A Course in Miracles (Teachers Manual notes)

IN Book Notes
Relinquish Judgement

I just read the teachers manual version of ‘A Course in Miracles’ and have taken some notes based on ‘where I’m at in my spiritual journey’. There was a lot written that I do not fully comprehend right now, based on my current beliefs, but found these particular paragraphs insightful. I’ve also modified some of the text for my own brain to wrap-around and align with my current beliefs. (Sorry to those who are big believers in the God/Jesus version of this course.. I modified some of the text so that I can make sense of the religious views in a way that my non-religious views can comprehend, I absolutely mean no disrespect, and hope none is taken).

My Prelude:

I can only interpret what I read based on where I am currently at, based on my own understanding and comprehension thus far, though when I read anything new like this, that I know has profound meaning to so many, I read the text as if all of it is true, and then take my notes, but my conscious & subconscious beliefs adjust the words to my current understanding of life, and as I progressed, it got very religious and my conscious mind struggled to continue to read the text as if all of it was true. Additionally, when re-reading the manual after writing this post, I found that my brain had actually “hidden” many of the sentences from me. Upon re-reading, I was surprised at what I had missed from the first read. 

I don’t know how to describe this in words, but I’ll try because I want to try and make sense of my feelings and thoughts at this time too; religion is not something I often get a chance to reflect on or think about as although I do research a lot about ‘mindset’, I have tended to stay away from religion. Reading this today, I was not anticipating a religious read, and upon first read, I didn’t really see the religious side because my mind had ‘filtered it out’ and I only saw what was already in alignment with my current belief system.

My belief system: I tend to change my perceptions of reality as I go through different phases in life; it often switches between thinking we are all one – all connected – all from the same ‘source’ and that we have somehow chosen this experience – willing ourselves into this existence for reasons greater than our current understanding, and not knowing just how powerful we are or our potential, to another perception of thinking we are too small & insignificant – ants or rather ‘mere specks’ of the universe – that we have any divine purpose or that to believe anything more is just wishful thinking or arrogance of our ego’s; a survival mechanism. That’s the basic summary version but I generally go to & fro between the two at different moments in my life. I find that I get more fulfillment, happiness, peace and joy from the first perception and see & experience more ‘miracles’ and life-changing ‘insights’ when I trust my first interpretation. On that side, I can question why we ‘think’, why we are ‘conscious souls’, what we are here for, what else is there, etc. That particular perception of reality gives me the most pleasure, makes me feel “home”, and makes my heart ‘sing’. I find myself standing on that side of reality most of the time, because it ‘serves’ me and I am filled with ‘awe’ & ‘wonder’, feel more ‘connected to other people & living things’, and have a peaceful kind of ‘contentment’ in that everything is as it is supposed to be. The latter perception may actually be true, but the thoughts of us being all connected, of us being all one, is a stronger instinct that overrules the latter most of the time. I’m happiest, healthiest & strongest when I give-in to that perception. I’m miserable, sick & weak when I give-in to the ‘speck’ perspective.

Though “source” can be described as the Universe or God, I resonate most with “source” or the “universe” rather than God. I can twist my mind to replace God with the Universe or source when I read things, but sometimes I struggle when text, such as A course in Miracles, has God & Jesus written so matter-of-factly throughout as truth because the logical side of my brain can’t comprehend how stories can be passed down 2,000+ years after they were originally spoken – my logical mind thinks that the discrepancies within the Bible & those stories must be massive. Like “chinese whispers”, I can’t imagine one story being told to another precisely without the story losing it’s meaning by the time it is passed through a few people, let alone generations, and let alone thousands of years later when someone finally decides to write the stories down and teach it as fact to current generations.

All religions resonate with me on some level, even though I don’t recognize myself as belonging to any or thinking any as 100% to be blindly followed. I go by my senses on what feels right. I trust that I am doing the right thing by making what I feel are the right choices, by being honest, ethical, compassionate and speaking my truth and learning how to love everyone & everything. We are where we are on our journey, that whatever my upbringing or experiences thus far, I have a lot of strong intuitions about ‘source’ and about being inter-connected. My mind is still processing the information I am always receiving, trying to put the pieces of life’s puzzle together. I dare not judge where I am, I know there is nothing wrong with my interpretation as it ‘is what it is’ at this time, as it can be no other way. 

I see an alignment & connection in prayer, meditation, affirmations, energy healing, reiki, quantum touch, e.f.t., etc. – I see them all as the same thing – ‘intention’. And I see alignments & connections of most spiritual teachings – as source, that we are all connected – we are all one. My brain does this ‘auto-correct’ when reading about religion, just as it would with anyone I’d imagine. Through our own experiences and beliefs, our subconscious “filters” what it perceives as fact or fiction, truth or not, useful or not. We see only what our mind wants us to see.

I used to believe that others were responsible for their bad/evil behavior, but now see it as more useful & empowering for us to be 100% responsible for our lives & for what ‘bothers us’ about the lives of others who come into contact with us. So I do believe it is possible to ‘change our minds’ but through our minds seeing it as something that can serve us – so still we only see what our mind wants us to see.

Sometimes I notice that I can choose a belief based on how valuable I see it as being in a current life situation, regardless of whether I think of it as a ‘universal truth’ or not, my mind may choose the belief to serve me at a particular time to get through something that was incomprehensible without that belief/way of thinking, so that I can work through something I want to change about myself. And though this course seems to be in alignment with that belief too, it also stretches my beliefs when it asks us to give our trust to God ~ to do God’s work (this would make more sense if you have read the whole course first because I have just simplified it into a couple of words). If you were in my head right now, you would see that the way I would interpret it (to be in alignment with my own current beliefs), would be to trust in the Universe ~ to do the work that you are called to do ~ to be your true self, to speak your truth and that each of us in on our own journey, that noone is ‘wrong’  – they are exactly where they are supposed to be – experiencing their own journey – yet we are all connected and are here to experience this reality both together (as each of us connect to learn what we need from each other) and as individuals.

Yep, I think I need some more time alone in thought to try and figure out what it is we are, and what we are doing here, and more time to figure out how to explain what (sometimes) makes sense in my own mind that I’m finding difficult right now to try and put into words. It seems to come out different each time I attempt it. Maybe it will become easier in time, as I learn and grow even more.

This is close to my current understanding and beliefs. Maybe it will change later today when I receive another insight, maybe it will change tomorrow, or maybe I will keep finding further insights that continue to reaffirm my current beliefs. Who knows, I just do my part by being conscious and watching and learning and having an awareness that subconsciously things are being re-interpreted & filtered for my conscious mind to understand. I’m just observing myself, and trusting where I am currently at is where I need to be at, because it can be no other way.

I cannot ‘force’ a belief onto myself, my subconscious mind is the interpreter and filter for all the information my conscious mind receives. I can ‘want’ to correct an ‘unwanted state’ or negative thought pattern and can ‘want’ to correct a belief that doesn’t serve me – and train my mind to seek the answers, but I cannot (at this moment in time) foresee how to implant a belief that my mind already ‘knows’ or believes is true or false. I don’t really know how to describe it, but I know that we each have thoughts and beliefs that we don’t question because our mind has already decided it is true/false and is constantly filtering the world through those implanted beliefs. My job as I see it, is just to keep seeking truth and train my mind to keep seeking truth.

As always, I recommend reading the full version of anything I write on my blog to get your own interpretation and insights based on where you are at. (Especially for this one which I have adjusted and modified quite a bit.)

Here are my personal notes & modifications for A Course in Miracles ~ Teachers Manual:

 I must say I really loved their Introduction:

The role of teaching and learning is actually reversed in the thinking of the world. It seems as if the teacher and the learner are separated, the teacher giving something to the learner rather than to himself. To teach is to learn, so that teacher and learner are the same. 

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 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, but only to yourself, 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.

The curriculum you set up is therefore determined exclusively by what you think you are, and what you believe the relationship of others is to 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.

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.

Modified/Edited from Source: Manual Introduction

When he is ready to learn, the opportunities to teach will be provided for him.

The world of time is the world of illusion. What happened long ago seems to be happening now. Choices made long since appear to be open; yet to be made. What has been learned and understood and long ago passed by is looked upon as a new thought, a fresh idea, a different approach. Because your will is free you can accept what has already happened at any time you choose, and only then will you realize that it was always there.

Source: Who Are Their Pupils?

There are no accidents in salvation. Those who are to meet will meet, because together they have the potential for a holy relationship. They are ready for each other.

Each teaching-learning situation is maximal in the sense that each person involved will learn the most that he can from the other person at that time. For a time, two people enter into a fairly intense teaching-learning situation and then appear to separate. As with the first level, these meetings are not accidental, nor is what appears to be the end of the relationship a real end. Each has learned the most he can at the time. Yet all who meet will someday meet again, for it is the destiny of all relationships to become holy.

Modified/Edited from Source: What Are The Levels of Teaching?

Only the trusting can afford honesty, for only they can see its value. Honesty does not apply only to what you say. The term actually means consistency. At no level are they in conflict with themselves. Therefore it is impossible for them to be in conflict with anyone or anything.

No one at one with himself can even conceive of conflict. Conflict is the inevitable result of self-deception, and self-deception is dishonesty.

The centrality of open-mindedness is easily understood when its relation to forgiveness is recognized. Open-mindedness comes with lack of judgment.

Modified/Edited from Source: The Characteristics of God’s Teachers

Healing involves an understanding of what the illusion of sickness is for. Healing is impossible without this. 

Healing is accomplished the instant the sufferer no longer sees any value in pain. Healing must occur in exact proportion to which the valuelessness of sickness is recognized. One need but say, “There is no gain at all to me in this” and he is healed. But to say this, one first must recognize certain facts. First, it is obvious that decisions are of the mind, not of the body. If sickness is but a faulty problem-solving approach, it is a decision. And if it is a decision, it is the mind and not the body that makes it. The resistance to recognizing this is enormous, because the existence of the world as you perceive it depends on the body being the decision maker.

The acceptance of sickness as a decision of the mind, for a purpose for which it would use the body, is the basis of healing. And this is so for healing in all forms. A patient decides that this is so, and he recovers. If he decides against recovery, he will not be healed. Who is the physician? Only the mind of the patient himself. The outcome is what he decides that it is. Special agents seem to be ministering to him, yet they but give form to his own choice. He chooses them in order to bring tangible form to his desires. And it is this they do, and nothing else. They are not actually needed at all. The patient could merely rise up without their aid and say, “I have no use for this.” There is no form of sickness that would not be cured at once.

What is the single requisite for this shift in perception? It is simply this; the recognition that sickness is of the mind, and has nothing to do with the body. What does this recognition “cost”? It costs the whole world you see, for the world will never again appear to rule the mind. For with this recognition is responsibility placed where it belongs; not with the world, but on him who looks on the world and sees it as it is not. He looks on what he chooses to see. No more and no less. The world does nothing to him. He only thought it did. Nor does he do anything to the world, because he was mistaken about what it is. Herein is the release from guilt and sickness both, for they are one. Yet to accept this release, the insignificance of the body must be an acceptable idea.

These patients do not realize they have chosen sickness. On the contrary, they believe that sickness has chosen them. Nor are they open-minded on this point. The body tells them what to do and they obey. They have no idea how insane this concept is. If they even suspected it, they would be healed. Yet they suspect nothing. To them the separation is quite real.

To them the teacher comes to represent another choice which they had forgotten. His thoughts ask for the right to question what the patient has accepted as true.

Edited/Modified from Source: How Is Healing Accomplished?

Healing is always certain. It is impossible to let illusions be brought to truth and keep the illusions. Truth demonstrates illusions have no value.

The teacher has seen the correction of his errors in the mind of the patient, recognizing it for what it is. Having accepted the Atonement for himself, he has also accepted it for the patient.

No teacher should feel disappointed if he has offered healing and it does not appear to have been received. It is not up to him to judge when his gift should be accepted. Let him be certain it has been received, and trust that it will be accepted when it is recognized as a blessing and not a curse.

It is not the function to evaluate the outcome of their gifts. It is merely their function to give them. No one can give if he is concerned with the result of giving. Trust is an essential part of giving; in fact, it is the part that makes sharing possible, the part that guarantees the giver will not lose, but only gain. Who gives a gift and then remains with it, to be sure it is used as the giver deems appropriate? Such is not giving but imprisoning.

Source: Is Healing Certain?

One of the most difficult temptations to recognize is that to doubt a healing because of the appearance of continuing symptoms is a mistake in the form of lack of trust. As such it is an attack.

It does appear unreasonable at first to be told that continued concern is attack. It has all the appearances of love. Yet love without trust is impossible, and doubt and trust cannot coexist. And hate must be the opposite of love, regardless of the form it takes. Doubt not the gift and it is impossible to doubt its result.

If you are offering only healing, you cannot doubt. If you really want the problem solved, you cannot doubt. If you are certain what the problem is, you cannot doubt. Doubt is the result of conflicting wishes. Be sure of what you want, and doubt becomes impossible.

Source: Should Healing Be Repeated?

The mind judges what the eyes behold. It is the mind that interprets the eyes’ messages and gives them “meaning.” And this meaning does not exist in the world outside at all. What is seen as “reality” is simply what the mind prefers. Its hierarchy of values is projected outward, and it sends the body’s eyes to find it. The body’s eyes will never see except through differences. Yet it is not the messages they bring on which perception rests. Only the mind evaluates their messages, and so only the mind is responsible for seeing. It alone decides whether what is seen is real or illusory, desirable or undesirable, pleasurable or painful.

His mind has categorized them all as real, and so they are all real to him. When he realizes they are all illusions they will disappear. And so it is with healing.

The one answer to sickness of any kind is healing. The one answer to all illusions is truth.

Source: How Can Perception Of Order Of Difficulties Be Avoided?

Relinquish Judgement

Judgment, like other devices by which the world of illusions is maintained, is totally misunderstood by the world.

It is necessary to realize, not that one should not judge, but that one cannot. In giving up judgment, one is merely giving up what one did not have. One gives up an illusion; or better, one has an illusion of giving up. One has actually merely become more honest. Recognizing that judgment was always impossible, one no longer attempts it. This is no sacrifice.

Judgment in the usual sense is impossible. This is not an opinion but a fact. In order to judge anything rightly, one would have to be fully aware of an inconceivably wide range of things; past, present and to come. One would have to recognize in advance all the effects of one’s judgments on everyone and everything involved in them in any way. And one would have to be certain there is no distortion in one’s perception, so that one’s judgment would be wholly fair to everyone on whom it rests now and in the future. Who is in a position to do this? Who except in grandiose fantasies would claim this for one’s self?

Edited/modified from source: How is Judgement Relinquished

It takes great learning both to realize and to accept the fact that the world has nothing to give. What can the sacrifice of nothing mean? It cannot mean that you have less because of it. There is no sacrifice in the world’s terms that does not involve the body. Think a while about what the world calls sacrifice. Power, fame, money, physical pleasure; who is the “hero” to whom all these things belong? Could they mean anything except to a body? Yet a body cannot evaluate. By seeking after such things the mind associates itself with the body, obscuring its identity and losing sight of what it really is.

What is the real meaning of sacrifice? It is the cost of believing in illusions. It is the price that must be paid for the denial of truth.

There is no pleasure of the world that does not demand this, for otherwise the pleasure would be seen as pain, and no one asks for pain if he recognizes it. It is the idea of sacrifice that makes him blind. He does not see what he is asking for. And so he seeks it in a thousand ways and in a thousand places, each time believing it is there, and each time disappointed in the end.

Edited/modified from source: What is the Real Meaning of Sacrifice?

There is one thought in particular that should be remembered throughout the day. It is a thought of pure joy; a thought of peace, a thought of limitless release, limitless because all things are freed within it. You think you made a place of safety for yourself. You think you made a power that can save you from all the fearful things you see in dreams. It is not so. Your safety lies not there. What you give up is merely the illusion of protecting illusions. And it is this you fear, and only this. How foolish to be so afraid of nothing! Nothing at all! Your defenses will not work, but you are not in danger. You have no need of them. Recognize this, and they will disappear. And only then will you accept your real protection.

Edited/modified from source: How Should the Teacher of God Spend His Day

Is conflict what you want, or is peace the better choice? Which gives you more? A tranquil mind is not a little gift. Life and death seem to be opposites because you have decided death ends life. Forgive the world, and you will understand that there is no end

Edited/modified from source: Peace of God

Strictly speaking, words play no part at all in healing. The motivating factor is prayer, or asking. What you ask for you receive. But this refers to the prayer of the heart, not to the words you use in praying. Sometimes the words and the prayer are contradictory; sometimes they agree. It does not matter. Judge not the words that come to you, but offer them in confidence. They are far wiser than your own.

Edited/modified from source: What Is The Role Of Words In Healing

To forgive is to heal. The idea that a body can be sick is a central concept in the ego’s thought system. This thought gives the body autonomy, separates it from the mind, and keeps the idea of attack inviolate. If the body could be sick Atonement would be impossible.

Certainly sickness does not appear to be a decision. Nor would anyone actually believe he wants to be sick. Perhaps he can accept the idea in theory, but it is rarely if ever consistently applied to all specific forms of sickness, both in the individual’s perception of himself and of all others as well.

The offer of Atonement is universal. It is equally applicable to all individuals in all circumstances. And in it is the power to heal all individuals of all forms of sickness. A sick person perceives himself as separate from source. It is your task to heal the sense of separation that has made him sick. It is your function to recognize for him that what he believes about himself is not the truth. It is your forgiveness that must show him this. Healing is very simple. Atonement is received and offered. Having been received, it must be accepted. It is in the receiving, then, that healing lies. All else must follow from this single purpose.

Edited/modified from source: How are Healing and Atonement Related

Penny (PennyButler.com)
Penny (PennyButler.com)

Who are we? What are we doing here? What is the meaning of life? Penny is a truth-seeker, ever-questioning, ever-learning, ever-researching, ever delving further and deeper down the rabbit hole. This site is a legacy of sorts, a place to collect thoughts, notes, book summaries, whilst providing a searchable archive to easily lookup and reference.

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