Manual for Teachers: Section 16 . . HOW SHOULD THE TEACHER OF GOD SPEND HIS DAY? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 42 paragraph 11

Section 16


page 42, paragraph 11




11. Is not this an exchange that you would want? ²The world would gladly make it, if it knew it could be made. ³It is God’s teachers who must teach it that it can. ⁴And so it is their function to make sure that they have learned it. ⁵No risk is possible throughout the day except to put your trust in magic, for it is only this that leads to pain. ⁶“There is no will but God’s.” ⁷His teachers know that this is so, and have learned that everything but this is magic. ⁸All belief in magic is maintained by just one simple-minded illusion;—that it works. ⁹All through their training, every day and every hour, and even every minute and second, must God’s teachers learn to recognize the forms of magic and perceive their meaninglessness. ¹⁰Fear is withdrawn from them, and so they go. ¹¹And thus the gate of Heaven is reopened, and its light can shine again on an untroubled mind. (ACIM, M-16.11:1-11)


This is something from my journal from a few years ago. As I read it, I am looking for the magic thoughts.

Sibling Story

It’s Saturday night about 6pm and I get a call from my sister-in-law. She heard from Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas. The Transplant Center there has put her on standby for a heart and two lungs. Standby! This means she may well get the long awaited organs she needs to remain in this body for a while longer. (Magic as salvation)

She has been waiting for so long, and her life been such a long, difficult and often frightening series of emergencies, it seems my mind is having trouble making this adjustment. We share our gratitude for this opportunity and then she has to hang up so that she can pack and get ready for the call to head for the hospital. It’s a 3 hour drive and time will be of the essence. When she says she’s packing my mind finally makes the leap. This might be happening!


I am stirring the roux for an Easter gumbo. Gumbo is always better the next day and so my plan was to cook it tonight and put it in the refrigerator to let the flavors blend and strengthen and get yummier. Sunday night my kids and grandkids would come over for supper and it will be just right for them. I have a seriously intense headache and it seems to be a migraine. Catching it quickly will probably stop it before it gets really bad, but the medicine is making me drowsy so I am getting as much done as I can before I am too sleepy to finish. Now with this phone call, plans are changing.


The ego mind goes to work on the problem right away trying to figure out how to get everything done so that I can get to Houston before Brinda goes into surgery. (magic thinking as I rely on the thinking mind and try to make plans on my own.) I’m laying out all sorts of possible scenarios and possible plans but I’m not doing well with it, what with the headache, the medicine and drowsiness, and the unreal quality of the situation. Could this be really happening for my sweet sister-in-law?

The more I think, the more anxious I become. I will probably miss Easter supper but maybe my kids will come over and eat the gumbo since I have to finish it. Way too far into the process to just stop right now. I’ll need to pack because it’s impossible to know if I will be there overnight or for days.


Have to shower and dress. Is there gas in the car? Calls to make to see if I can get someone to drive me there because of the medicine I just took. I know I can’t stay awake for that drive and I wonder how I will stay awake for the whole night, something I can’t imagine doing even under the best of circumstances. (More magic as I try to make decisions on my own.)


I get another call from Brinda. She is in the car and John is driving her to the hospital! Okay, this really is happening, and I have to complete the task at hand and get everything ready. It feels surreal as I try to operate out of the fog of medication and drowsiness, and very confusing as I try to multi-task from this state. I notice I am feeling resentful and while I know that’s just an ego response to the anxiety, I now feel guilty. (resentment and anxiety are always a sign of magical thinking. Guilt is unreal and therefore magic)

Seek Guidance

What is my sister-in-law supposed to do, ask the hospital to call her back when they have another three organs that fit her small body, but when it happens at a more convenient time? Ok, no matter how pushed for time I feel, I need to stop and ask for guidance. I need to put the ego mind aside and give God my full attention.

The immediate thought that appears in my mind is that I am to have thoughts of joy and peace. It seems almost ludicrous in the face of all my ego thoughts of confusion and the ego is really pushing for making lists and moving fast. (Magical thinking) But I remember what we read just the other day, and that I’ve been practicing. Start the day with thoughts of God. I did that. End the day with thoughts of God and I know I will do that. In between, have thoughts of joy and peace. Now??!!

Peace Arrives

And then I felt the rightness of this guidance and knew it didn’t come from the ego. I opened my heart to it, and just like that, I felt peaceful. The Holy Spirit told me what I should do next and I did that. The results were amazing, effortless, and gratifying. I had fun! I got everything done and arrangements made. My grandson helped me pack my stuff into the car and I picked up our friend, Mary Daw, who would be doing the driving. Together we got my other sister-in-law, Jenny, and off we went.

I sat in the back with headphones on and ACIM playing on my I-Pod, and with off and on light naps, I let the medicine work its way through my system. The sounds of my companions in the front, seat laughing and talking, were the background for this ride, and we made it to Houston in good time. I felt peaceful and happy, and the feelings continued all through the night as Brinda was receiving her new organs. We all kept John (my brother) company and chatted and took little cat naps as we could. 


I could only marvel as I watched the rules I have about careful planning, (magic) and the body laws I have about needing sleep, (magic) just fall away like the nonsense they are. My gratitude overflowed as I sat with my friends and my brother. I felt gratitude for the opportunity to trust the promises Jesus made in the Course. It was amazing to see these promises work in my life as I opened to them. I felt so much joy as I allowed myself to surrender my efforting (working hard at magical solutions) and to just be carried.

Heaven Shines

Twelve hours later, at about 7:00am, the doctor called us back. Brinda was doing well the organs were working and we got the chance to see her. Five hours later we got to talk to her and see that everything was going as planned. She couldn’t talk yet, but we could see that she knew we were there and loving her. This morning she is sitting in a chair by her bed! There is no circumstance that stands outside God’s plan. This morning as I wrote this, I felt a thrill when I read, “All through his training, every day and every hour, and even every minute and second, must God’s teachers learn to recognize the forms of magic and perceive their meaninglessness.” And for sure my mind is untroubled as I allow the light of Heaven to shine on it.

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