Courtesy

“The therapist (hopefully) does have the role of being the better perceiver. (This is also, again hopefully, true of the teacher.) It does not follow that he is the better knower. Temporarily, the therapist or teacher can help in straightening out twisted perceptions, which is also the only role that I would ever contribute myself. All therapy should do is try to place everyone involved in the right frame of mind to help one another.

“It is essentially a process of true courtesy, including courtesy to me. You should know that all God’s children are fully worthy of complete courtesy. There are ways of treating others in which only consistent courtesy, even in very little things, is offered. It is a very healing habit to acquire.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.VIII.5:1-5) and 6:1-4)

Here we see words first intended for Helen and Bill, who were therapists. The therapist may be the better perceiver, but knowing may be beyond him/her. Knowing from the patient may thus be keener.

In any relationship, including therapist and patient, we are encouraged to practice simple courtesy. This very prosaic behavior is close to kindness, the religion of the Dalai Lama (as he says). If we choose to treat others with courtesy, we certainly won’t attack them. Even in anger, we will keep a cool head. Our heart can inform us as we seek to practice courtesy in all our dealings.

This idea of courtesy is new to the new, complete edition of A Course in Miracles (published by the Circle of Atonement). It is one of the gems, just waiting to be discovered.

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