WORKBOOK

 

 

Joining in Truth Toward Planetary Enlightenment

 

On Line Course - Addendum for Book: “Not Guilty” 

 

Questions and Answers

 

Q&A XII- Where is true knowledge to be found?

Join online discussion of Q&A @

groups.yahoo.com/group/joiningintruth

 

Related Reading - Chapter 12 of Not Guilty

(find link on Home page)

XII. Questions : Where is true knowledge to be found?

  1. Did God create us to know everything forever? Do we know now? Why or why not? What stands in the way of true knowing?
  2. Is evolution true or is creation true? If God created you whole and perfect, where is the need for evolving? Why do we see evidence of an evolutionary process?
  3. Is waking up an evolutionary process? Are spiritual practices necessary? What is their purpose?
  4. Who are you? Does it make any sense to strive to become who we are? Did we become ignorant? What is the purpose of ignorance?
  5. How do we close the gap between who we are and our experience? What keeps us from experiencing who we are? How do we remove the blocks to our true inner knowing?
  6. Were we created to learn? What purpose does learning serve now? Is it important how you use your mind? Should you use it to learn? How do you reconcile being a happy learner with the arrogance of ignorance?
  7. What justifications have we given ourselves for learning? Is suffering a good teacher? Did God put us to sleep so we could learn to wake up? Are we in the experience of illusion as a gift to God, because God cannot ever experience illusion? How do we implement these ideas in the academic setting?
  8. Does perfection need to be learned? Is it difficult to be perfect? Do you want to be perfect?
  9. Is behavior learned? Is it important? How do we move from behavior back to creation?
  10. If you were created to know, what can you hope to learn from a teacher? What will a true teacher teach his students? Is the student rightfully indebted to the teacher?
  11. What is the cause of misperceptions or faulty learning, even from true teachers and true teachings? Who is responsible for your misperceptions? How do you know when you are listening to ego and when to God?
  12. If you are all-powerful, is it possible to make the untrue true? What are the obstacles to true knowledge? What is true knowledge?
  13. If God created us perfect, how do we find ourselves susceptible to errors? How is error corrected? Why is this the only error that needs correction?
  14. How does God view error? Ego? Why? Does God punish error? Ego? What is God's solution to error? Ego's?
  15. What is your responsibility when you make a mistake? When others make mistakes? Is it possible that your brother be seen as making a mistake when he is not in error? How can you tell?
  16. What does it mean to see the imperfect as perfect? What happens when you see the imperfect as perfect? Is it correct to find perfection in the imperfect? Will God punish imperfection?
  17. What happens when we make mistakes? How do we correct error? Are some errors worse than others? Are some more amenable to correct?
  18. Why is it so difficult to admit a mistake? What's the big deal about correcting a mistake? Can past mistakes be corrected now? Do past mistakes matter now? Does what you do now matter?
  19. What is the only real error from which all other errors spring? Why does ego teach us that error is more than error?
  20. What is sin? Is sin possible? Why or why not? What is the difference between a mistake and a sin?
  21. What is original sin? How is it corrected?   Is sex a sin? Is it the original sin? Where does the idea that sex is a sin come from? Is sex outside of a sacred commitment a sin? Is abstinence a surer path to God?
  22. Is it good to discipline a child? Is it ever appropriate to punish a child?
  23. What's the difference between being responsible and being guilty? What is your responsibility toward criminals? What's the cause of crime?
  24. Is punishment ever appropriate? Should criminals admit their crimes? Can a hardened criminal be transformed? How can a criminal not reap the consequences of his actions? If an error is unreal, how do we give it reality?
  25. What are the teachings in this chapter? The pitfalls to guard against? The life applications?

XII. Answers - Where is true knowledge to be found? WITHIN

  1. Did God create us to know everything forever? Yes. Do we know now? No. Why or why not? Because allied with ego, we learned of the false to cover the true.   What stands in the way of true knowing? Beliefs, ideas that we cannot know, that truth is unknowable, that it is a mystery; learning, misperceptions, conclusions drawn from inconclusive evidence, looking in the wrong places… which are all symptoms of ego's need to keep us in the dark so it can live at our expense.
  2. Is evolution true or is creation true? Creation. If God created you whole, complete and perfect, where is the need for evolving? There is no need. Why do we see evidence of an evolutionary process? Because we made an ego to be different from how we were created, we have to learn anew who we are and that can look like an evolutionary process if we so choose, or we can take a quantum leap in consciousness or even take no time at all.
  3. Is waking up an evolutionary process? It can be as fast or as slow as we choose. That is the only reason time exists. Are spiritual practices necessary? On the one hand they help to purify the heart but on the other,   it cannot be necessary to do something to become who you already are. What is their purpose? To give us sense and mind control, self-esteem and self-confidence. They may or may not help, depending on our determination and desire. If we want the truth, we will get it, even instantly, even without any spiritual history. Mostly the one who believes he deserves to awaken will awaken. If we think we have to earn it, we will do whatever we feel necessary to win God's grace. All we have to do is want to be holy, and God will do the rest. We do not have to become holy, for God created us holy and we did not lose our innocence. Spiritual practices loosen ego's hold over us so we can see it clearly and walk away from it. However some people think they are more holy because they are spiritual, in which case they are still trapped by ego, for the truth is we are all equally holy regardless of our histories. Salvation need not be earned. If we want liberation, we deserve it, no efforts, no time needed, only the willingness to trade in nothing for everything.
  4. Who are you? I am a precious child of God, created by God to be no different from God, to be perfect, whole and all-knowing for all eternity. Does it make any sense to strive to become who we are? No, but due to ego alliance we cannot do nothing and not change and expect to close the gap between truth and experience. Did we become ignorant? No, we were created all-knowing forever. What is the purpose of ignorance? Ignorance is ego's way of hiding the truth that we know everything. Ego wants us ignorant because the truth is ego does not exist, and knowledge will tell us that and then ego will be finished.
  5. How do we close the gap between who we are and our experience? By being willing to be wrong about everything we taught ourselves, by wanting to be holy, by wanting to be free of our egos, by simply wanting to be who we are. What keeps us from experiencing who we are? An idea that we could be different from who we are, which is all ego is, the desire to be something else - unholy, imperfect, to be ego identified or mistaken about who we are, separate, autonomous, self-authored, the desire to learn,   the belief that learning can get you there… How do we remove the blocks to our true inner knowing?   By wanting the truth, by wanting to be ourselves, by being willing to see truly, by wanting to know. We do not have to know how, we need simply want the blocks removed – as we are all-powerful, our desire will manifest what we really want. We are already getting the results of our desires. Now we need merely change our minds and we will see the results of that shift in consciousness.
  6. Were we created to learn? No. What purpose does learning serve now? Only the purpose of   unlearning what we erroneously taught ourselves. The ability to learn has no value when change of understanding is no longer necessary. The eternally creative have nothing to learn. Is it important how you use your mind? Yes, we can use our minds for a divine purpose or for erroneous pursuits like learning and as our minds are all-powerful we will get the results of our own minds. We restore our minds to their proper function when we will to know. Should we use our minds to learn? We need learn nothing, but we do need to unlearn, and for that we need to learn anew – which is a remedial learning. We should be happy eager learners that we may collapse time for ourselves and others too. However let us be certain that our purpose is true, or we will attract to ourselves all kinds of ego-oriented teachers, who will teach us all kinds of unnecessary untruths. How do you reconcile being a happy learner with the arrogance of ignorance? We have to be happy learners to overcome self-imposed ignorance. In truth, it is arrogant to think ourselves ignorant, for God created us knowing everything, and to think ourselves ignorant is to think we succeeded in making ourselves different from how God created us, and thereby more powerful than God.
  7. What justifications have we given ourselves for learning? That learning is a true function, that learning is of God, is necessary to wake up, makes us better people, worthy, deserving... that we can become who we already are. Is suffering a good teacher? No, suffering is not necessary to become who we are. We need merely unlearn that we need to suffer to become who God created us to be for all eternity. We need merely correct our errors instead of punish ourselves for them – that is what suffering is – self-inflicted punishment for crimes that were never committed. Did God put us to sleep so we could learn to wake up? No, God created us awake and intended that we remain awake for all eternity and He has not changed His mind. Are we in the experience of illusion as a gift to God, because God cannot experience illusion? No, God who is everything, cannot be benefited by our ignorance, in fact to fain ignorance is to do God a disservice. No matter what justifications we have allowed ego to convince us of for learning, none of them are true. As long as we justify learning, we will continue to learn, and ego will remain well fortified, because we could go on learning and thinking we are getting closer while the reality is that we keep ourselves stuck in time as long as we think we profit from learning. How do we implement these ideas in the academic setting? It is good to be enthusiastic students of secular knowledge as long as we do not let that learning take precedence over self-knowledge, noble character, heartfulness and the desire to be truly helpful.
  8. Does perfection need to be learned? No, God created us perfect and that for all eternity. All we need do is stop wanting to be imperfect and we open the door to the experience of the perfection that we already are. Is it difficult to be perfect? No, it cannot be difficult to be who we are. Do you want to be perfect? Nothing short of perfection can content us, because perfection is our natural state. It is not learned, it is not forgotten, it is who we are.
  9. Is behavior learned? Yes,   when God created us, He did not create us to have solid bodies, and only bodies can have behaviors.   Before the separation, there was only the eternally creative,   creating, not behaving. After the separation, behavior was necessary in order to survive. God created creations of light and light only shines, it does not behave. Is behavior important? Yes, now behavior is important to bring us back into the experience where behavior is no longer necessary. We behavior according to our level of consciousness and how we behave tells us who we think we are. How do we move from behavior back to creation? By striving always to behave in a fashion that reflects who we are – namely one with God and all our fellowman. We should behave in a way that heals our relations with God and reunites us with God and each other, closing the gap between truth and experience. We must behave in alignment with who we are as pure, holy and good, as that is the portal back to a real experience where behavior no longer serves any purpose.
  10. If you were created to know, what can you hope to learn from a teacher? Only that we do all already know everything. What will a true teacher teach his students? That all were created equally by God, how to surpass him,   that the student is his own savior and no one can do it for him, that the way to tap his own inner knowing is by wanting to be holy and truly helpful… A true teacher will direct the student to the relinquishment of his ego to the light of his soul. Is the student rightfully indebted to the teacher? Yes and no. Of course the student should have a healthy regard for the teacher who can help him to collapse time, but only the ego-oriented teacher will try to extract anything by way of exchange from his student. A true teacher knows that God is his source and sustenance and should not look to his students to put him on a pedestal, enhance his lifestyle or fill a lack.
  11. What is the cause of misperceptions or faulty learning even from true teachers and true teachings? The underlying cause is ego. We believe false information from parents, teachers, environment, religion, because we want to learn what is not true, due to alliance with ego. Even true teachings can be misinterpreted and misapplied, when we do not use them with purity and integrity. Ego does not want us to recognize or remember any true knowledge, so it tries to convince us that we cannot learn the truth, that untruth is true, that truth is untrue, that we have understood truth when we have not, that we are enlightened when we are not… However ego is unreasonable, so as long as we think clearly, reasonably, rationally and with firm determination, we will see that we do know, for knowledge is logical and reasonable. Who is responsible for your misperceptions? We are. If I am all the power in the universe, I learn what I want to learn. No one outside of me can force me to learn anything I do not want to learn or mislead me in how to apply the teachings against my will. How do you know when you are listening to ego and when to God? We just know, for we really do know everything. The real question is “What do you really want?” If you really want the truth, if you are willing to do whatever is required, you will be able to discern between the voice for ego and the voice for God, truth and untruth, knowledge and ignorance, light and darkness…
  12. If you are all-powerful, is it possible to make the untrue true? No, for we are not more powerful than God. Our power is equal with God's, neither greater or less, therefore our joint wills create our reality. If God wills something and you believe something else, you cannot change God's will, but you can have an experience in line with your belief. What is true knowledge? God is love and creates creations of love, equal with Him in knowledge and power for all eternity. What are the obstacles to true knowledge? The desire for something else, the idea that we cannot know, worldly distractions, self-imposed lethargy, belief in the untrue… All these obstacles are symptoms of alliance with ego. When we change our minds about what we want, our experience will change accordingly, however, its not as easy as it sounds because ego does not want us to know, so will put all kinds of obstacles in the way of our discovery of our true knowing. Our only salvation lies in looking at ego and seeing it's nothingness. Then only will it no longer dictate our lives and take advantage of us. Ego uses the power of our minds to convince us that we are powerless, ignorant, separate, worthless, best served by looking after our own needs at the expense of others…
  13. If God created us perfect, how do we find ourselves susceptible to errors? Though perfect, God created us free. If it were not so, we would be automatons. The only choice we could make that would be meaningless would be a choice for independence or freedom from God's will. Freedom from God's will would necessitate the making of our own source, i.e. ego, which has ironically been the cause of all bondage. God created us free, but not independent. As God gave us all-powerful minds, we could give ourselves a different experience, but we could not change the truth. How is error corrected? By admitting that God is our source and cannot be replaced. Why is this the only error that needs correction? Every other error is a symptom of this one error. Once this error is corrected, all other errors are corrected simultaneously. By the same token, once any other error is corrected, this error becomes more amenable to correction. This is how time is collapsed immeasurably.
  14. How does God view error? As a mistake that needs correction. Error that is corrected collapses time and undoes unreality. Ego? Ego leads us to believe that error is more than error, it is positively a sin that requires punishment. Why? If we saw it as merely error, we would correct it. As long as it is seen as more than error, you can be convinced that it warrants punishment instead of correction. Punishment makes the error real and requires time and ego depends on time for its survival. Does God punish error? No. Ego? Yes. What is God's solution to error? Turn over a new leaf, correct error, decide from this moment onward to lead a life of integrity, holiness, love and kindness. Each moment is a clean opportunity, a new birth, a chance to get it right. Ego's? Guilt and punishment, so it stays alive at our expense.
  15. What is your responsibility when you make a mistake? To own it, to be in right relationship with it, to apologize and be willing to let Spirit direct you in how to reestablish communication with a brother or sister you may have hurt. When others make mistakes? Mistakes are correctable. Want them to act purely for their sake, ask Spirit to show you what to do… Neither condemn or condone their errors. Inspire perfection through your example. Remember for them that God created them perfect and they will be content with nothing less because of who they are. Is it possible that your brother be seen as making a mistake when he is not in error? Yes, when you project your guilt onto him you will misperceive his actions. This is another way ego tricks you into dealing with your mistakes. You can only perceive what is not there as long as you do not want to be holy. As soon as you want to be holy, you cannot misperceive your brother. How can you tell? If you are irritated by his wrongs, if you want him punished rather than transformed, that's a red flag that its your stuff and not his.
  16. What does it mean to see the imperfect as perfect? To see error and condone it. What happens when you see the imperfect as perfect? If you see someone hurting another and overlook it as seeing only the Christ, you are making the imperfect perfect and thereby making the unreal real. You are judging while you think you are practicing non-judgment. To support imperfection is to enable or to be an accomplice. We are responsible for each others' behavior, for we are all one. However, we are not in a position to correct others. That must be left to Spirit. Perhaps we will be instruments, but only a pure heart is a worthy instrument. Inspire goodness. Make your life your message. Is it correct to find perfection in the imperfect? No, though it is correct to see the Christ beyond human error, to know another's perfection even though his actions may not be perfect, to know that he is innocent no matter what he does, to know that God loves him and does not judge him on the basis of his actions. Ask Spirit to show you what to do, willing to act in the best interest of all, willing to resist evil… I like the idea of non-violent resistance to injustice. To be passive in the face of injustice is to be out of integrity. Will God punish imperfection? No, but ego does, therefore it is always in our best interest to act perfectly and to inspire same in others, for if we do not we are acting with ego and ego depends on our guilt for its existence. The only way to beat ego is to live a life of purity, holiness and goodness to the best of our ability, leaving the fruits of our actions to God.
  17. What happens when we make mistakes? The tendency is to deny, avoid, suppress, repress, condemn, feel guilty, hide, project and justify our errors which make them real, rather than look at them calmly with God as guide. How do we correct error? By being willing to be wrong, by being willing to look at them calmly, by asking God to show us how to correct our mistakes, by doing whatever is necessary to come back into alignment with truth. As ego is the underlying cause of all other errors, when we relinquish ego, all errors will have vanished at the same time. Are some errors worse than others? No, they are all just errors. There are no levels of illusion. Are some more amenable to correction? Yes, but only because of our faulty training. It is generally harder not to feel guilty about murder than about gossip, though both are destructive.
  18. Why is it so difficult to admit a mistake? The human tendency is to defend error rather than admit it because ego is invested in error being seen as more than error. Ego wants error to be seen as sin, irrevocable, wreaking permanent damage. What's the big deal about correcting a mistake? If we correct other mistakes we might be willing to correct the mistake of harboring an ego, and that mistake ego cannot afford to have us correct, therefore it convinces us that our mistakes need not or cannot be corrected. Can past mistakes be corrected now? Yes, all of time is going on all the time. If we heal the past, we are free of it and of time. Do past mistakes matter now? Yes and no - the past is not real, however it is only truly past when it is healed. We need not dwell on the past, we need merely want it healed. If we heal present mistakes, the past is healed automatically as well. The past is truly past when we turn over a new leaf now. Does what you do now matter?   Yes, we are always getting the results of our minds. If we use the teaching for license, since it does not matter what we have done, we bind ourselves not only in the present, but to past mistakes as well.
  19. What is the only real error from which all other errors spring? The making of ego to take God's place as creator and source. Why does ego teach us that error is more than error? Because ego is an error and its existence depends on not seeing error for what it is. Also as long as ego can convince us that error is more than error and   requires punishment, it is guaranteed life.
  20. What is sin? An error that cannot be corrected. Is sin possible? No. Why or why not? All errors are correctable or we are stating that we are more powerful than God. If we could actually do irreparable damage, it would mean that we are more powerful than God and as that is simply not true, neither is sin. What is the difference between a mistake and a sin? A mistake is correctable while a sin causes permanent damage to God's perfect creation and deserves punishment. Since it is impossible to sin, no one deserves punishment. Katha, the Aramaic word for sin, means to be off the mark. If you are off the mark, if you miss the bull's eye, you will not punish yourself, you will merely aim more carefully and try again. If you hit the bull's eye, you feel a sense of deep satisfaction and accomplishment. It is the same with errors. When we make them, we can simply correct them and then we feel at peace.
  21. What is original sin? The making of ego to replace God as source, the idea that we could be different from how we were created. How is it corrected? By seeing that it's not possible to make our own source or to replace God as source. Is sex a sin? Many have concluded that sex is the original sin and that we were born in sin, but that is only ego's plan to prevent us from looking at ego as the original and only error. Is sex the original sin? No. Where does the idea that sex is a sin come from? From ego, to take ego off the hot seat as the cause of our banishment from the Garden. Guilt around sexuality is ego's greatest defense against the truth that it is the cause of all our problems. Is sex outside of a sacred commitment a sin? No, however sex outside of a sacred container is body consciousness and leads away from freedom rather than toward it. To be a slave to the body's senses is the world's idea of freedom, not God's, but to think that Eve seduced Adam to have sex with her, and then God banished them is to think God punitive and sex immoral. This is the cause of much needless guilt and subsequent self-inflicted punishment in the form of sickness, suffering, lack... If sex were a crime, punishable by banishment, it would mean that sex could make you different from who you are. It does not have that power, for again we are not more powerful than God. However, to think you need sex is to think the body real and to keep one a slave to body consciousness. Is abstinence a surer path to God? Abstinence is not holier than monogamy. In fact the path of the householder is a quicker path to God because it demands greater self-control.
  22. Is it good to discipline a child? Yes, children need the safety and protection of limits and discipline to know what is in their best interest. A loving parent lovingly disciplines a child. You know how well you are doing by how you feel about your approach. Is it ever appropriate to punish a child? No, discipline that takes the form of punishment cannot be love and true discipline comes from love. You will invariably feel guilty for punishment. If guilty you may fall into convincing yourself that your harshness was justified, and you will have started a cycle that is hard to break. Punishment makes error real and causes everyone to feel guilty, so that everybody loses except ego.
  23. What's the difference between being responsible and being guilty? When you take responsibility for your mistake, you own that you are its cause and that no force outside of you caused you to act counter to your will. When you feel guilty for your actions, you own that you actually caused real and permanent damage and thereby are more powerful than God. What is your responsibility toward criminals? They too are innocent as God created them. They must be supported to accept responsibility for their mistakes, without causing them to feel guilty. We should want them transformed or rehabilitated rather than punished for their sakes as well as the safety of society. What's the cause of crime? Alliance with ego is the underlying problem, so the relinquishment of ego is the only true solution. Ego must be found guilty and relinquished by seeing it truly. Wrong circumstances, poor parenting, environment… are not causes but merely symptoms of the one cause - ego.
  24. Is punishment ever appropriate?   Punishment makes error and guilt real and strengthens ego rather than weakening it. It is never deserved or helpful, not even for a hardened criminal. If he does not agree to rehabilitation, he should be given the chance to chill. This is not punishment, it is time out. As soon as he is agreeable, he should be guided toward taking responsibility for his error and turning over a new leaf, so that he does not make the same mistake again. Criminals should be taught that kindness toward all is in their best interest, that they are equal with everyone and to hurt another is to hurt oneself. Should criminals admit their crimes? Yes, only the truth can set one free. We come into right relationship with our actions by taking responsibility for them, because there is no force outside of us causing any of us to do anything against our will. Can a hardened criminal be transformed? Yes, everyone was created innocent by God thus has not the power to lose that perfection no matter how out of integrity one's behavior. Every saint has a past and every sinner a future. How can a criminal not reap the consequences of his actions? By turning over a new leaf and not feeling guilty for the past, though willing to do all he can to correct his past error and make amends where possible, wanting to be holy now... If an error is unreal, how do we give it reality? By punishing ourselves, feeling guilty, blaming others, avoiding or denying our mistakes, acting in secret…
  25. What are the teachings in this chapter? God created us all to know everything for all eternity. We could not lose this state, but we could teach ourselves otherwise and learn to be who we are not. The pitfalls to guard against? Thinking that learning has some real purpose. The life applications? Correct mistakes instead of punishing ourselves for them.

Drink deep or taste not the waters – A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.