A Course in Miracles about the Development of Trust
Text from ‘The manual for Teachers, A Course in Miracles“:
This is the foundation on which their ability to fulfill their function rests.
Perception is the result of learning. In fact, perception is learning, because cause and effect are never separated.
The teachers of God have trust in the world, because they have learned it is not governed by the laws the world made up.
It is governed by a power that is in them but not of them. It is this power that keeps all things safe. It is through this power that the teachers of God look on a forgiven world.
When this Power has once been experienced, it is impossible to trust one’s own petty strength again. Who would attempt to fly with the tiny wings of a sparrow when the mighty power of an eagle has been given him?
And who would place his faith in the shabby offerings of the ego when the gifts of God are laid before him?
What is it that induces them to make the shift?
Development of Trust (The six stages of Development of Trust)
- 1. First, they must go through what might be called “a period of undoing”.
This need not be painful, but it usually is so experienced. It seems as if things are being taken away, and it is rarely understood initially that their lack of value is merely being recognized.
How can lack of value be perceived unless the perceiver is in a position where he must see things in a different light?
He is not yet at a point at which he can make the shift entirely internally. And so the plan will sometimes call for changes in what seem to be external circumstances. These changes are always helpful.
When the teacher of God has learned that much, he goes on to the second stage.
- 2. Next, the teacher of God must go through “a period of sorting out”.
This is always somewhat difficult because, having learned that the changes in his life are always helpful, he must now decide all things on the basis of whether they increase the helpfulness or hamper it.
He will find that many, if not most of the things he valued before will merely hinder his ability to transfer what he has learned to new situations as they arise. Because he has valued what is really valueless, he will not generalise the lesson for fear of loss and sacrifice.
It takes great learning to understand that all things, events, encounters and circumstances are helpful.
It is only to the extent to which they are helpful that any degree of reality should be accorded them in this world of illusion. The word “value” can apply to nothing else.
- 3. The third stage through which the teacher of God must go can be called “a period of relinquishment”.
If this is interpreted as giving up the desirable, it will engender enormous conflict.Few teachers of God escape this distress entirely.
There is, however, no point in sorting out the valuable from the valueless unless the next obvious step is taken.
Therefore, the period of overlap is apt to be one in which the teacher of God feels called upon to sacrifice his own best interests on behalf of truth. He has not realized as yet how wholly impossible such a demand would be.
He can learn this only as he actually does give up the valueless.
Through this, he learns that where he anticipated grief, he finds a happy light-heartedness instead; where he thought something was asked of him, he finds a gift bestowed on him.
- 4. Now comes “a period of settling down”.
This is a quiet time, in which the teacher of God rests a while in reasonable peace. Now he consolidates his learning.
Now he begins to see the transfer value of what he has learned.
Its potential is literally staggering, and the teacher of God is now at the point in his progress at which he sees in it his whole way out.
“Give up what you do not want, and keep what you do”. How simple is the obvious! And how easy to do!
The teacher of God needs this period of respite. He has not yet come as far as he thinks. Yet when he is ready to go on, he goes with mighty companions beside him.
Now he rests a while, and gathers them before going on. He will not go on from here alone.
- 5. The next stage is indeed “a period of unsettling”.
Now must the teacher of God understand that he did not really know what was valuable and what was valueless.
All that he really learned so far was that he did not want the valueless, and that he did want the valuable.
Yet his own sorting out was meaningless in teaching him the difference. The idea of sacrifice, so central to his own thought system, had made it impossible for him to judge. He thought he learned willingness, but now he sees that he does not know what the willingness is for.
And now he must attain a state that may remain impossible to reach for a long, long time.
He must learn to lay all judgment aside, and ask only what he really wants in every circumstance. Were not each step in this direction so heavily reinforced, it would be hard indeed!
- 6. And finally, there is “a period of achievement”. It is here that learning is consolidated.
Now what was seen as merely shadows before become solid gains, to be counted on in all “emergencies” as well as tranquil times.
Indeed, the tranquility is their result; the outcome of honest learning, consistency of thought and full transfer. This is the stage of real peace, for here is Heaven’s state fully reflected.
From here, the way to Heaven is open and easy. In fact, it is here. Who would “go” anywhere, if peace of mind is already complete?
And who would seek to change tranquility for something more desirable? What could be more desirable than this?
(Text is from A Course in Miracles)