The Event, the Springing up, and the Encounter
April 6, 2004
So many things cross my mind.
I went to Florida. The “word of Jesus” has gone out into the world once again.
Now, one of the imperatives of the prophets was to speak the words they heard. And, of course, I have “spoken or written” most of the words I’ve heard and amazingly enough they are actually “getting out there” (got a letter from So. Africa last week).
As you know, I’m reading The Prophets(by Abraham Heschel) and thinking “that has been my experience.” But I have this feeling that “a new experience” is still in front of me. It seems it has to do with the merging of our voices or with, in some way, not being in an intermediary function…i.e., passing the “words of Jesus” along as messages or prophecy or whatever, so that I do not contribute to the idea that people need me or anyone else as an intermediary. That is one part, the biggest part of it. And this also includes this notion that I have, of what I “hear” in others voices when I say, “It came from Jesus.” It is that extra weight they give your words, it is the authority they are looking for, that seems in some way to me an abdication of their own authority, and mine too. Will we ever hear the Christ voice in each other if this continues? If “the authority” is still quoted?
There are other “parts.” One is my own disposition. I have never been very comfortable in this role. I would like to be comfortable.
At the same time, I wonder why I bother with that. Something new is coming.
Following on the major part of my discomfort is the thought of ‘Will we ever evolve and be more than we are if we keep reaching out to authorities.’ And yet, so many see the reaching out and the access as the next step in evolution.
I think now, truly, that my encounter with you didn’t really begin until the dialogues. I was still, before the dialogues, in awe. I still, before the dialogues, did not accept equality with you, still had not found what was between me and God. Once I found that, everything changed. It is what people are seeking. I do not want to delay them in their search by saying “here is the word of Jesus.”
And yet…I think of how helpful these words are and how comforting.
So, you see my conundrum.
I don’t feel, when I read The Prophet, that one can quit being a prophet. The only hope I have is for newness, that the prophet of the new is not the prophet of old. That I can be more than a prophet. The book does say that “the Lord” doesn’t take over the prophet…that the prophet is still quite emphatically himself. I intend to keep reading. But my question is of and toward the new.
I just did my first book “review” and I was kind, but I must say it was full of what has been said before. As if there is nothing new. And I know there is something new.
What you are seeing is the hardening of one’s heart as a hardening against the heart’s own authority. Only a handful of people in the world of today are raised in such a way as to trust in the authority of the heart. Just as the religious traditions became fearful of the fruits of contemplation – parents, teachers, and all others who assume authority “over” others, fear anarchy at the hands of the heart. Even those who preach fidelity to one’s own conscience are often not eager to accept when the acts of conscience of another differ from their own.
What is this authority?
This is the question you seek to have answered. This is also why you chafe against the old and long for the new. Because, quite simply, authority as currently accepted is the authority of the “tried and true.” It is the authority of what has worked in the past…what has been tried…and what has “worked.” This could serve as the current day’s definition of truth.
There is another definition of truth that the heart feels when it is not hardened. When it is not veiled. When it is open to light, i.e. wisdom. The truth the heart feels goes even beyond any feeling of discovery. The truth the heart feels is revelation.
There are means of revelation of truth. This is one of them. Yet it is no substitute for what you have called that which is “between you and God.” What is between you and God is revelation from the Source, and this is what you fear this means of revelation stands in the way of. Does it stand in the way or does it promote?
What other “sources” promote the authority of one’s own heart?
What is meant by the authority of one’s own heart?
Quite simply, what is meant is what originates within. That which does not come by “means” at all. This is why you have taken to the idea of the event over the idea of process, as you have recognized that what comes without means is an event.
Yet you wonder now about the oft repeated phrase that “means and end are one, cause and effect the same.” They are true because God, who is the authority of the heart, is means and end, cause and effect, which quite literally makes means and end, cause and effect mute. God revealed is the unveiled heart, the heart no longer hardened against what is there, the heart no longer fearful of the event, the coming-on of God.
These words can be means and end, cause and effect of the unhardening, the unveiling of the heart, which, once it occurs, then becomes direct revelation, between the individual and God.
When one’s heart is unveiled and “means” no longer required, oneness is experienced, felt, undeniable, and it is at this point that the individual enters her own relationship with God because she knows she is not alone, knows God is there and is listening, knows that forever more, what her heart does not recognize as the truth it will not accept. It is only at this moment that insanity is rejected, for it is only at this moment that insanity is seen as what it is. Part of the insanity is the idea of “outside authority.”
The relationship with God is as the relationship of the mind and soul, the relationship between the thinking being and what it is being. It is a relationship with One who knows that she is not separate from the knower. This is the certainty that is attained and spoken of within the text of the Course.
What you have also been seeing in The Prophets is that the prophets argued with God. What God revealed was not often what they prayed for or wished for. This is what you each do with the certainty that is revealed. Whether it is what is prayed for, whether you would consider it wish-fulfillment, whether you consider it plausible or implausible, the tendency is to argue. Many mistake this tendency to argue with an ego tendency. Because of the tendency to argue they do not see that the opponent in the argument is the knowing of God which has become one’s own knowing through the event, the recognition that God has come and there is now relationship between self and God (again, as there is relationship between mind and soul rather than as in relationship with another).
The looked-forward-to encounter with God, the dawning of the relationship, is often just as has been imagined and yet so brief that it is seen as come and gone, a part of a process rather than an event. The door that was opened is seen as a door that opened for one brief moment, the moment that coincided with the event, and just as often seen as having closed behind it because the experience is brief. It is a happening, an event. This does not mean what it is seen and felt to mean. It is not a door opening and closing. The relationship is “entered into” and that is that.
Again, I say it is the argument as much as the brevity of the initial encounter, that dissuades so many from seeing and feeling the on-going nature of the relationship and the transformation that has indeed occurred…instantaneously. One does not feel transformed because the moment passes. One does not feel transformed because the arguing ensues. The argument seems contrary to the moment of certainty, just as the next moment seems contrary to the one in which the revelation happened. And so, the experiencer, the knower, thinks that the experience, the knowing, is there and gone. As if what one has received is a “fact” a memorized piece of information that can be known one moment and forgotten the next. This is the effect of learning and the expectation that learning has imprinted upon your mind’s patterns. And indeed, what is not experienced and known has this pattern, which is why “means” can unharden or unveil the heart but cannot be the event, cannot substitute for the encounter, the springing up of what is between the individual and God.
It is the event, the springing up, the encounter that elevates self to the “high” place of knowing God’s knowing and love. It is the event that takes one to the mountain top for dialogue with God. It is a sham to imagine oneself elevated to the mountain top without the encounter, a sham to imagine the dialogue happening there being between anyone other than the self and God. There are no “others” to encounter once one has encountered God. There are no “others” with whom to dialogue once one has entered dialogue with God. There is only self engaged with God in all.
It is here, in the dialogue, that what transpires is least like what has been imagined. It is here, in the dialogue, that the arguments begin. Be they between self and God or self and others it is all the same. One argument within the mind of God. The body too wages these arguments. These are arguments between the known, the truth, the experience, and the perceived reality.
Yet these are also arguments between equals, a concept difficult to accept and to live with. You might imagine the arguments that occur between scientists or theologians. These are serious matters. The argument, or if you prefer debate, does not take place between the unknowing and the knowing. This is instruction. This is teaching. Only those with different “ways of knowing” can engage in true argument or debate.
What happens when what one knows to be true and what one perceives to be reality are in conflict? There is argument. There is debate. There is wrestling. There are questions. There is confusion. This is the unexpected realm that has so many rejecting the truth of their knowing and experience and saying, “I am the same as always, I have not changed.”
To think for a moment that one is “more,” far greater than one has ever imagined, to feel the touch of the hand of God upon one’s heart, and then to discount this knowing, this truth, this experience, has led many to despair and many more to try to hang on to the moment, to disregard the argument, and to claim “only” the moment, the feeling, the bliss, the love. This rejection of the argument, the debate, the wrestling, the questions, the confusion, is only what you might call “the easy way out.” As when one refuses confrontations within a marriage or friendship, it is a turning away from equality. But I tell you truly, this rejection happens only, or primarily, because of a belief that the argument is not meant to be. This isn’t the realm of the lovely and light experience of the initial encounter. This isn’t the realm of the “child of God.” This is the realm of what you might call grown up responsibility.
The manner of the argument is not one of “winning an argument” but one of resolution of different “ways of knowing” … and not one of resolution with an “authority” above and beyond, like a government power structure against which one cannot hope to win, but one of resolution between equals in which the possibility of the new and the different is intrinsic. Why argue at all with what is preordained and impossible to change? Why argue with a power that is so mighty and unequal that the only possible outcome of the argument is being crushed beneath its weight?
No, the equality of the Sons of God cannot be overlooked and rejected. The power of God cannot be bowed down to when you realize that it is your power. STAND UP AND FACE GOD! Not with belligerence but with equality.
Think a moment of the man who has become king or the woman who has become prime minister. This man or this woman suddenly has power. In days of old, rulers were seen as deities because of this power, a power no mere mortal could be seen to hold because it was a power over others. To have power over another was viewed as having the power of God (thus the idea of the deification of men).
Power is no longer seen in such a way. The “imperfect,” the simply human man or woman is given “power over” so that anarchy doesn’t rule. The implication has always been that left to one’s own devices, left with one’s own power intact, man would be dangerous. To whom? To society.
It is no more “odd” that humankind should be fearful of the power of other men than that men and women are fearful of the power of God when power is seen as power over and equality is not realized. Equality cannot be realized without relationship, without the direct encounter. When you speak of people meeting “face to face” you are speaking of this direct and equal encounter.
Deification has not to do with power but with equality. Is your mind unequal to your soul? Your soul unequal to your mind? Your body slave to either, or either slave to the body? Body, mind, and soul are one, they belong to the same human and to all humans. The inequality in which each is viewed generally has to do with appearances, and appearances are what have so many believing that body, mind and soul are slaves to reality.
Believing in one authority over another will not solve the problem anymore than would choosing body, mind, or soul as the authority to be reckoned with. Only the authority of the heart encompasses all because it equalizes all.
This trinity of body, mind, and soul is the trinity represented as the three divine faces of God in God the Father (mind)*, God the Son (body) and the Holy Spirit (soul). To face God is to face this unity with unity.
To abdicate any part is to be in disunity. To choose one part as the part having authority “over” any other is to be in disunity. The unveiled heart reveals this mystery of unity, the unity of parts, the unity of what was thought to be separate…reveals it in its union with itself. The union of all with itself is the union of God, the heart of God, the One Heart.
Let us now be done with the authority issue.
Let us now be done as well with the issue of voice. To speak together as equals is the call that is sounded in The Dialogues. Cast not your own voice as subject to mine any longer. Be no longer ashamed of our dialogues! I rid you of this authority issue and if others will not be rid of it, they will not on your conscience stand. The Dialogue is opened. Cease now this bickering over from whence it comes or to whom it goes. It is opened. It has commenced. The choice to partake or not to partake is decided by each heart! “Be like the little children” does not mean to run about seeking someone to tell you what to do! It means to be free and unencumbered by authority! It means to partake. It means to share equally.
This has never feigned to be a course for the faint hearted. It is strength of heart that is needed, fidelity of heart, a heart subject to nothing, a heart exalted. Only with freedom and equality is dialogue a dialogue. Only when there is no authority, no power, no subjected one, no slave and no master is there dialogue. Think only of your nations in conflict to see that their dialogues are not true dialogues. They meet not in equality.
When you find what is between you and God you find this equality and you dare to enter true dialogue. Because it is between you and God it is from the heart. It is your own. It belongs to no one else and is your dialogue. Because it is true dialogue it is shared equally. All can partake.
It is one-on-one. What does this mean? It means exactly what it sounds like it means. One-on-one. Heart to heart. How does one have a heart-to-heart conversation? How is each heart-to-heart conversation so capable of impact far beyond that of those who engage in it?
Listen. Do you need to share this dialogue, to publish it, before it has meaning? Before it has impact? Before it is true dialogue? Forget everyone else. There is no heart-to-heart when an everyone is thought of! The thought is simply ridiculous. When you meet one to whom you speak, then enter dialogue with that one. All I am showing you is the equality of dialogue. Now you are speaking to me. This is between you and me. I am not here to instruct you or to instruct through you any others. You are not here to get information. We are here to be in communion. In dialogue. Must it have benefit? Is that why you are here?
No. You are here to know who you are. You are here to know who I am. Of what benefit is this? Of what benefit is this with anyone? At any time? Only that it is what is sought. Only that it is what is longed for. Only that it is the same as the flower blooming or the star shining.
Show me who I am!
It is what each asks of me. Show me who I am! It is what each asks of all. Show me who I am! It is what I ask of you. Show me who I am! Not because I do not know but because this is the way of partaking.
Look about you. Each one shows you who you are. No one is separate. It is all you. Show me who I am … it is going on all around you. Show me who I am … it is going on all around me. What do you see? What do you hear? With what are you in dialogue?
Who are you one-on-one, heart-to-heart, in dialogue?
The Body of Christ is the human body. Is then that dirty political power pundit me? That dirty political power pundit is something going on, an ant at work on an ant hill. The ant at work on the ant hill is not the ant. The work is something going on. The dirty political power pundit in dialogue is the Body of Christ. Those with heart, mind, and soul in union are the Body of Christ. Those “engaged” with the heart of God are the Body of Christ.
Stop. Look into another’s eyes. Enter dialogue. Be in communion with the Body of Christ, the entire body joined in unity, just as your body parts joined in unity form your body. Enter dialogue and that dialogue is shared equally with the Body of Christ for there I am, there am I partaking, making what is partaken one with the Body of Christ.
You do not need to understand this to know that it is so, but I would like for you to understand the meaning of partaking. Are you willing?
You are having a hard time right now with those whose ways of knowing have encountered only a “happy” Jesus, are you not? You do not want to take issue with the various Ways of Knowing. You do not necessarily suspect others of not hearing what they hear, but you wonder how the messages could be so different.
The messages are as different as the different Ways of Knowing. The messages are personal and one-on-one. Would what you say to your daughter Mia and to Mary, to Donny and to your mother be the same? You address each other according to your Ways of Knowing. This is an innate faculty but one that at times is too perceptive and does not see the truth. You speak to perceived Ways of Knowing and often without the assumption of equality—the assumption that you can partake of the same fruit even if in different ways. This is what I am trying to tell you by starting this conversation on partaking.
Even while receiving A Course of Love and while believing you were receiving a text as a text meant to be shared, given for the purpose of sharing, you had these feelings of this Course being for you first. And when the Course was done and you spoke with people about it, you insisted on placing it in context, a context that included “who you are” your upbringing, your Catholicism, the time and manner in which you live. You knew that you saw my messages through the lens, if you will, of your own eyes, or your own heart. You never believed this lens to be so narrow that it would not hold the vision intended to be conveyed, but you worried about it at times as you have worried at times over those who do not find A Course of Love to be a Way of Knowing for them.
The various Ways of Knowing could also be called ways of partaking. You have recently wondered about the link between suffering and radical compassion. You ask why do some need to suffer or why do you need to see the suffering of others? You ask if the answer could be to bring about radical compassion. For some, this is their Way of Knowing. It is not your way even though you feel you have suffered and that you have known much through this suffering.
The different messages, delivered one-on-one, heart-to-heart, are quite simply different ways of knowing. Why would I not myself feel radical compassion for the suffering of others when I suffered so? Some would rightly see my suffering as brief and as such not comparable to their own. A mother loses a child and can say only “no one knows, no one can know the suffering I feel.” And yet when this mother speaks in dialogue to another woman who has born this suffering she is comforted. Why is that? It is because they share ways of knowing.
NO MATTER WHAT ANYONE ELSE SAYS YOU DO NOT HAVE TO SHARE THESE WORDS IN THIS FORMAT OR AS COMING FROM ANYWHERE OTHER THAN YOUR OWN HEART…YOUR OWN WAY OF KNOWING.
You are not ON YOUR OWN. QUIT ACTING LIKE YOU ARE! QUIT FEELING GUILTY THAT YOUR WAY ISN’T ANOTHER’S WAY. IT IS YOUR WAY!