Manual for Teachers: Section 16 . . HOW SHOULD THE TEACHER OF GOD SPEND HIS DAY? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 41 paragraph 5

Section 16

HOW SHOULD THE TEACHER OF GOD SPEND HIS DAY?

page 41, paragraph 5

HOW SHOULD THE TEACHER OF GOD SPEND HIS DAY?

HOW SHOULD THE TEACHER OF GOD SPEND HIS DAY?

HOW SHOULD THE TEACHER OF GOD SPEND HIS DAY?

5. The same procedures should be followed at night. ²Perhaps your quiet time should be fairly early in the evening, if it is not feasible for you to take it just before going to sleep. ³It is not wise to lie down for it. ⁴It is better to sit up, in whatever position you prefer. ⁵Having gone through the workbook, you must have come to some conclusions in this respect. ⁶If possible, however, just before going to sleep is a desirable time to devote to God. ⁷It sets your mind into a pattern of rest, and orients you away from fear. ⁸If it is expedient to spend this time earlier, at least be sure that you do not forget a brief period,—not more than a moment will do,—in which you close your eyes and think of God. (ACIM, M-16.5:1-8)

Nightly Reading

Here is what used to happen at night. I was not as consistent with my ritual at night as I am in the morning. I felt the burden of my errors at night. It was as if every error of the day was weighing me down and exhausting me. Some evenings I only felt like hiding. I wanted to distract myself by reading or listening to a story. There is, of course, nothing wrong with reading a novel; however, the reason I was reading was to get away from my guilty thoughts.

I think this is the reason Jesus tells me to perform this procedure at night. The ego is very attracted to guilt. The ego resists the idea of changing its night ritual of either thinking about all my sins or pretending there is nothing to think about. This left me in a mild state of anxiety. Since I was hiding the reason for the anxiety from myself there seemed to be no help for it.

Sleep

I used to think that sleep was my only salvation from this. But sleep often became the playground of the ego. Sleep became the place where ego played out all the defensive thoughts I buried in my mind during the day. In my sleep I was able to give full sway to the ego desire to defend and attack. I used to have some pretty awful nightmares at times.

This doesn’t happen now. At the end of the day, if there is any sense of unease I look at it with the Holy Spirit. A lot of consistent work has released most of the guilt thoughts. There is not much there to bother me at night. I seldom have really bad dreams anymore. I think that’s because I have had a lot of healing in my mind. In fact, I sometimes dream of being taught by someone, and at times I dream that I am teaching someone. Those times I wake up very happy, but a little frustrated. This is because I almost never remember what it was that was being said, only the feeling of joy.

Remember

Jesus is giving me a very simple way to turn my mind away from fear. It asks only a moment of my time as I remember God, remember love, remember innocence. I have often asked that Holy Spirit teach me in my sleep. Sometimes this is part of my nightly ritual. As I often play the Course in the background as I sleep, the words penetrate my mind. My rest is deeper and more satisfying, my dreams influenced by its ideas.

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