Both of you are involved with unconscious distortions (above the miracle level), which are producing a dense cover over miracle-impulses which makes it hard for them to reach consciousness. Sex and miracles are both WAYS OF RELATING. The nature of any interpersonal relationship is limited or defined by what you want it TO DO which is WHY you want it in the first place. Relating is a way of achieving an outcome.
Indiscriminate sexual impulses resemble indiscriminate miracle impulses in that both result in body image misperceptions. The first is an expression of an indiscriminate attempt to reach communion through the body. This involves not only the improper self identification, but also disrespect for the individuality of others. Self-control is NOT the whole answer to this problem, though I am by no means discouraging its use. It must be understood, however, that the underlying mechanism must be uprooted (a word you both should understand well enough by now not to regard it as frightening).
ALL shallow roots have to be uprooted, because they are not deep enough to sustain you. The illusion that shallow roots can be deepened and thus made to hold is one of the corollaries on which the reversal of the Golden Rule, referred to twice before, is balanced. As these false underpinnings are uprooted (or given up), equilibrium is experienced as unstable. But the fact is that NOTHING is less stable than an orientation which is upside down. Anything that holds it this way is hardly conducive to greater stability.
The whole danger of defenses lies in their propensity to hold misperceptions rigidly in place. This is why rigidity is regarded AS stability by those who are off the mark.
The only final solution - (no, Helen, this has nothing to do with the Nazi use of the term.) You just got frightened again. One of the more horrible examples of inverted or upside down thinking (and history is full of horrible examples of this) is the fact that the Nazis spelled their appalling error with capitol letters. I shed many tears over this, but it is by no means the only time I said "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do."
All actions which stem from reverse thinking are literally the behavioral expressions of those who know not what they do. Actually, Jean Dixon was right in her emphasis on "Feet on the ground and fingertips in the Heaven," though she was a bit too literal for your kind of understanding. Many people knew exactly what she meant, so her statement was the right miracle for them.
For you and Bill, it would be better to consider the concept in terms of reliability and validity. A rigid orientation can be extremely reliable, even if it IS upside down. In fact, the more consistently upside down it is, the more reliable it is, because consistency always held up better mathematically than test-re-test comparisons, which were ALWAYS on shaky ground. You can check this against Jack's notes if you wish, but I assure you its true. Split-half reliability is statistically a MUCH stronger approach. The reason for this is that correlation which is the technique applied to test-re-test comparisons, measures only the EXTENT OF association, and does not consider the Direction at all.
But two halves of the same thing MUST go in the same direction, if there is to be accuracy of measurement. This simple statement is really the principle on which split half reliability, a means of estimating INTERNAL consistency, rests.
Note, however, that both approaches leave out a very important dimension. Internal consistency criteria disregard time, because the focus is on one-time measurements. Test-retest comparisons are BASED on time intervals, but they disregard direction.
It is possible, of course, to use both, by establishing internal consistency AND stability over time. You will remember that Jack once told his class that the more sophisticated statisticians are concentrating more and more on reliability, rather than validity. The rationale for this, as he said, was that a reliable instrument DOES measure something. He also said, however, that validity is still the ultimate goal, which reliability can only serve.
I submit (I'm using Jack's language in this section, because it always had a special meaning for you. So did Jack.) Your confusion of sex and statistics is an interesting example of this whole issue. Note that night you spent in the scent of roses doing a complex factorial analysis of covariance. Its a funny story to others, because they see a different kind of level confusion than the one you yourself were making. You might recall that YOU wanted that design, and Jack opposed it. One of the real reasons why that evening was so exhilarating was because it represented a "battle of intellects", (both good ones, by the way), each communicating exceptionally clearly but on opposite sides. The sexual aspects were naturally touched off in both of you, because of the sex and aggression confusion.
(It is especially interesting that after the battle ended with your agreeing with Jack, he wrote in the margin of your notes "virtue is triumphant." (Helen note regarding submission-dominance, feminine-masculine roles, entered into this.) While this (remark) was funny to both of you at the time, you might consider its truer side. The virtue lay in the complete respect each of your offered to the other's intellect. Your mutual sexual attraction was also shared. The error lay in the word "triumphant". This had the "battle" connotation, because neither of you was respecting ALL of the other. There is a great deal more to a person than intellect and genitals. The omission was the Soul.)
I submit (after a long interruption) that if a mind (Soul) is in valid relationship with God, it CAN'T be upside down. Jack and the other very eminent methodologists have abandoned validity in favor of reliability because they have lost sight of the end and are concentrating on the means.
Remember the story about the artist who kept devoting himself to inventing better and better ways of sharpening pencils. He never created anything, but he had the sharpest pencil in town. (The language here is intentional.) Sex is often utilized on behalf of very similar errors. Hostility, triumph, vengeance, self-debasement, and all sort of expressions of the lack of love are often VERY clearly seen in the accompanying fantasies. But it is a PROFOUND error to imagine that, because these fantasies are so frequent (or occur so reliably), that this implies validity. Remember that while validity implies reliability the relationship is NOT reversible. You can be wholly reliable, and ENTIRELY wrong.
While a reliable test DOES measure something, what USE is the test unless you discover what the "something" is? And if validity is more important than reliability, and is also necessarily implied BY it, why not concentrate on VALIDITY and let reliability fall naturally into place.
Intellect may be a "displacement upward", but sex can be a "displacement outward." How can man "come close" to others through the parts of him which are really invisible? The word "invisible" means "cannot be seen or perceived." What cannot be perceived is hardly the right means for improving perception.
The confusion of miracle impulse with sexual impulse is a major source of perceptual distortion, because it INDUCES rather than straightening out the basic level-confusion which underlies all those who seek happiness with the instruments of the world. A desert is a desert is a desert. You can do anything you want in it, but you CANNOT change it from what it IS. It still lacks water, which is why it IS a desert (Bring up that dream about the Bluebird. While Helen was looking for this dream, she came across another. The message was to bring both, as an excellent example of how extremely good Helen had become over the intervening 25 years at sharpening pencils. Note that the essential content hasn't changed; its just better written.) The thing to do with a desert is to LEAVE.
38. Miracles arise from a miraculous state of mind. By being One, this state of mind goes out to ANYONE, even without the awareness of the miracle worker himself. The impersonal nature of miracles is because Atonement itself is one, uniting all creations with their Creator.
39. The miracle is an expression of an inner awareness of Christ and acceptance of his Atonement. The mind is then in a state of Grace, and naturally becomes gracious, both to the Host within and the stranger without. By bringing in the stranger, he becomes your brother.
The miracles you are told NOT to perform have not lost their value. They are still expressions of your own state of Grace, but the ACTION aspect of the miracle should be Christ-controlled, because of His complete Awareness of the Whole Plan. The impersonal nature of miracle-mindedness ensures YOUR own Grace, but only Christ is in a position to know where Grace can be BESTOWED.
40. A miracle is never lost. It touches many people you may not even know, and sometimes produces undreamed of changes in forces of which you are not even aware. This is not your concern. It will also always bless YOU. This is not your concern, either. But it IS the concern of the Record. The Record is completely unconcerned with reliability, being perfectly valid because of the way it was set up. It ALWAYS measures what it was supposed to measure.
I want to finish the instructions about sex, because this is an area the miracle worker MUST understand.
Inappropriate sex drives (or misdirected miracle-impulses) result in guilt if expressed, and depression if denied. We said before that ALL real pleasure comes from doing God's will. Whenever it is NOT done an experience of lack results. This is because NOT doing the will of God IS a lack of self.
Sex was intended as an instrument for physical creation to enable Souls to embark on new chapters in their experience, and thus improve their record. The pencil was NOT an end in itself. (See earlier section.) It was an aid to the artist in his own creative endeavors. As he made new homes for Souls and guided them through the period of their own developmental readiness, he learned the role of the father himself. The whole process was set up as a learning experience in gaining Grace.
The pleasure which is derived from sex AS SUCH is reliable only because it stems from an error which men shared. AWARENESS of the error produces the guilt. DENIAL of the error results in projection. CORRECTION of the error brings release.
The only VALID use of sex is procreation. It is NOT truly pleasurable in itself. "Lead us not into Temptation" means "Do not let us deceive ourselves into believing that we can relate in peace to God or our brothers with ANYTHING external."
The "sin of Onan" was called a "sin" because it involved a related type of self-delusion; namely, that pleasure WITHOUT relating can exist.
To repeat an earlier instruction, the concept of either the self or another as a "sex-OBJECT" epitomizes this strange reversal. As Bill put it, and very correctly, too, it IS objectionable, but only because it is invalid. Upside-down logic produces this kind of thinking.
Child of God, you were created to create the good, the beautiful, and the holy. Do not lose sight of this. You were right in telling Bill to invite Me to enter anywhere temptation arises. I will change the situation from one of inappropriate sexual attraction to one of impersonal miracle-working. The concept of changing the channel for libidinal expression is Freud's greatest contribution, except that he did not understand what "channel" really means.
The love of God, for a little while, must still be expressed through one body to another. That is because the real vision is still so dim. Everyone can use his body best by enlarging man's perception, so he can see the real VISION. THIS VISION is invisible to the physical eye. The ultimate purpose of the body is to render itself unnecessary. Learning to do this is the only real reason for its creation. NOTE: Scribes have a particular role in the Plan of Atonement, because they have the ability to EXPERIENCE revelations themselves, and also to put into words enough of the experience to serve as a basis for miracles.
(This refers to experiences at the visionary level, after which Helen wrote "If you will tell me what to do, I will to do it." She had not known that the word "to" was inserted, and had merely intended to write "I will do it." This recognition had a terrific impact on Helen.)
This is why you EXPERIENCED that revelation about "I will to do" VERY personally, but also WROTE IT: What you wrote CAN be useful to miracle workers other than yourself. We said before that prayer is the medium of miracles. The miracle prayer IS what you wrote, e."If you will tell me what to do, I will to do it." *
This prayer is the door that leads out of the desert forever.
* (Correction next day. This is not a complete statement, because it does not exclude the negative. We have already told you to add "and NOT to do what you would not have me do." in connection with miracles. The distinction has also been made here between "miracle-mindedness" as a STATE, and "miracle-doing" as its expression.
The former needs YOUR careful protection, because it is a state of miracle-READINESS. This is what the Bible means in the many references to "Hold yourself ready" and other similar injunctions.
Readiness here means keep your perception right side up, (or valid), so you will ALWAYS be ready, willing, and able. These are the essentials for "listen, learn, and do." You must be:
READY to listen
WILLING to learn
and ABLE to do.
Only the last is involuntary, because it is the APPLICATION of miracles which must be Christ-controlled. But the other two, which are the voluntary aspects of miracle-mindedness, ARE up to you.
To channelize DOES have a "narrowing down" connotation, though NOT in the sense of lack. The underlying state of mind, or Grace is a total commitment. Only the DOING aspect involves the channel at all. This is because doing is always specific.
As Jack said, "A reliable instrument must measure something," but a channel is also valid. It must learn to do ONLY what it is supposed to do. Change the prayer to read:
If you will tell me what to do,
ONLY THAT I will to do.
NOTE: Helen objects to doggerel sound of this, and regards it as very inferior poetry. ANSWER: Its hard to forget, though.
The Revelation is literally unspeakable, because it is an experience of unspeakable love. The word "Awe" should be reserved only for revelations, to which it is perfectly and correctly applicable. It is NOT appropriately applied to miracles, because a state of true awe is worshipful. It implies that one of a lesser order stands before the Greater One. This is the case only when a Soul stands before his Creator. Souls are perfect creations, and should be struck with awe in the presence of the Creator of Perfection.
The miracle, on the other hand, is a sign of love among equals. Equals cannot be in awe of each other, because awe ALWAYS implies inequality. Awe is not properly experienced even to me. That is why in that short introductory vision, I knelt beside you, FACING the light.
An Elder Brother is entitled to respect for his greater experience, and a reasonable amount of obedience for his greater wisdom. He is also entitled to love, because he is a brother, and also to devotion, if he is devoted. It is only my own devotion that entitles me to yours. But you will notice that I have knelt at your altar as readily as I would ever have you kneel at mine.
There is nothing about me that you cannot attain. I have nothing that does not come from God. The main difference between us as yet is that I have NOTHING ELSE. This leaves me in a state of true holiness, which is only a POTENTIAL in you.
"No man cometh to the Father but by me" is among the most misunderstood statements in the Bible. It DOES NOT mean that I am in anyway separate (or different) from you, EXCEPT IN TIME. Now, we know that time does not exist. Actually, the statement is much more meaningful if it is considered on a vertical rather than a horizontal axis. Regarded along the vertical, man stands below me, and I stand below God. In the process of "rising up", I AM higher. This is because without me the distance between God and man is too great for man to encompass. I bridge the distance as an Elder Brother to man, on the one hand, and a Son of God on the other. My devotion to my brothers has placed me in charge of the Sonship, which I can render complete only to the extent I can SHARE it.
This appears to contradict another statement: "I and my Father are one." It doesn't. There are still separate parts in the statement, in recognition of the fact that the Father is GREATER. Actually, the original statement was "are of one KIND." (see bottom of /acim_page_ 20)
The Holy Spirit is the Bringer of Revelations, not miracles. Revelations are INDIRECTLY inspired by me, because I am close to the Holy Spirit, and alert to revelation-readiness in my brothers. I can thus BRING DOWN to them more than they can DRAW down to themselves. Jean Dixon's description is perhaps a better statement of my position. Because my feet are on the ground and my hands are in heaven, I can bring down the glories of Heaven to my brothers on earth.
The Holy Spirit is the Highest Communication Medium. Miracles do not involve this type of communication, because they are TEMPORARY communicative devices. When man can return to his original form of communication with God by direct REVELATION, the need for miracles is over. The Holy Spirit mediates higher to lower order communication, keeping the direct channel from God to man open for revelation. Revelation is NOT reciprocal. It is always FROM God TO man. This is because God and man are NOT equal. The miracle is reciprocal because it ALWAYS involves equality.
In the longitudinal (or horizontal) plane, the true equality of all men in the Sonship appears to involve almost endless time. But we know that time is only an artifact introduced as a learning aid.
41. The miracle is a learning device which lessens the need for time. The sudden shifts from horizontal to vertical perception which the miracle entails introduces an interval from which the doer and the receiver both emerge much farther along in time than they would otherwise have been.
A miracle has thus the unique property of abolishing time by rendering the space of time it occupies unnecessary. There is NO relation between the time a miracle TAKES and the time it COVERS. It substitutes FOR learning that might have taken thousands of years. It does this by the underlying recognition of perfect equality and holiness between doer and receiver on which the miracle rests. It is unstable, but perfectly consistent, e., it does not occur predictably across time, and it rarely occurs in comparable forms. But within ITSELF it is perfectly consistent. Since it contains NOTHING BUT an acknowledgment of equality and worth, all parts ARE equal. This establishes the prerequisite for validity.
We said before that the miracle abolishes time. It does this by a process of COLLAPSING it. It thus abolishes certain INTERVALS within it. It does this, however, WITHIN the larger temporal sequence.
The validity of the miracle, then, is PREDICTIVE, not logical, within the temporal schema. It establishes an out-of-pattern time interval, which is NOT under the usual laws of time. Only in this sense is it timeless. By collapsing time, it literally saves time, much the way "daylight saving time" does. It rearranges the distribution of light.
The miracle is the only device which man has at his immediate disposal for controlling time. Only the Revelation TRANSCENDS it, having nothing to do with time at all. The miracle is much like the body, in that both are learning aids which aim at facilitating a state in which they are unnecessary. When the Soul is finally in the original state of direct communication, neither the body nor the miracle serves any purpose.
While he is IN the body, however, man can choose between loveless and miraculous channels of creativity. He can create an empty shell (see previous reference), but he DOES NOT create nothing at all. He can wait, delay, paralyze himself, reduce his creativity almost to nothing, and even introduce a real developmental arrest or regression. But he CANNOT abolish his creativity. He CAN destroy his medium of communication, but NOT his potential.
He was NOT created by his own free will. Only what HE creates is his to decide. The basic decision of the miracle-minded is NOT to wait on time any longer than is necessary. Time can waste, as well as be wasted. The miracle-worker, therefore, accepts the time-control factor of the miracle gladly, because he knows that every collapse of time brings all men closer to the ultimate RELEASE from time, in which the Son and the Father ARE one.
The real meaning of "are of one kind" is "of one mind or will." When the will of the Sonship and the Father are one, their perfect accord IS Heaven. ASIDE: Tell Bill he is right in providing you with the consistent strength you need to get, and he needs to offer. Your instability and his weakness have resulted from bad karmic choices, and your relationship NOW is crucial for the future. You must both exert every effort to restore it to what it once was. Both of you are correcting where you have failed before. This has already enabled you to fulfill a very unexpected role in your own joint salvation, and the salvation of many other children I will entrust increasingly to you. These are by no means chosen at random. Bill should know that his preparation is not only in terms of sharing in the results of your better application of some rather unusual talents. His own role, which he will understand after his preparation is complete, will be equally surprising. He will need your help then, as you need his strength now.
Note that you DO NOT need his help as a scribe, because you developed this ability by your own efforts, and finally placed them at MY disposal. By lending you his strength, he strengthens himself. When he gains this through his own efforts, he will need your help in a very unexpected way. But this is just another example of the reciprocal nature of miracles.
Equality does not imply homogeneity NOW. When EVERYONE has EVERYTHING, individual contributions to the Sonship will no longer be necessary. When the Atonement has been completed, ALL talents will be shared by ALL of the Sons of God. God is NOT partial. All of his children have His total love, and all of his gifts are given freely to everyone alike.
"Except you become as little children" means unless you fully recognize your complete dependence on God, you cannot know the real power of the Son in his true relationship with the Father.
You and Bill DO have special talents which are needed for the Celestial speedup at this time. But note that the term speed-up is not one which relates to the TRANSCENDING of time.
When time is abolished, and all of the Sons of God have come home, no special agents will be necessary. But do not underestimate the power of special agents now, or the great need there is for them. I do not claim to be more than that myself. No one in his Right Mind, (a term which should be specially noted) ever wants either more or less than that. Those who are called on to witness for me NOW are witnessing for all men, as I am.
The role of the Priestess was once to experience Revelations and to work miracles. The purpose was to bring those not yet available for direct Revelations into proper focus for them. Heightened perception was always the essential Priestess attribute. (This is the first time that Helen ever said that she would be honored if there were any notes.) (Neither Bill nor I is really clear about how sexual-impulses can be directly translated into miracle-impulses.) The fantasies that I mentioned yesterday (refers to discussion Helen and Bill had) provide an excellent example of how you switch. (Now switch the pronoun references, or it will be too confusing.)
Fantasies are distorted forms of thinking, because they always involve twisting perception into unreality. Fantasy is a debased form of vision. Visions and Revelations are closely related. Fantasies and projection are more closely associated, because both attempt to control external reality according to false internal needs. "Live and let live" happens to be a very meaningful injunction. Twist reality in any way, and you are perceiving destructively. Reality was lost through usurpation, which in turn produced tyranny. I told you, you were now restored to your former role in the Plan of Atonement. But you must still choose freely to devote your heritage to the greater Restoration. As long as a single slave remains to walk the earth, your release is not complete. Complete restoration of the Sonship is the only true goal of the miracle-minded.
Sexual fantasies are distortions of perception by definition. They are a means of making false associations, and obtaining pleasure from them. Man can do this only because he IS creative. But although he can perceive false associations, he can never make them real except to himself. As was said before, man believes in what he creates. If he creates a miracle, he will be equally strong in his belief in that. The strength of his conviction will then sustain the belief of the miracle receiver.
NO fantasies, sexual or otherwise, are true. Fantasies become totally unnecessary as the Wholly satisfying nature of reality becomes apparent. The sex impulse IS a miracle impulse when it is in proper focus. One individual sees in another the right partner for "procreating the stock" (Wolff was not too far off here), and also for their joint establishment of a creative home. This does not involve fantasy at all. If I am asked to participate in the decision, the decision will be a Right one, too.
In a situation where you or another person, or both, experience inappropriate sex impulses, KNOW FIRST that this is an expression of fear. Your love toward each other is NOT perfect, and this is why the fear arose. Turn immediately to me by denying the power of the fear, and ask me to help you to replace it with love. This shifts the sexual impulse immediately to the miracle-impulse, and places it at MY disposal.
Then acknowledge the true creative worth of both yourself AND the other one. This places strength where it belongs. Note that sexual fantasies are ALWAYS destructive (or depleting), in that they perceive another in an inappropriate creative role. Both people are perceived essentially as "objects" fulfilling THEIR OWN pleasure drives. This dehumanized view is the source of the DEPLETING use of see Freud's description is purely NEGATIVE, e., as a release from the UNPLEASANT. He also observed that the tension from id impulses never completely abates.
What he should have said is that the shift from miracle-impulses to sexual impulses was debilitating in the first place, because of the level-confusion involved. This set up a state in which real release was impossible. Note also that Freud's notion of sex was as a device for inducing RELAXATION, which he confused with PEACE.
Inappropriate sex relaxes only in the sense that it may induce physical sleep. The miracle, on the other hand, is an ENERGIZER. It always strengthens, and never depletes. It DOES induce peace, and by establishing tranquillity (not relaxation) it enables both giver and receiver to enter into a state of Grace. Here his miracle-mindedness, (not release from tension) is restored.
Tension is the result of a building-up of unexpressed miracle-impulses, This can be truly abated only by releasing the miracle-drive, which has been blocked. Converting it to sexual libido merely produces further blocking. Never foster this illusion in yourself, or encourage it in others. An "object" is incapable of release, because it is a concept which is deprived of creative power. The recognition of the real creative power in yourself AND others brings release because it brings peace.
The peace of God which passeth understanding CAN keep your hearts now and forever.
There are only two short additions needed here:
1. Your earlier acute problem in writing things down came from a MUCH earlier misuse of very great scribal abilities. These were turned to secret rather than shared advantage, depriving it of its miraculous potential, and diverting it into possession. This is much like the confusion of sex impulses with possession-impulses. Some of the original material is still in the Temple. This is why you became so afraid about Atlantis. Bill has his own reasons.
2. Retain your miracle-minded attitude toward Rosie VERY carefully. She once hurt both of you, which is why she is now your servant. But she is blessed in that she sees service as a source of joy. Help her straighten out her past errors by contributing to your welfare now.
(Special Revelation regarding Helen - OMISSION 1.)
Helen's question regarding past memories. ANSWER: As long as you remember ALWAYS that you never suffered anything because of anything that anyone ELSE did, this is not dangerous.
Remember that you who want peace can find it only by complete forgiveness. You never really WANTED peace before, so there was no point in knowing how to get it. This is an example of the "need to know" principle, which was established by the Plan of Atonement long before CIA.
No kind of knowledge is acquired by anyone unless he wants it, or believes in some way he NEEDS it. A psychologist does NOT need a lesson on the hierarchy of needs as such, but like everyone else, he DOES need to understand his own.
This particular set of notes will be the only one which deals with the concept of "lack", because while the concept does not exist in the Creation of God, it is VERY apparent in the creations of man. It is, in fact, the essential difference.
A need implies lack, by definition. It involves the recognition, conscious or unconscious, (and at times, fortunately, superconscious) that you would be better off in a state which is somehow different from the one you are in.
Until the Separation, which is a better term than the Fall, nothing was lacking. This meant that man had no needs at all. If he had not deprived himself, he would never have experienced them.
After the Separation, needs became the most powerful source of motivation for human action. All behavior is essentially motivated by needs, but behavior itself is not a Divine attribute. The body is the mechanism for behavior. (Ask any behaviorist, and he's RIGHT, too.)
You tell your own classes that nobody would bother even to get up and go from one place to another if he did not think he would somehow be better off. This is very true.
Believing that he COULD be "better off" is the reason why man has the mechanism for behavior at his disposal. This is why the Bible says "By their DEEDS ye shall know them."
A man acts according to the particular hierarchy of needs he establishes for himself. His hierarchy, in turn, depends on his perception of what he IS, e., what he LACKS. This establishes his own rules for what he needs to know.
Separation from God is the only lack he really needs to correct. But his Separation would never have occurred if he had not distorted his perception of truth, and thus perceived himself as lacking.
The concept of ANY sort of need HIERARCHY arose because, having made this fundamental error, he had already fragmented himself into levels with DIFFERENT needs. As he integrates, HE becomes one, and his ONE need becomes one accordingly. Only the fragmented can be confused about this.
Internal integration within the self will not (suffice to?) correct the lack fallacy, but it WILL correct the NEED fallacy. (Thank you for writing this as given.) Unified need produces unified action, because it produces lack of ambivalence.
The concept of need hierarchy, a corollary to the original error, requires correction at its OWN level, before the error of levels itself can be corrected. Man cannot operate (or behave) effectively while he operates at split levels. But as long as he does so, he must introduce correction from the bottom UP.
This is because he now operates in space, where "up" and "down" are meaningful terms. Ultimately, of course, space is as meaningless as time. The concept is really one of space-time BELIEF. The physical world exists only because man can use it to correct his UNBELIEF, which placed him in it originally. As long as man KNEW he did not need anything, the whole device was unnecessary.
The need to know is not safely under man's control at this time. It is MUCH better off under mine. Let's just leave it at that.
(Specific question raised by Bill regarding sex under existing conditions) (Helen raised previous question about the past, which has just been answered.)
The other question, however, I am more than willing to answer, because it is appropriate for NOW. You and Bill both chose your present sex partners shamefully, and would have to atone for the lack of love which was involved in any case.
You selected them precisely BECAUSE they were NOT suited to gratify your fantasies. This was not because you wanted to abandon or give up the fantasies, but because you were AFRAID of them. You saw in your partners a means of protecting against the fear, but both of you continued to "look around" for chances to indulge the fantasies.
The dream of the "perfect partner" is an attempt to find EXTERNAL integration, while retaining conflicting needs in the self.
Bill was somewhat less guilty of this than you, but largely because he was more afraid. He had abandoned the hope (of finding a perfect partner) in a neurotic sense of despair of finding it. You, on the other hand, insisted that the hope was justified. Neither of you, therefore, was in your Right Mind.
As was said before, homosexuality is INHERENTLY more risky (or error prone) than heterosexuality, but both can be undertaken on an equally false basis. The falseness of the basis is clear in the accompanying fantasies. Homosexuality ALWAYS involves misperception of the self OR the partner, and generally both. Penetration DOES NOT involve magic, nor DOES ANY form of sexual behavior. It IS a magic belief to engage in ANY form of body image activity at all. You neither created yourselves, nor controlled your creation. By introducing levels into your own perception, you opened the way for body-image distortions.
The lack of love (or faulty need-orientation) which led to your particular person (not OBJECT) choices CAN BE corrected within the existent framework, and would HAVE to be in the larger interest of overall progress. The situation is questionable largely because of its inherent vulnerability to fantasy-gratification. Doing the best you can WITHIN this limitation is probably the best corrective measure at present. Any relationship you have undertaken for whatever reasons becomes a responsibility.
If you shift your own needs, some amount of corresponding shift in the need-orientation of the other person MUST result, This will be beneficial, even if the partner was originally attracted to you BECAUSE of your disrespect. Teaching devices which are totally alien to a learner's perceptual system are usually merely disruptive. Transfer depends on SOME common elements in the new situation which are understandable in terms of the old.
Man can never control the effects of fear himself, because he has CREATED fear and believes in what he creates. In attitude, then, though not in content, he resembles his own Creator, who has perfect faith in His Creations because he Created them. All creation rests on belief, and the belief in the creation produces its existence. This is why it is possible for a man to believe what is not true for anyone else. It is true for him because it is made BY him.
Every aspect of fear proceeds from upside-down perception. The TRULY creative devote their efforts to correcting this. The neurotic devotes his to compromise. The psychotic tries to escape by establishing the truth of his own errors. It is most difficult to free him by ordinary means, only because he is more stable in his denial of truth.
42. The miracle makes no distinction among degrees of misperception. It is a device for perception-correction which is effective quite apart from either the degree or the direction of the error. This is its TRUE indiscriminateness.
Christ-controlled miracles are selective only in that they are directed toward those who can use them for THEMSELVES. Since this makes it inevitable that they will extend them to others, a very strong chain of Atonement is welded. But Christ-control takes no account at all of the MAGNITUDE of the miracle itself, because the concept of size exists only in a plane that is itself unreal. Since the miracle aims at RESTORING reality, it would hardly be useful if it were bound by the laws of the same error it aims to correct. Only man makes that kind of error. It is an example of the "foolish consistency" his own false beliefs have engendered.
Both the power and the strength of man's creative will must be understood, before the real meaning of denial can be appreciated and abolished. Denial is NOT mere negation. It is a positive miscreation. While the miscreation is NECESSARILY believed in by its own creator, it does not exist at all at the level of true Creation.
43. The miracle compares the creations of man with the higher level of creation, accepting what is in ACCORD as true, and rejecting the DISCORDANT as false. This is why it is so closely associated with validity. Real validity is both true AND useful, or better, it is useful BECAUSE it is true.
All aspects of fear are untrue, because they DO NOT exist at the higher creative levels, and therefore do not exist at all. To whatever extent a man is willing to submit his beliefs to the real test of validity, to that extent are his perceptions healed (or corrected.)
In sorting out the false from the true, the miracle proceeds much along the lines suggested very correctly by Bill, e.:
If perfect love casts out fear,
And if fear exists,
Then there is NOT perfect love.
But only perfect love really exists.
Therefore, if there is fear, it creates a state which does not exist
Believe THIS and you WILL be free. Only God can establish this solution, for THIS faith IS His gift.
Man must contribute to his readiness here as elsewhere. The readiness for faith, as for everything else that is true, entails the two steps necessary for the release from fear.
Denial of fear, in human terms, is a strong defense because it entails two levels of error:
1.That truth CAN be denied and
2.That absence of truth can be effective.
EXPERIENCING fear, which is more characteristic of Bill, involves only the second error. However, these differences do not affect the power of the miracle at all, since only truth and error are its concern.
YOU are both more miracle-minded and less able to recognize fear, because of your stronger, but split, identification. Bill, also characteristically, is less miracle-minded, but better able to recognize fear, because his identification is more consistently right but weaker.
Together, the conditions needed for consistent miracle-mindedness, the state in which fear has been abolished, can be particularly well worked out. In fact, it WAS already well worked out before.
Your idea about the real meaning of "possession" should be clarified. Your own denial of fear (this refers to a visionary experience of Helen) introduced some error variance, but not really a significant amount. However, there is always a chance that as the size of the sample increases, what was non-significant before may ATTAIN significance, so we had better get this out of the way now while you are still within the safety margin.
Fear of possession is a perverted expression of the fear of the irresistible attraction. (Aside: Yes, this DOES apply to homosexuality, among other errors, where the whole concept of possessing, or "entering" is a key fear. It is a symbolic statement of an inverted decision NOT to enter into, or possess, the Kingdom. In physical terms, which it emphasizes because of the inherent error of Soul avoidance, REAL physical creation is avoided, and fantasy gratification is substituted.)
The truth is still that the attraction of God is irresistible at ALL levels, and the acceptance of this totally unavoidable truth is only a matter of time. But you should consider whether you WANT to wait, because you CAN return now, if you choose. (Note to Helen: You are writing this with improper motivation, but we will try anyway. If you are to stop, do so immediately.)
Possession is a concept which has been subject to numerous distortions, some of which we will list below:
1.It (possession) can be associated with the body only. If this occurs, sex is particularly likely to be contaminated. Possession versus being possessed is apt to be seen as the male and female role. Since neither will be conceived of as satisfying alone, and both will be associated with fear, this interpretation is particularly vulnerable to psychosexual confusion.
2.From a rather similar misperceptual reference point, possession can also be associated with things. This is essentially a shift from 1), and is usually due to an underlying fear of associating possession with people. In this sense, it is an attempt to PROTECT people, like the superstition about "protecting the name", we mentioned before.
Both 1) and 2) are likely to become compulsive for several reasons, including:
a.They represent an attempt to escape from the real possession-drive, which cannot be satisfied this way.
b.They set up substitute goals, which are usually reasonably easy to attain.
c.They APPEAR to be relatively harmless, and thus SEEM to allay fear. The fact that they usually interfere with good interpersonal relationships can be interpreted, in this culture, as a lack of sophistication on the part of the OTHER (not the self), and this induces a false feeling of confidence in the solution, based on reliability NOT validity. It is also fairly easy to find a partner who SHARES the illusion. Thus, we have any number of relationships which are actually ESTABLISHED on the basis of 1), and others which HOLD TOGETHER primarily because of the joint interests in 2).
d.The manifestly EXTERNAL emphasis which both entail seems to be a safety device, and thus permits a false escape from much more basic inhibitions. As a compromise solution, the ILLUSION of interpersonal relating is preserved, along with the retention of the lack of love component. This kind of psychic juggling leaves the person (or juggler) with a feeling of emptiness, which in fact is perfectly justified, because he IS acting from scarcity. He then becomes more and more driven in his behavior, to fill the emptiness.
When these solutions have been invested with extreme belief, 1) leads to sex crimes, and 2) to stealing. The kleptomaniac is a good example of the latter.
Generally, two types of emotional disturbances result:
a.The tendency to maintain the illusion that only the physical is real. This produces depression.
b.The tendency to invest the physical with non-physical properties. This is essentially magic, and tends more toward anxiety-proneness.
c.The tendency to vacillate from one to the other, which produces a corresponding vacillation between depression AND anxiety.
Both result in self imposed starvation.
3.Another type of distortion is seen in the fear of, or desire for, "spirit" possession. The term "spirit" is profoundly debased in this context, but it DOES entail a recognition that the body is not enough, and investing it with magic will not work. This recognition ACCEPTS the fact that neither 1) nor 2) is sufficient, but, precisely BECAUSE it does not limit fear so narrowly, it is more likely to produce greater fear in its own right.
Endowing the Spirit with human possessiveness is a more INCLUSIVE error than 1) or 2), and a step somewhat further away from the "Right Mind." Projection is also more likely to occur, with vacillations between grandiosity and fear. "Religion" in a distorted sense, is also more likely to occur in this kind of error, because the idea of a "spirit" is introduced, though fallaciously, while it is excluded from 1) and 2).
Witchcraft is thus particularly apt to be associated with 3), because of the much greater investment in magic.
It should be noted that 1) involves only the body, and 2) involves an attempt to associate things with human attributes. Three, on the other hand, is a more serious level confusion, because it endows the Spirit with EVIL attributes. This accounts both for the religious zeal of its proponents, and the aversion (or fear) of its opponents. Both attitudes stem from the same false belief.
This in NOT what the Bible means by "possessed of the Holy Spirit." It is interesting to note that even those who DID understand that could nevertheless EXPRESS their understanding inappropriately. The concept of "speaking in many tongues" was originally an injunction to communicate to everyone in his own language, or his own level. It hardly meant to speak in a way that NOBODY can understand. This strange error occurs when people DO understand the need for Universal communication, but have contaminated it with possession fallacies. The fear engendered by this misperception leads to a conflicted state in which communication IS attempted, but the fear is allayed by making the communication incomprehensible.
It could also be said that the fear induced selfishness, or regression, because incomprehensible communication is hardly a worthy offering from one Son of God to another.
4.Knowledge can also be misinterpreted as a means of possession. Here, the content is not physical, and the underlying fallacy is more likely to be the confusion of mind and brain. The attempt to unite nonphysical content with physical attributes is illustrated by statements like "the thirst for knowledge." (No Helen, this is NOT what the "thirst" in the Bible means. The term was used only because of man's limited comprehension, and is probably better dropped.)
The fallacious use of knowledge can result in several errors, including:
a.The idea that knowledge will make the individual more attractive to others. This is a possession-fallacy.
b.The idea that knowledge will make the individual invulnerable. This is the reaction formation against the underlying fear of vulnerability.
c.The idea that knowledge will make the individual worthy. This is largely pathetic.
Both you and Bill should consider type 4) VERY carefully. Like all these fallacies, it contains a denial mechanism, which swings into operation as the fear increases, thus cancelling out the error temporarily, but seriously impairing efficiency.
Thus, you claim you can't read, and Bill claims that he can't speak. Note that depression is a real risk here, for a Child of God should never REDUCE his efficiency in ANY way. The depression comes from a peculiar pseudo-solution which reads:
A Child of God is efficient.
I am not efficient.
Therefore, I am not a Child of God.
This leads to neurotic resignation, and this is a state which merely INCREASES the depression.
|CHAPTER 1||INTRODUCTION TO MIRACLES|
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