Manual for Teachers: Introduction and Recap
Manual for Teachers
1. “The role of teaching and learning is actually reversed in the thinking of the world.”* It seems as if there is a separation between teacher and learner. The teacher teaches; the learner learns. It is further regarded as a special activity in which one engages only a relatively small portion of one’s time.
In the Course, Jesus emphasizes that to teach is to learn, that we are all teaching and demonstrating what we believe to be true all the time. So we all are both teachers and learners. Teaching and learning, then, is the same, just as we have learned that giving and receiving is the same. Teaching/learning is a constant process. Jesus says it goes on all throughout the day and into our sleeping thoughts as well. It is not just in a classroom setting or with a book in front of you.
2. “To teach is to demonstrate.”* There are only two thought systems (truth and illusion) and you demonstrate that you believe one or the other is true all the time. As you demonstrate what you believe is true, you learn what that is, and others do as well. As to whether or not you teach, there is no choice in that. As to WHAT you teach, you teach what you choose to learn. This Course provides the means for you to make the choice wisely.
Though a teacher appears to be teaching others, you learn as you study the Course that it is only yourself that you teach because you can give only to yourself, as there is only one of us here. We may appear to be many, since we take many forms, but God has only one Son and it is the Christ and the Christ is YOU. God’s Son is light, and this is what you are. Light is not divisive; it is one. Therefore, the Sonship is one. You learn this through teaching.
Therefore teaching is but a call to witnesses to attest to what you believe. This is reflected to you by these witnesses, and is not done by words alone. When you teach the truth, it will be reflected in the eyes and the manner and the light of those whom you teach. The truth seems to have a “ring” to it. As you teach, you may sometimes stop in the middle of a thought or sentence, as you recognize the “ring” of truth simply is not there. Pause, ask the Holy Spirit for guidance, and then proceed.
Any situation must be to you a chance to teach others what you are, and what they are to you, by what you think, what you say, and what you do – no more than that, but also never less. Therefore, it can perhaps be said that those who seldom interact with their brothers, may not be as ready to know who they are, or who their brother is, or even Who God is, as is someone who is open to interaction. Therefore this is a “closed” situation that must be “opened” for greater advancement in the Kingdom.
Note: Have you been in “closed” situations for some time with those who simply refuse to see you or himself/herself in the light? Do they appear to constantly be projecting darkness, and refusing to correct wrong thinking? Are you experiencing companionship with those whom you feel you have “outgrown”? Or those who perhaps continue to see you as you were, but not as you are now?
If so, then perhaps “teaching” others who you are, and meeting “new witnesses” to attest to who you are, is a good direction to take. This will then give you more validity and strength to rise above the dark testimony you have previously been receiving, into the light of the Christ. This light, then, you can bring into the “closed” situations to “open” them, and can also share this light with all your brothers – those you know now, and the ones you will be meeting.
3. “The curriculum you set up is therefore determined exclusively by what you think you are, and what you believe the relationship of others is to you.”* It will reinforce what you believe about yourself. Yet it is the teaching/learning underlying what you say that teaches you. Thus your words may or may not coincide with what you are really teaching. For example, your words may be strong even though you are experiencing weakness. So what are you actually teaching or demonstrating? The underlying weakness. You may be exhibiting anger, yet you may just be experiencing loneliness or unworthiness. You may be smiling on the outside, yet crying on the inside.
The fundamental purpose of teaching, then, is to diminish self-doubt. If you are teaching who you truly are, then self-doubt will be diminished. If you teach who you are not, then the self-doubt will remain, and perhaps even be reinforced. Sooner or later, this will change as you change your mind about who you are. And as you teach, you will change your mind. A person cannot, will not, appear to stay in the dark forever. So know there is hope for everyone. Be patient as the Holy Spirit shows you where to go, to whom to speak, what to say, and what to do. Let Him be your guide out of the darkness and into the light which you, in truth, never left (this is your guarantee that you will return).
4. “This is inevitable.”* Everyone who follows the world’s curriculum (and everyone here does follow it until he changes his mind) teaches solely to convince himself that he is what he is not. Into this hopeless and closed learning situation, which teaches nothing but despair and death, God sends His teachers. As they teach His lessons of joy and hope, their learning finally becomes complete.
5. “Except for God’s teachers there would be little hope of salvation, for the world of sin would seem forever real.”* If you are seeing yourself deceptively now, then you are teaching deception. Yet if truth is Heaven, deception must be hell. What else could it be? No one in their right mind would choose deception and hell, instead of truth and Heaven.
To fulfill the Will of God perfectly is the only joy and peace that can be fully known, because it is the only function that can be fully experienced. When this is accomplished, then, there is no other experience. So we ask for light to learn that we are light. We ask for understanding and enlightenment and the will to learn it, because our decision to learn it is the decision to listen to the Teacher Who knows of light, and can therefore teach it to us.
This is a manual for the teachers of God. They are not perfect or they would not be here. Yet it is their mission to become perfect here, and so they teach perfection over and over, in many, many ways, until they have learned it. And then they are seen no more, although their thoughts remain a source of strength and truth forever.
Who are they? How are they chosen? What do they do? How can they work out their own salvation and the salvation of the world? Are you a teacher of God?
This manual attempts to answer these questions. And as we study it together, with Jesus and the Holy Spirit joining with us to help us, we, too, will become enlightened. What more can we ask from a class than to learn who we are, who our brothers are, and Who God IS.
Father, we will to learn. We will to know that teaching and learning is the same, that giving and receiving is the same, and that every one of us is the Son of God. We will be still and listen to the truth. AMEN
*All quotes in bold are the first sentences in paragraphs 1-5 in “A Course in Miracles -- Introduction to the Manual for Teachers.
MANUAL FOR TEACHERS
1. Teaching and learning is the same. As Jesus and Holy Spirit teach through you, you learn it first, and as you learn it you teach it. Your learning is therefore passed through you to the students, and they become teachers who pass it to their students, etc. This is the plan of Atonement.
Teaching and learning continue all through the day and into your sleeping thoughts as well. The Spirit Mind never sleeps. It is always inspired, never tired.
2. “To teach is to demonstrate.” There are only two thought systems – truth and illusion. As you think, speak and act, you are demonstrating which thought system you have chosen. You may vacillate between the thought systems, and indeed you do, but you can demonstrate only one at a time. Your brothers will reflect to you which one you are projecting or extending. You will either teach the self you think is real or the Self you truly are. This Course, this class, will help you choose a thought system wisely.
3. See all situations as a chance to teach your brothers who you are, and who they are to you, by showing them which thought system you have chosen. Let each one know that you have chosen truth, that you have chosen to follow Spirit, that you are aware that God has only one Son, the Christ, and that you and your brother are the Christ. You may do this specifically with words such as these, or you may demonstrate the love in your heart through being loving in numerous ways such as by being gentle and kind and truly helpful.
4. The fundamental purpose of teaching is to diminish self-doubt. You do this by teaching who you truly are. Give Spirit your allegiance, attention and love. If you give it to the ego, you will be confused. The ego’s illusion and confusion lead to doubt, but Spirit leads to truth and certainty. Spirit is therefore the wiser choice for you to make. Judge how well you have done this by your own feelings, for this is the one right use of judgment.
5. To fulfill the Will of God perfectly is the only joy and peace that can be fully known, because it is the only function that can be fully experienced. When this is accomplished, there is no other experience. As Jesus is reputed to have said, “It is done!”