Can we move up levels of awareness and then think we “know” something? Does the following sound familiar?
Having declared ourselves servants of the Spirit, we were attacked ferociously by the ego and all of its temptations to make real. The great deceiver wove its magic web of deceptions in which we found ourselves caught. After many trials, tribulations and hard work, we eventually found ourselves “released.” Having escaped from what we experienced as a tortured journey, we now want to share our learning with others. But our learning was not achieved by our having been told what to do by others. Our learning came from experiencing the battle and triumphing by ultimately getting that whatever we seemed to be dealing with was not real. It is this experiencing we must encourage.
“All good teachers realize that only fundamental change will last, but they do not begin at that level. Strengthening motivation for change is their first and foremost goal. It is also their last and final one. Increasing motivation for change in the learner is all that a teacher need do to guarantee change. Change in motivation is a change of mind, and this will inevitably produce fundamental change because the mind is fundamental.” (T-6.V-B.2:1-5)
We were motivated to change by our experiences which we attribute to a book, to a teacher, to a particular practice or even to a particular way of thinking. But our experience was determined, not by the particular, but by our listening to the Holy Spirit and the purpose He assigned to it. We will have a certain experience depending on the voice we listen to. Here is an example of what we will experience if we listen to the ego…
“Listen to what the ego says, and see what it directs you see, and it is sure that you will see yourself as tiny, vulnerable and afraid. You will experience depression, a sense of worthlessness, and feelings of impermanence and unreality. You will believe that you are helpless prey to forces far beyond your own control, and far more powerful than you. And you will think the world you made directs your destiny. For this will be your faith. But never believe because it is your faith it makes reality.” (T-21.V.2:3-8)
It is the experience that motivates. It is the experience that teaches. And the experience is dictated by the voice we listen to. We want to go beyond the words of a book, or a teacher, or some practice or even some way to think by listening to the Holy Spirit and taking direction from Him.
“Yet are the words but aids, and to be used, except at the beginning and the end of practice periods, but to recall the mind, as needed, to its purpose. We place faith in the experience that comes from practice, not the means we use. We wait for the experience, and recognize that it is only here conviction lies. We use the words, and try and try again to go beyond them to their meaning, which is far beyond their sound. The sound grows dim and disappears, as we approach the Source of meaning. It is Here that we find rest.” (W-rV.in.12:1-6)
“Experience must come to supplement the Word.” (W-184.13:2)
“The ego will demand many answers that this course does not give. It does not recognize as questions the mere form of a question to which an answer is impossible. The ego may ask, “How did the impossible occur?”, “To what did the impossible happen?”, and may ask this in many forms. Yet there is no answer; only an experience. Seek only this, and do not let theology delay you.” (C-in.4:1-5)
So how can we strengthen motivation? By encouraging new experiences as directed by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit can direct others to experiences, through us, if we get our self out of the way. The Holy Spirit is the motivation for miracles. Listen to His Voice for a different experience.
“A universal theology is impossible, but a universal experience is not only possible but necessary. It is this experience toward which the course is directed. Here alone consistency becomes possible because here alone uncertainty ends.” (C-in.2:5-7)
IN THE BEGINNING
We wished for another experience and denied our only function, to fulfill the Will of God perfectly, which is the only function that can be fully experienced.
“To fulfill the Will of God perfectly is the only joy and peace that can be fully known, because it is the only function that can be fully experienced. When this is accomplished, then, there is no other experience. Yet the wish for other experience will block its accomplishment, because God’s Will cannot be forced upon you, being an experience of total willingness.” (T-8.III.2:1-3)
Our continued wish for a different experience affects both our behavior and our experience.
“The continuing decision to remain separated is the only possible reason for continuing guilt feelings. We have said this before, but did not emphasize the destructive results of the decision. Any decision of the mind will affect both behavior and experience.” (T-5.V.8:1-3)
HUMILITY IS THE KEY TO HEARING THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THE EXPERIENCE OF HIM
We are not done until we are done. In the mean time…
As long as we seem to be here, humility is our most powerful tool of remembrance. We know nothing and we are totally dependent on the Holy Spirit to get us home. We are lost without Him. In our humble asking we are given new experiences.
“Those who remember always that they know nothing, and who have become willing to learn everything, will learn it. But whenever they trust themselves, they will not learn. They have destroyed their motivation for learning by thinking they already know.” (T-14.XI.12:1-3)
“HUMILITY is strength in this sense only; that to recognize and accept the fact that you do not know is to recognize and accept the fact that He does know.” (T-16.I.4:4)
“HUMILITY consists of accepting your role in salvation and in taking no other.” (W-61.2:3)
“HUMILITY brings peace because it does not claim that you must rule the universe, nor judge all things as you would have them be. All little gods it gladly lays aside, not in resentment, but in honesty and recognition that they do not serve.
Illusions and HUMILITY have goals so far apart they cannot coexist, nor share a dwelling place where they can meet. Where one has come the other disappears. The truly HUMBLE have no goal but God because they need no idols, and defense no longer serves a purpose. Enemies are useless now, because HUMILITY does not oppose. It does not hide in shame because it is content with what it is, knowing creation is the Will of God. Its SELFLESSNESS is Self, and this it sees in every meeting, where it gladly joins with every Son of God, whose purity it recognizes that it shares with him.” (S-1.V.1:4–2:6)
“Give over every plan you have made for your salvation in exchange for God’s. His will content you, and nothing else can bring you peace. For peace is of God, and no one beside Him.
Be HUMBLE before Him, and yet great in Him. And value no plan of the ego before the plan of God. For you leave empty your place in His plan, which you must fill if you would join with me, by your decision to join in any plan but His. I call you to fulfill your holy part in the plan that He has given to the world for its release from littleness. God would have His host abide in perfect freedom. Every allegiance to a plan of salvation apart from Him diminishes the value of His Will for you in your own mind. And yet it is your mind that is the host to Him.” (T-15.IV.2:6–3:7)
“To think that God made chaos, contradicts His Will, invented opposites to truth, and suffers death to triumph over life; all this is ARROGANCE. HUMILITY would see at once these things are not of Him. And can you see what God created not? To think you can is merely to believe you can perceive what God willed not to be. And what could be more ARROGANT than this?
Let us today be truly HUMBLE, and accept what we have made as what it is. The power of decision is our own. Decide but to accept your rightful place as co-creator of the universe, and all you think you made will disappear. What rises to awareness then will be all that there ever was, eternally as it is now. And it will take the place of self-deceptions made but to usurp the altar to the Father and the Son.” (W-152.7:1–8:5)
“The power of decision is our own. And we accept of Him that which we are, and HUMBLY recognize the Son of God. To recognize God’s Son implies as well that all self-concepts have been laid aside, and recognized as false. Their ARROGANCE has been perceived. And in HUMILITY the radiance of God’s Son, his gentleness, his perfect sinlessness, his Father’s Love, his right to Heaven and release from hell, are joyously accepted as our own.” (W-152.10:1-5)
“Then will we wait in silence, giving up all self-deceptions, as we HUMBLY ask our Self that He reveal Himself to us.” (W-152.11:5-6)
BEING GUIDED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT
Asking the Holy Spirit what to do, say and think is a practice of the humble. The humble realize that they cannot possibly know anything in perceptionland. They realize that they made the ego and gave the ego the incredible power of the mind. They realize that their mind and will are imprisoned. Without help they cannot get home. In order to remember God, they must become completely dependent on the Holy Spirit which is really just a reflection of their complete dependence on God. The arrogant are affronted and want to maintain their delusion of autonomy. The humble ask the Holy Spirit what to say, do and think because they do not know. In their humility they accept their gift, the Voice for God.
“The ARROGANT must cling to words, afraid to go beyond them to experience which might affront their stance. Yet are the HUMBLE free to hear the Voice which tells them what they are, and what to do.” (W-186.5:5-6)
“Before the separation you did not need guidance. You knew as you will know again, but as you do not know now.” (T-5.II.4:4-5)
“Its (the Course’s) only purpose is to provide a way in which some people will be able to find their own Internal Teacher.” (Preface)
THE HUMBLE DO NOT PLAN
The humble stand in I do not know. They are servants of the Spirit, in time, working for our communal release. They rest in faith and trust in the Voice for God.
“For they are all but aspects of the plan to change your dreams of fear to happy dreams, from which you waken easily to knowledge. Put yourself not in charge of this, for you cannot distinguish between advance and retreat. Some of your greatest advances you have judged as failures, and some of your deepest retreats you have evaluated as success.” (T-18.V.1:4-6)
“A healed mind does not plan. It carries out the plans that it receives through listening to wisdom that is not its own. It waits until it has been taught what should be done, and then proceeds to do it. It does not depend upon itself for anything except its adequacy to fulfill the plans assigned to it. It is secure in certainty that obstacles can not impede its progress to accomplishment of any goal that serves the greater plan established for the good of everyone.” (W-135.11:1-5)
“A healed mind is relieved of the belief that it must plan, although it cannot know the outcome which is best, the means by which it is achieved, nor how to recognize the problem that the plan is made to solve. It must misuse the body in its plans until it recognizes this is so. But when it has accepted this as true, then is it healed, and lets the body go.” (W-135.12:1-3)
THE NEW EXPERIENCE OF THE HUMBLE SERVANT
“No love in this world is without this ambivalence, and since no ego has experienced love without ambivalence the concept is beyond its understanding. Love will enter immediately into any mind that truly wants it, but it must want it truly. This means that it wants it without ambivalence, and this kind of wanting is wholly without the ego’s “drive to get.”(arrogance)
There is a kind of experience so different from anything the ego can offer that you will never want to cover or hide it again.” (T-4.III.4:6–5:1)