Learning What Is From What Is Not

We said before that the Holy Spirit must teach through comparisons, and uses opposites to point to truth. (T-16.VII.6)

When the message of A Course in Miracles began to gel for me, when I began to see how every part fit into the whole, the Truth began to stand out for me in comparison to what the world taught or valued. This has continued to be the way I learn from the world.

The way it happened is I would sense that what was being conveyed, either a value or a concept, didn’t quite line up with Truth. As I compared it with what I was learning through the Course and the Holy Spirit, Truth became clearer to me and the value or concept would fall away. I loved the clarity but I also found myself angry at the person who brought the experience to me. Initially I thought I must be projecting, that I must really believe or value what they were teaching and that I was angry because I didn’t want to see this. But this never seemed to quite fit. In time I learned that what made me angry was not what they were saying, but that what they were saying brought Truth more sharply into my awareness. I was simultaneously enjoying the clarity and resenting it. My resentment stemmed from the awareness that the clarity I was enjoying was pulling me further and further away from the world and its values. I was learning to forgive the world and the ego was threatened.

What is forgiveness but a willingness that truth be true? (T-26.VII.10)

This indirect learning from the world began just as I entered training to become a life coach. Very soon after I started training I also returned to studying the Course after having taken a break for a couple of years. As soon as I opened the Course my focus shifted away from coaching and toward the Course. I knew I was supposed to be in coach training, I knew the Holy Spirit had led me there, but suddenly I was uncertain why. I could see where the practical skills I was learning would be useful. But I experienced much conflict because the values I was learning in training didn’t line up with what the Course teaches. Traditionally, as a coach you help others to dream a better dream. That wasn’t what I wanted to teach because it wasn’t what I wanted to learn. I wanted to awaken and so that was what I wanted to teach. Coach training was pulling me further into the world; the Course was pulling me away from it. After some struggle I finally made the choice to put my spiritual awakening first. From then on, the values I learned in coach training deepened my understanding of the Course and spiritual awakening by showing me what I didn’t want (to follow the ego) and making what I did want (to follow only the Holy Spirit) much clearer to me.

Everyday now I encounter hundreds of these distinctions that make clear to me what is Truth and what is not Truth. It happens when I am watching TV or reading a book or having a conversation or reading an email. It goes on all the time, bringing Truth into my awareness more and more. As a result, my life is simpler and my mind is quieter. Ultimately, what the Holy Spirit uses the world to teach you is:

Nothing but the truth is true, and what is false is false. (W-152.3)

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