1 – Teacher = Holy Spirit
“But the Teacher Who knows the truth has not forgotten it. His decisions bring benefit to all, being wholly devoid of attack. And therefore incapable of arousing guilt. (M71)”
2 – Answers
Here is a reason that the Holy Spirit, the “Teacher,” does so well in guiding us. His answers are totally devoid of attack. Our judgments, even when we are at our best, may have an edge of attack, often very subtle. Our judgments can even be passive-aggressive, in which we do not directly confront another, but we attack then subtly by kind words that are not really kind.
3 – Benefit
Note that the Teacher’s truth brings benefit to all. And that includes us as well. So we are not wrong to see a selfish motive to following this guidance. It helps us as well as our brothers and sisters.
4 – Ego
We cannot stress too often the need to give up attack in all its forms. Until we do, we are caught in the ego, for only the ego will attack. May we pray to be free of the machinations of the ego, and to turn to our Teacher in as many times as would be practical. Jesus does say elsewhere that we are not bade to ask the Holy Spirit’s advice constantly, as this is not practical. We are bade to ask for guidance in the mornings and again at night, and to turn to the Holy Spirit at other times that are propitious. Then our thoughts and actions will be well-placed.
5 – Inheritance
“To ask the Holy Spirit to decide for you is simply to accept your true inheritance. Does this mean that you cannot say anything without consulting Him? No, indeed! That would hardly be practical, and it is the practical with which this course is most concerned.”
6 – Be Practical
Here is another entreaty to ask the Holy Spirit for guidance. Moreover, we are given specific guidelines: Be practical, which means that we do not ask on a continual basis because that is not practical.
7 – Guidance
Our true inheritance is to submit to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. An inheritance is a gift, a mighty gift. We are encouraged to realize the blessing that God has bestowed on us by giving us such a Helper.
8 – Often Turn
The more often we turn to the Holy Spirit, with a willing mind and heart, the more He can do for us. This does not negate the practical, but turning to Him as a matter of course becomes habitual the farther along the pathway of the Course we go.
9 – Wisdom
“If you have made it a habit to ask for help when and where you can, you can be confident that wisdom will be given you when you need it. Prepare for this each morning, remember God when you can throughout the day, ask the Holy Spirit’s help when it is feasible to do so, and thank Him for His guidance at night. And your confidence will be well founded indeed. (M71)”
10 – Ask
This passage outlines the way in which Jesus would have us respond to the Holy Spirit. Ask in the morning, turn to God during the day, and thank Him at night for His guidance. We will then know the truth of these important words.
11 – More Egotistical
If we become more egotistical, which will happen from time to time, we can gauge our state of mind by how willing we are to be flexible about following the Holy Spirit’s guidance. We will need to be flexible, because sometimes the guidance comes at the immediate point that we have begun to do something different.
12 – Happiness
Following guidance is the way to happiness in this world. And it is also our way Home.
13 – Heart Requests
“Never forget that the Holy Spirit does not depend on your words. He understands the requests of your heart, and answers them. Does this mean that, while attack remains attractive to you, He will respond with evil? Hardly! For God has given Him the power to translate your prayers of the heart into His language. He understands that an attack is a call for help. And He responds with help accordingly. (M71)”
14 – Reassuring
A very reassuring passage (as are so many in the Course), these words assure us that the better “thoughts” of our heart will be what the Holy Spirit listens and responds to. We may ask for what may hurt us, but God will protect us from such false dreams. The Holy Spirit knows what the Self really wants, and this Self is the larger life that we have beyond this world.
15 – Attack = Call for Help
This passage repeats the oft-given truth that an attack is a call for help. This explains what we may already realize from other passages: that our brothers and sisters are only asking for help when they attack. The same holds true for ourselves as well. Attack is never what it seems. Attack asks that we rush to the side of the offending party, and give whatever sort of help seems called for. Once we take this truth to heart, we will never view our brothers and sisters the same. We have no reason to become angry when we are the brunt of an attack. Our brothers and sisters always just want our help, however disguised the request comes to us.
16 – Welcome the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit always helps us. He does not intrude, but once we have made Him welcome, He will be there for us. The most important aspect is our flexibility is following His guidance. He does not frequently give advice unsolicited or even too far in advance; that is why we must be ready and even eager to “turn on a dime.” When we follow guidance consistently, we open the way to a glorious world, the real world, that is far beyond anything that this prosaic world seems to offer us.
17 – Cruel?
“God would be cruel if He let your words replace His Own. A loving father does not let his child harm himself, or choose his own destruction. He may ask for injury, but his father will protect him still. And how much more than this does your Father love His Son? (M71)”
18 – No Answer?
This passage seems to suggest the real reason that we sometimes think that we do not receive answers to our prayers. The Course makes clear that we are always answered in our best interests, and our prayers may have asked for something that, in the long run, would be to our detriment.
19 – Friend
The Holy Spirit, just like Jesus, is our Friend. He will protect us in this sometimes chaotic world. We have only to offer Him the slightest nod in His direction, and He tells us where to step next.
20 – God
God is our Father/Mother. He, like an earthly father (normally), wants only the best for us, His children. He will protect us by sending the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to help us make our way in this world. Then we will know the blessings that are truly intended for us. We must pray for solutions to our difficulties. We will not be disappointed, though God’s timetable in answering may not be our own.
21 – Immediately
“Ask all things of His Teacher, and all things are given you. Not in the future but immediately; now. (M71)”
22 – Helpful
This passage is incredibly helpful. We receive answers immediately to our questions and to our prayers. “Now” may not be recognized by us, though. We may not hear the Answer that we are expecting, leading us to believe that we are not heard at all. But we are.
23 – Go Within
When answers do not seem to come immediately, go within. Get calm and relaxed, or, as the Course says, “perfectly calm and quiet.” Ask why there seems to be a delay. And you will be told. The answer will present itself. If you are very upset, you may not be able to hear the response immediately. Pray diligently, and then quietly go about your life. When you are quiet within, the Answer will appear. This is an assurance that this passage gives.
24 – Frame of Mind
The fact that the answer is given “now” does not necessarily mean that we are in the frame of mind that can hear that answer. Be patient with yourself. We are not without limitations in this world (a Course concept). Know in your deepest heart that the Answer you are seeking has been given, and in time, usually soon, the Answer will appear spontaneously in your mind and heart.
Help me to give up attack. If I cannot reach this ultimate good, may I reach for love as long as I possibly can. Only love is the way of the saved.
Be with me throughout the day today. I know that I feel better when I have loved rather than attacked. This is evidence that Your way is right for me.