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This is chapter one in the book No Time for Karma, Stepping off the wheel of pain and struggle. The book gives insights into personal freedom, ending struggle, reincarnation, metaphysics, healing, and more.

Before those magic moments came upon us, those intriguing exciting moments of our first encounter with the supernatural, or those terrifying moments of being stripped of every shred of control we thought we had over life, we had a different view of life than we have now.

The "normal" state of living that we all inherit from our upbringing is one of trying to stay afloat. Occasionally we are floating on a raft in the summer sun but more likely we are treading water like hell, exhausted, just wanting the coach to call time out.

The typical inhabitant of this planet observes a myriad of events, seemingly unrelated, seemingly random, uncoordinated, unpredictable and accidental. Because the next moment, or next day, is unforeseeable, one must always be on guard. And no matter how good or well trained a person is at playing the odds, life regularly puts booby traps in our path, forcing us to withdraw and regroup, or give up and check out. So precarious is our path that the smart ones wear seat belts and buy insurance.

Folks on this planet rarely have the time or the inclination to pursue knowledge of things unrelated to getting ahead, survival, or manipulation of the world around them. Our valued institutions, universities, and corporations that our society pays homage to have no curriculum related to anything impractical such as eternality or miracles.

Sooner or later, however, and apparently unrelated to our "normal" lives, the universe begins to break through our myopic view of life and starts revealing to us another world view. Only after thousands of lifetimes on this planet, and perhaps more than that in other schools, do we start to perceive a connection between cause and effect. We gain increased awareness that the visible reality isn't the only reality. We come to understand that there are some questions that the intellect simply can't answer, at least in its present state of development. The intuition begins to play a larger part in our decision making process.

Ultimately it is revealed to every seeker after understanding that the earth is a school. Similar to every other school that we are familiar with, it has teachers and students, a school board, janitors, a PTA, those who repeat the third grade endlessly until a merciful teacher passes them out of pure compassion, and those who skip grades. It also has graduation, and graduation ceremonies when we proudly don our caps and gowns and march to the strings of Pomp and Circumstance into another realm of cosmic reality.

In each succeeding life, after we have crossed the critical point of awakening to the point of never again being completely satisfied with what earth life has to offer, we are educated more and more in the "big picture". Until, one day, we can see and totally embrace the usefulness, fairness, and amazing expediency of this earth school. The true masters reach a level of understanding which compassionately understands that although those who rely on the five physical senses for information are certain in the belief that life is filled with harm, injustice, pain and struggle, there are other senses to see with and other interpretations to be made.

Many years ago as I was going through one of the many phases of my life, this one my Buddha phase, I was reading several books on Buddha's life. In one book was a story that really gave me something to chew on.

It seems that Buddha had a disciple, a teenage boy, who devoutly came to spend a little time with the master each day. One day the boy's village went to war with a neighboring village. The boy was drafted to defend his home. The battle raged hot and heavy. Dead animals and dead and wounded friends lay around. Blood and death were the order of the day. The disciple became terrified, immobilized with fear. In his desperation he cried out "Buddha, save me". Buddha, hearing the plea in his heart, appeared on the edge of the battlefield. Buddha in all his radiance began to walk across the war zone. His countenance was of his usual peace and beauty. He arrived at the side of his friend, a smile on his face, calm in his being, and held the boy until his composure returned.

In the context of my understanding of the realities of life, I had no choice but to declare Buddha an insensitive, compassionless monster. My understanding said that battles were real, that harm was being done, lives were being lost and pain was being experienced. If Buddha had at least as much insight as I had, then surely he would have been upset. He certainly would have used his influence as a local authority figure to stop the war, to convince these people that they were going against the will of God. But he didn't. As a matter of fact he never resisted evil in any form. And surely Jesus wasn't serious when he said "Resist not evil".

As you can guess, it wasn't Buddha who had a lot to learn, it was me. I was ready to be shown what was really going on on this planet, not just what appeared to be going on.

Why Life? Seeing The Big Picture

Life outside of this school has been going on forever. The fifteen billion years that we have experienced since the big bang and the fifteen billion years that we have left before the universe collapses upon itself are but a grain of sand compared to the really big picture. We are so used to relying on the five senses to determine what is real that we have forgotten that planet earth is a classroom. It is just one classroom in a universe which contains millions of classrooms. The truth is that the earth is only a small part of even our visible universe, let alone the reality of the invisible universes.

When we exist outside the realm of time and space we are all equal, fully realized, individualized aspects of God and we all possess an inherent and total comprehension of God and of all of God's creations. But it appears that while on earth we, temporarily at least, forget our oneness with God. Isn't it interesting to notice though, that we often subtly acknowledge a deep seated belief that all knowledge lies somewhere within us. How often do we make some reference to our "high self" or "spirit" as having the answer we need? And where do we go to find this "high self" or "spirit?" We go within or into the silence. This proves to us that we believe we do possess all the answers.

In the meantime however, in our state of conscious amnesia, we are trying to understand the universe and our place in it. We use every means at our disposal to get a handle on our relationships, our lack of prosperity, and the crisis that seems to be enfolding our planet.

To help us build a philosophical or metaphysical model which might shed some light on what we see as reality, I shall use explanatory parables. One that is very useful to me is one in which I view spiritual growth as being like an elementary school experience.

The English language is not a spiritual language, having been created to foster economic trade and commerce. Therefore it contains no words to describe the kinds of things that we wish to discuss. If we don't have exact words we have to use metaphors, letting each person interpret the words in a way that is meaningful for them. So let's play out this school analogy to the hilt.

Earth: A Fast Track School

When we stop to look at what the earth has to teach, we discover that it is a rather elementary school. People are merely trying to learn to feel good about themselves and to love one another. Who knows how many grades we go through before we can hold the image of "one family per earth".

In terms of linear time, we are not quite sure how long it takes to complete this "earth school" because we have not yet reached fifty percent graduation of all the souls that have entered the system. But, on average, we can estimate that it takes a hundred million years of evolution to graduate. Some of us have declared with pride that we were old souls. But, when we look at the system as a school that simply means that we are slow learners.

We cannot truly comprehend that this system is just, and that it is functioning perfectly, until we come to view the planet as a school house with a grand lesson plan. This school has specially trained teachers and it is following a well defined schedule. Every person on earth is in a grade which corresponds to their personal level of spiritual understanding. And just as in the public schools of this world, every hour of the school day is planned and structured for the student's learning experience. Actually, as implausible as this may seem, there is no event in any person's life (school day) that is random or accidental. There is time set aside for study, exams, recess, and vacation. There is even a time in our lives for changing from one grade to another because this is a system in which everyone evolves.

Every entity who has ever entered this earth school has done so for one reason only - expediency. This school offers a very rapid path to awakening, usually through the process of pain and struggle. People learn more in one eighty year lifetime on earth than they could in ten thousand years in one of the universe's softer, more pleasant schools.

Softness can be an impediment for impatient learners. What do most people say when everything in their life is working and they feel wonderful? "I'll take it from here, God. Everything is under control. I think I'll be a couch potato." When do they ask the universe for help on the other hand? When do they say "I think I need to figure out how this system works. I need a book on prosperity and one on healing. I want to understand. I want to be a master!" The only time that we ever make those requests is when we are hurting. Do you see how pain can be useful? Certain students still choose to avoid the difficult courses and can spend thousands of lifetimes in the same grade. They tell their guidance counselors, "Okay, I'll take that easy course, but this other one seems a bit too hard. I want something easier with a teacher who won't give me any algebra tests. And I don't want any final exams." People request those schedules quite often.

We also have those impatient entities who stand at the gates of this school and say, "I'm sorry. This is a nice schedule that you have laid out for me, but it looks just like the one that I received last time and the time before that. It almost looks like you Xeroxed it. Did you? I'm sorry but I don't have time to do another ten thousand lifetimes. I want to be forced to focus on spirit and I don't want to get hung up again in money and the house that I live in and in judging people. I have done that for so many lifetimes that I have become an expert at it. I become the president of the country club every time. I already know I can do that. Can I please, just this one time, if it is all right with you, could I have cancer? Could I have a child who has leukemia? I want to be forced to say 'Why God? Why God?' I don't want to drag it out any longer. Is there any way that I could possibly complete the whole curriculum in three lifetimes? I'll take Aids, I'll take cancer, I'll take war - I'll take anything that you want to give me but please give it to me. I'll even pay you every cent that I have. My friends have all graduated and they are eternally happy. They are riding roller coasters over there in the Nirvana System and I can see them but I can't get to them. Please give me just a little pain so that I will wake up. And would you do me one more favor? When I get down there, would you please drive me to my knees and back me into a corner every time that I forget to seek help from the universe, and every time my vision becomes clouded? I would appreciate it so much. When this lifetime is over, I want to know that I have made as much progress as I could have made in all of my five thousand other incarnations put together. I am so tired of playing this game!"

Everyone who enrolls in this school has a contract with the earth prior to their enrollment. The fact that they forget which lessons it entailed after they are in body is irrelevant. We all select our teachers and our time frames and our influences. The events that we choose as our most expedient motivators are not tragic. Drama is a carefully articulated ingredient in the expedient elevation of souls from one level to another. It is only allowed in human lives when those entities specifically request it because of their impatience to move ahead. Drama is not an accident and it is not an error. It does not mean that the universe is unfriendly or that there is no God. It is simply a teaching tool. And incidentally it is most useful in the lower grades of earth school. It is not required in the upper grades.

Do understand that to a fully awakened being drama appears to be an abnormality in the universe and an irregularity in the vibration of the normal Christ energy. Leukemia, rape, cancer, murder, pollution, child abuse and war are not the natural states of being in this universe and, although they can be very useful, there comes a time when enough is enough. That time is the Aquarian Age. It is the only one of the twelve ages where successful, expedient growth and learning can be done in an environment that has no pain and struggle.

The Greatest Show on Earth

If we are "normal" human beings we believe three dimensional time space is all that exists (or at least it is what we focus on 99% of the time). In order for the school to be effective one has to believe that it is real. We would not learn anything on planet earth if we knew that it was an illusion. We would not pay attention in class or do our homework and therefore we do not find out that it is an audio-visual training film until we reach the end of the twelfth grade and the big picture is revealed to us. This is when we discover that the school system was useful but not real. We are all masters of illusion and in order to graduate we must grasp this concept.

Fortunately, our society offers us a practical analogy designed to help us understand the difference between illusion and reality. We have incredible technology that has created movie theaters with huge screens, quadraphonic sound, and several projectors running at once. Now let's look at our theater mentality, which we all have and are all quite familiar with. We go to see movies like Rambo or Under Siege and watch the blood and guts spilling on the screen. We hear the screams with our own ears. We demand perfection in our terror. If people are talking in the audience around us we get extremely upset because they are breaking the mood. What happens if the projector is not working perfectly, if it is not dark enough, if the sound is not just right - if everything around us has not been created to produce a total physiological response of stark terror with hearts pounding and palms sweating? What happens if we are not completely immersed in this simulation? We want our money back!

An individual who had any desire to experience peace would not go to such a movie, but, we are not primarily peace lovers. We are adventurers who are most interested in stimulation. That happens to be why we created the earth and the solar system in the first place. We are only too willing to go into a theater and pay six dollars to become terrified. Then we turn around and have the audacity to say that we would never have chosen the dramas in our lives. You can bet that we did choose. We not only chose an incarnation that is identical to the one playing on the screen, but we paid tuition to get into this school and when anyone tries to point out to us that it is an illusion, we are offended.

What happens when we are at the movies and the excitement is peaking, the tanks are coming over the hill and the good guys are in the trenches and just as the fight is about to start, some guy in the audience stands up and says, "Don't worry - it's an illusion!" Do we say "Oh, yeah, that's true" or do we scream, "Sit down and shut up! Somebody call the usher and get that guy out of here. I don't want to know that it is an illusion because I'm having a good time!" What do we do when that same guy walks up to us after we wreck our car and reminds us that it is all an illusion? But life is just like the movie.

If our technology has the capability to make us believe for two solid hours that what we are experiencing is real, what does universal technology have? Do you know that God has better trick photography than Hollywood? Is this planet just a three dimensional hologram with quadraphonic sound being played on the inside of our eyelids or is it real? Will the credits start to roll soon? Will the house lights come on? When they do, how many of us have ever found blood on the screen? How many times have the actors actually died in what we saw? You know that they didn't get hurt because you would have read about it in the newspaper - "Twenty-five actors killed at the O.K. Corral." They are not dead. They are starring in another film next week.

We have all been killed thousands of times and frankly, we don't care.

In a long-term cosmic sense, we ultimately will not care about tragedy because the truth is God is love and love does not allow tragedy. Yet while the movie was going on, we were able to muster up enough anger and resentment to want to go up to the screen and kill the bad guys. This school system functions in exactly the same way as Hollywood. The earth is a very well planned, technically correct illusion. It has been created so perfectly we think the movie begins at the beginning and ends at the end. We think time is linear and we don't even realize that the whole film was shot out of sequence. If we could see through the editing, we wouldn't waste our money buying a ticket.

Now, if folks are willing to pay five or ten dollars to go see a movie like Rambo, what do you think that they have to pay to do a lifetime of drama? It gets to be pretty expensive. Yet they are willing to pay because the freshman orientation counselors have told them about the school here and the degrees that they can earn that will bring them greater freedom and a greater capacity to understand. They decided they wanted to enroll in earth school because they saw drama as a powerful motivator for spiritual growth.

Is God Too Good To Be True?

A difficult thing for spiritual seekers to comprehend initially is that God doesn't allow mistakes. God is Love and Love is not consistent with error or wrong. I will say much more about this in coming chapters, but for now try to place your beliefs and judgments about all the errors that are committed on this planet in your mental closet. If, when you have finished this book, you still choose to believe that God allows errors on the earth, you can retrieve the contents of your mental closet and all your beliefs will still be in tact. No harm done.

Ram Dass recalls his guru speaking about the people who are starving. With tears in his eyes he said to Ram Dass, "Can’t you see how perfect it all is?" Its perfect and it stinks. In any case, there is more going on here than we can understand in our present mind. Let’s pursue this.

With our old beliefs about a God who is powerless to prevent error are tucked away, let us consider a more empowering (and more loving) concept. Every grade in this school is essential and there are certain things that students in those grades do which are very appropriate for them to do. The Arab nations have to be fighting the way they are right now just as the Aborigines and the Wall Streeters have to be doing their thing because they are in those classes getting those assignments. If you wish to be helpful as a fourth grade teacher, you must understand how that grade functions. The fourth grade curriculum on planet earth contains many lessons related to feeling separate from God and the rest of mankind. In the fourth grade we pit ourselves against other individuals and other groups in an attempt to prove that we are right and they are the ignorant ones. We even blow them away, individually or nationally, if necessary. That is not wrong - it is simply fourth grade.

Of course you have long since decided that you no longer wish to be a fourth grader. Perhaps you have even decided that you no longer even wish to be a fourth grade teacher. When an individual feels an internal urging to give up trying to save people who can't comprehend the value of the spiritual ways of doing things, there arises an internal conflict. We often believe that it is our "duty" to save our family and friends or to fix the evils of our world even though we get worn down trying. Well take heart. There is a better way. It is the way that the master teachers taught. It is a way of bringing salvation to your family, friends and planet that is stress free. It is better than stress free. It is fun, exciting, uplifting, self empowering and energizing.

We Choose Our Teachers - Authority Figures or Masters

Within this school system, there are two distinct groups of teachers - those who have walked on water, raised the dead, lived life in peace and security, and those who have done everything according to the world's rules. The second group has always tried to be "right." They die of stress related diseases, leaving guilt and frustration as their legacy. Those in the first group are known as master teachers. They include folks like Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, and hundreds of lesser known awakened beings. Master teachers live life in a spirit based context, setting aside most of the ego's influence. The second group tends to rely on its intellect and "good judgment" when making decisions instead of relying on spirit. I call the second group authority figures. You are familiar with them - they raised you, taught you, trained you, molded you and otherwise imposed their "correct" belief system on you.

Human beings have a habit of excluding from their definition of reality everything that does not lie within the field of their perception. Daily life so fully occupies our attention that, after a few years of being responsible adults, we loose the ability to perceive and focus upon that which is not obvious.

When we were small children we had not yet been taught the foolishness of having unlimited realities. All things are possible to young minds. Limitation, heaviness, restriction, responsibility, guilt, ought to's and should's, and the cold hard realities of life are learned traits. These uncomfortable beliefs are taught to every person on earth by well meaning authority figures.

The authority figures have the perspective of the mature responsible adult who has been educated in this world. That means that the things that are real and true to them are things that can be observed through the five senses. Intelligent beings on this planet are observant. They take in information through the eyes, ears, etc., and store that information in their mental data banks. The information can be obtained from direct experience or vicariously, through books, etc. Then when action is required in their lives they sort the stored data until the most advantageous solution can be determined. Hence, all solutions are, de facto, repetitions of the past. By repeated application of the process, some individuals get rather good at being authority figures. And slowly, very slowly it seems, the earth makes progress. We haven't ended war yet or done away with man's inhumanity to man, but it does appear that from time to time some improvements get a foot hold.

The authority figures in our lives have learned about life in the school of hard knocks and/or in the schools of the intellectuals. These authority figures teach us the facts of life. They teach us how hard it is to get ahead in life. They teach us to watch out for old number one and to either be defensive or aggressive depending on what the situation demands. We have been taught about the work ethic and about the inequalities and injustices of the economic, political, social and business systems that are beyond our control. We learned how to get ahead, be problem solvers and critical thinkers. We learned about all the inherent faults that members of the opposite sex possess.

If one assumes that what the five senses perceive is reality then this intelligent approach to life is rational. But if that assumption is correct then there can be no omnipotent, loving God. The existence of an omnipotent, loving God on the one hand and war, leukemia, child abuse and starvation on the other hand are mutually exclusive.

If we are trying to decide whether to follow the authority figures of the world or the master teachers, we might want to note some of the bad press that authority figures get. (I'm not just talking about congressmen now.) Authority figures have long been known for their opinionated personalities, their "type A" behavior, heart attacks and other stress related diseases. They have even been known to jump off of buildings when the economy or other situations "beyond their control" didn't meet their expectations.

Why have we believed the authority figures? Why has every person who is reading these words bought into, at some time or other, the limited beliefs stated above? Why have the teachings of the master teachers always been the opposite of the authority figures who raised us? In contrast to our upbringing and our education, the master teachers told us that we should become as little children, that we should take no thought for tomorrow, that we should be as trusting as the lilies of the field. The master teachers didn't say to defend our country or our jobs or our way of life. A Course in Miracles tells us to neither attack nor defend, and never to justify our positions to another person. It says that rather than maintaining a state of vigilance about our interactions with other people or other nations we should maintain a state of inner peace in each moment.

The perspective of the master teachers is not based on the supposedly objective reality of the five senses. The master teachers make irrational statements such as, "Nothing I see means anything" and "I see only the past." Truly confounding to the authority figures are statements like, "In my defenselessness lies my safety" and "resist not evil." The master teachers say that if we will not devote any of our energy to the appearances of evil and injustice on the earth, then we will eventually end up accomplishing the very same objectives that the more advanced of the authority figures have held. Objectives such as healing ourselves and our planet, peace on earth, and the recreation of a green, ecologically perfect garden of Eden. However, the master teachers point out that there is no way to be successful at creating peace through the use of resistance (correction). They point out that it is absolutely futile to try to heal anything outside of ourselves before healing ourselves. There is nothing outside of ourselves, they say. Every statement a master teacher makes flies in the face of the rational thinking of the authority figures.

Our western educational system has placed ultimate value on the intellect's ability to analyze and rationalize and improve our planet by making corrections to the inadequacies of the various socioeconomic systems. A Course in Miracles says simply that all analysis is of the ego. It says that all correction belongs to Holy Spirit, not mankind.

Should we worry about our loved ones and our planet or should we always have peace of mind? Which is more helpful? Should we fix the wrongs and injustices or just leave it to Holy Spirit? Activists or pacifists? Or are those folks correct who say that God works through us so that when we are attempting to correct the evils of the world we are really doing God's work (maybe out-picturing God's righteous indignation on God's behalf)?

Who is right, the authority figures or the master teachers? The answer may surprise you. They both are (well, actually there is no right or wrong, but we'll get to that later). The difference is one of perspective.

This book explores the validity of the master teachers' words. This book looks at the possibility that only the path of the masters can accomplish for us and our planet the healing that we so much long for.

The path of the authority figure is very useful to the growth of the soul, but it is painfully slow. This path is called karma. The path taught by the master teachers is self empowering, enlightening, fun, and best of all, expedient. If you are tired of relationships that aren't fun, physical and monetary limitations that aren't fun, then you may be ready to declare that you have no time for karma. To dump the karmic way and move directly to joy, fun, excitement, and inner peace we must follow the advice of King Solomon, "with all thy getting, get understanding."

The Structure of Earth School

Let's understand why life on earth exists. Let's understand that earth is a school. Let's understand the big picture of never ending life and we will have sufficient knowledge to create heaven on earth. Imagine all the pressure being off, no more struggle, no more no-win situations. Everything you have ever desired is yours when you obtain understanding of how this system works, when you opt to no longer believe the teachings of the authority figures, when you choose to be "in the world but not of the world." We can all become master teachers.

On the scale of planetary evolution, ninety percent of the individuals incarnated on the earth today are in the lower grades and spiritually they are all wandering around in the dark. They do not have the slightest understanding of cause and effect or of the process of creating their own realities. They believe themselves to be victims of everything. If experience has taught them to be street smart, they may recognize their ability to manipulate their situations a tiny bit, but in no way would they believe that they have control of "unforeseen" circumstances. And surely they have never entertained the notion that they created their situations for specific educational purposes. They do not yet understand that they are connected to every other human being on the planet, therefore they do not believe that it is an error for them to go around shooting people. Shooting people for a good cause (such as patriotism or self defense) does not violate their understanding of the universe. When every entity is perceived as being separate, it is natural to look out for yourself and to declare other people, as well as the system, unjust.

For the time being, allow me to lump everything below the tenth grade in earth school into "soap opera consciousness", which is the average level of awareness on the planet today. The majority of time in evolution is spent at this level. It is by far the longest part of the path home.

While discussing different levels in the system may seem separative, that does not imply that one grade is superior to another. And we certainly know better than to get into ego trips about where we are on the ladder. As all school teachers know, some of the most hard headed freshmen end up having more credentials and PhD's than the teacher will ever have. So, being in different grades is a very temporary condition.

The Tenth Grade

To keep the parable going, let’s look at one group (or grade) of individuals on the earth who are far beyond average consciousness. But mind you, they are not yet "enlightened." These folks have gone through all of the lower grades to get to the tenth grade. The emphasis in the tenth grade is on brains. They are now ultimately intellectual. Eight or ten million years in this school will make one intelligent. At least we get something to show for all that time and experience. We call these people geniuses. There are a lot of them on the planet working as economists, educators, generals, politicians and some may remind us of our parents. They are all highly opinionated and are very difficult to teach, seeing as how they already know so much. The only way that they will accept a lesson is if it fits their predisposed pattern of logical explanation.

Most publicly recognized authority figures on the planet are tenth graders. Because they are all geniuses, they can give you a very confident and rational explanation of why it was appropriate to have five hundred thousand soldiers in Saudi Arabia. They have figured it out and have all of the answers, but they are also the ones who jump out of windows when the stock market crashes. They are good people and most of them have spent millions of years evolving to become intelligent, though not necessarily happy. Do you know anyone who is really intellectual and happy? They are far too busy debating and arguing as if they had some concept of what reality is! If they fail to convince another intelligent person that their point of view is correct, they feel a sense of loss. They believe that the five senses are real. They take in all of their information through these senses and store it in their data banks and that is what they call upon when they need an answer. So one of them can tell you with great certainty why you should be a republican, because ... and another one knows why you should be a democrat, because ... and they are both right based upon the information stored in their data banks. Yet neither one of them has one millionth of one percent of the data available on planet earth. Can anyone ever make a correct decision if they have limited information to work with?

Intellectual people enjoy playing in their intellects. There is a certain thrill to that as when you have mastered a skill or have a new toy. There is some fun to be had, but there is no assurance that the intellect can create inner peace. Their minds are always racing and they find it very difficult to sit on the lake all weekend with a fishing pole. They jump up when they get an idea and declare, "I have a brain storm! I must return to the office immediately and work on this!" Their whole life is consumed with the intellect. The difficulty with that is the universe is continually in a state of perturbation and change. It is not what it was one tenth of a second ago which means that if they were to learn everything that there was to know in this second, it would all be obsolete in the next instant. They must be forever updating their information. While it can be an enjoyable game for a few lifetimes, it is slightly longer than an infinite process to reach enlightenment through the intellect. But most intellectuals aren't interested in obtaining inner peace yet anyway. They aren't after enlightenment, their goal is worldly knowledge and mental stimulation. Most get their self worth by knowing they are among the intellectual elite on the planet.

It must also never be forgotten that every individual in this school, regardless of their level of understanding, is contributing to the release and freedom of each of the rest of us. How we marvel when one with great intellect discovers a cure for a crippling disease in the laboratory. How grateful we are when an engineer or scientist invents a device to make our life easier. How moved and inspired we are when any individual, no matter where they might be on the ladder of evolution, overcomes a limitation or breaks the four minute mile barrier of their life. As we learn, we share. As we share, we grow. As we grow, we set ourselves and humanity free.

Let me say here that no human being in this school can avoid becoming a genius. It goes with the territory. But all persons who have sincerely embarked on their path of awakening have completed their studies in the "smart grades" several lifetimes ago. Make no mistake about it, you as a "light worker" on the planet are intelligent. Being intelligent is required. However, when you feel yourself being sucked into the maelstrom of intellectualism, pause and reflect. It is stimulating but it does not bring peace or joy or a sense of transcending human experience. Intellectualism normally focuses on planetary dilemmas and completely ignores the commandment to "let thine eye be single, fixed on God". At this point in your service to mankind that would create an uncomfortable delay in achieving your inner peace and out-picturing your healing abilities.

It is fair to say that tenth graders have done nine tenths of their path in terms of linear time even though they have only completed half of the objectives that they will accomplish in this world of duality. They have developed their left brains and are using half of their capacity to function in life. They absolutely believe that the intellect is king and that they will eventually become learned enough to discover true understanding under some microscope or in the caucus room.

Persons who have been working in the tenth grade eventually notice that their priorities are shifting. At some point they notice that people just won't do what they are told. Even though they "know" what is right and what is wrong, they are always paddling up stream trying to get the rest of the world to do things their way. After exhaustive lifetimes of trying to fix people they finally decide it can’t be done. In giving up the fight they unknowingly allow the universe to carry them into the next grade.

The Eleventh Grade

The next grade that they will enroll in is compassion. They will come back to this plane of reality and find themselves in direct opposition to the intellectuals and the politicians who are making rational decisions. That's the way karma works, you know. We often come back opposed to the way we were before - cosmic guilt, I guess. They will now be working on the other half of their being trying to create this thing that we call balance. So, eleventh graders are developing their intuitive side and they live their whole lives based upon what feels right. They are sensitive individuals who often shun practicality in order to help someone or something. This sometimes causes them to fall under great criticism from the logical side of the world.

Eleventh graders are the ones who do silly things like absolutely refusing to go to war. They were the flower children in the 1960's who lived in school buses and believed that they could do some good by carrying flowers around and painting rainbows on walls. It was a completely illogical generation that boggled the minds of the highly opinionated intellectuals of the day who said, "if they would only be a little responsible and get a job." Getting jobs is not a high priority for eleventh graders. But their fathers were usually still in the tenth grade and spoke with great frustration when they said, "If you would just do it my way and go to Harvard and get a job working for a big corporation..." They would answer, "Dad, I don't have time for college - I have to go picket by the river where people are dumping garbage!"

Eleventh graders are therefore the ones with the great causes. They want to end war on the planet, fix things like pollution, solve problems like the homeless, discover a holistic cure for cancer and feed the hungry in Africa. It is a radically different perspective from the intellectual community who said, "Let them go to school and they will figure out how to earn a living." That is indeed very logical, but it is not particularly compassionate.

Eleventh graders have just shifted from left brain to right brain and they are going to do irrational things. They say, "I am going to save the salamander" and that is not rational. "I am going to save the rain forest" which is not rational either. They function from what they feel for people. It is an irrational state of being that usually persists for a few lifetimes.

Eleventh graders are doing more to create a planetary family awareness than has ever been done by a group of people on the earth. Eleventh graders are making great strides in creating an awareness of the need for international cooperation and planetary helpfulness. But in the process they get worn down. Their relationships get stressed. They have too little time for meditation and inner peace. Busy, busy, busy.

Look at all of the environmentalists that we have on the planet and all of the people who are trying to save everything. The majority of the New Age community will tell you that they are the epitome of earth enlightenment. They will insist that they love their work, that they really are happy, and that it is not their fault that the money is short or the body aches. They love to play with crystals and do their healing work and sit at the feet of Swami Whosits, but they are so focused on the tragedy that enfolds this earth that they have no peace and little joy. They live in a great deal of fear that the earth will pollute itself to death and the rain forests will disappear. They fear that all of the dolphins will go away and the temperature will rise and cause the ice caps to melt.

As each of us grew up and became aware that there was more to life than meets the eye we were drawn to those entities who were compassionate because they embodied the highest consciousness that we could find on the planet. We said, "I must be one of them. I need to join their group! I am going to be anti-nuke." And truly eleventh graders are the cream of the crop of earthlings. So you and I have recently acted out our tenth grade habits (done a tenth grade review) and we are really good at our eleventh grade behavior. But there is more to learn before the Masters Degrees are awarded.

What did all of the master teachers say? If we would enter the kingdom of heaven we would resist not evil. Do you know how many things we are allowed to be against and still attain enlightenment? The same number as our favorite master teacher was against - zero. They have all been for love and for the light. They are not anxious and they are not fearful like our eleventh graders.

Compassion is not the end of the road. Having compassion is not the same as being awake! The truth is that the earth is a school and it is working perfectly. There is nothing here in need of fixing. If a person finds himself on the earth in a body then that person, no matter how compassionate and intelligent, is not yet enlightened. That person is in a grade. And that grade is not a mistake, it is perfect for that person at that time. All grades eventually lead to graduation, and that is what we want, that is enlightenment.

Cosmic law states that if you are to give healing you must be healed and if you are to give peace you must be peaceful. If you are to give joy to the world, you must be joyful. You cannot give a gift you do not possess. Eleventh graders cannot allow themselves to be happy when other human beings are hurting.

There are many individuals who have been working here for millions of years to go through eleven of twelve grades. Those who use school house earth as their primary path of growth, usually do not skip any grades. Therefore every entity that you see in the cross section of humanity is passing from one grade to another and for those eleventh graders who have learned that neither the intellect nor blind compassion will get them home, we have yet another grade.

The Twelfth Grade

By the time a student reaches the twelfth grade he has done nearly all of his awakening and processing. He is a genius because he has done the intellectual's path and while it might have been fun to recognize his intelligence, he now knows that it will not get him into heaven. Then he developed his intuitive side and became "balanced." That was supposed to make him feel good. He may have thought that he would be on easy street when he attained balance but now he finds himself wondering why he still has junk in his life and why he still sees so much error on the planet. Now he is ready for the next step. The next step is discovering for himself what makes a graduate of the earth.

You can tell when eleventh graders are ready to transition because they are willing to give up. "I have worked my whole life to try and stop war and it still goes on. I quit." Surrendering is the only way that we ever get anywhere in this system. In that very process of giving up they will have become twelfth graders.

As we are all very aware, on this patriarchal, masculine dominated planet, giving up is supposed to be tantamount to failure. That makes it difficult to surrender to a power and wisdom greater than ourselves to guide our lives.

Not yet graduates, twelfth graders find themselves back on earth and they wonder what the hell they are doing here. They are the transition team, here to facilitate the graduation process of the earth. There are gobs of people who declare themselves to be part of the planetary transition team, but, in effect, most of them are people who are intellectualizing and rationalizing their way or are so hung up on their causes that they cannot be objective. Most of those who really are members of the transition team don’t have a clue. They just want to go home. In the process of finding their way home they will lead the planet home too.

Do you remember that time in your personal self empowerment phase when you were declaring yourself to be okay or declaring yourself to be free? You had a great deal of energy about your personal empowerment issues. That energy verified for you that you had not yet mastered those issues. When we know that we are okay, then we are simply at peace with ourselves. We must be in such a state of objectivity (inner peace) if we are to facilitate the graduation process. When we are really in the midst of a "growth experience" we may have the theory of peace down in our head, but we still have a cage that can be rattled and graduates cannot have cages.

Twelfth graders are doing their lives of integration. They reach back to the beginning of their incarnational experiences and integrate the worthy and beneficial aspects of those experiences in conscious form. This does not mean that they are required to remember the details of the life in which they were the priest or the monk or the martyr or the days that they walked in sandalled feet by the Mediterranean. Even though they have done all that, the details are usually irrelevant. It is the awareness that they attained and the feelings that they absorbed that come back to them as useful tools in the twelfth grade.

These lives of integration tend to be very confusing. Each life of integration is a hodgepodge of experiences. Sometimes we fall back into being intellectual. Sometimes we fall back into soap opera. We often fall back, briefly, into doing all of the steps that we did along the way. Habits we have had for millions of years are hard to break.. So we will have a few moments of brilliance in which we insist that we know all of the answers and we are going to fix everybody. We probably had not quite polished off that unpleasant habit of fixing people back there in the tenth grade. The twelfth grader will also occasionally go home and watch a soap opera on television. The difference is that they are not hung up on them. This is where the statement, "Thou shalt have no other Gods before me" came from. If our intellect or our soap opera is our God (dominates our thinking), we are in one of life's wonderful dead ends.

When students have reached the twelfth grade, they have attained sufficient awareness to catch themselves when they are falling backwards. They are starting to live consciously. They believe less and less in living random lives. They begin to see purpose in life. They start to acknowledge their own divinity. Now they do remember that one affirmation can solve more problems than all of the solutions that the tenth and eleventh graders could come up with combined. Now they give up karmic lessons and begin to be, just be, their God-Man-Self.

They see that the intellect is good because the intuition cannot get them across the street in traffic. Their intellect does that quite well on the other hand and they could not live on the earth without it. But, they see that the intellect has no creativity whatsoever. Unlike the intuition, the intellect cannot reach into the unknown and pull out answers that did not exist before. So they finally come to the place where they realize that the answers do not lie in the intellect, nor in blind compassion. If they are like me they have probably been known to declare with great frustration that there are no answers. That was when the universe stood up and applauded, saying, "Let's see if we can keep this person confused for the next couple of years and then we will have them out of their heads and out of this mess."

Earthly Knowledge Won't Cut It

If a person thinks that he knows anything, he is in a state of delay and the universe will have no choice but to wait on him. A statement like that pushes our buttons because we have been taught by the authority figures that our self worth comes from the amount of knowledge we possess. Eventually we discover that it is not the amount of knowledge we learn that brings satisfaction and excitement, it is the amount of knowledge we connect with.

Earth people have always considered learning to be a linear, intellect oriented task. But doing anything linearly is extremely slow compared to doing it spatially or intuitively. Left brained individuals on this planet have never understood, nor even investigated, where Einstein and Mozart got there material. Learning and knowledge are not at all negative terms to the spiritual student. It is just that we want to shift our techniques of acquiring them from one that involves drudgery and slowness into one that is expedient and stress free. The master teachers have always said that the way to acquire total understanding was to know that at this moment we do not possess any knowledge compared to the amount we will gain if we will stop professing that we know something. The first thing that any guru worth his or her salt tells the new disciple is "sit down and shut up." Still the mind. "Be still and know that I am God" (the "I am" refers to the meditator, not an old man in the sky). A statement from A Course in Miracles comes to mind: A healed mind does not plan. It carries out the plans that it receives through listening to wisdom that is not its own. It waits until it has been taught.

There is but a handful of entities on this earth who have been able to comprehend that everything we see and hear and read and feel on this plane of reality could be in harmony with a benevolent and friendly universe.

To understand this we must understand the cosmic laws of creation.

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