This post is part of a series entitled: Reflections from A Course in Miracles. We have just begun Chapter 4, Section I Right Teaching and Right Learning, Part 1
“A Good Teacher clarifies his own ideas and strengthens them by teaching them. Teacher and pupil are alike in the same order of learning and unless they share their lessons conviction will be lacking.”
While I do not consider myself a teacher, I am merely a budding philosopher and author in the very early stages of my journey, sharing what I have learned and hoping to share ideas with a few people who may be on a similar journey. There is strength in numbers and finding like minded souls is all part of the journey. Standing by my ideas with conviction next to criticism is also part of the experience and that means being able to face the naysayers. But, as the paragraph above states, it is all part of the journey, being willing to share what you think with others gives you the conviction to stand by them. By putting my ideas out there, for the world to see, it opens me up to criticism of my ideas. (Perhaps this is why I have never told a friend or family member aside from my sons that I have this blog). Standing out here, with ideas that have been called mystic, occult, witchcraft, pagan, sorcery, magic (anything outside of the monotheistic society I grew up in) is a bold move for me. I was raised in catholic school by a conservative middle class white family. I spent 22 years in the military, which in my circles was also very conservative. I spent 11 years of my life in Texas. My roots in the monotheistic, conservative side of society are deep. I have watched my family evolve over the years, but still, my current views are very different from how I was raised, very different.
I share this not because I can relate to it. Writing about these ideas that are so vastly different from those of my current “tribe” helps me gain the conviction to have the conversation with them. When people post affirmation of my ideas, I gain confidence in them. If a reader posts an opposing view, one of two things will happen. Either I will gain strength in my conviction as I dispute my ideas intellectually with others.
“Many stand guard over their ideas because they want to protect their thought systems as they are, and learning means change. Change is always fearful ..
Learning is ultimately perceived as frightening because it leads to the relinquishment, not the destruction, of the ego to the light of spirit.”
The ego is a formidable opponent in the spiritual journey. For me, it is the dark source, it is always there, it is one side of the magnetic force that I am. The ego is the separation we talk about when studying ACIM.
It is the ego that keeps us narrow minded and afraid. When we are narrow minded, we do not allow perspectives other than those that reflect their own into our world view. Ego is almost always afraid of change. The ego likes to be comfortable and simple. The ego likes the simple filing cabinet system of its mind,where everything is; black or white, good or bad, heaven or hell. It is part of that judgment we are always talking about in the course. The ego likes to rapidly judge something it experiences with the senses in its black and white filing cabinet. It is in this way, it maximizes its time in order to spend the rest of its time ruminating over the past or fretting about the future.
Just a few short decades ago, the world was a different place than it is now. Travel was not affordable and people stayed in their little home towns from birth to death. If they moved away from home, it was often as an explorer or adventurer in search of a better way of life. Learning about different cultures was not routine back then and so we often feared what we did not understand.
Now however, we have access to instant information about any culture, anywhere in the world, anywhere in written history. Christians live next door to Jews and Muslims and Buddhists and Hindus. When you are living side by side to people with differing views and backgrounds and beliefs and you see they are just the same as you, their mythology may be different, but they work hard, they try to do right by their family, they try to be good neighbors ( or not), but generally speaking, by nature, we have grown to learn about cultures different from those we were raised in. The more we do this, the more we immerse ourselves in other places, different people, different religion, beliefs, dogma, etc, the greater our world view is,
When this world view begins expanding and you have true friends all over the world with vastly different backgrounds and beliefs,you mind expands. Next thing you know, you believe things you never thought you could or would believe, because your mind is open and you start to see a pattern in things. You start to see how all the religions and all the first Nation traditions and the pagan rituals and Star Wars and the Wizard of Oz and the Fables and Fairytales are trying to tell us the same thing. Open your mind, let love in, expand your world view by sharing your experiences and growing your mind even farther. This is the mission of the teacher and the student; one in the same.
“If you are willing to renounce the role of guardian of the thought system and open it to me, I will correct it very gently and lead you back to God”
Open your mind. Believe in things you never thought possible. Dream big. Open your eyes to different ways of viewing the world.