Both the Holy Spirit and the ego attempt to induce (persuade) us, as mind, to believe with them. The Holy Spirit tries to persuade us that the illusion is not real, and the ego, that it is real. The Course is a book dedicated to persuading us, through reason, that we have everything upside down and backwards.
It is obvious, then, that inducing (persuading) the mind to give up its miscreations is the only application of creative ability that is truly meaningful. (T-2.V.1:11)
When this occurs, even though it does not understand it, the ego believes that its “enemy” has struck, and attempts to offer gifts to induce (persuade) you to return to its “protection.” (T-9.VIII.1:4)
As God’s teachers we must learn to persuade with reason, or more accurately, learn to allow the Holy Spirit to persuade with reason through us. The more we are able to keep our personality selves out of the way, the more the Holy Spirit can shine through.
A major hindrance in this aspect of his learning is the teacher of God’s fear about the validity of what he hears. And what he hears may indeed be quite startling. It may also seem to be quite irrelevant to the presented problem as he perceives it, and may, in fact, confront the teacher with a situation that appears to be very embarrassing to him. All these are judgments that have no value. They are his own, coming from a shabby self-perception which he would leave behind. Judge not the words that come to you, but offer them in confidence. They are far wiser than your own. (M-21.5:1-7)
The forgiveness process is about emptying ourselves of all belief that we live in the world and that we are the body and the personality self, the shabby self-perception. We become an empty vessel the Holy Spirit can use to speak through to get us all home to God.
The teacher of God must, however, learn to use words in a new way. Gradually, he learns how to let his words be chosen for him by ceasing to decide for himself what he will say. This process is merely a special case of the lesson in the workbook that says, “I will step back and let Him lead the way.” The teacher of God accepts the words which are offered him, and gives as he receives. He does not control the direction of his speaking. He listens and hears and speaks. (M-21.4:4-9)
As we practice letting the Holy Spirit reason through us, persuade through us, we are teaching what we need to learn. We are shoring up and becoming more solid in our own acceptance of the Holy Spirit’s reasoning. Practicing reasoning allows us to see where there are still blocks in our own acceptance.
Debate is good. Look to our model Jesus. He used reason and persuasion and debate to teach. Did people get reactive? You bet. Do we get reactive, or more accurately, do our personality selves get reactive? You bet. But we know those reactions are about the past. They are not about the present and are definitely not about what we think they are about. They are about reactions in the past to people in the past. They are about the warring selves in our own personal minds. The more we learn to be responsible for them and take them in, where they can be undone, the more depth of understanding of the Course we can jointly acquire. Emotional reactions are just an ego trick to interrupt our process of return. Don’t be distracted. Discussions may get heated, but our joint purpose of remembrance will lead the way.
Practice persuasion through reasoning. There are much deeper levels of understanding of the Course available to us if we are willing to stand in the breach and face the fear of release. Every interaction brings us closer to our goal of salvation because we have assigned to these interactions that purpose. Whether we realize it or not, we have decided to come together for the common goal of freedom. And freedom we shall have. We will remove the blocks to love’s presence and stop having our words be meaningless symbols that they may rise to become the Call to Heaven itself.
God’s teachers have God’s Word behind their symbols. And He Himself gives to the words they use the power of His Spirit, raising them from meaningless symbols to the Call of Heaven itself. (M-21.5:8-9)
And just because the Holy Spirit instructed…
I have a kingdom I must rule. At times, it does not seem I am its king at all. It seems to triumph over me, and tell me what to think, and what to do and feel. And yet it has been given me to serve whatever purpose I perceive in it. My mind can only serve. Today I give its service to the Holy Spirit to employ as He sees fit. I thus direct my mind, which I alone can rule. And thus I set it free to do the Will of God.
Father, my mind is open to Your Thoughts, and closed today to every thought but Yours. I rule my mind, and offer it to You. Accept my gift, for it is Yours to me. (W-236.1:1–2:3)