree of involvement which you are not anticipating, which will demand patience and perseverance with your brothers and sisters and yourself.
Your ego will be offended by just how much you have to be willing to give to them, discouraging you from continuing. Put more succinctly, you will be offended by how diligent you have to be within yourself in accepting the fact that there is no alternative to the gift of Love. You will argue with that, and you will blame your brother for it. You will say he’s not worth it, when what you mean is that to you, it’s not worth it to be fully aligned with Love without options. You’d rather opt for whatever alternatives you can imagine, which will give you some control, some guarantee of safety, instead of following through. Why? Because you are not used to having that much faith.
It is a truism that “Man’s extremity is God’s opportunity,” and when you are willing to listen to no other voice than His, you hear His Voice! If you have an ace up your sleeve—some thought of your own that has your allegiance—you won’t. Or, if you do, you won’t believe it.
Faith, humility and perseverance uncover the way things work when Love is allowed to be the foundation and superstructure of Brotherhood, and it will be different! Paul and Susan are a testament to this. It is not always easy—faith falters in the face of conditioned responses to, let’s say, the ebb and flow of money. Indeed, it is now 1 p.m. Wednesday afternoon and Paul has been listening for my voice since 10 p.m. last night without sleep—not hearing anything easily, but persevering in order to sidestep all of the meanings he was applying to the present “ebb,” which aroused his self-righteousness, frustration and anger. “The unfairness of it all!” And so, he let the Voice for Truth extend to you, and on its way to you, he heard It, too. Caring replaced selfish preoccupation, revealing Brotherhood with Love as its foundation.
He had sat down to listen because there is only $185.00 in the Foundation’s bank account, support has been minimal, he holds seven paychecks which he cannot cash for lack of funds, $1,300 is still needed for the month of March, the first of the month with its bills is three days away, April is property tax month, blah, blah, blah . . . and OMG!
Not anywhere in that assertive rehearsal of frustration and righteousness could be found even a glimmer of willingness to give, and as a result there were hours of silence—nothing heard. He knew he was blocking, but wouldn’t let go of his grievances. Nevertheless, need forced him to insist on hearing me, even though he, in his righteousness, could blame me for causing the problem by making a gift of everything we do. And so, he did hear me. And involvement with you is occurring.
You will not know what you will be when you say, “Thy will be done.” You will not know how to be, at any given moment, in the movement of God called relationships, but you may know that things will transform when you embrace the “insecurity” of the movement, without resistance, in the act of caring!
March 29th, 2017
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