Manual for Teachers: 4.I.A. Development of Trust
What induces the Son of God to make the shift to Power?
Paragraph 3. First, they must go through what might be called “a period of undoing.” This need not be painful, but all the separated ones appear to experience it as such. It seems as if things are being taken away, yet it is merely that their lack of value has been recognized. Initially the lack of value is rarely understood, so it is perceived as a struggle to let these things go. Struggle is of the ego, so how can the lack of value be seen if the person is still seeing things through the eyes of ego, and not through Christ’s vision? Things must be seen differently, to be perceived differently, yes?
Now think about it. Are there many thoughts in your mind, things in your life, and actions that you take every day that are not necessary? Are there even relationships where you have learned all that you can learn, that are unnecessarily taking your time and delaying your return home? And are you spending too much of your time, and allotting too much space in your mind, to unnecessary detail and minutia? It is these that Jesus is teaching us to UNDO.
Yet many of God’s teachers are not at the point where they can make the shift entirely internally from valuelessness to value as yet. And so the plan will sometimes call for changes in what seem to be external circumstances. Even if they are not seen that way at first, these changes are always helpful. When the teacher of God has learned that much, he goes on to the second stage.
So the first stage is a period of undoing (unnecessary thoughts, things and actions, and even time-consuming relationships). The teacher of God must learn that this is always helpful.
Paragraph 4. Next, the teacher of God must go through “a period of sorting out.” This is always somewhat difficult because, having learned that the changes in his life are always helpful, he must now decide all things on the basis of whether they increase the helpfulness or hamper it. He will find that many, if not most, of the things he valued before will merely hinder his ability to transfer what he has learned to new situations as they arise.
“Because he has valued what is really valueless, he will not generalize the lesson for fear of loss and sacrifice.” He is willing to let some things go, those that appear to be less valuable, but not willing to let other things go, because his attachment to those things is more tenacious and it would appear as too great a loss for him to bear at this moment in time. So at this stage he can choose to let go of some valueless things, but cannot generalize it to ALL valueless things. Yet as his willingness to follow God increases, his adherence to things that are valueless will decrease.
It takes great learning to understand that all things, events, encounters and circumstances are helpful. It is only to the extent to which they are helpful than any degree of reality should be accorded them in this world of illusion. So the word “value,” then, can apply only to those things that are helpful, and to nothing else. This is not the way the world sees the idea of “value,” is it?
So the second stage is a period of sorting out according to what is helpful (for advancement and growth), and what is not, which is called its “value.”
Paragraph 5. The third stage through which the teacher of God must go can be called “a period of relinquishment.” If this is interpreted as giving up those things we consider to be desirable, then this stage can engender enormous conflict. Few of God’s teachers escape this distress entirely.
There is no point in sorting out the valuable form the valueless, however, unless we take the next obvious step of relinquishing that which is NOT valuable. Therefore, the period of overlap is apt to be one in which the teacher of God feels called upon to sacrifice his own best interests on behalf of truth. He has not realized as yet how wholly impossible such a demand would be!
He can learn this only as he actually does give up the valueless. Through this, he learns that where he anticipated grief, he finds a happy lightheartedness instead, a feeling of freedom that defies worldly logic. Where he thought something was asked of him, he finds instead a gift bestowed upon him! (“Hmm, relinquishment is not what I thought it would be. I actually like it." ☺ )
So the third stage is a period of relinquishing the valueless to make room for the valuable (a necessary step to gain freedom from illusion).
Paragraph 6. Now comes “a period of settling down.” This is a quiet time, in which the teacher of God rests a while in reasonable peace. Now he consolidates his learning. Now he begins to see the transfer value of what he has learned. He sees that this learning can apply to any and all things, ideas, circumstances, situations, relationships and events. Its potential is literally staggering, and the teacher of God is now at the point in his progress at which he sees in it his whole way out!
“Give up what you do not want, and keep what you do.” (6:6)
How simple is the obvious! And how easy to do! The teacher of God needs this period of respite. He has not yet come as far as he thinks, however. Yet when he is ready to go on, he goes with mighty companions beside him. For now, he rests a while, and gathers his mighty companions of trust, truth and wisdom before going on. He will not go on from here alone.
Thus, the fourth stage is a period of settling down, where he experiences peace, consolidates his learning, and begins to see his whole way out of bondage from the world of ego.
Paragraph 7. The next stage is indeed “a period of unsettling.” Now must the teacher of God understand that he did not really know what was valuable and what was valueless. All that he really learned so far was that he did not want the valueless, and that he did want the valuable. Yet his own sorting out was meaningless in teaching him the difference.
The idea of sacrifice, so central to his own thought system, had made it impossible for the teacher of God to judge. He thought he had learned willingness, but now sees that he does not know what the willingness is for. And now he must attain a state that may remain impossible to reach for a long, long time.
“He must lay all judgment aside, and ask only what he really wants in every circumstance.” (7:8)
This would be hard indeed, were not each step in this direction so heavily reinforced.
So the fifth stage is a period of unsettling, where he understands he wants the valuable and not the valueless, yet also understands he does not know the difference! Now he must lay aside judgment and ask for Help in his sorting.
Paragraph 8. And finally, there is “a period of achievement.” It is here that learning is consolidated. Now what was seen as merely shadows before become solid gains, to be counted on in all “emergencies” as well as tranquil times. Ideas of truth and trust do not completely penetrate the mind of the teacher of God until experience comes to support them. Yet when all lessons are truly learned, indeed, the tranquility is their result; the outcome of honest learning, consistency of thought and full transfer.
“This is the stage of real peace, for here is Heaven’s state fully reflected.” From here, the way to Heaven is open and easy. In fact, it is here. Who would “go” anywhere, if peace of mind is already complete? And who would seek to change tranquility for something more desirable? What could be more desirable than this?
So the last stage is a period of achievement, a period of tranquility, where learning is consolidated into something the teacher of God understands and can transfer to ALL things, and utilize them on behalf of the Kingdom of Heaven where GOD IS.
In summary, the advanced teacher of God looks on the world with total trust. He has learned that “all things, events, encounters and circumstances are helpful.” (4:5) They point the way to what is valuable and what is not. He knows everything is under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. He knows that there is no such thing as randomness, that even the wild winds blow with his best interests in mind. For he trusts that, despite appearances, the world is under the Laws of God. The world is governed by the unseen Power of God, a Power that is also in him who is God’s Son. Thus, he has no need to push the flow. He does act; he decides to go right instead of left; he decides to do this instead of that; he sorts what is valuable from what is valueless. But he makes none of these decisions by himself. His actions flow from his connection with Christ, with the unseen Power. Thus, as the Power directs, he will invite everyone into his heart as does Jesus; he will share his love with all the Sonship, because he trusts the Christ in them. He trusts that only GOD IS.