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Does one need a lot of education in order to understand the Course?
Question: It seems like one must have a lot of education to understand the Course. How can we grasp it if we do not have this education?
Answer: In this world education seems to be a wonderful thing. During my ten years of college I seemed to learn many skills and abilities, as well as a lot about how the world operates. But intellect is not always a helpful tool in understanding or experiencing truth. "A Course In Miracles" is written for the ego mind that is highly intellectual. There are a lot of large words.
I once met a woman who was awakening rapidly yet had no college education. She loved reading the Course and she was very tuned in to listening to the Voice for God, the Holy Spirit. I asked her what she did when she came to big words she had not seen before. She said that the Voice in her mind substituted a smaller word that meant the same thing. This was a striking example to me of how what really matters in reaching enlightenment is our willingness rather than our intellect or education.
Most of what is learned in this world will have to be unlearned. This is because the learning of this world is based on false cause and effect relationships. Every discipline has this basis. I have heard of people with two PhDs who cannot make any sense of "A Course In Miracles." They can read the words, but the mind is too resistant to the ideas.
This is a course in undoing, and all education is about building on concepts and making knowledge ever more detailed and specialized. Take medicine as an example, where there are so many specialties requiring additional and specific training. "A Course In Miracles" is about stepping back in your mind and seeing the big picture. It is also about letting go of control. The education of the world teaches what to pursue, what is valuable, and what to avoid, what is harmful. All of the education of the world involves judgment. The curriculum of "A Course In Miracles" involves the relinquishment of judgment. And so you begin to see that the world cannot be understood, but that peace and understanding do go together. The only way you can know that you truly understand something is when your mind comes to peace.
The intellectual learning and all the skills that I developed for the world have been redirected to the Holy Spirit's purpose. In college I was very shy. I would never have imagined speaking to groups. I learned a lot of information and my vocabulary increased, but I had no purpose for the information. Now that I have opened my mind to the Holy Spirit, all of that education is helpful for me in reaching people. I can meet people from many different cultures or those who have studied many different disciplines, and the Holy Spirit uses the language in my mind to orchestrate conversations so that there is a sense of joining and joy. It has given me a great appreciation that there are many paths (in form) to God, yet the content is always the same.
So the Holy Spirit puts the words in my mouth, keeping the content consistent whether I am speaking to a mind identified as Jew, Hindu, Catholic, Taoist, scientist, or atheist; Content is the same regardless if I am speaking to little children or people that are very learned. The content of joy stays the same but the words that come out are in the form that is most helpful.
It is striking to look at education, because education has been seen as a solution to the world's problems. But if you look at some of the world's most "educated" or "civilized" societies, you still see the same perceived problems: murder, stealing, rape, all kinds of crimes. Education and money have never solved these perceived problems. Then you come to "A Course In Miracles," and it says this is a course in unlearning. It says that the mind that believed in the ego has learned this world. It has educated itself to believe it is possible to separate from God. When this mind finally reaches a point of disillusionment with the world it made, then it is open to unlearn everything that it thinks it knows. It is open to becoming humble. A mind that is not humble will not begin to unlearn. It already thinks it knows and cannot be taught that it does not. So education is really inverse, and "intellectual understanding" is a contradiction in terms and not a primary step to living in the present moment. A mind emptied of concepts is at peace.
All glory to God and gratitude to Holy Spirit for guiding us to join with our beautiful brothers and sisters in the One Mind that knows no limits or boundaries or nationalities.
Love & Blessings Forever Beloved One, David