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“In my defenselessness my safety lies.”
This lesson is one of those that asks us to do the opposite of what it seems we need to do to function and survive in this world. This is because the ego confuses weakness with strength and strength with weakness. In believing we have separated ourselves from God, the only real source of strength, we believe we are weak. From this belief in weakness, we imagine a world of weakness. To compensate for this weakness, we make up substitutions for God’s strength to cover or hide the underlying belief that we are weak.
Believing we have really separated from God brings with it the belief we have succeeded in harming God by tearing ourselves away from Him. To God this is impossible, but to a thought system that believes separation is possible and real, harm is inevitable. Believing we have harmed God, we believe guilt is real and punishment is justified. Thus we believe God must be angry with us and seeks to punish us. So we carry a belief in an angry God and expect His punishment in every moment.
Thus we believe we must be on constant alert to defend ourselves against the evils of the world we made. Yet these evils are only the reflection of our own belief that we have succeeded in separating from God. That is why in paragraph seven it says defensiveness proclaims we have denied the Christ and come to fear his Father’s anger. We see His fearful image at work in all the evils of the world.
Sometimes we openly acknowledge this. We call severe weather, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions acts of God. But most of the time when a loved one says something we perceive as hurting us we do not think of it as really a projection of our fear of an angry God. Yet our defensiveness, the the lesson is telling us, proclaims that this perception is a denial of the Christ. So when we fear a brother, it is really a reflection of an underlying fear of God.
The antidote to this is learning to see the Christ in all our brothers, which is to see the one true Self we all share as the Son of God. As we practice listening to the Voice for God all through the day, we will be guided to see the face of Christ everywhere. As we offer that perception to all our brothers, we learn that there is no true cause for defensiveness. And we rest in the strength of Love that is wholly defenseless. No longer do we fear pain and suffering at every turn, for we come to know that Love walks with us in every instant. We know that Love is changeless and therefore perfectly safe. There is nothing to defend, for what cannot be changed needs no defense.
Holy Spirit, help me to see Love everywhere today, that I may know my strength and see that same strength in everyone.
In this lesson, Jesus is reminding me to lay aside my belief in this world. He reminds me this world is just a fantasy that provides a defense against remembering our true Identity as eternal Spirit and remembering our oneness in God.
The more I believe in the fantasies of this world, the more I will feel threatened and feel a need to defend. He reminds me that belief in the imaginings of this world will bind me stronger into defensiveness and will sabotage my connection with the inner peace of my true Nature as part of God. The more I sink deeper into the world’s illusions by making them real, the more I will think I need to defend against these illusions.
Jesus tells me the way out of this dilemma is to focus on the true Strength that resides in my mind, behind the illusions of the world. This Strength that is still in my mind is the Christ in me. He tells me, “Perhaps you will recall the Text maintains that choice is always made between Christ’s strength and your own weakness, seen apart from Him.” The Christ in me will guide me to look past dreams, past the fantasies of the world to the one Light that we all are. This is where my safety lies. This is where I will feel the peace, Love and joy of my true Identity.
It is from this place of inner peace that I will receive the guidance to take my role in the undoing of the game of fear. In this quiet place, left open and clear of the dreams of fear, I am guided to let my belief in weakness disappear. I am guided by the strength of my true, eternal safety. I am guided to accept God’s gifts, which help me remember I am safe and cannot be harmed in truth. I am guided to lay aside what was never real and see the Light of Christ in my brothers instead.
Ego is only of the mind. It is not of the body. Ego identifies with the body but is not at home in the body and transcends individual bodies. Ego is the part of the mind that individualizes, that thinks it is separate from God. The ego is the part of mind that dreams the dreams to experience various situations, but then gets lost in its own little kingdom surrounded by defenses.
The Voice for God is everywhere. It is in all things, all places, all people. Only the ego mind sees them as apart from God. Nothing is apart from God, no matter what the appearances. The body life is neutral. It is only a mental construction. It means only what I think it means.
It is only in laying down the ego defenses that I can find my True Self. I can only find this in my mind. It is in my mind where I truly live. It is only in mind that I can find my True Self because this is where I truly live. Today I choose the meaning that comes from my True Self. Today I choose to lay down the falsely constructed ego defenses, with the help of Holy Spirit. For it is only in my defenselessness that I find my True Strength. When I see Oneness in my mind, then I see Oneness everywhere.
I had a very busy day. Lots to get done, tight time schedule, unexpected stresses. I didn’t remember every hourly prayer, but before I left for work I asked Holy Spirit to make me aware of each time I was feeling defensive. It made for an interesting day. Mostly a lot of little things that normally I would not have paid a lot of attention to but cumulatively would have worn me down. Things like having an old man pull out in front of me and nearly cause a wreck. I could feel my forehead wrinkling and my mouth turning down in disapproval. I thought to myself, “What are you doing, you old fart?”
Then I heard Holy Spirit reminding me that I didn’t need to defend myself against old farts, and I felt a sense of gratitude that I was sent this reminder. Over and over today I found that I was giving away my peace in an effort to protect and defend my body. There were many opportunities for me to see that I have been responding to all kinds of perceived threats with defensiveness. It also gave me many opportunities to choose differently, to offer my bothers love instead. It felt good to do this. This is another of those lessons I need to work on daily for about a year!
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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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