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A Guide to Love, God, Prayer, Meditation, & Peace Within You—Right Now

Deepening into the Atonement

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Flying Holy Spirit dove by Wendy Moore

This past weekend, Candace and I were presenters at the Course in Miracles conference in San Francisco. It was our third time being presenters. It was a fabulous weekend, with over 450 people attending the three-day event.

Candace and I gave two talks over the weekend. To prepare for my talk, I wrote out bullet points and memorized them. Candace, on the other hand, wrote her "speech" out on paper before the event to help her organize her thoughts. She didn’t read it at the event but referred to it instead. Below is a copy of what she presented. I think you will enjoy reading it. Although I don’t have anything written out to share with you, I hope to deliver my speech for you in the coming months over video. In the meantime, enjoy Candace’s speech entitled "Deepening into the Atonement." Blessings to you…

"I don’t know of anything that is more important than listening to the Holy Spirit, learning the Truth of who you are from that Voice, and following guidance to correct your thinking. The good news is the only thing you have to correct is your thinking. You don’t have to do anything else. You don’t have to correct anything in the world. The bad news is, changing your thinking isn’t always easy, especially if you are in the ego mind while you are trying to change it.

The easiest way to change your mind is to literally change which mind you are thinking with. It is easier to move into the Right Mind than to try to make the ego think positively.

I have been hearing and sharing the voice of the HS for the past 16 years. For the first 9 years that I heard that voice, I didn’t believe everything the Holy Spirit told me. I heard countless times how loved I was and how precious I was to God. I really enjoyed those words, but I didn’t always believe them. That’s because I was identified with the ego and I was experiencing myself as the ego. When I believe that voice that tells me I will never be good enough, God will not love me if (fill in the blank), I am experiencing myself as the ego. I think that I am the one saying that to myself. And when I am identified with the ego, I cannot hear how much God loves me. No matter how many times the Holy Spirit tells me, I will not be able to believe it.

The theme for this weekend, Listen, Learn and Do, for me is about listening to the Holy Spirit, learning the Truth of who we really are, and then coming to believe that Truth in order to be part of the atonement. Not just knowing it, but really believing it and experiencing it.

Even after hearing and sharing this Voice for many years, I did not fully believe that God loved me no matter what. I didn’t fully experience myself as the love that I am. I didn’t fully perceive the holiness in my brother. How could I if I couldn’t fully perceive it in myself? I thought that I had gotten as close as I was going to be able to get to God and God’s love and truthfully I wasn’t always feeling the love. Over the years my state of mind went up and down, as I got hopeful and then disappointed, encouraged and then apathetic, hopeful some more and then depressed. I didn’t have a consistent experience of God’s Love.

And then about 7 years ago an amazing thing happened. The Holy Spirit told me how I could get into my Right-Mind, the Holy Spirit’s Mind, and stay there. Now this was good news, because the Right-Mind is the state of mind that allows us to hear and believe the Holy Spirit’s words. This was the state of mind that could consistently bridge the gap between where I was and where I wanted to be. I could be in that state of mind when I was meditating, reading the Course, sharing the Holy Spirit with someone, but I couldn’t do it consistently in my day-to-day life.

The Holy Spirit told me that how I could get into my Right Mind was – in a nutshell – to start behaving as if I was the Holy Spirit. You just act as if – fake it til you make it. How many of you have ever done that? It’s a very powerful practice. When I was a teenager, my family was in family counseling. After a couple of years in counseling, my mother was ready to be done with therapy and asked the therapist, "When are we going to be normal?"

He said, "When you start acting like it."

She said, "How do we do that?"

He said, "You fake it til you make it."

We were paying this person good money for therapy, but amazingly, this was very good advice. At least for my mother. I didn’t get it at the time, although I remember that day very well. She started acting like a normal person, and her life started responding in kind.

Hmmm…so the Holy Spirit says, "Start behaving as if I am the Holy Spirit." What would that look like? How does the Holy Sprit behave? In a word, unconditionally. Unconditionally loving, unconditionally accepting, unconditionally forgiving – knowing there is nothing to forgive – unconditionally allowing. Unconditionally.

I believe all of us, but in the interest of avoiding an argument, I will say most of us, have never experienced this kind of love in the world. We might think we love someone unconditionally, but that’s usually because they haven’t done anything bad enough to really piss us off. I have the greatest best friend. We’ve been best friends for 25 years. I love her so much. I could even say I love her unconditionally. That’s because she hasn’t slept with my husband, she hasn’t been unkind to my daughter, and she hasn’t done anything to me to make me not love her. The Holy Spirit, on the other hand, loves us no matter what. Truly. There is nothing we could ever say or do or think or imagine that could keep the Holy Spirit from loving us more than we could ever understand. And I have put this to the test. I have avoided the Holy Spirit, blamed and attacked the Holy Spirit, ignored guidance from the Holy Spirit, badmouthed the Holy Spirit. You name it, I’ve done it. And you know what? The Holy Spirit just loves and adores me. Truly. It’s amazing and wonderful. And it takes getting used to in my experience. We’re not used to being loved in that way, and it takes time and experience – testing – to really trust that that kind of love is real.

Well, if I am going to behave as if I am the Holy Spirit, thinking about all of that makes it even harder to behave as if! How am I going to behave as if I’m unconditionally loving? But what the Holy Spirit has taught me is that unconditional love is our true nature. Behaving as if we are the Holy Spirit is actually not a stretch.

The Holy Spirit said just do what I do – relate to every single thing with love, no matter what it is. You don’t have to think about whether or not you like something. You don’t have to agree with someone or condone something – you just relate to it with love. And here is where the fake it til you make it really comes in. It’s ok to relate to something with love even if you’re not feeling it. The ego won’t even pretend to relate with love, so it is only with the Holy Spirit that you can be in a loving state or have the loving intention to relate with love. And what happens when you relate to something with love is that you are either already in a loving state of mind, which allows you to relate lovingly or you start to get into a loving state of mind. Either way, the result is love. And without a lot of effort, you are behaving like the Holy Spirit!

So how exactly do you relate to something with love? Even though this is our natural way of expressing, most of us are out the habit of doing it. Again, I won’t say all of us in the interest of avoiding an argument. But most of us are out of the habit of relating to everything with love. It’s actually very simple – you have a loving response in your mind to everything you become aware of.

We think unconditional love is difficult to achieve, but it’s actually the simplest form of love. It’s easier to be unconditionally loving than to love the way we’re used to loving, because unconditional love doesn’t discern. You don’t have to decide first if you like something or agree with something. You just react to everything in a loving way. You don’t draw any lines about what you’re willing to relate to with love. The Holy Spirit doesn’t say, I’m willing to relate to you with love, but not the IRS. If the Holy Spirit doesn’t draw lines, and if we’re behaving as if we are the Holy Spirit, then we don’t have to draw lines either. That actually makes it very simple. Just relate to everything with love.

The Holy Spirit does this naturally, but since we’re out of the habit, we have to put a little more awareness into it. We have to consciously react to everything with love. When we become aware of something, say someone’s cell phone goes off in a workshop, normally we might react to that interruption with irritation. We might have judgment that that person didn’t turn off their phone. We might think that people who don’t turn off their cell phones are inconsiderate. We might stop paying attention to the workshop, and focus on what we think about the person who left their cell phone on.

But there is another way…the Holy Spirit would react to the cell phone ringing with love. The Holy Spirit wouldn’t think the phone or the owner of the phone was bad. What that might look like as a practice is: we hear the phone ring, judgments start to arise, and then we consciously react with love. In our mind, we could say to the ringing phone, "I love you." Or, "Bless you." Or, "Thank you." Or, "You’re welcome here." And then the owner of the phone panics, digs for the phone in their bag, turns it off (or maybe even takes the call) and in our mind judgments continue to arise, and we continue extending loving thoughts to the whole situation. (What’s the alternative?!) Being pissed off. And the ego loves that because who couldn’t justify being pissed off at a ringing phone in a workshop?

But if we extend love instead, an amazing thing happens. We feel more loving afterward. Instead of feeling irritated and distracted after the phone rings, we feel peaceful and loving. We might even feel grateful that the phone rang to give us the opportunity to extend love and to feel more loving.

Just to clarify – There is a big difference between loving the phone ringing and extending love to the phone ringing. I’m not saying, "Oh, I love when a phone rings in the middle of a workshop." I’m saying that I’m happier when I relate to what is in a loving way. I’m not saying you have to love the IRS. I’m saying that when you relate to the IRS with love, you feel more loving in general.

And what I know is, that’s when miracles happen.

The Holy Spirit isn’t saying the IRS is good or bad. The Holy Spirit is simply relating to the IRS with love – and without discernment. You don’t have to love anything you don’t want to love, but you can relate to everything in a loving way and give yourself freedom from judgment and freedom from separation.

Some of us think we have a duty or a moral obligation to not love certain things. For example: Hitler, pedophiles, the banking industry, the war in Iraq, and the list goes on. But it is only the ego that is telling us that we should separate from these things and not extend love to them. What the Holy Spirit has told me is that if there is one person, place or thing that I am unwilling to extend love to (doesn’t mean I have to feel love toward them, hug them, live with them – it just means I am willing to extend a loving thought to them) if there is one thing I am not willing to extend love to, then I am not in my Right-Mind. I am not thinking with the Holy Spirit’s Mind. Only the ego thinks we should draw lines. Because when we draw lines, we separate. That’s all a line is – a separation. When we don’t draw lines, we are free to relate to everything with love, like the Holy Spirit does.

Who thinks it’s starting to sound easier to behave as if they are the Holy Spirit?

If you think you have no business pretending to be the Holy Spirit, that’s just the ego talking. If you think the Holy Spirit might be offended by your attempt at imitating the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit says, "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." If you think it’s too hard to do this, remember how hard it’s been pretending you’re not a holy and beloved child of God. This is actually way easier.

The theme for this weekend comes from a section in the Text on Atonement and Miracles that reads: When you have been restored to the recognition of your original state, you naturally become part of the Atonement yourself. As you share my unwillingness to accept error in yourself and others, you must join the great crusade to correct it; listen to my voice, learn to undo error and act to correct it.

How many of you have felt like that is out of reach?

I certainly did for many years. I thought it might take lifetimes to be restored. But I’ve been practicing this for the past 7 years. Not always, not perfectly, just a lot. Very early on in this practice, what happened was I fully and completely experienced God’s Love for me and I have never doubted that love since. Yes, I’ve had difficult times in the past 7 years, but not because I doubted God’s Love. I may have forgotten for a moment, but I never doubted.

Being restored to the recognition of our original state is not something that we do once and we’re done. It’s something that we do over and over and over again. We are restored in each moment that we are able to remember the Truth. Not finally restored once and for all, not perfectly restored in our awareness in every moment ~ yet. But restored in every moment that we are able to remember. These moments start to get strung together. They start to create a pattern. They start to create an experience for us that begins to make our Restoration a reality instead of a dream.

Only the ego says you have to be restored perfectly in all moments to be restored. The reality is, we can only be restored in this moment anyway. There is no other moment.

When I behave as if I am the Holy Spirit, when I don’t draw lines about what I will love and not love, when I extend love indiscriminately to anything and everything in my awareness, I find myself restored to the Child of God that I am. The more that I relate to everything with love, the more I relate to myself with love. The less lines I draw out there, the less lines I draw toward myself. The more I behave as if I am the Holy Spirit, the easier it is to see the Holiness in my brother, and ultimately in myself. When all of that starts to come together, now I’m part of the Atonement.

The Course says that the Atonement is the natural profession of the Children of God. If that’s so, I say, "Let’s get to work!" The Course says, "We are all joined in the Atonement here, and nothing else can unite us in this world."

If that’s true, how do we do that? By behaving as if we are the Holy Spirit. Here is what the Course says about what it looks like when we do that:

Each one (brother) you see you place within the holy circle of Atonement or leave outside, judging him fit for crucifixion or for redemption. If you bring him into the circle of purity, you will rest there with him. If you leave him without, you join him there. Judge not except in quietness which is not of you. Refuse to accept anyone as without the blessing of Atonement, and bring him into it by blessing him. Holiness must be shared, for therein lies everything that makes it holy. Come gladly to the holy circle, and look out in peace on all who think they are outside. Cast no one out, for here is what he seeks along with you. Come, let us join him in the holy place of peace which is for all of us, united as one within the Cause of peace.

All we have to do is be willing to pretend we are the Holy Spirit and behave as if. We don’t have to figure anything out. We don’t have to understand anything. We don’t have to know anything. We don’t have to be right. We just have to love indiscriminately, and it turns out, that’s our natural state of being."