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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 14 Teaching for Truth

II. The Happy Learner

1. The Holy Spirit needs a happy learner, in whom His mission can be happily accomplished.  You who are steadfastly devoted to misery must first recognize that you are miserable and not happy.  The Holy Spirit cannot teach without this contrast, for you believe that misery is happiness.  This has so confused you that you have undertaken to learn to do what you can never do, believing that unless you learn it you will not be happy.  You do not realize that the foundation on which this most peculiar learning goal depends means absolutely nothing.  Yet it may still make sense to you.  Have faith in nothing. and you will find the “treasure” that you seek. Yet you will add another burden to your already burdened mind. You will believe that nothing is a value and will value it. A little piece of glass, a speck of dust, a body, or a war are one to you. For if you value one thing made of nothing, you have believed that nothing can be precious, and that you can learn how to make the untrue true.

2. The Holy Spirit, seeing where you are but knowing you are elsewhere, begins His lesson in simplicity with the fundamental teaching that truth is true. This is the hardest lesson you will ever learn, and in the end the only one.  Simplicity is very difficult for twisted minds.  Consider all the distortions you have made of nothing; all the strange forms and feelings and actions and reactions that you have woven out of it. Nothing is so alien to you as this simple truth, and nothing are you less inclined to listen to. The contrast between what is true and what is not is perfectly apparent, yet you do not see it. The simple and the obvious are not apparent to those who would make palaces and royal robes of nothing, believing they are kings with golden crowns because of them.

3. All this the Holy Spirit sees, and teaches, simply, that all this is not true. To those unhappy learners who would teach themselves nothing and delude themselves into believing that it is not nothing, the Holy Spirit says, with steadfast quietness: “The truth is true. Nothing else matters, nothing else is real, and everything beside it is not there.  Let Me make the one distinction for you that you cannot make but need to learn. Your faith in nothing is deceiving you. Offer your faith to Me, and I will place it gently in the holy place where it belongs. You will find no deception there, but only the simple truth. And you will love it because you will understand it.” 

4. Like you, the Holy Spirit did not make truth. Like God, He knows it to be true. He brings the light of truth into the darkness, and lets it shine on you. And as it shines your brothers see it and realizing that this light is not what you have made, they see in you more than you see. They will be happy learners of the lesson this light brings to them because it teaches them release from nothing and from all the works of nothing. The heavy chains that seem to bind them to despair they do not see as nothing, until you bring the light to them. And then they see the chains have disappeared, and so they must have been nothing. And you will see it with them. Because you taught them gladness and release, they will become your teachers in release and gladness.

5. When you teach anyone that truth is true, you learn it with him. And so you learn that what seemed hardest was the easiest. Learn to be a happy learner. You will never learn how to make nothing everything. Yet see that this has been your goal and recognize how foolish it has been. Be glad it is undone, for when you look at it in simple honesty, it is undone. I said before, “Be not content with nothing,” for you have believed that nothing could content you.  It is not so.

6. If you would be a happy learner, you must give everything you have learned to the Holy Spirit, to be unlearned for you. And then begin to learn the joyous lessons that come quickly on the firm foundation that truth is true. For what is built there is true and built on truth. Th universe of learning will open up before you in all its gracious simplicity. With truth before you, you will not look back.

7. The happy learner meets the conditions of learning here, as he meets the conditions of knowledge in the Kingdom. All this lies in the Holy Spirit’s plan to free you from the past and open up the way to freedom for you.  For truth is true. What else could ever be, or ever was? This simple lesson holds the key to the dark door that you believe is locked forever. You made this door of nothing, and behind it is nothing. The key is only the light that shines away the shapes and forms and fears of nothing. Accept this key to freedom from the hands of Christ who gives it to you, that you may join Him in the holy task of bringing light. For, like your brothers, you do not realize the light has come and freed you from the sleep of darkness.

8. Behold your brothers in their freedom and learn of them how to be free of darkness. The light in you will waken them, and they will not leave you asleep. The vision of Christ is given the very instant that it is perceived. Where everything is clear, it is all holy.  The quietness of its simplicity is so compelling that you will realize it is impossible to deny the simple truth. For there is nothing else. God is everywhere, and His Son is in Him with everything. Can he sing the dirge of sorrow when this is true?[1]

Today we come to our devotional practice with a happy heart and mind devoted to learning truth.  As long as we believe that we can find happiness in humanity, we must learn that what is happiness to humanity is but misery and bondage.  All the things that mean so much to us, a bit of food, a diamond ring, our guts, our conflicts, our fun times, our substances, our sex drives, our yearning for status and social acceptance, our cars and houses, our wardrobes and careers are nothing – they pass into oblivion never to be recovered.  The very foundation of our human existence spells meaningless and misery, bondage and scarcity, decay and death but it may still make sense to us – we may think we can make it work for us, we may still be trying to find our treasure in that which passes quickly into nothingness.  We may still find value in that which taxes our overtaxed minds.  We may spend our entire lives trying to make that which is false and destined for death to be true and give us meaning, purpose, and life.  

So the first lesson we learn from Holy Spirit is the contrast between misery and happiness.  I am reminded of an evangelistic service we attended several years ago in Taiwan.  One of the converts was called upon to give her testimony.  She spoke of how happy she had been in darkness and how miserable she was in the light, but it was her pleasure to suffer for Christ because He had suffered for her.  She may have to give up her happiness in darkness now, but she would be in heaven for eternity unlike her friends still in darkness who would burn in hell.   While the efforts of the evangelists to save the ones lost in darkness seemed sincere, the girl testified to the failure of such gospel to make happy. 

Let us not make the same dimwitted mistake!  For if we long for darkness we are not in the light.  If we feel as if we have to give up things we love in exchange for some pie in the sky after we die, we have not recognized our plight in time.  We are still being duped by the ego – accepting the misery of our bondage and cherishing that which herds us away from all that truly blesses, restores and brings us joy unstoppable and full of glory. 

Holy Spirit which dwells within each one of us knows who and what we really are.  We may think we are imprisoned in flesh and blood, fueled by fear, guilt, and death, but Holy Spirit knows we are Sons of God.  The perceptual world is does not hold truth, and only the truth is true.  This is the only real lesson we learn but it is the hardest lesson one.  It is simple and direct, but for minds twisted and muddled by falsehood and guilt, shame and fear it is very difficult.  Out of all that is not Love, Peace, and Joy we have made a world of chaos, uncertainty, weirdness and substitutions of all that opposes God.  Jesus says that nothing is so alien to us as the uncomplicated truth of ONLY TRUTH IS TRUE.  There is nothing we are less inclined to listen to!  No matter how apparent the contrast between that which is of God and thereby Truth and that which must be something else altogether is, we simply do not see it.  We have confused ourselves because we would oppose that which cannot be opposed.  We would take that which is eternal and make it finite.  We would take that which is love and make it fearful.  We would take that which is joyful and put a price tag on it.  And so we made a perceptual world based upon our opposition and weird perversions of the truth.  We made a big nothing, a black hole, a deep sleep.  Whatever you want to call it, it simply is not right or factual or good, but we cherish it because we made it and we call it true. 

When we learn that only truth is true we become happy learners.  Otherwise we continue to be unhappy learners who teach themselves a different gospel.  We believe the perceptual world is a threat to God; we believe that opposition to God can be made real and true and powerful and make God go into rages and seek vengeance upon us.  To these unhappy learners who are full of fear, whose salvation is not joyful, who secretly dread spending eternity with a God who could go to war upon His own Creation, Holy Spirit says:  The truth is true – nothing else matters, nothing else is real, and everything other than truth is not there.  Let Me make the one distinction for you that you cannot make but need to learn.  Your faith in your fictional kingdom deceives you.  Offer your faith to Me and I will put your faith in the holy place where it goes.  Your faith will be safe and sure in God’s Kingdom for it is where it should be in the first place.   You won’t be afraid anymore.  You will love the holy place because you will be at home there and you will understand it because I will restore to you what you forgot.” 

Holy Spirit did not make truth, but He knows it because Holy Spirit is God’s Voice.  Holy Spirit brings the light of truth into the dark dream and shines it upon us.  As the light of truth shines on you, I see it and realize that you did not make this up – for it goes beyond what has ever been written or said or forced upon us.  It is as daybreak in my mind as I see the light of truth in you for you remind me of where I belong and what I really am.  I will see it in you more than you see it in you, and you will see it in me more than you see it in yourself.  This is because we are one and this is what we are meant to share and to teach one another for I cannot go home without you, and you cannot go home without me.

You can preach another gospel to me all you want.  You can threaten me with hellfire.  You can tell me stories of a God who would take pleasure in the smoke and aroma of charred meat.  You can rattle my conscience with accounts of martyrs, patriots, and idealists who suffered and bled and died for Christ and seek to fill me with guilt and shame.  You can tell me that there are two doors and I better pick the one door that goes to God or otherwise I will spend the rest of eternity with the devil.  This does not make me a happy learner, but a fearful one.   

But give me the light of truth.  Let me see that anything that opposes Love cannot exist, that it is a dream, an illusion, a holographic vision of what can never hold up outside of time.  And my joy will be full.  I will be drawn to the light of truth and the light of truth in me will draw others.  For when we see that all that we do in the flesh that binds us to sorrow and dread, punishment and death is nothing – the chains of humanity drop from us, we see time as a means to an end, not an end in itself, and we will teach each other the truth about who and what we really are. 

When we teach others that truth is true, we learn it with them. When I first met my husband we began a spiritual quest.  Both of us were egotistical and knew that was no way to be – for Holy Spirit was calling to us, reminding us of what we really are.  For the past 24 years we have been teaching each other little by little that only truth is true.  A little over three years ago, Holy Spirit reunited us with an estranged friend, and we are learning truth is true with her.  Others join in with us to learn from us as we learn from them.  We do not need a tabernacle, for we carry about in us the Kingdom of God.  Truth does not need a large congregation.  The gospels indicate that where two or three are gathered together in Sonship there is Christ.  We do not seek a following, only a sharing, one by one, two by two we return to God’s Kingdom.  There are no masters, no gurus, no ridiculous cult-like leadership – we are Sons of God, we are the Brotherhood of Christ.  We come in mutuality. 

I am learning truth is true from you even as you are learning truth is true from me.  We are learning to be happy learners for we have recognized that nothing can never be our anything let alone our everything; we have recognized the difference between darkness and light; we see how futile is our base humanity and we are glad that it is undone for as soon as we see it in the light of God’s truth, it is undone for us.  We cannot go back to it, we cannot be content with nothingness, we have been set free from it.  Our testimony is one of joy. 

To share this joy, we must give everything we think we know already to Holy Spirit to be unlearned for us.  We must see our true predicament; we must see how miserable our salvation is when we think that nothingness is real and that we must be accountable for the illusions made in opposition to God.  When only truth is true, only truth stands and what is built upon truth stands forever.  Jesus tells us that the universe of learning opens up to us in all its gracious simplicity – for we are not putting a lot of garbage into our minds that we have to sort through to separate the truth from fiction.  The fiction melts away because only truth is true.  With truth so apparent to us, there is no longing for darkness, no regrets, no sorrow for we know the truth about darkness and cannot be duped by it ever again. 

In paragraph seven, Jesus tells us that by being happy learners, we meet the conditions of learning.  We do not give up our humanity with sorrow and shame.  We do not lay aside our egos with regret and longing.  We are happy to put them aside for we know they are nothing.  We do not look back upon them with anything but happiness that we learned what we were meant to learn and can return to the place we belong.  Our happiness in Sonship is what meets the conditions of knowing God’s Kingdom.  All of this happens when we work with Holy Spirit instead of against Him – we are freed from the past which is gone forever – only truth is true and only truth is forever.  None of that stuff matters – how could it?  In the big scope of things, what you call precious in time is as nothing – it is over before it began.  This simple truth is the key to our freedom from that which seemed to doom us forever to a stark scarcity and mean loneliness.  This truth is the light that shines away all the things that happen in darkness that terrify us and cause us to rise up in attack and counterattack.  This is the truth of Christ Who gives it to us to join with Him in His Light and in the awakening of all. 

For we awaken not to fly away with Jesus and escape the vengeance of God, but to awaken others even as they awaken us.  This is a world event, and it happens over time.  The world cannot be free of darkness until we all recognize the light of Christ within us.  Our Sonship is established in our minds forever the very instant we perceive the truth.  For when everything is clear to us, all is holy.  There is no darkness, there are no works of darkness, all is calm and quiet and right – and in that simple goodness it is impossible for any one of us, no matter how steeped in darkness – to deny the truth that sets us free.  There is nothing else but truth for only truth is true, only truth stands.  All fiction falls away.  God is everywhere and we are with God in everything for we are the Sonship of God and the Brotherhood of Christ.  Do not let the religiosity of the terms put vain pictures in your head of white hair and gold thrones, crimson blood and whitewashed robes.  Let us remember God in Love, as Spirit and as Truth, even as we remember our holy Selves in Him. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 14 Teaching for truth. II. The happy learner.  Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

Filed under: ACIM

About the Author

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Coming up on sixty, my love for God, home and hearth, my husband and family fueled my decision to devote the rest of my life only to pursuits which brought love, joy, peace, and purpose. I am a writer, seeker, student, and teacher with experience professional and otherwise from waitressing to teaching the English language in China, Taiwan, and Singapore. I hold a BA in Psychology from Bloomsburg University, which took nearly 30 years to attain while I squeezed courses in between raising my children, journaling, relationships, work, and an assortment of escapades, some of which I would rather forget! An ongoing passion for reading, writing, adventure, food, and fun, eventually led me to the love of my life, James, whom I met in 1996 and married in 1997. Our life together has been an exciting journey of work and travel, spiritual awakening, and domestic bliss ever since. Although we have experienced the tragic loss of family members and friends through death and estrangement, we have managed to turn our special relationship into a holy one by the grace of God and an acute and growing awareness of “there must be a better way!” In 2006, I published my first novel, Luella’s Calling, and am currently working on my second, Grover Good and the Stone Chateau. From 2013 through 2018, I worked as a Prevention Education Specialist for Transitions, a local domestic violence sexual abuse victim’s service agency. My work there, fueled by a lifelong enthusiasm for teaching, led me to obtain an MS in Education from Scranton University. In 2018, I resigned to accompany James on his work travels while focusing on my calling to study and teach A Course in Miracles. To that end, I dedicate the rest of my days to writing, sharing, and teaching the message of salvation found within the Course pages. Thank you for your interest in this blog. As I do not respond to comments on the posts, if you care to contact me, please email me at eckief@yahoo.com.

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