In this second article in the series on the “miracle” and the “mind,” we’re going to continue our discussion of spiritual specialness as someone being chosen by God to do His work without recognizing it is really the ego. In A Course in Miracles (ACIM), many link being a Course teacher of God with being miracle-minded just as we see in many religions with chosen spiritual leaders such as a pastors, ministers and priests, etc. In the first article on spiritual specialness, we incorporated a quote by Kenneth Wapnick that, “Love is quiet and need not make assertions.” Being someone chosen by God to do “god’s work” is an assertion of the ego; and it makes the error real. It is a defense against God’s Love wherein we don’t recognize that we’re actually competing with God (and thus everyone).
Mr. Wapnick also has some wonderful passages un curso de milagros that get straight to the point on this matter. These are taken from his two-book set on, “The Message Of A Course In Miracles” which is filled with what the Course does and does not say. These quotes speak for themselves and do not need reinterpretation:
Spiritual specialness refers to people acting out their egos’ specialness, but disguising it as spiritual dress. This frequently comes in the form of believing that they have received “special” instructions, “special” favors, or “special” commissions from “special” divine persons such as Jesus or the Holy Spirit, all of which serves to make these people spiritually different from others and therefore more “special” (Few Choose To Listen, p. 141).
What we are calling “spiritual specialness” appears in the members of almost all spiritual or religious movements. This usually comes in the form of believing that the group or members have been singled out by God or the Holy Spirit to perform some holy function that will benefit humanity and contribute towards the saving of the world. However, such intrinsic specialness is clearly not the case with the teachings of A Course in Miracles (Few Choose To Listen, p. 144).
Specialness is also seen in a variety of other forms beyond the labels just mentioned. For example, claiming who we “share the stage” with, i.e., other Course teachers is the same limelight error. We do all of this because of our enormous repressed fear and guilt; and we do it instead of learning and practicing the Course. This is a course on sameness and one that exemplifies kindness:
This inability to truly practice A Course in Miracles’ kind principles of forgiveness that they study, and sometimes even teach, has perhaps been the most serious failing among its students. This book’s sequel, “Few Choose to Listen,” discusses how students often conceal their thought system of specialness under the guise of spiritual counseling or friendship. The absence of simple kindness is, unfortunately, unmistakable to all except the Course student making the spiritual pronouncements (All Are Called, p. 306).
Finally to finish setting the stage (pun intended) for this brief article, let’s bring in what Wapnick addresses on arrogance versus humility:
“Arrogance takes the form of believing that one has “mastered” the Course by a simple reading or two, without really recognizing what is involved in its ongoing study and constant practice. Humility, on the other hand, seeks only to learn, which comes from students’ recognition of how dependent on their egos they have truly made themselves to be. They therefore become grateful for the opportunity the Course offers them to let go – finally and truly – of their investment in uniqueness, self-importance, and specialness, the core of the problem that maintains the separation from God” (Few Choose To Listen, p. 84, underline mine).
Humility is of the right mind, which recognizes its dependence on God, while arrogance is of the wrong mind, which feels it is in competition with Him (Glossary-index, p. 106).
Therefore, if we are to be truly miracle-minded, then we must be willing to explore exactly what the ego is and what its thought system is capable of doing. The Course emphatically states that nothing can remain hidden. We must be willing to get our hands dirty with the ego if we are to learn true forgiveness since specialness in any form ties in so directly with maintaining the separation from God.