Day 135 - A Course in Miracles
Chapter Twelve: The Problem of Guilt
III. The Fear of Redemption
11 You could look even upon the ego's darkest cornerstone without fear if you did not believe that, without the ego, you would find within yourself something you fear even more. You are not afraid of crucifixion. Your real terror is of redemption. Under the ego's dark foundation is the memory of God, and it is of this that you are really afraid. For this memory would instantly restore you to your proper place, and it is this place that you have sought to leave.
12 Your fear of attack is nothing compared to your fear of love. You would be willing to look even upon your savage wish to kill God's Son if you did not believe that it saves you from love. For this wish caused the separation. You have protected it because you do not want the separation healed, and you realize that, by removing the dark cloud that obscures it, your love for your Father would impel you to answer His call and leap into Heaven. You believe that attack is salvation to prevent you from this. For still deeper than the ego's foundation, and much stronger than it will ever be, is your intense and burning love of God, and His for you. This is what you really want to hide.
13 In honesty, is it not harder for you to say "I love" than "I hate"? You associate love with weakness and hatred with strength, and your own real power seems to you as your real weakness. For you could not control your joyous response to the call of love if you heard it, and the whole world you think you control would vanish. The Holy Spirit, then, seems to be attacking your fortress, for you would shut out God, and He does not will to be excluded.
14 You have built your whole insane belief system because you think you would be helpless in God's Presence, and you would save yourself from His love because you think it would crush you into nothingness. You are afraid it would sweep you away from yourself and make you little. For you believe that magnitude lies in defiance and that attack is grandeur. You think you have made a world which God would destroy; and by loving Him, which you do,you would throw this world away, which you would. Therefore, you have used the world to cover your love, and the deeper you go into the blackness of the ego's foundation, the closer you come to the love that is hidden there. And it is this that frightens you.
15 You can accept insanity because you made it, but you cannot accept love because you did not. You would rather be slaves of the crucifixion than Sons of God in redemption. For your individual death is more valued than your living oneness, and what is given you is not so dear as what you made. You are more afraid of God than of the ego, and love cannot enter where it is not welcome. But hatred can, for it enters of its will and cares not for yours.
16 The reason you must look upon your delusions and not keep them hidden is that they do not rest on their own foundation. In concealment they appear to do so, and thus they seem to be self-sustained. This is the fundamental illusion on which they rest. For beneath them and concealed as long as they are hidden is the loving mind thatthought it made them in anger. And the pain in this mind is so apparent when it is uncovered that its need of healing cannot be denied. Not all the tricks and games you offer it can heal it, for here is the real crucifixion of God's Son.
17 And yet he is not crucified. Here is both his pain and his healing, for the Holy Spirit's vision is merciful, and His remedy is quick. Do not hide suffering from His sight, but bring it gladly to Him. Lay before His eternal sanity all your hurt, and let Him heal you. Do not leave any spot of pain hidden from His light, and search your minds carefully for any thoughts which you may fear to uncover. For He will heal every little thought which you have kept to hurt you and cleanse it of its littleness, restoring it to the magnitude of God.
18 Beneath all your grandiosity, which you hold so dear, is your real call for help. For you call for love to your Father as your Father calls you to Himself. In that place which you have hidden, you will only to unite with the Father in loving remembrance of Him. You will find this place of truth as you see it in your brothers, for though they may deceive themselves, like you they long for the grandeur that is in them. And perceiving it you will welcome it, and it will be yours. For grandeur is the right of God's Son, and no illusions can satisfy him or save him from what he is. Only his love is real, and he will be content only with his reality.
19 Save him from his illusions that you may accept the magnitude of your Father in peace and joy. But exempt no one from your love, or you will be hiding a dark place in your mind where the Holy Spirit is not welcome. And you will exempt yourself from His healing power, for by not offering total love, you will not be healed completely. Healing must be as complete as fear, for love cannot enter where there is one spot of fear to mar its welcome.
20 You who prefer specialness to sanity could not obtain it in your right minds. You were at peace until you asked for special favor. And God did not give it, for the request was alien to Him, and you could not ask this of a Father Who truly loved His Son. Therefore you made of Him an unloving father, demanding of Him what only such a father could give. And the peace of God's Son was shattered, for he no longer understood his Father. He feared what he had made, but still more did he fear his real Father, having attacked his own glorious equality with Him.
21 In peace he needed nothing and asked for nothing. In war he demanded everything and found nothing. For how could the gentleness of love respond to his demands except by departing in peace and returning to the Father? If the Son did not wish to remain in peace, he could not remain at all. For a darkened mind cannot live in the light, and it must seek a place of darkness where it can believe it is where it is not. God did not allow this to happen.Yet you demanded that it happen and therefore believed that it was so.
22 To "single out" is to "make alone" and thus make lonely. God did not do this to you. Could He set you apart, knowing that your peace lies in His Oneness? He denied you only your request for pain, for suffering is not of His creation. Having given you creation, He could not take it from you. He could but answer your insane request with a sane answer which would abide with you in your insanity. [And this He did. No one who hears His answer but will give up insanity.] For His answer is the reference point beyond illusions from which you can look back on them and see them as insane. But seek this place, and you will find it, for love is in you and will lead you there.
Workbook - L e s s o n 135
If I defend myself, I am attacked.1 Who would defend himself unless he thought he was attacked, that the attack is real, and that his own defense can save himself? And herein lies the folly of defense—it gives illusions full reality and then attempts to handle them as real. It adds illusions to illusions, thus making correction doubly difficult.
2 And it is this you do when you attempt to plan the future, activate the past, or organize the present as you wish. You operate from the belief you must protect yourself from what is happening because it must contain what threatens you. A sense of threat is an acknowledgment of an inherent weakness, a belief that there is danger which has power to call on you to make appropriate defense.
3 The world is based on this insane belief. And all its structures, all its thoughts and doubts, its penalties and heavy armaments, its legal definitions and its codes, its ethics and its leaders and its gods, all serve but to preserve its sense of threat. For no one walks the world in armature but must have terror striking at his heart.
4 Defense is frightening. It stems from fear, increasing fear as each defense is made. You think it offers safety. Yet it speaks of fear made real and terror justified. Is it not strange you do not pause to ask, as you elaborate your plans and make your armor thicker and your locks more tight, what you defend, and how, and against what?
5 Let us consider first what you defend. It must be something that is very weak and easily assaulted. It must be something made easy prey, unable to protect itself, and needing your defense. What but the body has such frailty that constant care and watchful, deep concern is needful to protect its little life? What but the body falters and must fail to serve the Son of God as worthy host?
6 Yet it is not the body that can fear, nor be a thing to fear. It has no needs but those which you assign to it. It needs no complicated structures of defense, no health-inducing medicine, no care, and no concern at all. Defend its life, or give it gifts to make it beautiful or walls to make it safe, and you but say your home is open to the thief of time, corruptible and crumbling, so unsafe it must be guarded with your very life.
7 Is not this picture fearful? Can you be at peace with such a concept of your home? Yet what endowed the body with the right to serve you thus except your own belief? It is your mind which gave the body all the functions that you see in it and set its value far beyond a little pile of dust and water. Who would make defense of something that he recognized as this?
8 The body is in need of no defense. This cannot be too often emphasized. It will be strong and healthy if the mind does not abuse it by assigning it to roles it cannot fill, to purposes beyond its scope, and to exalted aims which it cannot accomplish. Such attempts, ridiculous yet deeply cherished, are the sources for the many mad attacks you make upon it. For it seems to fail your hopes, your needs, your values, and your dreams.
9 The "self" that needs protection is not real. The body, valueless and hardly worth the least defense, need merely be perceived as quite apart from you, and it becomes a healthy, serviceable instrument through which the mind can operate until its usefulness is over. Who would want to keep it when its usefulness is done?
10 Defend the body, and you have attacked your mind. For you have seen in it the faults, the weaknesses, the limits, and the lacks from which you think the body must be saved. You will not see the mind as separate from bodily conditions. And you will impose upon the body all the pain that comes from the conception of the mind as limited and fragile, and apart from other minds and separate from its Source.
11 These are the thoughts in need of healing, and the body will respond with health when they have been corrected and replaced with truth. This is the body's only real defense. Yet is this where you look for its defense? You offer it protection of a kind from which it gains no benefit at all but merely adds to your distress of mind. You do not heal but merely take away the hope of healing, for you fail to see where hope must lie if it be meaningful.
12 A healed mind does not plan. It carries out the plans which it receives through listening to Wisdom that is not its own. It waits until it has been taught what should be done and then proceeds to do it. It does not depend upon itself for anything except its adequacy to fulfill the plans assigned to it. It is secure in certainty that obstacles cannot impede its progress to accomplishment of any goal which serves the greater plan established for the good of everyone.
13 A healed mind is relieved from the belief that it must plan, although it cannot know the outcome which is best, the means by which it is achieved, nor how to recognize the problem that the plan is made to solve. It must misuse the body in its plans until it recognizes this is so. But when it has accepted this as true, then is it healed and lets the body go.
14 Enslavement of the body to the plans the unhealed mind sets up to save itself must make the body sick. It is not free to be a means of helping in a plan which far exceeds its own protection and which needs its service for a little while. In this capacity is health assured. For everything the mind employs for this will function flawlessly and with the strength that has been given it and cannot fail.
15 It is, perhaps, not easy to perceive that self-initiated plans are but defenses with the purpose all of them were made to realize. They are the means by which a frightened mind would undertake its own protection at the cost of truth. This is not difficult to realize in some forms which these self-deceptions take, for the denial of reality is very obvious. Yet planning is not often recognized as a defense.
16 The mind engaged in planning for itself is occupied in setting up control of future happenings. It does not think that it will be provided for unless it makes its own provisions. Time becomes a future emphasis to be controlled by learning and experience obtained from past events and previous beliefs. It overlooks the present, for it rests on the idea the past has taught enough to let the mind direct its future course.
17The mind that plans is thus refusing to allow for change. What it has learned before becomes the basis for its future goals. Its past experience directs its choice of what will happen. And it does not see that here and now is everything it needs to guarantee a future quite unlike the past without a continuity of any old ideas and sick beliefs. Anticipation plays no part at all, for present confidence directs the way.
18 Defenses are the plans you undertake to make against the truth. Their aim is to select what you approve and disregard what you consider incompatible with your beliefs of your reality. Yet what remains is meaningless indeed. For it is your reality which is the "threat" that your defenses would attack, obscure, and take apart and crucify.
19 What could you not accept if you but knew that everything that happens, all events, past, present, and to come, are gently planned by One Whose only purpose is your good? Perhaps you have misunderstood His plan, for He would never offer pain to you. But your defenses did not let you see His loving blessing shine in every step you ever took. While you made plans for death, He led you gently to eternal life.
20 Your present trust in Him is the defense which promises a future undisturbed, without a trace of sorrow and with joy which constantly increases as this life becomes a holy instant, set in time but heeding only immortality. Let no defenses but your present trust direct the future, and this life becomes a meaningful encounter with the truth that only your defenses would conceal.
21 Without defenses, you become a light which Heaven gratefully acknowledges to be its own. And it will lead you on in ways appointed for your happiness according to the ancient plan begun when time was born. Your followers will join their light with yours, and it will be increased until the world is lighted up with joy. And gladly will our brothers lay aside their cumbersome defenses which availed them nothing and could only terrify.
22 We will anticipate that time today with present confidence, for this is part of what was planned for us. We will be sure that everything we need is given us for our accomplishment of this today. We make no plans for how it will be done but realize that our defenselessness is all that is required for the truth to dawn upon our minds with certainty.
23 For 15 minutes twice today, we rest from senseless planning and from every thought which blocks the truth from entering our minds. Today we will receive instead of plan, that we may give instead of organize. And we are given truly, as we say:
24 If I defend myself, I am attacked.
But in defenselessness, I will be strong,
And I will learn what my defenses hide.
25 Nothing but that. If there are plans to make, you will be told of them. They may not be the plans you thought were needed nor indeed the answers to the problems which you thought confronted you. But they are answers to another kind of question which remains unanswered yet in need of answering until the Answer comes to you at last.
26 All your defenses have been aimed at not receiving what you will receive today. And in the light and joy of simple truth, you will but wonder why you ever thought that you must be defended from release. Heaven asks nothing. It is hell that makes extravagant demands for sacrifice. You give up nothing in these times today when undefended you present yourself to your Creator as you really are.
27 He has remembered you. Today we will remember Him. For this is Easter time in your salvation. And you rise again from what was seeming death and hopelessness. Now is the light of hope reborn in you, for now you come without defense to learn the part for you within the plan of God. What little plans or magical beliefs can still have value when you have received your function from the Voice of God Himself?
28 Try not to shape this day as you believe would benefit you most. For you can not conceive of all the happiness that comes to you without your planning. Learn today. And all the world will take this giant stride and celebrate your Easter time with you. Throughout the day, as foolish little things appear to raise defensiveness in you and tempt you to engage in weaving plans, remind yourself this is a special day for learning, and acknowledge it with this:
29 This is my Easter time. And I would keep It holy.
I will not defend myself,
Because the Son of God needs no defense
Against the truth of his reality.
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