29. AS FOR THE REST…
1. This manual is not intended to answer all questions that both teacher and pupil may raise. In fact, it covers only a few of the more obvious ones, in terms of a brief summary of some of the major concepts in the text and workbook. It is not a substitute for either, but merely a supplement. While it is called a manual for teachers, it must be remembered that only time divides teacher and pupil, so that the difference is temporary by definition. In some cases, it may be helpful for the pupil to read the manual first. Others might do better to begin with the workbook. Still others may need to start at the more abstract level of the text.
2. Which is for which? Who would profit more from prayers alone? Who needs but a smile, being as yet unready for more? No one should attempt to answer these questions alone. Surely no teacher of God has come this far without realizing that. The curriculum is highly individualized, and all aspects are under the Holy Spirit’s particular care and guidance. Ask and He will answer. The responsibility is His, and He alone is fit to assume it. To do so is His function. To refer the questions to Him is yours. Would you want to be responsible for decisions about which you understand so little? Be glad you have a teacher who cannot make a mistake. His answers are always right. Would you say that of yours?
3. There is another advantage – and a very important one – in referring decisions to the Holy Spirit with increasing frequency. Perhaps you have not thought of this aspect, but its centrality is obvious. To follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance is to let yourself be absolved of guilt. It is the essence of the Atonement. It is the core of the curriculum. The imagined usurping of functions not your own is the basis of fear. The whole world you see reflects the illusion that you have done so, making fear inevitable. To return the function to the one to whom it belongs is thus the escape from fear. And it is this that lets the memory of love return to you. Do not, then, think that following the Holy Spirit’s guidance is necessarily merely because of your own inadequacies. It is the way out of hell for you.
4. Here again is the paradox often referred to in the course. To say, “Of myself I can do nothing” is to gain all power. And yet it is but a seeming paradox. As God created you, you have all power. The image you made of yourself has none. The Holy Spirit knows the truth about you. The image you made does not. Yet, despite its obvious and complete ignorance, this image assumes it knows all things because you have given that belief to it. Such is your teaching, and the teaching of the world that was made to uphold it. But the Teacher Who knows the truth has not forgotten it. His decisions bring benefit to all, being wholly devoid of attack. And therefore incapable of arousing guilt.
5. Who assumes a power that he does not possess is deceiving himself. Yet to accept the power given him by God is but to acknowledge his Creator and accept His gifts. And His gifts have no limit. To ask the Holy Spirit to decide for you is simply to accept your true inheritance. Does this mean that you cannot say anything without consulting Him? No, indeed! That would hardly be practical, and it is the practical with which this course is most concerned. If you have made it a habit to ask for help when and where you can, you can be confident that wisdom will be given you when you need it. Prepare for this each morning, remember God when you can throughout the day, ask the Holy Spirit’s help when it is feasible to do so, and thank Him for His guidance at night. And your confidence will be well founded indeed.
6. Never forget that the Holy Spirit does not depend on your words. He understands the requests of your heart and answers them. Does this mean that, while attack remains attractive to you, He will respond with evil? Hardly! For God has given Him the power to translate your prayers of the heart into His language. He understands that an attack is a call for help. And He responds with help accordingly. God would be cruel if He let your words replace His own. A loving father does not let his child harm himself or choose his own destruction. He may ask for injury, but his father will protect him still. And how much more than this does your Father love His Son?
7. Remember you are His completion and His Love. Remember your weakness is His strength. But do not read this hastily or wrongly. If His strength is in you, what you perceive as your weakness is but illusion. And He has given you the means to prove it so. Ask all things of His Teacher, and all things are given you. Not in the future but immediately, now. God does not wait, for waiting implies time and He is timeless. Forget your foolish images, your sense of frailty, and your fear of harm, your dreams of danger and selected “wrongs.” God knows but His Son, and he was created so he is. In confidence I place you in His Hands, and I give thanks for you that this is so.
8. And now in all your doing be you blessed. God turns to you for help to save the world. Teacher of God, His thanks He offers you. And all the world stands silent in the grace you bring from Him. You are the Son He loves, and it is given you to be the means through which His Voice is heard around the world, to close all things of time, to end the sight of all things visible, and to undo all things that change. Through you is ushered in a world unseen, unheard, yet truly there. Holy are you, and in your light the world reflects your holiness, for you are not alone and friendless. I give thanks for you, and join your efforts on behalf of God, knowing that they are on my behalf as well, and for all those who walk to God with me. Amen.
Today as we wrap up our study of A Course in Miracles and the accompanying Manual for Teachers, Jesus reminds us that teacher and pupil are divided only in time. In time we are both teacher and pupil for we cannot learn anything of God on our own. As we answer the call of God in our lives, we know that without each other, we are nothing. So let us in our teaching – remember and teach that all aspects of our learning are guided by Holy Spirit. Who am I to give you advice on where to start the Course – this is the responsibility of Holy Spirit and our function as both teachers and pupils is to take our questions to Him.
I may mistakenly mislead others by the things I say and the ways in which I get my points across. Eckie Friar does not have the patience of Holy Spirit; Eckie Friar still gets her feelings hurt; Eckie Friar still craves people to like her more than she cares to admit! Whether I make mistakes, mispronounce or misspell words, interpret A Course in Miracles incorrectly, go on rants against those who annoy me – this has no bearing on the fact that I am your brother in Christ and that I am both your teacher and your pupil, even as you are mine. We are in this altered state of consciousness together. We have much to learn from each other. I can only learn from you, and you can only learn from me. So let us teach and learn together under the perfect guidance of Holy Spirit who will lovingly correct our mistakes and show us a better way.
In paragraph three of today’s passage, Jesus advises us to learn to go to Holy Spirit frequently. When we jump into situations without the guidance of Holy Spirit, we are going to bring our tempers, our triggers, our hurts and sorrows. We will fail to see the offensive words and behaviors of others as a call for help and will go into defeat, defense, or attack. Without Holy Spirit we will withdraw and stew over what they said or did; we will tell them to shut their trap; we will threaten their salvation, we will say mean things, use foul language, we might even want to attack someone physically. When we put others into the hands of Holy Spirit, we can absolve ourselves of guilt. We can simply let them ramble on about whatever they choose to ramble about and love them anyway. We do not have to jump in and defend anybody’s position, set them straight, or cast out their “devils.” We escape all hellishness by simply remembering that our function is to go to Holy Spirit and put every troubling situation, relationship, and circumstance into His very capable hands. He knows the whole story, and He will tell us what to say and what to do, and what not to say and what not to do!
With Holy Spirit in charge instead of ego, the memory of love returns to us. And the memory of love leads us away from attack, conflict, and spite. I can look at the one who has hurt me and be unable to do anything but love her. I can look at the one who just insulted me, and laugh with true mirth, knowing who and what I am in Christ. I can forgive those who falsely accused me, the ones who were only too willing to throw me under the bus to make themselves look innocent, the ones who cheated on me and betrayed my confidences. I cannot do this on my own, but with Holy Spirit I regain the power that saves me from ongoing cycles of spite and vengeance, which bring peace and healing to no one.
When we put our egos aside and turn to Holy Spirit, His decisions benefit everybody – not just us. We do not ask Him for special favors, for the best seats, for the biggest fish, for the brightest star – for in holiness we are incapable of wanting anything that would arouse the guilt and make us ashamed for seeking that which would lift us above others. Such gifts of the world sicken us and turn us against each other. There can be no Sonship where one is esteemed while others are not. There can be no Brotherhood when one is sucking up all the glory and attention while others are neglected, ignored, and cast out. Holy Spirit is the truth about us; the ego is not. Holy Spirit remembers our real Identity and our real source of power in Sonship. While ego would have us say, “Of myself I can do all things;” Holy Spirit reminds us that our power comes only from the oneness and unity of our true identity in Christ.
The inner guidance of Holy Spirit is our true inheritance. Let this be a natural, beautiful practice for you. Do not judge yourself when you fail to turn to Him but let every instance in which you fail to reach for His guidance teach you again of your legacy. In paragraph five, Jesus outlines a daily practice that is both practical and simple – in the morning we turn to Holy Spirit and ask Him to be in charge of our day; throughout the day we remember God when we can, we call for Holy Spirit’s guidance in making decisions when we think of it, and we thank Him for guiding us at night before we go to bed. As easy as this is, it is a beautiful way in which to become familiar with the Voice for God inside, to learn to accentuate upon our consciousness the benefit to ourselves and others that comes from heeding His guidance, and to gain confidence in speaking about and sharing the things of God in our lives.
Holy Spirit is our Teacher, Protector, and Friend. He is the Voice for God that is always there, compelling us to reach past the altered consciousness of malice and ill will, poverty and shame, to the freedom and liberty of Spirit. Holy Spirit is the Face of Christ within each one of us, the inner light, the quiet direction. The more we consciously choose to stop allowing the ego to obscure His gentle, beautiful, all-knowing guidance from our awareness, the more we come to appreciate and remember God’s love, devotion, tender mercy, and care.
Commit to remembering our Father’s love for us, His Son. Heaven is not Heaven without you and without me in it, for we complete God even as He completes us. All that is weak about us, all that is frail, all that is shameful and mean and stupid, all that is diseased and all that dies is but a manufactured, altered perception of God’s Son. God has given us the means to come Home, to be restored to His Kingdom – we have His Teacher within us, and all things come to us when we go to Him and ask.
Today as we end our Course study for 2021, Jesus places you and places me in the Hands of God. He thanks us for sticking it out, just as we thank Him for helping us get through it. Meditate upon the blessing that Jesus bestows upon us in paragraph eight. As we join with Christ, His vision becomes our vision. That which was invisible becomes visible to us; that which seemed stark and sinful, terrible and wrong fades away in the light of God’s Love and the love I have for you, and the love you have for me in Christ.
Thank you for studying A Course in Miracles with me this year! It was my privilege to answer the call of God in my life to learn and teach this course. Thank you for agreeing to be both teacher and pupil as we studied this Course together. Your emails and the encouragement you offered touch my heart and boost my spirits, which at times flagged throughout the year. While we are looking forward to continuing a deeper study of the Manual for Teachers in 2022, for right now we will dedicate the few remaining days of this year for review. Several students have offered to share their anecdotes and personal application of what they have learned throughout the text study – and I am really looking forward to sharing this with you. Remember God’s Kingdom Comes, God’s Will is Done each time we learn of and share in His gifts.
 A Course in Miracles. Manual for Teachers. 29. As for the rest… 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