of God have no set teaching level. Each teaching-learning situation
involves a different relationship at the beginning, although the
ultimate goal is always the same—
to make of
the relationship a holy relationship in which both can look upon
the Son of God as sinless.
There is no
one from whom a teacher of God cannot learn, so there is no one
whom he cannot teach. However, from a practical point of view, he
cannot meet everyone, nor can everyone find him.
the plan includes very specific contacts to be made for each teacher
There are no
accidents in salvation. Those who are to meet will meet because
together they have the potential for a holy relationship. They are
ready for each other.
1- Casual Encounter
level of teaching appears to be quite superficial. It consists of
what seem to be very casual encounters—
chance meeting of two apparent strangers in an elevator,
child who is not looking where he is going running into an adult
students who happen to walk home together.
These are not
chance encounters. Each of them has the potential for becoming a
teaching-learning situation. Perhaps the seeming strangers in the
elevator will smile to one another; perhaps the man will not scold
the child for bumping into him; perhaps the students will become
friends. Even at the level of the most casual encounter, it is possible
for two people to lose sight of separate interests, if only for
a moment. That moment will be enough. Salvation has come.
It is difficult
to understand that levels of teaching the universal course is a
concept as meaningless in reality as is time. The illusion of one
permits the illusion of the other.
In time, the
teacher of God seems to begin to change his mind about the world
with the single decision, and then learns more and more about the
new direction as he teaches it. We have covered the illusion of
time already, but the illusion of levels of teaching seems to be
something different. Perhaps the best way to demonstrate that these
levels cannot exist is simply to say that any level of the teaching-learning
situation is part of God's plan for Atonement, and His plan can
have no levels being a reflection of His Will. Salvation is always
ready and always there. God's teachers work at different levels,
but the result is always the same.
2- Sustained Relationships
situation is maximal in the sense that each person involved will
learn the most that he can from the other person at that time. In
this sense, and in this sense only, we can speak of levels of teaching.
Using the term
in this way, the second level of teaching is a more sustained relationship
in which for a time two people enter into a fairly intense teaching-learning
situation and then appear to separate.
As with the
are not accidental,
what appears to be the end of the relationship a real end.
has learned the most he can at the time. Yet all who meet will someday
meet again, for it is the destiny of all relationships to become
holy. God is not mistaken in His Son.
3 - Lifelong Relationships
The third level
of teaching occurs in relationships which, once they are formed,
are lifelong. These are teaching-learning situations in which each
person is given a chosen learning partner who presents him with
unlimited opportunities for learning.
are generally few because their existence implies that those involved
have reached a stage simultaneously in which the teaching-learning
balance is actually perfect.
This does not
mean that they necessarily recognize this; in fact, they generally
do not. They may even be quite hostile to each other for some time,
and perhaps for life. Yet should they decide to learn it, the perfect
lesson is before them and can be learned. And if they decide to
learn that lesson, they become the saviors of the teachers who falter
and may even seem to fail. No teacher of God can fail to find the
Help he needs.