In the third article in the series on the “miracle” and the “mind,” we are going to bring kindness and unkindness into the discussion about specialness. In A Course in Miracles (ACIM), kindness is associated with humility and learning and unkindness is with arrogance and specialness. The miracle-minded obviously choose humility, learning and kindness which means they will eventually learn to forgive all specialness which is what maintains the separation from God. Belief in separation applies to everyone who is the One Son perceiving Himself as separate and different fragments. All unkindness stems from the anxiety in the mind when we repress our fear and guilt instead of forgiving our specialness desires. We blame and project it onto others who are really a part of us in reality.
There are two books by Kenneth Wapnick on, “The Healing Power of Kindness.” Volume 1 is on, “Releasing Judgment” and Volume 2 on, “Forgiving Our Limitations.” In my opinion, these should be required reading and continuing study for anyone who is a serious Course student. The following passage says it all:
When you set aside the brilliant metaphysics of A Course in Miracles and its sophisticated psychological insights, the Course could be pared down to one simple rule: Be kind. If you are not kind, then not only are you not practicing the Course, there is no way you can even begin to understand it.
The non-dualistic meaning of kindness cannot be understood here within the experience of dualism so long as specialness is continuously chosen because the ego originates from an unkind thought against God and Heaven. Our unwillingness to recognize this about the ego, and what all that thought system is capable of doing, is something that hinders our progress with the Course. We must be willing to look at the ego with the Holy Spirit – the true Teacher – and take that darkness to Him for forgiveness. Nothing can be hidden and that’s straight from the Course.
In his books on kindness, Mr. Wapnick also talks about the source of a person’s unkind behavior is the same fear (and repressed guilt) that is working in our own mind and that is what unites us. We also have the same right-mind and the same ability to choose between them. Choosing to be kind does not make us different or better; rather it means we are willing to practice the “kind principles” of the Course so that we can learn to understand everything it is teaching. It’s merely a question of priority.
He goes on to say that in learning how to be kind towards others, we are practicing being kind toward ourselves because, “you and your brother are one. They are a part of you. You are not different.” This goes directly to the heart of the ego’s thought system wherein the concept of difference is how the ego began – God and His Son were separate and different – and undoes it. Even the slightest hint of specialness is the ego. What he is saying becomes clear if you actually study and practice the kind forgiveness of the Course!
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 (The Message Of A Course in Miracles: All Are Called, p. 306).
A serious student of the Course wants to know what this means. These students would rather be a happy learner with the only true teacher – the Holy Spirit – instead of a spiritually special teacher of the ego in any form. They are happy to learn from Him how to be free of the burdens associated with denying the Truth:
Forgiveness’ kindness is obscure at acim amazon books first, because salvation is not understood, nor truly sought for (S-2.I.1). And here you will lay down the burden of denying truth. This is the burden that is terrible, and not the truth (T-21-VI.7).
In the Course, there is a difference between the “Self” which is our true Identity as Christ and the “self” identity with the ego. This is a key point to understand as the first accepts the function God gave us through being God-created; but the latter is self-created and completely dependent on the ego and its function of vengeance and maintaining separation. Everyone already believes they are the ego. We wouldn’t be here otherwise. To consider the possibly of that being correct and in need of correction restores hope to the mind because it points to the way out.
When a spiritually special Course teacher (a form of unhealed healer) teaches specialness of the ego, they are being unkind towards others and thus themselves although they are highly unlikely to view it that way. They are also not likely to think it is kind for someone to have boundaries with them because their fear and guilt (and anxiety) are so great. However, honestly looking at the world, we see that it is filled with the fragmented Sonship who is anxiety-ridden from identifying with the ego self. Unkindness is rampant in the world as well as in the Course community. As Wapnick states though, we will not learn the Course until we choose to be kind.
Our behaviors are the demonstration of which mind we have chosen (God or the ego). The ego is a vengeful and tyrannical thought system of unkindnesses whereas freedom from it is tied directly to kindness:
Without anxiety the mind is wholly kind (T-6.III.3).
Freedom cannot be learned by tyranny of any kind (T-8.IV.7).
It is also unkind to change the Course and spiritual specialness does that through competition with God and thus everyone. One small change effectually changes the entirety of the Course, an absolute thought system. If you think you understand that, you don’t. If you know you do, you will automatically be kind for you understand the inherent value kindness plays in learning and understanding the Course. As Wapnick states, “It’s a question of priority.”
In summary, let’s turn back now to Mr. Wapnick and his book, “The Message Of A Course In Miracles: Few Choose To Listen,” and to Chapters 4 and 6 on spiritual specialness. I’ll highlight some important passages beginning with a very telling quote. First, however, let me also add that this two-book set (including, “Few Choose To Listen”) should also be required ongoing study for serious Course students:
He goes on to point out that whenever we are tempted to call attention to what we think is some deficiency, or lack, we are seeking to make such limitation real and into something that divides the Sonship. The rock of salvation is that no one can lose so another gains, i.e., there is nothing to take from another, not even their success. However, we do not understand this until we have spent the necessary time invested in learning why these words actually are correct and their true meaning. What our bodies appear to be doing tells us which internal teacher we have chosen – the ego or the Holy Spirit. The ego is limitations, judgment, specialness and separation – the very opposite of the Sonship as One.
When we are not kind, we are not Course students or teachers of God (the Course as our path). When kindness calls, it must be chosen as kindness leads to miracle-mindedness. Unkindness is of the ego.
“Love is frightening because it is all-encompassing and within it there is no room for specialness or individual uniqueness.”
Resource: Delilah Jaemes, Spiritual Guidance Coach at. All coaching is based entirely on A Course in Miracles. Delilah is available via email, Skype and phone for personal consultations. She also posts weekly quotes on the website home page for reflection in the study and practice of the Course; and there are updates in the blog when new articles and videos are published and become available to the public.