“The third level of teaching occurs in relationships which, once they are formed, are lifelong. These are teaching-learning situations in which each person is given a chosen learning partner who presents him with unlimited opportunities for learning. (M8)”
1 – Examples of Lifelong Relationships
This third level of learning is most often seen in parent-child relationships. In bygone eras, it was also seen in life-long partnerships, but with divorce so prevalent, this is no longer true. If we are extremely fortunate, we will know a few individuals throughout our lives who offer unlimited opportunities for learning. Be this parent-child, or partners for life, the potential is reason for rejoicing.
2 – Our Society
Sometimes, in our society, we move far away from our birth city, and far away also from our parents. The same holds true for our children. If our primary relationship is intact, we will continue to learn from our partner. But one source also is the friends that we make along the way. Most will eventually fade from our lives, and therefore not be the lifelong relationship that this passage proclaims as so pivotal to our lives.
3 – Keep Relationships Intact
It is good to keep our relationships intact, even if separated by distance. In this era of e-mail, this is more easily done than previously. Phone calls, of course, can continue as well. We would be wise, in all likelihood, never to let anybody fade from our lives permanently–at least, anybody who was once significant. This is an ideal, though, and few of us will be fortunate enough to find it.
4 – Lifelong Relationships Are Few
“These relationships are generally few, because their existence implies that those involved have reached a stage simultaneously in which the teaching-learning balance is actually perfect. (M8)”
We won’t have many lifelong relationships, though those with our parents, until death do us part, are the most common. Those with our siblings are next. But the best, for us, is a lifelong partnership with our significant other—if we are so lucky, for divorce is so very common these days. Nothing seems stable in an unstable world.
5 – “Brother” as Significant Other
The “brother” that is often mentioned is, I think, your significant other. If we don’t have one significant other, it is likely that A Course in Miracles will not interest you quite so much. A widow whom I tried to interest in ACIM (she was a minister) just did not find anything which resonated with her, and I think it is because her beloved husband had died several years earlier.
6 – Forgiveness
If we forgive our brother/sister of any and all wrongdoing (as we perceive it), then we are well on our way to following the pathway whom that A Course in Miracles points out. This forgiveness thing is tricky, for all too often even long-term students/teachers of ACIM will dip into what Song of Prayer calls “forgiveness-to-destroy.” That is when we think we forgive out of a sense of superiority, that the person does not really deserve forgiveness, but because we are “spiritual,” we say that we pardon. We do not really pardon. We hold the offense against them, forgetting that we are in an illusion that we ourselves have devised. It is impossible to be unfairly treated (ACIM statement). May we remember this truth when we are believing that we are treated unjustly by our brother. Even if he/she has done or said something really bad, still is this true. We may have to distance ourselves to avoid abuse, but still this is true. We cannot be unfairly treated, for our Self devises the things that we become involved in.
7 – Hostility?
“This does not mean that they necessarily recognize this; in fact, they generally do not. They may even be quite hostile to each other for some time, and perhaps for life. Yet should they decide to learn it, the perfect lesson is before them and can be learned. (M8)”
Lifelong partners do not always get along. And they will not, in such cases, realize how well-suited for each other they really are. Let us remember today. We are in a partnership for a reason, and we ought to try to learn what that reason is. We need to drop hostility from our group of emotions. Our brother/sister does not deserve this. Only when we forgive others, can we forgive ourselves. It just works this way. And our own unforgiveness thus will always return to haunt us.
8 – Saviors
“And if they decide to learn that lesson, they become the saviors of the teachers who falter and may even seem to fail. No teacher of God can fail to find the Help he needs. (M8)”
9 – Perfect Lesson
So when we learn the perfect lesson from our significant other, we can become saviors of others. We can say the right thing at the right time. We can share salvation. What better way to spend our day, than to share it with those we love?
10 – Holy Spirit
This “Help” is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit always provides—never fear. He is there for us through thick and thin. He guides us to what is best for us. If we listen to His guidance, we will lead a charmed life. Others may not understand what causes the charm, but this is the secret: Following the Holy Spirit’s guidance. How do you do that? Check out the many ways that I identified in the blog posting, “The Gift of Guidance.” Enter gift and guidance and hales to bring it up. This is a posting based on an article featured in Miracles magazine, published by Jon Mundy. Thank you for reading.
Thank you for the lifelong relationships that I have, and have had. May I come to understand what a teaching-learning balance really means.
I ask you to help me keep my relationships intact. If I have lost someone from my life, and it seems feasible to reach out once again, may I have the courage to reach out.