“When you feel tired, it is merely because you have judged yourself as capable of being tired. When you laugh at someone, it is because you have judged him as debased. When you laugh at yourself, you are singularly likely to laugh at others, if only because you cannot tolerate being more debased than others. All of this does make you tired, because it is essentially disheartening. You are not really capable of being tired, but you are very capable of wearying yourself.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.X.6:1-5)
Would it not be great incentive to know that there is a way to eschew tiredness?
Jesus says here that there is, that we have wearied ourselves by judging our world and the people in it. One way that we judge is by laughing at another, and even laughing at ourselves. Even if we call the laughter just a jest, it is still disheartening. Best to give up debasing other people, even as we give up debasing ourselves. There is a better way to live: Live and let live. Be magnanimous. Be tolerant.
We have wearied ourselves, and many times over the years. Now that we know what has caused this—judging ourselves and others—we can gently turn aside from this bad behavior.
And Awakening is more likely on the horizon, an added blessing indeed.
“You have no idea of the tremendous release and deep peace that comes from meeting yourself and your brothers totally without judgment. If you will look back at the earlier remarks about what you and your brothers are, you will realize that judging them in any way is really without meaning. In fact, their meaning is lost to you precisely because you are judging them. All uncertainty comes from a totally fallacious belief that you are under the coercion of judgment. You do not need it to organize your life, and you certainly do not need it to organize yourself.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.X.4:1-5)
We need to flow gently with life, and we certainly don’t do that when we are caught up in resentments, judging negatively our brothers and sisters. When we blame them for presumed wrongdoings, we neglect to realize that we invited that wrongdoing into our lives. If we had not opened to it, the wrongdoing would not have happened, because we are in control of our own lives, however much it might seem that we are victims.
Leave judgment behind. If we don’t, we close the door to Awakening. Fear and judgment are the two emotions/actions that prevent us from coming into the ultimate in salvation. Is not our own Awakening worth giving up a debilitating emotion that limits us to feet of clay?
If we find that our mind dwells in resentment, we are damning ourselves.
Can’t we see this? Don’t we know that forgiveness is the way? Haven’t we studied A Course in Miracles enough to know this, through and through?
A gentle way is always superior to any other way. When we calm our mind and heart, we will realize this.
“Descartes engaged in a very interesting teaching procedure, and one from which he himself learned a great deal. He began with doubting the existence of everything except himself. He insisted that his own existence was not open to doubt and rebuilt his entire thought system on the one premise, ‘I think, therefore I am.’ It is noteworthy that he arrived at accepting the entire system he originally doubted, solely on the basis of this one piece of knowledge. There was, however, a distinct shift in his own perception. He no longer questioned the reality of what he perceived, because he knew he was there.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.XI.11:1-6)
This piece about Descartes is new to the complete edition of A Course in Miracles. On one piece of knowledge, Descartes based his whole system of thought. He believed, basically, that he existed. This is even more fundamental than the aspect of thinking that is a part of his great revelation. “He knew he was there.”
We also know that we are here. We can extrapolate this understanding to greater knowledge if we realize that just one piece of information can set us free. This piece will differ from person to person, because our pasts are different, and so the healing of the unconscious that needs to happen will also differ. But when you come upon a piece of knowledge—and it will be knowledge—that is unassailable, then we must hang our hat on that. It will be enough.
Pray for the gleaning upon the mind of that piece of knowledge that will save. And then go out and teach it. Others will learn from our own revelation.
“You would be right to maintain that this course is a prerequisite for any rightful course you may teach. However, you would really be saying much more than that. The purpose of this course is to prepare you for knowledge. So is the only real purpose of any legitimate course. All that is required of you as a teacher is to follow me.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.IX.8:1-5)
We are learning the way of A Course in Miracles, and in following its teaching, our own teaching will be set forward rightly. Whether we want to admit it or not, we are following in Jesus’s footsteps, taking his pathway, when we attempt to prepare ourselves for teaching.
Jesus is doing something for us, too, that is beyond simply the hope that we will bring others to salvation. He is introducing us to knowledge, as opposed to simple perception. When we truly know a thing, we will sense it in our depths. There will be no doubt.
Perceptual understanding is always open to doubt, because perceptual understanding is based on the variability of our personality, its past and the way that personality views things. Knowledge is of God in the end, and He is the Unmovable. His way is always certain, and when we open our mind and heart to that way, we will know that His way is certain.
“The role of a teacher, properly conceived, is one of leading himself and others out of the desert. The value of this role can hardly be underestimated, if only because it was one to which I very gladly dedicated my own life. I have repeatedly asked my pupils to follow me. This means that, to be effective teachers, they must interpret teaching as I do. I have made every effort to teach you entirely without fear. If you do not listen, you will be unable to avoid the very obvious error of perceiving teaching as a threat.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.IX.6:1-6)
When we perceive teaching as a threat, we are living in fear. This is the exact opposite of what Jesus hopes for us, the exact opposite of what he intends. His words, when considered rightly, envelop us in a sense of love. We do not have to “accept” him for this to be true, but we do need to open our mind and open our heart, at least ever so slightly. When we live in harmony with love, we appreciate the truth in teaching, and we can become good teachers ourselves. No other way, no way other than love, can do this for us.
We are still making our way tentatively out of fear. There will be missteps, of course, but the way is still upward, toward love, away from fear. We are blessed by the channeled writings of Jesus. When we reflect on how we accept these teachings, we will realize that his love for us has been palpable. The love has drawn us in. And there is no better way to set our foot on the pathway back to God than to realize that a loving brother is leading us by the hand.
“Your parents probably did misperceive you in many ways, but their ability to perceive may have been quite warped, and their misperception stood in the way of their own knowledge. There is no reason why it should stand in the way of yours. It is still true that you believe they did something to you. This belief is extremely dangerous to your perception and wholly destructive of your knowledge. This is not only true of your attitudes toward your parents, but also of your misuse of your friends. You still think that you must respond to their errors as if they were true. By reacting self-destructively, you are giving them approval for their misperceptions.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.VIII.13:1-7)
Here we find that our attitude toward our parents and our friends is pivotal for a good future for our minds. When we believe that parents and friends “did” something to us, we are giving our power away, dangerous to perception, wholly destructive of knowledge.
We still don’t believe that we ourselves, and others, are innocent creatures, children of God, who made mistakes that actually, in reality, never occurred. We are living in illusion! How often do we have to reiterate this to ourselves?
When we believe that illusions are true, we bind ourselves to the past, and we make a future like the past, a deplorable future. Let’s wash ourselves clean, now, of these misperceptions. Let’s ask God to tell us how we can all be innocent. Step out in faith, and His Voice will answer.
We don’t need to stay in self-destructive thinking. Let the heart lead, for its way is Love, and its understanding is true. We can and will come to understand what innocence is all about when we open the heart to our parents and our friends. We have closed down when we misconstrued them, and this makes a mockery of innocence.
“You have no justification whatever for perpetuating any image of yourself at all. You are not an image. Whatever is true of you is wholly benign. It is essential that you know this about yourself, but you cannot know it while you choose to interpret yourself as vulnerable enough to be hurt. This is a peculiar kind of arrogance, whose narcissistic component is perfectly obvious. It endows the perceiver with sufficient unreal strength to make you over, and then acknowledges the perceiver’s miscreation. There are times when this strange lack of real courtesy appears to be a form of humility. Actually, it is never more than simple spite.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.VIII.12:1-8)
We are actually continuing the theme of blame in this quotation. If we believe that another can hurt us, we are misperceiving, and in this misperception, thinking that a perpetrator means us harm that we can’t get over.
We are not that vulnerable. We are actually invulnerable to hurts from another. We ourselves only seem to hurt ourselves. And then we spitefully blame the one outside of ourselves.
We are also not an image, but a real, divine part of God Himself. When we imagine ourselves as something else, we truly do ourselves an injustice. We are invulnerable children of God Whom He loves deeply. This is the only image of ourselves that matters.