[overview] The question this week, Q’uo, has to do with teaching and learning. We’re wondering just how teaching actually occurs as the result of our desire to teach and our attempting to teach certain subjects or topics. Much occurs by the very nature of our being, of who we are and how we are. Could you speak to the topic of how teaching and learning really occur?
We are the principle known to you as Q’uo. Greetings in the love and in the light of the one infinite Creator, in Whose service we come to you this day. We thank each of you for calling us to your circle of seeking and, indeed, for taking the time and the attention in your busy, busy lives to spend this time seeking the truth. We are most privileged to be able to offer our thoughts.
However, before we begin, we would, as always, ask for your discrimination in listening to our words. We encourage you to be very real as you move through thoughts, sensing deeply into whether or not these thoughts help you, whether or not they resonate to you and seem useful. If they do not, my friends, drop them.
The energy, the information, and the inspiration that you need is close to you. If it is not we who offer it to you, please be assured another source will come to you, for that which you desire always comes to you, one way or another. If you will use this discrimination and listening to what we have to say, it will enable us to speak freely to you without being concerned about the issue of free will. We thank you for this consideration.
You ask this day about teaching and learning, how one teaches and how one learns. That is a question of enormous subtlety. And there is a wide variety in the ways in which we could approach this subject. We shall focus upon those aspects of the question which we sense are at the heart of the interest of those who have created the question. We wish to acknowledge beforehand that our response will be incomplete.
The universe in which you and we and all that there is experience consciousness is a unitary universe. When you are teaching, you are teaching yourself. When you are learning, you are learning from yourself.
We wish to start with this very deep level of truth about teaching because, unlike many who ask about the teaching process, the energy companioning this query feels deep and spiritual in nature. Therefore, rather than focusing upon the surface of teaching, we would start at the very foundation.
You are all teachers. You cannot help but be teachers. Even if you were alone for your entire lifetime, you would be teaching yourself. Indeed, you do teach yourself. From the very beginning [of] your incarnation, you are teaching yourself what you like and what you do not like. Each observation about your preferences creates for you a more and more complex structure of opinions about yourself, in effect, by your instinctual reactions to that which is occurring in your environment. You are building intelligence as to who you apparently are.
Because of the culture in which you live, this intelligence is composed almost entirely of the things that you learn when you are conscious and alert. However, much teaching of the self by the self occurs beneath the level of alert, waking consciousness. Those levels of teaching occur when you are asleep and dreaming.
You receive a tremendous amount of material that has been processed to a certain extent by your conscious mind as you release your conscious mind and move into the deeper levels of the mind to take your rest. You also are able to open the door to those deeper levels, which are unable to communicate in words. The deeper levels of the self communicate in images, concepts, colors and various aspects of feeling. On the surface of your life, you might be experiencing a very muddy picture. It may seem to be a very chaotic present day experience. Beneath the surface of consciousness, however, there are tremendous resources available to you.
They are, in the sense of dreaming, quite automatic to a certain extent. That which is on your mind have been important to you one way or another. That day registers like a knock on the door registers to someone in the house. By the focus of your waking concerns, you knock on the door of your deeper consciousness as you gain experience in working with your dreams. And you may even remember to ask, when you are knocking at the door unconsciously by your emotions and your feelings, for good guidance, for clear guidance, for the highest and best guidance. These create a strident and focused knock upon the door that elicits clearer dreams or symbols, clearer images, and clearer feelings that come from the dreaming.
Other ways in which you teach yourself are achieved also when you release consciousness. Time and nature walking silently, and gazing at the world around you frees up the mind, because no one is talking to you; you are not guarded, nor do you expect to comprehend, sense or make sense. And so your mind goes slightly out of focus, which is precisely the intent of such contemplative nature walks.
This instrument—we correct this instrument. This instrument would call this process letting the brain sag in the middle. When you let the brain sag in the middle, the usual connections that you make when you think thought “A,” may not be the ones you come to, because your flat mind has become a mind of curves, hills, valleys, hidden places, unexpected things touching. And so you receive new connections. New combinations of thought. New positions of feeling and emotions. And so often, you may surface from such an experience with a feeling of wonder and discovery, because your brain has not been the dictator that it likes to be and something has crept in through this door from the unconscious mind into the conscious mind. And suddenly, one particular pattern of your experience may fall into place for the first time, so that instead of chaos, you begin to perceive the implicate order.
There is a vast and comprehensive order. It is not fixed. The order of your creation is flowing. It flows because of your feelings, your thoughts, and your desires. However, each moment is an opportunity to release the dictatorship of the intellect and begin to become aware on more levels than the intellectual levels of your environment. In such ways may you teach yourself.
Other uses of silence and the releasing of the mind are those we have mentioned to you many times. The reading of inspirational works and then the contemplation of what you have read. Silent meditation. Meditation following the breath. Meditation staring at a white wall. Walking meditations, and so forth.
This instrument’s use of the services of her church is another good example of how one who has begun to perceive the way learning actually takes place may use what to another person would seem to be a fairly random and close to meaningless series of readings, prayers and so forth which make up the church service. When one is allowing one’s brain to sag in the middle, when one is not insisting that one make sense at all times, one may suddenly see a connection that helps on a level far beneath the surface of life.
So, when an entity decides to offer itself as a teacher, it is offering itself in addition to the subject matter that is being covered in the class that is being taught. Even in the case of scientific courses, where a large amount of detail and specific information must be understood in a certain order in order to be able to become facile in working with that particular discipline, it makes a great deal of difference, as any student will tell you, as to what teacher has taught that course. Every student remembers teachers that lifted subject matter from the conscious everyday level of “learn these facts” and “take the test” to a level which let the student see into why the teacher loved that particular discipline and why that teacher was teaching that particular class.
Love, passion and affection are catching. When a teacher loves the subject he is teaching often he is able to excite others because of his love, his affection, and his passion for his discipline. So even when you are simply trying to memorize the facts of biology, chemistry or astronomy, a good teacher will motivate you through his love of the subject to create a sense of adventure in learning that is lacking from an uninspired teacher’s presentation.
When one becomes a spiritual teacher, the subject matter of the class becomes less important [and] the character and nature of the teacher becomes more important. There are practices of Buddhists and Hindus, for instance, in which the entire learning experience of the guru or the teacher and the chela or the student is conducted in silence. The teacher sits and rests in his essence. Within the essence, there is affection, compassion and all the gifts of the spirit which have been granted to this teacher. Implicit in his silent meditation [are] his acceptance, true love, and all of the environment which points the student toward his own essence. It is as if the teacher is a star, twinkling in the night sky, that by its clarity and lucidity of essence creates in the student the ability also to become such a star, twinkling, lucid and clear.
The teachings of the guru do not have content in this preference, that is, because the essence of spiritual teaching does not have content. Let us refine upon this thought, because it is a substance of one. When one is teaching how to understand what makes Herman Melville’s book, Moby Dick, a good book, one can rely upon the book itself; one can talk with the student about the characters in the book; one can discuss what historical era that historical book was written in, and how that might have affected the writing of the book, [to] deepen the understanding of this or that aspect of the writing.
When one is attempting to teach spiritual maturity, one is in a pure sense teaching entities how to be themselves by being themselves—we correct this instrument—by the teacher being himself. It would seem impossible for this to be an accurate or productive teaching technique, except for the fact that many, many generations of highly evolved spiritual seekers have used this technique in order to learn. The basic feeling in this type of learning is resting in the affection of the teacher. All the cares of the world fade away. Resting in this safe environment. Loved, cherished, supported and encouraged. The student is then able at last to release all expectations except the experience of being with the teacher. And so the student humbly empties his mind of all except for his affection for his teacher. And in that trust, faith learning is passed from heart to heart. From soul to soul. It is an energy exchange. The student and the teacher are sharing awareness. At the moment that the student is allowing this connection, the teacher and the student become one. Why is this possible? It is possible because all entities are one. The teacher has simply found a way to help the student become aware of that blessed unity that underlies all the seeming separation and detail of the awaking human experience.
Many teachers who attempt to teach spiritually are greatly hampered, though often they do not know it, by their restrictions and limitations of their form of belief. We do not speak strictly of religious belief here, although religion and their dogma are the most common sources of restrictions and limitation of being able to share the awareness of oneness and essence that is at the heart of spiritual teaching.
Many wonderfully mature spiritual beings are nevertheless hampered greatly by the need to justify dogma. However, you will find that in that every religion there are teachers who have been able to transcend the structures of dogma, so that as they work within the structures of their religion they nevertheless are able to make connections that lie so far out of the box of that particular religion. Such entities have the impulse to create connections with other religions and to form spiritual relationships that go beyond any one dogma.
We would offer the example of the one known as Thomas. This instrument is aware of the one known as Thomas Merton for she has visited the gardens of Gethsemane, where this entity was a monk for many years, and has listened to the sweet solemn sounds of the chanting of the monks as they move through one of the six daily services, blending the [anonymity] of the monk’s robes with the ultimate idiosyncrasy of their individual voices and then blending all those individual voices into one instrument of worship such as this entity’s environment when he was teacher of the new arrivals to Gethsemane.
This entity created bonds between the East and the West because he felt called to go to India and to Tibet and to create relationships with those in similar vocations in those places, and his work studying what is common to the East and to the West is greatly helpful [to] those who are caught in dogma, as is the work of the one known as Krishnamurti and many others who have done this combining and harmonizing work, trying to break the bonds of dogma.
Unlike chemistry, unlike literature, unlike any intellectual pursuit, the pursuit of the spiritual is the pursuit of mystery. You cannot understand a mystery. However, you can become the mystery by inviting in that mystery, by embracing it, and by being willing to be changed by it. Entities come to a spiritual teacher not because they wish to add to their learning, although that is what they think they are doing. Entities come to a spiritual teacher because they wish to subtract distractions of their worldly life from the essence of their being until only the essence remains.
So, the great spiritual teachers are those who are content to be. They do not have an axe to grind. They do not have a pet topic that they wish to lecture to you about. What they have in common is the quality of their own realization of self. This is the secret ingredient in all teaching. And therefore, if one wishes to be a teacher, one needs to engage in a style of living that leads one ever closer to honesty, self-acceptance, comfort within oneself, affection for oneself. These gifts of the self can only be given by the self. You cannot become compassionate by studying. You can only present yourself to your innermost heart as your own student and say, “Dear heart of self, dear Christ consciousness within me, teach me your ways, help me to become.”
This instrument has been reading a book called Handbook for a New Paradigm, and one short prayer is suggested by this particular book, “Lord, I am a human being. Help me to become.” When you know who you are, you are then free to change. When you are self-accepting, you are then free to evolve. Spiritual learning is not getting all the information needed and then having a degree in learning. We correct this instrument. In spirituality, spiritual learning is a mystery that occurs as the student begins to realize who he is, what his nature truly is. This instrument has over and over again in her life become tremendously excited and passionate, because she has experienced herself. And in that experience the self no longer contained the tired, drab garments of everyday personality. The self—any self, each of you, all of us—is a focal point in an infinitely complex and yet unified universe in which the Creator may learn about Itself. So you, as a teacher, are responsible, basically, for being that focused light through which the Creator shines. You are getting your surface personality out of the way so that the Creator may shine through more clearly.
Now, no entity in Western culture can teach in this silent way. There is always some content that is expected of a teacher in the Western culture. And certainly there are many, many good things said about many good subjects. Each teacher in his own way decides what the important facets are of spiritual evolution, and attempts as he talks about these things to open doors for the students. What this instrument was saying earlier was that—we correct this instrument. This instrument was saying earlier that when she is working with someone who is trying to understand a spiritual principle and how it applies to situations which may concern the student in everyday life she does not lecture. She asks the student to talk about his feelings, his thoughts, and his confusion. She stated that usually she is able to weave together from what the student has as the same material, in a slightly more focused form, by asking the student questions or by making comments on that which the student has said, asking the student for a reaction. What this instrument was attempting to express is the principle of that respect that a teacher has for the student when the teacher realizes fully that the student and the teacher are one.
What is happening when teaching a course in your schools is varied depending upon the teacher. If you have a merely competent and adequate teacher of the material the student will hear the explanation about the subject [and] will study what the teacher suggested. It will bring into mental organization a certain amount of awareness of that topic, which is aimed at passing a test and getting a grade. One might call this kind of learning “rote learning,” learning by memorization. If this memorization is followed by a long period of repetition, that brief amount of learning gained in one class then deepens and true awareness takes place, where the student now is capable, not just of repeating what the teacher said, but of understanding the whole of the subject and how it all fits together, so that there is then in the student’s awareness a livingness to that body of material.
When the teacher that teaches those same subjects is alive and aware of the subject, the element of inspiration is added to the subject and the students find it far easier to undergo the learning curve of rote memorization and so forth. But when the teacher, in its own spiritual journey, has reached a point of view which sees all things as one and sees the student one with itself there is added an ineffable deep level of support and encouragement that is completely unspoken and has to do with the essence of the human being that is sharing information. The best teachers are those whose chief delight is to learn from their students. Love is reflected in love. This is the spiritual principle upon which you may depend.
This instrument says, “What goes around, comes around.” If you wish to teach, be the person that you are. Do not allow yourself to be distracted for long by the seduction of your own personality, by the concerns of your day, by the difficulties, the sufferings and the limitations that you may experiencing. If you wish to a good teacher always go back to the center of self and be yourself. You are a window. You may open upon the creation of the Father and through you entities may see light and love. When you offer that quality to your teaching, you [are] maximizing your role. And remember, it is a role. There is no end to the roles that you may play as you dance through the patterns of your life. Let your dance be grounded in self-awareness. And let yourself move to the music that you hear in your innermost heart.
May we ask, is there another query at this time?
[new speaker] Jim
S was wondering if the translations that she was making of our sessions into Italian contain the same energy in Italian as they do in English.
We are those of Q’uo, and are aware of your query, my sister. This question has seemingly one direction [and] our answer must contain two levels. What we mainly wish to assure you of, my sister, is that because your translation is done in love and because your offering is a labor of love you not only carry the vibrations of the original but you enhance it by the addition of your special [offer] of energy so that there are two translators. We are translated into English from concept communication by this instrument and you are translating from us to this instrument and then through yourself to reach those who would seek who live in a different language.
Consequently, you may rest assured that you lose nothing of the vibration of love and light which you yourself feel as you receive this information in English. Indeed, you may be encouraged to know that you add to those vibrations richness and depth by your love and light and your dedication to service.
The other level which we would touch upon briefly is simply this. Each language is idiosyncratic. There are, generally speaking, straight translations for the basic things of communication. Let us call it tourist communication. One may ask directions, one may say thank you, and one may order from a menu and do the things that are needed in a foreign land and trust the translations are accurate, because these are very basic conversations. When one is talking about spiritual principles, one is reaching into myth, archetype and mystery. And in these ways it is sometimes difficult to catch the flavor of English in another language. Just as an Italian, you could see that it would difficult to say some things that you say in Italian and have them translate directly into English. In each culture, there are unique perspectives, stories, myths and backgrounds that feed language. And so there is from time to time a difference in the way the concept maybe presented.
However, we celebrate the difference. We are limited by this instrument’s culture, her language, her preferences, and so forth as we use this instrument. Because this is conscious channeling we use those things that are familiar to this instrument in order to convey concepts that are completely beyond this instrument’s understanding. This is always the nature of spiritually based communications, because [you] are not talking about apples and pears, you are talking about truth, justice, beauty, compassion, unconditional love, realization and enlightenment.
Relax, my sister, and know that your part in serving others is fully acceptable and greatly appreciated by us.
May we ask if there is a query at this time? We are those of Q’uo.
[new speaker] R
I will ask a question Q’uo. And it concerns the translations. My question is when someone reads a transcript of one of the sessions and they try to understand the message that you were transmitting are you aware of this, are you able to join that person at a metaphysical level and help them understand?
We are those of Q’uo, and are aware of your query, my brother. When an entity reads something that has been channeled through this instrument our social memory complex is not informed of this. The entity that is involved is a more localized part of the guidance system of which we are also a part that is your personal guidance. It is your personal guidance system that is fully aware of any efforts that you may be making to understanding spiritual principles.
We are what this instrument would call a universal contact. You guidance system is what we would call an inner plane contact. You inner plane contacts are very intimate and personal to you. And your guidance system is indeed yourself, in a form that has been refined by higher density learning, so that you have a powerful helper that is always aware of you, always aware of what you are seeking and very responsive to any request that you may make of it.
If an entity who is reading our material, however, desires to involve us, it is immediately and instantaneously possible for that entity to do so. However, we must be asked. We have no right to have an energy exchange with you without your knowledge, it is part of the same restrictions under which we always ask you to be guardians of your own thoughts so that we do not have undue influence over you. We attempt always to remain completely aware of the supremacy of each entity’s free will. And each entity is right to learn for himself. We would only weaken spiritual seekers were we to begin learning for them and telling them what to do. However, we are fully willing to be with any who asks us to be with them. It is a mental request that is necessary. Simply mentally think to yourself, “Q’uo, I would really appreciate it if you could be with me right now.” And we will be there. We will be there to love you, to support you. And when you go into meditation and contemplation, to help you find the heart of yourself so that you may deepen that level of focus and that level of contemplation, that level of awareness of the silence. We are most happy to do this and are only a thought away.
Does that answer your question, my brother, or do you have a follow-up? We are those of Q’uo.
[new speaker] R
Thank you, Q’uo, that does answer my question. Thank you for being willing to be with those who requested and for enunciating with such beauty of the importance of observing the free will.
And we are those of Q’uo, and we thank you, my brother. It has been a supernal loving experience for us being with you this evening. We thank you once again for calling us for your circle of seeking.
We leave you as we found you, in the love and light of the infinite Creator. We are those of the principle of Q’uo. Adonai. Adonai.