I. Right Teaching and Right Learning, P 5
5 Every good teacher hopes to give his students so much of his own learning that they will one day no longer need him. This is the one true goal of the teacher. It is impossible to convince the ego of this, because it goes against all of its own laws. But remember that laws are set up to protect the continuity of the system in which the lawmaker believes. It is natural for the ego to try to protect itself once you have made it, but it is not natural for you to want to obey its laws unless you believe them. The ego cannot make this choice because of the nature of its origin. You can, because of the nature of yours.
What Jesus is teaching me is that I am not the ego, but I have an ego. I am the maker of the ego and am confused in my identity, thinking that I am what I made. Since my true identity is spirit, I don’t need to be taught, but I do need help in remembering the truth. The ego cannot make a choice for sane thinking because it was made to avoid right-minded thinking. It was made as an alternative to truth. But, I can make a choice to believe the ego thinking or to believe the truth because of the nature of my origin. I was created Truth, and though it can be forgotten, it cannot be lost.
Jesus was the first to realize the truth of his nature and to remember who he is. Since he had found his way out, he chose to set up a plan (Atonement) to help us all escape the cycle of the ego’s dream of death and to return ourselves to God. So far, what I understand about this plan is twofold. First, I am to accept healing through allowing the Holy Spirit to heal my mind. Second, I am to share what I am given through surrendering my body to the Holy Spirit to use as a teaching device.
The first phase, allowing my mind to be healed, occurs as I let down my defenses and invite healing. When I stop protecting my beliefs they are corrected for me. I protect my beliefs from being healed when I insist they must be true. For instance, I might say that there is no death, and I think that must be true, but then I hear that someone is very sick with stage four cancer and is waiting for death.
On hearing the news that this person is dying of cancer, my first thought is that their death is inevitable. I see that I believe in death, and I protect that belief from the Holy Spirit when I insist that in some cases death cannot be overcome. My belief is now that at some point, even the Will of God is not strong enough to overcome the death of a body riddled with cancer. This belief is my defense against God, and while I defend my belief there is nothing the Holy Spirit can do to heal my mind.
What can I do when I feel trapped by my own beliefs? I can recognize that my mind is confused. I can give this confusion to the Holy Spirit and ask that He purify my thoughts. I can ask that He heal my mind of the belief in death and suffering. No matter what my wrong-minded thought might be, the solution is the same. The temptation at that point is to look at the illusion to see if my prayer worked and if I do not see evidence of success to judge myself as being inadequate and unworthy. If this happens, I simply have another thought to be healed. My part is simply to accept the Atonement, that is, to ask for and accept the healing of my mind.
The second part of the plan is for me to join with my brother for the one purpose of healing. I do this in many ways. Sometimes the joining is of minds with no action and no words. Sometimes, I am to allow my body to be used for this purpose. I do this as I put aside my own thoughts about it and welcome the Holy Spirit to live me. The words I speak may sound like my words, but they are words I did not decide on. The actions may look like something I would have done, but again, I did not make that decision.
My experience is that, like the first phase of mind healing, this second part, the surrender of self, is at first inconsistent. But as I learn to trust and allow more and more healing of my mind, I find that I am becoming more willing to be a clear channel for healing. In fact, I find that surrender is sweet and peaceful. I absolutely astound myself when I turn from the Will of God and choose self-will instead. Why would I do that, when it is so painful? Sigh.
If I love teaching because it is my assurance of learning, and if I love surrender because it is so natural, the ego hates these things because it wants to be in control. The ego wants the sense of self, and in fact, the ego thinks to lose this sense of self is annihilation. Of course, this is the reason I turn from the peace of God to self-will. I still become confused about my identity and think I am the ego and its fear becomes my fear.
The ego’s love of teaching is self-centered because that is its nature. It wants to be “The Teacher” and to use teaching, not as a learning device, but as a way to prop up its flagging self-worth. So naturally, the ego does not want to lose its students. Jesus wants to teach us all he knows so that we will have all that he has. The ego’s purpose in teaching is to remain teacher, and so there is no real joining, and therefore no healing. I hear that voice in my head that longs for adoration, but, “Thank you, God,” I don’t believe it.