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
2 WHAT IS A MIRACLE?
This session, entitled ‘What is a Miracle,’ was recorded May 10, 2015.
II. THE COURSE VERSUS OTHER SYSTEMS
Darryl E Berry Jr: I know you’ve been reading the Text some. Did any questions or comments come up?
Questioner: No, not at the moment. I’m just keeping an open mind and seeing where this goes.
Darryl E Berry Jr: Okay. You’ll find that a major difference between A Course in Miracles and most other thought system is that it’s not a religion; it’s not a belief system in that sense. It’s more like physics, or any science. Like if you go to a chemistry class and the teacher tells you, “If you take chemical A and you mix it with chemical B it’s going to cause an explosion.” And then the teacher tells you, “Here’s some of the chemicals I mentioned, go see!” So, you put the chemicals together and it causes an explosion, and then you know that that is a fact of those chemicals’ properties. So, the heart of what A Course in Miracles is, is an explanation of the way the mind works.
I don’t know if you know this about me but, years ago I used to be in the Christian religion, and at one point I got very, very serious about it. I was thinking about being a pastor, but eventually I got out of that. Several things contributed to this. Among them is that when I started reading the Bible more closely, I started to see how it contradicts itself, and is inaccurate about certain facts of existence. According to the Bible the Earth is 6,000 to 10,000 years old, but you can find human bones older than that. It just doesn’t add up. So, I didn’t really want anything to do with any religion’s “God” at all. And really, I still don’t “believe in God” in a religious sense. But at the time I didn’t want anything to do with God or anything that mentioned anything about Jesus or anything like that. What it was that caused me to cling to the Course is the fact that it accurately describes what’s going on, both within myself and in the world.
We talked earlier about all the havoc that’s going on in the world. All that is reflects division. That’s why these things happen. We could think about and observe ourselves and see the pain that is within ourselves, which is the pain that we project out onto others through our attacks and judgments. The Course is simply an accurate description of what’s going on, and how to escape these painful perspectives. Whether you choose to accept it or not, or to apply it or not, the stuff the Course describes is simply what’s happening within ourselves and in the world. I started to recognize that when I look back into my past and I compare what the Course says about the mind and about why we do things, to my own life before I even knew about the Course, it explains why I did this or that, and why other people did such and such. And I can see it now, and I continue to see it each day. And when it gave me the solution and I started to apply it, I also received and continue to receive the benefit it says I would receive. So basically, the evidence and the proof and the accuracy and the results is what brought me over. When it comes to almost anything else, if you investigate it more closely it starts to prove that it doesn’t really add up; it doesn’t really match reality, and facts, and it doesn’t really address so many things. So, let’s go into some of those things that the Course uniquely addresses.
III. THE SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP
You can get your Course book and we’ll read a few pages. So, the other week we were still in the Preface, and we had a bit left in the Preface to go, so we can start with that. Let’s go to page twelve (page xii, “12” in Roman numerals at the bottom of the page) of the Preface, which again is in the front of the book. That’s about where we left off. And if you have room on your computer screen you may want to keep visible that ACIM metaphysics diagram that I sent you. We’ll refer to that a lot throughout the class.
Questioner: The early page with xii at the bottom? Okay. So, where we at, again?
Darryl E Berry Jr: Go to the second Paragraph, which starts with: “The special relationships…”
Questioner: Okay, okay.
Darryl E Berry Jr:
The special relationships of the world are destructive, selfish and childishly egocentric. Yet, if given to the Holy Spirit, these relationships can become the holiest things on earth–the miracles that point the way to the return to Heaven. The world uses its special relationships as a final weapon of exclusion and a demonstration of separateness. The Holy Spirit transforms them into perfect lessons in forgiveness and in awakening from the dream. Each one is an opportunity to let perceptions be healed and errors corrected. Each one is another chance to forgive oneself by forgiving the other. And each one becomes still another invitation to the Holy Spirit and to the remembrance of God.
This Preface is very compact. It says a lot of stuff. So, let’s go through this sentence by sentence.
The special relationships of the world…
Now when the Course talks about “special relationships” it talks about any kind of interaction that we have with anybody or anything based upon separation, based upon lack. So, if I see someone only as an object or means to get what I want, that’s what it calls a special relationship. Or if I see something or someone as only an object that I’m going to use to make myself feel better, that is a special relationship. Anything other than recognizing perfect equality, and recognizing that value is within me, and that I don’t need anything outside, any time we see anyone or anything from the outside as something that we need to make us feel better, to make us feel happy, that’s a special relationship. Conversely someone that we think we need to hate in order to feel better or feel happy, that’s also what the Course calls a special relationship. So, if you look at the world, the world is nothing but a giant maelstrom of special relationships.
…destructive, selfish and childishly egocentric.
You can see that everywhere, throughout all the different “levels” and strata and groupings into which we divide society, with our attacks, deceptions, coercions, murders, manipulations, secrecy, usury, extortion, apathy, victimhood, bullying, tyranny, etcetera.
Yet, if given to the Holy Spirit, these relationships can become the holiest things on earth–the miracles that point the way to the return to Heaven.
What this is talking about is, if you keep a placeholder there and let’s turn to Chapter 18 in the Text. If you scroll a bit farther, you’ll see Chapter 18. And we’ll get some background on both verses. That’s on page 372 of the Text. Go down to the bottom of page 372, Paragraph 4, the sentence: “You who believe…”
1You who believe that God is fear made but one substitution. 2It has taken many forms, because it was the substitution of illusion for truth; of fragmentation for wholeness. 3It has become so splintered and subdivided and divided again, over and over, that it is now almost impossible to perceive it once was one, and still is what it was. 4That one error, which brought truth to illusion, infinity to time, and life to death, was all you ever made. 5Your whole world rests upon it. 6Everything you see reflects it, and every special relationship that you have ever made is part of it.
What this is explaining is, if you go back to the diagram, if you look at the top there’s a dot or circle, and above that dot or circle is the idea called the “tiny mad idea.” That’s the idea of an illusory mind that it could be separate from Oneness, from Wholeness. The Course uses the word “God,” but it’s not religious at all. It might as well say the separation from “All That Really Is.” And that thought of separation forms the basis of this entire universe, including all universes, timeliness, dimensions, etcetera. And that’s one unique thing that the Course does. When you get into higher-level thought like Buddhism or the Vedanta, they teach about the one mind that made the world of illusion, or the one mind that exists and that everyone and everything is a part of. Buddha is quoted as referring to all minds being part of one mind, ‘one mind appearing as many.’ But not many thought systems take you beyond that as to exactly why that mind made the world – and what made that mind. What the Course is telling us about the origin of the universe is, that mind, when it chose that thought of separation, it did what that thought is, it separated. That thought of separation and attack, the thought that we could separate from Oneness, was projected out and fragmented as a universe of separation. And that’s why almost every single relationship here has ideas and underpinnings of separation and destruction. So, you have this one massive universal mind with a belief that it could be happier, that it could be more whole, by being a separate entity apart from absolute Oneness.
If you have absolute Oneness and you seemingly destroy it by supposedly pulling yourself away from it that’s the idea of attack and sin. And when you project that dynamic out what is projected has the same characteristics. So, every single relationship here is nothing but a reflection of that one idea that we could be separate from God. That’s why the experience of being separate from God is the only thing we need to heal, because that is the only thing that ever was apparently broken. And every single relationship that we have here, being that it’s a fragment or a projection or an aspect of that one mind, when we look at these individual relationships differently, we’re actually healing that original thought. That’s why if you go to verse four on page 373:
4That one error, which brought truth to illusion, infinity to time, and life to death, was all you ever made. 5Your whole world rests upon it. 6Everything you see reflects it, and every special relationship that you have ever made is part of it.
Quantum physics talks about that now, and holograms operate on that principle. You talked about it yourself with the “fractal” idea. If you take a holographic plate and you cut it in half, each half of the plate can make the whole hologram. And if you cut both of those halves in half, each quarter of that holographic plate has the entire hologram in it. This dynamic is why each seemingly separated mind has the same dynamic of separation from wholeness. Therefore, if you look at relationships in the world there is so much investment in separation. For instance, if you look at the United States, it was once part of Great Britain. And they separated. We have a relationship with our parents, and they do something we don’t like, and we separate. We go run to our room, or we move out. In America you had the North and the South that had a Civil War; they separated – on different sides of a battlefield. Each thing in the world is about separation – even if we have to make up the separation. We have people that live in America and everybody’s an American, yet one person identifies with one sport’s team and another person identifies with that sport’s team, and then they’re on opposite sides of a field hating each other. And even if we look within ourselves, we hate aspects of ourselves – which everyone experiences. We think because we did this, because we did that, because we think this, because we think that, I hate that part of myself. So, we separate from ourselves. And when you separate and fragment that part off as being unworthy of love, it’s more separation within separation.
Every single fragment of this dreaming mind separates because every single fragment is a part of that one mind that believes it separated from Wholeness. So, what happens is, since every single fragment of this mind is really a reflection of that one mind, if we change how we see each fragment we actually change how we see the one mind itself. Just like if you have a little bitty piece of a holographic plate, and you beam a laser through it, it’ll still make the full hologram. So, what the Course is teaching us is that, since every single error we make here is a reflection of that one error that causes all pain, all we have to do is reinterpret each error and we actually reinterpret the original error.
If you go back to the Preface it says, “If given to the Holy Spirit, these relationships,” these special relationships that are separating and hateful, “can become the holiest things on earth – the miracles that point the way to the return to Heaven.” So that’s what it’s talking about, reinterpreting the world, and what a miracle is. When A Course in Miracles talks about a miracle it’s not talking about turning water into wine and raising people from the dead. Yes those things are possible, but what the Course is really talking about by the term “miracle” is reinterpreting the world, reinterpreting our relationships, and recognizing that the pain is not coming from what we did or what we did not do, or what someone else did or did not do to us or to someone else with whom we identify. The pain we feel whether physical or psychological is from the belief that we are separate from God, our investment in that idea; and the only solution is to let go of that investment. And the way that we let go of that investment as the Course teaches is to reinterpret our relationships, both with ourselves and with each other. Anywhere that we see or make separation real to reinterpret it to oneness.
Oneness is an idea that is pervasive throughout several thought systems and philosophies. Whenever you talk about love and peace it’s about oneness, it’s about recognizing sameness. As long as we have investment in separation in this world, we will never have peace in this world, because we will use separation as a cause for war, which is what we always do. “I’m “black” and you’re “white,” I hate you, you hate me. I’m American and you’re British or whatever, I hate you, you hate me. Or I’m American and you’re an Iraqi. I’m with this faction of Islam and you’re with that faction of Islam, I hate you. Let’s kill each other and cut each other’s heads off.” Whatever it is, the separation and pain always really come from the same thought of separation, which is why we find any kind of separation we can or make up any kind of separation we can, to keep reliving that same thought or idea over and over again. That’s why the pain never ends. Therefore even systems that started as constitutional republics, with respect for individual liberty and personal freedom, always end up being separation-based or tyrannous, because the fundamental thought of separation has not been healed.
Page xii of the Preface, the 2nd paragraph on the page, starting at sentence three:
The world uses its special relationships as a final weapon of exclusion and a demonstration of separateness.
So of course, that’s clear all throughout our lives. When we see someone and we want that person in our lives and we feel that we’re not going to be happy unless we have that person in our lives, or if we think back to someone we could’ve had in our lives that we made a mistake and failed at getting, what we’re saying is we’re separate. What we’re saying is that you have something I don’t have, or you are something I am not. ‘You’re beautiful, you’re loveable, you’re fun… And if I have you in my life, I can have love in my life. I could then have happiness.’ But we’re obviously separate and different. Because if you’re happy and joyful and loving and if having you in my life will make me happy, if I was the same as you, I would just be happy within myself – whether we have a relationship of some kind or not. But obviously instead I’m saying you’re different, and I want you in my life so I can have what you have. Which means it’ll never heal the pain because if the pain is based upon separation, and all we do with the special relationship is reinforce separation – whenever we interpret separation in the world, whenever we try to heal ourselves with separation, which is why it never works. Therefore either we don’t get what we want, or we sabotage ourselves getting what we want, or we get what we want and we’re still not happy. This doesn’t mean that we need to stop trying to get what we want in the world. The Course is not about that. But it’s just that when external searching continues to fail, which it’ll inevitably do because we don’t address the real problem, now we’ll know where to go for a real solution.
What happens is as we start to apply the Course’s thought system to our relationships more and more, we start to experience a peace that does not go away no matter what happens, no matter what we do, no matter where we go, and whether we get what we want or not. We can still get what we want and do whatever we do in the world, but we can still be at peace on the inside. We can still try to get whatever we want to get and still try to do whatever we want to do, whether it’s in the business world, or sexually, or creatively – whatever we want to do, or write, or paint or whatever. We can still do whatever we want to do in the world, but we’ll just start to reinterpret things more and more from a perspective that is from beyond the world. And our investments may in fact change, and how we go about things may change, as an effect.
The experience that happens is, you start to experience yourself more and more as mind. One of the definitions of spiritual growth is to become the “higher self”: to become the higher self, to live as the higher self, to perceive as the highest self. Well the Course takes it a bit farther and asks why don’t you be the mind that’s projecting the universe altogether and then choose against the idea of projecting the false universe? Why not re-experience our oneness with God, and undo our state of ignoring the greatest truth, which is causing the whole mess of pain in the first place? Why not go to the source of the problem rather than constantly dealing with its effects? And again, the Course addresses the real problem by recognizing the holographic, or fractal, or quantum nature of the universe, that everything is a reflection or a fragment of the one thing. Everything is really the same thing underneath. So, we actually reinterpret everything, and thus we reinterpret that original idea of separation – we reinterpret ourselves. This is how we can start to have unmovable peace, as we start to look at the world from that different perspective.
The Holy Spirit transforms them [our special relationships] into perfect lessons in forgiveness and in awakening from the dream.
So, forgiveness – the miracle – is really the reinterpretation back to oneness. It’s recognizing that the pain that I feel in myself is not because of what you did. It’s not because of what I did as an individual. The pain I feel is because of the choice I am making at the level of the mind to be separate from God. So obviously nothing that’s happening here can really be making me upset. But if that thought made a world like this, that’s so painful, and so fragmented, and is obviously not real – the Course gives very clear criteria to determine what is real… Something that can be destroyed can’t be real. Something that is not eternal can’t be real. Anything that changes can’t be real. This means that the original thought of separation that’s making a world of destruction, death, and change can’t be real either! The Course has an idea of cause and effect. You know something is a cause by its effect. So, if the effect of something is not real then its cause must not be real. So according to the Course what is real is what is eternal. If it does not last forever it cannot be real, and nothing here in the universe lasts forever. Even the planet Earth itself will be destroyed by a super nova one day, which is the death of our Sun. That which changes can’t be real. Every single human body breathes, which means the lungs expand, and then they change to a contracted state. That means the whole body can’t be real. Anything that changes can’t be real. Anything that’s fragmented can’t be real. Anything that can be destroyed can’t be real.
So, if this universe is not real then the mind that’s projecting it, the one mind appearing as many that Buddha discovered, it can’t be real either. This is the universal mind that the Course is talking about that’s projecting everything, it can’t be real either. Which means the separation from God never occurred, which means guilt is not real. Pain is not real. Separateness is not real. So, I can let you off the hook, I can let me off the hook, and I can finally experience inner peace. Inner peace is the demonstration that the separation never occurred. We finally reach a state of mind like the masters, like Y’shua, or like Ramana Maharshi, or like Byron Katie, or like Mother Teresa. These people could be at peace and love no matter what happens or doesn’t happen in the world. Then we experientially know that the world isn’t real.
If you start to apply the Course’s thought system, you’ll start to see its veracity more and more yourself, where things that once upset you, they won’t upset you anymore. Or if they do upset you, you’ll be able to apply these ideas to it and feel better; if not immediately then a lot faster than you otherwise would have. And then eventually something frightening will happen. And it’s frightening for a totally different reason than it seems in the world, just like pain. Something that you would have previously seen as frightening happens and now it has no effect on you. Something happens that might make everyone else in the world upset, and would have made you upset last week, but this time you recognize it has no effect on you. And you start to have the experience that the world literally has no effect on what you really are. What you really are the world can’t touch at all. But the fear of that is, what I really am is not this “self” I identify with. This self is also a part of the world. That’s the fear of achieving true inner peace, wanting to not lose this self.
IV. THE USE OF SPECIAL RELATIONSHIPS
Darryl E Berry Jr: What questions have come up so far, or any comments?
Questioner: No, no, keep going!
Darryl E Berry Jr: Okay. Let’s continue through this Paragraph in the Preface:
Each one is an opportunity to let perceptions be healed and errors corrected.
Each relationship, each moment, is a representation, is symbolic of that instant when terror took the place of love. We’re reliving that same instant over and over, which is why we went to that Section in Chapter 18. Every single relationship is a projection or fragment of that one relationship with the thought of separation. And like holograms – every single fragment of a hologram is representative of the whole hologram – everything in every universe and every dimension is a “fractal” of the same one thing, in all the different forms it takes. So, every single instance experienced, every single thought that we have, as painful as it may be, as fearful as it may be, is an opportunity to reinterpret that original idea of separation and thus free ourselves from it. And that gives a whole new perspective to life; even that lessens pain, because when we think to the past about something that we did or did not do that we regret, even that is symbolic of that one idea. So, I can forgive that too. I can reinterpret that as an opportunity to recognize, “Wait, this pain, it’s not because of what I did or did not do. It’s because of my original investment in believing the thought of separation from God. That’s where the pain is really coming from.” And as a matter of fact, that pain is why I did what I did, or why I did not do what I didn’t do. We erroneously believe that what we do in the world causes pain but if the world isn’t real, and if the world is a projection, then nothing we do or don’t do in the world can actually make us feel guilty, or angry, or lacking, or regretful, or whatever. How could the effect affect the cause? The effect cannot affect the cause, that’s why it’s the effect! The effect represents the cause, and thus as we change the cause we learn to stop acting out in ways that apparently hurt others or ourselves.
This change in perspective is not something that we do all at once, because we’re too afraid of losing our individual self. It’s something that we learn to do over time, and the experience itself teaches us. That’s why you don’t have to religiously believe the Course. You don’t even have to accept what it says. If you just look at what it says enough, you’ll see that it accurately describes the world. And if you apply it enough, just like I said earlier with the chemistry experiment analogy, the results will demonstrate its veracity. You don’t have to believe the chemist. But if you take chemical such and such and chemical such and such and put them together, whatever’s going to happen is just the nature of the properties of those chemicals. That’s what’s going to happen with the Course as well. If you start to look at your life in this way and reinterpret the things that happen, you will become more peaceful. It is inevitable – and I speak from experience. A Course in Miracles is the science of how the mind works.
The Course’s thought system explains what’s happening in the world – in the universe, in the world at large, and in our personal world – and it doesn’t fail in its accuracy. It doesn’t give prophecies that don’t come true. Everything that you read you can see and experience in your life. It’s like Helen Schucman, the scribe of the Course, had a penetrating vision, kind of like if you had an X-ray machine, which we know about in medical practices. And a physical body stands in front of the X-ray machine, and while with your physical eyes all you see is the surface of the physical body, when you turn on the X-ray machine you can see the inside of the body. So, it’s kind of like if somebody had a penetrating vision where they could see “inside” the universe itself and they wrote down what they saw. Because the person that was writing it down was very into the language of the Bible the Course came out in that form. The Course uses biblical language throughout. And because Helen was a psychologist it came out in that form. It deals very directly with the mind, and uses psychology-oriented terminology, like “projection” and “denial.” It’s just like how different poets, they see things and they describe it in their own poetic way. But it doesn’t change the accuracy of the fact that that penetrating X-ray vision sees what it sees. And you write it down the way you write it down.
Just like how if you take the out-of-body experience and you research things, like even in the Bible it mentions a cord being broken at death. An “astral cord” connecting the out-of-body self and the physical body is a common out-of-body experience reference. The Bible talks about John being “in the spirit” when he went “up” to have those visions. He was “in the spirit.” Today we might say he had an out-of-body experience or an astral projection. In the early parts of the Bible it talks about “wheels within wheels” in the sky. It talks about how Ezekiel was “lifted up.” Today we might say it was a “UFO” or a “flying saucer” and not a “wheel.” Today we might say he was “abducted,” or is a “contactee,” rather than he was “lifted up.” They called the beings they saw “Elohim,” or “gods,” or “angels,” whereas today we might call them “extraterrestrial biological entities” or “ETs” or “aliens.” So even though they may use different descriptions, it doesn’t change the fact that what they saw is whatever they saw. What they wrote reflects what they saw in a form they could understand, just like how the Course takes a certain form.
Not understanding that is what had me reluctant at first to study the Course. When I first saw the Course, I flipped through and saw the word “God,” and apparent references to “Jesus,” and I wanted nothing to do with it. So, I actually saw the Course years before I actually started studying it, because I looked at the form and I thought the form was an indication of the content. The only place I knew the term “God” from was the Christian religion. And I was like, “I know that’s not talking about anything.” But it’s not about the form. Just like how we describe things today a certain way but decades from now they’ll describe the same things differently. Kind of like if you look at Shakespearean writing. At one point people spoke similarly. But that way of speaking seems strange to us today. So you have to get past the form and look at the content; what’s really behind the description.
Often when I’m doing an interview on out-of-body experiences or fourth density thought the conversation changes to discussions of peace and love and pure non-dualism. What I can do is remove the religious terminology and just speak about the universal principles being expounded with that terminology. It ends up being a discussion of pure non-dualism without the specialized terminology. The pure non-dualism of A Course in Miracles is so accurate that it’s worth the religious symbolism and the religious terminology. It’s very much worth it. It uses those forms, that terminology, in such a very precise way to explain pure non-dualism, and what’s going on ‘in the X-ray,’ what’s going on beyond the surface level. And when you take that X-ray and compare what you see in the X-ray with your direct experience you can say, “Wow, I do feel a bone right there. I can validate what it is saying, and it’s very accurate.”
Let’s keep going – we’re still on page xii of the Preface, the third Paragraph:
Perception is a function of the body, and therefore represents a limit on awareness. Perception sees through the body’s eyes and hears through the body’s ears. It evokes the limited responses which the body makes. The body appears to be largely self-motivated and independent, yet it actually responds only to the intentions of the mind. If the mind wants to use it for attack in any form, it becomes prey to sickness, age and decay. If the mind accepts the Holy Spirit’s purpose for it instead, it becomes a useful way of communicating with others, invulnerable as long as it is needed, and to be gently laid by when its use is over. Of itself it is neutral, as is everything in the world of perception. Whether it is used for the goals of the ego or the Holy Spirit depends entirely on what the mind wants.
Perception is a function of the body, and therefore represents a limit on awareness. Perception sees through the body’s eyes and hears through the body’s ears. It evokes the limited responses which the body makes.
So, when you look at this Paragraph it could seem to be saying that the body actually sees. But what it’s really talking about is that when we accept the idea of separation, it even separates according to our perceptions. If there’s one mind appearing as many – actually, let me come from a different approach, because we can speak about it differently since we’ve both had out-of-body experiences, and you’re aware of different lifetimes. So, if we are a “seemingly separated soul” experiencing different lifetimes, which we’re both aware is going on, how can it be that we have the limited awareness that we have right now? Thinking about it, it really makes no sense. We’re relearning everything over again as if we never learned it before. What I mean is, I wasn’t born speaking English, French, and Chinese. I wasn’t born speaking all the different languages from my many different lifetimes. But we obviously are something more than these different seemingly discreet lifetimes. If I’m a mind or a soul or a consciousness, and I know I am living different lifetimes, then obviously I’m not this body. Obviously, I’m not limited to this body. Obviously, I am something more, something that has a lifespan beyond the often narrow range of today’s Earth human physical body’s existence. So, what is it that makes us experience a limited reality, a limited awareness? It’s because the body itself also “represents a limit on awareness,” based upon our investment in the idea of separation. And then we separate even within our own psyches across what we set up to be different discrete lifetimes. The experience of different lifetimes is simply a reflection of separation, where I separate myself off into different lifetimes, and separate myself off from universal awareness, rather than being aware of everything I experience – just as we do within our individual psyches during our individual lifetimes. For example, a lot of people don’t realize they have an entire life at night that they’re not aware of because that divide is another representation of separation. “When my body’s awake I’m aware, but when my body’s asleep I don’t know what’s going on; it’s just dreams.” And we separate off those nightly other-dimensional experiences. That’s why most people today don’t remember their spontaneous out-of-body experiences or their alien or extraterrestrial contacts. We have all different forms of separation, like we read earlier.
When you invest in the idea of separation every single relationship you see represents the idea of separation. That covers all the different kinds of ways that we find to make separation seem real. It’s why we experience ourselves as just one body – perception apparently limited to the body’s senses. Because if you think about it – you told me you’ve experienced 360 degree vision during an out-of-body experience, right?
Questioner: No, I think that was someone else, I’ve never.
Darryl E Berry Jr: Okay. Well some people do. But at least you’ve seen far way, like clairvoyant vision. You’ve read my “Source” experience, where I was able to get to the point of being in-body and out-of-body at the same time. Why don’t we perceive in that way all the time? Because we want to be limited in awareness, to reflect that idea of separation. As Kenneth Wapnick frequently clarifies, it’s not an accident that we experience ourselves as weak little bodies when we’re born. In that way we can be apparently limited and weak, and in addition our problems can be someone else’s fault!
It [perception] evokes the limited responses which the body makes.
Because if we limit our perceptions then we limit our responses; if we limit what we’re aware of then we limit our responses. If I’m aware only of this piece of land I might mistake myself to be the only people on Earth, which people have apparently done. And then I mistake myself to be the only kind of being in existence that some deity made. And I believe that those dots I see in the sky at night are like holes in a canopy, and this is the only habitable and habited planet in existence! And the universe rotates around us. People have had that idea. I’m sure every planetary civilization goes through it. These are all different forms of separation, to keep our minds “small.” If we are aware of only the fractal, the fragment, the effect, then we will never be aware of the universal, which means we can keep our individuality intact.
The body appears to be largely self-motivated and independent, yet it actually responds only to the intentions of the mind.
So, the fact is the body doesn’t really do anything, because again it’s the effect. Therefore spiritual masters are often able to do seemingly amazing things. You find how spiritually advanced beings can literally take their physical body and teleport places, literally disappearing from one place and instantaneously appearing at another. Or healing people of physical injuries or ailments, or even raising people from the dead. All these things are possible because the body is just a projection of the mind, as we discussed earlier. So, if the body really is just a projection of the mind then how could it really be limited to any certain way of functioning? Therefore, people can do “miraculous healings.” I saw a video last week where there’s a clinic, I don’t know where it’s at, but it’s in some “Eastern” country. They have three or four highly advanced meditators there, and they used meditation to heal this woman of cancer. And you can see it. They put a camera like a sonogram or whatever where you could see the cancerous lump, and you can see it shrinking and disappearing on camera.
Over a decade ago I healed myself of hepatitis. There’s a lady named Niro Asistent – she wrote a book titled Why I Survive AIDS detailing how she healed herself of AIDS. So, people have used their minds to heal themselves of all kinds of things. There is a guy who uses his mind to endure extreme cold. He goes to the tops of mountains with just shorts on. Scientists found changes in his physiology. He would do what he called “Tummo” meditation, where he would generate heat. And he was so adept at it that he subjected himself to scientific analysis. They plugged him up to various machines and he had all these different nodes on him and so forth, and they put him in a vat of cold water and added ice into it, so it was freezing. He went into his Tummo meditation and what they found was while he was meditating his body started to produce many kinds of chemicals. I didn’t memorize the exact terminology they used, but he produced different kinds of chemicals that had various effects that allowed him to endure extreme cold – as an effect of the thinking he was having. So, the body is just an effect. The limits that we have with it are self-imposed – if not at the individual level then on the level of universal mind. If I cut my hand and it seems to be injured by something outside of me then it reinforces the idea that separation is real; and of course, the cut itself is separation (a parting of flesh), which also reinforces the idea of littleness. “I’m separate from the whole, I’m powerless, I’m just one little bitty thing within this giant imposing universe!” It keeps us focused on the level of the fragment rather than the level of the universal; the level of the dreamt rather than the level of the dreamer.
So, when you look at A Course in Miracles it talks about the ego and the Holy Spirit. We talked more about the ego the other week, about the separation and apparently getting here. In this latter part of the Preface it’s mostly about getting out of here. That’s why it says the special relationships of world, the Holy Spirit uses them as lessons of forgiveness. So that cut on a finger, not only is it a symbol of separation in and of itself, but it’s symbolic of the idea that I’m limited, I’m weak. I’m one individual body with almost no power. Because if we do that, as long as we remain enamored with the fragment, we keep ourselves away from looking at the universal. The Holy Spirit, the sane part of our mind, is always looking at the universal. The enlightened mind looks only at the universal. The seemingly separated mind sees only the fragment. The enlightened mind sees only the universal perspective.
What happens is that when we start to recognize that each fragment is the universal – projected, holographic fragments of the universal – then we can start to see from the universal perspective more and more. Which means we start to become unlimited, we start to be beyond the effect, which again we experience more and more over time until the final realization or enlightenment. Therefore every true master has that universal perspective. There are examples of such things in the book Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda – and it’s nothing of course that I can validate the authenticity of. There’s another book called Living with the Himalayan Masters by Swami Rama. I’ve read about a lot of different swamis and masters and yogis and the things they can do, and of course having a psychic power or the ability to affect the universe doesn’t equate to spiritual advancement. More important is the inner experience and advanced perspective some of them have, and it all correlates to pure non-duality.
Swami Rama related a story about his master Sri Yukteswar who was getting ready to consciously die, and Rama was extremely distraught. He said his master assumed a sitting meditation pose and uttered “Aumm” and “became lifeless.” Rama and another Swami were carrying Yukteswar to his grave; indecisive on exactly what to do what the body. Days had gone by, between carrying his body, resting at night, and indecisiveness. Finally, they picked a location, dug a 6 foot deep pit, and laid the body inside it. But none of the five people there could move their limbs to bury the body. The voice of their master spoke as if from a nearby fir tree asking if they wanted him to stay in-body or to help them from a discarnate state. They fervently cried for him to return to the in-body state. They regained use of their limbs, and their master got up and came out of the pit, saying he’ll teach them to let go of their attachment to his form.
Apparently, he demonstrated the ability to either stay alive or lay his body down at will. And again, I can’t authenticate this, but it aligns with so many other accounts I’ve run across of great spiritual masters – including what’s taught in the Course about the power of the mind. And of course, if every single thing is just a fragment of the same thing, the physical healing of HIV/AIDS like Niro did is no different than physically healing anything else – including death itself. If everything is a projection and an illusion, then bringing the physical body back to life is really no different than physically healing that lady of cancer through meditation. It’s just the changing of images in a dream. That’s why metaphysically and spiritually advanced beings can do seemingly magnificent things. When you look at such things from the universal perspective all these things are simple. It’s possible to do such things not because it requires “power” to do, but because in a dream that you are dreaming one wouldn’t need to be “powerful” to do anything. The body, being an image in a dream, simply animates the decisions of the dreamer. But the true power is the mind’s ability to let go of the separation perspective in the first place.
“The body appears to be largely self-motivated and independent, yet it actually responds only to the intentions of the mind.” The body is nothing but a part of the universe, which is why the universe as well responds only to the intentions of the mind. Therefore if you go into a quantum physics lab, they’ve found out that individual consciousness affects subatomic particles. If they’re doing an experiment on subatomic particles, the subatomic particles will react differently when someone’s paying attention to it than when someone’s not. They found that the mind affects subatomic particles directly. And everything of course is made of subatomic particles. It all adds up!
V. THE USE OF THE BODY
Darryl E Berry Jr:
If the mind wants to use it [the body] for attack in any form, it becomes prey to sickness, age and decay. If the mind accepts the Holy Spirit’s purpose for it [the body] instead, it becomes a useful way of communicating with others, invulnerable as long as it is needed, and to be gently laid by when its use is over.
So, this can seem to be saying that if I choose the Holy Spirit I’m going to suddenly be physically invulnerable. That is not what this is saying. What it is saying is, when we start to “see” from the right-minded perspective, from the universal perspective, what happens to the body no longer affects us. Thus, for all intents and purposes we’re invulnerable! When Y’shua was put on a cross and murdered in the crucifixion he was not affected. He was invulnerable. But his body obviously was vulnerable, it was destroyed. So, it’s not really talking about what happens to the physical body. And that causes a lot of problems with some Course students. A lot of students read the Course and take such things out of context. They look at it from the separation-based perspective. They want the miracle to be about affecting the world or the body when it’s not.
Kenneth Wapnick is somebody you really should look up if you decide to get serious about the Course. He’s not alive anymore now, but he personally knew the lady who took the Course down, and he’s a master of the Course. If you ever get his books or see his videos, as a matter of fact you can go to YouTube and see some of his videos, and you start to see what he’s saying and look at your life and look at the Course, he’s just awesome. Several times I’ve gone to California to see Ken and to attend one of his workshops, and when possible, I would go to a different Course class to see different Course teachers. I went to this one guy’s study group and we hung out a bit afterwards, and he told me how when he first started studying the Course he read a verse that’s similar to this one, where it says, “I am under no laws but God’s.” Just like the Preface verse seemingly meaning that when you choose the right mind your body becomes invulnerable, but it’s not really saying that your body literally becomes invulnerable. The Workbook verse that says “I am under no laws but God’s” doesn’t really mean that just because I’m doing the Course’s Workbook now I don’t have to pay attention to any of the world’s laws or the laws of physics or anything and all is fine. It just means that when I choose the right mind my experience of myself is that I am beyond the world. That’s why “I am under no laws but God’s,” because I realize that only God is true, only Reality is true. So, my experience of myself is above the experience of the world. I’m no longer psychologically affected by, nor psychologically invested in, the world.
But he erroneously took this verse to mean, “Oh, I’m under no laws but God’s. So, I don’t have to worry about speed limits anymore, I’m beyond getting ticketed, I don’t have to worry about man’s “laws”. And I don’t have to worry about being injured anymore, I’m above the laws of the world, and above the laws of injury and pain.” So, he got on his motorcycle and was speeding down the street and had an accident and almost broke his hand or his wrist. And he’s a guitarist, so the thought of injuring his hand was disastrous for him. But it turned out that he was not seriously injured. But if it was serious it would’ve affected his career. And then, he said, he realized that the Course wasn’t at all saying those things he thought it was saying.
This goes back to what I was saying earlier, about Shakespeare and all these different writers and different languages. As you start to read the Course more, you’ll start to understand the poetic way it’s speaking, and you can start to see what it’s really saying. It’s easy to take some things out of context, but again, like I said, the Course is science. If you go to science class and it says that if you take this chemical, and you put it with this chemical, then this will happen, and you put those two chemicals together and nothing happens, then you might look at the chemicals and realize you picked the wrong chemicals. Very simple. And then you pick the right chemicals. Just like with him. So, if you’re taking the Course out of context the absence of results will redirect you automatically. It’s just a science. He took some verses of the Course and put them together wrong, and it didn’t have the effect he thought it was going to have. So, he went back and saw that he put the verses together wrong. Science. If you think the Course is saying something that’s not working, you could let me know or study Kenneth Wapnick’s material, and it’ll be easy to point out what you put together wrong.
So again, this Preface verse is not saying that just because I practice forgiveness my body will be invulnerable, and if I get hit by a car I won’t be injured or won’t die. Such things are possible as we discussed earlier. But the focus of the Course is that my experience of myself will be invulnerable. Some psychic ability at invulnerability or healing may or may not occur. But I’ll know that my reality is only Spirit, and that all things here including this physical body are illusory projections having nothing to do with what I really Am. Like it says in Chapter 18, there is no world except as a projection by the universal mind that we collectively are, of that one idea of separation. So, if I recognize this and experientially know this, and I start to see the world from the perspective of the universal mind, then I am invulnerable because I have risen myself to being above the “fractal” perspective.
Of itself it [the body] is neutral, as is everything in the world of perception.
Because as Kenneth Wapnick clarifies, even though the world was projected from an idea of separation, once we’re here in the world we can reinterpret the world – which means everything becomes neutral. We can now interpret it for the attitude of separation, or we can interpret it for the attitude of oneness. Which means that when something happens and we get angry, and we get upset, and we get frightened, or we get guilty, or we get regretful, what that means is that we’re taking this neutral situation and we’re interpreting it from the perspective of separation, from the perspective of ego. From moment to moment we’re interpreting the world. And how you interpret the world automatically determines how you feel, and how you act, which in turns reinforces your interpretation. What the Course teaches us to do is to reinterpret the world from a right-minded perspective, from a perspective of oneness, from which we can experience inner peace and joy.
Whether it is used for the goals of the ego or the Holy Spirit depends entirely on what the mind wants.
As I just said. If I want separation, then I will interpret things separately. Which is again why two people who are basically the same people can interpret each other as different just because they have a different religion. The ironic thing is, like if you look at almost any religion – I think I picked on “Eastern” religions earlier but Christianity is the same way, for instance Christianity decided that it alone is the “word of God,” a “word” that says “love your neighbor as yourself,” and “he who is without sin cast the first stone.” And yet people who supposedly believe this went to people who didn’t believe it, or who they thought didn’t believe it, and burned them on a wooden stake or drowned them tied to a chair! And they saw this as justified and in keeping with their religion and their religious ideology!! Or they had “holy wars,” like the crusades. So, it was all used for separation.
VI. THE VISION OF CHRIST
Darryl E Berry Jr:
The opposite of seeing through the body’s eyes is the vision of Christ, which reflects strength rather than weakness, unity rather than separation, and love rather than fear. The opposite of hearing through the body’s ears is communication through the Voice for God, the Holy Spirit, which abides in each of us. His Voice seems distant and difficult to hear because the ego, which speaks for the little, separated self, seems to be much louder. This is actually reversed. The Holy Spirit speaks with unmistakable clarity and overwhelming appeal. No one who does not choose to identify with the body could possibly be deaf to His messages of release and hope, nor could he fail to accept joyously the vision of Christ in glad exchange for his miserable picture of himself.
So, to go back:
The opposite of seeing through the body’s eyes is the vision of Christ, which reflects strength rather than weakness, unity rather than separation, and love rather than fear.
As we’ve been discussing. And the more we start to reinterpret the world from a place of oneness the more peaceful we feel, because we’re aligning ourselves with reality, with truth, which is that we’re all one really, because all there is, is oneness. So, if you look at the diagram, according to the Course, which is according to pure non-dualism, only what is above that line separating reality and illusion is true. Only what is above that line is real. As you can see it says Non-Duality, Eternity, Changelessness, Reality, Love, Truth, Oneness… Only what is above that line is true. And according to the Course anything below that line is not real at all. At all. Which of course means that we’re not real at all. The way that we recognize that experientially is to reinterpret the world in such a way that it reflects what’s above that line.
…strength rather than weakness…
“Strength rather than weakness.” All efforts in the world at strength that hurt someone, in other words that intend to hurt someone or disregard another’s wellbeing, are based in fear and weakness. Therefore the bully in school picks on people, because he or she feels weak. And the only way they can try to overcome this pain and anguish of weakness is to try to make someone else feel weaker than they feel. And then when the bully grows up and becomes a government official, then he or she sends the army to go do the same thing to other countries. Weakness. Fear. Real strength is recognizing that my strength is in the universal; so, nothing can threaten me. Which is why masters like Y’shua are truly strong, and truly courageous; because he had a psychological strength that couldn’t be broken, no matter what you said to him, and no matter what you did to him. No matter what happened or didn’t happen he was invulnerable within himself and fearless.
…unity rather than separation…
So, we talked about the different ways of separation. But if I recognize that there’s only one mind projecting everything, and I’m a fragment of the mind and you’re a fragment of the mind, then we’re the same. It’s oneness. It doesn’t matter what your skin color is. It doesn’t matter how much money you have. It doesn’t matter what you do for a living. It doesn’t matter what gender you are. It doesn’t matter what position you have in the world. If everything is a projection of one mind, then we’re one.
…love rather than fear…
And that’s the basis of love, sameness. Anybody or anything that we see as different we cannot possibly love. We can “special love,” like we read earlier about special relationships. In the Course that’s called “special love,” where I see you as different from me and I want to get from you what will make me happy; so, I “love” you only so you can give me what I want. That’s not what the Course really calls love, that’s what the Course calls “special love.” Real love is only possible with sameness. Real love is the recognition that in truth I’m of Oneness. In truth I never left God. This means that in truth you never left God either, so we’re the same. So, in our oneness and in our wholeness, our sharing of that understanding is Love. Love is the experience of the fact that we’re the same, that we’re one. So, when we start to look at all the different ways of separation and see beyond the separation, and see the oneness that we truly share underneath, that’s the Love of the Holy Spirit, of the right mind. And because that love reflects the Oneness that’s above the line, if I can look at the world of separation and still interpret oneness by choosing this universal perspective more and more, that is how we ultimately awaken from the dream back to our true state of absolute oneness.
The opposite of hearing through the body’s ears is communication through the Voice for God, the Holy Spirit, which abides in each of us.
That’s sameness. That’s oneness. So, the voice of separation says, “I have god, and you don’t, so I’m going to kill you. My god is the right one, yours is not, and you drew a picture I don’t like related to my god, so I’m going to kill you. I have god, and I worship the “right” messiah and you don’t, you worship something else, you’re a witch, so I’m going to literally burn you to death. I’m the chosen race, I’m the Aryan race, I’m a Nazi, and you’re a Jew, so you must die. You may be the natives of this land, here for generations, and yes we just got here, but we’re better, we’re “preordained” to have this land, so I’ll poison, deceive, murder, and any-other-way-I-can this land from you.” All of this is based upon difference and separation. What the Course is saying is that the right mind abides in each of us. And why does it abide in each of us? Because as we read in Chapter 18, everything is a fragmentary reflection of the one mind. Every mind is the same. The fractal, the holographic, the quantum. So, whatever is in me is in you, and whatever is in you must be in me – including the wrong mind, the right mind, and the ability to choose which one to interpret with. The mind recognizes this. That’s why whenever we hate or judge or withhold love from someone else, we always and inevitably hate ourselves as well. That’s why it doesn’t feel good to judge. That’s why whenever we judge or hate someone, or try to retaliate against someone, or try to control or manipulate someone, we feel bad – eventually if not immediately. Even the “big and bad” people of the world. We’re all the same.
The only reason why anyone would do or instigate heinous acts on whatever scale is because they hate themselves, which is why they must keep doing it over and over and over. It wasn’t enough for Hitler to see one Jew die, he had to see millions die – and still that wasn’t enough. He was going to keep going. But when we recognize oneness and experience inner peace, we can finally experience the love that recognizes that we’re all the same. The same ego in you is in me, the same Holy Spirit in you is in me. You may not have chosen to look from that perspective yet, but it is still in you just as it is in me. That experience that we each had where we experienced a being that loves us unconditionally and accepts us absolutely unconditionally, that same love is available for Hitler as well. Because in the end we’re all the same.
Because of the position Hitler had in the world his choice for separation took different forms than it did for the rest of the population. One person’s choice for separation means you have a radio I want; I’m going to take it from you. Because all he is, is a regular person that lives down the street or next door or across the city. Thus, the extent of his ability to act out his ego is within that domain. Hitler was in the position of being a national leader. So, the manifestation of his investment in separation resulted in millions of people dying. In our personal lives, an idea of us being different is, we’re taking a test, you have the answers and I don’t, so I’m going to look at your paper without your permission and cheat. I’m going to take that from you, because I want what I want. And I’m going to pretend to the teacher, to the school, I’m going to lie, and pretend they are really my answers. And along the way I’m going to make fun of you for being intelligent to boot! When you’re an American politician at the beginning of the frontier ages in America the manifestation of that ego thought meant, you’re a native, you’ve been here before us, but I want that land, so I’m going to kill you and take it, and corral you off into reservations. I’m going to make treaties and agreements with you to get you moving, but them I’m going to break them, every one of them. But in each case, it’s all the same thought of separation being played out; the same thought of differences being played out; the same thought of specialness being played out; the same thought of selfishness being played out; the same egocentric choice. The same choice for the ego, whatever form it takes.
The experience of having chosen the ego is that I’m lacking something. I’m not aware of the mind, but I know I’m lacking something. And I know what it is, it’s what you have, and I’m going to take it from you. And I believe it’s not going to hurt me because in my distorted perception I believe that we’re different. That’s the only way we would try to hurt anyone, really. If I know we’re the same, then I know that hurting you hurts me. If we’re the same, if we’re the same, then how could hurting you not hurt me? Which is why, as the ascended masters Arten and Pursah clarify, secretly every single offender hates themselves. The attack upon someone else is the unconscious guilt, the unconscious self-hatred, over the choice for separation, playing itself out.
Whatever we do in the world, the mind doesn’t change. The fractal nature of the mind does not change. The holographic nature of the mind does not change. Thus, however I see you it will always translate in my mind as how I see myself, since ultimately we’re the same. Whether we realize it consciously or not we’re one, and thus whenever we hurt someone else, we hurt ourselves, always. This also means that whenever we heal someone else, which means whenever we see someone else as the same as us, we see ourselves the same as God, which is why that’s the process of healing ourselves – reinterpreting the world from a place of oneness instead of separation. If I recognize that we’re all the same, then oneness is still intact. Which eventually allows me to let go of the idea of separation altogether and to truly experience Oneness.
VII. THE VOICE FOR GOD
Darryl E Berry Jr:
His Voice seems distant and difficult to hear because the ego, which speaks for the little, separated self, seems to be much louder. This is actually reversed. The Holy Spirit speaks with unmistakable clarity and overwhelming appeal. No one who does not choose to identify with the body could possibly be deaf to His messages of release and hope, nor could he fail to accept joyously the vision of Christ in glad exchange for his miserable picture of himself.
So, when I choose to identify with the body, when we choose to identify with separation, ideas of oneness go to the wayside, which is why we can have so many wars big and small in contrast to the fact that inherently we’re the same. This is again why people who even are the same on the level or form, people who could be the actual same people genetically, who have the same skin color, the same everything, can just believe in different religions and because of that kill each other. It’s because of that investment in separation. Even apparent oneness in the world can be overlooked when we don’t want to see it. And this part talks about the “miserable picture” we have of ourselves. We all experience the miserable picture of ourselves, the self that is hated and unloved, the unlovable self that did something that can’t be undone, the self that is so worthy of shame and guilt and fear, and pain and lack and loss. That “miserable picture” of ourselves that we feel is because we choose separation. But the Course is saying that picture can be exchanged. We can let that picture go and experience a picture of ourselves as whole, and loving, and peaceful; by reinterpreting everything we see from a perspective of oneness.
The “miserable picture” of ourselves is itself an expression of separation – projected seemingly inward instead of outward. So, when we get rid of that interpretation we get rid of that picture. But the thing about it is we must get rid of that picture for everybody. That’s why if you look at Mother Teresa, she said that everyone is Christ. She saw everyone as a Child of God. When we look at people like Y’shua, the first fully realized Christ, that’s why he was a realized Christ; he loved everyone equally. Just like that being you met in an out-of-body experience, just like the being I met in an out-of-body experience, Y’shua didn’t say “I love and accept everyone – except for you given that thing you did.” His position was, “I love you and accept you completely, totally.” Do you think there’s anyone, do you think there is anyone, that you can bring to that nonphysical being that radiated pure love and pure acceptance and that being not love and accept just as completely? No, clearly not. And I’m sure if Hitler was brought before that being, at the height of his prejudice and murderousness, that source being or that spiritual personage would love and accept him just as completely and unconditionally as it did you and me. So, all the different things that we think make us unworthy of love have nothing to do with what Love really is. And understanding and experiencing this would alleviate the need to act out against ourselves and others in the painful ways that we do.
The only cause of a sense of unworthiness is our investment in the perspective of separation, which brings with it the painful experience of being separate from love, of being separate from oneness, and that’s the guilt we experience, that’s the un-lovable-ness we experience. That’s the anguish we experience, that’s the lack we experience; that’s the source of feeling that something is missing. But it’s not real, it’s not objective, it’s subjective, which means that we can change it. We can reinterpret the world and thus experience a different picture of ourselves.
I have ways to go, but with the progress I’ve made thus far, I can tell you that reinterpreting the world works. Even those little moments where I experience more peace, or even just as time goes on as it becomes a habit more and more to reinterpret, that perspective of oneness starts becoming more universal, and gradually I experience more and more inner peace, or less and less psychological pain. I guess I can’t even say more and more peace, but less and less pain. My regrets start to sting a little bit less. That thing I did or that thing I didn’t do, the mistakes I made, they start to sting a little bit less, because I start to remember the right-minded interpretation more and more quickly. I become more and more willing to remember that it’s all a reflection, a projection, a fractal of that one thought, and I can change my mind about it.
The same goes for the world at large. Whatever atrocious thing it is that happens in the world, that’s not what really is causing me pain; that’s not why I’m upset. And then it starts to become relevant to more and more things in my mind. That’s not why that policeman is doing that. He’s feeling the same pain. That’s not why the “President” is doing that. That’s not why the person down the street did that. That’s not why “government” agents, and parents, and priests, and soldiers, and whoever, do whatever they do. That’s not why so many people sit around and let this or that happen or play the powerless victim role – or even demand that some atrocity occur. That’s not why Hitler did that – or rather ordered people to do that; and that’s not why people follow orders to do heinous acts. It’s not because they’re evil or crazy people – at least not any more evil or crazy than I am when I believe in the thought of separation and it causes me to do the separation-based things that I do, or that causes us to pretend that 98% of the people have no power to stop the universally destructive separation-based things going on by 2% of the people. And while I may not myself go and physically put people in gas chambers, still I put you in a psychological gas chamber when I judge you and hate you because of what you did or did not do, or because of what you said or did not say. Especially when I now know it’s just because of the pain that you feel inside. It’s the same pain that I felt when I did what I did, or didn’t do what I could have done, when I’ve seen or experienced injustice, or when I’ve seen someone or experienced being devalued.
We’re all the same. It’s not because we’re stupid, or “sheeple,” that makes us ignore what’s happening, or makes us allow it to happen, or pretend to be victims who are powerless to do anything about the atrocities. The foundational apathy is that we tolerate our judgments, and hatreds, and condemnations, and specialness, and we passively condone our own investment in the perspective of separation. And all the active and passive atrocities in the world, all of the fear, denial, apathy, control, extortion, coercion, stupidity, deception, murder, ignorance, etcetera, are the reflections or the playing out of that single choice for the ego, the single choice for separation. The same ego choice that each of us make as a reflection of that is being acted out in various ways by different people. We’re all the same. And the fundamental solution is to change that choice within yourself.
As you start to recognize that more and more that’s where inner peace comes. We forgive ourselves and forgive others for what didn’t happen. No one and nothing took the peace of God away from me. I do that with my choice, with my interpretation. The separation never really occurred. I never really separated from God in the first place. We can see ourselves as innocent. Not because “I’m apologizing to you but really I’m guilty,” and not because “You’re really guilty but I’m so spiritual so I forgive you though you’re still guilty,” but because I recognize that all there is, is innocence. If everything is a projection of that one thought, and the one thought never really occurred, then how could we be anything other than innocent? So, forgiveness from the Course’s perspective is not forgiveness between bodies, it’s not forgiveness of occurrences in the world. Forgiveness from the Course’s perspective goes to the heart of the matter. It goes to the thought of separation itself and recognizes that it’s not true. Thus, everyone and everything is forgiven simultaneously by forgiving this one thing, and recognizing it’s a fractal of everything. It’s a totally different perspective, a totally different way of interpreting the world.
VIII. REINTERPRETING THE WORLD
Darryl E Berry Jr:
Christ’s vision is the Holy Spirit’s gift, God’s alternative to the illusion of separation and to the belief in the reality of sin, guilt and death. It is the one correction for all errors of perception; the reconciliation of the seeming opposites on which this world is based. Its kindly light shows all things from another point of view, reflecting the thought system that arises from knowledge and making return to God not only possible but inevitable. What was regarded as injustice done to one by someone else now becomes a call for help and for union. Sin, sickness and attack are seen as misperceptions calling for remedy through gentleness and love. Defenses are laid down because where there is no attack there is no need for them. Our brothers’ needs become our own, because they are taking the journey with us as we go to God. Without us they would lose their way. Without them we could never find our own.
Let’s go back through that Paragraph.
Christ’s vision is the Holy Spirit’s gift, God’s alternative to the illusion of separation and to the belief in the reality of sin, guilt and death.
As we’ve been discussing, Christ’s vision is to reinterpret the world from a perspective of oneness, which reflects the Oneness above that line, which is why it’s healing. “Healing” in the Course refers to experiencing more inner peace, the result of the undoing of pain through forgiveness. All pain, whether experienced as physical or psychological, is our experience of unconscious guilt at the investment in separation.
It [Christ’s vision] is the one correction for all errors of perception; the reconciliation of the seeming opposites on which this world is based.
When it says it is “the one correction for all errors of perception” it is not saying that A Course in Miracles in particular is the only “way.” What it’s saying is that anything that truly addresses the deep, fundamental pain, will be some form of looking beyond the fractal and to the universal. It will be some form of getting beyond duality to oneness. It will be some form of reinterpreting the world from a perspective of oneness. Therefore even Mother Teresa, a Catholic, was able to experience that transcendent peace. She didn’t touch A Course in Miracles. A Course in Miracles probably would’ve been heretical according to her. But what she did was reinterpret the world from a perspective of oneness. She just used her own theology to do it. So, the Course is not saying that it’s the only way, but what it is saying is that the perspective of oneness is the only way to get out of separation, obviously. If you’re in separation and you continue to interpret the separation from a separation-based framework, well you’re going to experience more separation! If you have something cold and you put it somewhere cold, it’ll still be cold. You must add heat to get it warmed it up.
Its kindly light shows all things from another point of view, reflecting the thought system that arises from knowledge and making return to God not only possible but inevitable.
As I was saying earlier. It’s a thought system that reinterprets the world from a perspective of separation to a perspective of oneness; a oneness that reflects the true Oneness above the line. And when we are truly willing to reinterpret the world from the perspective of oneness universally that demonstrates that we’re ready to be universal. The reason why we experience separation is because we’re not ready for oneness. We’re still invested in separation, which is why we interpret everything from a perspective of separation, and division, and distinction. “Distinction” is even seen in this world as on a pedestal, as something to be strived for. The investment in separation is why we find all the ways we do to hate people, and all the different reasons to justify hate. Because we still want to hold onto our individual self; we still want to hold onto the separated perspective. But each time that we take a step back from that, and reinterpret from the perspective of oneness, that’s an indication that we’re getting to the point of being able, and being ready, and being willing, to experience Oneness again, which is our true state that we’ve in fact never really departed from.
What was regarded as injustice done to one by someone else now becomes a call for help and for union.
Because again we recognize that underneath whatever this person does is the pain, the experience, of separation from God, which they’re acting out through their vicious and destructive actions and inactions. Again, this doesn’t mean that we don’t address things on the world’s level. If somebody comes and tries to attack you with a knife you don’t have to go, “Oh they’re just misinterpreting,” and let the person stab you! We can still address things properly on the level of the world. You can try to stop the person and hold them down, and wait for somebody to take them away, or whatever is appropriate. But when we think about it, we don’t have to hate the person or want to kill the person in return. We could reinterpret it from a perspective of oneness and handle it from a place of inner peace.
Sin, sickness and attack are seen as misperceptions calling for remedy through gentleness and love.
Which is what we experienced in those out-of-body experiences. Those beings didn’t look at our ‘miserable picture of ourselves,’ and say, “Look at how this person sees himself,” and then go away. All it did was shine love and acceptance at us, because it knew that that pain was symbolic of the fact that we didn’t believe we were deserving of unconditional love. Which we both experienced. I didn’t really think I deserved it. “Oh my gosh! If its light keeps merging through me, if it gets close enough, it’s going to know that I’m not worthy of love!” But still it got closer. “Oh my gosh! It’s getting closer to my pain, to my unworthiness, and it’ll find out!” But still all I found was absolute love.
As Ken clarifies about mystical experiences, what we experienced through our out-of-body travels, a nonphysical being of unconditional love, symbolized the right mind. Helen Schucman who scribed the Course experienced that unconditional love as well, and one of the forms it took through her expression is the document called A Course in Miracles. It’s like if you look at Byron Katie, you should probably research Byron Katie. When she had her universal experience the form that it came out as when she seemingly came back into an individual perspective is ‘The Work,’ her form of reinterpreting ego-based, separation-based thoughts by questioning them – which eventually brings people to questioning the illusion itself. But it’s all forms of reinterpreting the world and questioning our thoughts, and the fact that whatever anyone does or does not do it’s the pain of separation underneath it all that causes the pain we experience.
Defenses are laid down because where there is no attack there is no need for them.
“Defenses are laid down because where there is no attack there is no need for them.” So, what the Course is teaching is that the reason why we are afraid is because we ourselves attack. The initial attack that all attack comes from is the belief that we attacked Oneness by separating from it. And we defend against that by projecting the world, and it becomes a world of attack – being the projection of a thought of attack, thus reflecting that original thought of attack. Each time we judge reflects that original instant. And whenever we attack, we think an attack is going to come back. That’s the origin of fear. That’s apparently why we had the “Cold War” where the United States and the Soviet Union were building up arms, because they each feared they were going to be attacked. And it doesn’t really matter if it was actual fear of each other, or a more clandestine fear such as using the Cold War to extort funds for “black projects.” But when we lay down our judgment, when we no longer attack, we no longer fear being attacked, and then we can be peaceful. Therefore Y’shua was able to be perfectly at peace even while he was being murdered. Which is why that being was able to be so totally loving and accepting, because it had no defenses, because it had no fear, because it does not attack. Whenever we attack, we’ll always fear the retaliation, which will cause a defense, which is itself an attack. As we talked about earlier with me with my defenses, aloofness to protect myself from being hurt, which is really an attack. A separation. Reflecting the separation that was the original separation.
Our brothers’ needs become our own, because they are taking the journey with us as we go to God. Without us they would lose their way. Without them we could never find our own.
Again, because we’re just a fragment – just like everything else – of that one mind. So, all the different relationships that we see and experience in the world give us the opportunity to reinterpret that original idea. So, because of what I did, or because of what that person did, being that it’s a fractal of that one thought of separation, that’s what gives me the opportunity to reinterpret that original thought of separation. By reinterpreting whatever is apparently causing me upset I reinterpret the one thought of separation itself. Going back to Chapter 18 of the Text (Section I), everything is a projection of that one thought. But all we see is the projection! We’re not aware of the mind. All we experience ourselves as is a body; whether physical or nonphysical. Even in the out-of-body experience we still experience ourselves as a body. Whether it’s a physical body, a nonphysical body, or a field of consciousness, it’s still some kind of separation, some type of distinction. So, because I experience myself as distinct and separate, and I see myself in a universe of separation and that’s all I see and all I know, reinterpreting what we see has to be the means to get beyond separation. Because apparent separation is all I see and all I know.
So, without them, without these images to reinterpret, we could never find our own way. Without these projections what would I interpret? So, because of all the hateful things people do I can see in that the hateful things I do, and forgive myself by forgiving them. I can recognize that the separation you manifest in your life is the same separation I manifest in my life, which is why I’m judging you for it; because it represents what I do. So by forgiving you for what I see you doing I’m really forgiving myself. And that’s why we can’t get out without “them.”
As you can see the world starts to take on a different perspective. Rather than being some hateful prison that I’m condemned to be in, more and more it becomes a classroom and an opportunity. People are going to do what they do according to how they interpret the world. If they invest in the idea of separation, they become a symbolic representation of that thought. But none of that determines how I interpret anything. It’s kind of like what Bashar often says, when he says: “Circumstances don’t matter, only state of being matters.” No matter what happens we can always give it our own meaning and purpose. Everything can serve “double duty” he says; no matter what someone else’s purpose and intention for it is, we can give it our own purpose and intention. Someone may fully intend to hurt us or to deprive us but that doesn’t change the fact that I can look at that and say, “You know what, that’s a reflection of the fact that I deprived myself of the love of God, by choosing against oneness, by choosing separation, by choosing pain. And now that I’m aware of it I can change my mind about it.” So, everything in the world can become an opportunity to get closer to experiencing complete inner peace and unshakable inner abundance. And we can still address whatever at the worldly level as appropriate but now from a broader and more expansive outlook.
Forgiveness is unknown in Heaven, where the need for it would be inconceivable. However, in this world, forgiveness is a necessary correction for all the mistakes that we have made. To offer forgiveness is the only way for us to have it, for it reflects the law of Heaven that giving and receiving are the same. Heaven is the natural state of all the Sons of God as He created them. Such is their reality forever. It has not changed because it has been forgotten.
So, to go through this Paragraph:
Forgiveness is unknown in Heaven, where the need for it would be inconceivable. However, in this world, forgiveness is a necessary correction for all the mistakes that we have made.
Because of course in Heaven, in absolute Oneness, all there is, is Oneness. But in the world of separation, where we as one mind projected our idea of separation, the only way to undo that thought is to retract it from our projections, to recognize it as our own, and then to choose against it. That’s forgiveness. And again, it’s not saying that this path is the only path, that this form of the universal curriculum is the only way to do this. Once you start to read what this is saying and understand it, you could investigate any spirituality that’s authentic, or any person who uses their spirituality or their religion in authentic ways, and you’ll see the same reinterpreting to oneness. That’s why “through forgiveness the thinking of the world is reversed.” As was read earlier, the world is about fear. We reinterpret it to love. The world is about separation. We reinterpret it to oneness. The world is about differences. We reinterpret it to sameness. The world is about lack. We reinterpret it to abundance. The world is about disharmony. We reinterpret it to harmony.
To offer forgiveness is the only way for us to have it, for it reflects the law of Heaven that giving and receiving are the same.
Because if we are one and I judge you I must also be judging myself. Because we made the same mistake. Whatever form it takes, if we see ourselves as separate individuals, we’ve made the same mistake, of choosing the wrong mind, of choosing the ego, of choosing to make the separation real. So, by forgiving you I’m really forgiving myself.
Heaven is the natural state of all the Sons of God as He created them. Such is their reality forever. It has not changed because it has been forgotten.
This is a non-dualistic statement. It’s saying that the idea of separation really had no effect on what’s above that line. If you look at the diagram again, there’s the line representing the “tiny mad idea” and you’ll notice there’s a little break between the “tiny mad idea” line and the big bold horizontal line – above which are non-dualistic terms such as GOD, ONENESS, SPIRIT, etcetera. That break between the tiny mad idea and that bold line is symbolic of the fact that nothing in this world truly affects what is eternal and what is changeless. That’s why it’s changeless. But as we experience ourselves as in this world of separation, we can reinterpret this world, and thus get back to our real, true state, which has not changed nor been affected.
IX. AWAKENING THROUGH FORGIVENESS
Darryl E Berry Jr:
Forgiveness is the means by which we will remember. Through forgiveness the thinking of the world is reversed. The forgiven world becomes the gate of Heaven, because by its mercy we can at last forgive ourselves. Holding no one prisoner to guilt, we become free. Acknowledging Christ in all our brothers, we recognize His Presence in ourselves.
The forgiven world becomes the gate of Heaven, because by its mercy we can at last forgive ourselves.
Because the pain we see in others is really the pain we have in ourselves because of our own investment in the idea or thought of separation.
Holding no one prisoner to guilt, we become free. Acknowledging Christ in all our brothers, we recognize His Presence in ourselves.
Like we talked about with Mother Teresa.
Forgetting all our misperceptions, and with nothing from the past to hold us back, we can remember God. Beyond this, learning cannot go. When we are ready, God Himself will take the final step in our return to Him.
Once we truly forgive and withdraw all the projections of our own investment in separation from “out there,” recognizing there’s only one mind and I’m it, and I no longer want to invest in this idea of separation, at last we can let it go and awaken to our true state of Oneness. But before that happens, while we still experience ourselves as individuals in the world, we start to experience oneness more and more within ourselves as inner peace. We have less fear, less pain, and less judgment of ourselves and others. It’s a long process because our investment in separation and hate and judgment and pain are so deep. At first, it’s just forgiving ourselves for continuing to choose separation through forgiving others. But eventually it starts to become more and more experienced as less and less pain and fear.
So that’s pretty much the Preface right there. What are your thoughts so far? We still have 5 more minutes.
VI. EXPERIENCES OF EXPANDED AWARENESS
Questioner: Well I don’t have any questions per say but I do have a few reflections. I was getting these strange flashbacks when you were talking. I don’t know how to exactly say it, but it was like I started to remember… something. It was almost like a deja vu but it’s not, it’s like I remembered just for a moment being part of this “all-mind.” I remembered it and then it’ll go away. It’s like in a blink of an eye, it’s there and then it’s gone. It’s like when you were talking, I was remembering things but they were just too hard to grasp onto. As soon as I put my mind on it, it vanished. But it was like remembering that I was part of an “all-mind.” I can’t explain it. It’s weird. But it was very strange and peculiar. When you were talking, I was experiencing this.
Darryl E Berry Jr: I understand.
Questioner: It was… I’m not sure if I’m explaining it clearly.
Darryl E Berry Jr. I know what you mean. I’ve had experiences like that, and I’ve read of similar experiences of others as well. If you study any kind of authentic spirituality, it’s understandable to have such experiences. In my experience just the idea of becoming more open to a thought system like A Course in Miracles reflects an inner choice to let go of separation; to move more towards oneness, to move more towards the right mind, to move more towards the Holy Spirit – as the Course uses the terminology. So, the effect of that will be a breaking down of those barriers. Because again, we’re going from an idea of separation to an idea of oneness. I spoke earlier about our different lifetimes – this is why spiritually advanced beings remember their other lifetimes. Because the idea of an individual lifetime is to deny knowledge of all the other things we experience in our “other” lifetimes – which ultimately includes all lives. So, by the same token, as you start to let go of the idea of separation the barriers between your experience as an individual and your experience as the universal mind will break down as well. So more and more not only will you experience yourself with flashes of being the one mind, you’ll also start to experience yourself as being absolutely beyond everything – including that one mind. That’s what the Course calls Revelation. So, such experiences are going to start happening more and more. It’s just an effect of switching from the wrong mind to the right mind, an effect of switching from the ego to the Holy Spirit – whatever term you use. It’s not about the terminology as you start to have the experience the terms are leading you to. It’s about an experience of separation versus an experience of oneness.
The more we let go of the experience of separation we’ll start to interpret separation as oneness, and then we’ll have those moments where we remember oneness. And when we start to remember oneness so soundly that we can walk the Earth every single moment and live from that perspective then we’re enlightened, then we’ve totally let go of our investment in separation, and then we don’t have to reincarnate anymore. It’s possible to reach a point where you are Oneness again, because you know you never really left. We’re just denying our Reality because we’re invested in separation.
Questioner: Yes. It’s like I’m the only one. I’m the only one doing all of this. I can’t describe it. It’s terrifying when I think about it because I realize there is only one me doing this, and there’s only one me and like the more I open up to this the more I… there is no “me” and there is a “me” but which “me” am I talking about! The false me that’s here, and all these ego and drama and all this crap instead and there’s that other me and I go, “Oh!” And it’s like I see it and I just run away from it because it’s so terrifying. It’s such a deep-seated fear. I can’t explain this fear, but I have these moments of like these glimpses of like flashes where I can see me being this one mind. I’m just one mind experiencing everything here and I’m the cause of all of this and it’s like, “Oh shit!” It’s very peculiar and it’s extraordinarily hard to describe. Ooh! It’s no wonder why it’s this investment in separation because it’s such a deep investment. It’s a very deep layered thing. I think that’s why we’ve all come back to sort of heal this thing.
I was reading one of these things about how Earth always has this history of destroying itself and there’s this part about all these souls have come back to stop this from happening this time, to heal that rift, which eventually is what they all wanted to do is destroy the universe. But we’ve all come back to slowly bring ending this separation. I think ultimately just to heal this separation, because I’m even separate from that “all-mind” that I was experiencing because there was no me, I was just that mind. There was only one mind in the entire universe. There wasn’t like trillions and trillions of minds, there was only one mind.
Darryl E Berry Jr: That’s right.
Questioner: And I’m that one mind. And that’s such a terrifying… to the ego it’s destruction. It extinguishes the ego and that terrifies the ego. I mean that’s the end of the ego. That’s it. Finished! Completely nada! Gone! And then it’s like, “Oh! Fuck! It’s only me?! There’s only one me?! No, no, I must be separate!” It’s such a terrifying thing. It’s why we have the fear of death. That’s why we die because we can’t… It’s like I’m trying to get these concepts but it’s almost like ‘pixy dust,’ it’s like it’s so hard to grasp because the ego doesn’t want to see it. But it’s all there. It’s spooky and it’s like, that’s why I keep an open mind when I read these courses, because I don’t want to have any concept about it. I just wanted to see how I will learn with this on an intuitive level. I’m finding just by listening to you I’m learning this. There’s a part of my mind, a greater part of my mind is processing this and giving me feedback rather than feeling it through my ego and analyzing what you’re saying. I’m just sort of letting you talk and there is some kind of learning process. It’s weird. It’s strange. And I’m open to it. And it’s very interesting. So, who knows how much separated-ness we just healed there? We must have done something!
Darryl E Berry Jr: I agree.
Questioner: Well thanks for that lesson.
Darryl E Berry Jr. You’re welcome. I hope I see you again.
Questioner: Yes. Hopefully I see you next week again.
Darryl E Berry Jr: Sounds good.