A Course in Miracles Text Made Simple

To gain the most from A Course in Miracles Text Made Simple, we recommend that
you read the corresponding chapter and section in the Text of the Second or
Third Edition of A Course in Miracles published by the Foundation for Inner Peace.

Chapter 22: Salvation and the Holy Relationship

Section V: Weakness and Defensiveness

Read ACIM Chapter 22, Section V. (pages 478-480)

How do we overcome illusions?

Jesus cautions us that it is a mistake to become angry at illusions or oppose them. Here we are shown that illusions are merely mistaken thoughts that have no reality in truth. We need not oppose what is not real. We only oppose something that we think has really happened and poses some threat to us. He tells us that we are to let reason (the Holy Spirit in our mind) show us the difference between the real and the unreal because at this point we are confused and have forgotten that only Love is real. 

When we get caught up in defending against illusions, we are still lost in illusions. We are still lost within the ego thought system. The Love of God merely Is and needs no defense. Jesus tells us: “Reality opposes nothing. What merely is needs no defense, and offers none. Only illusions need defense because of weakness. And how can it be difficult to walk the way of truth when only weakness interferes? You [your true Self] are the strong one in this seeming conflict. And you need no defense. Everything that needs defense you do not want, for anything that needs defense will weaken you.” (1:6-12)

Why does the ego need such strong defenses?

The ego is always trying to defend its point of view that guilt and sin are real because that is how it keeps us prisoners in the illusion of separation. The ego thought system carries with it the belief that when we are able to project guilt upon another ‘out there’ that we are relieving ourselves of the guilt that we secretly believe is ours. This explains why in the ego’s world the news channels and many television programs focus so strongly on seeing the guilty ones ‘out there’ that need to be caught and punished. It is the ego’s way of trying to relieve the pain of guilt that comes with believing in separation from our Source.

We would not tolerate the ego’s attraction to seeing sin and guilt in others if we knew that when we do this we are only imprisoning ourselves to further pain and suffering. To the ego… “Belief in sin needs great defense, and at enormous cost. All that the Holy Spirit offers must be defended against and sacrificed. For sin is carved into a block out of your peace, and laid between you and its [peace’s] return.” (2:6-8)

Why does the ego embody a state of mind that is full of stress, depression and fear?

The ego wants you to believe that you have separated from God and therefore you are weak and vulnerable. The more you are stressed, depressed and full of fear, the happier the ego is. The ego defends against your joining with the peace of the Holy Spirit because that is how the ego is undone. When you are in a place of peace, you are opening the doors to hear the Holy Spirit’s true perception. The Holy Spirit brings the perception of the ego’s mountains to tiny molehills that are easily passed by. Jesus tells us, “God rests with you in quiet, undefended and wholly undefending, for in this quiet state alone is strength and power. Here can no weakness enter, for here is no attack and therefore no illusions.” (3:8-9)

What is an easy way to tell if we have identified with an illusion?

Jesus tells us, “Forget not, when you feel the need arise to be defensive about anything, you have identified yourself with an illusion. And therefore feel that you are weak because you are alone. This is the cost of all illusions. Not one but rests on the belief that you are separate.” (6:1-4)

If we ever feel a need to argue or defend our position or convince someone they are wrong, we can now know that we have gotten caught up in the ego’s web of making illusions appear to be real. When we observe this happening, we can now step back and choose once again. This time we can choose the peace of the Holy Spirit, which helps us see past the illusions to the truth of our oneness in God. We can let reason move us past the insanity of the ego.

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