As I have described in previous posts, I use hypnosis as a tool for spiritual understanding. Over the course of many years of hypnosis sessions, I have repeatedly received messages that to teach is to learn—which is also a central message of A Course in Miracles. But what is teaching, or learning?
Teaching means thinking, speaking or writing about the divine love that unites us all.
Under hypnotic trance, I once shared this:
To do is to teach. To teach is to learn. To learn is to recognize what was there all along and will never go away. To see through the smokescreen of the ego and realize that everything is just the same.
I have a special way to refer to the divine love of Heaven: love. This heavenly “super-love” is so perfect, so powerful, and so universal that we can’t begin to approximate it here on Earth. We can only dream of it. Yet our earthly teachers emulate love in order to manifest (and so learn) the truth of love.1
How can anyone teach by emulating love? For starters, you can demonstrate that you do not take the world’s “issues” seriously. You are like the lighthouse in the night—who reminds others that our worldly issues are meaningless. The teacher inside you wants to reflect the truth that love is all there is, and all you want to learn. You can personify love’s truth by merely demonstrating that there is a different way to live—and that is with a loving heart.
This doesn’t mean raving on a street corner. To force your spiritual ideas on people who are not ready would be at best counter-productive. At worse, it could make you come across as “weird,” eroding your credibility as a teacher, and thus hurting you as a student (again, because teaching and learning are the same thing). Yet you come in contact with people every day who are craving a crumb of the simple truth of love. Any time you talk about the love that unites us all, you are teaching yourself—and this will make you a better teacher.
Great teachers also teach by what they do not say. Every time you do not react to the ego’s sturm und drang, you demonstrate to the world that you don’t need all this conflict…and neither does anyone else. By your stoic refusal to be drawn off-sides by your ego, you become a kind of “reverse teacher.” Your presence of mind, and peaceful indifference to the tumult all around you, actually become the lesson. Such an un-teacher, by ignoring the righteous shrieks of the ego, can un-teach herself the ego’s confusing and completely insane lessons (i.e., of competitiveness, anger, judgment, sin, and guilt). And that is the primary lesson of life.
Who is a Teacher of Love?
In Chapter Six, A Course in Miracles states:
“Teach only love, for that is what you are. This is the one lesson that is perfectly unified because it is the only lesson that is one. Only by teaching it can you learn it. As you teach so will you learn. If that is true, and it is true indeed, do not forget that what you teach is teaching you. And what you project or extend you believe.” 2
Who can teach? The Course describes what it calls a “Teacher of God:” essentially, anyone who can see their unity with another person. Because the lesson is love, I call this person a Teacher of Love. You could ask in any challenging situation, what would a Teacher of Love do now? And the only answer is: she would be teaching love. What if you were teaching a college course on love in a giant lecture hall: what would you teach?
Once again, you wouldn’t necessarily have to say anything. We can be that symbol of hope who sees love where everyone else sees hate—and each time we have a flicker of that vision, nine billion pairs of eyes are opened. We can be that symbol of forgiveness who sees through the ego’s cacophony of judgment to allow our brother or sister to pass safely in innocence. We can be that symbol of care, the Saint Bernard who trudges faithfully through the Alpine snowstorm to save the stranded traveller, impervious to the cold and wind.
You can nudge the world a little closer to Paradise with a single loving thought. This is teaching, and this is learning. Yet your “lesson” doesn’t have to be the Sermon on the Mount. A gentle word of love will always suffice: a golden whispered gift shared with a friend who is having a bad day. Or a single flicker of love within the private rooms of your mind that says I cannot judge this person.
Musing about love, whether to a single dejected person or to a multitude, could make you the greatest teacher on earth. Could a single sympathetic sidewalk sage reset the world on its axis? You could. Your thoughts of love and forgiveness are truly universal.
As I learned under hypnosis:
“Every thought is a prayer and it stretches to the edge of the cosmos.”
The Gratefulness of Teachers
By recognizing that you can be a universal teacher, you realize that you have the power to direct your own destiny (of ever-ascending spirit growth). Kneel down in wonder in the round moonlight of a street lamp and know that you are sacred, and need nothing to be happy—because love is already inside you, and will never leave you. The whole world joins you in that holy orb, since everyone is a teacher, and everyone is a (temporary) student. And in that realization, all are united, and all are saved.
As you realize that all minds are invisibly joined, you become a witness to your own innocence, and all humanity learns from your expanded awareness. The river of truth widens for all whenever any of us, reborn in the celebration of her timeless gift of unity, gives joyful testimony to the truth—by teaching it. But this river only reflects our own love-awareness. Sadly, whenever we wallow in the depths of our ego’s negativity, condemnation, and self-pity, the river slows to a trickle, and all are impoverished by our retreat to these delirious fantasies. We are all together in this journey.
This is not proselytizing, or “spreading the word” in some numbers game—because the only number in all the universe is ONE. Since we are all connected, we do not have to teach “everyone” out there, but only demonstrate our shared unity to anyone—because anyone is everyone. As our memory of our sacred Oneness expands and contracts, dilates and narrows, the learning of all humanity is accelerated or delayed in turn. This is, again, because we are all linked at the level of the One Mind. Instant awareness can happen, but only if we truly believe in it, and endorse it by teaching it. And all will share the joyful and timeless benefits as we proclaim our lessons of loving Oneness to the Universe.
Lessons of Love
What exactly am I suggesting that a teacher should teach? Pretend that you are a wise old person. Fast forward yourself to that ripe old age of acquired wisdom. Now, imagine a child has asked you what “love” is. She wants to know.
Through years of LBL and PLR hypnosis sessions, and almost 15 years studying A Course in Miracles, I have received some inklings of perspective on love. Therefore. rather than try to define what we humans awkwardly call “love,” I would rather imagine the perfect version in Heaven, the angels’ version of love:
There is a divine love that connects us all in an invisible matrix, which we could call love
This love is the witness to our Oneness, which we are all blessed with in equal (infinite) proportion
This love is the only thing that we will ever own, and the only thing that has ever truly existed, because we are all made from it
love reminds us that we are all perfect, and in fact, there is nothing but perfection, anywhere
love can’t be compared with earthly “love,” which is very selfish and just picks a few special people to care for, while we ignore or condemn everyone else as “strangers”
I can only say “I love you” referring to everyone: “I love you as part of the ALL, with no exceptions”
As we ignore love and make exceptions, criticising and hating some people while pretending that we “love” others, we lose sight of the matrix of love and step backwards in our quest for spiritual growth
Even though love is too perfect for our earthly minds to even begin to understand, by teaching what we can about it, we can learn about it
Little by little, we will remember enough of it to go back to our eternal place in Heaven, forever
We are children of love, born of love, curated in love and saturated with love. We cannot forget to love at any moment in our lives. It is like breathing. Even though we may forget that we are breathing, we are indeed always doing it. Yet loving is more natural to us than even breathing—we can indeed hold our breath, but at the level of spirit, we could never “withhold” love.
However, in our earthly incarnations, being unloving is a kind of default state. Therefore, a great way to teach ourselves love is to notice when we are not loving, and remark how much ego attachment we have in not loving. We should notice when we are not loving, because our default state is loving, and if we could not love, we would not exist. Yet here on Earth, we secretly don’t want to progress as loving beings because we have a tremendous ego investment in our “selves” (the ego’s false concept of individualized human entities) and by condemning other people, we elevate our pathetic “self” concept. (Of course, this notion is insane, because we are all One).
We should notice the payback our ego receives by “keeping score” in life’s meaningless game. Yet we should also recognize how meaningless the play-money is that we are being paid for “winning” this game. We should realize the negative spiritual value this game gives us—it pushes us backwards in our spirituality. Any time we succumb to our ego’s inane games by attacking another person, we should remember that we are only attacking ourselves, and accepting play-money instead of true gold. Because we are all One.
The Universal Heaven Mind
The reason why teaching can occur within our mind is that we are linked to the cosmos, and need no outside people to teach (because there are no other people to teach). Reflecting on our silent impulses of love will drill its truth into our mind, slowly reorienting our thinking to see Oneness. This is not something that we can accomplish overnight—our commitment to competition, judgment, and other insane earthly notions is just too entrenched. But each step towards the Oneness of love is a step taken definitively.
Imagine that your mind is connected to a massive, perfect Heaven Machine that hums along in a state of total bliss and perfect knowing forever. Let’s call it the “Universal Heaven Mind.” That connection guarantees our place in Heaven, and assures us that there will never be any “downside” to anything that appears to happen to us in life. It’s like a huge Central Bank dispensing free money—yet our “ATM” has seized up, and the gears are temporarily frozen. Teaching is how we unlock that frozen gearbox and reconnect ourselves to the “Heaven Mind” in our mind. Gradually, we will fix the ATM so that the Central Bank can recommence dispensing free money to us—because if love is anything, it is most certainly free.
Under hypnosis, I once channelled that the ego’s world is like children’s swing set we jumped on and started swinging on furiously, never realizing that we can get off the swing whenever we want. As humans, we are the prisoners of our own handcuffs; our true destiny is within the Universal Heaven Mind. If liberation from our earthly problems is what we want, then we should start teaching—reminding ourselves that we are all witnesses to the eternal truth that we are all love.
Conclusion: Realizing our True Function as Teachers
As we have seen, recognizing and sharing the truth of our essential Unity is what I call “teaching.” The so-called Golden Rule is self-evident if we accept that there is no difference between us. So by remembering the Oneness that joins each of us, we have no choice to remember to love all of us. In fact, this is not a remembering, but an awakening. It is the removal of the ego’s blinders, and this removal is what we call “teaching.” It is clearing out dead wood, rather than growing new wood, that gives teaching its power—love is the “new wood” that was there all along.
Teaching is the culmination of reason. It is the awareness of function. Through teaching, all awareness becomes Oneness-awareness, that memory of the miracle of timeless Unity that has no blemishes and no exceptions, no adjectives, and no pronouns. Teaching love to anyone means reminding them—and ourselves—of this Unity of Joy to which we are all entitled, the infinite banquet to which we are all invited, and the ceaseless chorus of elation that we will inevitably hear when we return to the divine Oneness of Heaven.
The Teacher of Love wants nothing but love because he realizes that he is nothing but love, and all love is his. Such an evolved teacher shares his gifts readily, realizing that they will multiply only when given away. In fact, he would not want anything that cannot be given away, knowing that anything but love is temporary and useless. “What would he want it for?” the Course asks. Indeed!
In fact, the very notion of “want” has no meaning in the perfect Realm to which we are all entitled. We want for nothing. We need nothing. Being love, our very essence is defined as a state of perfect fulfilment, because love is all there is, all there was, and all that will ever be.
So, the next time you hear someone being critical of someone else, try saying (with conviction): “well, let’s try to be understanding: Bob has had a pretty tough year.” As you teach this lesson of forgiveness, something wonderful happens. Imagine the Amazonian rain forest in a wild thunderstorm. Suddenly an immense, blinding bolt of pure-white lightning illuminates the entire forest, from the glittering tops of the rain-soaked trees down to their muddy roots. Every denizen of the forest, big and small, being floodlit for an instant by this overwhelming blast of supernatural illumination, looks up in wonder and awe, and asks itself, “what was that?” Well congratulations: it was you. Just for an instant, your loving teaching has electrified the entire universe with healing light. Just for a moment, all hearts have been opened to the miracle of Oneness. Just for the asking, your singular impulse of love has re-set the world on its axis, and literally changed history forever.
And I say: how beautiful and magnificent you are, O Teacher of Love!
Pete Brigham 2018
1 I never use “love” when referring to a human agent doing what we call “loving” here.
2 All quotes from A Course in Miracles © are from the Third Edition, published in 2007, by the Foundation for Inner Peace, P.O. Box 598, Mill Valley, CA 94942-0598, www.acim.org and email@example.com.