Manual For Teachers: 3. What are the Levels of Teaching?
1. “The teachers of God have no set teaching level.” Each teaching-learning situation involves a different relationship at the beginning, although the ultimate goal is always the same:
. . . to make of the relationship a holy relationship,
in which both can look upon the Son of God as sinless. (1.2)
In order to see the Son of God as sinless, it would help if you looked at your brother through Christ’s vision. In fact, it is necessary to look at your brother with Christ’s vision. For with the body’s eyes you see many errors, incompatibilities, upsets, irritations and differences. To see with Christ’s vision entails giving up the ego and its judgment, even if for an instant, and seeing your brother with the light of the Christ Mind. Yet the ego does not want to relinquish control of your mind even for that instant, so you must be determined to focus, determined for your vision to be illumined for that instant. It only takes one instant, and you are there! “Today I let Christ’s vision look upon all things for me and judge them not . . .” (Lesson 349)
My sinless brother is my guide to peace.
My sinful brother is my guide to pain.
And which I choose to see I will behold.
There are two diametrically opposed ways of seeing your brother. They must both be in your mind, because you are the perceiver. They must also be in your brother’s mind, because you are perceiving him. See him through the Holy Spirit in his mind, and you will recognize Him in yours. What you acknowledge in your brother you are also acknowledging in yourself, and what you share you also strengthen. (T-5.III.3:1-5)
There is no one from whom a teacher of God cannot learn, so there is no one whom he cannot teach. However, from a practical point of view he cannot meet everyone, nor can everyone find him. Therefore, the plan includes very specific contacts to be made for each teacher of God. There are no accidents in salvation. Those who are to meet will meet, because together they have the potential for a holy relationship. They are ready for each other.
Yet have you ever looked at a brother, or at a situation, and stated something like “I am NOT ready for this! What was God thinking?” I will tell you. He is always LOVING. “God’s answer is some form of peace.” (Lesson 359) Not a moment goes by but what God is loving YOU! And He will never give you anything for which you are not ready. Perhaps you may not be ready by yourself, but you are not “by yourself.” God goes with you wherever you go. Remember that lesson, number 41? And how about these?
God is my strength. Vision is His gift. (Lesson 42)
Only God’s plan for salvation will work. (Lesson 71)
My mind holds only what I think with God. (Lesson 145)
I call upon God’s Name and on my own. (Lesson 183)
Your peace is with me, Father. I am safe. (Lesson 245)
To love my Father is to love His Son. (Lesson 246)
And God Himself shall wipe away all tears. (Lesson 301)
Let not my world obscure the sight of Christ. (Lesson 304)
The first step is to remember that God sees your brother as sinless, and so, then, must you.
2. “The simplest level of teaching appears to be quite superficial.” It consists of what seems to be casual encounters. Two apparent strangers in an elevator who smile at each other, a child who is not looking where he is going bumping into an adult and not being scolded, two students “happening” to walk home together. Some people are not ready for the Course yet, but may be ready for a smile, or for a kind word – and you can give them that. Yet each of them has the potential for becoming a teaching-learning situation. Even at the level of the most casual “chance” encounter, it is possible for two people to lose sight of separate interests, if only for a moment. That moment will be enough.
3. “It is difficult to understand that levels of teaching the universal course is a concept as meaningless in reality as is time.” Any level of the teaching-learning situation is part of God’s plan for Atonement, and His plan can have no levels, being a reflection of His Will. God is One, and Oneness has no levels. It is whole and complete, AS IS – and as GOD IS.
Salvation is always ready and always there. There are no levels of salvation, yet God’s teachers work at different levels and his pupils learn at different levels. Still, the result is always the same. In time, the teacher of God seems to begin to change his mind about the world with a single decision to see things differently, and then learns more and more about the new direction as he teaches it. And his pupils begin to see things differently as a reflection of the new teaching.
When the thought of separation has been changed to one of true forgiveness,
Will the world be seen in quite another light; and one which leads to truth,
Where all the world must disappear and all its errors vanish. (What is the World?)
4. “Each teaching-learning situation is maximal in the sense that each person involved will learn the most that he can from the other person at that time.” In this sense, and in this sense only, we can speak of levels of teaching. Using the term in this way, the second level of teaching is a more sustained relationship, to which, for a time, two people enter into a fairly intense teaching-learning situation and then appear to separate. As with the first level (casual encounters), these meetings are not accidental, nor is what appears to be the end of the relationship a real end. They will meet again, as it is the destiny of all relationships to become holy. God is not mistaken in His Son.
So that person whom you loved so much who left, and the one you could not stand to be around another moment, and all those in between – you will meet each and every one of them again, and your new relationship will be holy. All the “specialness” of each relationship will be gone, and only the love you share with them and with God will remain. What a blessing, what a gift!
5. “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. These lifelong 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. This does not mean 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. 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. The help may come from Spirit directly, or may come from Spirit through other teachers of God. Either way, the help is there.
To summarize: The three levels of teaching in the world are 1) casual encounters, 2) more sustained relationships, 3) lifelong relationships. Yet God’s plan has no levels, as only GOD IS.
MANUAL FOR TEACHERS
3. WHAT ARE THE LEVELS OF TEACHING?
1. The teachers of God have no set teaching level.
2. Each teaching-learning situation involves a different relationship at the beginning, although the ultimate goal is always the same: to make of the relationship a holy relationship in which both can look upon the Son of God as sinless.
3. To see the Son of God as sinless, it is necessary to use Christ’s vision, as the body’s eyes always see imperfections and differences. Let Christ’s vision look upon all things for you and judge them NOT. As your sinless brother is your guide to peace, then, your sinful brother is your guide to pain. Peace – pain. Choose only one.
4. Those who are to meet will meet because together they have the potential for a holy relationship. They are ready for each other.
5. The first step is to remember that God sees your brother as sinless, and thus so must you.
6. There are three levels of teaching. Each one involves a relationship with a brother. Each one is a teaching-learning situation.
7. The first level of teaching is “casual encounters.” You will have many of these. Everyone you encounter will at first enter this level.
8. The second level of teaching is “more sustained relationships.” Some of those “casual encounters” will develop into a fairly intense teaching-learning situation and then appear to end. You will each learn as much as you can from these relationships.
9. The third level of teaching is “lifelong relationships.” There will be few of these, and they may or may not be amicable in the beginning, or even later in the relationship. These are relationships where there is a lifetime of opportunity for both to learn, and to continue learning. And if they choose to learn the lesson that is before them, they become the saviors of the teachers who appear to falter or fail. No teacher of God can fail to find Help to learn this lesson.
10. In truth, God’s plan has no levels. His teachers appear to teach at different levels. His pupils appear to learn at different levels. But God’s plan is one, even as GOD IS.