Jesus: “I Have Made Every Effort to Teach You Entirely without Fear”

“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.

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Open Our Heart to Parents & Friends

“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.

Invulnerable Children of God

“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.

Forgiving Our Parents

“Why should anyone accord an obvious misperception so much power? There cannot be any real justification for it, because even you yourself recognize the real problem when you say, ‘How could they do this to me?’ The answer is they didn’t.

“You have a very serious question to ask yourself in this connection. We said before that the purpose of the resurrection was to demonstrate that no amount of misperception has any influence at all on a Son of God. This demonstration exonerates those who misperceive, by establishing beyond doubt that they have not hurt anyone. Your question, which you must ask yourself very honestly, is whether you are willing to demonstrate that your parents have not hurt you. Unless you are willing to do this, you have not forgiven them.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.VIII.9:1-3 and 10:1-5)

Blaming our parents has become perhaps even more common than was the case in the sixties and early seventies, when A Course in Miracles was channeled. We have to get into the theology of ACIM in order to understand that blaming is counterproductive. On one level, everyone does the best that he/she can, given his level of understanding. And so, forgiveness is due one’s parents in this regard.

In the larger dimension, we are all innocent children of God, living in illusion, not actually doing anything at all that is true reality. So, on this more ethereal level, our parents deserve forgiveness. They have really done anything at all to us, for illusion means nothing.

It is true that we perceive illusion as real. It certainly seems like the things that happened to us when we were growing up were real enough. But let our minds play with the idea of living in illusion. Our parents dealt with us from a place of madness, or insanity, for all of us are lost in insanity until we Awaken. Madness is forgiven when it is not made real in our minds. If we focus on the bad deeds, we will attempt to make illusion real, and then we will find forgiveness harder to allow.

Know that we choose the things that happen to us, on some level, from our soul. This is not to blame the victim, because the personality doesn’t do this. But our soul knows better what we need than we do. And emanating from the God within, our soul doesn’t make mistakes. It is only the personality that makes mistakes.

So: On many levels, our attitude toward our parents needs to change, change, that is, if we are still blaming them for not giving us a perfect upbringing. We did have the perfect upbringing for what we wanted to accomplish in life.

And on this we ought to stand.

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.

We Are a Perfectly Clear Miracle

“All words, at best, are preparatory. The Word is really a thought. No one word is universally meaningful, because a word is a symbol. But thought is not divisible at the level of creation. The original name for ‘thought’ and ‘word’ was the same. The quotation should read, ‘In the beginning was the Thought, and the Thought was with God, and the Thought was God.’

“How beautiful indeed are the thoughts of God, who live in His light. Your worth is beyond perception because it is beyond doubt. Do not perceive yourself in different lights. Know yourself in the One Light, where the miracle which is you is perfectly clear.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.VII.16:1-6 and 17:1-4)

We are ideas in the Mind of God, a synonym for “thought.” This is why we project the world that we see; it is all an idea, real only as an idea is real.
We are a miracle in the sight of God. We are one Light with Him, blessed and blessing. Let us become all that we can become in this world, no limits anywhere.

The biblical quotation, here given in revised fashion by Jesus, is instructive. The “Word” and “Thought” are said to be the same. And so the notion that we are ideas in the Mind of God seems sure, on solid ground. This was set forth by the philosopher George Berkeley in his theory, called Idealism. He believed that what we see in the outer world is just a collection of ideas, that it is immaterial. This is trumpeted by A Course in Miracles, in its non-dualistic worldview.

Because we are ideas in the Mind of God, we simply change form in different vibratory frequencies. Energy isn’t ever destroyed; it just changes form. That is why we are assured of immortality in an eternity.

Communion with God

“As long as perception lasts, prayer has a place. Since perception rests on lack, those who perceive have not totally accepted the Atonement and given over themselves to truth. Perception is a separated state, and the perceiver does need healing. Communion, not prayer, is the natural state of those who know. God and His miracles are inseparable.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.VII.15:1-5)

This quotation gives us an understanding of the movement from traditional prayer, as supplication, when we are perceiving, into communion with God, when we know instead of perceive. This is an important distinction, because we need to comprehend very precisely, or we will feel bereft, without a God to Whom we can appeal when things get rough. And they will still sometimes get rough.

When we commune with God, we go into a very deep place that is calm and tranquil. We never frantically try to get His attention, something that we are prone to do in supplication when we are distraught. The God we are seeking is deep within us, so deep that we had lost sight of Him earlier, when the ego ruled.

But now we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us, an Intermediary Who leads us into God’s presence when we still cling to tendrils of fear of Him. Later on, in the age of Christ (actually where we are now), we will approach God directly, for we no longer will be fearful of His Being. We will know that we are in a right relationship to Him, and we will not foolishly think that He is going to judge us for trying, in illusion, to be separate from Him.

So we seek communion with God now. This is the blessed state all the saints enjoyed. And it is here for all of us now.