Classes on A Course in Miracles
Contemporary Pure Non-Dualism – Discussions 1 through 12
Classes on A Course in Miracles Series Volume I
by Darryl E Berry Jr
1 AN INTRODUCTION TO A COURSE IN MIRACLES
This session, entitled ‘An Introduction to A Course in Miracles,’ was recorded April 19th, 2015.
II. THE MOTIVATION IS INNER PEACE
Darryl E Berry Jr: Do you have any questions you would like to start with?
Questioner: Just what’s going to be covered in this Course?
Darryl E Berry Jr: You mean in general in A Course in Miracles overall?
Questioner: Well yes that, and now in the short-term, what kind of subjects will be covered?
Darryl E Berry Jr: Well the whole basis of the Course is reaching a state of inner peace; a state of peace from which we can finally awaken from the dream of separation from God. What keeps us trapped here in a world of form is our investment in separation, which results in lack of peace within ourselves. Heaven in the Course is a state of absolute and all-pervading Oneness. There is no conflict. There is nothing to have conflict with. So, if we are in a state of conflict we simply don’t fit. So, the Course is about teaching us how to reach a state of inner peace, and from a state of inner peace we can awaken from the illusion of being a separate being in a disjointed world.
Let’s look at a Course verse that talks about this. Let’s turn to Chapter 8, Section I, and Paragraph 1, of the section of the Course called the Text.
Questioner: The Journey Back?
Darryl E Berry Jr: That’s right. It says:
1Knowledge is not the motivation for learning this course. 2Peace is. 3This is the prerequisite for knowledge only because those who are in conflict are not peaceful, and peace is the condition of knowledge because it is the condition of the Kingdom. 4Knowledge can be restored only when you meet its conditions. 5This is not a bargain made by God, Who makes no bargains. 6It is merely the result of your misuse of His laws on behalf of an imaginary will that is not His. 7Knowledge is His Will. 8If you are opposing His Will, how can you have knowledge? 9I have told you what knowledge offers you, but perhaps you do not yet regard this as wholly desirable. 10If you did you would not be so ready to throw it away when the ego asks for your allegiance.
So, knowledge is not the motivation for learning this Course, inner peace is. If you look at that image I sent you, at the very top it says Heaven, Knowledge. What this is saying is, the purpose of this Course is not directly to teach us to awaken from the dream. That’s why later parts of the Course say we are not going to just jump from here to Heaven. That’s too frightening. I told you about the experience I had where this “self” and the universe disappeared temporarily, and I experienced a greater mind. I was afraid of that level of expansiveness. So, it’s very frightening, identified as we are to an individual self, to then think of not being an individual at all. So, the Course is not teaching us to jump above that line in the diagram separating what is real from what is false. That’s what this is saying.
Meaning the purpose of this Course is developing or learning inner peace. If you look at the chart, on the right side it says in the box: real world, forgiveness, holy relationship, holy instant, Holy Spirit, healing. Do you see that on right box, at the bottom? So, when we start to reinterpret the world from a right-minded perspective, which is from a perspective of forgiveness, then we start to experience inner peace instead of the anger, hate, fear, pain, and judgment that we experience when we choose the left box, a way of thinking anthropomorphized as “the ego” in the Course.
3This [peace] is the prerequisite for knowledge only because those who are in conflict are not peaceful, and peace is the condition of knowledge because it is the condition of the Kingdom.
So, if you have a state of absolute non-duality again there is no friction, there is no conflict. You can only have conflict in a world of duality. And one of the ways that we maintain a world of duality is through conflict, because if you have a war you must have at least two sides! So, when we have a war in the world, we think we’re having a war because… whatever reason. But really the basis of having war is maintaining the idea of separation. For instance, you can go to what we call the Eastern parts of the world, and there are two different religious factions, who though they are the same people genetically they have different religious beliefs and they have been warring with each other for centuries, when they are essentially the same people. But they focus on the differences in their religious beliefs and now they are these two sides and they are warring. So we will take even the same people and make some reason to have war. And the basis of that is to keep separation and duality and conflict – to “protect” us from Oneness. So if we are in conflict, whether I’m at war with you physically or I’m just judging you psychologically, I’m saying that we’re different.
So inner peace represents a recognition of oneness, even apparently within the world of duality, which allows us to meet the conditions or meet the characteristics of true Oneness, which is outside of the dream of duality entirely. And until we are ready to accept oneness where we seem to be, we will never be ready to accept Oneness where we really Are, which is in that state of absolute Oneness that the Course refers to as Heaven. As long as we are invested in separation in the world, we will never be of a psychological disposition to accept Oneness where It really is, where there is no separation and no distinction at all.
4Knowledge can be restored only when you meet its conditions.
In other words, until we reach a state of inner peace, and until we reach a state in which we accept oneness where we seem to be, we will never be willing to accept absolute Oneness.
5This is not a bargain made by God, Who makes no bargains.
As Kenneth Wapnick points out, when we think about bargains in the world it’s like when you turn on the TV and you see a deal where it says, “Call right now and then you will get this product for half off, or call right now and this or that, but if you don’t call right now then you don’t get it.” And when we have our relationships, “If you do this for me then I’ll give you money, or I’ll give you sex, or I’ll give you whatever, but you have to do this for me. And if you don’t do this for me then well, you’re not going to get anything! Or if you don’t do this for me, well we are not even friends anymore! I don’t even like you anymore. I hate you now because you did not do this for me, or you did whatever and I didn’t want you to do that.” Those are the kinds of bargains that we make in this world, and that’s not what the Course is talking about when it’s talking about the “conditions of Heaven.” We set conditions that limit the love that we share. What the Course is saying is,
6It is merely the result of your misuse of His laws on behalf of an imaginary will that is not His.
In other words, the fact that we need to meet the condition of inner peace is simply because we’ve chosen to meet the condition of attack, of war, of separation. So, we did that to ourselves; we made ourselves in our own estimation and in our own state of being contrary to what’s above that line. So above that line it says Non-Duality; clearly, we live in a world of duality and multiplicity. Above that line it says Oneness, and we find all kinds of ways to make separation real to us.
III. GUILT DEMANDS SEPARATION
Darryl E Berry Jr: Like in your country, you have… like here in “America” we have Republicans and Democrats, that’s the apparent political party. What is it in Australia?
Questioner: I don’t know but it’s similar to that. I think it’s Laborer and Liberal, but it’s all just, you know.
Darryl E Berry Jr: And you can see these people who identify with one or other of these “different parties” fighting each other and saying, “No we have it right!” “No, we have it right!” You’re all apparently part of the same country! But we find this reason to separate and war with each other, right? So if we are investing in separation… just like in America, we are so invested in separation that even though we’re all supposedly Americans we break up into Republicans and Democrats or whatever, and we war with each other and hate each other. Even in sports. All of them are football players, or basketball players, or soccer players, whatever, but we have this team and we have that team and they war against each other and they hate each other. And then the fans in the stands, they hate each other too! They are fighting out in the parking lot; I’m sure you’ve seen video clips of this.
Darryl E Berry Jr: That’s how invested we are in being separate, that we make up separation. Because none of these things are real. Whether it’s a Republican or a Democrat or a Laborer or a Liberal, those are just ideas that people made up. And then people identify with them, and then identify as separate from the “other side,” and now they are at war. That’s how invested we are in separation. That’s not oneness, right? So as long as we are invested in these concepts and ideas of separation, we are saying implicitly that “I don’t want to experience Oneness. I want to experience separation.” And if we choose so we meet the conditions of separation. And thus, we have the world that we have, a world of separation, duality, hate, attack, deception, manipulation, extortion, coercion, murder, judgment, and pain.
Also, in our personal lives, like all the lacks that we have. The only reason why we experience lack is for the same reason: to reinforce the idea of separation. Because if there’s something outside of me that I want or that I need, and that I am not happy unless I have, then I’m saying there is such a thing as salvation or happiness, but it is separate from me. That’s why I need to get it. And then when I get it then I’ll be whole. And of course, we get it and it doesn’t work, so we must do it over and over again. But the fundamental basis of that is to meet the condition of separation and to deny the condition of oneness, because if there’s Oneness, like it says above the line, then there is no lack. That’s why other parts of the Course say that in Heaven you both have and are everything. So, in Heaven there is absolutely no lack because everything is a part of everything; there is only Oneness. So even our investment in lack in the world is our effort to keep the experience of separation from God intact, so as not to meet the condition of acknowledging oneness in the world. And that’s why when we reach a state of inner peace there is no experience of lack, pain, anger, or judgment. There is available an interpretation of oneness even in the apparent state of duality, which is why people like Y’shua (Jesus) or the Buddha or Mother Teresa were able to be peaceful and nonjudgmental; all these beings, in whatever way they did it, they learned to see everyone as one. They learned to see everyone as the same.
Mother Teresa thought of everyone as a child of God. In her practice she practiced seeing every single person as if they were Christ. In her personal practice that’s how she psychologically thought about everybody. So, for her even though people may not recognize it or behave that way, in her mind whenever she’s interacting with anybody she is interacting with the Son of God. So, in her perception she saw oneness because everybody was the same! So, she was practicing meeting the conditions.
IV. INCOMPLETION / JUDGMENT AS DEFENSE
Darryl E Berry Jr:
7Knowledge is His Will. 8If you are opposing His Will, how can you have knowledge?
In other words, if the reality of Heaven is Oneness, Peace, Wholeness, and we’re constantly investing in all different forms of separation and lack and so on and so forth, then how could we possibly be aware of an experience of peace and oneness and wholeness?
9I have told you what knowledge offers you…
…as we have just said, peace, oneness, complete abundance, complete security and safety – completion period…
9…but perhaps you do not yet regard this as wholly desirable.
In other words, we want separation because as we talked about the other day, separation is where our individuality is. We want to hold on to our individuality. We want to hold on to our separation. So, we don’t really wholly value inner peace, which is why we often sabotage ourselves. That is why we ostensibly want things in the world, but we put ourselves in a situation where we have the total opposite. Or sometimes we get exactly what we want, somebody is giving us exactly what we think we want, but we push it away. We talked about that before. Everybody does that to some extent.
Whatever it is that we think we want in the world it symbolizes to us Heaven. It symbolizes to us completion. Everybody wants only Heaven, whether we realize it or not. It’s just that we give a certain form in the world, or a certain state in the world, or whatever, the power to complete us. And I am not saying I’m beyond that, I still do that myself. But just explaining what is going on. So, we give whatever it is in the world the supposed power to complete us. But since we really believe we’re the “home of evil, darkness and sin” as the Course says, because we believe we left Heaven – Completion – in the first place, we don’t really believe we deserve whatever it is that we want, and we push it away. But at the same time, we believe that if we do get this “wonderful thing,” if we do get heaven in the form we think we like, we believe then we will be destroyed. Because as the Course says elsewhere, we believe we are taking value and giving nothing in return. We believe we are worthless and valueless, being that – as the ego says – we separated from Heaven. Thus, we believe we no longer deserve Heaven since we separated from it. Therefore, in the world we don’t believe we deserve those things that we endow with the ability to make us happy, those things we make into our symbol of Heaven.
Therefore so often we will get into relationships or stay in relationships where people treat us badly. And then somebody comes along and treats us well and we believe it’s too good to be true, and we push that person away! We don’t really believe we deserve Heaven, and at the same time we think Heaven will destroy us. “Heaven” will show us to be the empty, sinful, guilty, unworthy person we believe that we are. And beyond that, in regard to true Heaven, we believe we will lose our individuality, that we will lose our “selves.” So, we don’t really want inner peace.
An important thing the Course does is make us aware of the fact that we don’t want peace so we can address this. There is a part of the Course titled The Fear of Redemption, which we talked about the other day as well. Secretly we are afraid of love, for all the reasons that I just stated. So, we don’t really wholly desire inner peace. If we did, we would be waking up. Because if the world is an illusion that we are projecting then all the emotions we have come from us, because we are the dreamer of the dream. Thus, if we really wanted inner peace we would have it, because there is nowhere else for anything else to come from.
10If you did…
…if you did wholly desire inner peace…
10…you would not be so ready to throw it away when the ego asks for your allegiance.
In other words, we claim to want peace and love, but when somebody apparently from the other political party steps in front of us, “Oh! I hate that person!” We claim to want peace in the world but when someone from the other football team comes near, we want to punch him or her in the face. We claim to want peace in the world but then we send our army to another country and blow them up, when they never did us anything; and so on and so forth. We are so quick to choose separation when an opportunity presents itself, proving that we don’t really want peace. Therefore I mentioned those discussions the other day, about people judging others for the type of animal they eat. We judge people for whatever they are doing but are just as guilty by the same standards.
To us a dog or cat is sacred, so we judge “them” for eating dogs and cats, but to others cows are holy but we still eat cows. We judge “them” for blowtorching dogs alive in order to eat them, but we boil crabs and crawfish alive in order to eat them. In order to uphold separation, we say, “No, no, no! The sin they are doing is much worse!” And so on and so forth. So that’s basically what the Course is about, addressing our judgments so we can finally experience inner peace. It’s teaching us to reach a state of inner peace so that we can finally choose to awaken from the dream of separation.
V. QUANTUM FORGIVENESS UNDOES GUILT
Darryl E Berry Jr: What else do you have? Are there questions or…
Questioner: I’m just listening to what you are saying at the moment, so yeah, keep going!
Darryl E Berry Jr: I mean that was the completion of that topic. Do you have any other questions or specific areas you want to explore?
Questioner: That was quite clarifying about a lot of things. How people are always in a constant state of conflict; they’re always finding a reason to find conflict. It’s like, so they create situations that are self-sabotaging to create that “reality” that they know, which is more in alignment with what they are. So instead of peace they will just attract something that affirms that inner conflict because that’s what they know, that’s all they know is that inner conflict. They want that peace that they know, their soul knows, that is denied it, or they deny that soul part of them because it’s what we’ve discussed. So, we have all of these programs and little “fractals” to keep us in constant conflict no matter what, like even in society like the football teams and people, and there’s always divisions, within divisions, within divisions – we are always divided. You know, united they stand and divided they fall. You know that saying?
Darryl E Berry Jr: Yes.
Questioner: So, it is just that same kind thing, where everybody is kind of divided. So actually, I think that was a pretty good lesson, I like that one, you know, it really kind of confirmed a lot of things I knew about.
Darryl E Berry Jr: So, one of the things that the basic process of shifting over from an idea of conflict to an idea of peace contains is forgiveness. That’s the foundation of what the Course is teaching: forgiveness. The Course says: “The ego cannot survive without judgment, and is laid aside accordingly.” So if you look at that diagram you see “ego” is on the left side. That’s the term that the Course gives to the part of our mind that wants to be invested in separation. So if we want to be invested in separation, what the Course says is, we identify with the ego. So, what the Holy Spirit teaches us to do – the Holy Spirit is what the Course calls the part of our mind that is invested in oneness and peace – is to reinterpret the world. And that reinterpretation is generally in three steps.
So, the first step of the process of forgiveness is to recognize that whenever we have pain, whenever we have upset or frustration or anger, it’s always coming from our own choice for separation and conflict, a choice made within ourselves – which we then deny and project out onto that other person. So, the first step of the Course’s forgiveness is to recognize the problem is not in you – whoever or whatever the “you” is – the problem is in me. It is my own choice for separation, my own choice for individuality, which is the problem; this removes that person from the equation.
If you look at the way the world is set up today the world is based upon the idea of judgment – someone else is the reason for the problem. And we must do something about that person or else the problem is not going to be fixed. That’s the whole basis of all kinds of war, all kinds of whatever. The Course completely reverses that and puts cause back where it really is. What the Course says is that the way we currently look at things is upside down. We look at it the opposite way than it really is. The fact is the world is the effect of the choice that we make at the level of the mind. Not only is the world itself the effect but my seeing you as guilty is a projection of my own choice for separation. Once I do this first step, I can then recognize that the guilt in me can’t be real either, because if what’s above that line is all that is real and all that is true, then nothing below that line can exist. That’s why the primordial thought of separation that the universe is a projection of is called the “tiny, mad idea” in the Course.
Whereas at first, I thought you were guilty I recognize that really I’m the one that is guilty because I chose separation. But since the idea, the thought of separation can’t be real, because what is eternal can’t change, then I’m not guilty either. “Me” as the mind that’s dreaming everything can’t be guilty either. This now means that you in the world are innocent and “I” in the world am innocent – and the mind that is projecting all of this is innocent, too. So, we learn to release everyone and everything from our own projections of guilt, including ourselves, and that’s where inner peace starts to come.
We learn to forgive every single time that knee jerk reaction of judgment happens, because we have a sort of knee jerk reaction to judge no matter what “side” we are on. For instance, a tyrannous government blames whoever and says, “You need us to protect you from these bad people; be very afraid,” and then the people who recognize the tyrannous government say, “The tyrannous government is the problem and we need to destroy them. That’s why we are so upset, that’s why we’re so bad off and in such a bad way,” all the while supporting, continuing in, and ultimately maintaining the tyrannous government! So, everybody is finding some reason to blame someone or something else for the guilt that’s really in their own mind, from their own choice for the ego. This does not mean that we should not still address things in the world and try to fix things in the world. But as long as we address the world first or only, we will always reinforce the original choice for separation. Therefore as Kenneth Wapnick says, every single revolution ends up being just us hateful as what they are revolting against. You can see it in what the “American government” has become, though it was founded in revolt against tyranny and standing for personal liberty and freedom. We must address the level of the mind if we want there to be peace.
So, the Course is not about changing the world at all. And as you can see, I’m active in the world. I write and publish books, I teach online classes and in-person workshops, and so on and so forth. The Course is not saying you must stop being active in the world, or not try to solve problems in the world. What it simply points out is that the overriding perspective to take if we truly want to be a positive force in the world is to address our thinking, and to address our investment in separation. And until we address that we will only be a force for separation as well, and this will never fail.
VI. THE PROCESS OF QUANTUM FORGIVENESS
Questioner: Wow. So, it’s just about… so basically it’s just about letting go of the guilt within that is caused by this original guilt that we are separate?
Darryl E Berry Jr: That’s right.
Questioner: And what’s involved in that process of letting go of that guilt from that separation?
Darryl E Berry Jr: The process involves forgiving everything that we see outside that we judge. Let me find a verse that speaks to that directly. Let’s go to the Introduction of Chapter 21 of the Text; page 445.
Darryl E Berry Jr:
1Projection makes perception. 2The world you see is what you gave it, nothing more than that. 3But though it is no more than that, it is not less. 4Therefore, to you it is important. 5It is the witness to your state of mind, the outside picture of an inward condition. 6As a man thinketh, so does he perceive. 7Therefore, seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind about the world. 8Perception is a result and not a cause. 9And that is why order of difficulty in miracles is meaningless. 10Everything looked upon with vision is healed and holy. 11Nothing perceived without it means anything. 12And where there is no meaning, there is chaos.
1Damnation is your judgment on yourself, and this you will project upon the world. 2See it as damned, and all you see is what you did to hurt the Son of God. 3If you behold disaster and catastrophe, you tried to crucify him. 4If you see holiness and hope, you joined the Will of God to set him free. 5There is no choice that lies between these two decisions. 6And you will see the witness to the choice you made, and learn from this to recognize which one you chose. 7The world you see but shows you how much joy you have allowed yourself to see in you, and to accept as yours. 8And, if this is its meaning, then the power to give it joy must lie within you.
So, to go through these verses:
1Projection makes perception.
So being that the world is a projection of the mind, whatever we see is only a reflection of the choice that we made at the mind level.
2The world you see is what you gave it, nothing more than that. 3But though it is no more than that, it is not less. 4Therefore, to you it is important.
So, when we see something outside of us that we hate it is only because we see hate in ourselves, because we chose the ego, but then we deny our choice and we project it out, and thus “that” person seems so hateful, or seems so justified to be attacked.
Questioner: Yeah, yeah.
Darryl E Berry Jr:
5It is the witness to your state of mind, the outside picture of an inward condition. 6As a man thinketh, so does he perceive.
So, this is the key. We know the choice we are making at the mind level by how we perceive the world. If I perceive the world from a place of judgment, hate, separation, anger, attack, and fear, then we know that at the mind level we chose the ego, we chose separation.
7Therefore, seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind about the world. 8Perception is a result and not a cause.
Meaning if you truly want to reach a state of inner peace, rather than trying to kill this person who you believe is making you angry, look at your mind and your mind’s choice.
9And that is why order of difficulty in miracles is meaningless. 10Everything looked upon with vision is healed and holy. 11Nothing perceived without it means anything. 12And where there is no meaning, there is chaos.
So, what this is talking about is forgiveness. When I “see” something outside that I hate that’s a reflection or a projection of the choice and the pain that I have in my mind; my investment in separation. So, the way that I let go of the experience of separation in my mind is to look at what I hate in the world from a state of inner peace. When I reinterpret or “forgive” that which I hate in the world, being that it’s just a projection of what’s in my mind, I’m really forgiving what’s in my mind. So that’s the process. Every single time I see something in the world that I hate, that I fear, that I judge, that I condemn, in whatever way; anytime I think of something that I believe is the cause of any pain or unhappiness that I feel, being that that’s a reflection of the choice I made in my mind all I have to do is look at what I see in the world differently. And this process is also called the miracle. Therefore the teaching calls itself A Course in Miracles.
This is why the Course says first off, that order of difficulty in miracle is meaningless. Because since everything in the world is like you said a “fractal” of that one thought it doesn’t matter what it is in the world. It doesn’t matter if it’s the person that cut me off on the freeway while I am driving that makes me upset, and it doesn’t matter if it’s “the government” starting World War III that makes me upset; it’s all a reflection of that same thought of separation in my mind projected out, as we read the other day in Section I of Chapter 18. So, if I forgive whatever that thing is, I’m really forgiving myself for choosing separation, and thus I’m letting go of that original thought of separation, and that’s the process. By recognizing everything that I see in the world as a reflection and my projection of my belief in that one thought of separation, and by forgiving what I see, I let go of that thought. That’s the process.
1Damnation is your judgment on yourself, and this you will project upon the world.
As I just said. Whenever we see damnation in the world it is really our inner belief that we are damned because we chose separation. And that’s why I see it in the world – because whatever we deny we automatically project out. And it doesn’t matter if I am seeing it in “you” or “me” as individuals or groups in the world. If I am upset in my mind because of something I did in the past, or if I’m upset in my mind because of something you did in the past, it’s still the same thing. The specific physical self that we think we are is a projection as well. The Course is not talking to an individual person; its talking to the mind, the dreamer of the dream. So that little dot – if you look at that diagram again, that little dot is what the Course is talking to. That dot at the top in-between the ego and the Holy Spirit represents the mind, what we all really are. And what we seem to be in the world of separation is all a projection of that one mind.
We seem to be many, but we are still one, like we read in that verse in Chapter 18 before. It seems to be many, but it still is that one projection, which is again why forgiveness works. Because everything in the world seems to be separate and discrete things, things that makes us angry for whatever different reasons, but they are all still projections of my judgment of myself, because I chose to be separate from God. So, by forgiving you I’m really forgiving myself, because it’s my damnation of myself that I am seeing in you, that I’ve projected onto you.
2See it [the world] as damned, and all you see is what you did to hurt the Son of God.
In other words, whenever I see you and judge you and condemn you, what I’m doing is I am seeing my own guilt, but it’s too painful to acknowledge in me so I chose to see it in you. “You are the one that’s guilty,” because of whatever it is that you did. But what I’m really seeing is my own damnation of myself disguised as hatred of you. Therefore, as we discussed earlier, we are so invested in hating people that we make up reasons to hate people. We just make up political parties and then identify with it and hate everybody that’s not a part of the political party, when it’s just something that we made up! We make up countries, and then we blow each other up because we are from different countries, when countries are just ideas that we are made up. The Fukushima nuclear plant reactors fail, and though it happened “over there” in Japan, and though it’s a “different country,” when the radiation gets in the water it affects the whole planet! In America we do whatever we do to make pollution, for instance we stifle unlimited “over unity” energy power sources, and it affects the whole planet! We are all part of the same planet! So, we make these imaginary lines and imaginary demarcations to hide the fact that really we believe we separated from God. We project that out and then we say, “No, you all are separate – you are a separate country, and now I’m going to blow you up to destroy that guilt, because the guilt is in you.” But really when I see guilt in you all I’m doing is seeing the guilt that’s in my own mind. But if instead of blowing you up I forgive you, what I’m really doing is forgiving myself, because again the guilt I see in you is really my own guilt in disguise. So, every single time we see something in the world that we hate it’s an opportunity to forgive ourselves by remembering that the hatred I see, the hatred I have for you, is really the hatred of myself, and I have projected my damnation and my judgment of myself unto you.
3If you behold disaster and catastrophe, you tried to crucify him. 4If you see holiness and hope, you joined the Will of God to set him free.
This is not saying that if I see an earthquake that’s a damnation of me. What it’s saying is, if I see a disaster or catastrophe and I judge it, I blame someone for it, I condemn someone for it, it’s really my projection of my own guilt. And people do the things that they do for their own reasons; but we can see that and still not be angry and upset inside. If we have anger and upset inside it is only our own guilt. And if we see holiness and hope like Mother Teresa, as we were talking about earlier, it’s because I’ve “joined the Will of God to set him free,” which sets me free, meaning I have forgiven. The only way that Mother Teresa could commit to seeing other people as Christ is because she chose to let go of seeing herself as other than Christ. If we see other people as less than Christ it’s only because we are projecting onto them our own investment in seeing ourselves as separate from God, so we can hold onto our individuality.
Darryl E Berry Jr: When I forgive you, I really forgive myself, and that’s how I can see everyone as Christ. That is why Jesus was able to see everyone as Christ. According to the Bible he said, ‘the things I do ye shall do greater.’ He saw everybody as brothers and sisters because he recognized himself as part of the Father, because he forgave everyone his guilt. So, what this is saying is, when we truly let go of our own sense of separation we will not hate or be angry at anybody for any reason. That’s “the peace that passeth understanding”; a state of absolute peace where there is no pain, no upset, ever. That’s what the Course is leading us towards, by teaching us to see everything outside of us again as a projection of what’s inside of us, and anything we hate as a projection of our self-hatred, and thus by forgiving what we see outside we are really forgiving ourselves.
5There is no choice that lies between these two decisions.
In other words, either we are going to judge or we are going to forgive. There is nothing else outside of that. When I am angry and upset, I know that I am judging and projecting. When I am at peace, I know that I have forgiven. Very simple.
6And you will see the witness to the choice you made, and learn from this to recognize which one you chose.
In other words, if I see something that I hate I know that in my mind I have chosen the ego. If I recognize peace and love, then I know that in my mind I have chosen the Holy Spirit. No matter what that person does, no matter what they have not done, I can still recognize him or her as a brother, who has the same opportunity to choose the right mind as I do. But I don’t have to hate that person. If I hate, then I know that I chose the ego. But what we all try to do is we try to justify our anger and our hatred. We try to say, “No, no, no. Of course, I’m angry because look at what this person did! I have no choice but to be angry. Because of what this person did my life is ruined. Because of this person my day is ruined. Because of what these people did now all my relationships are messed up. The evidence of what this person did in destroying my life is so apparent! How can I not be angry at this person?!” But what the Course is saying is, all that justification is a lie. The only reason why we are angry is because we chose the ego, and the only way we are going to be peaceful is to choose the Holy Spirit. In other words, to forgive; to recognize it’s a projection of what’s in me and then letting it go.
7The world you see but shows you how much joy you have allowed yourself to see in you, and to accept as yours.
Which is why people like Y’shua could be perfectly peaceful even while they’re being crucified. Because again, the world is only going to reflect to you the choice you make, regardless of what appears to be going on in the world. If we choose to forgive completely we could be in Auschwitz and still be at perfect peace. But if you choose the ego you could have everything that the world says is good, you could be a multi-millionaire living in a mansion with a thousand women or men as is your preference, and still be upset. And this is quite apparent. You can see all these people who are millionaires and famous and have all the things that people who are poor believe if they had they would be happy, and these wealthy and famous people are committing suicide; they are getting drunk trying to bury the pain. But the pain does not go away, and none of that stuff helps. The only thing that helps is to choose the right mind, the Holy Spirit. These terms simply refer to the part of our mind that recognizes that the separation never occurred, which means in the world to recognize that whatever you did it cannot really affect Who and What I am. Because none of this affects what really Is, which is above that line on the diagram.
VII. THE PURPOSE OF LIFE IS FORGIVENESS
8And, if this is its [the world you see’s] meaning, then the power to give it joy must lie within you.
In other words, if the purpose of the world I see, from the Holy Spirit’s perspective, is to practice forgiveness, then what I see in the world, the meaning that it has for me, depends upon whether I chose the Holy Spirit or the ego. If you look at that diagram, if I choose the ego the world is a prison, a hateful place, in which everybody suffers and dies painfully, in which there is no joy, and no happiness, in which everything that I try to do only brings me more pain and guilt and lack. If we chose to forgive and see the world as the effect of my own projection, which allows me to forgive the world and thus forgive myself, the world becomes a classroom, in which everything that happens gives me the opportunity to see what I have chosen in my mind. If I am upset then I know that I have chosen the ego, and I can make a different choice. And if I experience inner peace then of course I know what I have chosen. But again, it’s not to say that I am going to be all “love and light,” and if somebody gets hit by a car that I’m going to say, “Oh that’s loving and peaceful and everything is fine.” No. It is just that if I see someone get hit by a car I can go and help them with calm and clarity, instead of being upset and anxiously running around; from a place of inner peace is the best way we can help.
If we are afraid and angry and judgmental, we can’t really help. You see people do all kinds of stupid things when they are angry that they regret later. But when we are calm and peaceful, from that state of mind we can truly help in the world because we are clear enough to address what’s going on helpfully. If you have a medical difficulty and you are in a hospital for a medical operation you don’t want the doctor to be all frantic and cutting on you like he or she is having a heart attack!! You want them to be calm, so they can cut a straight line. That’s with anything. If you are in the ocean and you are drowning you don’t want somebody to come and save you who is more anxious than you are!! You don’t want the lifeguard to be freaking out as well. Then both of you drown. You want a lifeguard that is trained, and can swim miles, and can come and calmly pull you out of the water! That’s the state in which you can help. So ironically if you really want to help the world the way to help the world is to first address the mind and reach a state of inner peace. Otherwise you won’t be in a state of mind to be effective anyway.
A Course in Miracles is not about trying to change the world as we read earlier, it’s about changing the mind. And that’s all the Course is about. But if you do choose to do whatever in the world, the best way to do it is to first change your mind, because then you’ll be of a clear state to address the world appropriately and accurately, and without judgment and projection clouding everything. And that’s how you do it, again, by recognizing the world as a projection of what’s inside, and recognizing that by forgiving the world, by not judging you, I am not judging myself. And when you do this consistently you start to experience more and more inner peace, less and less guilt and pain, until we eventually reach a state where there is no more guilt and all we experience is peace, and we don’t judge anything in a negative way, and we can actually be a positive force in the world.
VIII. FORGIVENESS IS CONTINUAL
Questioner: So how does… so with the forgiveness, is this some kind of ongoing thing you do? I assume this is something you do throughout the day when you see things in the world that make you upset?
Darryl E Berry Jr: That’s right. Every time something upsets you, you apply the thought system to it. You reinterpret it.
Questioner: So, it’s just an ongoing process, it’s a part of me like, so I would say “forgive it” or something? How does one forgive something in the world that they see as a part of themselves? What is the kind of thinking you do to help that?
Darryl E Berry Jr: Well the first step is just to recognize that when I’m upset, I’m not upset because of you, I’m upset because of me – because of my choice for the ego. And then I recognize or acknowledge that my choice for the ego is not real because the separation never occurred, and so the guilt in my mind is not real either. And that’s pretty much it. The third step is just to recognize that both of us are innocent. Whatever you did to me didn’t really hurt me. What I think I did to God didn’t really hurt God because the separation never happened. Thus, everyone is innocent. This may not mean much to you now but, what happens is the more you study the thought system these ideas start to become fuller in your mind, and it just becomes more and more inherent to interpret the world that way. These statements start to have more and more meaning to you. And you start to be able to question your judgments. That’s what it’s about. So, whenever something upsets you, you simply question it along the lines that we’ve discussed… along the lines of pure non-dualism. You start to question it and to reinterpret it, to question whether it really is what it seems to be.
This person called me a bad name and I’m angry; is that really why I’m angry? No. I’m angry because of my own choice in my own mind. You start to question everything that happens that makes you upset in any way and to any degree, and to reinterpret it and look at what is really going on and where the emotion is really coming from. And eventually less and less upsets us because we have less and less guilt in our own minds, because as the process happens over and over, we start to believe less and less in the idea of separation. That’s all it is. Every time something upsets us, we question it according to the ideas that are presented here.
Darryl E Berry Jr: There is a difference between intellectually knowing these things, between intellectually recognizing we are all one, between intellectually thinking we are all one, and interpreting the world in that way. So that when this politician does something crazy, we don’t then angrily or fearfully say that we need to kill that person, we say “Hold up, we’re one. This is our brother in Christ making a mistake.” And this is not to say that action in relation to whatever worldly problem should be avoided. It’s simply that the Course addresses how you think, that’s where the Course is focused. Every time something happens in the world that upsets us, reinterpreting it in our thinking. And it’s only from a place if inner peace, absent of fear, absent of anger and aggression, and absent of the desire to control, can sane action be taken. Reinterpreting our judgments, and angers, and hatreds, and prejudices, and fears, and lacks, from the ideas of this Course, which reflect the idea that we are all one, and that the world is an illusion – consistently, over and over, gradually and progressively undoes our fear-based tendencies and inclinations. And from a place of inner peace solutions to worldly problems may become apparent that were not perceivable before, as well as the courage to carry them out from a place of love and sincerity and good will.