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
3 UNRAVELING THE ONION OF GUILT
This session, entitled ‘Unraveling the Onion of Guilt,’ was recorded on May 18th of 2014.
II. CATCHING THE DENIAL OF GUILT
Questioner: You know how we’ve talked about the tax thing. It went so smoothly that I even forgot about it until today, because I was thinking about my forgiveness lessons and what I’m going to talk to you about, and then all of a sudden, I remembered it. I had to call the New Jersey office first and they said I made a mistake, and they said they were informed by the IRS that I had done so. So, I’m like “Okay,” and I tried to go online and look into it, and I thought, “Okay maybe I really did make a mistake.” So, I called the IRS after that and they told me that my debt was actually 20 dollars, so New Jersey had actually screwed up because they said my debt was only 4 dollars, so there was a 16-dollar discrepancy. So, I was wrong, but not as wrong as I thought I was going to be, so it’s kind of nice. There was no stress involved. I was very at ease. Normally like years ago if this had happened to me, I would’ve been so angry but I wasn’t at all, like it happened in stride and I paid it, and I just forgot about it. It just came and went and that was it. It was just done.
Darryl E Berry Jr: Sounds like a successful forgiveness lesson. Sometimes forgiveness lessons are just to let you know that you have forgiven; in other words, the forgiveness that you have been doing has allowed you to not be as upset in a situation that you know would’ve been very upsetting. So that’s awesome; that is beautiful.
Questioner: Another situation I was thinking about too, I was driving in a car and this woman just cut me off, and there was an automatic response. I just slammed on the horn, but I wasn’t angry. And I looked at her and she looked at me, and she started to apologize. But there was no anger, or anything involved but it was just strange how it happened.
Darryl E Berry Jr: Well I would be careful with that one, because action in the world always follow thought. There’s a part of the Course that says:
13There are no idle thoughts. 14All thinking produces form at some level.
Darryl E Berry Jr: So, if you have a physical reaction to something that means there was a thought that prompted that reaction.
Questioner: But I didn’t recognize that thought.
Darryl E Berry Jr: Exactly. That just means you denied it. And that’s where it comes to resistance. It’s very tricky, because we know that successfully doing the Course means to be peaceful. And the way that can backfire on us is we’ll think, “If I’m not peaceful that means I’m not doing the Course,” so we’ll start to want to deny the thoughts that reflect that we’re un-peaceful. But if I have a judgmental reaction to you cutting me off then there was violent thought behind that reaction, which you repressed.
Questioner: I didn’t recognize that, but I can see what you’re saying now.
Darryl E Berry Jr: It’s not always the case but I’ve found that it’s always best to assume that I’m part of the normal. So, in a situation like that it’s probably best to assume that there was guilt there.
Questioner: You know what I think I recognize? What I think I was feeling was denial of the anger.
Darryl E Berry Jr: That’s right, that’s what I’m talking about. That’s what it is – the part of us that wants to be “spiritual,” because we want to be a good Course student, so we deny our ego in an attempt to “be” spiritual.
Questioner: But there was no trying to do that, it just happened like that, do you know what I mean?
Darryl E Berry Jr: I understand. And that’s because that’s where we’re at. The world that we’re in – that we experience ourselves to be in – is a world of denial. It only appears to be here because we denied the choice for the ego, and whatever is denied is projected out. That’s the dynamic. So, the moment you deny that thought it’s going to be projected out, and thus you had the immediate reaction of honking the horn – it’s that fast. So, what happens is that consciously you don’t have to feel the anger but still it’s projected out by that action, and then you could feel some relief at the same time. What projection does is acts as a release valve. It takes the guilt that’s inside of us, but it says you’re the cause of it – whoever or whatever the “you” is. That’s why she apologized. She apologized because you told her she did a wrong to you, that she was guilty. And that’s why she started to apologize, because she recognized the honking of the horn and the looking at her to say, “You did something wrong, you’re guilty.” So, she recognized her guilt – or at the least she recognized that you indicated that she was guilty – and then she began to apologize.
Questioner: While it was all happening though I focused on the fact that I wasn’t angry, because prior to that, like years ago, I would’ve been really angry at her, so I was focused on the fact that now I wasn’t angry; there was a reaction, but no anger.
Darryl E Berry Jr: For me if that happened, I would assume that I was angry that but I denied it.
Questioner: So, am I going in the opposite direction?
Darryl E Berry Jr: No. You’re going in the right direction because before you would’ve just been outright angry. At least you’re aware that you want to reach a state of inner peace. Even though you’re unconsciously denying the guilt, that’s still moving in the right direction.
Questioner: Because I was focusing on the right thing to do at the time, so…
Darryl E Berry Jr: Well, I would say that you were focusing on the right goal, you were just not focusing on the right means to attain that goal. So, the goal that you want is to not have anger, but the means is not to repress the anger so you’re not aware of the anger.
Questioner: Okay. Oh!
Darryl E Berry Jr: If you want to you reach the goal of having no anger and being peaceful then the means is to be fully aware of when you’re angry, and accepting and acknowledging that you’re angry, and then that’s the first step towards forgiveness. The first step is saying, “I’m angry, and I know I’m angry.”
Questioner: It’s trickier though when you’re denying the anger.
Darryl E Berry Jr: Very tricky. There’s a part of the Course that talks about this. We talked about this before from different angles, for instance with Section III ‘The Fear of Redemption’ in Chapter 13. Different verses hit different angles of it. Let’s go now to Chapter 21, Section IV, and Paragraph 3. It says:
1What if you looked within and saw no sin?
Which is the same thing as saying, “What if you looked within and saw no anger? What if you really looked within and saw that there was no anger to be concerned about?”
2This “fearful” question is one the ego never asks. 3And you who ask it now are threatening the ego’s whole defensive system too seriously for it to bother to pretend it is your friend.
And there’s another part of the Course where it talks about how the ego becomes retaliative. When you start to take forgiveness and inner peace seriously the repression could increase as a defense against ¬really having inner peace. Because now the part of your mind that wants to remain separate knows that if you become aware of your pain, you’re going to do something about it. You’re going to forgive. So now the weapon will not be, “I’m going to be angry and attack that person.” The weapon now is going to be, “I’m going to hide the fact that I’m angry, so I don’t forgive.” So, I would just say to look at yourself more closely. And that’s something you’ll hear Kenneth Wapnick talk about frequently in his workshops. He’ll say that you must always look within, really look within. The Course talks about vigilance, and not tolerating mind wandering.
Questioner: I wasn’t recognizing, I was denying my anger. Instead of realizing it I was just focusing on the fact that I was “not” angry, and thinking that was the best thing, instead of recognizing the denial that was there, and I was still attacking.
Darryl E Berry Jr: That’s right. That’s right. Because again, action is not going to come unless a thought is there. You can see from everything that happened that you clearly communicated to that woman that she was guilty. So, it’s best to assume, “Okay, there was some guilt there,” which means there was some attack there which came from that guilt, which means I was hiding the guilt from myself.
Questioner: Not only that but the denial ran so deep that I forgot. I forget a lot of times, like the most forefront lessons, that the body follows the mind. That completely eluded me in that moment.
Darryl E Berry Jr: That’s right. And that’s okay. And that’s why Ken always says, and why the Course says, and why now I always keep saying it because they always say it…
Questioner: That you have to repeat it over and over.
Darryl E Berry Jr: No, no, not that. Don’t worry about it. To go easy on yourself. When you’re ready to forgive then forgive, and when you’re not don’t. All you really must do to do the Course is to just be aware of it whenever you can.
Questioner: A lot of times it doesn’t happen while it’s going on, like you have to reflect back and look at it that way, right? Because it seems I always remember after the fact.
Darryl E Berry Jr: That’s right. That’s the way it is. Forgiveness is only necessary because you’ve already condemned, so the condemnation will always come first. But what happens as you do the Course is that the gap between projection and recognition starts to shrink until it’s nonexistent.
Darryl E Berry Jr: So basically, when we start off with the Course, we’ve been banging our heads against a wall for decades, erroneously believing that somehow it’s going to make us feel good – because we can blame someone else for it. So, what happens is the pain that we feel from banging our heads against that wall, we’ve thoroughly convinced ourselves that that person is feeling the pain. The pain that I’m feeling, even though I’m the one that’s banging my head – in other words choosing the ego – I’m going to set it up so that you’re the one who caused the pain. And I’m going to make sure that you know it! What the Course is teaching us to gradually do is start to recognize that the pain that I feel is because I’m banging my head against the wall. And once we’re aware of that it’ll be very easy to be fully aware of what’s going on, and to decide to stop banging our heads.
So, the fact of now being aware of that denial is great progress. To be able to say: “At the time I didn’t even realize my hand isn’t going to just move by itself! It’s not going to just jump up and say, ‘Hey, I’m a hand, I’m going to hit the horn!’ Obviously, something was behind that. And I totally forgot that the body responds only to the mind! Wow!” To become more aware of the forms that denial takes is good progress. And what’s going to happen is, this time it took a few days for you to realize what happened. The next time it’s going to be a few hours. “You know what, when I looked at that lady, I gave a sharp glance. I gave a look of judgment, of condemnation. It was subtle, but I remember it was there. There must have been some guilt surfacing that I didn’t recognize as such at the time.” And that gap is going to continually shrink and shrink. And the next thing you know before you take the action, you’ll be aware, “Wow I was just about to…” do whatever. “I felt the impulse to…” do whatever. You’ll become aware of the impulses to attack.
A lot of the things that we talk about that the Course says, you may think that you understand – and you do to a certain extent, but as you go along practicing the Course it just means so much more than you thought. The meaning is almost in between the words. When it talks about how we want to throw our brother off a precipice, and how we want to hurt people, the Course is not lying.
Questioner: I know, I can start to sense that more and more as I go along. And it’s frightening.
Darryl E Berry Jr: Yes. Yes. More and more that’ll start coming to the surface. We really are hateful – all of us. Everyone. Because again, the foundation of our existence is the hateful thought that we killed God to exist and I don’t care that I did it because I exist, and I want to continue to exist, and I’ll make someone else the scapegoat for what I believe I did. That’s the foundation of the universe. So, hatred is really the foundation of the universe. That’s why the Course asks:
1If you perceived the special relationship as a triumph over God, would you want it?
Yes we would, obviously. But a prominent point of that question is that our special relationships are triumphs over God. In that one sentence he’s asking a question but he’s also saying several things in that one sentence. One of the things he’s saying is, “Your special relationships are triumphs over God. Your special relationships say that ‘On the grave of God I stand, and yet I’m still happy.’” When we get what we want in the world, when we believe that something that we did in the world makes us happy or makes us sad, we’re saying, “I stand above the slain body of the Son of God, Whom I killed along with His Father, so I can exist – and yet I can still be happy.” So how could we possibly not feel pain inside over that? And then we want to get rid of the pain by projecting it onto something or someone else, which means now we see that guilt in them, so how could we not hate them??
Darryl E Berry Jr: And as we go along it’ll become more and more conscious, the hatred that we have.
III. STANDING ON THE GRAVE OF GOD
Questioner: Do you remember where you read that? Because I forgot about that passage, about standing on the grave.
Darryl E Berry Jr: Well basically I was putting verses of the Course together. I don’t think there is a specific verse that says “standing on the grave of God,” but when you take the verse that says your special relationships are a triumph over God, when you take the verse that says the world was made as an attack on God, when you put all such verses together that’s what we’re saying, that we have what we want, that we’re standing on God’s grave, and we’re happy about it. I learned to do that from Kenneth Wapnick. Ken will go ahead and take several verses together. And the thing about the Course is that it’s written in such a formal way. It’s written in Shakespearean blank verse, and it’s hitting certain meters, so it’s not so plainly said in a lot of ways. But sometimes it’s good to just take the verses together and say it in a very plain way. And that really hits you: “Wow, I’m finding joy as I’m standing on the grave of God.” That really hits you. It may not come across as well when he says basically “If you recognized your special relationships are triumphs over God would you still want them.” But standing on God’s grave, that’s what it’s saying. You triumphed over God. If Oneness is all there is, which means there’s no distinction – there’s a part of the Workbook that says basically, “We say God is and then we cease to speak because there is nothing else.” So, if we say God is and then there’s nothing else, but I’m apparently sitting here saying it, then according to the ego that means there must be something else! If there could only be either God or me, and I’m here, then God must be dead, right?
Darryl E Berry Jr: The special relationship is the triumph over God, meaning that’s what keeps our existence in place. And if you read about the special relationship it says that the real lure in the special relationship is guilt. Because I can take from someone else to complete myself and still be separate from God, and still feel good, and then in the end blame that person for the pain that inevitably results; it’s perfect. So that means that we triumph over God, we have our separation, we’ve triumphed over Oneness and we have our individuality. Again, I have the special relationship but I feel good at the same time, the pleasure and pain thing. So to describe the special relationship as “standing on the grave of God” is just a way of taking different verses of the Course together and saying it in a plain way, so that we can really understand what’s going on.
And again, as we start to understand the Course the ego will say, “You actually are very spiritual, you know.”
“You’re the most spiritual person I know – you’re never angry. Forget that hand gesture, it’s a hand, it does what it wants to do!” And I’ve done the same thing; it happens with everyone. And that’s why the Course says, “Don’t fight yourself.” Because he knows that we’re going to be resistant, he knows we’re going to fight it, he knows we don’t want to do it. And he says the special relationship is a triumphant with God. He says that, and we read it, and then we go back to our special relationships, which means that we don’t want inner peace. Which means that we want to triumph over God, which means that we’ll continually deny and project. The difference is, most of the people that are denying and projecting have no idea about denial, projection, or guilt, or anything. They’re just going on automatic. Now you’re aware of it, and that’s tremendous progress.
IV. BECOMING AWARE OF DENIAL
Darryl E Berry Jr: When you go to Alcoholics Anonymous it’s common knowledge that the first thing they’re taught is to say: I am Darryl Berry and I am an alcoholic. Because one of the biggest problems with alcoholics is that they don’t know they’re an alcoholic. “I’m not an alcoholic – even though I binge every day I’m just a casual drinker.” Denial. So if someone is an alcoholic one of the most powerful things they can do is to admit that they’re an alcoholic. That’s tremendous progress. It doesn’t mean they’re guilty because they’re an alcoholic. But now that they’re aware that they’re an alcoholic they can do something about it. So the fact that we deny our guilt, and attack other people for it, and then deny that we ever attacked! We were doing that already!! But the fact that you’re aware of it, that is tremendous progress.
Questioner: I can sense that because if you take any course in school, it doesn’t matter if it’s like physics or an art class or history, you can learn the basics so easily and so quickly and take an exam and pass it. But with this I feel myself forgetting things that I have read and took notes on and studied over and over and over. It’s because of the denial.
Darryl E Berry Jr: That’s right. That’s why. That is a tremendous recognition. That’s why we forget, because of denial. Because just like with anything, we want to feel good. We want to not feel pain. And it has nothing to do with anything “spiritual.” If we find something is wrong we want to do something about it. So, when something happens you’re going to do something about it. And of course we want to do the most effective thing. So if you find out that this is the most effective thing to attain inner peace, that the easiest thing to do is to forgive, but if you really want to keep your individuality, it is common to deny the knowledge of what to do. And if you listen to Ken he will say that all of the time. As a matter of fact I think I’ve seen him personally say in a workshop, “You all are not listening anyways.” Something like that. And I’ve experienced that forgetting in his workshop. I will sit there and pay one hundred seventy five dollars for the week-long workshop; two, three, four, or five hundred dollars for the plane ticket; one or two hundred dollars for the rental car; one or two hundred dollars for the hotel; three hundred dollars for food; and sit there and not pay attention. And realize, “Wow. I’m sitting here thinking about video games, and what I’m going to watch on T.V. – wait, Ken is there… and movies, and she’s so attractive – wait, focus, Ken is there!” The resistance. It’s common.
The way to successfully use resistance to your advantage is to say, “Wow! I just read this verse yesterday that perfectly illustrates how I could’ve forgiven that situation, and I totally forgot that verse – and Jesus is still not angry at me about it.” Jesus still says, in Chapter 30, Section I, Paragraph 1 – The Rules for Decision:
7Do not fight yourself.
“Do not fight yourself.” This has to do with the whole process; the whole path of forgiveness that we are on, the whole path of Atonement that we are on. Don’t fight yourself! If you’re in a situation and you forget to forgive you don’t have to say, “Okay next time I’m going to hold that verse in my mind and make sure I remember it!” And Ken would talk about how people did things like I did myself, like when I was going through the Workbook, and realized I was forgetting the Workbook, I would take my cell phone and program it so it would beep. Like the lesson would say every so often to say the verse or think the thought but I would realize, “Wow. I went through the whole day and I didn’t do it! I know what I’m going to do. I’ll set my alarm!” And every minute it’s going off and I’m saying the prescribed words… That’s not what he meant. What he meant us to do is to of course do it as prescribed if we can, but if we fail at doing it then recognize why. It’s because I really don’t want to awaken, and you know what – Jesus is still not mad at me about it. But at least now I’m aware of the fact that guilt is here.
All resistance is, it’s just confirming the thought system that we’re learning. It’s putting the puzzle pieces in place. As Ken says, the first stage of forgiveness is not to forgive, the first stage of forgiveness is to recognize that you don’t want to forgive, and to forgive yourself for not forgiving. And whenever you can forgive that’s fine, and do so.
V. THE ANALOGY OF THE ONION
Darryl E Berry Jr: One analogy that I’ve found that works really well is the analogy of an onion. If you take an onion – I’m pretty sure you’ve cut open an onion before – it has many different layers. Now, the inner layer of the onion is the primordial guilt, which means it’s the original guilt that we felt the moment we chose the ego, to believe the tiny mad idea of separation. That’s the core of the onion. Now, when we felt the guilt of that moment we denied it and projected it out – we went over the steps of the apparent separation in another class. It was the second step where we had two ways of looking at the idea of separation, anthropomorphized in the Course as the ego and the Holy Spirit. That second step is another layer of the onion, on top of the first misstep. And then we chose the ego, denied the choice, projected it out, and then we have the world – another two layers of the onion, the third and fourth steps of the separation. In the world we have our relationships – that’s where we practice our forgiveness lessons, in the body and the world, the manifestation of the fourth and last step of the apparent separation, the world of multiplicity. When we’re in the world and we have our forgiveness lessons and we do not forgive, what we’re doing is we’re making another layer of the onion. So when you had that situation with the lady in the car, I can know there was guilt because my hand reacted in a way to tell that lady that she was guilty.
Darryl E Berry Jr: And I know she got the picture because she started apologizing.
Darryl E Berry Jr: So what I do is, I look back at the fact that there was guilt that I denied and I forgive that, I forgive my own denial. Because you can’t get to the level of the onion where you’re forgiving that person before you get through the level where you’ve denied the guilt! Because you can’t get to the center of the onion without going through the outer layers, right?
Darryl E Berry Jr: If something is inside something, is incased in something, you can’t get to it unless you get through the casing. So you work from the outside inward. So, all that is just to say, if you have a forgiveness lesson that you deny in whatever way and you don’t forgive, what you do now is not feel guilty about the fact that you didn’t forgive, what you do is you forgive yourself for not forgiving. And then once you say, “You know what, I was in denial, I didn’t forgive, I attacked, and I’m not guilty for it. It doesn’t make me guilty. Jesus still loves me. In fact, he said ‘don’t fight yourself.’ I didn’t want to forgive. And obviously I didn’t fight myself because I didn’t want to forgive so badly that I denied it altogether! But now I’m fighting myself, because I feel guilty that I didn’t forgive. But I am going to stop fighting myself. I denied and it’s okay. It’s okay. So what. That was a time when I didn’t forgive.” I mean, how many years have you lived already that you didn’t forgive??
Darryl E Berry Jr: So it’s just another forgiveness lesson missed, right?
I started to study the Course when I was twenty-five years old. So that was basically twenty five years of forgiveness lessons that I didn’t do at all. What’s one more – it’s not going to do anything.
Darryl E Berry Jr: So now I’m at that point to where I recognize that I didn’t forgive and that I denied and attacked, and that’s okay. Now I can step into the original situation: Okay now what was going on there… Because now that I’ve gotten a layer away I can go to the next layer. So the lady cut me off and I felt angry – evidenced by my physical response. So that means I took the guilt that I have and I projected it onto you. And the guilt in my mind I know where it’s from. It’s because I believe I attacked God. God was just going along being His unified, unlimited Self, and I cut Him off! I said, “Nope! Separation is going to reign now. Individuality is going to reign now. Oneness will no longer reign. There’s a first and there’s no second??! No, no – because now there’s a second, there’s a third, there’s a billionth now. So I’m just going to just cut You off, run You off the road, and now individuality is on the road.” That’s why we’re angry when people cut us off when we’re traveling. Because we “know” at the level of the mind, according to our mistaken belief, that we cut God off. He was on His road of unlimited, boundless, non-individuality, un-separation, and we cut Him off and said, “We’re not going to have that anymore.” That’s why I feel guilty. That’s why I get upset. But if what the Course says is true, if what the Course says is true, and Oneness cannot be infringed upon, then what I’m seeing is not real. And the Course gives us criteria to determine whether or not something is real.
Does anything here last?? There is a part of the Workbook, in Workbook Lesson 133, where it says:
If you choose a thing that will not last forever, what you chose is valueless. A temporary value is without all value.
Is there anything here that lasts forever? No. So it can’t be real, it can’t be real. So if nothing here is real, and it’s an effect of my guilt, then my guilt can’t be real. How could the effect that is not real come from a real cause?? It can’t. So the guilt that’s making this can’t be real either. The guilt that I’m feeling right now in the form of anger at this person, it can’t really have any validity. Which means the separation can’t be real. So there’s no primordial guilt either. So now we’re just brushing through the layers. So now we’re all the way back at the primordial guilt – that can’t be real. So that means I’m innocent, because the primordial guilt is not there. That person is innocent for cutting me off because, I mean, how could he or she be guilty if I have no guilt to project onto that person. So now we’re just all innocent. And that’s a forgiveness thought process. You start with the outer later and you work all the way through. That’s how you do it. That’s it right there. That’s an example of how you can forgive yourself for not forgiving, and after you forgive yourself for not forgiving then forgive what you could have forgiven, and you just move right along.
So you never lose a forgiveness lesson. The only time you can seem to lose a forgiveness lesson is to delay starting with the outer layer of the onion. So if you look back – it’s going to happen again, so just be ready for it – the next time it happens realize, “Wow, I didn’t forgive,” and forgive yourself for the fact that you didn’t forgive. And after you forgive yourself for the fact that you didn’t forgive, then go ahead and forgive the original issue. That forgiveness lesson is still there to forgive, it’s never lost. So just go ahead and forgive it. So now, ego, you tried to trick me out of one and I got two! So the ego can’t win.
VI. NO FORGIVENESS OPPORTUNITY IS LOST
Darryl E Berry Jr: Any time in our desire to keep the separation going we deny all it does is give us another forgive lesson. And all we have to do is to just remember that whenever we can. We don’t have to fight ourselves. Just whatever is there, whatever is in front of your face as Arten and Pursah say, just forgive it. And if you don’t forgive, forgive the not forgiving. And then after that go back and forgive the original thing. So you can’t lose. The worst thing you can do is seem to make it totally outside of your conscious awareness, because if it’s totally outside of your awareness then what are you going to do? But what’s going to always happen is it’s going to come back up, because whatever has been denied has to resurface.
Questioner: Right. It has to be projected.
Darryl E Berry Jr: Right. It has to. So the fact is, just like how the ego works subconsciously, on automatic, without us knowing about it, like with the denial, the Holy Spirit is doing the same thing. The Holy Spirit is in our minds like a beacon constantly calling us, always working. So just like how the ego will have you denying without realizing it, the Holy Spirit will have you remembering without realizing it. You may not have come to class today thinking, “I’m going to recognize that that was denial.” But you put forth the effort to learn. And it’s not because of my class necessarily – if it wouldn’t have been this class it would have been something else. If you decide, “You know what, I think I’ve learnt enough from Darryl and I’m not going to that class anymore,” but there’s still something for you to learn, then you will just learn from somewhere else.
VII. NOT CONFUSING MIRACLE WITH MAGIC
Questioner: Darryl, excuse me. I want to say this. I studied the Course, I studied a lot. And I’m into what you’re saying. And I’m looking at that onion analogy you just gave. And I am an alcoholic, I haven’t had a drink in nearly ten years. But here’s something, you speak about that onion, that is talked about a lot in the Alcoholics Anonymous. And here’s a part from my studying the Course is some people feel that like an onion, and you describe it, is coming to believe that all disharmony may be the result of even a single still harbored resentment, and gives us a refreshing new look at our lives. Now, I’m taking and listening to what you’re saying, that these incidents that happened in our lives or all through our lives, that this separation from God and all of this, could possibly be that single incident. And then there’s another thing that talks about… if you want to comment on that first point I want to find the other thing too, while I’m looking for it. Because I want to get the words right on it, and I don’t think I’m set to say that. But it meant a lot to me studying that this week, and I even researched it on the web. I’ll just try to harmonize it, maybe it’s a word that needs to be filled in. But all disharmony, all resentment, maybe all pain – even an automobile accident, can be traced to a single event. Does that make any sense, or do I have to find the wording on that? Because that really got me when you claimed that.
Darryl E Berry Jr: You’re asking what verse in the Course represents that?
Questioner: I could not find that.
Darryl E Berry Jr: The verse in the Course that represents this idea is in Chapter 18, Section I. It’s one of my favorite sections.
Questioner: Let me write that down. Chapter 18, Section I. Thank you very much!
Darryl E Berry Jr: It says:
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.
And two paragraphs later:
1That was the first projection of error outward. 2The world arose to hide it, and became the screen on which it was projected and drawn between you and the truth.
That sounds like what you were looking for?
Questioner: I’m going to read that thing back over myself. I didn’t find where… I haven’t found it yet, but I may come back in and say something about that when I do find it because I spent some time on it. It even sent me into gospel, but somebody into the Course was talking about that. It even sent me to a religious website, where it kind of preached that same theme about something happening whatever it is, like cancer and all the other things, and events too.
Darryl E Berry Jr: One way I would point out that the Course is different from how other paths may spin it is, other thought systems will say – like there’s ‘The Secret’ out now, and the ‘law of abundance,’ and ‘the law of attraction,’ and all this stuff – that basically say if you put out good you get good back, and if you put out bad you get bad back. If you have something bad then you know it’s something bad that you did in the world, some thought that you had as an individual, or whatever. And from the Course’s perspective that’s true if you recognize that the one “bad” thought, the one bad thing we really did, was choose the ego, and the one bad result is the experience of guilt, which then takes many forms. Otherwise it may seem to be that I need to change or do something in the world to make sure I don’t get cancer; or the reason why people get cancer is because they did or didn’t do something in the world, in the sense of some wrong or some “sin.” Or the idea of, “It’s that forgiveness lesson that I’ve missed. That’s why I got in this car accident.” I mean to some extent that’s true, in that we hurt ourselves in various ways as an effect of our guilt, guilt which could instead be undone through forgiveness. But it’s very easy to start to make magic out of it and sort of try to be “spiritual” by doing things in the world to affect the world – whether it be to other people, or to our physical body, or to believe our lot in life determines our spirituality.
The only pain we have, and the only thing we really “did” wrong, was choose the ego. And even though the way it plays out is that things in the world go wrong – for instance with Gary, he forgave and he didn’t get into a car accident, because he didn’t have to manifest that guilt. But the fact is there’s people who judge all the time who don’t get into car accidents. They have no intention of forgiving and they are still wealthy, or powerful, or whatever. So it’s not always a one-to-one thing. It’s erroneous to think, “I forgive and things go good, I don’t forgive and things go bad.” At the same time there are people who forgive and bad things still happen to them. Take for instance Jesus! He was crucified. Yet he was a perfect symbol of forgiveness and peace, and people still crucified him, and stabbed him in the side, and all that stuff. According to Arten and Pursah all of that stuff happened. He was a physical human being who was put to death by the death penalty practices of the day. And they were very mean to him in the process of carrying out the sentence.
Pursah, as Thomas, was speaking to a group of people about peace and ended up getting his head cut off. So… things happen; even when you least expect it. The true defining effect of whether you really forgave and whether you’ve really chosen rightly is the fact that you feel peaceful. And as we’ve discussed, sometimes we lie to ourselves about this, especially in the beginning of our journey. I’ve done that and I’m pretty sure we’re all going to do that periodically until we get to the very end of the journey. But in the moments when we’re truly peaceful, that’s what really determines whether we’ve really forgiven; whether we’ve really addressed those things that we did “wrong” or “bad.” And I know in AA a lot of it has to do with for instance, if I lied to someone let me make that right, let me let this person know and apologize to them, and make it absolutely right. And all of that stuff is good. But it’s very easy to make it magical and try to affect the world to have a better effect in the world. It doesn’t always happen, and you may start falling into the wrong idea. If you think because something in the world happened bad to you it’s always because of a guilty thing you as an individual thought or did then it’s going to be wrong sometimes.
VIII. TRUTH VERSUS SYMBOLS OF TRUTH
Questioner: I’m thinking I can see what you’re saying. Miracles are different from magic. It’s not magic, and there’s no real answer that I don’t challenge that six and a half billion people don’t have an opinion on and challenge. Maybe it’s the saying that nothing unreal exists. So it’s saying that, there’s all these different ways of looking at something, and words and language are inadequate to describe things or to say things. Maybe there is a common truth. But my understanding of how this ego works is, it will use truth, even though it doesn’t want us to achieve, but to keep us going in circles. But it will use truth even in a confusing manner just so long as it gets its way in the end, almost like a chess game of deception it’ll play. It’ll lay back, it’ll set back, it’ll let somebody else attack, it will go into retreat, but then the moment it sees a chance to attack the egos will attack! I don’t care if you’re a five year old or you’re ninety years old, that ego is going to attack! And then it’s going to make you think it’s you, as far as the deceptiveness, it’s so deceptive. It makes you think that it’s you talking or speaking or doing anything.
Darryl E Berry Jr: That’s right. And the way that you combat that, the way that you utilize forgiveness to undo that, is to recognize it as another layer of the onion. There’s a part in the Manual where it says that words are but symbols of symbols and “twice removed from reality.”
Darryl E Berry Jr: So on one level the Course is truth. And I’m pretty sure I can find some verses in there where it says that the stuff he’s saying it’s a manifestation of the Holy Spirit and so forth. But ultimately the Course is not “truth” because it’s just words, and words are but symbols of symbols. That’s why the Course says that a universal theology is impossible but a universal experience is possible and necessary. So according to the Course there is no universal truth in the sense of theory or theology; there is no universal understanding to be had in the sense of a concept, because as you’ve pointed out different people see things in different ways. So the commonality would not be in the wording of things, or the way you frame ideas. The commonality would be the experience of inner peace that is universal no matter what the path is. And that could never be utilized in a way to attack. This also applies to different ways of viewing the Course. Ken often talked about how people would go to the hospital bed of a person who’s writhing in pain and say, “Get out bed! The Workbook says that illness is a defense against the truth! So what you are doing, you are attacking God,” and stuff like that. That’s not what the person needed to hear right then. They needed someone to come in and bring flowers or something, to just be normal. We can take and use even the Course in a way that attacks, just like you were saying. But the way to make that another layer of the onion is to say that the truth is really the Source from which the Course comes.
The only thing that makes the words of the Course “truth” is that it’s such a direct reflection of that experience, that universal experience. But being that the words are still only a reflection of the experience, a symbol of that thought, they can be manipulated, and misinterpreted, and utilized to attack. Which is why you can take something that’s totally opposite of what the Course is saying and still find peace, like Orthodox Catholicism. We talked about Mother Teresa before, who said that “suffering is a kiss from God,” and all these things that fly directly in the face of what the Course is saying. But as Ken has said, Mother Teresa would give most Course students a run for their money as far as spiritual attainment – as far as how peaceful she was, and how she was able to apply forgiveness universally. She didn’t call it forgiveness like the Course does, but she said that everyone is a Child of God and is worthy of God’s Love. What is that perspective but the effect of forgiveness?? What is that but the manifestation of what happens when all those barriers to Love’s presence are removed? So all she was, was a person who utilized a different form, a different “truth,” to get to the same universal experience that’s the real truth. So that’s how you get beyond that seeming conundrum.
Even as far as the Holy Spirit, only God is real. The Course talks about how the world is an illusion. Usually when we talk about it from the Course’s perspective we refer to the world as an illusion. But the Course also says that the Holy Spirit is an illusion, and forgiveness is an illusion. It doesn’t say that all the time, because if it takes every concept away from us before we make the journey then we won’t have anything to help us make the journey. What it says though is that forgiveness is an illusion that leads you away from illusion, whereas other illusions perpetuate illusion. And so even forgiveness is nothing, just like even the Course is really nothing. It’s just a collection words. Though the words do have meaning on its own level, it’s a collection of words that can be and is utilized in all different kinds of ways. But that experience will never change. That experience of inner peace and wholeness will never change. And when you remember that then it’ll really stabilize the fluctuating things that we experience, or the ways that we use things to attack people. It’ll even allow us to be more forgiving of others’ paths. I remember when I first started studying the Course and I was telling everybody about it, like I was proselytizing, like “Man you’ve got to learn this thing!” But if anybody really wants that experience of inner peace they will find it – by this or whatever path. Because again, it’s not the words. The words are just symbols of symbols. It’s the experience.
And as we talked about last week, whether it’s meditation or whatever, all those paths will work in the end as the Course says, because of their goals. The Course says it’s a path that’s faster. But the Holy Spirit is in everybody’s mind constantly shining through. And it doesn’t care from which way you come, just come this way. Come towards this experience of inner peace. Whether you focus on certain parts of the Bible that – for instance there’s the part that says to take the log out of your own eye before you try to get the twig out of your brother’s eye. The Course says the sole responsibility of a miracle worker is to accept the Atonement for himself or herself. It’s the same thing.
Questioner: You made me recognize something, and you said it twice in two different ways, in a sense what you are, or the truth, has to be constant. It can’t be something that changes. Guilt comes and goes, so you can’t be guilty if it comes and goes. Peace is constant, truth is constant.
Darryl E Berry Jr: For as long as we choose it God’s peace never falters. And that’s another reason why we don’t have to ever feel bad, believing that we’re guilty when we don’t forgive. That’s another reason why. Because if our special relationships are a triumph over God – and remember a special relationship is a “good” one or a “bad” one… If I’m mad at you because of what you did, or I’m glad at you because of what you did, they’re both triumphs over God because they say that something in the world can affect me, and so the world is real. But if all of that stuff is fluctuating and can’t be true, even if I’m in the midst of experiencing guilt it doesn’t affect my ability to choose peace. Relative to the world the mind is constant. The world doesn’t affect the mind at all, the world being a projection of the mind. The fact that we can choose the Holy Spirit at any time, and experience inner peace, regardless of what is going on or not going on in the world, reflects the only true constant which is God or Heaven.
Questioner: It makes sense. It makes perfect sense. It’s just a matter of remembering that, because when you get caught in the moment your focus is on that guilt.
Darryl E Berry Jr: That’s right. And the way you start to remember is to recognize why you don’t remember. It’s because you don’t want to remember.
IX. DID HITLER HAVE PEACE IN HIS MIND?
Questioner: Well Darryl, let me throw this at you another way with that. You talked about Mother Teresa, and I’ve heard it said by people, and in the Course, that God forgives. So God loves Mother Teresa and Adolf Hitler. And I guess God… I’m not going to say that God is into forgiveness because as far as God is concerned maybe it never happened. But what I want to say is this, you’re saying about peace, what you just said. But now, you must also be saying that Hitler had peace, with all this guilt he had peace!
Darryl E Berry Jr: No, that’s not to say that he was at peace at that moment because I mean, if you conspire to slaughter a whole lot of people you’ve got to have guilt in your mind. Wherever there’s aggression, whatever we do for the violence…
Questioner: He was guilty!!
Darryl E Berry Jr: …there’s guilt in their mind. What it means is not that he experienced peace at that moment. What it means is that the right mind was still there for him to choose. What Jesus says is that we’re really the same as him. He says the only difference is that ‘I made a choice that you’ve yet to make.’ In other words, the right mind is in everybody’s mind, even Hitler’s. He chose not to choose it, which is why he wasn’t aware of his peace, but it was there. It’s always there to be chosen.
What made Jesus able to forgive everybody perfectly is that he had no guilt in his mind; and Hitler has become in our society basically the antithesis to that. When a policeman or a politician abuses somebody or abuses their position we look and we call that person a Nazi, “Look at that Nazi jackboot, look at that group of Nazis!” “Nazi” has become the symbol of all that is tyrannous and hateful. So basically just like how Jesus became a symbol of loving everybody, Hitler became a symbol of hating and torturing and killing everybody. So basically you can say Hitler was the antithesis in hatred to what Jesus was for love. The reason why Hitler’s become such a big symbol is because the manifestation of his lack of forgiveness was so apparent. His lack of forgiveness, because of the position he had in the world, resulted in millions of people dying. But it’s no different from when I myself don’t forgive police personnel or government personnel because they violated the Constitution yet again, and participate in or allow whatever atrocity; or when I judge and condemn “the 98%” who may complain but actually prefer to be irresponsible victims, or unruly people needing controlling. There’s no difference in ego expression, whatever form it takes, because the Course says there is truly no hierarchy illusions. Because all miracles are the same, right? There is no order of difficulty among them, the very first miracle principle.
So it doesn’t matter if I order the deaths of a million people, or if I condemn someone or some group because they violated their oath, or if I psychologically attack someone because they are arguing for or passively condoning or enabling their own slavery; it’s the same thing. And just like I have the ability to sit there and say, “Okay, I’m apparently angry at these people for what they did or did not do in the world, but I recognize that my negative emotion is my own projected guilt. And I choose to choose again.” Hitler had the same choice. The fact that he did not choose the choice doesn’t change the fact that the choice was still there to make; and that reflects the fact that truth is inviolate. We talked about how on the higher level reality, truth, is inviolate, is eternal, it does not change. The way that’s reflected here is, no matter what a person does, no matter what they don’t do, no matter how mean they are, no matter how violent they are, no matter how irresponsible they are, always in their mind is the ability to choose to switch over from the ego to the Holy Spirit. That option was in Hitler’s mind as well.
X. WHAT THINGS ARE ETERNAL?
Questioner: So what things are eternal?
Darryl E Berry Jr: Really only God is eternal. Everything here is going to end. Even if it’s a star that’s not going to end for another million or billion years, nothing here is eternal – not even forgiveness, not even the Holy Spirit. Anything having to do with the universe, physical or nonphysical, is temporary. Anything that we can conceive of is temporary. Even when we’re thinking about God we’re not really thinking about God. I mean, the Course gives us several symbols to relate to so that we can have something to work with, but if “I” am thinking about God that means that there’s me in relation to God. So in that case whatever I’m thinking about can’t really be God because there’s no separation with God. There’s no distinction. So even when we throw around all of these highly illustrative words like “limitless,” and “timeless,” the fact that we can conceive of it means that we’re still not thinking about God. Perhaps we’re getting some kind of approximation that we can use to have a counter-reference to what we see. Like the body is obviously temporary because it can be injured, which is a change from its previous state. The Course gives us reference points such as ideas like “eternal,” but even that reference point is not true since the temporal is conceiving the reference point. It’s just an approximation.
Basically what is totally beyond anything conceivable and perceivable, beyond anything you could think about, see, hear, touch, smell, taste, or perceive in any way, physically, psychically, or nonphysically; beyond all of that is what’s real and eternal and unchangeable. So anything that you can see, hear, taste, touch, think about, imagine, sense, perceive, or conceive of, it can’t be real. Using it the other way you can use the steps of forgiveness up but you can also use the steps of forgiveness down. You can say, if what’s true is whole and one, then because I can see separation, because I can see fragmentation, because something can be damaged, because there is duality and multiplicity, whatever it is can’t be real. This includes everything here, even the thought itself.
The fact that I can have a thought of forgiveness here and forget to have forgiveness there means even that thought of forgiveness can’t be true, because it’s not constant in our experience. It’s always there for us to choose, but we don’t always choose it, and can push it out of our awareness. It’s a counter to something else, to the wrong-minded thought of judgment. Both are there in the mind. But what happens is, when we do have a thought of forgiveness it undoes the thought of judgment, and then both of them disappear together and eventually all that remains is the eternal. But nothing here is eternal. What is eternal and changeless is what is beyond all of this altogether. Gary Renard’s The Disappearance of the Universe talks about that a lot, and gives a lot of correlations.
XI. AWARENESS, PART 1
Questioner: So you agree that the awareness is the constant, right?
Darryl E Berry Jr: Well it depends on what you mean by “awareness.” You could say God is an “Awareness,” but if you mean being consciously aware of something it can’t be a constant, because as we know awareness falters.
Questioner: That’s not what’s described by… I can’t pronounce his name properly…
Darryl E Berry Jr: Nisargadatta Maharaj.
Questioner: Yes. But there are also a lot of other people that explain like that awareness is the constant, the feelings come and go, and the forms come and go…
Darryl E Berry Jr: I see what you’re saying. What you are talking about is the decision maker.
Questioner: Not even that. When you’re in deep sleep or when you’re dreaming, or when you’re awake, you’re always aware. You know what I mean? It doesn’t change, you’re always aware of what’s going on.
Darryl E Berry Jr: I remember in I Am That someone asks Nisargadatta Maharaj about waking and sleeping, and he says the fact that you can be aware of the fact that you were unconscious means that something must be continuous to see the difference. Otherwise you would not be aware of the fact that you were unconscious, basically. But that’s still not the unlimited Awareness that the Course is talking about.
Questioner 2: Is that the decision maker? You said the decision maker, but is that… have you heard of the “watcher,” that something is always watching?
Questioner 1: That’s what I mean by “awareness,” like it’s not the mind, it’s not the thoughts that you watch – the thoughts always change, the feelings change, the sensations change, the forms change; it’s not the decision maker it’s before the decision maker, because the mind is within the awareness.
Darryl E Berry Jr: Alright. Are they talking about when you are in a state of enlightenment?
Questioner: No just in general. Because it’s the one thing that doesn’t change, because you’re aware of your emotions, you’re aware of your feelings, your aware of your thoughts, you’re aware of the forms around you, you’re aware of the dream state, the awake, the deep sleep state. Everything else is contained in the awareness, because everything else is changing. It’s being aware and self-aware, that doesn’t change.
Darryl E Berry Jr: That still sounds like the decision maker to me.
Questioner: No because the mind is within it. The thoughts are within it… because the thoughts constantly change…
Darryl E Berry Jr: That perfectly describes the decision maker. Everything and all thoughts and perceptions exist within the dreaming mind, the decision maker. There’s nothing “before” the decision maker, the dreamer of the dream. Let me bring the diagram over…
If we look at this diagram, breaking down the divisions of the mind, what the mind is, this is the tiny mad idea, the thought of separation. This is the decision maker, this dot or circle. At this point, at the first separation, there were no two things to choose between. There was just that awareness of being separate. Like when we went through the divisions, the first step where the Course says:
Consciousness, the level of perception, was the first split introduced into the mind after the separation…
That’s the decision maker. That’s primordial consciousness, or primordial awareness – before there were two thoughts to choose between (the wrong mind and the right mind, the ego and the Holy Spirit). Because the thought “came,” a consciousness “came,” an awareness of being separate from God, an experience of being separate from God. And then it had two ways of looking at that idea or experience of seemingly separating. And that’s when the right mind and the wrong mind came. Every single thought down here, in the world of time and space, including all emotions, perceptions, etcetera, are a reflection of the thought of this dreaming mind. So all the thoughts and perceptions and experiences in the world that come and go – happiness, pain, sadness, waking, sleeping, dreaming, stillness, so on and so forth – that’s all in the world of form, the world of multiplicity, happening by the little mind. And all of that is a projection of the one thought for the ego by the decision maker, by the dreamer of the dream, like we read in Chapter 18. And the thought of the ego, and the correction that is the Holy Spirit, are both contained within the mind of the decision maker as well.
Questioner 1: But I’m saying this is prior to that, because you can be still and just be looking out at everything, and separation doesn’t occur to you when you’re doing that. The thought of separation – this is a table, this is a chair – that’s part of the mind, and that’s a form that changes. And just watching that you recognize that there is a difference, there’s something that is constant, and yet the mind, the thought, “there is a table, there is a chair,” that’s separation, that’s something that comes and goes. But not “the watcher” that just sees what’s there; it’s not the mind it’s different than the mind.
Questioner 2: I see what you’re saying. I did say the “watcher,” but how about the “observer.”
Questioner 1: Yes!!
Questioner 2: There’s something that’s observing things. And when I can see what the observer is observing then maybe I’ll make a decision on it, but something that always observes everything. The Course talks about a chair being a chair, but this “observer” observed that the thing there or that the chair is not a chair, but the “watcher,” the “observer” sees that, and then I have a decision to make, is it real or is it not real, which way I’ll go.
Darryl E Berry Jr: To me it still sounds like the decision maker. Even on the level of the world the individual consciousness that we have is still a fragment of or a reflection of the decision maker. But if it seems like something that’s different then play with it and investigate it and see if you could find out what it is it. If it is in fact something different then let me know. But when I hear you all describing it, it still in my mind and experience comes back to the decision maker, the dreaming mind. There’s not really anything “prior” to it.
That’s one of the potential drawbacks of studying other things before you have a handle on the Course. A Course in Miracles is a unique thought system, so I would never think that we will find any other thought system that we can sort of parallel to it, and the words and terminology and the things they talk about perfectly mesh. But there will be some things, if a person in a different thought system has actually reached that place of total inner peace, that universal experience that we talked about, there will be some things that correlate in their description of things; because it’s still a reflection of that same right-minded source. So when I go from my experience, and again remember I had a direct experience of being this “observer” mind that recognized itself and everything here as meaningless activity. To me it goes back to the decision maker. And even on this level the consciousness that we experience as an individual consciousness that observes things, all it is, is just a reflection of the decision maker.
XII. DIFFERENT VERSIONS OF THE COURSE
Questioner: I still haven’t found my A Course in Miracles book, but I found the first edition Text book from the three-book original set that was put out. What was the change you say is in this edition from the second edition, and was it a big change?
Darryl E Berry Jr: It’s not a big change it’s a little change. I didn’t memorize where the discrepancy is. It was shared I believe in the book Absence from Felicity by Kenneth Wapnick. And I think Ken talked about it on his recorded talk about Helen titled ‘A Gift of God.’ But it’s not a big change. I was just using that as an example to show that the Course is not some spiritual thing that we should revere or anything; it’s just a book, it’s just words. As we said earlier, it’s just a collection of symbols of symbols. Knowledge is the Source.
Questioner: Okay. So I have no problem reading this edition?
Darryl E Berry Jr: No, no. What happened is Helen Schucman took down the dictation and then she read it to Bill Thetford, and he typed it up. But what must have happened is two pages in her shorthand notebook stuck together. So when she was going through her notes reading to Bill, when she turned a page instead of turning one page she turned two, which means two Paragraphs were not put into the first published edition. So the book you’re reading is missing about two paragraphs; somewhere in one of the Text Chapters, in the 20s Chapters. I had that book and I took the second edition book and I compared them. I went to the verse that Ken pointed out, and I confirmed that there is a difference. So there’s two Paragraphs or so missing, that’s all.
Darryl E Berry Jr: So all that’s going to happen is when you get the actual Course book, you will read through it and one time you read through it you’ll read two Paragraphs that you’ve never read before. It was like in Chapter twenty or twenty five or something. But like Ken has said, you could have one page of the Course and read it and apply it and awaken. He said something of this nature. So you don’t have to worry about those two or three Paragraphs, it isn’t a big deal. I was just using that as an example to point out that the Course is not holy or sacrosanct.
I remember Ken talking about Helen Schucman in one of his recorded talks, and he was saying how Helen was really fond of nuns, and she was really fond of the Catholic Church building and the atmosphere. She would sometimes go to the Catholic Church and talk to the nuns, and there were some nuns that they became friends with. And Helen talked about how she went in with one of the notepads that she dictated to Course onto in shorthand, and she handed it to the nun to purview, and the nun took and petted it really gently like she had a great reverence for it. And that’s the point Ken was making, these things are not really “spiritual.” It’s nice that she respected the book. I mean, it’s not like she’s bad or anything for petting the book, but like the Course says, only God should be awed.
So I was just using the fact that there were some errors in the book as an example that the book is not sacrosanct, as another example to point out that the Course is not “spiritual” or anything like that. You could say that the Source that it comes from is spiritual, and all we have to do is use the symbols it gives us and apply it so that we can experience that Source for ourselves; the right mind that is in all of us, which reflects that which alone is truly Spiritual.
It doesn’t really matter if you have the first edition, or the second edition, or the third edition – which adds the supplementary pamphlets Helen scribed. It is best to have the official edition, but if you can’t it won’t destroy your progress in and of itself. The second edition typing (also in the third combined edition) published by the Foundation for Inner Peace is the intended and authentic version, but if you can’t get it then ultimately it doesn’t really matter which one you get as long as you get it, and study it, and apply it to the best of your ability. As for that first edition book right there, it will hold you well until you get the second or third edition official book.
Questioner: There’s a Cayce version too where it talks about Jesus in the Course, so you are saying the same thing even about that? Because I have a copy of that one. What was his name? Dr. Cayce?
Darryl E Berry Jr: Yes, that’s the Hugh-Lynn Cayce version. What happened is when they originally printed the Course – before they truly finalized it – they were handing out the first draft to certain people, including one to the organization based on Edgar Cayce, because the Foundation for Inner Peace group became friends with them. Cayce was a psychic channel and Helen was a psychic channel. The copy they had somebody apparently stole and made copies of and passed out, and that’s the Hugh-Lynn Cayce version. It’s basically a first draft, in between the Urtext and the first published 3-volume edition. The Urtext is basically when Helen read from her shorthand to Bill Thetford, and he typed it out, which was exactly everything she directly took down. Basically the first draft was printed up and given to the Cayce group and that was stolen and became the Hugh-Lynn Cayce version.
Eventually they came to the first published edition, the three separate books one of which you have, and then Kenneth Wapnick came along and helped by adding numbering and subtitles, and they found the two Paragraphs that they missed, and thus we have the 2nd Edition (and combined 3rd Edition) by the Foundation for Inner Peace. The ascended masters suggest getting the second/third FIP edition simply because it’s the official and true one, from the original publishers – and it’s not stolen material like pirated versions are. But if something happened and there was no way for you to get the correct edition, you can read the first edition and get to enlightenment. And if all you have is a Hugh Lynn Cayce version that will get you there; and the Urtext would get you there… It’s kind of like if you’re in college, and they’re constantly putting out new editions of books, right? So if you’re in college and your teacher is using the second edition and you have the first edition, well they have the expanded version so there’s more information in there, and more corrections of errors have been made, and they changed the typesetting so the pagination would be a bit different. But you could get through the class with the first edition. But when the teacher says, “Go to page three,” you actually have to go to page one. When they read from the expanded parts you won’t have that information. But you can still get through the class. It’s just easier to get through the class if you have the exact version the teacher is using. It’s the same thing with the Course. It’s not going to make you “fail” just because you don’t have the authentic Course, but you would find that it’s easier to get through the class if you have the proper version, simply because that’s the final product that was made that says, “Okay, this is pretty much as close as we’re going to get it to exactly the way He wants it.” As Arten and Pursah say in Love Has Forgotten No One:
Stick with the real thing, which was given to Helen over a period of seven years as J constantly corrected her.
Words are but symbols of symbols, yet symbols do have meaning on their own level. In other words, when you read the Course the words have certain meanings, so it’s helpful to get the symbols that the author wanted it to be, right? But again, if you don’t happen to have that specific symbol, if you can’t get the specific symbol, the other ones can work. If Mother Teresa could do with the Bible then you can do it with any version of the Course that you can find. So don’t worry about it. Again, you’ll find that you can get through the class more easily if you have the version that was intended. But if you can’t get the intended version it’s no big deal at the same time. What ended up happening is people started to say, “Hey you just have to get the Urtext because they took ‘this’ out of the Urtext and they took ‘that’ out of it, and Jesus obviously wanted us to have it because he said it!” And then someone else says, “No, you have to get the Cayce version because that was before Ken came along, and Ken started taking over and changing things!” And then other people are saying, “No, you have to get this…!” That’s what the problem is. When you start judging and condemning based upon the idea that “your” version is the right version and “their” version is the wrong version, then it becomes just another defense against truth. The simplest thing to do if you have the choice is to get the one that the Voice intended, and that’s the official (FIP) version. If you make a big deal about anything else it’s just a defense against truth.
I defend when I don’t forgive “the government,” or “the people,” and that person defends by saying the Urtext is right and condemns and judges everyone and everything else – we just all have our defenses, it’s no different. It doesn’t make them bad or guilty any more than it makes me guilty for judging whoever it is that I judge, nor you guilty for honking your horn, or anybody guilty for whatever we do. That’s just what we do. But the best thing you can do is recognize that the “real” thing you want to get to is inner peace, and “Is there something in this book that I can read that could be a symbol to point me in the right direction?” And if the answer is “Yes” then keep on reading – and the answer is yes. So go ahead and keep on reading it.
We have ten more minutes, are there any closing questions or comments?
Questioner: I had a preference for the Urtext, but I like that you pointed out that there were mistakes made in it regarding like the sex aspect versus generalization, but I like the way it was personalized, the lessons that Helen learned, it’s nice to learn from them.
Darryl E Berry Jr: But again, the problem came when people started saying this is the “right” version and this is the “wrong” version, all the while disregarding what the Voice itself says is the right version. And like I said then, you can see why the later versions would be the one He was intending because to say a “physical impulse” covers the sexual impulse, but to say a “sexual impulse,” well it just covers sexual impulses. But “physical impulse” covers hunger, breathing, everything. And later in the Course, in the Introduction to the Workbook, he talks about generalizing the lessons. So you can see how it all adds up in the official editions (2nd and 3rd editions) by the Foundation for Inner Peace.
So just like I was saying earlier, if you get the proper version it will fit more directly into the lesson that the teacher is teaching, because he’s teaching from that version, from that edition. But again, if you have an older version it’s still an older version of the most advanced thought system that I’ve ever found, so it will still get you there. If people can do it with the Bible then you could do it with the Urtext – as long as you keep it in context. Because again, the people that think the Urtext is “what it is,” and then they think Jesus was talking about sex, and then it becomes about tantra, and then we’ve got to get into some spiritual-sex thing, and it could lead you on a whole tangent if you miss the context that he was speaking to her in. And it’s fine if those practices are your interest, it’s just that the miracle isn’t to do with tantra, it’s to do with changing from the wrong mind to the right mind. So I think that for most students it’s been a dangerous thing getting into the early drafts, because they can more easily be misunderstood so as to go off on a tangent. But again, they go off on a tangent because that’s their defense against the truth. It’s no different than any other tangent that we do.
Questioner: And it’s funny how, on the Ken Wapnick CD you leant me ‘Form versus Content,’ how he was talking about in the early days they took that seriously to mean free love, everybody was having…
Darryl E Berry Jr: Having sex with everybody. “We’re not supposed to withhold our love from people, so…” There may be situations where that’s applicable in that way, but it was clear to him that theirs was not one of those situations. Just like there may be an applicable situation to tell somebody, “Hey, illness is a defense against the truth.” But most times if you see someone ill that’s not the way to apply the Course. But again, it doesn’t make them guilty. At some point they’re going to recognize, “You know what, my investment in the Urtext was just another layer of the onion. And it doesn’t make me guilty.” And then they can go through that and say, “Hey, you know what, maybe there’s a reason why I was holding onto this, and not looking at that version that the Voice wanted me to read.” And they’ll just go through the same process of forgiveness. It’s just another layer of the onion that they can go through, just like the layer of the onion you went through with the lady in the car, just like the layers of the onion I go through with “government” and with “the people.” “I forgive myself for not forgiving,” and then just go right on through.
It doesn’t matter what people’s onion layers look like. Because the ego wants us to have a hierarchy of illusions we want to make someone else’s onion be very important, very relevant, and very different. So my onion is the Urtext and your onion is the… whatever. Everybody has an onion. But eventually we start to learn that it doesn’t matter if you have a red onion or a yellow onion or a white onion, it’s still an onion, and you have to get to the core of it to be free. So that’s all.
XIII. AWARENESS, PART 2
Darryl E Berry Jr: And again on that “awareness” thing, I suggest you go into it and explore it. But the more you two describe it the more it sounds like the decision maker, the dreamer of the dream. So really as far as this world that’s the only awareness or consciousness or mind or observer or whatever word you want to use, that’s the only thing that will be constant relative to this world, or relative to the transient thoughts we have. Because everything, every single thought, every single object here is contained within that mind, is projected by that mind, and it is the constant backdrop upon which this individual mind is projected, and this universe is projected. Ken uses the example a lot of the film projector. The film is constantly moving but the light that’s going through the film is constant, right? So the light that is going through the film will be like the awareness that you are talking about, and all the different thoughts that come and go will be the film going through the light, making images on the screen; understand what I’m saying? But the mind that’s projecting everything, that awareness, that consciousness, would be the decision maker, the dreamer of the dream. And just from my experience doing the Course – and I read I Am That at least two times, so I’m very familiar with his teaching. For a period of time about eight years ago I was really into Maharaj. And after going through that period where I was really studying Nisargadatta, as well as studying the Course, as well as my mystical experiences, it’s the decision maker.
XIV. TRYING TO MIX THOUGHT SYSTEMS
Darryl E Berry Jr: I really think if you try to take his thought system, or anyone else’s thought system, and try to parallel it with the Course, I don’t think it will ever work. Just like how it wouldn’t work if you were to take Mother Teresa’s thought system that she used to get enlightened and try to parallel it to the Course. It won’t work. It will just end up confusing you. The stuff in there that reflects the truth that you know is behind A Course in Miracles, I would just use it as a confirmation. Like, “Wow, this guy from this whole other part of the world, using something in a sense totally different, had a totally different way of practicing, and he is clearly in a state of absolute peace.” But the stuff where it’s like, “Is he talking about this, is he talking about that; is this the mind, is that the mind,” I would just leave that alone really, because it could just end up confusing you. But at the same time, “Don’t fight yourself.” If it really feels like that’s something important to you I would say go into it. The worst case scenario is a greater understanding will eventually develop on a different angle. I have certain angles of my understanding that come from what I’ve studied and what I’ve investigated, so you can go into that and study it and come up with a totally different angle. And in the end you’ll hit the same truth but you will have an understanding that reflects the way your mind works. So I would say if it really interests you and seems like something different to you then go into it, and you just may have a way of understanding that that allows you to understand the Course even better the way your mind thinks, so it can go either way. Let me know how it works out, I’ll be glad to hear about it.
But awesome, our time is up for today. Anyone has anything that is pressing on your mind before we close?
Questioner 2: I’m fine.
Questioner 1: I’m good. Thank you. This was a really good session.
Questioners: Thank you.