In this second article in the series on the "miracle" and the "mind," we're going to continue our discussion of spiritual specialness as someone being chosen by God to do His work without recognizing it is really the ego. In A Course in Miracles (ACIM), many link being a Course teacher of God with being miracle-minded just as we see in many religions with chosen spiritual leaders such as a pastors, ministers and priests, etc. In the first article on spiritual specialness, we incorporated a quote by Kenneth Wapnick that, "Love is quiet and need not make assertions." Being someone chosen by God to do "god's work" is an assertion of the ego; and it makes the error real. It is a defense against God's Love wherein we don't recognize that we're actually competing with God (and thus everyone).
Mr. Wapnick also has some wonderful passages that get straight to the point on this matter. These are taken from his two-book set on, "The Message Of A Course In Miracles" which is filled with what the Course does and does not say. These quotes speak for themselves and do not need reinterpretation:
Spiritual specialness refers to people acting out their egos' specialness, but disguising it as spiritual dress. This frequently comes in the form of believing that they have received "special" instructions, "special" favors, or "special" commissions from "special" divine persons such as Jesus or the Holy Spirit, all of which serves to make these people spiritually different from others and therefore more "special" (Few Choose To Listen, p. 141).
What we are calling "spiritual specialness" appears in the members of almost all spiritual or religious movements. This usually comes in the form of believing that the group or members have been singled out by God or the Holy Spirit to perform some holy function that will benefit humanity and contribute towards the saving of the world. However, such intrinsic specialness is clearly not the case with the teachings of A Course in Miracles (Few Choose To Listen, p. 144).
Specialness is also seen in a variety of other forms beyond the labels just mentioned. For example, claiming who we "share the stage" with, i.e., other Course teachers is the same limelight error. We do all of this because of our enormous repressed fear and guilt; and we do it instead of learning and practicing the Course. This is a course on sameness and one that exemplifies kindness:
This inability to truly practice A Course in Miracles' kind principles of forgiveness that they study, and sometimes even teach, has perhaps been the most serious failing among its students. This book's sequel, "Few Choose to Listen," discusses how students often conceal their thought system of specialness under the guise of spiritual counseling or friendship. The absence of simple kindness is, unfortunately, unmistakable to all except the Course student making the spiritual pronouncements (All Are Called, p. 306).
Finally to finish setting the stage (pun intended) for this brief article, let's bring in what Wapnick addresses on arrogance versus humility:
"Arrogance takes the form of believing that one has "mastered" the Course by a simple reading or two, without really recognizing what is involved in its ongoing study and constant practice. Humility, on the other hand, seeks only to learn, which comes from students' recognition of how dependent on their egos they have truly made themselves to be. They therefore become grateful for the opportunity the Course offers them to let go - finally and truly - of their investment in uniqueness, self-importance, and specialness, the core of the problem that maintains the separation from God" (Few Choose To Listen, p. 84, underline mine).
Humility is of the right mind, which recognizes its dependence on God, while arrogance is of the wrong mind, which feels it is in competition with Him (Glossary-index, p. 106).
Therefore, if we are to be truly miracle-minded, then we must be willing to explore exactly what the ego is and what its thought system is capable of doing. The Course emphatically states that nothing can remain hidden. We must be willing to get our hands dirty with the ego if we are to learn true forgiveness since specialness in any form ties in so directly with maintaining the separation from God.
Teacher of God
Specialness is clearly arrogance and being in competition with God, so a teacher of God has nothing to do with being a Course teacher even though many students believe otherwise. Looking at our arrogance in making such an assertion, we turn back to humility to teach us so we can learn from it:
Humility, on the other hand, would have students recognize that A Course in Miracles is "unlike" any other spirituality they have seen, and therefore what is required of them is the openness to being taught by "it," rather than "their" unconscious teaching the Course what it is saying (Few Choose To Listen, p. 86, underline mine).
In ACIM, a teacher of God is simply anyone who chooses the Course as their path. That's it! There's no arrogance, no judgment and thus no one is different or special. We are the same in ego wrong mind, the same in acim Spirit right-mind and the same ability to choose between them. Equals are at peace from choosing miracle-mindedness or the right-miracle-mind wherein His Vision sees sameness in everyone.
In the Course, the definition of an "unhealed healer" is someone trying to give what he has not received. In other words, this states the fine line between the humbleness of learning and arrogantly teaching what we do not know. Remember, an advanced teacher of God is completely dependent upon God and has resolved the "authority issue." This person knows that God is the author of their existence and never gets confused. Very few are at this advanced stage.
Unhealed healers are, "Arrogant, selfish, unconcerned and actually dishonest (P-3.II.3)." Through specialness, they are attempting to invent a function, i.e., a chosen Course teacher of God (for example) when they cannot even accept the function God gave them (and have no idea what that really means either). By believing in their invented function, they suspect those they are trying to falsely teach of the same treachery - betrayal of God - which they unconsciously feel they've done. Thus, they end up attacking pupils and teaching (and so will learn) the ego's forgiveness-to-destroy.
Contrast that with how simple the Course is: Our only function here in the dream is true forgiveness (correcting the mind). By no means is it easy; but it is enough to have the willingness to learn it - a little and then a lot of willingness.