A Course in Miracles

Manual For Teachers

25. Are Psychic Powers Desirable?

The answer to this question is much like the preceding one. There are, of course, no "unnatural" powers, and it is obviously merely an appeal to magic to make up a power that does not exist. It is equally obvious, however, that each individual has many abilities of which he is unaware.

As his awareness increases, he may well develop abilities that seem quite startling to him.

Yet nothing he can do can compare even in the slightest with the glorious surprise of remembering who he is. Let all his learning and all his efforts be directed toward this one great final surprise, and he will not be content to be delayed by the little ones that may come to him on the way.

 

Certainly there are many "psychic" powers that are clearly in line with this course. Communication is not limited to the small range of channels the world recognizes. If it were, there would be little point in trying to teach salvation. It would be impossible to do so.

The limits the world places on communication are the chief barrier to direct experience of the Holy Spirit, Whose Presence is always there and Whose Voice is available but for the hearing. These limits are placed out of fear, for without them the walls that surround all the separate places of the world would fall at the holy sound of His Voice. Who transcends these limits in any way is merely becoming more natural. He is doing nothing special, and there is no magic in his accomplishments.

 

The seemingly new abilities that may be gathered on the way can be very helpful. Given to the Holy Spirit and used under His direction, they are valuable teaching aids. To this the question of how they arise is irrelevant. The only important consideration is how they are used. Taking them as ends in themselves, no matter how this is done, will delay progress. Nor does their value lie in proving anything—achievements from the past, unusual attunement with the "unseen," or special favors from God. God gives no special favors, and no one has any powers that are not available to everyone. Only by tricks of magic are special powers "demonstrated."

 

Nothing that is genuine is used to deceive. The Holy Spirit is incapable of deception, and He can use only genuine abilities. What is used for magic is useless to Him, but what He uses cannot be used for magic. There is, however, a particular appeal in unusual abilities which can be curiously tempting. Here are strengths which the Holy Spirit wants and needs. Yet the ego sees in these same strengths an opportunity to glorify itself. Strengths turned to weakness are tragedy indeed. Yet what is not given to the Holy Spirit must be given to weakness, for what is withheld from love is given to fear and will be fearful in consequence.

Even those who no longer value the material things of the world may still be deceived by "psychic" powers.

As investment has been withdrawn from the world's material gifts, the ego has been seriously threatened. It may still be strong enough to rally under this new temptation to win back strength by guile. Many have not seen through the ego's defenses here, although they are not particularly subtle. Yet, given a remaining wish to be deceived, deception is made easy. Now the "power" is no longer a genuine ability and cannot be used dependably. It is almost inevitable that, unless the individual changes his mind about its purpose, he will bolster its uncertainties with increasing deception.

 

Any ability that anyone develops has the potentiality for good. To this there is no exception. And the more unusual and unexpected the power, the greater its potential usefulness. Salvation has need of all abilities, for what the world would destroy, the Holy Spirit would restore. "Psychic" abilities have been used to call upon the devil, which merely means to strengthen the ego. Yet here is also a great channel of hope and healing in the Holy Spirit's service.

Those who have developed "psychic" powers have simply let some of the limitations they laid upon their minds be lifted.

It can be but greater limitations they lay upon themselves if they utilize their increased freedom for greater imprisonment. The Holy Spirit needs these gifts, and those who offer them to Him and Him alone go with Christ's gratitude upon their hearts, and His holy sight not far behind.

 

MANUAL FOR TEACHERS

1 Who are God's Teachers?
2 Who are their pupils?
3 What are the levels of teaching?
10 How is Judgment Relinquished?
14 How will the world end?
15 Is Each To Be Judged in the End?
23 Does Jesus have a special place in healing?
25 Are Psychic Powers Desirable?
26 Can God Be Reached Directly
27 What is Death?

 

 

A Course in Miracles

Manual For Teachers

26. Can God Be Reached Directly?

God indeed can be reached directly, for there is no distance between Him and His Son. His awareness is in everyone's memory, and His Word is written on everyone's heart. Yet this awareness and this memory can arise across the threshold of the unconscious only where all barriers to truth have been removed. In how many is this the case?

Here then is the role of God's teachers.

They too have not attained the necessary understanding as yet, but they have joined with others. This is what sets them apart from the world. And it is this that enables others to leave the world with them. Alone they are nothing. But in their joining is the Power of God.

 

There are those who have reached God directly, retaining no trace of worldly limits and remembering their own Identity perfectly. These might be called the teachers of teachers because, although they are no longer visible, their image can yet be called upon.

And they will appear when and where it is helpful for them to do so.

To those to whom such appearances would be frightening, they give their ideas. No one can call on them in vain. Nor is there anyone of whom they are unaware. All needs are known to them, and all mistakes are recognized and overlooked by them. The time will come when this is understood. And meanwhile they give all their gifts to the teachers of God who look to them for help, asking all things in their name and in no other.

 

Sometimes a teacher of God may have a brief experience of direct union with God. In this world, it is almost impossible that this endure. It can, perhaps, be won after much devotion and dedication and then be maintained for most of the time on earth. But this is so rare that it cannot be considered a realistic goal. If it happens, so be it. If it does not happen, so be it as well.

All worldly states must be illusory. If God were reached directly in sustained awareness, the body would not be long maintained. Those who have laid the body down merely to extend their helpfulness to those remaining behind are few indeed. And they need helpers who are still in bondage and still asleep, so that by their awakening can God's Voice be heard.

Do not despair, then, because of limitations. It is your function to escape from them, but not to be without them. If you would be heard by those who suffer, you must speak their language. If you would be saviors, you must understand what needs to be escaped.

Salvation is not theoretical. Behold the problem, ask for the answer, and then accept it when it comes. Nor will its coming be long delayed. All the help you can accept will be provided, and not one need you have will not be met. Let us not, then, be too concerned with goals for which you are not ready. God takes you where you are and welcomes you. What more could you desire, when this is all you need?

 

 
 

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