1 – Characteristics of God’s Teachers
“The surface traits of God’s teachers are not at all alike. They do not look alike to the body’s eyes, they come from vastly different backgrounds, their experiences of the world vary greatly, and their superficial ‘personalities’ are quite distinct. (M9)”
2 – Everyone
This world has a variety of people, and any of them may have come to see the light, and to follow the way of God. Personalities can conflict, though, and so we may not always like everyone, even when they too are on the pathway. And this, being on the pathway, does not it include everyone?
3 – Surface Traits
The fact that surface traits differ can be reassuring. It does ensure that we will not necessarily recognize our brothers and sisters who are walking the pathway. It makes us more tolerant of diversity. Would God have made us so distinct unless there were a good reason?
4 – Different Pathways
This passage says that we can walk very many different pathways to God. ACIM is just the way that you and I have chosen. We should recognize that other pathways are just as valid for others. Nowhere does the A Course in Miracles contradict this idea.
5 – Differences Are Temporary
“All differences among the Sons of God are temporary. (M9)”
Elsewhere in ACIM we learn the talents of individual people differ in this world, but there will come a time when all talents are shared alike. This is one reason that we need not be vainglorious about differences among us. Only time separates us in differences, and time does not really exist.
6 – Other Side
A second reason that we need not be vainglorious is not discussed in A Course in Miracles, but is widely discussed in other New Age literature. We get help from the Other Side. This includes the geniuses among us as well as us ordinary people. We don’t even have to turn to New Age literature to recognize this phenomenon. Julia Cameron, a creative artist of fiction and drama, who has written and taught widely to undo the blocking of creativity, quotes numerous famous people from the past who credit their work to God. She herself knows that she does not so much think up writing as sense that the writing is coming through her.
7 – Julia Cameron
Julia also recommends initiating a dialogue with Higher Power, in which we pose questions and seek to get answers. We “listen” for answers. This practice works. When I practice it, I find that the advice which I scribe is much superior to anything that I might think “on my own.”
8 – Pride
So let us realize that our differences are temporary, and we have no reason for hubris. We need to realize that we are the same, not different, and it behooves us to be grateful for this sameness (ACIM tenet). The ego would never tell us this, for the ego thrives on differences that seek to set us apart from others. But we will never be happy with such thinking. What pride has not failed to put us in a depressive spiral once the thrill of momentary victory is gone? This is the only happiness that the ego gives, and the ego gives to take away. The ego is always being undone.
When my sisters and brothers who are on the pathway seem very different from me, may I not despair, but instead give thanks. We need to be different to appeal to different sisters and brothers. The diversity serves God.
Help me to know what to say when I meant someone who seems quite distinct from me. Help me to reach out in the best way, the way that You would have me to reach.