Spirituality is hot. Fueled by the widespread desire of people to find some real meaning in life, websites that sell spirituality pop up like mushrooms. Sadly, in more than a few cases the primary motivator of such websites is not to teach forgiveness and/or shared interests. It’s more about making money, or to display the bloated ego of someone who seeks to be worshiped by as many spiritual seekers as possible. On the other hand, there are also many websites with true, heartfelt intentions that honestly seek to kindly invite people to consider a better choice, for example by providing inspiring ways to focus on love instead of anger and fear. However, in both cases Jesus would say this is not primarily what his course on attaining inner peace is about.
“The sole responsibility of the miracle worker is to accept the Atonement for himself”, Jesus tells us no less than three times in A Course in Miracles (T-2.V.5:1, T-5.V.7:8, M-7.3:2). Any time you feel the urge to teach spirituality to others, you should pause and ask: ‘How can anyone heal another’s mind if there is still so much healing work to be done in his own mind? And is my own mind healed already?’ Jesus reminds us: “You are still convinced that your understanding is a powerful contribution to the truth, and makes it what it is. Yet we have emphasized that you need understand nothing. Salvation is easy just because it asks nothing you cannot give right now.” (T-18.IV.7:5)
What we give is unconditional forgiveness. This we do in our own mind. It is equally powerful when applied, in the mind, to someone at the other end of the world whom you haven’t seen in a decade, as it is with your spouse or parents nearby, for example. You don’t need workshops or conferences to heal someone’s mind. In fact, regarding healing of others, Jesus states: “If the patient must change his mind in order to be healed, what does the teacher of God do? Can he change the patient’s mind for him? Certainly not.” (M-5.III.1:1) So don’t try to convince people of their need for spiritual insight, especially because there’s still so much work to do to accept the Atonement for yourself.
Perhaps one of the greatest pitfalls of spiritual websites, courses, training programs, workshops, you name it, is that they tend to focus exclusively on light and happiness. This focus is not wrong in and of itself, but in A Course in Miracles Jesus repeatedly stresses that in order to find light, we need to learn to calmly and honestly look at the darkness in the mind, and make sure we truly see it for what it is. “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. It is not necessary to seek for what is true, but it is necessary to seek for what is false.” (T-16.IV.6:1) “No one can escape from illusions unless he looks at them, for not looking is the way they are protected.” (T-11.V.1:1) This looking we cannot do successfully all on our own. But together with Jesus (or the Holy Spirit) we hold the lamp that will dispel the ego, just as darkness disappears when the light is switched on. So much for workshops teaching only affirmations of love.
Now, all this certainly doesn’t mean that you should lock yourself up and not demonstrate or communicate about spirituality. After all, Jesus emphasizes that the world needs happy learners and teachers of God, being “very old and worn and without hope” (M-1.4:4-5). And why wouldn’t it be you? “A teacher of God is anyone who chooses to be one” (M-1.1:1). The way to be an effective teacher of God is to live a normal life and radiate Jesus’ inner peace while doing so. In the manual, Jesus explains how this is the way to heal even the minds of those who are not open to healing at all: “…Patients [who] have chosen sickness. They believe that sickness has chosen them. Nor are they open-minded on this point. […] To them the separation is quite real. To them God’s teachers come, to represent another choice which they had forgotten. The simple presence of a teacher of God is a reminder. His thoughts ask for the right to question what the patient has accepted as true. […] With god’s Word in their minds they come in benediction, not to heal the sick but to remind them of the remedy that God has given them. […] Very gently they call to their brothers to turn away from death: “Behold, you Son of God, what life can offer you. Would you choose sickness in place of this?”” (M-5.III.2-11). They generally do not do this verbally. They do this by demonstrating the inner peace within them, merely by a peaceful demeanor; by not judging anything or anyone; by showing true empathy. And by seeking out the remaining dark spots in their own mind!
Again, the way to teach the Atonement is to accept it within yourself and then simply demonstrate this in an everyday, normal life. If you feel called by the Holy Spirit to organize workshops or study groups or conferences, or even devote your entire life to A Course in Miracles, then this is fine. Just be sure there is no ego drive underneath to focus on externals because of an unseen fear to look within, lest your own ego be dispelled by the lamp you hold with Jesus. The mind is healed “…not by the will of another, but by the union of the one Will with itself. And this is the function of God’s teachers: to see no will as separate from their own, nor theirs as separate from God’s.” (M-5.III.3:8). Seek therefore the Voice of the Holy Spirit to guide your thoughts and actions. “The Voice of the Holy Spirit does not command, because it is incapable of arrogance. It does not demand, because it does not seek control. It does not overcome, because it does not attack. It merely reminds.” (T-5.II.7:1). A true spiritual life is an ongoing practice to mirror and demonstrate Jesus’ inner peace in your own daily life in the illusory dream, while at the same time keeping up the searching of your own mind to barriers against love, guided by Jesus’ inner flashlight, until there is no single dark spot left to hide the Face of Christ. What could be more desirable?
Also see my seven “guidelines for living in an illusory world” in “Miracles or Murder: a guide to concepts of A Course in Miracles“. This guidebook, endorsed by Gary and Cindy Renard, was published in March 2016 by Outskirts Press and is available at Amazon.com: