To many people, the past few years the world seems to have become a rather fearful place. A two-year pandemic is followed by a regional military conflict with the potential to turn into world war 3 (some argue that this is already the case since 2019, carefully organized by a small elite who want to copy-paste the Chinese population control system to the entire world). What happens in the mind is that the ongoing stream of verbal thoughts gets increasingly flooded by fear-inducing input, which triggers ego-impulses of defense and attack. After all, Workbook lesson 135 in A Course in Miracles is aptly titled “If I defend myself I am attacked”, meaning that if I feel the need to defend myself, I obviously see myself als weak, fragile and threatened, which calls for attack in order to preserve the image that I made of myself and of what it means to be safe.
This constant flood of waves of mental terror can make it hard to remember key lessons Jesus offers us in his Course, such as 132 (“There is no world! This is the central thought the Course attempts to teach”, W-pI.132.5:1); lesson 133 (“I will not value what is valueless”, which includes anything that does not last, anything that is about taking from others, and anything that induces guilt over thoughts of separation and attack); Lesson 134, which explains that forgiveness can only work if I acknowledge the sameness in myself and all my brothers, including all my ‘enemies’; and last but not least, the aforementioned lesson 135, which invites us to question every belief we still hold about being separate, weak and vulnerable. Rather, the course invites us to practice to learn that we are the extension of God’s Love, which cannot be attacked.
Jesus’ point, however, is not that we should deny our concrete experiences in time and space, as in “Hey, I will ignore all of this, as it is all illusory anyway”. Theoretically this may be true, but our mind training requires these worldly experiences to learn to make the right choice for the Holy Spirit as our guide for thinking. In this learning process, it is almost impossible to deny our experienced existence as a body. In fact, as early as chapter 2 in the text, Jesus underscores this point: “Those who do so [deny their existence as a body] are engaging in a particularly unworthy form of denial” (T-2.IV.3:11). This does not contradict Jesus’ earlier statements that there is no world. It does mean that our experiences (as a part of our learning process) have very little to do with reality, which in the Course is equated with God (including the collective Son of God as the extension of His Love).
So rather than repeating to myself “There is no crisis. There is no war. There is no threat”, it is much more helpful to increasingly learn to turn on the “observer above the battlefield” (T-23.IV), and then non-judgmentally examine my thought stream, my feelings and emotions, and conclude: “I apparently fill my mind with thoughts of fear. This is my choice. Obviously I still believe my essence is a fragile body that can easily be threatened, is threatened, and must be defended at all cost. Watching the world news clearly fuels such impulses. But I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me. Like all my brothers, I am one spirit, eternally safe in the Heart of God. This is the ultimate truth, and only this. My current state of mind and body are not supportive in my process of awakening. Rather than feeling threatened, I could see this as yet another lesson to learn to forgive completely. Why should I choose to remain in fear about illusions, when I could just as easily choose to change my mind about what my true reality is?”
What would happen if you would decide, on a daily basis, a thousand times a day, decide to be a beacon of Light instead of a placeholder for fear? What if you would take the time, thirty minutes twice a day, instead of turning on the TV, to just sit quietly, and non-judgmentally watch your verbal thought stream of worries and fear float by, and then turn on the light in your mind? Unexpectedly, the body can be a great vehicle in this practice. Just visualise a love/light beacon shining forth from your heart and your lower belly (fourth and third chakra, respectively) and then slowly expand and intensify the light to encompass your entire body. Know that you are connecting to your true essence, your true heritage. And since you also know that God’s Light cannot be contained, you start to envelop your environment, your land, and eventually the entire world in this light, including everyone who is now being portrayed as evil by the regular media. For we remember that God’s Son is one. If I want to escape from the hell we call the material universe, I must be willing to see all my brothers as sinless, without exception. Forgiving all others is the means to absolve myself from all guilt, that is, from all illusory ephemeral specialness thoughts about separation.
The ego (the part of our mind that still likes to be apart from God) will still try to find a myriad of ways to distract our thinking from such healing practice. After all, a complete willingness to have the ego be completely undone for once and for all, is not mustered up overnight. Do allow yourself some slack in this learning process, reminding yourself that only infinite patience brings immediate results. Tell yourself often today that you are one spirit, united with your Creator and with all your brothers, and that the final outcome of the silly game of time, space and perception is certain: “A happy outcome to all things is sure” (W-pII.292), and “All real pleasure comes from doing God’s Will, which is Love” (T1.VII.1:4); “Do God’s Will, and not one seeming difficulty but will melt away before you reach it. You need take thought for nothing, careless of everything except the only purpose that you would fulfill” (T-20.IV.8:7). There is indeed nothing to fear (W-pI.48). Happy practicing!
Jan-Willem van Aalst, March 2022