V. Beyond Perception 1-5
- I have said that the abilities you possess are only shadows of your real strength, and that perception, which is inherently judgmental, was introduced only after the separation. No one has been sure of anything since. I have also made it clear that the resurrection was the means for the return to knowledge, which was accomplished by the union of my will with the Father’s. We can now establish a distinction that will clarify some of our subsequent statements.
- Since the separation, the words “create” and “make” have become confused. When you make something, you do so out of a specific sense of lack or need. Anything made for a specific purpose has no true generalizability. When you make something to fill a perceived lack, you are tacitly implying that you believe in separation. The ego has invented many ingenious thought systems for this purpose. None of them is creative. Inventiveness is wasted effort even in its most ingenious form. The highly specific nature of invention is not worthy of the abstract creativity of God’s creations.
- Knowing, as we have already observed, does not lead to doing. The confusion between your real creation and what you have made of yourself is so profound that it has become literally impossible for you to know anything. Knowledge is always stable, and it is quite evident that you are not. Nevertheless, you are perfectly stable as God created you. In this sense, when your behavior is unstable, you are disagreeing with God’s Idea of your creation. You can do this if you choose, but you would hardly want to do it if you were in your right mind.
- The fundamental question you continually ask yourself cannot properly be directed to yourself at all. You keep asking what it is you are. This implies the answer is not only one you know but is also one that is up to you to supply. Yet you cannot perceive yourself correctly. You have no image to be perceived. The word “image” is always perception-related, and not a part of knowledge. Images are symbolic and stand for something else. The idea of “changing your image” recognizes the power of perception, but also implies that there is nothing stable to know.
- Knowing is not open to interpretation. You may try to “interpret” meaning, but this is always open to error because it refers to the perception of meaning. Such incongruities are the result of attempts to regard yourself as separated and un-separated at the same time. It is impossible to make so fundamental a confusion without increasing your overall confusion still further. Your mind may have become very ingenious, but as always happens when method and content are separated, it is utilized in a futile attempt to escape from an inescapable impasse. Ingenuity is totally divorced from knowledge because knowledge does not require ingenuity. Ingenious thinking is not the truth that shall set you free, but you are free of the need to engage in it when you are willing to let it go.
In today’s text reading, Jesus takes us past perception and explains the means to our return to Truth, to knowing God, to aligning our will with God’s Will. Again we are reminded that our humanity is a shadow self, a virtual self which does not tell the real story about us but rather obscures our real strength and keeps it secret from us. When we traded in our Spirit for consciousness and perception, we became judgmental. Instead of accepting Creation as it was and being appreciative, respectful, and reserving our awe for God, we began to think fearful thoughts and believed that our Father had a secret agenda against us. Separating from God Who is Everything and making up our own version of Creation ever since, the shifting sands of the time space illusion has kept us in a state of befuddlement.
The resurrection of Christ stands for the powerlessness of the physical realm to cancel out our Sonship. Jesus wants each one of us to study, meditate upon, and grasp these concepts. Otherwise we will not understand how we landed in this bewildering void. Instead of going within to the Kingdom of God, we can easily fall into the temptation of searching for meaning, and a sense of connection and identity through external means in the fallen kingdom. While our bloodlines, our motherland, our traditions, our tribes and clans provide us with a temporary source of belonging in the world we made, they can never stand for our true identity or provide us with knowledge.
In paragraph two Jesus explains the difference between how our Course distinguishes between the words “create” and “make.” Making something implies there is a need which needs a remedy. I “make” sandwiches because we are hungry. I “make” my bed because the sheets and covers are untidy. Alexander Graham Bell “made” the first telephone call so we could learn to communicate across distances in the time space illusion. Whatever is made indicates a lack of some kind, thus indicating separation. The inventions that tickle us to pieces as humans – Jesus declaims as uncreative. No matter how much easier it makes our time in separation to have dishwashers, microwaves, computers, and cars – it does not stand up to the test of everlasting and is only necessary in a state of separation from God. No matter the time-saving, energy-efficient, inner- and outer-space exploring devices we come up with to help us understand our existence or make our time in separation less tedious, Jesus says that is not worthy of the abstract creativity of God’s creations. While we think that we are increasing our knowledge, we are actually collecting a bunch of random “facts,” developing empty theories, and using our inventions to fragment and divide us. We can make up all the stories we want about our collection of data, we can put them together any way we choose to make sense of mortal existence, we can build bridges and beautiful temples and towers that scrape the clouds, but knowledge is not to be found in the physical realm.
This confusion comes from not understanding who and what we really are. When we accept our flesh identities we accept that humanity is the end of the story for us. We go along with the miscreation and focus our attention on our lives in the time space illusion. Our human forms can never be certain of anything. There is no promise, no guarantee, no certainty. Knowledge is always stable because it is outside the realm of time. It is truth which does not change. What we call knowledge here on this planet is not stable – always in need of an update, we can never count upon yesterday’s news, devices, or landscapes to remain the same. Change is the name of the game.
As God created you and as God created me, we are stable and unchanging. Our very changeableness indicates that we are living outside the realm of God’s creation. We can choose to fasten our identities in the physical realm for as long as we disagree with God’s concept of who and what we are, but it is not a place for those who are in their right minds, who do not wish to be driven mad, or end up bitterly disappointed and confused about the aging and death process of their mortal bodies.
As long as we ask ourselves who and what we are and why we are here, we are barking up the wrong tree. We can hardly expect to find our identity in the forms which misrepresent our true Selves. Spirit has no part in flesh, so there is no image in the flesh kingdom which will inform us of what we really are. We can latch onto our genitals and think oh, I am a man because I have a penis, or I am a woman because of my vagina, but that only begins to define our human roles, not our identity. We can say I am black, or I am white; I am Chinese, or I am Korean. We can try to find out who we are through our passions – I am an artist, a bodybuilder, a writer, an engineer…but these are still artificial means in which to find our identity and will all end in nothingness. These are all images that rely on perception to symbolize that which is simply nonrepresentational in a physical form. We must get beyond perception to know ourselves, to know God, to know the truth and accept reality.
When we know something, it is no longer up for interpretation. When we know something, we no longer attempt to give our own meaning to it. It is no longer separate from us – it is part of us. As long as we waffle back and forth we will be in an ongoing state of confusion. We can put down our cleverness, our ingenuity, our attempts to fill in the gap with our own story. When we are willing to leave our meaning to Him Who created us, to trust in Reality with no trace of fear, to accept the peace of God as our rightful due, we no longer feel a need for darkness, cowardice, or judgment. The perceptions in the external world of despair and death become transparent – we can see beyond them. We have a world where Everything already is – there is no lack, there is no need, because there is only oneness and unity because we are spirit. Nothing is withheld from us. There is no search for meaning because Love’s meaning and Love’s purpose is only to extend itself. Love does not get hungry or thirsty, so it needs no food or water. It is not separate, so it needs no devices to connect. It does not get dirty, so there is no need for soap and towels and washcloths. It never sleeps, so there is no reason for a bed and pillows and blankets. Love does not need a temple, a church, a building of any kind in which to dwell. It knows all and so there is no need for education. It has all, and so there is no need for a profession or a job.
We were created by Love, in Love, for Love and to be Love. There is no meaning outside of that. There is no knowledge outside of that. As long as we think there is, we will keep devising ways to increase our knowledge – but Jesus makes it clear that this is not the truth that sets us free!
We will close today for today and complete the rest of section five, Beyond Perception 6- 10, in another post. Let us pray together and ask God to forgive our darkened minds which try to find answers where there are none, that practices magic rather than miracles, that tries to establish a kingdom on shifting sands. Let us never content ourselves with the puny substitutions of reality that mortality offers. Today we ask God to deliver us from vanity, from our fascination with inventions, from our devotion to lies. We accept His love for us, and we need know nothing more. For we are as He created us, and we give our mortality to Him to do with as He wills. We offer our prayers in the name of Jesus, because it is our Holy Brother who rose again and makes us one. And we all say Amen because we recognize that God hears our prayers and responds with eternal goodwill and in everlasting good measure.
 A Course in Miracles. Chapter 3 The innocent perception. V. Beyond perception 1-5. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).
Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com
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