Welcome Rebecca. Our lack of focus lately is a just criticism. There are many diverse minds here, but we shall do all in our power to stay on course. Let us have it if we drift too much. After this post I hope to get back on the curriculum.
There are archives of all my posts at: http://www.thenewagesite.com/JJArchives.html
By the way, good to see you posting again Samu. I was about to astral travel over to Finland and see what you were up to. (lol)
I appreciate your response, Saul. I sense more of your humanity, sharing with us here. I do not have time to make a complete response, but will mention several things.
You said: "Action prompted by the soul is an integral part of oneness."
I only encourage action which is in harmony with my soul from my point of view. If you see something I say that seems out of harmony with your soul then either there is a misunderstanding or one or both of us are out of touch.
I am glad that you will attempt to move on to other topics than oneness. I don't think we are black and white here. I'm sure the concept will come up again, but thankfully not as much as in the past. Hopefully we can understand each other and be one with the soul and thus one with each other for all souls are one, as the body is one.
"A true teacher would not allow his students to extol him the way most students do with their teachers or gurus. This more balanced or bilateral teacher-student relationship would provide a most favorable environment for each and every aspirant or disciple to grow and serve."
Is it possible you are making a subtle reference to the praise I have been receiving lately? You say I should not "allow" them to extol me. What do you want me to do? Attempt to take away their free will and tell them what they cannot say?
A true teacher does not encourage others to put him on a pedestal and extol him and when it happens he does not allow the ego to be fed. On the other hand, he will not attempt to interfere with the expression of their true feelings either good or bad.
Let us take Susi's kind words as an example:
"Many are already trying and your work is being recognized world wide so in case no one has patted you on the back of late here is my pat. I may be a thorn sometimes, but what I have absorbed from your teachings and from this list definitely has given me a new hope for humanity. (I know you don't need this pat but you still are in human form and I'll bet your personality smiles. ;-))"
She is right. My heart and personality does smile at this and I do not apologize for it. She expressed her true feelings and love is felt. I would never try and diminish that.
The true teacher does not seek praise but will get some now and then. He will not criticize such praise unless deceit lies therein. On the other hand, such a teacher will always generate his share of criticism and conflict.
Saul: "This more balanced or bilateral teacher-student relationship would provide a most favorable environment for each and every aspirant or disciple to grow and serve."
This sounds great, but it does not work. If you want to learn Spanish you find someone who knows it well to teach you. If you are a genuine student you will not stand up at the end of the lesson and say: "That sounds good. Now let me tell you some Spanish I know." The student is babbling here because he knows no Spanish.
Now let us say that the student knows more about surfing than the teacher. Would it be appropriate for him to stand up at the end of the class and say: "Hey dudes! You've learned some Spanish; now let me teach you about surfing."
This is counterproductive because the students came to learn Spanish, not surfing. Maybe one or two will think that learning surfing is great, but the majority may become irritated with the interruption of the learning.
"But what if I know Spanish as good as the teacher?" says one. "We can teach each other."
Answer: If you spend your time teaching each other then you will not be teaching the students who do not understand Spanish and the benefit will be nil. If you know Spanish as well as the teacher it would be of little benefit to attend the class. Your time is better spent teaching a class yourself or attending a class having an advanced teacher.
"What if I know Spanish better than the teacher and know that he is making mistakes? Don't I have a duty to sit in class and correct him?"
Answer: If you did this it would disrupt the continuity of the teaching.
The mistakes the teacher makes will be discovered by the students when they go out in the real world and converse with Spanish speaking people. If you see the teacher has some error it would be best to speak to him privately about it.
"What if I am a student and I think the teacher has made an error, or something he says seems to make no sense?"
As a student it would be appropriate to question the teacher and get clarification or get to the truth.
Objection: "I was in this study class where we were all equal and there was no recognized teacher. We studied A Course in Miracles and shared our thought and we all learned. What do you say about that?
Answer: You learned a lot because you did have a teacher. It was the author of A Course in Miracles. How many people get together with no teacher (either a teacher through a book or physical teacher) and really learn much of value? I have not seen it.
So here is the core of the problem Saul. I am the recognized teacher of this group. I know a few things that I am happy to share and some are happy to receive. Even though you do not see yourself as a teacher you seem to be attempting to be a co-teacher with me. This can only work if the two teachers are following the same course material and coordinate lessons with each other. Two teachers (even good ones) competing against each other with separate materials will only create stress and confusion among the class members.
I do not see any student focus within you in relationship to me. This puts you in the situation of being an associate teacher sitting in on my class. I do welcome associate teachers, but do request that any participation they have is in harmony with the class material and not in attempting to introduce new material.
A Course in Miracles says it well: "Free will does not mean that you can establish the curriculum."
"To be truthful, I feel I don't have to repeat what you have said if I see things the way you do. You should take this as a compliment, JJ. I didn't find it appropriate in this context to keep superfluously complimenting what you are saying."
I wasn't fishing for compliments here. If an associate teacher is sitting in on class it would be almost obnoxious for him to raise his hand periodically and say: "Way to go JJ. You're doing great!" Instead I was stressing the helpfulness of finding a point of agreement (the famous oneness we talk about) and expand upon it.
This is comparable to the associate teacher hearing an interesting word taught in class and raising his hand and saying something like: "You might be interested in learning the story of how this word originated..." Then the guy gives additional information in harmony with course materials that helps the students expand upon the intent of the teacher.
I have a question to ask you Saul. I do not ask it to intimidate you, make you feel uncomfortable or scare you off for you are welcome here. I ask because I am genuinely curious and I feel others share this curiosity. Why are you in this class?
The reason I ask is that my way of doing things seems so foreign to your way that that you're a little like Gandhi trying out for the first string in a pro football team. It's not that Gandhi is a bad guy. The question is why does he seek to be so out of his element?
This class is set up with a definite student-teacher relationship. You do not believe in the student-teacher relationship, especially in relation to yourself. You seem to disagree with the curriculum. There are other forums who share your point of view where the members are in harmony with your thinking. Your presence has created considerable conflict and some harsh words have been directed toward you. These thoughts as well as others make me curious about your motive to hang in there no matter what.
Copyright 1999 by J.J. Dewey, All Rights Reserved