I. Right Teaching and Right Learning, P 3, 4
3 Spirit need not be taught, but the ego must be. Learning is ultimately perceived as frightening because it leads to the relinquishment, not the destruction, of the ego to the light of spirit. This is the change the ego must fear, because it does not share my charity. My lesson was like yours, and because I learned it I can teach it. I will never attack your ego, but I am trying to teach you how its thought system arose. When I remind you of your true creation, your ego cannot but respond with fear.
Jesus is emphasizing that the ego must be taught, and he is warning me that this teaching is going to be perceived as frightening to the ego. Even though relinquishment to the light is not its destruction, the ego feels threatened and will resist. Understanding this, there is no need to feel upset when I seem to resist the very thing I am trying to attain.
For instance, I have been using the prayer, “Reveal to me my innocence.” This prayer is very important to my ultimate goal, which is to return my mind to God, and yet I resist the thing I ask for. I judge myself and I see guilt everywhere I look. The ego mind, which I am still identified with, is terrified of change of this magnitude. When I resist my own desires it confuses me and makes me doubt myself, but understanding why I resist makes me feel more comfortable with this behavior. It is to be expected and doesn’t mean anything. With this clarity I am at ease with simply continuing my practice and disregarding the ego resistance.
4 Teaching and learning are your greatest strengths now, because they enable you to change your mind and help others to change theirs. Refusing to change your mind will not prove that the separation has not occurred. The dreamer who doubts the reality of his dream while he is still dreaming is not really healing his split mind. You dream of a separated ego and believe in a world that rests upon it. This is very real to you. You cannot undo it by not changing your mind about it. If you are willing to renounce the role of guardian of your thought system and open it to me, I will correct it very gently and lead you back to God.
This sentence made me laugh. The dreamer who doubts the reality of his dream while he is still dreaming is not really healing his split mind. I laughed because that is what I do. It is such a good ego plan. I say I want to wake up and the ego part of my mind that doesn’t want to wake up proposes a compromise. I can learn that I am dreaming this life, which satisfies the spiritual ego, while never moving further out of the dream, which soothes the ego’s fears of destruction.
Jesus is reminding us that we really believe in our story of a separate ego and a whole world that rests upon it. If we believe that we are living this life, how can we teach ourselves that we are not actually living this life? It just is not possible. I can teach myself that this is a dream, but it will all be just a concept that I do not actually believe because I am
believing the opposite.
There is only one way out of this and that is the plan of Atonement. Jesus found the exit and he is teaching us so that we, too, can get out. The only thing we have to do is to stop guarding our beliefs so that they can be changed. I am not being asked to do the impossible. I am not being asked to believe something that is diametrically opposed to my beliefs. I am asked only to stop defending those beliefs, to open my mind to the Holy Spirit, and allow them to be corrected for me.
The only thing stopping me from taking this easy step is my fear of change. I really do believe that allowing change to the ego thought system will destroy me. Jesus is using A Course in Miracles to gently teach me that this is not true. His whole job here apparently, is to convince me that I don’t have to be afraid of God, which is my true nature, my true Self.
That’s it! That’s all that is required of me! I only need to believe Jesus when he tells me that he relinquished his fear and it was ok. Not only did nothing bad happen, but it was actually salvation. Just let go of my fear, let my defenses go, and I am healed. I return to knowing instead of perceiving. I return to true creation. I return to bliss.