Manual for Teachers: Characteristics: 4.IV. Gentleness
“Harm is impossible for God’s teachers.” They can neither harm nor be harmed. Why? Because harm is the outcome of judgment. It is the dishonest act that follows a dishonest thought. It is a verdict of guilt upon a brother, and therefore oneself. It is the end of peace and the denial of learning. It demonstrates the absence of God’s curriculum, and its replacement by insanity.
No teacher of God but must learn – and fairly early in his training – that harmfulness completely obliterates his function from his awareness. It will make him confused, fearful, angry and suspicious. It will make the Holy Spirit’s lessons impossible to learn. Nor can God’s Teacher be heard at all, except by those who realize that harm can actually achieve nothing. No gain can come of it.
Therefore, God’s teachers are wholly gentle. They need the strength of His gift of gentleness, for it is in this that the function of salvation (finding our way back to God) becomes easy. To those who would do harm, it is impossible. To those to whom harm has no meaning, it is natural.
What choice but this has meaning to the sane? Who chooses hell when he perceives a way to Heaven? “And who would choose the weakness that must come from harm in place of the unfailing, all-encompassing, and limitless strength of gentleness?” (IV.2:9)
Yet have we all had the experience of trying politely to be heard while no one listened, only to finally receive a response only when we raised the volume of our voice? The world sometimes appears so set in its ways that only force appears to be able to push the wheels out of its ruts -- yet then we are likely to get run over by the unexpected harshness of the response that was forced.
The advanced teacher, however, thinks this whole picture is completely upside down. He actually considers harsh tactics too weak to effect real change. He knows that projecting harshness will only reflect the same. In his eyes, gentleness is the strongest power there is, and he sees the evidence of this on a daily basis. He sees that one gentle touch can reach someone when nothing else will, that one gentle word can be more effective than all the raucous shrieks and vain imaginings of the ego.
Experience has taught him that the power of gentleness is the power of love, and is, indeed, the power of God. For love is gentle, and God is Love. Gentleness is thus more than just kindness and amiable behavior. It is a state of mind that mirrors the nature of God, and so taps into His infinite power. That is why the truly gentle are some of God’s most effective miracle workers. And that is why the meek shall inherit the earth. According to the Course, “They will literally take it over because of their strength.” (T-2.II.7-5)
“God is indeed your strength, and what He gives is truly given. This means that you can receive it anytime and anywhere, wherever you are, and in whatever circumstance you find yourself. Your passage through time and space is not at random. You cannot but be in the right place at the right time. Such is the strength of God. Such are His Gifts.” (W-42.2:1-6)
“The might of God’s teachers lies in their gentleness, for they have understood their evil thought came neither from God’s Son nor his Creator. Thus did they join their thoughts with Him Who is their Source. And so their will, which always was His Own, is free to be itself.” (IV.2:8-10) GOD IS.
MANUAL FOR TEACHERS
1. Harmfulness completely obliterates the function of the teacher of God from his awareness. It will make the Holy Spirit’s lessons impossible to learn. Therefore, God’s teachers are wholly gentle.
2. Projecting harshness will reflect the same. A gentle touch, a gentle word, can move mountains.
3. The power of gentleness is the power of love.
4. "The meek shall inherit the earth. They will literally take it over because of their strength.” (T-2.II.7:5)
5. “The might of God’s teachers lies in their gentleness, for they have understood their evil thought came neither from God’s Son nor his Creator.” (M-4.IV.2:8)