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“If I defend myself I am attacked.”
Serving the Holy Spirit’s plan of awakening to the truth is the only plan that has any lasting value. It is the only plan that brings true happiness. I can serve Holy Spirit’s plan only when I still my mind enough to listen and be open to Holy Spirit’s direction. This is the key to my salvation. If I am to remember one thing, it is this. If I bring the past to the present and think I already know, I will not be open to Holy Spirit’s direction in the moment. So stepping back and listening for the direction of the Holy Spirit is my highest priority. It is the only thing that will really work. This is my practice today and every day.
The ego thought system is there to defend against God. The whole world comes from this thought system and therefore the whole world is a defense against God’s oneness. We are one Identity as part of God. Separate identities could never be true. Separate interests could never be true. Returning to Love as our one Identity is the answer. This means letting go of the defense against God. This means letting go of the ego thought system.
In order to let go of the ego thought system, I must step back and be willing to receive a better way. I must be willing to receive the Holy Spirit’s plan for awakening to the truth. I must remember that on my own I do not know what anything means. Deciding on my own is a defense against the truth, and when I am deciding on my own, I am attacking myself. Letting go and letting God is the only answer that will work.
Where do I place my trust? Am I placing my trust in the ego’s defenses, or in the Holy Spirit’s plan for awakening to the truth? I make this choice every moment. Am I bringing the past to the present and deciding on my own? Or am I opening my mind and asking for the Holy Spirit’s direction in this moment? As I trust in the ego’s plans, I am defending against God. As I open to the Holy Spirit’s plan, my mind is transformed and I awaken to my true Identity, my one Self in God.
I make this choice every moment of the day whether I realize it or not. Today my practice is to step back and be open to Holy Spirit’s plan. From this one decision everything that I really want comes with gentleness and ease. This is my answer to every problem I may think I have.
The more I practice stepping back and letting Holy Spirit be my guide, the more peaceful and happy I am. Whenever I try to make plans on my own, to figure out what will bring me what I want or make me safe, I experience tension, stress and uncertainty. When I try to figure things out on my own, there is always an awareness in the back of my mind that no matter how much experience I think I might have, my planning can never take into account all possibilities or consider what is helpful to all concerned.
So planning on my own always carries a level of uncertainty. Peace and uncertainty cannot coexist. If I want to experience peace in my life, I must give up all planning on my own. I have had enough experiences when I allowed myself to receive Holy Spirit’s plan and followed it to know that His plans work. They save time. They are always helpful and kind. They always help me loosen my identification with the forms of the world. They always help me feel more safe and aware of the Love that surrounds me and is me. This is what I want.
Today I will practice again and again and again, stepping back and receiving Holy Spirit’s plan. I resign as CEO of my life and appoint Holy Spirit as my CEO. I would not lead, but only follow His plan.
The other day I received a bill in which I was clearly overcharged and I was immediately outraged at the amount and prepared myself to call these people and tell them that they had made a mistake and, boy, they better fix it or else, etc. And then I decided that if we couldn’t come to an agreement about the bill, the charges were going to go on my credit record and I’d have to pay for it anyway if I was going to buy the house I want. And furthermore I thought about how we get screwed in life, and on and on. And what happens when I call people like this to discuss a discrepancy, they are prepared for people like me and are ready to defend themselves.
I can almost hear the ego sitting back and laughing at both of us because we’re doing exactly what it wants us to do. There are days when the only thing missing in my life are the boxing gloves. I go around angry and ready to attack anyone who even looks at me wrong.
Even though many times I don’t understand these lessons because the illusions seem so real to me and I feel totally justified in my need for defense, the lessons have taught me to stop, or at least slow down, and question my thoughts, which the lesson says are in need of healing.
It says a healed mind does not plan, which, to me, means staying in the moment, as it is so true that reliving the past determines our future. There’s been so many times when I’ve been in a situation and I think to myself “I just know what’s going to happen.” I never realized I had the power to make it happen.
Most Holy Spirit, help me today to step back and allow you to lead the way for me; help me to know I don’t need to defend myself because I am not being attacked. Amen.
This was a lesson I had to read over many times, meditate on, and ask the Holy Spirit for help on to understand.
My life has been such that to be attacked and not to defend myself would mean that I would die. I grew up in racially divided tough ethnic Detroit, was a soldier in Vietnam, and a fireman for years. I currently work in Corrections, where to not defend oneself could also mean death. With the help of the Holy Spirit I realize though that the lesson speaks to the part of me that must lift itself out of the great illusion that preoccupies God’s Son with the “kill or be killed” mentality that rules the world.
If only we would stop defending ourselves long enough to enjoy a moment of peace then the real Self would come shining through and we would recognize that defense is no longer needed.
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How to Read References for Quotes from A Course in Miracles
Below are example references to specific sentences using the notation of the Second & Third Editions of A Course in Miracles published by the Foundation for Inner Peace:
T-26.IV.4:7 = Text, Chapt. 26, Section IV, paragraph 4, sentence 7.
W-pI.169.5:2 = Workbook, Part I, Lesson 169, paragraph 5, sentence 2.
M-13.3:2 = Manual for Teachers, Question 13, paragraph 3, sentence 2.
C-6.4:6 = Clarification of Terms, Term 6, paragraph 4, sentence 6
The above numbering system
of the Second & Third Editions is © Copyright 1992,
The Foundation for A Course in Miracles.
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