August 3, 2007

The Forgiving Learner -- About the Persistence of Denial

Sometimes it is necessary to take a good look at what I am doing. Sometimes apparent outer circumstances demand to admit to my own corruption and persistence in the denial of what I am offered each day in the mind training of A Course In Miracles.


As I have learned I have been given everything. If I refuse to recognize that, I am not entitled to bitterness, anger or even hatred, and to a self-perception which regards me as victim of what is happening to me. Gratitude is the single thought to replace these insane attitudes. Yet why am I refusing to accept and be grateful? No matter how justified I may feel in my perception of being unjustly treated, I have to admit that my persistence of not using the ideas of the Course to free myself from my own attacks lets me feel pretty miserable at times. There seems to be some gratification for all this that I value more than freedom and happiness. What is it?

VisioBrigittaSchwedenDetail-I-need-helpWhat would it cost to be free and happy now, for every moment to come? Place the future in the hands of God? I would have to accept total responsibility for what is going on in my dream, accept forgiveness for myself and let God show me who I am. I could no longer accept blame for me and anyone else. I could no longer be a body to hide from my thoughts by projecting them onto other bodies. I would be loving and giving only. This seems to pay a price to high, or impossible to pay. What it comes down to is that I still want to be right. No matter how vulnerable I might be in any case or circumstance, insisting on my version of the story I find myself in, does not help me. And yet, how paralyzed I can be when I am afraid. No word of sense comes out of my mouth, no word to communicate anything that would open further possibilities. Then, as always, I really need help, a mind, a light that shines into my mind despite of and through all the crap I tell myself. The good news is no one can hold out in pain forever. At some point everyone gives up to let the miracle happen. And it always does, it always heals and strengthens me, regardless of my attempts to weaken myself.

Here is a section from Chapter 12, called "The Sane Curriculum". It emphasizes your need to listen to a teacher other than your own, and the importance of recognizing your invulnerability. What also speaks to me, is the idea of "learning handicaps", showing the impossibility of learning this Course on your own. It is so easy to forget that I am the only problem, and also the solution. But if I am not the only problem, then there can be no solution ever.

Only love is strong because it is undivided. The strong do not attack because they see no need to do so. Before the idea of attack can enter your mind, you must have perceived yourself as weak. Because you attacked yourself and believed that the attack was effective, you behold yourself as weakened. No longer perceiving yourself and your brothers as equal, and regarding yourself as weaker, you attempt to "equalize" the situation you made. You use attack to do so because you believe that attack was successful in weakening you.
I have to go to the fundamentals in order to revert the situation.

That is why the recognition of your own invulnerability is so important to the restoration of your sanity. For if you accept your invulnerability, you are recognizing that attack has no effect. Although you have attacked yourself, you will be demonstrating that nothing really happened. Therefore, by attacking you have not done anything. Once you realize this you will no longer see any sense in attack, for it manifestly does not work and cannot protect you. Yet the recognition of your invulnerability has more than negative value. If your attacks on yourself have failed to weaken you, you are still strong. You therefore have no need to "equalize" the situation to establish your strength.
I am still strong, free and happy as God created me. Therefore, in saying this, I align my mind with truth. Trust, and defenselessness, will inevitably bring me back to where I belong.

You will never realize the utter uselessness of attack except by recognizing that your attack on yourself has no effects. For others do react to attack if they perceive it, and if you are trying to attack them you will be unable to avoid interpreting this as reinforcement. The only place you can cancel out all reinforcement is in yourself. For you are always the first point of your attack, and if this has never been, it has no consequences.
I am always the first one to suffer from my attacks. This law will save me, if properly used. I cannot be excluded from anything.

The Holy Spirit's Love is your strength, for yours is divided and therefore not real. You cannot trust your own love when you attack it. You cannot learn of perfect love with a split mind, because a split mind has made itself a poor learner. You tried to make the separation eternal, because you wanted to retain the characteristics of creation, but with your own content. Yet creation is not of you, and poor learners do need special teaching.
Most especially, I need constant forgiveness, for otherwise I will never be able see differently. When I love myself, simply because I decide to, I can laugh at my thoughts and actions, thereby letting them go.

You have learning handicaps in a very literal sense. There are areas in your learning skills that are so impaired that you can progress only under constant, clear-cut direction, provided by a Teacher Who can transcend your limited resources. He becomes your Resource because of yourself you cannot learn. The learning situation in which you placed yourself is impossible, and in this situation you clearly require a special Teacher and a special curriculum. Poor learners are not good choices as teachers, either for themselves or for anyone else. You would hardly turn to them to establish the curriculum by which they can escape from their limitations. If they understood what is beyond them, they would not be handicapped.
Only if I can listen to a "Teacher Who can transcend my limited resources", can I learn of another Self that is hidden by my idea about myself.

You do not know the meaning of love, and that is your handicap. Do not attempt to teach yourself what you do not understand, and do not try to set up curriculum goals where yours have clearly failed. Your learning goal has been not to learn, and this cannot lead to successful learning. You cannot transfer what you have not learned, and the impairment of the ability to generalize is a crucial learning failure. Would you ask those who have failed to learn what learning aids are for? They do not know. If they could interpret the aids correctly, they would have learned from them.

I have said that the ego's rule is, "Seek and do not find." Translated into curricular terms this means, "Try to learn but do not succeed." The result of this curriculum goal is obvious. Every legitimate teaching aid, every real instruction, and every sensible guide to learning will be misinterpreted, since they are all for facilitating the learning this strange curriculum is against. If you are trying to learn how not to learn, and the aim of your teaching is to defeat itself, what can you expect but confusion? Such a curriculum does not make sense. This attempt at "learning" has so weakened your mind that you cannot love, for the curriculum you have chosen is against love, and amounts to a course in how to attack yourself. A supplementary goal in this curriculum is learning how not to overcome the split that makes its primary aim believable. And you will not overcome the split in this curriculum, for all your learning will be on its behalf. Yet your mind speaks against your learning as your learning speaks against your mind, and so you fight against all learning and succeed, for that is what you want. But perhaps you do not realize, even yet, that there is something you want to learn, and that you can learn it because it is your choice to do so.

You who have tried to learn what you do not want should take heart, for although the curriculum you set yourself is depressing indeed, it is merely ridiculous if you look at it. Is it possible that the way to achieve a goal is not to attain it? Resign now as your own teacher. This resignation will not lead to depression. It is merely the result of an honest appraisal of what you have taught yourself, and of the learning outcomes that have resulted. Under the proper learning conditions, which you can neither provide nor understand, you will become an excellent learner and an excellent teacher. But it is not so yet, and will not be so until the whole learning situation as you have set it up is reversed.
I have to resign as my own teacher. I decide for love and forgiveness. Not to condone my past actions, but because I need love to let go of my ideas and mistakes, constantly. I need love to open up to truth, and to act again as a citizen of the universe. I offer love to everyone, to myself for whatever crosses my mind. Only love heals.

Your learning potential, properly understood, is limitless because it will lead you to God. You can teach the way to Him and learn it, if you follow the Teacher Who knows the way to Him and understands His curriculum for learning it. The curriculum is totally unambiguous, because the goal is not divided and the means and the end are in complete accord. You need offer only undivided attention. Everything else will be given you. For you really want to learn aright, and nothing can oppose the decision of God's Son. His learning is as unlimited as he is.

The light has come. I am taking responsibility, and go home. I accepted a new idea. Thank you, God.

Learn more about A Course In Miracles at Endeavor Academy.

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