Behavioral Dispositions toward Our Brothers: Summary of a Class Presentation

[Please note: ACIM passages quoted in this article reference the Foundation for Inner Peace (FIP) Edition.]

Here are the dispositions I discussed in yesterday’s class, along with the Course quotes I read and commented on. I’d love to hear any further reactions, questions, comments about this material, especially the qualities that struck you the most or felt the most relevant for you personally. I’ll start a separate post in the next couple of days that will present this list and the list from the previous class.

Courtesy

You were wrong to be pleased with Bill F’s criticism of Rose, and should not have enjoyed Bill F’s description of Zanvell’s caricaturing of her. You could have laughed with Bill, but not at Rose. Real courtesy never does this. You should know that all God’s children are fully worthy of complete courtesy. You should never join with one at the expense of another.

When you called Bill about joining you, Gene, and Ann at lunch, you should have waited to ask me. In fact, you should not even have told Ann that you would call. Then you could have asked him first if he would want to come, and called Ann back. It is true that it was better that he came, but this has nothing to do with the real issue. There are ways of treating others in which only consistent courtesy, even in very little things, is offered. It is a very healing habit to acquire.

Defenselessness

If I defend myself I am attacked. But in defenselessness I will be strong, and I will learn what my defenses hide. (W-pI.135.22)

Defenselessness is strength. It testifies to recognition of the Christ in you. Perhaps you will recall the text maintains that choice is always made between Christ’s strength and your own weakness, seen apart from Him. Defenselessness can never be attacked, because it recognizes strength so great attack is folly, or a silly game a tired child might play, when he becomes too sleepy to remember what he wants. (W-pI.153.6)

Devotion

You were both wise and devoted (two words which are literally interchangeable in the sense that they truly bring on the exchange of one another) in claiming your scribal functions and working so late. You had committed a serious error against your brother, and one who had asked for your help. A devoted Priestess does not do this.

The Bible says you should go with a brother twice as far as he asks. It certainly does not suggest that you set him back on his journey. Devotion to a brother cannot set you back either. It can only lead to mutual progress. The result of genuine devotion is inspiration, a word which, properly understood, is the opposite of fatigue. (original version of T-4.In.1)

Generosity

To the world, generosity means “giving away” in the sense of “giving up.” To the teachers of God, it means giving away in order to keep. This has been emphasized throughout the text and the workbook, but it is perhaps more alien to the thinking of the world than many other ideas in our curriculum. Its greater strangeness lies merely in the obviousness of its reversal of the world’s thinking. In the clearest way possible, and at the simplest of levels, the word means the exact opposite to the teachers of God and to the world.

The teacher of God is generous out of Self interest. This does not refer, however, to the self of which the world speaks. The teacher of God does not want anything he cannot give away, because he realizes it would be valueless to him by definition. What would he want it for? He could only lose because of it. He could not gain. Therefore he does not seek what only he could keep, because that is a guarantee of loss. (M-4.VII)

Gentleness

Just as the Holy Spirit treats us with gentleness, so we are supposed to treat our brothers with the same gentleness. We are supposed to give them blessing in gentleness (T-14.IV.8:6), to gently correct their mistakes (T 22.IV.5:1), to gently lead them out of the desert and into our little garden (T-18.VIII.10:2), offer them gentleness (W-pI.108.8:8), cover them in gentleness (T-25.IV.3:5), touch them with the gentle hands of forgiveness (T‑19.IV(C). 2:5), and call to them gently to turn away from death and toward life (M-5.III.2:11). Our gentleness, however, must be genuine. It is not enough to put on a show of gentleness as a cover over attack (T-23.II.20:5, III.2:3).

To everyone I offer gentleness. (W‑pI.108. 8:8)

Harmlessness

Yet whether or not you recognize it now, you have agreed to cooperate in the effort to become both harmless and helpful, attributes that must go together. (T-4.II.5)

God is praised whenever any mind learns to be wholly helpful. This is impossible without being wholly harmless, because the two beliefs must coexist. (T‑4.VII. 8)

Healing

Healing is the one ability everyone can develop and must develop if he is to be healed. Healing is the Holy Spirit’s form of communication in this world, and the only one He accepts. (T-7.V.3)

Help and healing are the normal expressions of a mind that is working through the body, but not in it. (T-8.VII.11)

You have learned your need of healing. Would you bring anything else to the Sonship, recognizing your need of healing for yourself? (T-11.I.1)

Every loving thought is true. Everything else is an appeal for healing and help, regardless of the form it takes. (T-12.I.3)

As your function in Heaven is creation, so your function on earth is healing. (T-12.VII.4)

All healing is release from the past. (T-13.VIII.1)

Helpfulness

I am here only to be truly helpful. (T-2.V.A.18)

All therapy should do is try to place everyone involved in the right frame of mind to help one another. It is essentially a process of true courtesy, including courtesy to me. (original dictation)

God is praised whenever any mind learns to be wholly helpful….The truly helpful are invulnerable, because they are not protecting their egos and so nothing can hurt them. Their helpfulness is their praise of God, and He will return their praise of Him because they are like Him, and they can rejoice together….The truly helpful are God’s miracle workers, whom I direct until we are all united in the joy of the Kingdom. (T‑4.VII.8)

How often have I answered “Help him” when you have asked me to help you? (original dictation)

Helpfulness created me helpful. (W-pI.67.2)

Nothing in the world is holier than helping one who asks for help. And two come very close to God in this attempt, however limited, however lacking in sincerity. (P-2.V.4)

Honesty

There is nothing you say that contradicts what you think or do; no thought opposes any other thought; no act belies your word; and no word lacks agreement with another. (M-4.II.1)

Kindness

Without anxiety the mind is wholly kind, and because it extends beneficence it is beneficent. (T-6.III.3)

Before the glorious radiance of the Kingdom guilt melts away, and transformed into kindness will never more be what it was. (T-13.X.14)

The kindness of his sight rests on himself with all the tenderness it offers others. (T-25.VI.1)

Kindness created me kind. (W-pI.67.2)

No danger lurks in anything it [the mind at peace within itself] sees, for it is kind, and only kindness does it look upon. (W-pII.8.3)

…the body has been kindly used to help the Son of God along the way he goes to God. (S-3.II.2)