In The Time of Christ
"Learning in the Time of Christ” – received
in the same manner as the books of A Course of Love – is
guidance from Jesus on the taking and learning of this course.
I ask you only to pause, to
give the mind a rest, to enter
a realm foreign to the mind
yet beloved to the heart.
LEARNING IN THE TIME OF CHRIST
A major difference between
A Course in Miracles and A
Course of Love has to do with the movement
into the Time of Christ, a time of direct learning in union and
relationship with God. The word learning is loosely used here for
no learning is needed in union and relationship.
Yet, as your work with A
Course of Love begins learning and unlearning
continue. It continues for the sole purpose for which learning has
always existed — that
of returning you from self-doubt to self-love. This could also
be expressed as returning you from your perceived state of separation
to your true state of union. Learning is needed only until perception
is cured. The perception of your separated state was the illusion
for which a cure was needed…and within A Course in
Perception is the result of learning. Perception is learning.
Since the mind is the realm
of perception we have taken a step away from the realm of perception
by appealing to the heart and the heart’s ability to learn
in a new way. You are thus instructed not to apply your thought
and your effort, your usual means of learning to this Course of
Love. This Course is not for the mind but for the heart. It is
not a way of thought and effort but a way of feeling, of ease,
and of direct relationship. Again I say to you, in the direct relationship
achieved in union, no learning is required. Until you have truly
recognized unity, which may come before or after completing the
Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, you continue
to perceive of yourself as a learning being. This is the only reason
for this continuation of the course work provided in A Course
in Miracles. While you continue to put effort
into learning what cannot be learned, as you continue to see yourself
as a student seeking
to acquire what you do not yet have, you cannot recognize the unity
in which you exist and be freed from learning forever.
This is not to say that you
will find this Course or the end of learning to be easy. Yet it
is your difficulty in giving up your attachment to learning through
the application of thought and effort that creates the perception
of this Course’s difficulty. Thus it is said to you to take
this Course with as little attachment to your old means of learning
as is possible for you. If you do not understand, accept that you
do not understand and go on. Listen to the words as if they are
spoken to you, for such they are. Listen as you would listen to
a friend in conversation. Listen simply to hear what is being said.
Listen simply to let the words enter you.
This is recommended for your first reading of the Course.
When you succeed at listening
without seeking for understanding, without grasping for meaning,
without applying the effort you are used to applying to study,
you begin the transformation that is the movement from head to
heart and from their separation to their union.
In wholeheartedness then you
are ready to return to a second reading of the Course. In wholeheartedness
you will find difficulty falling away and understanding arising.
You are beginning to know yourself in a new way. You are beginning
to know yourself without the perceptions and the judgments of the
mind. You are beginning to know yourself as you truly are and you
will begin to hear the language of the Course as the language of
your own heart.
Now you may feel quite compelled
to share your experience of the Course with others. What might
you expect to find?
Often you will find a desire
to read the Course again — to read it aloud — to hear
it spoken. This is a natural desire to let the words of the Course
enter you in yet another way — the way of voice. Again it
is not required nor even recommended that these readings be interrupted
by a search for meaning. Listen. Respond. Let meaning be revealed.
What you will find yourself
accepting through this method is precisely what cannot be taught.
What you are learning through this method is precisely what cannot
be sought after and attained through your seeking. What you are
finding through this method is receptivity. You are coming home
to the way of the heart. What you gain by sharing with others is
a situation in which you “learn” in unity through the
receptivity of the heart.
Am I telling you not to question?
Not to enter discussion? I am only telling you to receive before
you seek to perceive. I ask you not to receive as one who does
not have what another has, as this is not a passing on of information
that you do not possess. I ask you merely to receive in order to
learn receptivity, the way of the heart. I ask you only to pause,
to give the mind a rest, to enter a realm foreign to the mind and
yet beloved to the heart. I ask you but to give yourself a chance
to let the relief of not having another task to apply your effort
to fill you. I ask you but to give yourself a chance to forget
about approaching this as one more self-improvement exercise, or
one more objective to accomplish. Only in this way do you come
to realize you are already accomplished.
Through receptivity, what your
mind finds difficult to accept, your heart accepts with ease. Now
you are ready to question what you must. Now you are ready to hear
the answer that arises in your own heart or from the voice of the
man or woman sitting next to you. Now you are ready to hear all
the voices around you without judgment, to enter discussion without
an agenda to attend to, to not be so anxious to say what you are
thinking that you forget to listen. Now you are ready to let understanding
come without the aggressiveness of going out to get it.
You are patient, loving, and
kind. You have entered the time of tenderness. You begin to hear
what your feelings are saying to you without the interferences
and cautions of your thinking mind. You begin to trust and as you
begin to trust you begin to extend who you are. True giving and
receiving as one begins to take place. You have entered Holy Relationship.
The task of facilitators of
such meetings of open hearts is to direct the reader away from
ego mind and back to wholeheartedness or Christ-mind. How do you
feel? is a more appropriate question than What do you think? The
sharing of experience is more appropriate than the sharing of interpretation.
The sharing of process is more appropriate than the sharing of
outcome. Facilitators will keep readers from attempting one correct
interpretation as the only correct interpretation is that which
comes from each reader’s own internal guidance system. Group
attendees will find themselves feeling less competitive or interested
in asserting their beliefs as it becomes clear to them that unlike
in other learning situations, there is no correct answer or specific
set of beliefs to be adopted. The student begins to move beyond
the need for shared belief to personal conviction and authority.
Can students be misguided? Is
there, in other words, perhaps no “right” answer or
correct interpretation, but “wrong” answers and inaccurate
interpretations? This is a matter of unity versus separation rather
than a matter of right and wrong. In unity and relationship, each
is not only capable but will inevitably receive the answer and
come to the understanding or interpretation that is “right” for
Those who do not enter unity
and relationship cannot be helped, fixed, or shown the inaccuracies
of their perceptions. Their perceptions will remain true for them
because their minds have told them they are true and their belief
in the supremacy of the mind has temporarily overridden the openness
of their hearts. The need for some to remain within the teaching
and learning situation of “right” and “wrong” answers
will be strong. Many will not be dissuaded from the logic that
tells them they must work hard to attain anything of value.
Let me be clear. The seeming
lack of difficulty in this Course is where its difficulty lies.
To give up difficulty for ease is more than some egos are willing
to accept. To give up effort for receptivity is more than some
can accept. Why? Because it is too difficult. It goes against all
you have learned and the nature of the reality in which the mind
has functioned. In turning to the heart we seek to bypass this
difficulty as much as possible, but each will feel it to some degree,
the precise degree to which they are capable of giving up reliance
on what they but think has worked for them in the past.
The way of the heart is the
way of the Time of Christ. The time of the Holy Spirit has passed.
The time of the intermediary is over. The greatest intermediary
of all has been the mind. It has stood between you and your own
inner knowing, caught in a dream of perception.
Collectively and individually,
you have come to a level of frustration with what can be taught
that has exceeded its limits. Your readiness is felt as impatience.
Many can ride the wave of this impatience to a new way. Others
need to battle against it a while longer.
For those ready for a new way
the time of battles has ended. They care to engage in no more debates,
care not to be proven right or proven wrong, care not to hear the
evidence for this approach or that. They have grown weary of the
ways of the mind. They are ready to come home to the way of the
The way of learning in the Time
of Christ brings with it a new kind of evidence, an evidence demonstrated
clearly and plainly with every willingness to end reliance on the
ego-mind and to leave the hell of the separate self behind. What
will be demonstrated and shared is the perfect logic of the heart,
and that abandonment of the old way will not bring forth ruin but
will bring instead the wisdom that each one knows she or he has
Facilitators can rely on this
demonstration even when many in a group may remain attached to
the ways of the thinking mind. The demonstration will work for
those who observe from a place of unity even if it works not at
all for the reader who cannot find it within him- or her-self to
accept union. There is no cause to delay the movement of the group
or to feel anything but gentleness toward those who cannot at this
time accept the new way. No harm will come to anyone from the demonstration
that will be provided of just how little gain comes to those who
Through receptivity is the wisdom
inherent in being who you truly are revealed. Being who you truly
are, accepting your true identity is the goal of this Course and
of this beginning level of what I only loosely call a curriculum.
It is appropriate to remember and to be reminded at this level,
that being true to your Self is not about reaching an ideal state
or a state of identity exactly the same as another’s. It
is also not about being selfless. These ideas too are part of the
unlearning of this course and are to be discouraged.
Readers then naturally may wonder
what there is left to strive for and in doing so reach again the
very difficult transition away from striving. In unity, perfection
is the reality. Your reality is union. Thus no striving for either
unity or perfection is necessary. The “answer” for
those in need of challenges, is the challenge presented in the
call to reside in unity and to express the divinity of their nature
through sharing in union and relationship. This call is addressed
further in the work of the Treatises.
Readers who have not moved away
from their desire to learn something that will feed their minds
or egos, will seldom continue to this next level. The next level
brings with it the same situation the reader encountered in receiving
the Course, but the reader will now encounter these situations
in life. The reader is no longer only a reader. Their experience
of this course has extended beyond reading and beyond the classroom
situation. Now a time may come when studying truly seems to be
in order. The guidance provided by their reading may seem to come
and go and their desire to rely on what they have “learned” will
grow. They may desire to backtrack, review, or begin to highlight
passages to return to again and again. New questions may arise
and a desire for feedback or discussion grow stronger. This may
also be precisely the time when the reader is so caught up in experience
and learning “in life” that return to a group or classroom
situation feels next to impossible.
Rather than being in a standard
learning situation, what the reader who is now experiencing life
in a new way is doing is attempting to reinforce what he or she
already knows and has already accepted. The “language” is
returned to, as a helpful friend would be turned to for judgment-free
advice. What those who begin to experience life in a new way begin
to discover are the patterns of thoughts and behavior that are
most deeply entrenched in them. They feel in need of assistance!
At this point, groups may need
to become more flexible, meet less frequently, or even disband
in favor of former “classmates” meeting in more casual
and spontaneous encounters. It remains important for facilitators
and group members to be available to one another if at all possible
during this time, for what is being gained through experience is
still in need of being shared. This sharing can offer a rich and
rewarding opportunity for differences to be revealed and for the
welcome realization that differences do not make separate.
The forward motion, regardless
of a group’s configuration, is still the same, and it is
one away from learning and toward acceptance of what is. While
differences may be highlighted in this time, what will be revealed
through sharing is that while experiences may differ greatly and
seem to be offering diverse “learning” situations,
the individuals will actually be coming to many very similar new
insights and truths.
The impatience of the earlier
level may seem to have increased as the experiences will be moving
each individual along at her own pace. Comparisons may arise and
some may feel they are not advancing as quickly as others, while
those moving quickly may feel in need of time to catch their breath!
Now, despite the rapidity of
movement or lack thereof, to read the Treatises together will likely
feel as if it is almost a waste of valuable time. Thus, gatherings
of those working with the treatises will naturally include more
sharing of experiences. The facilitator’s task is now one
of placing these experiences in context. After giving the group
time to talk, the facilitator might choose a brief passage that
will fit within the content of the sharing. Always it is the facilitator’s
role to guide the individual group members away from inclinations,
which may be strong during this time, to “figure things out.” Problem
solving is to be discouraged. Trust is to be encouraged. Often,
a discussion can be facilitated greatly by the question, “How
might we be able to look at this situation in a new way?” To
encourage the gentleness of the Art of Thought over the relentless
stridency of the thinking mind is always helpful. Obsessive thinking
is always ruthless, judgmental, and wearing on the thinker. He
or she needs help in breaking its grip and should never be allowed
Assisting individuals with the
recognition of patterns is also a highly valuable service that
facilitators and other group members can provide. The entrenched
patterns of the past are difficult to dislodge even when they have
been recognized. Individuals can be encouraged here to “watch
the parade go by” as what has gone unhealed is brought forward
for acceptance, forgiveness, and letting go. With the letting go
of each old pattern or situation that seems fraught with peril,
a cloud of despair will lift, a little more of darkness recedes,
and a little more light is available to show the way.
Often here the facilitator will
meet as well individual assessments and self-doubts. Group members
may wonder if they are missing something. They may feel as if they
have not experienced unity or as if they are no closer to knowing
themselves or God. They may feel as if this course of study that
seemed to be working so well for a while now is letting them down.
They may wonder where and when the peace, ease, and abundance promised
by this course will arrive. These need help in staying grounded
in the present and reminders that they are no longer seeking. They
need your reassurance that this time of engagement with life is
just what is needed to integrate what has been learned. A return
to the simple words that begin the Treatise on Unity would be appropriate: “A
treasure that you do not as yet recognize is going to be recognized.
Once recognized it will begin to be regarded as an ability. And
finally, through experience it will become your identity."
The achievements of the past,
achievements that awarded credentials, certificates, and degrees,
admiration, respect, and status, are now a thing of the past. What
individuals may well be looking for is their reward for the investment
they have made in this coursework. While they are looking for it
to show up in an old way they will miss the new ways that are being
revealed to them. Remind them gently that the achievements of the
past were not lasting and that they are not what they would truly
want now. Remind them that the goal is reached in being who they
are at last. It is present — not in the future. It is with
them — not beyond them. The treasure is them."
Beyond the coursework of the treatises
lies direct relationship...direct relationship with me. Entering
is the way this is expressed; yet this is not merely about entering
spoken dialogue. As was said in A Treatise on the Art of Thought, “Creation
is but a dialogue to which you have not responded.
Creation is a dialogue.
Creation is an unending act
of giving and receiving as one. So too is dialogue.
"Listen and you will hear.” But
to what are you listening? Entering the dialogue is akin to residing
in the present moment and to hearing all that is being spoken in
all the ways it is being spoken. Now is the time to truly begin
to hear my voice in every aspect of creation and to respond with
your own voice in all of your own acts of creation. It is time
to realize that you are a creator.
This is a time of great intimacy.
This is a time that is between you and I more so than has been
the coursework up to this point. It is a time of realizing that “I” am
speaking to “you” directly in every moment of every
day, in all that you encounter, in all that you feel. It is a time
of true revelation in which you are revealed to your Self.
This is what dialogue, particularly
the dialogue that is an exchange between “two or more gathered
together” reveals. It reveals Who You Are.
This relationship between Self
and Other, Self and Life, Self and God, Humanity and Divinity,
is the dialogue of which we speak. It may seem to suggest duality
but it suggests relationship. The idea of unity and relationship
must fully enter you now.
This Course … is new
come to extend the way of
the way of love, the
way of living, the new way.
You are not a “student” of
The Dialogues but a full participant in The Dialogues. You have
entered the final stages of revelation of Who You Are. When Who
You Are is fully revealed you will realize that it is time to leave
the classroom and live as Who You Are in the world. You will realize
that your participation in the world as Who You Are is part of
an on-going dialogue, and that it is an on-going aspect of creation
by which the new will be created.
What now will be your relationship
to this work that has returned you to Who You Are? Your relationship
to this work continues as you live and express Who You Are being
in the world. For some of you this may mean continued involvement
with this coursework and a direct sharing of it with others. For
many more of you it will not.
For each, being Who You Are
will be an expression of unity and oneness that only you are able
to express. As each expresses who they are being in unity and relationship,
creation of the new will proceed and wholeness and healing renew
the world in which you live.
This Course becomes a beloved
alma mater, honored and returned to as a giver of new life. It
offers no walls to confine you. It becomes not dogma to restrict
you. It is new life come to extend the way of creation, the way
of love, the way of living, the new way. It will be with you in
every dialogue and will not leave you comfortless. It has no end
point in its benefits and associations.
What continues of this Course is its dialogue. It is
Gather still with those with
whom you learned and grew and became new, but gather in ever-wider
configurations. This dialogue is going on all around you. I am
with you and will never leave you comfortless. Call on me, for
I am here. Talk to me, and I will hear you. Listen, and I will
respond. I am in each voice that responds to you and your voice
is mine as you respond to others.
Go forth not as completed works
of art but as permeable energy, ever changing, ever creating, ever
new. Go forth with openness for revelation to happen through you
and through all you encounter. Go forth joyously on this adventure
of discovery. Be ever new, ever one, ever the beloved.
Bring your voice to this continuing
dialogue. This is all that is asked of you. This is the gift you
have been given and the gift you bring the world: your own voice,
the voice of Who You Are. This is not a voice of separation or
of the separated self but a voice of union and of the One Self.
It is how union is expressed and made recognizable in form. It
is what will usher in the new and change the world. It cannot be
accomplished without you – without your ability to stand
in unity and relationship as The Accomplished.
Beloved brothers and sisters,
You are The Accomplished.
A network of individuals and
groups interested in joining together to share this course and
who they are is being developed. To provide your contact information,
write to email@example.com