Fear as a classroom

The world appears to be duly immersed in the fear of the Covid-19 virus. After a relatively quiet summer, with few infections, the emotions in the public debate are sharply on the rise again, which only seems to polarize the already painful oppositions in the society even more. These emotions are not just about the virus itself; they’re as much about the strategy the government employs to cope with the crisis, and the possible effects of that strategy. Some say that the government should go much further in rigorous measures, while others claim that the government is merely keeping folks in a state of fear, driven by a pharmaceutical agenda. In both cases, people are extremely worried about the economic and humanitarian consequences that we are all facing, even to such an extent that the ‘cure’ (the rigorous measures) may be worse than the disease (the virus). In short, the world is engulfed in uncertainty and fear, to an extent we have not seen since the second world war.

It is not the intention of this blog to ventilate a particular point of view about all this. For one, it is obvious that corona is a very nasty illness, with very nasty symptoms with those with an already weakened immune system. At the same time, the death ratio turns out to be much lower than the initial horror scenarios would have us believe (at this point, still less than 0.1% of the population), while the influenza death toll appears to be much lower than in previous years. In the Netherlands, each day there are over 200 deaths due to the most common diseases such as heart and vascular disease, lung cancer, heart failure, dementia, strokes, etcetera. Deaths due to corona now slightly contribute to that number, while the ‘missing’ influenza deaths remain to be re-identified. Still, the specter of corona indicating an extremely painful ending of your life has become a firmly fixed notion, further fueling the disruption of society.

From the perspective of A Course in Miracles, this is all part of the same ‘waking dream’, which is wholly illusory. The Course teaches us that you and I are not a body; we are pure spirit, and literally nothing in the world of time and space is able to change that Identity as the Son of God in the least. In other words, according to the Course, there is no reason to have any fear whatsoever about anything (W-pI.48); not in the past, not in the future, not ever. As a spirit, everyone is perfectly safe by definition. Still, although these may be inspiring and comforting words, almost all Course students still intimately identify with the little separated ego self, meaning that we still intimately identify with our body, at least for the major part of the day. We may consistently tell ourselves: “I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me” (W-pI.201-220), but at the same time we still see our body age and deteriorate, and we try to postpone death as long as possible.

In A Course in Miracles, Jesus explains that we, being the One Son of God, made this all up to be able to have a place “where God can enter not”, where we can experience ourselves as an autonomous individual, while at the same time being able to hide from the purported wrath of a vengeful God, which in reality does not exist. So in the text, Jesus asks us: “Do you like what you have made? — a world of murder and attack, through which you thread your timid way through constant dangers, alone and frightened, hoping at most that death will wait a little longer before it overtakes you and you disappear. You made this up. It is a picture of what you think you are; of how you see yourself. […] All these are but the fearful thoughts of those who would adjust themselves to a world made fearful by their adjustments” (T-20.III.4:2-6). Everything in the world is but a dream that mirrors the idea of separation, attack and death that is the ego.

Already early in the text of the Course, Jesus lets us know he does not demand we deny our existence in the waking dream of time and space; that would be “a particularly unworthy form of denial” (T-2.IV.3:11). As long as we still unconsciously believe that our body is our identity (which is the case for everyone who wakes up each morning in a body), it is a good idea to take good care of the body. Jesus does not even object to the use of medicine to alleviate pain (T-2.IV.4). What’s more, the body can be lovingly employed by the Holy Spirit, the Voice for Love, to manifest Jesus’ message in this dream world, if we choose to let Him. As we read in the workbook: “You are my voice, my eyes, my feet, my hands, through which I save the world” (W–pI.rV.in.9:2-3). So we can use the body as an instrument of salvation.

By placing my thoughts under the guidance of the Holy Spirit (i.e., focusing my attention on loving intuition), everything in this ‘waking dream’ becomes a lesson in love. Since in reality there is no world outside of me, and there is no-one else (and no viruses), everything I perceive and interpret mirrors how I perceive and interpret myself: either as a son of the ego in a frightening world, or as the Son of God in a dream in which we all share the same Light source. This Light is our essence as Christ, the one Son of God. By choosing to have my interpretation of everything I perceive outside of me be guided by the Holy Spirit, I eventually learn to interpret myself in that Light. Eventually this will lead to my acceptance of the Atonement.

So from the perspective of A Course in Miracles, the best thing we can do in these turbulent days of societal fear is non-judgmentally looking at our own interpretation of what we perceive and interpret around is. And as soon as we notice, despite our best intentions, that we start to judge again, we can now kindly thank the ego for that, and then quickly hand that judgment over to the Holy Spirit, instead of indulging in it or feel terribly guilty about it, which is what happens with many Course students. Guilt keeps the ego going, including our fear of a terrible ending of our fragile life here on earth. The end of guilt signifies the end of fear, and ultimately the end of the dream.

Choose to be a beacon of peace. Do not condemn any worldly opinion about this virus whatsoever. Know that a dream is a dream is a dream, and choose to have your thoughts and behavior be guided by the Holy Spirit, the Voice for Love, by taking a step back and following your loving intuition. This, by the way, does not mean at all that you become indifferent to the world. On the contrary, you can be very involved with the world on a daily basis helping people. Jus ask what Love would do. Whatever the form this help might take, you will offer everyone you meet the most beautiful gift imaginable: acceptance of the other (and therefore also of yourself) as the guiltless Son of God Who is safe forever. Seen this way, all fear is but a classroom in which we learn our lessons in love.

See also my “Miracles or Murder: a guide to concepts of A Course in Miracles“. This guidebook, endorsed by Gary and Cindy Renard, was published in March 2016 by Outskirts Press and is available at Amazon.com:


See my Feb. 2020 Course workshop on YouTube called “A kingdom to rule” (English captions/subtitles available).

Dutch visitors may also be interested in this Dutch page: ikzoekvrede.nl.

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