Introduction, P 3
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. 2In the formal teaching situation, these questions may be totally unrelated to what you think you are teaching. 3Yet it is impossible not to use the content of any situation on behalf of what you really teach, and therefore really learn. 4To this the verbal content of your teaching is quite irrelevant. 5It may coincide with it, or it may not. It is the teaching underlying what you say that teaches you. 6Teaching but reinforces what you believe about yourself. 7Its fundamental purpose is to diminish self-doubt. 8This does not mean that the self you are trying to protect is real. 9But it does mean that the self you think is real is what you teach.
Teaching like a Body: I
We teach what we think we are, and what we believe about our relationships to others. If I believe that I am a body then this is what I will teach. I used to teach this exclusively. It shows up in different ways. I believed that sickness is real by “catching” everything that comes around and I shared my “knowledge” freely with people who were sick.
Arguing that my sickness was worse than others, and if offered a cure, I would never get around to trying it. I demonstrated the body is real by learning everything I could about how the body works and which medicines affect it, and how they affect it. I used to love medical mysteries, especially the true ones, and odd stories about the brain gone haywire and from this I always had an opinion about the best way to treat an ailment.
Teaching like a Body: II
Another way I would teach I was a body was through my relationships. I thought that joining was all about bodies in proximity and the closest joining was in sex because two bodies would momentarily connect. I demonstrated this by always being in a romantic relationship and in putting a high premium on the bodies that would agree to my conditions for that relationship. It occurred to me that my relationships were for the purpose of getting what I needed from someone.
I taught my beliefs through my actions and my words, in other words, through how I lived my life. As I began to mature spiritually, and especially after I had studied and practiced the Course for awhile, I began to teach what I was learning. At first, this was mostly a verbal teaching. I said all the right words, and even wanted them to be true for me. But I still lived my life according to my beliefs so for some time I taught conflicting beliefs, as my words taught one thing and my actions taught another.
Teaching is Receiving
Always, I was teaching myself as I taught others. The self I was teaching and teaching with, was not real, but it was the self I thought was real. Eventually, the conflict lessened as, through my continued practice of the Course, I began to change my mind about what I am. Then, the words and the actions were aligned more closely and so the teaching in both words and actions was more consistent. Still, I am always teaching what I think I am regardless of the words I use, because my life is my strongest teaching tool.