Posted 2003-02-08 9:52 PM (#1843) Subject: Raj - Spirituality, Sex, Body & World
Location: The Kingdom Of Beautiful Phoenix, Arizona
Spirituality, Sex, Body & World
Sometimes We don't step back far enough from a thing to get a clear perspective and We deal with specifics without asking, "What is the context in which these specifics exist?"
We could assume that the context is ACourseInMiracles, and refer all specifics back to it. Yet, We would not be stepping back far enough yet, since the Course is just one aspect of all that fill our lives.
Indeed, the context of all of this discussion of Spirituality, Sex, Body and World is "the Inquiring Mind" which prompted each One of Us to come together to "consider things" in the first place. And so the first question needs to be, "Is this Inquiring Mind Real or unreal?" The possibility is, of course, that the act of Inquiry itself is what creates Illusion.
Another important question is: Does it matter whether this Inquiring Mind is Real, if (A) it is "running" and there's no way to turn it off and if (B) no one has experienced an alternative?
Since this message has not ended abruptly in mid-sentence and You are reading it, You may correctly assume what my answers to those questions are.
So, the fact is that before, after and aside from ACourseInMiracles, each One is curious about Spirituality, Sex, Body World...and on and on and on. Having found ACIM, One now needs to ask whether the inquiring Mind is to refer/defer everything to ACIM or whether ACIM is to refer/defer everything to the Inquiring Mind! And if We can't say thelatter, then not only has perspective been lost, but also the Integrity of the act of inquiry; the Inquiring Mind!
In other words, no matter how many readers of the Course adopt It as their Bible, measuring everything against its words, No one is required to forget that the value of the Course, if It has any, lies in Its ability to be measured against the deepest Inner Knowing of TheInquiringMind, and that if such measuring doesn't succeed in broadening and deepening the Inquiring Mind; satisfying Its curiosity, It is valueless.
If the context (the inquiring Mind) in which the specifics (the Course) exist does not remain the focal point, the specifics will not only be meaningless, they will become cruel. Why? Because when the innate Divinity of the Inquiring Mind is abandoned in favor of anything, even Truth, a State of Self-denial has been introduced which lacks humanity.
It is in this context, then that I wish to participate in this Dialogue on Spirituality, Sex, Body and World.
To put it simply, the idea that the World is an Illusion was not introduced by ACourseInMiracles. It is an Ancient Idea, embraced in one way or another by all Spiritual and Religious Traditions. In other words, the concept of the Polarity of Existence has never been challenged by any of them.
It is natural, then for the words of the Course to be read and interpreted from that standpoint. In fact, it is inevitable for Each One who reads it to approach it from whatever His or Her current viewpoint is. Those whose background includes a humanistic approach, valuing and honoring greater openness and genuineness in relationships and of being in touch with their feelings; find substantiation of it in the Course. Those whose background includes ascendancy over the Body and emotions likewise find Themselves at home with the Course. Those whose background involved strict obediences for escaping the Illusion are not challenged by the Course. And those who are discovering that the concept of Duality is Illusory, but not the World, are likewise finding the Course meaningful.
And the Course meets everyone where they are!
Now, I Am not going to challenge what AnyOne has said, I Am just going to say, "Lets take another look." And I Am going to suggest that the Course is the First document that has ever challenged the concept of the "polarity of existence."
Remembering that the Inquiring Mind is what justifies the consideration of Anything, and that Truth is meaningless outside the satisfying of that curiosity by means of real Inner Transformation, I would start with the consideration of the following:
"The world as you perceive it cannot have been created by The Father, for the world is not as you see it. God created only the Eternal, and everything you see is perishable. Therefore, there must be another world that you do not see."
The key words are "as your perceive it." And the Course will be clearer to everyone if those words are inserted immediately following the words "world" and "body" throughout the Course. It is not the world that is an illusion, but the world "as you perceive it" that is an illusion. Why? Because "the world is not as you see it." What world? The one you're looking at every day!
"The Bible speaks of a new Heaven and a new earth, yet this cannot be literally true, for the eternal are not re-created. To perceive anew is merely to perceive again, implying that before, or in there interval between, you were not perceiving at all. What then, is the world that awaits your perception when you see it?"
What world, indeed? The one you're looking at every day!
"The real world can actually be perceived. All that is necessary is a willingness to perceive nothing else."
The real world where? Where you're seeing the world every day. All that is necessary is a willingness to abandon the meanings that you have given it ("made") and see only what is left! Now, the Course refers to that which gives preference to perceptions as the ego. And it says:
"The ego may see some good, but never only good. That is why its perceptions are so variable."
And the word "variable" relates to the word "perishable" above. What makes the perceived world perishable is the unreliability of the perception, not of what is perceived.
"It does not reject goodness entirely, for that you could not accept. But it always adds something that is not real to the real, thus confusing illusion and reality."
This last sentence is the most significant sentence in the Course relative to challenging the "polarity of existence." The ego "always adds something that is not real to the real, thus confusing illusion and reality." If this is not understood, One will look beyond the world He or She is seeing every day, not realizing that the illusion is inseparable from the Real, and therefore the Real is to be found right where the illusion seems to be.
Indeed, if One does look beyond the world She or He is seeing every day, His or Her attention has been successfully distracted from the point where the Real awaits His or Her discovery.....and the dream goes on.
"You have made many ideas that you have placed between yourself and your Creator, and these beliefs are the world as you perceive it. Truth is not absent here, but it is obscure."
And, like a mist hovering between you and the world you see every day, beliefs obscure what is seen, "creating" a perception of it. This leaves what is seen unchanged (Truth is not absent here"), but it leaves you subject to a world "made" by virtue of giving preference to a perception. As a result....
"You do not know the difference between what you have made and what God created,..."
In other words, you do not know the difference between the added "something that is not real" and the Real: God's Creation. However...
"The real world is all that the holy Spirit has saved for you out of what you made, and to perceive only this is salvation, because it is the recognition that reality is only what is true."
In the willingness to acknowledge that the world which is seen every day is Real, with a "pinch" of "something that is not real" added to the pot for confusion, One knows where to look for Reality, and why the passage Home is a "journey without distance." I have shared before that everyOne is sitting smack dab in the middle of the Kingdom of Heaven with their eyes all squinched up, saying, "I cannot see the perfection." Indeed, it is the Kingdom which you see every day....imperfectly.
"Perceiving only the real world will lead you to the real Heaven, because it will make you capable of understanding it."
When denial of the Kingdom ceases because it is known that the illusion does not exist separate from the Real, and the illusion is squarely looked upon with Love for That which the ego did not make out of the Real, the "polarity of existence" will cease and the Real world will appear, and you will open your eyes and realize that the Real world is Heaven.
In other words:
"For as heaven and earth become One, even the real world will vanish from your sight. The end of world is not its destruction, but its translation into Heaven."
What then, about Spirituality, sex and body? What does it mean not to have the excuse that "it's all an illusion?" What does it mean that the "polarity of existence" no longer applies to these things?
Well, you don't know what it means! In fact, on the basis of the nonpolarity of existence EveryOne is truly back to the first lesson: Nothing that I see means what I thought it meant! On the basis of the nonpolarity of existence all of the lessons are likely to surprise everyone who is going through them again. On the basis of the nonpolarity of existence there is nowhere to go, and nothing to do except be curious to see what is Real right here.
It appears to me that this brings us right back to the "inquiring Mind." Its Integrity has not only been honored in the process of exploring what the Course has to say, its function has been sanctified! You, as the Presence of curiosity, have found yourself validated far beyond the scope of being a merely scientific or personal investigator, since the object of your curiosity is the discovery of that which is Real; Divinely and Eternally Real. And, the curiosity which promoted this discovery, in other words, the curiosity which preexisted your contact with these ideas in the Course, has neither been invalidated nor diminished in the process! You, as you sit there, have even more substance than you initially thought. The Course has referred/deferred everything back to the Inquiring Mind, only more broadly and more deeply.
So, what does One do with Spirituality that has no opposite and therefore no degrees by which He or She can gauge "progress?" What is its use in a world that is Real: equally Spiritual; a world which needs not to be changed, but acknowledged for what It Is?
You see? Nothing to do, and nowhere to go, except to be curious to see what is Real right here. Did God Create the world? No. God Created Heaven, Reality, and the ego added just a dash of "something that is not real", an independent bias, and looking upon its biased perception of Heaven and all that is therein, it called Heaven "the world."
On the basis of the non-polarity of existence, there is no way to escape to anything different and no justification for not being "present with" where you are: the world you see every day. Does that mean everyOne is stuck? It does, indeed. You must face your own illusions so that you might become disillusioned, and return to your Right Mind, wherein the perceptions (the world you made) are withdrawn and the world (Heaven) is forgiven for something it never did and for something it never was. Without a spiritual world opposed to a material world One is left with just "the world": a situation in which there is no excuse for anything less than abandoning whatever dishonors it and all that is therein. In the absence of Heaven and earth One is left with just "the world," and the opportunity to discover it is Heaven.
So, what about the body? Well, whatever it is, it is Real, regardless of what the ego has thrown in to confuse the issue. "Truth is not absent here, but it is obscure." And so, the task at hand is to abandon the meanings you have given it, abide with it unconditionally, and desire to know what it really is in the context of its being divinely Real; be curious. In the absence of the assertions of the meanings you have given it, the inherent instability of you perceptions will cease to obstruct your experience of the natural un-conflicted harmony of God's creation. Indeed, you are not a body, but you are not minus the fulfillment of God's purpose which is identified and called "the body"; whatever that is.
In the context of the non-polarity of existence, Inquiring Minds will look anew at sex, eating, indeed everything that had been associated unfavorably with the idea that the world you see every day, rather than the world you made outof the world you see every day; is illusion. And with humility Inquiring Minds will constantly engage in Love; the willingness to recognize that which is Real in each and every thing. This is the way the tares are separated from the wheat. This is the way the Real is separated from the "something that is not real" which has been added to it.
As the saying goes, you don't want to throw the baby out with the bath water, and you don't want to throw out, sidestep, or rise above the illusion if it is inseparable from the Real. If you do, the Real goes with it and remains hidden!
All paragraphs in italics are from "The Condition of Reality," in A Course In Miracles:
Chapter 11, Section 7, Paragraphs 1 through 5, and Section 8, Paragraph 1. Raj Newsletter Vol. 8, #10, p.35