1 – If One Chooses. . .
“A teacher of God is anyone who chooses to be one. His qualifications consist solely in this; somehow, somewhere he has made a deliberate choice in which he did not see his interests as apart from someone else’s. (M3)”
This passage opens up the teachers of God to anyone. Once we have seen someone else–a brother or sister–as being wholly worthy of forgiveness, we are ready for the designation of ‘teacher of God.’” We see our interests as the same as his (or hers). We don’t make distinctions, nor do we judge another’s actions. We are forgiving through and through.
2 – Mistakes
Of course, we do not often sustain this powerful way of living. We fail, sometimes repeatedly. But Jesus notes that these are correctable mistakes, not sins, and once we have realized that these moments of judging are mistakes, we will be forgiving once again, of both ourselves and others. Mistakes call out for correction, and we respond accordingly.
3 – Brother or Sister in Christ
If we do not see another’s interests as different from our own, we are seeing him (or her) as a brother or sister in Christ. This change of perspective will bring us joy. Let us make it today.
4 – From Where Do Teachers of God Come?
“They [teachers of God] come from all over the world. They come from all religions and from no religion. They are the ones who have answered. The Call is universal. (M3)”
This passage is very reassuring for the agnostics among us. We can still be teachers of God, even if we aren’t sure that we believe in Him. What a revolutionary statement: “They come from all religions and from no religion.” Of course, this passage is a bit controversial, in that one can believe in God without belonging to a religion. But I think that implication of agnosticism as a possibility is here, though this is personal interpretation only.
5 – Universal Call
The Call is universal. Yes! Everybody hears, however dimly, a call to return to God. Everybody. And when we have answered that Call, we are ready to try to teach others.
6 – Self-Doubt
Of course, we teach ourselves even more than we teach others, for when we teach, we diminish self-doubt (ACIM tenet). What we reinforce by saying something becomes stronger in ourselves. And we understand our teaching more than anybody else. Helen Schucman was prepared for channeling A Course in Miracles, and though the work did not give her the peace of mind that it has so many others, she did understand ACIM and could expound on it beautifully and movingly. We who teach ACIM likewise may not always feel its comfort, but even lacking that, we can sometimes comfort others. And that is as it should be. We are learning from each other. Students teach us also, for only time separates the student from the teacher, and time does not really exist.
7 – Saving Time
“Their function is to save time. Each one begins as a single light, but with the Call at its center it is a light that cannot be limited. And each one saves a thousand years of time as the world judges it. To the Call Itself time has no meaning. (M3)”
I knew the truth of this statement, the thousand years of saving time, when I was in a six-month glimpse of Awakening some years ago. I somehow knew that by my efforts I was saving time for others. I could see that happening in my everyday interactions.
8 – Lights
That assurance has faded now, but still I believe what Jesus is saying about saving years and years for others. We begin as a single light, but if we don’t hide that light under a bushel (New Testament), we can make a difference. All of us, whether we know A Course in Miracles (or other Scripture) well or not.
9 – Different Courses
“There is a course for every teacher of God. The form of the course varies greatly. So do the particular teaching aids involved. But the content of the course never changes. (M3)”
We do not, any of us, teach the same content from ACIM, or even from any other religious tradition. We all, in a sense, teach different courses by what we choose to emphasize. And our teaching teaches us, for we cannot hide out from what we are saying. Our students will see through our attempts to hide out from them. We are sharing self even when we don’t want to do so. And it is far better to want to share self, for it invites reassurance that our heart is in the right place.
10 – Same Content
The form changes, but the content does not. The content is of universal truths, regardless of what specifically is emphasized. ACIM focuses on perennial truths, the type of perennial truth that Aldous Huxley described in his seminal work, The Perennial Truth.
11 – Form Changes
What does it mean to say that the form changes? We are very different in personality, but that does not mean that we can’t teach similar things. How we say what we do is strongly influenced by our personalities. We may be soft and gentle, or we may be somewhat strident. Different students gravitate to the teacher who speaks to him/her. Not all are open to the same form of instruction.
12 – A Special Curriculum
“This is a manual for a special curriculum intended for teachers of a special form of the universal course. There are many thousands of other forms, all with the same outcome. They merely save time. (M3)”
This passage is very practical and ecumenical as well. We are not told that A Course in Miracles is the only way; in fact, we are herein told just the opposite. Other Scripture sets forth perennial truth in a form that may be better accepted by others. We cannot speak for them.
13 – “Home” in A Course in Miracles
But for those of us who have found a “home” in ACIM, there is little doubt that we have found a safe and gentle way to Awakening. And its central message of completely valid forgiveness of self and others is reassuring in the extreme. Its message that anger and attack are never justified is an uncompromising truth. We are caught in illusion in which that anger and attack seems justified, but then we are prone to false forgiveness, called in the Song of Prayer “forgiveness-to-destroy,” and we would not destroy anything or anybody. So let us consider carefully the truth that forgiveness is always justified, that we are not called to forgive the unforgivable, that pardon has a rational basis that keeps our rights from being sacrificed (ACIM tenets). Perhaps if we were not caught in illusion, we would see things differently. But nothing bad that has ever happened to us has actually happened in the real world. Also nothing good. For we live in a dream, maya in the Eastern terminology.
14 – World Is Very Tired
“Yet it is time alone that winds on wearily, and the world is very tired now. It is old and worn and without hope. There was never a question of outcome, for what can change the Will of God? (M3)”
Yes, we can see that the world is weary anytime we turn on the news or boot up our smartphone. We too are weary, for despite having traveled some distance along the pathway home, most of us have not experienced sustained Awakening, and we too are weary.
15 – Wearying Ourselves
This does not have to be. We are not really capable of being tired, but we are very capable of wearying ourselves (ACIM tenet). We can rise up each morning with vigor for the day, if we take the time to be grateful for what we have been given. There is nobody who has not benefited from the many blessings of God, even the most down and out person. And all of this is illusion. We are not really down and out, even when we feel the most sorry for ourselves. God takes care of His own, and all of us, students of ACIM (or any course) or not.
We will succeed in this world. I do not believe that we are doomed as a planet. May we do our small part to change things today, to make a better way for the little part of the world that we occupy.
Please help me to see that the good wishes of someone else are the same as the good wishes of myself. This, in itself, will help me to help my brothers and sisters.
I would like to be a teacher of God. Help me to be this. I cannot do it without You.