I. Right Teaching and Right Learning, P 6
6 Egos can clash in any situation, but spirit cannot clash at all. If you perceive a teacher as merely “a larger ego” you will be afraid, because to enlarge an ego would be to increase anxiety about separation. I will teach with you and live with you if you will think with me, but my goal will always be to absolve you finally from the need for a teacher. This is the opposite of the ego-oriented teacher’s goal. He is concerned with the effect of his ego on other egos, and therefore interprets their interaction as a means of ego preservation. I would not be able to devote myself to teaching if I believed this, and you will not be a devoted teacher as long as you believe it. I am constantly being perceived as a teacher either to be exalted or rejected, but I do not accept either perception for myself.
Looking at teachers as special used to be a problem for me. I saw them as having what I did not have and me as wanting it desperately. It was as if just being around them would give it to me. It was devastating to me when one of them fell off their pedestal. I had put my faith in their ego instead of their message, so when they did not live up to the message, I would be afraid this meant that the truth was not true. Another worry I had was how I looked to these teachers and how I looked in comparison to them.
When I myself first began to teach the Course there were different problems. I was constantly watching for feedback, hoping that I would not be rejected. I was very nervous about posting anywhere and if I didn’t receive some kind of encouragement, would become discouraged. My ego was definitely involved. Looking back on it, I am amazed that the teaching itself was pretty clear. I asked for words and passed them on, seldom allowing ego to influence the writing itself. However, at that beginning stage, I would often fall into ego fears about it.
Now when I write and post, I don’t have that kind of reaction. I don’t need feedback because I realize that the writing is for me, and if someone else needs to see it, that will be taken care of by Jesus. He is the one in charge of this. I just do my best to be true to the Inner Voices and trust it will be close enough. I understand that there are many teachers because there are many students. Not everyone is at the same level and different people learn in different ways. Some people will resonate with what I say and others won’t.
I don’t need the approval of anyone and I don’t need encouragement. That is not to say the ego isn’t alive and well in my mind. The ego cares, but I don’t. I have some students who study with me one-on-one. Sometimes they stay for a long time, and sometimes they are with me for just a while. They get what they need and move on. Sometimes one will leapfrog over me and become my teacher. I don’t have a desire to “keep” students. I am happy when they move on to become teachers to others.
I am not a perfect teacher and I am not anyone’s only teacher or necessary teacher. I would not be interested in a teacher who thought he was the one who everyone needed or thought he was always right. I would walk away from a teacher who fed off my devotion. Jesus, in A Course in Miracles, is a genuine teacher.
Jesus loves us and wants us to follow him until we have what he has to offer and then he wants us to sit beside him and help him awaken others. He is certain of what he teaches but is OK if others do not accept it. He says at the beginning of the Course that his is not the only path. Jesus is a model teacher, and I do my best to follow his lead.