Your Itch to Share is Your Own Desire to Learn

When I began as a student of A Course in Miracles over 3 decades ago I was itching to share what I learned with everyone. I didn’t, though, because I knew how much I hated it when others proselytized. Even if I didn’t mean to convert anyone I knew that’s how my sharing would be perceived. I also knew that if I shared what ACIM really teaches others would think I was nuts. I knew how radical it was and I only trusted it myself because I’d experienced Revelation and miracles early on. In fact once in my excitement I took a chance and shared with some acquaintances something I heard from the Holy Spirit and one of them, a nurse, asked, “Was this Voice inside your mind or outside of you?” I reassured her that I was not psychotic; the Voice was in my mind. The experienced reinforced for me how it was best to keep my new experiences private. I only discussed some of them with other ACIM students.

I also suspected, correctly, that my itch to share was not from the Holy Spirit. The feeling was too strong. The Holy Spirit is a quiet knowing, not a strong or passionate feeling. So I didn’t trust the itch and I didn’t want to be led by it. I wrote in my journal when there was no one with whom to share a lesson. If I was ever going to teach ACIM, and I didn’t know that I was, I wanted to be led into it by the Holy Spirit. And when it came time to teach, that is how it happened. It wasn’t an itch that moved me, but a quiet knowing that this was what I was to do next. And ever since then, when I do share in my writing what I am learning or what I have learned, I am not led by an itch. Instead it just flows out of me.

So what was this itch if it wasn’t the Holy Spirit? In time I realized that my own itch to share with others was my own itch to deepen or clarify the particular lesson I wanted to share. The itch still came at times, but the lesson never flowed out of me then. I wasn’t ready to share it because the lesson wasn’t solid in me yet. I needed to deepen and clarify the lesson in myself before I could share it with others. I’ve come to see that my writing occurs when I am consolidating a lesson, not when it is new to me. In fact, my writing about something means I’m ready to move past it, on to a deeper level with the same lesson, or on to other lessons.

The vast majority of students of ACIM do not eventually teach others. But of course the itch to share is not limited to those who do end up teaching. The itch is just a sign that you want a lesson to go deeper in yourself. If the itch won’t pass it can help to write about it in a journal. And if you journalize with the Holy Spirit it can be a practice that helps the lesson deepen in you.

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Learn about the books The ACIM Mentor Articles, The Plain Language A Course in Miracles, 4 Habits for Inner Peace, and Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace at www.acimmentor.com.

Comments

will said…
Our public library has a book sale twice a year. Everything is laid out on folding tables like we used to use in elementary school. 4'x8’ tables. The section with religious or new age had three tables covered with books. Everything from Zuni fetishes to any type of bible you can imagine. I guess there were 500 books sitting there. This didn’t include the Self Help/Psychology sections.
30 years ago, if you were in recovery from addiction and were serious about it you could get a job helping other addicted people. If you wanted the jobs with benefits you needed a Bachelors degree ‘in something.’ This gave a kind of prestige among your peers. But so many people got into the addictions field that were sicker than the people they were supposedly helping. Maybe it’s my cynicism but I see this going on with ACIM. There is such a strong pull to believe that “being in the field” means you have attained a certain level spiritually. Human nature I guess.
hannah said…
by golly youre helpful!
will said…
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will said…
Prestige: Widespread respect and admiration felt for someone on the basis of a PERCEPTION of their achievements or quality. (caps mine)

Oxford English Dictionary
bat said…
man, i know exactly what you're talking about. It's amazing seeing this here. Sometimes during my course journey i'd feel this intense need to start a blog, or join a forum, or post somewhere about what i've learned. It's like this excitement, and i knew something was up because it all hinged on being seen by others, getting recognition somehow.

"Look at me, i'm brilliant! I've figured it all out, and here's how you can too!"

And, of course, after a week i'd just end up in the same rut, learning the same crap as always.

I now know it was just ego. Like you said, when you've learned a lesson, you feel like it flows out of you. There's no excitement or desire to be noticed when you do share what you've learned, it's all very neutral and graceful. This is a great lesson. Thanks Liz.
will said…
Seeking prestige and also talking about prestige is a slippery slope. It's in all of us but it opens the door for ego attack. The ego using shame (or whatever).
will said…
The ego says "If your talking about prestige you must be seeking it." Crazy stuff. It's not even about prestige at this point it's just the ego wanting your focus, your attention. It's a childish game the ego plays with great skill.
Anonymous said…
Liz, Perhaps sharing lessons learned comes from the ACIM concept: "Teach only love for that is what you are." This concept is widely misunderstood and abused. It gave my ego permission to be on a mission of teaching love (as if I knew what that was!).

I took this "teach only love" concept, and went out and tried to "teach" by pointing out the ill ways of another, to them.

My motivation in sharing ACIM was just me projecting. I didn't need to learn the lesson...."they" needed to learn it. Ultimately it came down to I needed them to change, so I wouldn't have to. My actions created immense suffering within me.

It wasn't until I got to Chapter 9 and read "Any attempt you make to correct a brother means that you believe correction by you is possible, and this can only be the arrogance of the ego. Correction is of God, Who does not know of arrogance." Then I shut up.

Liz, can you clarify how this "teach only love" concept relates to learning and sharing?

ACIM Mentor said…
Anonymous, you do learn what you teach. The point of this article was to see this in the urge to share.
will said…
Liz when you say you do learn what you teach, I see in spirituality or recovery this 'learning to say the words.' The urge to share is not about teaching, it's the ego saying I'm special, I'm real. Obviously I'm not talking about everyone but there is this whole industry that caters to parroting, caters to the need to be special. I guess it is a big deal because I was surrounded by it for years. Hell, I was part of it.
ACIM Mentor said…
Will, I've had a few questions about this article so I'm writing a clarification for next week's article...
will said…
Well Liz I have an itch too. It's like a little guy sitting on my shoulder telling me I don't need to focus, "you already know this stuff, I'll tell you what it says, I've got you covered." Not just your blogs but with everything. Walking through life in a blackout. Anyway,it seems to me that this weeks blog is a lot like last weeks. You have to stay focused if your going to benefit from your efforts.
will said…
Last weeks blog was really, really good. I wondered how many people might miss what was being said. When I read it, it was the whole foundation for the course and for life being laid out in these very simple terms. Good Job.
In my experience the Holy Spirit has led me through my habit of buying cheap second-hand books,in charity shops, auctions,etc. So I satisfy my itch to spread the message by recycling all my books where folks can pick them up cheaply.That removes George completely from the picture.
nicci said…
Holy Spirit, help me to Love and forgive the self i am experiencing, and so trust Your Love to show me Truth . . . and lead me to the deeper connection i desire.
Deb Baczewski said…
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Deb Baczewski said…
Itch to share a deeper connection . . . It was an extraordinary quiet Sunday, not driven to do or distract and but to just rest in the peace of God. After some time in rest, which didn't feel like time, I came out of meditation and began to read the open text "For They Have Come". As I concluded that section the phone rings and the voice says, this is your long lost brother. I respond, " oh my God".

Once there was a brother who symbolized fear and through forgiveness has now arrived as Love.
will said…
Deb if ever feel like keeping an update on how it is going with your brother I would like to hear about it.

And nicci, what a prayer!
Deb Baczewski said…
Will, processing what this mind interpreted . . . once there was this idea of a brother as a victimizer of his sister in childhood and she who identified as a victim constructed a wall of fear between them. Later in her seeming life she worked on true forgiveness, releasing the past and then one glorious spring day that symbol of hate reappeared as a loving brother calling his sister to see how she is. They talk with joy and laughter as they join as one in Truth.

Growing awareness of Truth is transforming relationships. The release of guilt freed the relationship from the chains of the past, dismantled the wall, freeing this mind from fear that now looks with loving eyes on a brother that carries Christ within him. My new favorite section of the text is "For They Have Come."
Deb Baczewski said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said…
TONY SOPRANO AND THE RULES FOR DECISION.

Years ago Liz introduced me to the Rules for Decision as a way to get a handle on my morning anxiety. I was totally clueless at the time and they made no sense whatsoever. Recently, I revisited them. I listened to the telephone group session during which it was discussed, wrote them down on an index card which I keep in my wallet, typed them out nicely on a piece of resume paper which I posted on my frig, and - thought about them. Suddenly they are starting to sink in. I'm using them throughout the day, certainly not word for word but in essence to be sure. Does it bring me lasting peace? No, but at least it keeps me from sliding down that slippery slope into negativity, aka fear, and opens the door to another choice.

I've always wondered about my fascination with larger than life villains, bot real and in fiction. While watching mob boss Tony melt down in the final episodes, I saw a parallel between him and other "seekers of truth". Tony is sincere in his desire to "find himself" and learn "what it's all about." He's hired a high priced shrink to help him out. But Tony has set the agenda as to what he will listen to - ie. the personal mind, and the personal mind only. Any advice from his well-meaning shrink only scares him and he reacts with anger.
Given his extreme lifestyle choices, he ends up paying a heavy price for his stubbornness. What price will we pay for our stubbornness? The choice is ours.
Anonymous said…
SOME FURTHER THOUGHTS ON TONY SOPRANO

When I mentioned above that Tony was sincere about "finding himself" and learning "what its all about" - what I really meant is that he is sincere about finding a way out of his pain. Any ideas that don't conform to and confirm his insane projections are rejected. His rage and fear keep building. He blames his therapist for "not helping" him. And for Big Tony, his worst fears come true.
Desert Dreams said…
I've been away and am just now catching-up on articles and comments.

I really liked this article and as with so many things, it is timely for me... HA! 'TIME' the great illusion... Of 'Course' I read it just as I am thinking about that same phenomenon in me. I often come across things in the Course that I want to share with others and I have questioned myself as to why I want to do this... I usually end up writing it in a journal or on my 'notepad' on my phone under the title: Daily Thoughts.

I am also careful not to discuss the Course with others, except ACIM students. The little that I let slip has already convinced a few of my knitting buddies that I've got a screw loose.

I find that of all the precepts of the Course, 'projection' is the hardest for me. (I know there's no order of difficulty. What can I say. My perceptions are warped! ;-/ ). But at the same time, my growth in this area of projection (the responsibility I take for what my mind perceives about 'another') has totally changed my relationship with my husband. It's scary-weird how it has worked!!

Any way, I want to thank all of you who have commented here. I love your shares. And thank you Liz.

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