Day 153 - A Course in Miracles
Chapter Fourteen: Bringing Illusions to Truth
III. Out of the Darkness16 The journey that we undertake together is the exchange of dark for light, of ignorance for understanding. Nothing you understand is fearful. It is only in darkness and in ignorance that you perceive the frightening, and you shrink away from it to further darkness. And yet it is only the hidden that can terrify, not for what it is, but for its hiddenness. The obscure is frightening because you do not understand its meaning. If you did, it would be clear, and you would be no longer in the dark. Nothing has hidden value, for what is hidden cannot be shared, and so its value is unknown. The hidden is kept apart, but value always lies in joint appreciation. What is concealed cannot be loved, and so it must be feared.
17 The quiet light in which the Holy Spirit dwells within you is merely perfect openness in which nothing is hidden and therefore nothing is fearful. Attack will always yield to love if it is brought to love, not hidden from it. There is no darkness that the light of love will not dispel, unless it is concealed from love's beneficence. What is kept apart from love cannot share its healing power, because it has been separated off and kept in darkness. The sentinels of darkness watch over it carefully, and you who made these guardians of illusion out of nothing are now afraid of them.
18 Would you continue to give imagined power to these strange ideas of safety? They are neither safe nor unsafe. They do not protect; neither do they attack. They do nothing at all, being nothing at all. As guardians of darkness and of ignorance, look to them only for fear, for what they keep obscure is fearful. But let them go, and what was fearful will be so no longer. Without protection of obscurity, only the light of love remains, for only this hasmeaning and can live in light. Everything else must disappear.
19 Death yields to life simply because destruction is not true. The light of guiltlessness shines guilt away because, when they are brought together, the truth of one must make the falsity of its opposite perfectly clear. Keep not guilt and guiltlessness apart, for your belief that you can have them both is meaningless. All you have done by keeping them apart is lose their meaning by confusing them with each other. And so you do not realize that only one means anything, and the other is wholly without sense of any kind.
20 You have interpreted the separation as a means which you have made for breaking your communication with your Father. The Holy Spirit reinterprets it as a means of reestablishing what has not been broken but has been made obscure. All things you made have use to Him for His most holy purpose. He knows you are not separate from God, but He perceives much in your mind that lets you think you are. All this, and nothing else, would He separate from you. The power of decision, which you made in place of the power of creation, He would teach you how to use on your behalf. You who made it to crucify yourselves must learn of Him how to apply it to the holy cause of restoration.
21 You who speak in dark and devious symbols do not understand the language you have made. It has no meaning, for its purpose is not communication, but rather the disruption of communication. If the purpose of language is communication, how can this tongue mean anything? Yet even this strange and twisted effort to communicate through not communicating holds enough of love to make it meaningful if its interpreter is not its maker. You who made it are but expressing conflict, from which the Holy Spirit would release you. Leave what you would communicate to Him. He will interpret it to you with perfect clarity, for He knows with Whom you are in perfect communication.
22 You know not what you say, and so you know not what is said to you. Yet your Interpreter perceives the meaning in your alien language. He will not attempt to communicate the meaningless. But He will separate out all that has meaning, dropping off the rest and offering your true communication to those who would communicate as truly with you. You speak two languages at once, and this must lead to unintelligibility. Yet if one means nothing and the other everything, only that one is possible for purposes of communication. The other but interferes with it.
23 The Holy Spirit's function is entirely communication. He therefore must remove whatever interferes with it in order to restore it. Therefore, keep no source of interference from His sight, for He will not attack your sentinels. But bring them to Him, and let His gentleness teach you that in the light they are not fearful and cannot serve to guard the dark doors behind which nothing at all is carefully concealed. We must open all doors and let the light come streaming through. There are no hidden chambers in God's temple. Its gates are open wide to greet His Son. No one can fail to come where God has called him if he close not the door himself upon his Father's welcome.
L e s s o n 153
In my defenselessness my safety lies.
1 You who feel threatened by this changing world, its twists of fortune and its bitter jests, its brief relationships and all the "gifts" it merely lends to take away again, attend this lesson well. The world provides no safety. It is rooted in attack and all its "gifts" of seeming safety are illusory deceptions. It attacks and then attacks again. No peace of mind is possible where danger threatens thus.
2 The world gives rise but to defensiveness. For threat brings anger, anger makes attack seem reasonable, honestly provoked, and righteous in the name of self defense. Yet is defensiveness a double threat. For it attests to weakness and sets up a system of defense that cannot work. Now are the weak still further undermined, for there is treachery without and still a greater treachery within. The mind is now confused and knows not where to turn to find escape from its imaginings.
3 It is as if a circle held it fast, wherein another circle bound it, and another in that one, until escape no longer can be hoped for nor obtained. Attack, defense; defense, attack, become the circles of the hours and the days that bind the mind in heavy bands of steel with iron overlaid, returning but to start again. There seems to be no break nor ending in the ever-tightening grip of imprisonment upon the mind.
4 Defenses are the costliest of all the prices which the ego would exact. In them lies madness in a form so grim that hope of sanity seems but to be an idle dream, beyond the possible. The sense of threat the world encourages is so much deeper and so far beyond the frenzy and intensity of which you can conceive that you have no idea of all the devastation it has wrought. You are its slave. You know not what you do in fear of it. You do not understand how much you have been made to sacrifice who feel its iron grip upon your heart.
5 You do not realize what you have done to sabotage the holy peace of God by your defensiveness. For you behold the Son of God as but a victim to attack by fantasies, by dreams, and by illusions he has made; yet helpless he is in their presence, needful only of defense by still more fantasies and dreams by which illusions of his safety comfort him.
6 Defenselessness is strength. It testifies to recognition of the Christ in you. Perhaps you will recall the course maintains that choice is always made between His strength and your own weakness seen apart from Him. Defenselessness can never be attacked because it recognizes strength so great attack is folly or a silly game a tired child might play when he becomes too sleepy to remember what he wants.
7 Defensiveness is weakness. It proclaims you have denied the Christ and come to fear His Father's anger. What can save you now from your delusion of an angry god whose fearful image you believe you see at work in all the evils of the world? What but illusions could defend you now, when it is but illusions which you fight?
8 We will not play such childish games today. For our true purpose is to save the world, and we would not exchange for foolishness the endless joy our function offers us. We would not let our happiness slip by because a fragment of a senseless dream happened to cross our minds, and we mistook the figures in it for the Son of God, its tiny instant for eternity.
9 We look past dreams today and recognize that we need no defense because we are created unassailable, without all thought or wish or dream in which attack has any meaning. Now we cannot fear, for we have left all fearful thoughts behind. And in defenselessness we stand secure, serenely certain of our safety now, sure of salvation; sure we will fulfil our chosen purpose as our ministry extends its holy blessing through the world.
10 Be still a moment, and in silence think how holy is your purpose, how secure you rest, untouchable within its light. God's ministers have chosen that the truth be with them. Who is holier than they? Who could be surer that his happiness is fully guaranteed? And who could be more mightily protected? What defense could possibly be needed now by those who are among the chosen ones of God by His election and their own as well?
11 It is the function of God's ministers to help their brothers choose as they have done. God has elected all, but few have come to realize His Will is but their own. And while you fail to teach what you have learned, salvation waits and darkness holds the world in grim imprisonment. Nor will you learn that light has come to you, and your escape has been accomplished. For you will not see the light until you offer it to all your brothers. As they take it from your hands, so will you recognize it as your own.
12 Salvation can be thought of as a game that happy children play. It was designed by One Who loves His children, and Who would replace their fearful toys with joyous games which teach them that the game of fear is gone. His game instructs in happiness because there is no loser. Everyone who plays must win, and in his winning is the gain to everyone ensured. The game of fear is gladly laid aside when children come to see the benefits salvation brings.
13 You who have played that you are lost to hope, abandoned by your Father, left alone in terror in a fearful world made mad by sin and guilt, be happy now. That game is over. Now a quiet time has come in which we put away the toys of guilt and lock our quaint and childish thoughts of sin forever from the pure and holy minds of Heaven's children and the Son of God. We pause but for a moment more to play our final happy game upon this earth. And then we go to take our rightful place where truth abides and games are meaningless.
14 So is the story ended. Let this day bring the last chapter closer to the world that everyone may learn the tales he reads of terrifying destiny, defeat of all his hopes, his pitiful defense against a vengeance he can not escape, are but his own deluded fantasies. God's ministers have come to waken him from the dark dreams this story has evoked in his confused, bewildered memory of this distorted tale. God's Son can smile at last on learning that it is not true.
15 Today we practice in a form we will maintain for quite a while. We will begin each day by giving our attention to the daily thought as long as possible. Five minutes now becomes the least we give to preparation for a day in which salvation is the only goal we have. Ten would be better; 15 better still. And as distraction ceases to arise to turn us from our purpose, we will find that half an hour is too short a time to spend with God. Nor will we willingly give less at night in gratitude and joy.
16 Each hour adds to our increasing peace, as we remember to be faithful to the Will we share with God. At times, perhaps, a minute, even less, will be the most that we can offer as the hour strikes. Sometimes we will forget. At other times the business of the world will close on us, and we will be unable to withdraw a little while and turn our thoughts to God.
17 Yet when we can, we will observe our trust as ministers of God in hourly remembrance of our mission and His Love. And we will quietly sit by and wait on Him and listen to His Voice and learn what He would have us do the hour that is yet to come, while thanking Him for all the gifts He gave us in the one gone by.
18 In time, with practice, you will never cease to think of Him and hear His loving Voice guiding your footsteps into quiet ways where you will walk in true defenselessness, for you will know that Heaven goes with you. Nor would you keep your mind away from Him a moment, even though your time is spent in offering salvation to the world. Think you He will not make this possible for you who chose to carry out His plan for the salvation of the world and yours?
19 Today our theme is our defenselessness. We clothe ourselves in it as we prepare to meet the day. We rise up strong in Christ and let our weakness disappear as we remember that His strength abides in us. We will remind ourselves that He remains beside us through the day and never leaves our weakness unsupported by His strength.
20 We call upon His strength each time we feel the threat of our defenses undermine our certainty of purpose. We will pause a moment as He tells us, "I am here." Your practicing will now begin to take the earnestness of love to help you keep your mind from wandering from its intent.
21 Be not afraid nor timid. There can be no doubt that you will reach your final goal. The ministers of God can never fail because the love and strength and peace that shine from them to all their brothers come from Him. These are His gifts to you. Defenselessness is all you need to give Him in return. You lay aside but what was never real to look on Christ and see His sinlessness.
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