V: The Lessons of the Holy Spirit
I. To Have, Give All to All
- When your body and your ego and your dreams are gone, you will know that you will last forever. Perhaps you think this is accomplished through death, but nothing is accomplished through death, because death is nothing. Everything is accomplished through life, and life is of the mind and in the mind. The body neither lives nor dies because it cannot contain you who are life. If we share the same mind, you can overcome death because I did. Death is an attempt to resolve conflict by not deciding at all. Like any other impossible solutions the ego attempts, it will not work.
- God did not make the body, because it is destructible, and therefore not of the Kingdom. The body is the symbol of what you think you are. It is clearly a separation device, and therefore does not exist. The Holy Spirit, as always, takes what you have made and translates it into a learning device. Again, as always, He reinterprets what the ego uses as an argument for separation into a demonstration against it. If the mind can heal the body, but the body cannot heal the mind, then the mind must be stronger than the body. Every miracle demonstrates this.
- I have said that the Holy Spirit is the motivation for miracles. He always tells you that only the mind is real, because only the mind can be shared. The body is separate, and therefore cannot be part of you. To be of one mind is meaningful, but to be of one body is meaningless. By the laws of mind, then, the body is meaningless.
- To the Holy Spirit, there is no order of difficulty in miracles. This is familiar enough to you by now, but it has not yet become believable. Therefore, you do not understand it and cannot use it. We have too much to accomplish on behalf of the Kingdom to let this crucial concept slip away. It is a real foundation stone of the thought system I teach and want you to teach. You cannot perform miracles without believing it because it is a belief in perfect equality. Only one equal gift can be offered to the equal Sons of God, and that is full appreciation. Nothing more and nothing less. Without a range, order of difficulty is meaningless, and there must be no range in what you offer to your brother.
- The Holy Spirit, who leads to God, translates communication into being, just as He ultimately translates perception into knowledge. You do not lose what you communicate. The ego uses the body for attack, for pleasure, and for pride. The insanity of this perception makes it a fearful one indeed. The Holy Spirit sees the body only as a means of communication, and because communication is sharing it becomes communion. Perhaps you think that fear as well as love can be communicated; and therefore, can be shared. Yet this is not so real as it may appear. Those who communicate fear are promoting attack, and attack always breaks communication, making it impossible. Egos do join together in temporary allegiance, but always for what each one can get separately. The Holy Spirit communicates only what each one can give to all. He never takes anything back because He wants you to keep it. Therefore, His teaching begins with the lesson: To have, give all to all.
- This is a very preliminary step, and the only one you must take for yourself. It is not even necessary that you complete the step yourself, but it is necessary that you turn in that direction. Having chosen to go that way, you place yourself in charge of the journey, where you and only you must remain. This step may appear to exacerbate conflict rather than resolve it because it is the beginning step in reversing your perception and turning it right-side up. This conflicts with the upside-down perception you have not yet abandoned, or the change in direction would not have been necessary. Some remain at this step for a long time, experiencing very acute conflict. At this point they may try to accept the conflict, rather than take the next step towards its resolution. Having taken the first step, however, they will be helped. Once they have chosen what they cannot complete alone, they are no longer alone.
In today’s devotional text, Jesus tells us that each one of us will know our eternal selves when our bodies, our egos, and our dreams are completely gone. We must not make the mistake of thinking that this means death, because death accomplishes nothing. We accomplish our true awakening through life because life has nothing to do with our bodies, and all to do with our minds.
While we think of our identity as bodies, we will think of life and death in terms of whether our bodies are breathing and functioning in any capacity, or if they have shut down and are no longer viable. But Jesus tells us that our bodies are not dead or alive and cannot contain us, for we are life. We can overcome death just as Christ did, when we share His mind. The ego and the bodies that represent it in this illusion, uses death as a way to get out of deciding against itself. It does not work because the mind is not the body and keeps living because it is life. In other words, until we resolve the conflict between the ego and the Kingdom of God, we are stuck in this realm and in this dream.
God does not make that which can be destroyed – our bodies are not of God and they are not of His Kingdom. Our bodies are symbols of what we think we are in a realm that is not unified but splintered, shattered, and in opposition to communion with God. In reality, our bodies do not exist – they are used to keep us in state of conflict with one another. I see you as different from me, you see me as different from you. I will think that you are more privileged than me; you will think that I enjoy unfair advantages. Conversely, I will judge you as deserving of guilt, shame, and hardship; you will see me as deserving of punishment, banishment, and estrangement. This is not of God’s Kingdom, this is an insane world full of disparity and partiality, and therefore not real except in the dream of time.
However, Holy Spirit uses our bodies as a means of communication. Our bodies which clearly maintain separateness as part of the ego’s device, Holy Spirit uses to demonstrate that bodies are not life and therefore reality, but that the mind is life and our reality.
Holy Spirit reveals through the use of miracles that the mind heals the body, while the body can never heal the mind. Therefore, it only stands to reason that the mind as life, is stronger than the body, which signifies death.
Only the mind is real because only the mind can be shared. As a separation device, the body cannot be part of me or part of you. It is simply not who or what we are. I can take off all my clothes and you can take off all your clothes and we can put our bodies together in as many ways as bodies can go together, but we did not share our bodies. What we did does not make us one; it does not resolve our differences, in fact, in many cases, trying to share our bodies only increases conflict, insecurity, disease, and death. What happens between bodies has absolutely no meaning to Holy Spirit, who motivates us and teaches us that miracles occur when our minds connect, communicate, and share truth.
It is crucial both to our own awakening and the awakening of others, that we understand that in the Spirit there is no level of difficulty between miracle thinking. They are all the same. Until we know this and understand it, we cannot accomplish the vision of Christ. A foundational concept, we cannot perform miracles without believing in perfect equality. In other words, it is a belief that there is nobody and nothing which is any more or any less deserving of full appreciation. This is the one equal gift offered to the equal Sons of God. Jesus tells us very clearly, with no room for uncertainty, question, or doubt – fully appreciative thoughts towards everyone. In our minds, we hold full appreciation to all.
In my personal life, I have made lists of all the ones I have had to change my mind about! I have shared in my blog posts the hard time I seemed to have fully appreciating those whom I thought deceived, bullied, cheated, disappointed, played mean games, and pulled nasty tricks on me. On a wider, more general note, there were institutions, clubs, social movements, political and religious organizations for whom I would have much rather offered condemnation!
Just as Holy Spirit adapts our perceptions in the perceptual world into knowledge of God, Holy Spirit translates our earthly communication into spiritual communication which connects us to God, making us one. In the spiritual realm, we do not lose what we communicate. The body is only a means of communication to Holy Spirit. With Holy Spirit, we use our bodies as a means to communicate with one another and with God – this communication leads to communion, to true sharing, to oneness.
The ego however does not use the body for communication, it uses the body for attack, for pleasure, for pride. It uses the body as a means to enslave us. The cruel insanity of this perception makes it fearful. In case you think that fear can be communicated just as easily as the love of Holy Spirit’s message, you are wrong. For communicating fear promotes attack; attack breaks communication, making true communion and oneness impossible. While egos do form alliances and join together for causes – they do not actually unite for each ego is in it for what they can get out of it separately.
Holy Spirit communicates what each individual can give to all. There is never a “big cheese” in Holy Spirit; there are never any dues or special privileges, rank or hierarchies. We cannot lose our standing in Holy Spirit, for Holy Spirit is a given by God and will never be taken back. What is given to one is always given to all. This leaves no room for exclusion, privilege, or lack of any kind. Holy Spirit’s teaching begins with: To have, give all to all.
As long as we turn in the direction of giving our full appreciation to all with no differentiation of person, place, or thing, we have replaced the ego as our guide. We have put our true self, our holy self in charge and this is where we remain. Nobody else can be in charge of our journey. We cannot blame anybody else for the perceptual world and the mistakes we are bound to make in it, nor can we credit any particular person or group for our awakening. We are the choosers, the deciders, the ones who make the decision to choose the Voice for God, Holy Spirit as our guide and go for the communion and unity of God’s love.
As we step in the direction of full appreciation for all, we reverse the thinking of this world and we turn from what never really worked to what always works. Appreciating all is frightening to the ego which is sustained on blame and shame, guilt and division. We may, on our initial attempts, experience conflict, uncertainty, and doubt but it is only in the commitment to and the practice of these concepts which will utterly convince us of their veracity, their helpfulness, their truth.
Jesus tells us that there are some that remain at this step for a long time, not being yet willing to extend appreciation to all. There will be some who just cannot bring themselves to appreciate the conservative, or the liberal, the black or the white, the rich or the poor. There will be some that believe that the practice of full appreciation is good on paper but cannot be practiced in our daily lives because some people are not worthy of appreciation. The fathers who abandon their little ones, the women who have abortions, the guys who beat their wives, the wives who cheat on their husbands…it is not that we do not want to appreciate them, we just do not know how they could be so evil, so sinful, so shameful. Some of us will accept the conflict – knowing with our higher minds that this is the way to be but being too attached to the perceptual view of things to even attempt to teach and learn appreciation for all.
For when we fully appreciate everyone, we love everyone, and when we love others we are not afraid of them. We speak of their goodness. We show gratitude for their contributions. We focus on their strengths and not their weaknesses. We seek not to kill and destroy, blame and shame, isolate and apprehend, but rather to help and heal, awaken, and become one.
 A Course in Miracles. Chapter 6 The lessons of love. V. The Lessons of the Holy Spirit. A. To have, give all to all. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).
For daily 2021 Workbook lessons, visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.
Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com