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 Chapter ( Table of Contents ) Chapter 5 >>
4 BACK TO BASICS PRINCIPLE
This session, entitled ‘Back to Basics Principle,’ was recorded on May 25th of 2014.
II. ON FORGETTING TO FORGIVE
Darryl E Berry Jr: You mean everything about the world feels very real? I understand that. I think I’ve finally reached the point where I stopped really trying to make the world not seem real to me. That comes with time. I think for the first 2 or 3 years I spent really trying to fight to become enlightened that year or something, especially given the fact that we all have things that happen in our lives that we’re not so happy about. And now we have the solution where we can finally wake up from everything and be through with all of this. But, even… Let’s go to page 393 of the Text, Chapter 18, Section 9, ‘The Two Worlds.’ This will go into a discussion of reaching a point of not seeing the world as real but also a different way of looking at the world. It says:
1You have been told to bring the darkness to the light, and guilt to holiness. 2And you have also been told that error must be corrected at its source.
Now this is going to all the different parts of the Course that talk about the fact that the error, the belief that the separation from God is real, must be corrected with that thought, not with all the different forms of that thought that we have in the world. And of course this is Chapter 18; we read before several times in Section I of this Chapter, where it talks about how the world and everything in the world is a fragment and a projection of that one error.
Questioner: Right. I keep forgetting the projection part. I keep forgetting that it is about the separation from God. It eludes me a lot. I know it’s purposely done but it doesn’t feel intentionally done. Do you know what I mean?
Darryl E Berry Jr: It sounds like you’re making seeing the world as not real more important than it is, really. That’s not the whole of the process. Arten and Pursah say that “knowing the world is an illusion is not enough… that’s the backdrop; the prevalent attitude.” You have to know the purpose of the dream, and how to reinterpret the dream images, to make use of the idea that the world is an illusion. It’s not anything that anybody would expect you to just stop doing, seeing the world as real. For a long time I was trying actively to see the world as illusory all the time, but it’s really unnecessary to try. Really whenever you remember to forgive you forgive – which recognizes the illusory nature of the world as a backdrop; and whenever you don’t forgive, then you don’t. Fully recognizing the world for what it isn’t will actually come to you of itself, really.
Bookmark that page and let’s skip to a different Section. Let’s go to page 587 of the Text, Chapter 27, Section VIII, ‘The Hero of the Dream,’ and we’ll go to Paragraph 9 – because it’s going to reflect and reinforce what we just read. We just read on page 393 that error must be corrected at its source. And then we go to the Chapter 27, Section VIII, Paragraph 9, and it says:
1In gentle laughter does the Holy Spirit perceive the cause, and looks not to effects. 2How else could He correct your error, who have overlooked the cause entirely? 3He bids you bring each terrible effect to Him that you may look together on its foolish cause and laugh with Him a while. 4You judge effects, but He has judged their cause.
Now one thing “in-between the lines” to notice, he is not saying we need to focus really hard to see the illusory nature of the world and be upset when we don’t, or that we have to remember this at all times and be preoccupied with the fact that we don’t remember all the time. He’s saying ‘he bids you to bring the terrible effects to Him so that you can look together on their foolish cause and laugh for a while.’ And he’s gentle. Nowhere in there is there any semblance or communication of struggle or strain or force.
Questioner: That’s the other thing I forgot. Yeah.
Darryl E Berry Jr: And that’s very important because actually that’s another delaying maneuver really, to try too hard. It may not seem like it, but in my experience when we first start the Course and we really want to do it all the time to the neglect of being involved in the world, it’s actually another delaying maneuver, the reason being…
Questioner: Remember last week you were talking about, and it just resonated with me, when you were saying how you were trying to do the Workbook Lessons so perfectly and using alarms?
Darryl E Berry Jr: Yes. I think you said you did the same thing with it?
Questioner: I did the same thing. Is that a delaying tactic as well? Obviously I didn’t do it perfectly and I stopped doing that.
Darryl E Berry Jr: It’s not a delaying tactic in the sense that it’s wrong or “sinful” to do. It’s a delaying tactic the sense that it’s totally missing the real purpose behind doing the Workbook Lessons. He knows that we are not going to do lessons perfectly, he knows that we are not. Even as he says do it this or that way. But in doing the Workbook Lessons as best we can we notice the fact that we don’t want to do them, and we can forgive ourselves for it. And that’s actually the template of how we live in the world. This is actually straight from Kenneth Wapnick. When you do the Workbook it’s not about doing the Workbook perfectly; it’s about forgiving yourself when you don’t do it perfectly, because Y’shua knows you are not going to do it perfectly. There is somewhere in the Workbook where he pretty much says you are not going to do it perfectly. So basically the error in trying to use alarms and timers and such to do the Workbook perfectly is that we’re focusing on the form to the exclusion of content.
Questioner: Oh! That’s right, looking at the form. Yeah, exactly. Exactly!
Darryl E Berry Jr: That’s all that is. I mean, how could it really matter to the peace of God if we say or think a certain thing at a certain time, when time doesn’t even exist; and the self that is apparently thinking is not even real? Saying or doing something at a certain time isn’t going to heal your mind. And what ends up happening is that we make an idol out of the Workbook and out of the practice, believing that if I can only do this Workbook Lesson perfectly then I will be enlightened, then I will have peace; if I can only do this exactly as he says then I will be spiritual. The Course is not trying to make you spiritual. It’s teaching you to remove the blocks to the awareness of love’s presence, to the awareness of your spirituality, to the awareness of the perfect inner peace that is already there. It’s not making you spiritual, it’s not making you loving or enlightened or at peace. It’s bringing to the surface all the different ways that we defend against our enlightenment and inner peace, and teaching us that we want to let these go. But believing that we have to do the Workbook perfectly is to say that I’m not enlightened now but if I do this right then I will be enlightened.
This is similar to the part of the Course where he is talking about the different paths, and he is saying that even like the religious way where they try to teach you that you are sinful now and that somehow you will be free from that sin at some future time. It’s not really the proper way to look at it because it’s focusing on a goal that’s far into the future, different from what you have now, and it’s causing a struggle that’s not really there. What the Course is saying is that you are already there, and all you have to do is be willing to stop denying the fact that you are there. And you don’t even have to struggle to do that. It will happen all by itself through the consistent practice of forgiveness.
Ironically, and this is not to say that you should not do what you are doing, and as I said that’s the same thing I did the first like 2, 3, 4, or 5 years… The first 3 or 4 years I studied the Course is the time when I most fervently read it. Like you I was listening to tapes all the time, and I read the Text several times, and I read The Disappearance of the Universe by Gary Renard several times, and read, watched, and listened to all the Kenneth Wapnick material I got my hands on. And of course studying Course material was and is still very important to do, and my ubiquitous study did build the foundation of my theoretical or intellectual knowledge and understanding of the Course. But now it’s almost the reverse. I study the Course regularly, but not to the exclusion of engaging the world. I engage in the world, and I apply the Course when it comes to me to do so – when something comes up that seems to affect my peace of mind. And I notice that naturally, gradually, it’s becoming more and more a habit to think with the Course.
Earlier today I got pulled over for speeding, and though I didn’t consciously experience anger I recognized in myself condemnation. The problem as I saw it ended up being part of an entire problem at the world’s level, as far as the corruption of “government,” the utter uselessness of statutes and codes to a free people, and so forth. I was moving along, I’m not hurting anybody, and there was a “construction area.” I was the only one on the interstate for miles, there was no construction going on at the time as it’s a Sunday and a holiday, but I was still technically going 80mph in a 55mph zone, because there’s a little orange barrel on the shoulder that means construction is going on. I think about all this and I say, “Wow.” And after I go through my whole worldly understanding of why that is wrong according to real (natural) law, and liberty, and freedom, then it very clearly comes to me and sticks out the fact that all of that is experienced as “wrong” to me because of the wrongness of that thought; the tiny mad idea. The fact that the world is apparently here is because of guilt being projected, in all these various forms, including this entire system by which we choose to live and structure our society, and how crazy it is and how distorted it’s become. It’s all a setup that we choose, as the reflection of that one thought of separation from God, that one idea of guilt. And I reflected on the fact that it wasn’t really the “police” taking my inner peace away, or the “government” taking my inner peace away. I’m choosing the thought that has me in this world the first place! And this is all reflecting that one thought of separation, just like it says in Chapter 18 of the Text:
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.
So when I saw a “wrong” I engaged in a forgiveness thought process, even though I may not have apparently felt anger, just like I told you before – I wasn’t happy about it, right? I saw a “problem.” There was judgment there. Thus there was guilt there. So I go through the forgiveness process and then I feel an internal shift.
III. WHAT TO DO, GET BACK TO BASICS
Questioner: I’m similar to you in the fact that this “person” I know is Libertarian. And it shocked me that you started talking to me about that because I felt the same way so that must be projection – that the government out there is the problem, and that’s not really the problem. And I went looking for a new place to live and then we met, and all of a sudden you started talking about the same issues that I have problems with, you know with the government. So I recognized this when I was speaking to him but it just shocked me – I don’t know why it shocked me, but it did.
Darryl E Berry Jr: Sounds good. That’s an example of the thought coming to you. In other words, at that point you weren’t trying to think about the Course, you were just talking about your perspective, and then…
Questioner: Yes. It wasn’t anything to do with the Course at all. It was just us having a normal conversation and it just popped up, and it just struck me at that moment.
Darryl E Berry Jr: Good.
Questioner: And I can tell that part of me, because I have been trained to go vote and ‘do the right thing,’ that I’m pulled in that direction. But at the same time when doing this I’m being pulled in another direction. And I felt guilty about not being more of a participant, you know? And…
Darryl E Berry Jr: Guilty in what way?
Questioner: That I’m not… Part of me sees that it’s futile for me to be involved, and the other part feels guilty that I’m not involved.
Darryl E Berry Jr: Well, that’s an entire discussion there, which is actually something I planned to talk about tonight as well.
Questioner: That would help!
Darryl E Berry Jr: It actually follows up with the same thoughts. We will get to it, we still have plenty of time, and I will make sure I get to it.
Questioner: I remember this because I just listened to the CDs you loaned me, and Kenneth Wapnick was talking about the authority problem, that everybody on the planet has the authority problem. So I mean that’s just what this is about, and I just have to work through it and forgive it.
Darryl E Berry Jr: Well, one of the common mistakes about the Course, and I don’t really think there is a formula I can give to where you can have a perfect balance in this respect… The Course never talks about what to do in the world. One of the things I intend on writing about is “the government,” and stuff like that – and I do so now. One way that I have found, that can give you a sort of barometer of how to test what to do, or what not to do, in relation to study of the Course is this: Always go back to basics. This is what I mean by that…
Okay, so you think a certain way about “the government” and you feel like you want to get involved, to let’s say vote, or do whatever. And also at the same time you may think about what the Course is saying, that it’s not real. So you may think, “I shouldn’t get involved, I’d be making it real,” right? But if you go back to basics and ask, “When you are hungry, what do you do?”
Questioner: Okay. We eat.
Darryl E Berry Jr: Yes, you eat. Now, since you have been studying the Course how many times have you debated should you eat? Because eating is of the body too, and the body isn’t real, and eating is magic – just like anything that seems to maintain or “heal” or fix the body. So how many times have you sat there and considered not eating anymore for the rest of your life?
Questioner: Not many.
Darryl E Berry Jr: Probably not too seriously because you’re still here, right?
Darryl E Berry Jr: And I have actually tried that.
Questioner: You know what, I have told you before that I have seen yogis that can stop drinking, stop eating, stop sleeping – I mean it’s possible.
Darryl E Berry Jr: Of course it’s possible.
Questioner: But for most, no it’s not.
Darryl E Berry Jr: Not with the script that we have allotted ourselves, most of us, which goes back to the part of Manual for Teachers that talks about whether changes are required in the life situations of God’s teachers. That’s apparently speaking about the surface level of activity – should I quit my job, or should I do or no longer do this or that. But as you get more into generalizing the Course it actually refers to everything. Should I stop breathing? Should I stop eating? Do I need to stop eating to be a good Course student? No. You can still eat.
I remember mentioning Byron Katie, and how she stopped eating for about 30 days. I told you about her experience – how she became enlightened, and when she came back to being involved in the world she knew that nothing was true because she had an experience to compare everything to, and she started to test things. She realized hunger can’t be true either, so she just stopped eating. For about 30 days she stopped eating – I don’t know if she stopped drinking as well but I imagine she stopped drinking as well. I mean it wasn’t important to her to do this. She just said it in passing on one of her CDs, or in one of her interviews. She stopped for like 30 days and it had no ill-effects on her. She just recognized that hunger is not true, just like nothing else is true. But to keep up appearances she started to eat again. Do you see what I mean? In her experience it doesn’t really matter if you eat or not. Neither is real. But at the level of awareness that we are at it does matter, and it doesn’t seriously occur to us to stop eating. For most of us if we stopped eating we’d starve and very uncomfortably die.
Darryl E Berry Jr: So this basics thinking applies to everything. If you see a political wrong going on that you feel an impulse to do something about, then do something about it. Just like if you felt an impulse in your stomach that says “I’m hungry,” then you feed it and quiet that impulse. So it’s okay. Just like with breathing. Have you ever really considered stopping breathing? Breathing is really just another illusion as well. Oxygen doesn’t do anything, the body doesn’t do anything – the eyes don’t see, the brain doesn’t think. That also means that the stomach doesn’t digest, and the lungs don’t breathe!! It’s set up to seem that way.
Darryl E Berry Jr: So even if lungs pump air in and out, it’s not really doing anything. What makes it seem like it is doing something is the mind makes a program that says, ‘breathe and project this sensation, don’t breathe and project this sensation, and if you don’t breathe for so long then project a dead body.’ It’s just a program, just like how we talked about the video game where there is a little mushroom and you bring your little video game character over there and eat the mushroom in the video game, and your video game character becomes big and super-powered. Well it’s because that’s how the programmer programmed the game! The programmer could come in and reprogram the game to take that same mushroom and make it so that if your little character eats it your game character dies, right?
Darryl E Berry Jr: But a kid playing that video game enough starts to associate that mushroom with getting big and super-powered, and that’s reality as far as that video game world is concerned! It’s the laws of nature or physics or biology in that video game world; as long as the programming says so. It’s the same thing with the physical world. So to do the Course it’s not necessary for us to give up eating, or give up drinking, or give up sex, or give up our favorite cause, or give up anything else that we do on a physical level – exercising, stretching, yoga, all the things that we do with our physical body to make us look and feel good, or to stop us from feeling bad, or to stop us from dying or starving, or whatever. All the things that we do to comfort ourselves – for example we don’t have to give up our blankets. There are yogis that demonstrate that they can sit in the middle of the snow and make the snow melt. They don’t have to worry about temperature. Temperature isn’t real, like everything else. That doesn’t mean we have to give up our blankets, or our heaters, or our air conditioner. I mean I still go to sleep and have my blanket, and the air conditioner is right there. If it’s cold I turn it up, and if it’s hot I turn it down. Sometimes I delay because I am writing or whatever, but then it’s like, “I need to turn the air on because I’m sweating,” or “I’m freezing, my toes are cold, let me turn the heater on.” But I don’t avoid doing it or delay doing it because it’s “unspiritual” or anything. It’s the same thing with everything else, because there is no hierarchy of illusions. The ego tries to tell us that there is a hierarchy illusions, as stated in Chapter 23 of the Text, in the Section on The Laws of Chaos. The ego says there is a hierarchy of illusions, meaning that different illusions are really different, but they’re not – they’re all the same in their unreality.
What we try to do is, without even realizing it, we try to give credence to the ego thought that there is a hierarchy of illusions, by saying, “Okay, to be a good Course student I have to no longer engage in the political process.” But we don’t consider the fact that we’re still breathing, and breathing is no less being engaged in the physical world than being engaged in politics. It’s no different. If you want to give up political involvement because you want to that’s fine with the Course as well. But the Course has no involvement either way. The fact that we do treat involved and uninvolved as different means that we are actually stepping away from what the Course is leading us towards, and not stepping towards it. If it’s something that you really want to do, then do so. If it’s something that you really want not do, then don’t. Like I said, it’s nothing new to the Course student I’m sure. I spent time trying to give up sex, and it didn’t work. I spent time trying to give up engaging in the world, and didn’t work.
Questioner: There was something Kenneth said too on the CDs, that if you give something up you are making it more real?
Darryl E Berry Jr: Yes, exactly. Because you are making a hierarchy illusions. Even with that one thing you are saying that doing this thing, which is one illusion, is somehow different from not doing this thing, which is equally illusory. “Not doing this thing is spiritual, not doing this thing is more aligned with the Course, but doing this thing is less aligned with the Course, so I will stop doing this so I can be spiritual.” So it’s making a hierarchy of illusions. Anytime there is anything there is no way we cannot respond to it anyway. That’s the trip part about it. There is literally no way we cannot respond in some way; if you’re aware of it! So if you are aware of some political thing and you decide, “I’m not going to get involved because it’s going to make me move away from doing the Course,” you are actually doing something in relation to that thing right there. You just did something, right there. So whether you are doing something actively or you are avoiding doing it, you are still acting in relation to that thing, so you can’t help but to act in relation to everything. You cannot help it. Once you are aware of it you react in some way, whether you do something or you don’t do something. But for some reason we want to imagine that not doing something in relation to it is somehow different from doing something in relation to it, when it’s not, because there is no hierarchy of illusions though the ego says there is. That’s why the first principle of miracles says there is no order of difficulty in miracles; because all illusions are the same.
So using the principle of going back to basics, the day that you think it’s “spiritual” to stop doing anything, also stop breathing. And if you cannot successfully stop breathing then it’s okay for you to do whatever else you want to do and do the Course. So as long as I see political corruption, for as long as I’m interested in doing so, I will write about it, and talk to people about it, and friends about it. I keep my guns. Just because I’m a student of the Course it won’t make me stop. I can do all the normal and appropriate things to do with any given situation. But I may not be as angry when I do it – but sometimes I am.
Questioner: But you just look at the anger, and look at…
Darryl E Berry Jr: Yes. Whenever it comes to mind then forgive. Just like when you realized, when you were talking about politics and the idea came to mind that you could look at it differently. When it comes to my mind I look at it differently. But you can still address problems at the world’s level at the same time. The solutions you find may be different when you’re more peaceful; you will more clearly and more broadly see the problem even at the worldly level when you’re without judgement. But there was a period of time when I didn’t want to be involved because I thought to be “spiritual” is to try not to be involved in the world. And again, eventually I got back to basics and thought, “Well I’m still eating, and I’m still breathing.” And of course I heard Kenneth Wapnick saying the same thing; that you don’t have to give up anything. Different people are different and there are exceptions to the rule, but for most the path is living our normal lives with forgiveness, with any life changes ultimately being a natural playing out of the inner peace we feel, which can occur in many different ways.
I believe you’re currently borrowing Kenneth’s workshop CD “Life a Required Course”?
Darryl E Berry Jr: I’m pretty sure that talks about the fact that if we do avoid acting in the world then all we’re doing is removing ourselves from the forgiveness lessons that we need anyway. It’s no accident that we are born at this period of time, on this planet, at this place, where the small group of people we call “the government” are doing what they are doing and not doing what they are not doing, and where the groups of people we call ‘The People” are doing what they are doing and not doing what they are not doing that allows it all to happen.
Questioner: And every relationship is holy, because if you see it as a forgiveness lesson every relationship becomes holy.
Darryl E Berry Jr: Yes that is true. If you see it as a forgiveness lesson and you forgive then every relationship becomes holy. It has nothing to do with the relationship. It has to do with the fact that when you choose the Holy Spirit then you see everything from that perspective. It really has nothing to do with the relationship. It’s just a way of speaking that the Course uses because we of course see ourselves as separate. But once you truly forgive any relationship then you realize that there is no relationship. When you realize that there is really no relationship then you really start to experience that perspective that he’s talking about. There is a verse in the Gospel of Thomas that says to be passersby.
Questioner: I remember that, yes.
Darryl E Berry Jr: And it’s about your attitude. It’s not about not doing things in the world or not being involved in the world, it’s about your attitude. Chances are if Jesus was alive today and he saw a little kid about to walk across a street and get hit by a car, and he had the opportunity to stop the kid, I’m pretty sure he would stop the kid. It only makes sense to stop the kid. He’s not going to say, “Oh that kid is an illusion, the car is an illusion, and this is a dream,” and then just watch the kid get rolled over. I’m pretty sure he would involve himself. It’s just that if he got there too late I’m pretty sure he would not beat himself up, or if he got there on time he would not see himself as a great hero, “Oh look what I did!” It would just be a kind thing to do, an applicable thing to do, to a problem that is occurring. He would just act. And that’s really the same tact that the Course is teaching us to take with everything. But it really starts by being normal, just going back to basics. If you ever think doing the Course means that you cannot do something, then stop breathing and eating from that moment. And if you find that you can’t stop breathing and eating and so forth then you can go ahead and do whatever you want to do. And again, all it’s going to do is bring you your forgiveness lessons. So you can’t lose. Not only did I get a forgiveness lesson with the speeding ticket, but I got something else to discuss. And ironically everything, just like how on the ego’s side it takes that one thought and projects it out and everything points to that original thought of sin or separation, the same thing happens with the Holy Spirit’s side – everything points to forgiveness and salvation. That’s an application of the line that says:
1All things work together for good. 2There are no exceptions except in the ego’s judgment.
It’s quite amazing.
One of the guys I’ve learned a lot from as far as the inanity of government is a guy named Larkin Rose. He’s an anarchist, meaning that he is against there being any government at all, as he recognizes that all government eventually turns tyrannous, and that whenever we give anyone authority over us it ends up being a bad thing. Thus he says we need to recognize that we – in relation to other beings in the universe – are all equal, we are the owners of ourselves, and we need to disregard all governmental authority and recognize it as illegitimate if we are to be free. That perfectly parallels what the Course is saying about the tiny mad idea. We are living under a tyrannous regime called the ego. And the ego is dictating to us to hate, to attack, and is imprisoning us in fear, and in guilt. And the Course is teaching us that we don’t need that tyrant anymore, that we can stand alone, meaning as a Child of God, as a part of Oneness. We don’t need the ego to exist happily. So even as I engage in things in the world, the highest concepts even on the level of the world, on the level of symbolism and metaphor, still points you back to the Course. So really there is no escape from a universal thought system. There is no escape while choosing the ego as well. As I was saying earlier you can’t help but to react anyway, either you are going to do something about it or not. But with the ego either way you are reacting with psychological investment.
Even when you choose the ego in the end you can’t help but to get a forgiveness lesson out of everything – if you’re paying attention; and if you’re not paying attention it’ll come back around. And of course even if you try to avoid engaging yourself in the world it will still give you a forgiveness lesson, but it will give you a different kind. I find that more guilt comes up when I engage myself, because what happens is, for most of us most of the time, not engaging ourselves is just another form of denial, another form of repression. And eventually what we repress will come back up, but why delay? If you’re in a rush just engage yourself where you want to engage yourself, and all it’s going to do is bring you more forgiveness lessons. And ironically that’s what it really means to be a “teacher of God”. To be a teacher of God means to live by the example of practicing the Holy Spirit’s forgiveness. The Course says that you teach by example. And you don’t teach by example just by hiding away in a cave and not involving yourself in anything and just being “spiritual” – at least not for most people. That has its place for some people, or at some times. But generally the way the Course is designed is that we live in the world normally; but we live peacefully. That’s why in the Workbook it says about the “teacher of God” that “you do not change appearance,” but that your “forehead is serene,” and he or she “smiles more frequently.” It’s simply that as he or she goes around and interacts with the world it’s from a place of inner peace. And as we learn to identify with that inner peace it teaches through us; just by the fact that we are doing all the normal things that people do but as an example of the fact that you don’t have to be angry while you do it, or judgmental while you do it, or fearful while you do it, or attacking while you do it. Again going back to Arjuna, he was on a battlefield, and Krishna was saying, “Hey that’s what you do, you are a warrior, go out there and do your thing.” But you don’t have to be invested in the fruits of that labor. You don’t have to let it affect the internal peace that’s there. You simply do what you do, what’s appropriate to be done.
If you’re physically attacked you can defend yourself and others, and protect your property, and still be a Course student. You don’t have to start forgiving as someone is attacking you. You don’t have to wait until you’re at perfect peace before you defend yourself. You can forgive later, and in that moment trust your habitual forgiveness to carry you as you do what needs to be done. Again, just like when I’m hungry. I don’t just start forgiving the hunger. And eventually that I’m sure will come, but it’s not really necessary right now. I have more pressing guilt matters than to sit there and worry about the fact that I am breathing every moment, and that every single breath is an attack on God. We read last week that every special relationship is a supposed triumph over God. So any relationship where you believe you are getting some benefit from it on the level of the world is a special relationship, which as Kenneth Wapnick has pointed out includes oxygen. So every single breath is a special relationship with oxygen that says, “Because I’m breathing oxygen I’m alive, and if I stop breathing oxygen then I’m dead. Aha God! I don’t need You because I have oxygen to keep me alive now!”
Darryl E Berry Jr: But I don’t think about that all the time. I’m pretty sure if I was getting beat up or kidnapped when I didn’t do anything wrong, or if I was getting massacred unjustly, or having my kids stolen, or my land destroyed, or my produce pilfered, I would want people to unite and help me, “Help me please,” right? I even tried facilitating a uniting among people, to make a world without government and without money. Complaining about a problem for me is only so bearable before it seems reasonable to do something to address a persistent problem. And so now I might tell people constantly sending me this or that post and complaining about the injustice, “Hey stop sending me this stuff bitching and complaining since you’re not willing to unite to make something different.” It’s simply a better life experience for me to not have to deal with those who want only to complain and be a victim. Just like eating when hungry. It’s just practical for me to do. So the basic practical concerns of life are really not the level that we should apply the Course, at least not initially. Of course Y’shua got to a point where he could do that because that’s where he was psychologically. He was teleporting, he felt no pain – neither psychological nor physical; he could raise the dead, etcetera. Byron Katie could go without eating, and had no investment in the world. But it’s not necessary to deny our current experience of the world if we’re not there yet.
You’ve read all three of Gary Renard’s books, right?
Questioner: I read Disappearance and I read something with “Love” in the title.
Darryl E Berry Jr: Oh. That’s the third book, Love Has Forgotten No One. The third one talks about the fact that towards end of his life Y’shua was teleporting places and levitating and healing sick people and walking on water and bringing dead people back to life.
Darryl E Berry Jr: Yeah, Jesus.
Questioner: Okay. I don’t remember the teleportation. I remember the healing, but not the teleportation.
Darryl E Berry Jr: There are apparently records of him being in different parts of the world, and according to what Arten and Pursah say in Love Has Forgotten No One he was teleporting there sometimes:
J and Mary could also use mind transport to go anywhere in the world instantly. J really did go to a lot of the places people think he did, such as India, Tibet, China, and even France and England… They [Y’shua and his wife Mary] didn’t do that to induce belief. They did it to demonstrate that the laws of this world do not apply when you know how to use the power of the mind with the Holy Spirit’s guidance.
Arten and Pursah gave an experience where Y’shua and Mary went to Stonehenge, and he and Mary – who was enlightened as well at the time, they joined with each other in recognition of their unison with God and they literally, physically, levitated into the air and then disappeared and teleported back to home or wherever. So towards the end of his life he was disregarding physical laws, but at that point he wasn’t disregarding physical laws. What do I mean by that seeming paradox? If I at the level that I am at now sat here and focused and teleported I would actually think I was “here” and then I teleported myself “there.” To him, at the level of awareness he was at, there was no space.
Questioner: Right, no space, and no time.
Darryl E Berry Jr: Yeah. So to him he wasn’t really doing anything. It was no different from us just eating, it’s just natural. So even he did not do anything other than what was natural to him. So we can still do what’s natural to us. It’s natural for me to eat, it’s natural for me to sleep, it’s natural for me to sometimes point out inconsistencies in “government,” and inconsistencies in “the people,” and to express myself on these issues. It’s just natural for me to do that. That’s where I’m at. And so I do that for as long as I’m inclined to. And when an opportunity comes up I can forgive along the way. I don’t always really try to forgive, it just happens like with the situation with the speeding ticket. I just realize that it feels better if I run this through a forgiveness process. And beyond that it just becomes the way that you are, just like Jesus. As the Course says, it becomes a habit.
And again it’s not to say that you shouldn’t try to put forth effort to actively forgive because that’s part of it. It’s just a balance. If you feel like you’re beating up on yourself because you’ve denied again then that means you’re probably putting a bit too much effort in. And if you find yourself not forgiving enough then that will correct itself because it will hurt and you will just start forgiving more. A lot of times when I forgive it’s not that I’m thinking about the Course, it’s just because you know… I eat, I sleep, I teach, I write, and I forgive; all of these things make me feel better! So just like with Jesus we can be passersby in the sense that we don’t have to do anything out of the norm for us. And we know we’re progressing when we become more peaceful, more loving, more allowing, and kinder in our doings. And any change in our life situations will be a result of that.
So right now the norm for you may be reading the Course 23 hours a day and listening to a tape for the other hour. Do that, you know. But I’m pretty sure there will come a time when you realize you can balance intensive study with engagement in the world.
IV. COURSE STUDY AS A DEFENSE
Darryl E Berry Jr: There is a difference between thinking about the Course because you’re applying it and thinking about the Course as a defense. For instance I used to always listen to Ken’s workshops, even at work I’d be listening to it as I went about my day.
Questioner: I don’t force myself to listen to it but I find that it helps me come back to where I should be.
Darryl E Berry Jr: You should do that, then.
Questioner: When I’m driving I don’t always listen to it but I’ll play it and I’ll hear a bit and then nothing and then I’ll hear another bit and then nothing, and it’s just comforting in a way. It’s not something that I feel obligated to do, so…
Darryl E Berry Jr: And you should not change it. I started to realize that I was using the Course as another closet door. You remember Ken Wapnick’s CD “The Ego and Forgiveness”? I was using the Course as another closet door. That’s why I needed to listen to it all the time.
Questioner: Wait, explain that? Explain that to me.
Darryl E Berry Jr: Going back to Ken’s “The Ego and Forgiveness” workshop he talked about our guilt, and how we want to push it down because it feels so bad. And we find things in the world to be the means to push guilt down. There’s a part of the Course that says that the purpose of every special relationship is to occupy our minds so completely that we will not hear the call to truth.
3Every special relationship you have made has, as its fundamental purpose, the aim of occupying your mind so completely that you will not hear the call of truth.
So every special relationship, its fundamental purpose it says, its fundamental purpose is to occupy our minds so completely that we will not hear the call of truth. Now, going back to Chapter 13 of the Text in Section III where it talks about The Fear Redemption, it lets us know that there is something else blocking our recognition of truth’s call, which is the guilt itself. That’s the double shield of oblivion the Course talks about. The relationship is covering the guilt, and then the guilt is covering the love – the love that lets us know that we ultimately don’t exist. So we want to keep the guilt in place, and we want to have something to cover the guilt with that still feels good to us, which is why we find our special relationships.
Questioner: It just gets more and more complicated. It feels like there’s another veil, and another veil, and another veil.
Darryl E Berry Jr: Well it’s really just the same two veils.
Questioner: Oh, okay.
Darryl E Berry Jr: You have the special relationship – whatever it is in the world – covering the guilt, and then you have the guilt covering the love; the double shield. Let’s go back and read The Fear Redemption, so you see that. Chapter 13, Section III, Paragraph 1, starting with Verse 3:
3Yet there is one more obstacle you have interposed between yourself and the Atonement. 4We have said that no one will countenance fear if he recognizes it. 5Yet in your disordered state of mind you are not afraid of fear. 6You do not like it, but it is not your desire to attack that really frightens you. 7You are not seriously disturbed by your hostility.
Which is just one of the many forms that guilt takes.
8You keep it hidden because you are more afraid of what it covers.
You keep “it” hidden, you keep the guilt, the hostility hidden, because you are more afraid of what the guilt/hostility covers. We keep the guilt hidden by the world, by our special relationships, by our attack. So right there he talks about the two covers, the two shields. You have the guilt that’s hidden by the world, and then you have the ‘something else’ (the Love) that’s hidden by the guilt.
9You could look even upon the ego’s darkest cornerstone without fear if you did not believe that, without the ego, you would find within yourself something you fear even more. 10You are not really afraid of crucifixion. 11Your real terror is of redemption.
So this part talks about the guilt, “the ego’s dark cornerstone,” that’s covering the love to keep the love hidden; we want to keep the guilt there to keep the love hidden. And we don’t want to look at the guilt, the dark cornerstone, we want to keep it hidden, because we are more afraid of what it [the guilt, the dark cornerstone] covers (the Love).
Questioner: So is that true even when I feel a relief when I’m listening to or reading the Course? That’s true if I have a feeling of relief?
Darryl E Berry Jr: If you blame it on the Course, or what you’re hearing, then yes.
Questioner: What do you mean blame it on the…?
Darryl E Berry Jr: In other words, if you feel discomfort, and if you turn on the…
Questioner: You mean, turn to the Course to feel ease?
Darryl E Berry Jr: Yeah, yeah. If you open up the Course and you read it and you feel better because you read the Course, or you turn on the audio CD and you feel better because you turned on the audio CD, it’s no different than feeling better because I have a warm body next to me, or feeling better because I’m eating a chocolate danish, or feeling better because I have this bottle of alcohol. It’s just another special relationship, which doesn’t mean you need to stop doing it. Audio recordings of Kenneth Wapnick’s workshops were my comfort food for years. But listening to an audio is not the process of forgiving.
Darryl E Berry Jr: I listened to Ken’s workshops constantly because it made me feel better. At the time I had not realized that I was using it as another special relationship, instead of being specially involved with whatever.
Questioner: So how did you break from that, like?
Darryl E Berry Jr: I didn’t. I just kept doing it until I just didn’t do it anymore. That’s what I’m saying, you don’t have to stop.
Questioner: It stopped naturally, you just didn’t fight it?
Darryl E Berry Jr: Yeah. I just realized that… in other words it started to be a distraction. At first it seemed like I needed to, like I would feel withdrawals. If I was driving and I didn’t have Ken playing in my ear I would feel withdrawals.
Questioner: See I just remember this one saying from, it’s one of the Ken Wapnick CD’s that you lent to me, I think it was Form Versus Content: Sex and Money, where he talked about just letting the words just wash through you and that’s why I’m playing it a lot.
Darryl E Berry Jr: I’m sure it’s not always the case that our study is a closet door. And I’m sure I still do the closet door with my studies at times. So I’m not saying you should stop doing it or that I totally don’t do it now.
Questioner: But you’ve given me something to think about now, you question why, yeah.
Darryl E Berry Jr: What’s going to happen is, when it becomes relevant to you then you will have the idea in your mind. But it’s not really anything you have to focus on not doing. Like I said I didn’t focus on not listening to Ken all the time. I just at one point started to realize, “Okay this sound in my ear is starting to distract me from paying attention to whatever I have to pay attention to,” which led me to realize that I was actually using the sound to distract me from whatever was going on in the world, because it was painful to have to deal with whatever.
Questioner: Well I don’t feel like that’s what I’m doing, but maybe deep down I am. And that’s not the only thing I listen to; I still listen to music and so forth.
Darryl E Berry Jr: I’m pretty sure some aspect of it all is, because it’s the same thing that we do with everything. I still watch movies and sitcoms and such. I just learned to switch my comfort food back to actual comfort foods and usually I just go to the Course when I’m ready to learn to better apply it.
Darryl E Berry Jr: But still I have my comfort foods. I would say practically speaking, if you’re going to find something to comfort you the Course would be the best thing because at least you can learn something that you can apply at some point, the application of which will really comfort you. Even if your listening to it is for the purpose of feeling better so that you don’t have to fully focus on the pains going on inside of you, still, as Kenneth says, the ideas are still getting in your mind. It’s still building up a thought system that you can later apply. Ultimately it matters whether we look at things a certain way, meaning whether we interpret things according to the Holy Spirit’s thought system or not. It’s the same thing with books and CD’s and everything else. In the end it doesn’t really matter whether we listen to music to make us feel better. But it’s important to recognize that that’s not really what will make us feel better, whatever our comfort food is. It’s changing our thinking that makes us feel better, and only that. Everything else is a quick fix, a covering over. But the difference when using Course-based comfort foods is that when we use that to make us feel better, at the same time it gives us the thought-food that we need to apply to actually make us feel better. It will self-correct. If it turns out that you listen to it just to learn from it and that’s it then you will listen to it and learn from it and apply it. And if it turns out that some of the times you’re using it as a comfort food, when you no longer need comfort food as much you may find that you listen to it a bit less. It’s an idea to be aware of.
Darryl E Berry Jr: I think if I knew that I probably wouldn’t have buried my head into it for as long as I did. At some point there was a transition period where I realized I was often not really looking to learn from it so much, but just to cover my head.
Darryl E Berry Jr: So instead of actually dealing with the world and focusing on things I had to have Ken in my ear all the time. It really became a defense. And I imagine that we all do that to some degree.
Darryl E Berry Jr: Ken talks about ways we use the Course as a defense, for instance changing the message to bring the Holy Spirit into the world. I’m pretty sure everybody uses the Course as a defense/weapon in some way at some point. It’s something to be aware of. And it’s not anything we have to change, just like we don’t have to stop breathing or anything else. But it is helpful to know intellectually that breathing is not really what it seems. Even though we’re still breathing, it’s still helpful for me to know that, because that theoretical foundation helps to forgive. All the metaphysical, theoretical things that we learn, even though we’re not ready to perfectly apply it right now, it does help us to alter our perspectives, which allows us to forgive. And of course the forgiveness of A Course in Miracles is totally different from the forgiveness of the world. The foundation of the Course’s forgiveness is based upon purely non-dualistic metaphysical principles.
Darryl E Berry Jr: So the idea of using the Course as a defense is just another idea to keep in mind. If it is applicable to you to whatever degree it is applicable to you, it will help you when it’s time to apply it. But again, just like how you don’t have to stop breathing, even though it’s very helpful to know that breathing is ultimately not necessary, it’s very helpful to know that I may use my Course study as a defense. So maybe you’ll realize one day, your “girls” might call you up and say “Hey you want to come out with us?” And let’s say this is the night you normally read the Text or whatever. You might decide to skip the Text tonight, and go out and apply it instead. It’s like what Arten and Pursah said to Gary:
Don’t just hide out and study. Interact with people. Experience them and forgive them when you should. Consider it to be an opportunity. Illusions must be forgiven on the level where they are experienced. For you, that means living a normal life and interacting with society. Remember, the Course wasn’t given to a solitary person on a mountaintop somewhere.
For a long time I stopped involving myself in the world. I would literally read the Course almost every waking moment. Literally, that’s all I would do for every waking moment I could. And I don’t really know for how long I did that. Then I would listen to Ken’s tapes. I don’t know for how long, it really was all I did for a while. And like I said, all of that formed the foundation of my learning. But I started to realize at some point that I was really avoiding engaging the world by using the Course as a “closet door.” It’s just a balancing act that’ll come naturally. It’s not something that we have to force ourselves to work on. And that really goes with everything about the Course.
V. THE SCRIPT AND DIFFERENT LIFETIMES
Darryl E Berry Jr: We talked last week about different lifetimes, about why Pursah’s lifetime is an enlightened lifetime and Gary’s is not. What makes those lifetimes different? It’s just the way it’s scripted. Everything has already happened. It seems like we are enacting things but really we are not. It seems like we are but really we are not. And that’s a very frightening thought and a very disconcerting thought because our experience is that we’re enacting things; but the fact is we are not enacting anything. If you are enlightened in this lifetime there is really nothing you can do to stop it. And if you are not enlightened in this lifetime there is really nothing you can do to cause it. It’s already been written. So all we have to do is simply live and allow the self-correcting process of the miracle to engage itself by forgiving as often as we can; and that comes with having trust. When we first start studying the Course you don’t really trust it, we don’t really believe it, to the extent that we really don’t believe that if we really apply what it says it will work.
Questioner: It does take radical trust, though. You know it also helps if you understand the basics of quantum physics, it helps you with the Course.
Darryl E Berry Jr: Yes, it does.
Questioner: Because then you feel more secure that it’s true. But at the same time when you read the Course you just feel that it’s truthful, do you know what I mean? Like it’s based in truth, it doesn’t feel…
Darryl E Berry Jr: I understand. It’s a deep recognition or resonance. That’s just because the Thought that it comes from is true, and the likely fact that we have another lifetime studying it. I really doubt that anybody studies the Course in one lifetime. In other words, coming from the recognition of quantum physics that all things are happening at one time… Gary studying the Course right now is actually a foundation of understanding why Pursah understood the Course so well. So it’s very likely that the reason why you resonate with the Course so well now is because there’s another lifetime where you’re studying it. It’s like how Gary, one of the reasons why he understands it so well is because he is Thomas. And then he has another lifetime where he thought that the nonphysical realm was more real than the physical realm. All of these things correlate and interact with each other. The only thing that really differentiates a “past life” from a “future life” is the current connections that are made between those lifetimes. In other words, Pursah in her lifetime, because it was a lifetime that was scripted for her to reach enlightenment, the barriers in her mind were less. Going back to current day science, they talk about how a human uses on average only 10% to 25% of their brain.
Darryl E Berry Jr: The reason why that seems to be the case is because we actively only use a fraction of our minds. All thought produces form at some level. All thought has a correlation on some level. Just like how if you look at the Universe, the majority of the Universe is what’s called dark matter, we can’t see it – that correlates with the fact that the majority of the mind that is projecting the universe is dark, is clouded with guilt. So all of this is having a correlation on the macro level and the micro level: on the Universal level there is all this dark matter, flooding Universe, because the mind that is projecting the Universe has all this dark guilt, and all this denial and repression. The dark matter is taking a form to reflect that – the hidden, the denied, the repressed, the what-can’t-be-seen, because by definition what we deny or repress we don’t see. And on the micro level with the individual human we have all of these abilities and processes that are repressed, that take the physical form of seemingly using only 10% to 25% of our brain. Well, when you get to a person like Pursah, who has almost all of that guilt healed – and eventually all of it healed – that means that darkness has been removed, which means that there is less clouding the mind, and so there is more mind available, which manifests in the world as more brain power available. I’m pretty certain that if they would have measured Y’shua’s brain wave activity it would have been off the scale.
Whenever you get into brain wave measurement, when people go into altered states it correlates with brain wave function. That’s just the effect. Science thinks the brain state is the cause, but this is the effect of what is going on in the mind. So a freer mind will manifest more available brain power, which is another way to explain why Y’shua had abilities like teleportation and stuff like that. It’s all an effect of the power of the mind, however it plays out and is explained by worldly processes. But that’s starting to go into too big of a tangent, but I’ll just correlate that back to Pursah. The reason why she was able to remember Gary’s lifetime was because she had less guilt, thus more of her mind was available, and the mind projects all lives, thus she was more aware of her other lives. Different lifetimes are just a function of the mind. So because she remembered those other lives and she was living as Pursah, the experience is that they are “past lives,” “other lives.” But of course she was advanced enough that she recognized those “past lives” were actually going on at the same time.
Gary, who is a step next to Pursah as far as enlightenment, he has a lot less guilt than the average Earth human of today, and thus his mind is less clouded, he has a lot more mind available than the average person, which will correlate to more brain activity available, and so on and so forth. Thus he remembers a lot of his past lives and stuff. He talks about having dreams snippets of when he lived with Jesus, and he remembers snippets of his life as an Indian when he lived with the Great Sun who is another enlightened being. He has snippets of these other lives. But from his perspective they were his past lives, but those were simply the current connections he made to other simultaneous lives. But if you get another lifetime that’s scripted ‘further away’ from enlightenment it may not remember any lives. They might think that that’s the only lifetime that they have. But all of them are going on at the same time. It’s just that the lifetime that has less clouding allows more connections, which reflects the fact that there is a freer mind, and then of course when that mind reaches enlightenment ultimately it’s just when it was scripted. But it all correlates and interrelates and makes the other.
Going back to forgiveness and quantum physics, whether or not we should do this or that in the world, we don’t have to worry about that. A very good principle to apply actually… I don’t know if you have heard of Bashar. Darryl Anka channels a “future life” of his called Bashar, from the Essassani extraterrestrial race. Bashar says that the best thing to do is to do what’s most exciting, the thing that feels most exciting to do, most desirable to do, most motivating to do, just do that. And actually it pretty much works. When I’m very hungry the most exciting thing to do is to eat; going back to basics. So chances are if you feel very excited and animated about getting involved in something to do with politics then probably the best thing to do is to just go do that. At the least at the level of the world you will have the release of doing what you are really excited about, and chances are it’s going to bring you the forgiveness lesson you need. And note that excitement in this sense is different from anxiety.
Whatever you do or don’t do, either it is going to bring you a forgiveness lesson that you can forgive or it’s going to bring you to be an example of forgiveness for somebody else. Gary asked Arten and Pursah:
You told me last time that I’m coming back for one more lifetime, so what’s the deal? If I’m going to learn how to end reincarnation, then why do I have to come back again?
Arten told him:
Don’t ever forget, Gary: The Holy Spirit can see everything, and you can only see part of it. The Course teaches that the Holy Spirit “recognized all that time holds, and gave it to all minds that each one might determine, from a point where time was ended, when it is released to revelation and eternity… By practicing forgiveness on the little things, as well as that one big thing, you’ll serve as an example to others… Usually your final lifetime is not just a great lifetime for you personally, it’s one where you perform a tremendous service for others, maybe publicly, but often not. It all fits together, like the hologram that it is.
The Course talks about “an interlocking chain of forgiveness,” illustrating the fact that every single aspect of the Sonship correlates and interacts with every other. Just like how we talked about lifetimes, all lifetimes interact with every other. Well that expands to everybody. Everybody is just a lifetime of the one mind that’s projecting all the lifetimes, so every single interaction contributes to the enlightenment of everyone altogether, whether we realize it. So ironically keeping ourselves away from whatever, thinking it’s going to be some kind of affront to the Course to be involved in the world, could actually be going in the totally opposite direction. You could be there and be the only person that’s not screaming at the top of your lungs, and they are like, “Wow, this one has the same political views we do, but is just not as worked up as we are. Maybe I don’t have to be this worked up either!” It could be as simple as that. And that would be a part of the interlocking chain of forgiveness, a reflection of the fact that the one mind is starting to choose differently.
We never really know how things fit in, but it’s not really our job to know. It’s really our job to take care of our part, meaning to forgive when it’s appropriate, and then we don’t really have to worry about anything else.
Living our life normally may mean, like it meant to me for a few years, studying the Course virtually 24 hours a day. I realize that if I did that now it would be very bad, but at the time that was just the right thing to do. If I did that now I would just be avoiding. It would serve me little to no purpose. But at the time it did. I was afraid of getting involved with the world. I really didn’t want to face the pain that drove me to study the Course in the first place, erroneously believing that the world actually caused the pain. Usually when we feel pain it seems to be because we are involved with the world in some way. We do something or we don’t do something, or somebody else does something or doesn’t do something, and that causes us pain in our experience. So one of the things we do as a defense or “solution” is avoid the world. So there was a point when I was using the Course for that big time. But like I said, I didn’t have to force myself to stop doing it as even the avoidance started to become painful. So I had to do something else. So I started to become more involved in the world again.
Most of the people that I’m involved with have no idea that I study the Course. When I manage to be in a more peaceful state someone might tell me “Wow, you’re very calm” or something like that. And it reminds me, like “I wasn’t even thinking about it, but my practices must be having some kind of an effect.” At other times I’m pretty sure I seem just like everybody else; I still get upset and get animated and attached or whatever. But even when I do that I don’t take it as seriously as I used to. If you find that you are doing whatever, and that you forgot the world is an illusion, take it easy on yourself. You have only been studying the Course for less than a year. It is still less than a year, or has it been more than a year?
Questioner: No, it’s been more than a year, but I had that long period in-between where I broke off and didn’t do it for a long time.
Darryl E Berry Jr: Then let’s say two years you’ve been studying the Course. It took Pursah, in her final lifetime, it took her 30 years to master the Course – meaning to reach her enlightenment (and then she lived as an enlightened being for the last 11 years of her life). And that’s Pursah! Do you know what I mean? And again, she gave the Gary lifetime and all her other lifetimes credit for where she was, so really it took her 100’s if not 1000’s of years all together. So like I said, being that you feel affinity and resonance with the Course, I’m pretty sure you have some other lifetimes where you are studying it or some relevant process or correlating thought system. But it’s really too much, too serious, to try to remember everything perfectly within 2 years of starting it in any given lifetime. I can’t imagine there’s anybody who has studied the Course for only a year or two and mastered it. If somebody could do that, it’s somebody who’s really already enlightened. Arten and Pursah mention people who immediately take to the Course and just master it immediately, but they said those people are pretty much enlightened already, and they don’t really need the Course anyway. So if you consider yourself of that caliber then beat yourself up, but you probably wouldn’t need this class if you were in that category.
Questioner: True, exactly.
Darryl E Berry Jr: And I probably wouldn’t need this class as well; I learn from this class as well. So I don’t beat myself up. Just take it in stride; it’s a lifelong path – a multi-lifelong path, even. Have you finished the Workbook yet?
Questioner: Not yet.
Darryl E Berry Jr: Let’s take a little time travel and go to the Workbook.
Questioner: Okay, awesome.
Darryl E Berry Jr: Turn to the Epilogue of the Workbook.
Questioner: Which one is the…?
Darryl E Berry Jr: Page 487 of the Workbook. All you have to do is go all the way to the end of the Workbook, it’s like the last page.
Questioner: I got it. Okay, good.
Darryl E Berry Jr: First sentence:
1This course is a beginning not an end.
So presumably you’ve read almost 700 pages of the Text, you went through a year or more of Workbook Lessons, and when you get to the end of the Workbook you are saying, “Wow, I’m ready for the Manual for Teachers and then I’ll be a teacher of God! I did the Workbook, I’m about to finish this thing, and be done with the Course.” And then he says “This Course is a beginning not an end.” It’s a beginning. So he’s saying even after you finish the whole Workbook you are still just beginning.
Questioner: You know what floored me, when I first started learning that there were people who had been doing this for like 20 years and I was thinking to myself, “What’s wrong with them?!,” because I was thinking it’s like an average college course, you take you know a semester and you are done!
Darryl E Berry Jr: And that’s common. That’s probably why you beat yourself up about it because you still kind of think about it in that way, but that’s not what this is. Even after you finish the book it’s still the beginning. Because what did he say after that:
2Your Friend goes with you. 3You are not alone. 4No one who calls on Him can call in vain. 5Whatever troubles you, be certain that He has the answer, and will gladly give it to you, if you simply turn to Him and ask it of Him.
So what is this saying? This is saying that even though you did all of that stuff you are still at the beginning, and all you have to do is just go through life and apply it. That’s what that is saying. It’s not really saying that anything is going to literally be speaking to you now.
Questioner: That makes sense.
Darryl E Berry Jr: He’s just saying study it and apply it. But you’re at the beginning of applying it; after you get through the Workbook. So how could you be expected to do it perfectly when you have not even started yet?
Darryl E Berry Jr: Because according to this, if the Course is just the beginning and you have not finished the Workbook yet, then you didn’t even start yet. Right?
Darryl E Berry Jr: Because the beginning, that’s after you even get through the Workbook. So you didn’t even begin yet. So you can’t be expected to do it perfectly.
Questioner: Were you completely disappointed when you read that statement for the first time?
Darryl E Berry Jr: Actually I wasn’t because I heard Ken say it before I read it, so I knew it was coming; I knew it was coming before I read it. But I don’t remember which workshop of his I heard it on now, because I used to listen to them all the time and they kind of all blend together. But one of them he was talking about this, and a Course student was really upset about that when he or she got to that line.
Questioner: I can imagine.
VI. TRUST AND APPLYING THE COURSE
Questioner: Imagine if you were doing the Course 24 hours a day speed reading and then you got to that point??
Darryl E Berry Jr: There’s people who do that. I met someone like that personally. He sped read through the Course and supposedly did like 10 Workbooks lessons a day. He felt that he had gotten through it and could go and be some kind of guru. That’s just another defense. Whether it’s me wanting to listen to it all the time and thinking I need to do that to really be doing it, or whether it’s you thinking, “Darn it I have forgotten that the world is an illusion again,” or whether it’s him thinking that he can just speed read through it and now he’s done and he’s some kind of spiritual master now, it’s all the same thing. It’s really just the way we personally defend against the truth. That’s part of what I was talking about, about trust. He tells us these things. He tells us this Course is a beginning and not an end, and yet and still we expect ourselves to do it perfectly when we haven’t even begun. He tells us “Don’t fight yourself,” but still we fight ourselves with the fact that we don’t apply it perfectly. So we don’t really trust what he is saying, and the reason why we don’t is because we really don’t want the end that he is telling us about. We don’t really want the separation to not be real. And that’s often where I’m at with my biggest forgiveness lessons, things that I work on to forgive the most. As I go to forgive there is this awkward moment where I recognize, “Wow, if I start forgiving this then that means the world…” everything just starts falling apart. And then I have these strange moments where I’m going back and forth and back and forth and back and forth. And usually I end up back, and I’m just like, “Okay, I’m not ready yet,” and that’s okay.
We don’t have to. We don’t have to perfectly remember that the world is an illusion, because what is going to happen is, at some point instead of having concern about the fact that you forgot that the world is an illusion for whatever period of time, it will start to surface – the thought that happened before you forgot. And that goes back to the double shield of oblivion that I was referring to earlier. There’s the tiny mad idea of separation and the guilt that comes from that, and then there’s the world and the things that we do in world that’s covering that pain. So whatever we were involved in, in that moment when we forgot the world is an illusion, that’s why we were involved in whatever it was at that moment. So eventually what’s going to happen is, the thought before the lack of forgiveness is going to start surfacing. And you’re going to realize, “I wanted it; I wanted to forget.”
Darryl E Berry Jr: It’s going to really be palpable, it’s going to really be tangible, it’s going to be recognizable, the thought that “I don’t want to realize that the world is an illusion.” All we are aware of initially is that I forgot to do the Course lesson today, I forgot to say it that minute, and we believe that we really just forgot. We believe that. And that’s why you and I thought, “Okay I just forgot so the solution is to use my alarm.” That’s not what the problem is. What really happened was we decided, “I don’t want to remember truth.” And then we repress the thought that we’ve decided that we don’t want to remember; and then all we consciously remember is that we forgot the Workbook Lesson.
Darryl E Berry Jr: So we try to fix the forgetting, which goes back to what we were reading in Chapter 27. He goes to the cause while we go to the effect. That’s another example of us going to the effect. Even though it seems so very spiritual and practical and applicable to try to some kind of way correct the fact that I forgot: “I’m going to set an alarm so I can remember,” really that’s focusing on the effect. Forgetting that the world is an illusion is the effect of the fact that we are choosing to ego; we want the world to be here, which is why we forget that it’s an illusion, because we have already decided that we want it to be here. The same thing happens with the Workbook lesson. So the forgetting is happening on a totally different level.
Questioner: Yeah form over content, it’s so easy to miss.
Darryl E Berry Jr: And it’s easy to miss because… using the example of an octave, each octave is a different variation of the same note. It’s really the same thing. Whether I’m using my special relationship with this person to make me feel good so I don’t have to be aware of my guilt which is hiding the love underneath, it’s the same thing as saying I’m going to focus on the fact that I forgot. So now I’m stuck here which is shielding me from the guilt of the fact that I really want to forget, which is itself keeping me from the love. It’s really the same dynamic. But the reason why it might seem a bit different is because we don’t realize that a thought in our individual mind is just as much an effect as a relationship in the external world. It’s still the same thing. And that goes back to the Workbook. When we go into the application and he’s saying you don’t realize yet that whether you close your eyes and apply these things to your thoughts or you open your eyes and apply it to the things your eyes see, it is no different. So you remember the verses that talks about stuff like that where it says it’s really no difference.
Questioner: Yes, alright.
Darryl E Berry Jr: Same exact thing. Whether I am upset at the fact that I forgot or I’m upset at you because you borrowed money and you didn’t pay me back; like the experience we’ve both had recently. It’s the same exact thing. It’s the effect of the same choice we made at the mind’s level, and is hiding the fact that we want to be separate from love. It’s the same exact dynamic, the same double shield of oblivion, the same 2-step thing: the love underneath the guilt, and the guilt underneath the worldly projection we are using as a defense. And the ego will use whatever worldly symbol is available. Just like what [another participant] was saying. It will take even the Course and twist it around. It’ll take even the application of the Course and twist it around so that that becomes what fits into that same ego dynamic. But again, you don’t have to try to change the dynamic, you just have to consider it another layer of the onion, and forgive yourself when it comes up. “Okay so I forgot, I’m upset at myself that I forgot, okay so let me forgive myself for being upset that I forgot.” And then just go through the process. “Why did I forget? I know why forgot, because…” and then just forgive the whole thing as normal, and it won’t even seem like a big deal anymore.
What ends up happening is you realize that you never really forget. Even when you think you forgot, at first it seems like you actually forget, but again like I said, eventually you realize that you decided to forget before you forget.
Questioner: Right, it was denial.
Darryl E Berry Jr: Yes, exactly. And then you start to realize that you never really forget, you never really forget, because how you could possibly forget. You are projecting everything. You are the mind that’s projecting everything. So forgetting happens within your own projection. So you as the dreamer, you can’t possibly forget. So then it becomes just a matter of, “Do I want to wake up or do I not? No I don’t. Okay, so let me just move on.” Right? Because obviously I don’t because I’m still apparently here. So let me just move on and forgive what I am ready to forgive at this moment. It’s pretty simple, and that’s really all to it.
The Course is actually very simple, and you are starting to see how really everything just fits into the same dynamic. And that’s why Section I in Chapter 18 is so important. I would suggest you read that section regularly. If you want to read the Course every day I suggest reading that like once a day for a while. Eventually it’s going to get old rereading it, but when it gets old rereading it then you will know that you have read it enough. If you really start to get what that Section is saying, the fact that everything here is a projection of that one thought of separation, that every special relationship we have made is a part of it. The moment I become invested in the fact that I am forgetting that the world is an illusion, that then becomes one of the special relationships that that Section in Chapter 18 is talking about!
Questioner: That’s a good point. Yeah.
Darryl E Berry Jr: That verse is just so important and that’s why I reference it so much in class.
Questioner: Yeah because my mind when I do that my mind just attaches to that.
Darryl E Berry Jr: Yeah, exactly. It’s no different from attaching to anything else in the world, which means that we still don’t have to give that up as well. If that really makes you feel better keep on doing it, you know. I mean I still breathe, going back to basics. But eventually you are going to realize that you just don’t have to do that anymore, it’s really not necessary to beat yourself up.
Questioner: But as soon as you recognize it it’s easier to start letting it go.
Darryl E Berry Jr: Definitely. That goes back to Chapter 12 where he talks about how when a defense becomes ineffective we let it go. When you start to become aware that’s what you are doing then it doesn’t really work anymore. It only really works if your denial is successful. And when your denial is successful you don’t recognize you’ve denied, and all you are aware of is that you forgot and you are upset about it. And that’s when the denial is working. But now that you are aware that there’s denial even behind that if you are upset about it, then eventually it’ll be less effective and you will stop doing it anymore. But of course the thing to look out for is that it could just transfer to something else. You have to apply forgiveness to it to be free of it. If you become aware that you are upset that you forgot, and you don’t really forgive the guilt behind that upset, then you could just transfer it to something else.
Darryl E Berry Jr: So just forgive yourself for it. Just see it as another layer of the onion, like we discussed last week. Whatever it is it’s just another layer of the onion, and just forgive it. And what’s going to happen is you may still continue to get upset about it periodically, but then as you forgive each time it happens you will just become upset about it less. Not that you will start forgetting less, but that you will become upset about it less. In other words, it can get to a point where really it does not become an issue. Just like for instance, sometimes I eat, sometimes I don’t. Right now I’m not eating because I ate earlier. I don’t need to eat right now, and we are talking so it would be kind of a distraction for me to eat right now while we are talking. Food would be getting all over my book, so it’s not practical for me to eat right now. But later I will eat. Later I will eat something; so sometimes I eat, sometimes I don’t, sometimes I eat. So, sometimes you forget, sometimes you don’t, and sometimes you forget. It just becomes like that. It won’t even register. When you forget, just like right now I’m now eating, and we’re talking about it now because it relates to our discussion, but normally when I’m not eating I don’t announce, “Hey, I’m not eating right now! Everybody I’m not eating! Right now, I am not eating!” And then when I’m eating I don’t normally announce, “Hey I’m eating right now!” So eventually when you forget you won’t dwell on the forgetting. You’ll just remember because a forgiveness lesson is there, and then you’ll remember to forgive, and then you’ll just move on. So really it will just become a non-issue altogether.
So when I go through my day, normally I’m just doing normal things and I’m not necessarily thinking about the Course in that respect. I’m just doing my normal things and noticing my state of mind. And when something comes up that is a projection of guilt or a stressful thought I may remember to forgive; and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes later I remember something that happened earlier, and I’ll forgive it then. But I won’t be concerned about the fact that at that time there was a forgiveness lesson that I didn’t apply. It’s just a forgiveness lesson right now.
Questioner: Yes. Because you remember it.
Darryl E Berry Jr: Yes. Because I’m remembering now, so I just forgive it now. And I don’t even concern myself with the fact that at the original moment that it happened I didn’t forgive it.
Questioner: Right, it goes back to the illusion of time. All that’s really happening is the present moment. Just forgive what’s in front of you.
Darryl E Berry Jr: That’s exactly right.
Questioner: Even if it’s just a thought and not the actual event. Even if it’s just a thought, forgive the thought.
Darryl E Berry Jr: That’s right. Just like with the example we used last week where you had the situation with the lady in the car and there was some denial about the anger; you don’t have to be upset about that denial. You can just forgive the denial now, and then after you forgive the denial forgive the original thing. So as Arten and Pursah say in Disappearance, it doesn’t matter whether it’s the thought that you’re experiencing now or it’s the physical thing happening right now, it’s all images in the mind. Going back to what the Workbook is saying there is really no difference.
Darryl E Berry Jr: There’s really no difference. So again, just like you said, as Arten and Pursah say, just forgive what’s in front of your face. Which means that sometimes you’ll forget which means that you won’t recognize right now there’s something to forgive, which means for all intents and purposes there’s nothing in front of your face to forgive, because you’re not remembering to forgive. But whenever something comes up and you remember to forgive, even if it’s something from the “past,” well then you just forgive. And eventually it’ll switch to where instead of believing that there’s times that you forget, you will never forget. Which means for all intents and purposes you will be doing the Course perfectly. If you just forgive whenever it comes to your mind to forgive, and you don’t judge yourself for times when you forget to forgive, what can be more perfect than that?? So it ends up being very simple. Simple is scary to the ego because ironically it gives us more to do if we believe we have to fight against the desire, against the aptitude, against the propensity to forget. That actually makes it complicated. That actually gives me a step I need to do. So it’s much simpler if we actually do what he says and not fight ourselves; all the stuff he says that relates to this point. All I’m doing is just rewording the stuff that’s in the Course. All that was just to say: don’t fight yourself. You see how it fits? Just don’t fight yourself.
Darryl E Berry Jr: So all we have to do is just apply that and it becomes so simple, but again that’s why we don’t apply it so simply. That’s why we fight against the fact that we don’t do it perfectly, even though we haven’t even begun yet. Because if we just accept the simplicity of what he’s saying then we don’t have to fight it. If we stop fighting ourselves then we’re really getting close. So we want to fight. It’s all purposive. And again it goes back to that thought below or behind or beneath or before when we forget; the idea that we want to forget because we want the separation to be real. So we’re really a lot more knowledgeable than we give ourselves credit for, but we deny our complicity in what’s going on, and just focus on the end result. But again, whatever the end result is, when it comes to the surface, just forgive it at that time. Otherwise just don’t worry about it. And that’s the true experience of being passersby.