Tag Archives: teacher

Jesus’s Embrace

1 – The Well-Known Passage from ACOL

“[This treatise] will continue the view from within the embrace, an embrace and a view that is inclusive of all. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: A Treatise on the New, 1.1)”

2 – Beautiful

The passage immediately above refers to one of the most beautiful (and beautifully written) passages in the first volume of A Course of Love. The “embrace” in that first volume was an invitation from Jesus to come into his arms, and to be at peace and at rest. He recognized then that many (maybe all) of us are tired from seeking, and that the ways of this world have taken their toll on us. He would have to rest awhile in the embrace, to feel his loving presence, to know that all is well.

3 – Jesus

The embrace in ACOL is essentially an assertion that Jesus is there for us when times are tough.
A Course in Miracles is to the mind what A Course of Love is to the heart. We are bade elsewhere to live in “wholeheartedness,” a combining of the mind and heart in Jesus’s loving embrace. He never leaves us comfortless. In Matthew, in the Sermon on the Mount, we too see this quality in Jesus. His reassurances are comforting in the extreme.

4 – ACIM

Jesus says in A Course in Miracles that he will come to us in response to “one unequivocal call.” He says the same thing, in different words, in several places in the Text of ACIM. We are told at one point to think of us holding his hand, and encouraged to realize that this will be “no idle fantasy.”

5 – Comprehend?

Now we do not understand how we can hold Jesus’s hand, nor how we can embrace him. But he seems to be recommending that we think of his physical self in our imagination. And, as Joan of Arc said, God speaks to us in our imagination. And I do not mean “fantasies.” Our imagination, informed by the Holy Spirit, can be good and true. Fantasies, on the other hand—especially “idle fantasy”—is discouraged by Jesus in A Course in Miracles.

6 – All Are Included

Note that the passage from ACOL emphasizes that all are included in the embrace. Jesus will soon say that “all are chosen.” This is a reemphasis of the statement in A Course in Miracles, a statement that became book titles for Kenneth Wapnick, a scholar and student/teacher of A Course in Miracles. Ken wrote books entitled, All Are Chosen, and Few Choose to Listen, quoting ACIM. I think that Jesus is saying in A Course of Love that all are chosen, and not only that, but perhaps we might imagine that those of us who are reading his words in A Course of Love do “choose to listen.” May we choose to listen aright, no longer letting the ego rule our lives.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I rest awhile in the warmth of Jesus’s embrace. May I know that this embrace is always there for me, to give me comfort and solace. This world bears heavily on us, sometimes, despite our best efforts. Thank You for the words of Jesus that what he offers is the rest and safety that we all need.

May I learn today what it is like to walk a path close to Jesus, to have him walk beside me as I hold his hand. May my imagination kick into high gear as the concepts overwhelm me. This is a joyous way to walk, leaving nothing out that we need, knowing that our needs are being met by the companionship of our teacher and our leader.

Thank You for being there for us. May I never forget that prayers to You give my day a greater benefit not only to myself, but to my brothers and sisters also. May I be alert to the guidance that is there for the taking. May I listen for the unheard, but felt, whispers of the heart–of the wholeheartedness–that tell me what to say or do next.

Amen.

Holy Spirit = Teacher Who Cannot Make a Mistake

1 – His Answers

“Be glad you have a Teacher Who cannot make a mistake. His answers are always right. Would you say that of yours? (M70)”

2 – Holy Spirit

The Teacher here is the Holy Spirit. And this is yet another prodding that we will follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

3 – Probing Question

The probing question, “Would you say that of yours?,” referring to the correctness of our answers, if insightful. Certainly we know that we make mistakes, and that our answers about what to do in various situations are not always correct. Indeed, they are perhaps more frequently wrong than right. This is what behooves us to follow a higher guidance.

4 – Intuition

We have earlier indicated a number of ways that the Holy Spirit speaks to us. Probably the most common is what we usually call intuition. This means that we go against the teaching of this world, in that we are taught to rely on our judgment. The Course counsels just the reverse, noting in significant passages that our judgment is frequently wrong because we cannot see the whole picture.

5 – Advantage

“There is another advantage,–and a very important one,–in referring decisions to the Holy Spirit with increasing frequency. Perhaps you have not thought of this aspect, but its centrality is obvious. To follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance is to let yourself be absolved of guilt. It is the essence of the Atonement. It is the core of the curriculum. The imagined usurping of functions not your own is the basis of fear. (M70)”

6 – Guilt

To be absolved of guilt is actually the primary reason that we ought to follow the Holy Spirit, for guilt is madness, and madness and judging are why the Awakening do not come to us. As long as we are lost in madness, we will judge; it is just that simple. And when we give up judging, we will welcome, by God for us, the Awakening. We will awake when we give up judging (an ACIM tenet).

7 – Judgments

When we take on functions that are not ours—making judgments about our own pathway—we are actually usurping what belongs to Another. And that Other is the Holy Spirit. Our world trains for a totally different world view. Our world trains for self-reliance, but how good has this been for us? Not very good at all, because we can’t know all the circumstances when we make a decision. We can’t see the past, present, and future—all that impinge on a given decision. So how much better it is to rely on One Who does know! Let us not forget this.

8 – Not Folly

So let us give up our judgments about what to do to the Holy Spirit, Who will guide us in daily life. This is not folly; it is the soundest good sense. Nobody can make accurate judgments when so much depends on what we don’t know. And we are not omnipresent.

9 – Fear

“To return the function to the One to Whom it belongs is thus the escape from fear. And it is this that lets the memory of love return to you. Do not, then, think that following the Holy Spirit’s guidance is necessary merely because of your own inadequacies. It is the way out of hell for you. (M70)”

10 – Hell

Let us escape from fear today. Let us get out of hell. Fear is hell, the hell on earth that we make for ourselves. And there is a simple way out.

11 – Misinterpretation

Now, we will not always follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit. There will be times when we misinterpret, when we think we understand and really don’t understand. We will think that we see two ways to go; there is only one, but we are not infallible.

12 – Stubborn

We will also get stubborn sometimes. We will decide where and how we want to go, and when we get a nudge to change directions, we won’t want to do so.

13 – Change Directions

Change directions as soon as you can bring yourself to do so, to make that altered direction the one that you really want. The Holy Spirit will make it easy for us. He will let us know what to do, and as soon as we can make the switch, our lives will smooth out.

14 – Jesus

This is Jesus’s promise.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Once again I find that I am negligent in always following the guidance that I receive. I fall down when I don’t follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit. May my understanding be honed so that I ascertain rightly, and may I then walk quietly and calmly into Your light.

Thank you for providing this sure guidance. I have not always followed, but I have known of Your guidance for many years. When I have followed Your guidance, I have been happy.

Amen.

When We See in Another Person the Same Interests as Our Own, We Have Made the One Decision that Made Us a Teacher for Him/Her.

1 – One Goal

“Those who would learn the same course share one interest and one goal. And thus he who was the learner becomes a teacher of God himself, for he has made the one decision that gave his teacher to him. He has seen in another person the same interests as his own. (M6)”

2 – Loved Ones

Those whom we have loved are likely to be the ones in whom we have seen the same interests. And, even if these brothers and sisters have left our lives, still there is a tie one to another. We have seen in those people the same interests as our own.

3 – Teachers

We do not always recognize when a teacher has entered our lives. Only as time passes do we recognize the new insight that he or she is giving us. Teachers of A Course in Miracles share one interest and one goal–as well as one philosophy. This is a blessing in and of itself.

4 – All One

To see in another person the same interests as our own is to recognize that we are all One. Surely this will speed our way toward Awakening, because it is certain that we cannot reach that final healing on our own.

5 – Self-Doubt

It is important to note that we are teaching ourselves, even as we teach ACIM. Our version of ACIM differs from any other’s version. And we are learning at least as much as the person we are teaching. Teaching always diminishes self-doubt. (These are ACIM tenets.)

6 – Proselytize?

What a glorious way to spend our time! But we don’t proselytize when people are unready. I have quoted often in this blog the truth that sometimes, maybe often, all that a person is ready for is a smile (ACIM tenet). It is a maxim of all religious conversion that if we try to force the issue with an unbeliever, we will fail. We will turn that person even more against the creed that we are trying to promulgate. This alone ought to cause us pause for thought, and ensure that we don’t proceed into proselytizing when our thoughts and words are unwelcome.

7 – When the Student Is Ready. . .

Those who are ready will find us. When the student is ready, the teacher will appear—a old maxim. And ACIM says that that the students assigned to us will begin to look for us as soon as we have answered the call. This call is the greatest way that we can spend our day. Often we spend our day by example, not overt words. So it behooves us to represent A Course in Miracles well. That means forgiveness, and love, extended to others.

8 – Forgiveness

Remember that forgiveness has a sound basis that prevents our rights from being sacrificed. In a sense, we forgive to help ourselves, for resentments place a pall over our lives. When we pardon, we always feel lighter and more at ease with religious principles. Intuitively and consciously, we realize that forgiveness, or pardon, is the right action. Sometimes forgiveness is entirely internal, but if the situation seems propitious, we can share with others our pardon of them. Be careful not to allow forgiveness-to-destroy to contaminate your interactions. This false method of forgiveness, described in Song of Prayer, means that we don’t forget the misthought or misdeed. We think that we are better persons for our forgiveness, and therefore forgive out of that “superiority.” This is false thinking. We forgive and forget. This dynamic does not mean that the attack/anger that we are forgiving will be more likely to be repeated. Actually, the more we keep bad things in our minds, the more likely that this behavior on the part of another will be repeated. When we release (as in the Sedona Method: Could you let it go? Would you let it go? When?), the way is cleared for a happy day for all concerned.

9 – Time

Remember that only time separates the teacher from the student, and time does not really exist. In actuality, we are teaching each other, for the teacher is not really the teacher any more than the student is solely the student (from the ACIM Manual). We are caught in a learning environment, though when we have proceeded farther toward Awakening, we will cease learning and let the inner Christ Self inform our decisions (from A Course of Love). For now, though, we listen to the Holy Spirit. Sometimes this means that we in fact see words come into our minds. This is a form of hallucinatory advice. But it is not mental illness, but very likely the way that the Old Testament prophets “heard” God. Julian Jaynes, in Origin of Consciousness in the Bicameral Mind, explains this phenomenon as it appeared centuries ago. His thesis is still controversial, but well worth exploring.

10 – Hallucinations

To “hallucinate” an intuition is not frightful, for the advice coming has the clarity that one’s own thought from one’s own personal self lacks. We are, I think, speaking with our Inner Wisdom, a term used by a friend of mine who has experienced Awakening, and sustained the Awakening for over 30 years.

11 – We Are in This Together

So let us be both teachers and students for each other. There is no difference. We need each other, for we are in this together.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to see in my brothers and sisters the same interests as my own. We want the same things–love, peace, joy, and a sense of aliveness about life. The Course can show us the way.

Help me to share the Course in the way that these books can best be received. May the Holy Spirit guide me in my interpretations, keeping me from mistakes and leading my brothers and sisters to Home.

Amen.

Time Goes Backward to an Instant So Ancient that It Is Beyond All Memory

“Time really, then, goes backward to an instant so ancient that it is beyond all memory, and past even the possibility of remembering. Yet because it is an instant that is relived again and again and still again, it seems to be now. And thus it is that pupil and teacher seem to come together in the present, finding each other as if they had not met before. (M5)”

1 – Difficult Passage

This is a difficult passage, but one that is central to the Course’s tenets. Time, which really doesn’t exist, does in our world go backwards for eons, and in our world we relive that instant over and over. We have met everyone whom we encounter sometime before. “Everyone” includes our pupils, for only time separates us all from being teachers of God. This is theology, and if we can’t accept this assertion now, then just lay it aside for a while. It is better to focus on an experience. (ACIM tenets.)

2 – Pupils

Moreover, in interpreting a bit from A Course in Miracles, we are all pupils also. There are those who are more advanced than are we, who teach us. Indeed, the Course says that all of us are teaching all the time, because we cannot avoid it.

3 – Healing

It is good to know that our brothers and sisters are familiar to us, that we have met before. When the going seems rough with any of them, we can realize that we are working out our problems with each other. Surely this is reassuring. If the time of healing seems a long way off, we must be patient, for time indeed will work to heal when we follow guidance.

4 – When Pupil and Teacher Come Together. . .

“When pupil and teacher come together, a teaching-learning situation begins. For the teacher is not really the one who does the teaching. God’s Teacher speaks to any two who join together for learning purposes. (M6)”

This passage reiterates that we are teaching and learning all the time, and the two cannot be separated. And even a teacher does not really do the teaching, for the Holy Spirit—God’s Teacher—is informing the discussion. Of course, I do not believe that this means that we are beyond making mistakes in our interpretations of ACIM or of anything else that we say. We do make mistakes, and we need to be aware that we are very, very far from infallible. The ego would remind us of this constantly, for the ego believes that to think that we are led by the Holy Spirit in our speaking is arrogance.

5 – Holy Spirit

To believe that we are led by the Holy Spirit is not arrogance. It is the most supreme good sense. Only when we are listening to guidance do we speak wisely. And this comes only in communion, in opening ourselves up to what we “hear” internally. This does not mean that we are mentally ill—quite the reverse. We are more sane than we have ever been.

6 – A Course of Love

In A Course of Love, believed by many to be a sequel to ACIM and believed to be channeled by Jesus, we learn that the inner Christ Self becomes our guidance. It is said that the time of the Holy Spirit is over, and that the time of Christ is here. But right now, in this blog, we are considering A Course in Miracles, and this work is consistent in giving credit to the Holy Spirit, or Universal Inspiration.

7 – Walking Farther Along

Is there really any difference? When we have walked further along the pathway home, we will be more open to the divine spark within. And ACOL calls that spark the Christ.

8 – Holy Relationship

“The relationship is holy because of that purpose, and God has promised to send His Spirit into any holy relationship. (M6)”

Our purpose with each other determines what we will accomplish. Our relationship to our brother/sister is our way home, in the way of A Course in Miracles. We seek to let the Holy Spirit transform all of our special relationships into holy. At the point that the transition is made, the relationship will appear, to our limited eyes, to be dysfunctional. And we may break off the relationship at this point and seek a new relationship that will accomplish the old goals. Yet, if we persevere, we are at the point of greatest achievement. We will move into a new day in our most significant relationships. When the relationships have turned holy, we will consistently offer pardon, knowing that nothing bad has ever happened in reality.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank you that You have taught me that I have met all my brothers and sisters, whom I encounter, earlier. I do not understand how time can go backward, but let me accept Jesus at his word.

Please help me to say and do the right things with my brothers and sisters to lead them to You. Whether I am a pupil or teacher at the time, may I learn from You.

Amen.

Bridge the Distance between Heaven and Hell

“Yet you will not become the bridge.  You refuse to recognize that the Christ in you provides the bridge that you need only walk across to bridge the distance between heaven and hell, between your separated self and union with God and all your brothers and sisters.  (A Course of Love, P.20)”

Affirmation:  “bridge the distance between heaven and hell”

Reflections:

1 – The Bridge

We are not the bridge that will save us.  But the Christ in us does provide the bridge.  We think too much of ourselves, even though we are children of God, when we think that we are the bridge.  The Christ in us, as I read this, has been waiting patiently for recognition, and the time is now for us to so recognize Him/Her.

2 – Union

We walk into heaven, even while living on earth, in this world, when we unite with God in our own knowing, as well as unite with our brothers and sisters.  This is our way out of hell.  A Course in Miracles also offers advice about what is our way out of hell.  The two discussions seem to my mind to be a unity in and of themselves.  We might think of A Course of Love as Jesus’s additional commentary to help us, for many of us stay “stuck” in A Course in Miracles, doing the Workbook over and over, and frustrated that we don’t seem to know Awakening, even after all of our trying.  We are to cease being our own teacher; Jesus is our elder brother, who teaches us for a time, and then, by the conclusion of the third volume in the trilogy of A Course of Love, even he has resigned as our teacher.  He presents himself at that point as our equal.  But he never deserts us, and for that we can be very, very grateful.  Indeed, the gratitude may help to make the truth of this interpretation from Jesus, the truth for us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May we unite with God and with our brothers and sisters.  This is the only way for us to realize our inheritance from God, the inheritance of joy and peace and harmony that is meant for us as children of God.

May we know heaven on earth.  May our neuroses fade away even as our ego withers.

Amen.