A Course in Miracles Lesson Insights

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Listen to Lesson 23 Insights

ACIM Workbook Lesson 23 Insights

“I can escape from the world I see by giving up attack thoughts.”

This lesson is helpful to me because I still need to be reminded that I am the image maker. The world I see is coming from my thoughts. It invites me to take responsibility for seeing a world of separation, a world of bodies that are separate and alone. I need to be reminded that it is the thoughts I am holding onto in my mind that are giving me this experience. Jesus reminds me, “Each of your perceptions of “external reality” is a pictorial representation of your own attack thoughts.” (2:2)

This lesson tells me that the images I have made have been replaced. “Vision already holds a replacement for everything you think you see now.” (4:4) If I am not seeing the replacement, then I am still holding onto the images. These images are like a barrier to the Love that is behind them.

It does not seem like these images are attack thoughts. But from the Course I am learning that any thought that does not come from the oneness of God is trying to separate from the oneness of God. Any thought of individuality is an attack thought. It appears to be ‘out there,’ but what is ‘out there’ is really coming from my mind. This is called projection. This is called image making.

I need practice in owning the thoughts that are the cause of the world I see. I am the one in charge of giving up these attack thoughts. As I am willing to give them up, I will realize that these images I have made have been replaced. As I let them go, I realize again that only Love is real. All forms of separation are really just false ideas that I held in my mind a while. I am willing to hand them over to my true Self Who will shine a light on them and show me that they are nothing. I am willing to give up attack thoughts.

The ego disguises some attack thoughts with cloaks it calls compassion, caring and sympathy. If I see someone injured and I cringe at the pain that I think this person must be suffering, that is an attack thought. If I worry about a loved one, that is an attack thought. If someone shares with me about their loss and I join in their perception of loss, that is an attack thought. These are attack thoughts because they are perceiving the Son of God as weak and vulnerable, capable of being harmed. These thoughts are attacking the truth by perceiving God’s extension as weak.

Because a creator can only create like itself, the creations must be like the creator. If I perceive God’s creations as weak, I must also perceive God as weak. Yet the Course is telling us that the Love of God is all there is. And that God is our strength.

This lesson is a step toward recognizing the investment the ego has in perceiving vulnerability and is telling us that letting go of those thoughts of vulnerability is the way we escape from this world. It is our function to recognize every thought of attack (falsifying the truth) and let it go.

The Holy Spirit is in our mind to help us do this. We need only the willingness to turn over every attack thought to the Holy Spirit. He will take them gladly and show us their replacement in the brilliant Light of Love. As we learn to do this, fear recedes and we experience the strength of Love more and more.

When a friend comes to us in pain, we do not identify with the pain, but with the strength of Love in our friend. From this peaceful and loving place, we can be guided by the Holy Spirit in our minds to offer our friend whatever is truly helpful in that moment. It may be a loving touch, a word of comfort or just a thought focusing on the truth of them in our mind. If we let the Holy Spirit be our Guide, we will be led in each moment to be helpful.

Everyday there is a lesson to pay particular attention to, but what does this one really mean to me? Do I physically escape from the world I see? No, not really. I escape mentally and emotionally from identifying with ego fears and needs. I let myself be cleansed with the light of Love. I let Love wash me of lingering muddy fears that hide my true nature.

As the fears are washed away, I see fresh and clear. I see my light, my love, and then that others are just like me. Others are light and love underneath their muddy fears. Everyone needs a bath of light and love to show us our one true self, and Holy Spirit is happy to oblige as the great washer.

We can escape the mud. We can live shining and sparkling, if we are willing to recognize that we have muddy thoughts and are willing to let them go. Today I am willing to allow myself to be washed in the sea of Love. I am willing to shown my sparkling self. I am willing to be set free. I am willing to see the Oneself.

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Reference Keys for
A Course in Miracles Quotes

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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