"Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
Herein Lies the peace of God."
A Course in Miracles
MANUAL for TEACHERS

Introduction

1 The role of teaching and learning is actually reversed in the thinking of the world. The reversal is characteristic. It seems as if the teacher and the learner are separated, the teacher giving something to the learner rather than to himself. Further, the act of teaching is regarded as a special activity in which one engages only a relatively small proportion of one's time. The course, on the other hand, emphasizes that to teach is to learn, so that teacher and learner are the same. It also emphasizes that teaching is a constant process—it goes on every moment of the day and continues into sleeping thoughts as well.

2 To teach is to demonstrate. There are only two thought systems, and you demonstrate that you believe one or the other is true all the time. From your demonstration, others learn and so do you. The question is not whether you will teach, for in that there is no choice. The purpose of the course might be said to provide you with a means of choosing what you want to teach on the basis of what you want to learn. You cannot give to someone else, and this you learn through teaching. Teaching is but a call to witnesses to attest to what you believe. It is a method of conversion. This is not done by words alone. Any situation must be to you a chance to teach others what you are and what they are to you. No more than that, but also never less.

3 The curriculum that you set up is therefore determined exclusively by what you think you are and what you believe the relationship of others is to you. In the formal teaching situation, these questions may be totally unrelated to what you think you are teaching. Yet it is impossible not to use the content of any situation on behalf of what you really teach and therefore learn. To this the verbal content of your teaching is quite irrelevant. It may coincide with it or it may not. It is the teaching underlying what you say that teaches you. Teaching but reinforces what you believe about yourself. Its fundamental purpose is to diminish self doubt. This does not mean that the self you are trying to protect is real. But it does mean that the self you think is real is what you teach.

4 This is inevitable. There is no escape from it. How could it be otherwise? Everyone who follows the world's curriculum, and everyone here does follow it until he changes his mind, teaches solely to convince himself that he is what he is not. Herein is the purpose of the world. What else, then, would its curriculum be? Into this hopeless and closed learning situation which teaches nothing but despair and death, God sends His teachers. And as they teach His lessons of joy and hope, their learning finally becomes complete.

5 Except for God's teachers, there would be no hope of salvation, for the world of sin would seem forever "real." The self-deceiving must deceive, for they must teach deception. And what else is hell? This is a manual for the teachers of God. They are not perfect or they would not be here. Yet it is their mission to become perfect here, and so they teach perfection over and over in many, many ways until they have learned it. And then they are seen no more, although their thoughts remain a source of strength and truth forever. Who are they? How are they chosen? What do they do? How can they work out their own salvation and the salvation of the world? This manual attempts to answer these questions.

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MANUAL for TEACHERS


1. Who Are God's Teachers

1 A teacher of God is anyone who chooses to be one. His qualifications consist solely in this; somehow, somewhere he has made a deliberate choice in which he did not see his interests as apart from someone else's. Once he has done that, his road is established and his direction is sure. A light has entered the darkness. It may be a single light, but that is enough. He has entered an agreement with God even if he does not yet believe in Him. He has become a bringer of salvation. He has become a teacher of God.

2 They come from all over the world. They come from all religions and from no religion. They are the ones who have answered. The Call is universal. It goes on all the time everywhere. It calls for teachers to speak for it and redeem the world. Many hear it, but few will answer. But it is all a matter of time. Everyone will answer in the end, but the end can be a long, long way off. It is because of this that the plan of the teachers was established. Their function is to save time. Each one begins as a single light, but with the Call at its center, it is a light that cannot be limited. And each one saves a thousand years of time as the world judges it. To the Call itself, time has no meaning.

3 There is a course for every teacher of God. The form of the course varies greatly. So do the particular teaching aids involved. But the content of the course never changes. Its central theme is always, "God's Son is guiltless, and in his innocence is his salvation." It can be taught by actions or thoughts, in words or soundlessly, in any language or in no language, in any place or time or manner. It does not matter who the teacher was before he heard the Call. He has become a savior by his answering. He has seen someone else as himself. He has therefore found his own salvation and the salvation of the world. In his rebirth is the world reborn.

4 This is a manual for a special curriculum, intended for teachers of a special form of the universal course. There are many thousands of other forms, all with the same outcome. They merely save time. Yet it is time alone that winds on wearily, and the world is very tired now. It is old and worn and without hope. There was never a question of outcome, for what can change the Will of God? But time, with its illusions of change and death, wears out the world and all things in it. Yet time has an ending, and it is this that the teachers of God are appointed to bring about. For time is in their hands. Such was their choice, and it is given them.

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Part II
What is the Ego?

1 The ego is idolatry—the sign of limited and separated self, born in a body, doomed to suffer and to end its life in death. It is the will that sees the Will of God as enemy and takes a form in which It is denied. The ego is the "proof" that strength is weak and love is fearful, life is really death, and what opposes God alone is true.

2 The ego is insane. In fear it stands beyond the Everywhere, apart from All, in separation from the Infinite. In its insanity it thinks it has become a victor over God Himself, and in its terrible autonomy, it "sees" the Will of God has been destroyed. It dreams of punishment and trembles at the figures in its dreams, its enemies who seek to murder it before it can ensure its safety by attacking them.

3 The Son of God is egoless. What can he know of madness and the death of God when he abides in Him? What can he know of sorrow and of suffering when he lives in eternal joy? What can he know of fear and punishment, of sin and guilt, of hatred and attack when all there is surrounding him is everlasting peace, forever conflict-free and undisturbed in deepest silence and tranquillity?

4 To know Reality is not to see the ego and its thoughts, its works, its acts, its laws and its beliefs, its dreams, its hopes, its plans for its salvation, and the cost belief in it entails. In suffering, the price for faith in it is so immense that crucifixion of the Son of God is offered daily at its darkened shrine and blood must flow before the altar where its sickly followers prepare for death.

5 Yet will one lily of forgiveness change the darkness into light, the altar to illusions to the shrine of Life Itself. And peace will be restored forever to the holy minds which God created as His Son, His dwelling-place, His joy, His love, completely His, completely one with Him.

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Lesson 337
My sinlessness protects me from all harm.

1 My sinlessness ensures me perfect peace, eternal safety, everlasting love, freedom forever from all thought of loss, complete deliverance from suffering. And only happiness can be my state, for only happiness is given me. What must I do to know all this is mine? I must accept Atonement for myself and nothing more. God has already done all things that need be done. And I must learn I need do nothing of myself, for I need but accept my Self, my sinlessness, created for me, now already mine, to feel God's Love protecting me from harm, to understand my Father loves His Son, to know I am the Son my Father loves.

2 You who created me in sinlessness are not mistaken about what I am. I was mistaken when I thought I sinned, but I accept Atonement for myself. Father, my dream is ended now. Amen.

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Sarah's Reflections

Lesson 337
My sinlessness protects me from all harm.

 Sarah's Commentary:
 
 
When Jesus talks about accepting the Atonement, he is talking about accepting our innocence, which is accepting the Self as the Christ. To do so requires that we accept the Correction for our mistaken perceptions and be willing to accept healing, so we can know that we have never changed the Self that we are. God created us as perfect eternal beings of light and love. To accept this for ourselves, we need to be willing to look at the way we block this truth. Forgiveness is about bringing to the light the blocks we hold against the truth and how we defend ourselves. This takes willingness and great vigilance in watching our thoughts. To "Be vigilant only for God and His Kingdom"  (T.6.C.2.8) (ACIM OE T.6.c.85) is a "major step toward fundamental change." (T.6.C.3.1) (ACIM OE T.6.c.86)
 
We spend a lot of our lives looking for love, looking for happiness, and trying to find peace and contentment. Jesus says, "And only happiness can be my state, for only happiness is given to me." (W.337.1.2) Yet the reality is that we don't feel happy consistently. Why? "What must I do to know all this is mine?" (W.337.1.3) Jesus tells us in this Lesson that there is nothing to be done. "I must accept Atonement for myself, and nothing more. God has already done all things that need be done." (W.337.1.4-5) Therefore, with the help of the Holy Spirit, our job is to undo all that is not true. It is to look past appearances and to recognize that anything not of love and joy has no power to hurt us or anyone else.
 
In "The Greater Joining" , Jesus says, "Accepting the Atonement for yourself means not to give support to someone's dream of sickness and of death. It means that you share not his wish to separate, and let him turn illusions on himself. Nor do you wish that they be turned, instead, on you. Thus have they no effects. And you are free of dreams of pain because you let him be [free of dreams of pain] . Unless you help him, you will suffer pain with him because that is your wish. And you become a figure in his dream of pain, as he is yours. So do you and your brother both become illusions, and without identity." (T.28.IV.1.1-8) (ACIM OE T.28.V.37)
 
He is saying that when we acknowledge Oneness with our brother, we are both set free. We do that by recognizing that we are the same. It is not to suffer with him or join with him in his pain, but to recognize his innocence, which is to recognize our own. This means that all judgments we have about him must be given over to the Holy Spirit. We must not see ourselves as a dream figure in his story of pain, sickness, or suffering and join him there in a show of false empathy. Instead, it is about coming to know who we are and to know our brother’s reality as we were created. The way we know the truth is to bring all the judgments, comparisons, and specialness to the light of truth.
 
We might wonder then, "Why don't I feel happy all the time if happiness is already given me, and I need do nothing? Since there is nothing to seek, but only my reality as Love to accept, how is this accomplished?" The answer is---acceptance of who we are in truth. What keeps us from the truth is our denial and defenses, our belief that we are what we have made of ourselves, and ultimately, our fear of God. We hold onto the image---the self-concept---that we have made of ourselves. We don't trust God because we have made an image of Him that equates Him with death. We hold the belief that He wants to wrest from us our will and demand sacrifice of us, but it is an image of God made by the ego and not what God is.
 
What must be undone before we can know ourselves as God created us? How did we get so mistaken about ourselves that we think we have become something we are not? How have we become so insecure that we experience life as suffering and turmoil? Why does it seem that we must spend our lives seeking for happiness that always seems to elude us? Jesus tells us that there is nothing to seek. What we need to see is how we actively deny, defend, and negate our happiness and actually protect ourselves from our reality as Beings of light and love. We are pure joy, but we defend against it. How we do that is by distracting ourselves, seeking things in the world we think will make us happy, making plans for our own salvation, and keeping our minds actively pursuing, judging, attacking, feeling guilty, fearful, angry, and all that keeps us defended against the love we are. Because of our fear of the Self we are, we cling to the image of ourselves that we have made.
 
That is why forgiveness is so central to the Course teachings. Through forgiveness we recognize the other person is as sinless as ourselves and we join---Love to Love. We see beyond the behaviors and respond to the call for love with love. We do not respond to the demands and manipulations of another as if it were something to fix or solve, but we respond to the real problem, which is a cry from our brothers to be seen and understood as innocent, as we are, despite what their behavior might look like. This is how we come to know who we are.
 
To accept the Atonement for ourselves is important because it is the acceptance of right-mindedness, which is a moment of sanity, even if only briefly. This leads directly and automatically to extending healing to others. "Accepting healing is the precondition for extending healing, for you must have before you can give." (Course glossary). "The only way to heal is to be healed. The miracle extends without your help, but you are needed that it can begin. Accept the miracle of healing, and it will go forth because of what it is. It is its nature to extend itself the instant it is born. And it is born the instant it is offered and received." (T.27.V.1.1‑5) (ACIM OE T.27.VI.44) This is why contemplation of the Lessons and taking time for meditation practice are important to healing. We must take responsibility for all the judgments and attacks we project onto others. Only by taking responsibility for our attacks and bringing them to the light can healing take place.
 
The miracle is the expression of the Atonement. "The miracle does nothing. All it does is to undo. And thus it cancels out the interference to what has been done. It does not add, but merely takes away." (T.28.I.1) (ACIM OE T.In.28.I.1) While we might think of the miracle as something amazing and dramatic, all the miracle does is bring our mind back to the truth by helping us recognize that the way we see things now is not the truth. Therefore, the miracle simply restores what always was. It brings the problem to the Answer and solves the problem where it really is, which is in the mind. Our only problem is that we cling to an ancient memory of sin and guilt. The miracle clears away these old memories. It helps clear our link to the past. It does not mean we don't address problems that show up in our lives, but we must recognize that they will never be solved in the world, never to return. The only real solution is in the mind. When I am sick, the first thing I want to do is run to the medicine cabinet to find a solution; but the problem is the guilt in the mind and running to the medicine cabinet cannot solve the real problem. It does not make taking medicine wrong, but to address the real problem, we are encouraged to go to Spirit first. When we do, we become willing to go to the source of the problem that is in the mind, which is the only place real healing can happen.
 
The focus of this whole Course is on miracles, which is the attainment of peace, and not on what the Course calls Knowledge or a sustained experience of the mystical. We may be tempted to put all our focus on wanting such experiences. Yet Jesus clearly puts the focus on doing the work of reversing the way we currently think by reversing cause and effect. Knowledge is beyond the goal of the Course. While mystical experiences are motivating, they are not our focus. Our focus is on moving up the ladder of separation to the truth by undoing all that stands in the way.
 
As we come to recognize ourselves by accepting the Atonement, we recognize our purity and our invulnerability. If we think we can be harmed in any way, we have forgotten who we are. We have forgotten our identity as eternal beings, and we are dreaming that we are something else. Through forgiveness and joining with another, rather than building defenses, we let go of the dream of separation.
 
Today is a day to commit to healing our minds, bringing anything that stands between us and our brothers and sisters to the Holy Spirit and asking for His help so that we may know the truth.
 
"You Who created me in sinlessness are not mistaken about what I am. I was mistaken when I thought I sinned, but I accept Atonement for myself. Father, my dream is ended now. Amen." (W.337.2.1-3)
 
In our identification with the image of ourselves that we think we are, we don't understand anything because we are perceiving everything incorrectly. Now it is up to us to recognize, we have been mistaken. With the recognition, we have been wrong about everything that we think, we humbly accept this teaching and participate fully in it, so our errors can be undone. Thankfully, we have been given a foolproof process that works 100% of the time for this to be accomplished.
 
Love and blessings, Sarah

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