In this Time Beyond Teaching and Learning
In A Course of Love, as well as in A Course in Miracles, Jesus says that love cannot be taught. What can’t be taught is a mystery. These messages from Jesus are both mystery and revelation of mystery. ~Mari Perron (Forward to A Course of Love)
Sharing Groups for ACOL are coordinated on the acourseoflove.org website. In these groups, readers share the content of ACOL together in lovely and varied ways. “Learning in the Time of Christ” (currently the addendum to ACOL and available on the Course of Love website) is a clear description of this movement, given by Jesus himself. The suggestions that follow are meant to make way for the prophetic nature of this work and the coming of “the New” time that is predicted within it. The Time of Christ is the time of our acceptance that we each carry the Christ life within us, that we can live that life as who we are in the world, and in this way create a new reality.
The prophetic nature of A Course of Love will not be realized if learning continues.
Learning, as Jesus says many times, is needed only to heal the separation. It is the ego that learns and so each of us are walked gently through releasing the ego and coming into a time that is beyond learning. Without an acceptance that the time of learning is over, this new time will not be realized, or made real. Looking for truth outside of ourselves can change to sharing truth intimately with one another.
These words are meant to address this time in which we stand, poised to be creators of the new, but unable to do it in the old way.
Refrain from prolonged study
With many courses, prolonged “study” becomes the norm, even to training teachers and at times reverends. While appropriate for some courses, this cannot be seen as appropriate for A Course of Love.
In Jesus’ own words, in “Learning in the time of Christ,” we hear, “The word learning is loosely used here for no learning is needed in union and relationship.” He continues:
“Yet, as your work with A Course of Love begins, learning and unlearning continue. It continues for the sole purpose for which learning has always existed—that of returning you from self-doubt to self-love. This could also be expressed as returning you from your perceived state of separation to your true state of union. Learning is needed only until perception is cured.” A.2
Jesus speaks of the ego’s demise in several ways before declaring definitively, in the Third Treatise that the ego is gone:
“The Self that I recognize as You, is not other than who you are, but who you are. All that was ever other than who you are was the ego. The ego is gone. The ego was simply your idea of who you were. This idea was a complex set of judgments, of good and bad, right and wrong, worthy and unworthy, a list as endless as it was worthless. Realize now the worthlessness of this idea and let it go.” T3:3.10
Please follow in the way Jesus has laid out for us, and if you began with “study” or “teaching,” alter your approach at this point.
The more we come to know who we truly are, the more our way of knowing changes. This change in our way of knowing is the purpose of this Course. We have been given knowledge “about” things and our way to that knowledge has been through being taught, and then studying to build our proficiency in what we’ve been taught. We have become proficient in “knowing about” things. This is, for many, the current definition of “knowing.”
Yet no one truly desires to trade “true knowing” for “knowing about.” Why carry on anything that shields us from discovering our existence within the unity of a shared consciousness? Why not welcome the opening that allows coming to know ourselves and each other newly?
Due to the emphasis Jesus places on the end of teaching and learning, you may welcome a new way to speak of this.
Public forms of sharing
If you would like to publicly share your experience of A Course of Love for the purpose of letting people know about this wondrous and transformative work, (via online, or public gatherings) it is recommended that you use one of the following expressions. These expressions signify that you are sharing your feelings, experiences, ideas, or movement. A Course of Love invites all voices, but also asks that you share in, and claim, your voice.
Ways of bringing your voice to ACOL:
Inspired by A Course of Love
Influenced by A Course of Love
Reflections on A Course of Love
Explorations of A Course of Love
Discoveries of A Course of Love
One experience/expression/ or voice of A Course of Love
Use “I” rather than “we” expressions as often as possible. In this way, you “own” your voice and your experience.
If you desire to do something different than a sharing group, an example of a public announcement might be: “Delve Into A Course of Love with weekly gatherings sponsored by Kate Jones.” Again, “sharing and facilitation” rather than “leading” is the way to represent ACOL.
If, in certain situations you feel in need of a title, you might offer to be a “speaker” rather than a “teacher,” as teaching is not the goal. People may still refer to you as a “teacher.” This is very hard to avoid. All that is asked is that you choose to refrain from the title and demeanor of teacher to the extent possible.
Please do NOT call a study or sharing group a dialogue group.
As each person completes their reading of A Course of Love within a group setting, it is recommended that the call to dialogue in Learning in the Time of Christ be revisited. Individuals within groups are encouraged to begin to meet in dialogue as soon as they feel ready. Sharing groups have often already experienced dialogue within the group. This occurs when the “book” as “a book” is set aside, and the sharing of one’s Self begins. Yet the sharing groups can come to offer such a secure “home base” that participants may be hesitant to leave. While that is okay for a while, to stay within them indefinitely may hamper the movement to dialogue and creation of the new.
The practice of dialogue refrains from reliance on the book, on topics, agendas, themes or facilitators. This is a crucial part of Jesus’ focus and desire for us to practice sharing who we are in ways that often are not fully met in larger settings, or in a group (no matter how close).
After practicing and engaging in dialogues with A Course of Love readers for two years, I have found that smaller settings, in which following the book has not become the way exchanges take place, are often an easier place to make the transition to dialogue. It is a transition, and this can be surprising, even difficult at first. It is your opportunity to come into what you know, in your unique way, and to share the becoming and being of your Self in union and relationship with others who are doing the same. Each, in this way, begin to develop their own signature way of knowing and expansion of consciousness, within an intimate relationship with another.
Along with others who have practiced dialogue, what is recommended is no more than four to a group. We offer that the intent to “practice dialogue” often interferes with actual dialogue. Accordingly, “informal” dialogue is often most effective. The “feel” of dialogues might be described as sharing inspiring or stimulating conversation with a friend. There is an “energy” to dialogue that comes of “not” having a theme or a plan. One enters the unknown, trusting where it may take you.
To find one or two good dialogue partners, you might look back at where such conversations have previously taken place. There is an affinity or resonance needed between dialogue partners and this is not a time to avoid being selective. Dialogue is for you as well as for the discovery of all that lies beyond the book. (See “beyond the book” on Mari’s website): https://www.mariperron.com/into-the-new-with-mari/beyond-the-book/
As The Dialogue Movement is new, we are eager for all news of your experiences and to help open this way that allows us to come to know together. Use the Contact button to share with us.
Check-in Before you Begin
The names “A Course of Love” and “ACOL” hold both copyright and trademark protection in the name of this Center and ACOL’s first receiver, Mari Perron. The tendency for great works such as ACIM and ACOL to be taken up and represented by many is a fine testament to these holy works. However, the “newness” A Course of Love calls us to, is not the “usual.” Most “courses” have a studying and practicing component that gets taken up by various enthusiastic teachers and become long-standing programs. Such an enterprise that relied on teaching and learning would simply not be the way Jesus has given to share A Course of Love.
This is the only reason for this request to check-in before you begin. We hold a clear intention to discourage teaching and learning as a permanent feature in this new time. Jesus says we will need a new language. We can begin, together, to develop such a language that features our movement beyond learning.
Please use the models of sharing that Jesus encourages when producing any printed materials that will be widely disseminated. If you feel an endorsement from Mari Perron will be useful in a book you might want to write, you may contact her. Small adjustments in language can often make an enormous difference. If you speak to the reader as you would a friend, rather as an authority, this can make all the difference.
Checking-in is not meant to discourage use, but Jesus gave his name to this work, and provides the way and the language that is specifically meant to discourage life-long students or teachers. It is Jesus who emphasizes the “movement, being and expression” of the Course, and calls us to dialogue, creation of the new, and ultimately to “put the book away and go be it.” Surely it is clear that it would not be appropriate for the name of A Course of Love to be used in ways that encourage the formation of teachers, leaders, or hierarchical organizations that perpetuate learning.
It is much more challenging to do things in a new way, but together, we can find those ways. Your ideas are welcome.
Center for A Course of Love, 2019
From A Course of Love:
“You now exist within a shared consciousness. The pattern of a shared consciousness is one of sharing in unity and relationship. There is no pattern within it for learning (which is individual), for individual gain, or for individual accomplishment.” T4:12.24
From Learning in the Time of Christ:
“While you continue to put effort into learning what cannot be learned, as you continue to see yourself as a student seeking to acquire what you do not yet have, you cannot recognize the unity in which you exist and be freed from learning forever.” A.4
“This is not to say that you will find this Course or the end of learning to be easy. Yet it is your difficulty in giving up your attachment to learning through the application of thought and effort that creates the perception of this Course’s difficulty. Thus it is said to you to take this Course with as little attachment to your old means of learning as is possible for you.” A.5
“What you will find yourself accepting through this method is precisely what cannot be taught. What you are learning through this method is precisely what cannot be sought after and attained through your seeking. What you are finding through this method is receptivity. You are coming home to the way of the heart. What you gain by sharing with others is a situation in which you “learn” in unity through the receptivity of the heart.” A.11
“This is what dialogue, particularly the dialogue that is an exchange between “two or more gathered together” reveals. It reveals Who You Are.
“This relationship between Self and Other, Self and Life, Self and God, Humanity and Divinity, is the dialogue of which we speak. It may seem to suggest duality but it suggests relationship. The idea of unity and relationship must fully enter you now.
“You are not a “student” of The Dialogues but a full participant in The Dialogues. A:40-42
“Bring your voice to this continuing dialogue. This is all that is asked of you. This is the gift you have been given and the gift you bring the world: your own voice, the voice of Who You Are. This is not a voice of separation or of the separated self but a voice of union and of the One Self. It is how union is expressed and made recognizable in form. It is what will usher in the new and change the world. It cannot be accomplished without you— without your ability to stand in unity and relationship as The Accomplished.
“Beloved brothers and sisters, You are The Accomplished.” A:49-50