“Know first that this is fear.
Fear arises from lack of love.
The only remedy for lack of love is perfect love.
Perfect love is the Atonement. (T-2.VI.7)”
This logical phrasing, a syllogism, is characteristic of Jesus.
We first must come to understand that we are motivated by our desire to release fear. And when we learn that fear arises from a lack of love, we are motivated to increase the love in our lives.
How do we do that? We want to. It is that simple. Then we take steps to remove the barriers to love that we find on a constant basis—retaliation from attack, outright attack, resentment, anger. When we want the perfect love that will remedy all these ills, we are primed for reaching out to the Atonement.
The Atonement is the perfect lesson in which love is demonstrated.
It is the undoing of what never actually happened, but it is an experience of which all of us partake. We do not offer defense when confronted with attack. We allow ourselves to be totally defenseless. This will not, as we fear, mean that other people will necessarily walk all over us. Instead, we become stronger, and our strength of will sets up an invisible shield that protects from attack.
Of course, we are not meant to be self-sacrificing to the extent that we countenance violence against ourselves. But we can remove ourselves from the encounter. This is most effective when we really do “want” to stay because we are bent on retaliation.
“Perfect love is the Atonement.” Of course! This is what Jesus came to do, years ago. And we will see, as we proceed, that this Atonement, and Jesus’s place in it, was established by the resurrection, symbol of eternal love, not the crucifixion (which all of us have, at one point or another, been led to believe).