1 – Witnessing to Reality
“If he [the teacher of God] argues with his pupil about a magic thought, attacks it, tries to establish its error or demonstrate its falsity, he is but witnessing to its reality. Depression is then inevitable, for he has ‘proved,’ both to his pupil and himself, that it is their task to escape from what is real. . . .Magic thoughts are but illusions. (M47)”
Sometimes we think we see that our significant other is just off in left field. Sometimes our significant other is suffering, and as a result is stubborn and angry. The reaction of stubbornness and anger is a reaction borne of magic thoughts, of irrationality. If we truly knew, if our significant other truly knew, how to have a completely loving relationship, then together we would create this lovely thing for each other.
2 – Don’t Give Credence to Magic Thoughts
Our ignorance of how to do that is all that is holding us back. But we ourselves must take care, when faced with stubbornness, anger, and irrationality, not to react in a negative fashion. To do so is to give credence to magic thoughts; it is to make them real in our illusory world. If we focus on these negative traits, they will be harder to overlook (ACIM tenet). May we go gentle into the day, overlooking negativity, seeing only light in this potentially beautiful world of ours.
3 – Irrationality
We must not take a direct assault on a magic thought, a thought expressed of irrationality. If we approach the problem gently, our significant other may soften, for we have not attacked his ego. Attacking his thoughts will always be perceived by his ego as an attack on his/her person. And be met with resistance.
4 – Resistance
We don’t need this resistance. It will never get us what we want, which is a loving relationship. Our significant other, as well, wants a loving relationship—even if he/she is not fully aware of the possibility of curing problems with love.
5 – Wholly without Anger
“God’s teachers’ major lesson is to learn how to react to magic thoughts wholly without anger. Only in this way can they proclaim the truth about themselves. (M47)”
6 – Anger
Our brothers and sisters who are not Course students will have many superstitious ideas (“magic thoughts”) that may arouse anger in us. They may attack us. Unless we are quiet and calm, we will react negatively, thus undoing the good that they might receive from us.
7 – Major Lesson
Note that Jesus says that reacting to magic thoughts wholly without anger is the “major lesson” of God’s teachers. This is a significant statement. He knows that we lose our patience easily, and we must be patient if we are to set a good example, if we are to reach others in the only way that they can accept.
8 – React without Anger
We cannot be identified as God’s teachers until we have mastered this difficult lessons of reacting without anger. This asks a lot of us, because the ego, in most of us, has not yet withered away. The truth about ourselves is that we respond to anger with a desire to help and to express love, not retaliate in kind. When we have mastered this difficult lesson, we will be well on our way to being the teachers of God that Jesus needs.
9 – Correction
“Correction has one answer to all this, and to the world that rests on this:
“You but mistake interpretation for the truth. And you are wrong. But a mistake is not a sin, nor has reality been taken from its throne by your mistakes. God reigns forever, and His laws alone prevail upon you and upon the world. His Love remains the only thing there is. Fear is illusion, for you are like Him. (M47)”
We can never get angry from a fact. It is always an interpretation that gives rise to anger, and we allow anger when we emphasize, in our minds, magic thoughts that we incorrectly perceive as threatening. Magic thoughts are illusion, and so they cannot really threaten, but in our illusion, our dream, they can do so. It is up to us to recognize an illusion when we see it. And overlook it. Overlooking, if we are in danger of any real harm, is crucial.
10 – Don’t Correct “Faults”
If we are confronted with a mistake, let us know that it is not up to us to correct another’s “faults.” The Holy Spirit will do this in His own good time. We are being arrogant, an arrogance of our egos, when we think that it is up to correct the presumed “faults” of another.
11 – Egoic Arrogance
We can recognize a mistake, and we can gently substitute what we see as the truth. If we are rejected in this attempt, perhaps we acted too soon. Perhaps in our egoic arrogance, we thought that we, rather than the Holy Spirit, could effect a change in the relationship that we have with another.
12 – Guidance
We need to take the humbler view. We can sometimes do very little, but that little may be mighty. Don’t stew in wondering what to do or say; just ask of guidance, just ask of the Holy Spirit.
13 – Listen
He will respond immediately, and the more often we listen, the more crystal clear His Answers will be.
Help me to react to my brothers and sisters wholly without anger, especially when they are saying things about which I disagree. Sometimes their thoughts will conflict with the Course, and this will bother me, if I am not careful. Help me not to be bothered, but to react wholly with love.
Help me to stand back if my brothers and sisters are not ready to learn the material of the Course. Help me to give what I can in a good and loving manner, and to know when to stop. Thank you helping me to decide the right time to change my manner of response.