I studied French for a few years in high-school. At first the language seemed so strange. The words, and particularly the sounds, were quite difficult to understand and reproduce. But with practice I was able to translate fairly quickly from anglais to française.
In particular, a class trip to Quebec rapidly advanced my learning. The immersive environment left little leeway for my primitive tongue. Until the trip ended - and the ensuing years of disuse - sadly reverting my learnings to nearly nil. The French language neural pathways in my brain having been completely replaced by Google Translate.
Yet there are plenty of excellent language learning tools helping those so interested broaden their communication capabilities. Apps such as Duolingo, Babbel, and Rosetta Stone offer dramatically reduced learning times over traditional high-school curricula.
But their effectiveness - and learning longevity - are highly correlated with continued immersion. It’s a use it or lose it proposition to a large degree. An app on its own won’t make you a Voltaire, Proust, or Sartre. But with the right encouragement, curriculum, and practice schedule they can go a long way toward such transformation.
This learning framework is quite similar to practicing a spirituality like A Course in Miracles. Indeed, one could consider the Course to be Duolingo or Rosetta Stone for the mind.
The right-mind of the Holy Spirit is the teacher. One who knows our learning limitations, particularly our disinterest in studying and practicing. But the teacher’s patience, gentleness, and compassion are immense - dwarfing our petulant reticence.
Further, its curriculum contains in-built immersion, otherwise known as “life”. Every single moment presents learning opportunities, with this gifted teacher at our side.
And what is the result of such learning?
Words and experiences that seemed so foreign and nearly impossible to comprehend are understood anew.
The Holy Spirit translates your nightmares into happy dreams; your wild hallucinations that show you all the fearful outcomes into the calm and reassuring sights with which He would replace them. (T-20.VIII.10)
Everything is translated. Every word. Every concern. Every difficulty. It’s not just that we’ve learned a new language of love. We’ve become it.
This continual re-translation of everything we thought we knew - with an exceptionally loving teacher as our guide - makes learning quite rapid and effective. All we need to do is show up for class.
In fact, we already show up. Our job is simply to pay attention. Which, translated in to course-speak, means looking. A little willingness to look.
Look at what?
Our resistance to looking. Our desire not to look. Our choice instead to be captivated by the goings-on of the world, our body, and other bodies. How significant and consequential we make everything out to be. How tightly we cling to many of our grievances.
When we bring that little willingness to look, everything in our life changes. We progress swiftly on the path toward mastery, otherwise known as awakening. And we experience much more peace.
Join me in Thursday’s class, which will be broken up into two segments: the first a deep dive into the metaphysics of ACIM, and the 2nd an exploration into this truly transformative “app”, Rosetta Stone for the Mind. I look forward to seeing you then.