Manual Reading Program
Manual Reading Program for A Course in Miracles
Purpose of the Class
The Manual is often taken to be a kind of Q&A afterthought to the Course. Yet it is far more important than that. It can lift to a new level our understanding of what the Course is. It can show us that the Course wants to leave the realm of the purely mental and stride into our external lives. This program will lead you step by step through each section of the Manual, allowing you to grasp the real purpose of this final volume and process its implications for your life.
This is a 17-week class designed to take you through the Manual with Robert Perry. Each week you will receive two sets of class notes by e-mail, and will have access to one pre-recorded telephone class led by Robert Perry on that week's class material.
1. The Readings
Twice a week you will receive, via e-mail, your reading material for that week. This reading will usually be one or two sections from the Manual, accompanied by commentary after each paragraph, written by Robert Perry.
2. Class Recordings
Each week there is a one-hour class recording in which you can hear Robert and Greg Mackie review the major themes of the prior two readings. Robert and Greg also field questions on those readings. (Click here to hear a sample recording.)
3. Related Readings
Additionally, you will receive a number of extra, optional readings to fill out your understanding of particular Manual sections.
4. Archive of Manual Commentaries and Class Recordings
You will be given a page on our website which contains an archive of all the commentaries that have been sent to you, the related readings, and all the class recordings. Once you have completed the class, this page will be your permanent archive of the class materials. From this page, you also have the ability to “pause” the e-mails coming to you. This means that you won't fall behind if you go away for a few days—you simply pause the program, and restart it when you return!
The Manual class is $95. We believe this is an incredible value for a program that will guide you in an in-depth study of the Manual for Teachers.
Please Note: These commentaries are a paid
subscription service. If you would like to use them in a
study group, or have interested friends or family members,
we ask that these individuals sign up for the
program directly, rather than copies being distributed
to them free of charge. We do offer a group discount
of 30% off for three or more people. Interested parties can
contact us for details. We try to be very generous with
our materials, but our livelihood does depend on
sales of materials like the commentaries.
Thank you for your consideration.
Your first commentary will be emailed to you the Monday after you place your order.
In this introduction we are beginning a new volume of the Course, the final volume. What is it for? What is the purpose of this volume? We can expect that an introduction will tell us these things. Let us, therefore, keep our eyes peeled for clues about the purpose of the Manual for Teachers, the final volume of A Course in Miracles.
1. The role of teaching and learning is actually reversed in the thinking of the world. 2The reversal is characteristic. 3It seems as if the teacher and the learner are separated, the teacher giving something to the learner rather than to himself. 4Further, the act of teaching is regarded as a special activity, in which one engages only a relatively small proportion of one's time. 5The course, on the other hand, emphasizes that to teach is to learn, so that teacher and learner are the same. 6It also emphasizes that teaching is a constant process; it goes on every moment of the day, and continues into sleeping thoughts as well.
1:1. How are the role of teaching and learning reversed in the thinking of the world? (#1)
This opening paragraph of the Manual sets out two clear ways in which we misunderstand the role of teaching. We think that the teacher is imparting something to someone besides himself. And we do think that way, don't we? When you are teaching in some form, don't you have the feeling that you are mainly imparting something to the one(s) you are teaching? In contrast, "the course...emphasizes that to teach is to learn" (1:5). This is indeed a major theme in the Course, as we can see in these early quotes: "As you teach so shall you learn" (T-5.IV.6:4). "As I have said before, 'As you teach so shall you learn'" (T-6.I.6:1).
Imagine if, whenever you taught someone, you were fully aware that you were teaching yourself? Would that not change your experience of the entire act of teaching? Yet what exactly does this mean? Just what are you teaching yourself as you teach another? This will become clearer as we proceed.
The second way in which we misunderstand the role of teaching is that we see it as "a special activity, in which one engages only a relatively small proportion of one's time" (1:4). The Course, on the other hand, "emphasizes that teaching is a constant process" (1:6). That emphasis is clear in these passages: "Everyone teaches, and teaches all the time" (T-6.IN.2:2). "We have already learned that everyone teaches, and teaches all the time" (T-16.III.1:1).
The idea that we are teaching all the time can feel very uncomfortable. We would prefer to be able to turn this ability on and off at will, reserving it for times when we can consciously teach something we will feel proud of having taught. The antithesis of this preference is the idea that we teach every single moment, whether happy or sad, inspired or depressed, even awake or asleep. While asleep we have no control over the crazy, incoherent thoughts which drift through our darkened minds, and yet these crazy thoughts teach all the world.
2. To teach is to demonstrate. 2There are only two thought systems, and you demonstrate that you believe one or the other is true all the time. 3From your demonstration others learn, and so do you. 4The question is not whether you will teach, for in that there is no choice. 5The purpose of the course might be said to provide you with a means of choosing what you want to teach on the basis of what you want to learn. 6You cannot give to someone else, but only to yourself, and this you learn through teaching. 7Teaching is but a call to witnesses to attest to what you believe. 8It is a method of conversion. 9This is not done by words alone. 10Any situation must be to you a chance to teach others what you are, and what they are to you. 11No more than that, but also never less.
2:1. You teach through your demonstration. What conventional idea of teaching does this sentence overturn? (#2)
2:8. Teaching is a method of converting who? (#3)
2:10. Reflect on this sentence. Think of a specific situation you were recently in, and realize that in that situation you were teaching others what you think you are, and what they are to you.
Teaching is far more all-encompassing than we realize. We not only teach all the time, we teach with far more than just our words. We teach by our demonstration. Every single one of our thoughts, words, and deeds demonstrates the beliefs that gave rise to that thought, word, or deed. These beliefs cannot help but get communicated through us all the time. Even when we try to cover them up and put on a better face, they exude from our pores, filling the air with the aroma of what we truly believe. Even when we think we have no agenda, we will inevitably use every situation as an opportunity to sell our beliefs.
What we are really teaching is our basic thought system. We are demonstrating that we believe in either the ego's thought system or the Holy Spirit's. These thought systems differ because they contain different answers to two fundamental questions: 1) What am I? 2) What are others to me?
3. The curriculum you set up is therefore determined exclusively by what you think you are, and what you believe the relationship of others is to you. 2In the formal teaching situation, these questions may be totally unrelated to what you think you are teaching. 3Yet it is impossible not to use the content of any situation on behalf of what you really teach, and therefore really learn. 4To this the verbal content of your teaching is quite irrelevant. 5It may coincide with it, or it may not. 6It is the teaching underlying what you say that teaches you. 7Teaching but reinforces what you believe about yourself. 8Its fundamental purpose is to diminish self-doubt. 9This does not mean that the self you are trying to protect is real. 10But it does mean that the self you think is real is what you teach.
3:1. Reflect on what you have been teaching others with your demonstration. What have your actions been telling them that you think you are? What have your actions been saying to them about what they are to you?
3:2-6. Think about a situation in your life in which you are teaching in a more conventional sense. Maybe you don't stand up in front of a classroom, but you can still probably think of a situation in which you are training a co-worker, or teaching a child something. Realize that underneath your words, you were really teaching your idea of what you are, and what that person is to you.
You are so intent on teaching that you actually set up a curriculum, a set of courses through which you teach your basic subject matter. Again (as in the previous paragraph), this subject matter is "what you think you are, and what you believe the relationship of others is to you" (3:1). No matter what subject you think you are teaching—whether it is computers, biology, or toilet training—your fundamental beliefs about self and other are what you are really impressing upon people's minds, your own included. For it is what your actions demonstrate, not what your words say, that constitutes your teaching. And no matter how objective and professional you get, your actions are always demonstrating what you think you are, and what others are to you.
This paragraph closes by revealing why you are teaching so diligently. Beneath the conscious reasons for your behavior, you are trying to convince yourself that you are a certain kind of self. If you can teach everyone else that they and you are this kind of self, then they in turn will help quiet your underlying doubts. What kind of self is this? Sentences 9 and 10 make clear that it is an unreal or illusory self. In Course language, this means an ego. You have been teaching others that you are an ego, so that they can convince you of this more fully.
1. The rest of the paragraph explains how. We normally think of the teacher as teaching someone besides himself, and teaching only a small portion of the time. The reverse of both of these things is true.
2. That you teach through your words.
3. A method of converting others so that they can convert you. When you teach, you try to convert others so that they will take the witness stand and attest to your beliefs. And them doing this convinces you of your beliefs even more strongly.
ReviewsAdd Your Review
Regarding the &qupt;Manual for Teachers," I had honestly never expected to read it because, for me, it was a foregone conclusion that I did not want to be and never would be a Teacher. Needless to say, I've learned just how mistaken and off-the-mark that particular viewpoint was! Studying the "Manual" with Robert Perry and Greg Mackie has been a very rewarding experience. I recommend this program highly.
Dear Greg and Robert
Just wanted to express my gratitude for the wonderful work you did with the presentation of the Manual For Teachers. You added a wealth of insight through your commentary that I had not grasped in previous readings and likely would not have with multiple future readings. While I was not able to participate in the teleconferences I did enjoy listening to the recordings. As winter approaches and the days become shorter and the evenings longer I look forward to studying your presentation once more. Somehow it seems that when we deepen our understanding of any part of the Course our entire understanding of the Course is enhanced at the same time.
I would like to express again my gratitude for the work you did with the text in 2006. What you gave me was immeasurable. What you gave me was a love for the reading of the text. I have been going back through the text and commentaries again this year at the same pace and continue to increase my understanding and appreciation of the Course. I know that your effort has placed my understanding years ahead of where I could have taken it on my efforts alone. Where I had struggled before I can now hear the beauty.
Is there any chance that a similar work with The Song of Prayer might be in the future? Such a beautiful little booklet!
Peace and Blessings,
I eagerly looked forward to receiving and reading the commentary on the manual, which Robert sent us twice a week. He writes so well and illuminates the manual with ease. That is no easy task. I am already missing his emails.
The Manual Reading Program was amazing! I had read and studied the Course and was proceeding through the Workbook. I was doing this all on my own. Somewhere I had read that the Course was a self-study program. However I was having problems grasping a number of the Course's concepts so I signed up for the Manual Reading Program. It was very enlightening. Robert is a truly remarkable teacher of God. His knowledge and understanding of the Course is unsurpassed. I highly recommend it
—Steve from Flagstaff
I cannot speak highly enough of this course as simply reading the materials gave me more insights and enlightenment than I could ever have imagined possible. I can truthfully say that it created many "miracles" as my perceptions were constantly challenged and I opened to, as the Course says, "new ways of seeing things". I highly recommend this course of sharing and study.
—Betty Antonich, Ormond Beach, Fl
I took Robert's class on the Manual and found it very helpful. Robert has a real knack at putting complex ideas into simple, easy to understand terms. His questions and examples are always thought provoking.
—Loretta Siani, Ph.D.
Dear Greg and Robert
My experience with the study lessons from The Manual for Teachers benefited me in a much deeper understanding of my role in God's Plan. Though I am by no means a Teacher or Healer I can see the path to becoming one much clearer.
Robert and Greg are excellent facilitators who may deny having all the attributes of Teachers of God, but most certainly have a great many of them.
Thank You both.
As Robert and Greg did on the Text study course, the commentary and telephone discussions on the Manual For Teachers were illuminating. Their broad and deep understanding of the Course opens up new meanings and understanding for their students. Highly recommended!
Hi, it has been an absolutely marvellous experince to study the Manual with the Manual Reading Program as a guide. It gave me a new "version" of the Manual.It is now much more accesible, much more understandable and much nearer to my heart.
I'm so grateful.
Love, Ulla from Sweden
Dear Greg and Robert
Just wanted to let you know how much your Manual class was appreciated. These last several months have been a real blessing. Thank you so much. I was inspired by attending your March workshop at the Villages in Florida. After some 20 years of dipping into the Course, I have now resolved to "get serious." (Am currently on the second review of the Workbook)
Once, again, thank you so very much. I have appreciated your sharing of the Course more than I can express.
Peace, Love, and Joy to you,
Thank YOU so much for providing this for us, Robert. It's wonderful to have the option of attending such a class regularly for wise guidance, warm fellowship, and peaceful meditations. It is/has made a tangible difference to me. I do see more clearly and love more easily than a year ago. I now truly do believe that even I might 'make it' someday; perhaps I also appreciate that I am 'making it' right now. I give thanks for my Mighty Companions; Dear One, I give thanks for you.
Just a note to thank you for the time, effort and thoughtfulness you put into the Manual program. It has been a component of the Course with which I have struggled and as a consequence, largely ignored. However, your program has enabled me to enter another phase of my journey, that being a better understanding of my relationship with Jesus. In fact, I have known no greater peace, since reading and re-reading the section of "Jesus — Christ". For this I thank you.
Thanks to you and Greg for being our teachers. It was a revelation to find all the treasures in the Manual. I feel my understanding and appreciation of the Course have expanded tremendously. Thank you for the inspiration you give to grow in the teachings and their applications.
I would like to thank you again for this course of study. I printed off all the commentaries and found the last ones so moving that I could scarcely read for weeping. I have definitely been inspired to spend even more time with the Course and look forward to bigger changes in my life.
Thank you again and very best wishes.
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