Tag Archives: afraid

Do Not Be Afraid to Look upon Fear, for It Cannot Be Seen

“Laws do not operate in a vacuum, and what leads to nothing has not happened. If reality is recognized by its extension, what leads to nothing could not be real. Do not be afraid, then, to look upon fear, for it cannot be seen.” (ACIM, T-11.V.2)

So often we have heard or read that we need to walk right up to fear, look it in its face, and it will disappear. This quotation says the same. And it goes further: There is not anything there to be seen at all.

My experience has sometimes been different, because I am able to scare myself with my own desert places. I can panic when I look upon fear too closely. But, given that I know A Course in Miracles, it is a panic based on nothing, on illusion only. There is nothing there that can actually harm me. Nothing at all.

We are not dealing with the real when we deal with fear, however we deal with it. We are dealing with illusion, with the scary thoughts of our deluded minds, and we are walking away, at the same time, from reality. Reality is not scary in the least. And so we don’t have to scare ourselves with our own desert places. Not at all.

Reality builds upon itself; that is what is meant by the “extension” comment in the quotation. The more we look on true reality, the bigger it gets, the more of our force field is taken up by the sweet beauty of reality.

Choose reality today. Gently turn aside from fear, not with resistance (for fear grows strong with resistance), but with love. Love overcomes fear, always and forever. And it is just such love that will save us.

No Reason to Be Afraid

monet - japanese bridge2“The Christ in you has no need to plan. A need to come to know. . .yes. But a need to plan. . .no. The Christ in you needs not for you to choose a lesson plan, but to let life itself be your chosen way of learning. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 10.19)”

Affirmation: “May I do no planning today.”

Reflections:

1 – No Need to Plan

Jesus warns against planning, first, in A Course in Miracles. In a little-known section of ACIM, he indicates that the way to lose one’s way to salvation is to attack, to judge, and to plan against contingencies to come (unless planning has been informed by the Holy Spirit). We can recognize that all three of these–attack, judging, and planning–are defenses against an uncertain future, a future that we don’t want to be uncertain. We are scared.

2 – Fear the Future?

But do we really have to fear the future? If we are dreaming the happy dreams that the Holy Spirit brings, we will walk a smooth path. And, in A Course of Love, the dreams give way to (at least) glimpses of reality. Mari Perron, who channeled ACOL, believes that in the time of Christ we are no longer living dreams. She believes that we thrust into the real world, as indicated by ACIM as well as the “reality” of ACOL. If so, we really do not need to choose the defense of planning. We do not need to make a lesson plan out of our lives. We just need to live our lives and therein to learn from our lives.

3 – Learn through Life

So we are to learn through life itself. Actually, has not this always been the case? Many spiritual writings, though not all, believe that we are in a school room on earth. Psychic writers have said this as well. (Notably, Neale Donald Walsch in Conversations with God does not see the earth as a school room.) Whether or not we are actually in school is not a question with which we need to preoccupy ourselves. We do not need to let theology delay us, for all of us will never agree on theological points.

4 – Next Step

We do need the universal experience, though, and that is life itself. We do not give up planning entirely, if we have to catch a plane, for example (as detailed by Eckhart Tolle in a CD entitled “Even the Sun Will Die”). But we do not make sweeping generalizations about our life’s course. The next step is really what we need to know. And that next step will enter our minds unfailingly when we ask for guidance, either from the Holy Spirit (if one is following A Course in Miracles) or the Self/Christ (if one is following A Course of Love).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would realize today that my fears have always been ungrounded. What I need to know comes to me in the moment, not from extensive defensive planning. I do not have to be afraid of anything. Even if the worst that I contemplate comes to pass, You are here for me. And that is all that I really need to know.

Be with me today as I seek to leave social anxieties behind. And all other anxieties as well.

There is no reason to be afraid. May I never lose sight of this truth.

Amen

Afraid of God?

monet - garden at Giverny“While God is nothing but the Source of Love, you have, in your doubt, made of God the source of fear.  Pause a moment here and let the enormity of this confusion sink in, for this is the reversal in thinking that will pave the way for all the rest.  Because of this confusion you have responded to Creation with fear.  Is it no wonder a new response is asked of you?  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  Treatise on the Art of Thought, 4.26)”

Affirmation:  “I now choose to let fear of God melt away.”

Reflections:

1 – Fear of God

“Fear” of God, in the Bible, is, to my own of interpreting, actually a form of respect that is asked of us.  But along the way, we have also feared God in a more concrete way, in that we have been made anxious when we thought of Him.  This fear was of the ego, for the ego knew only fear, having been made out of a separated state (an illusory separated state) of being.  We became so used to fear that we did not even realize the extent to which we were dominated by it.

2 – Blaming God

We blamed God for this fear, because our ego could not accept that we ourselves had made the fear (through the ego).  So we were in a quandary.  We did not know how to escape the ego, and we may, as students of Freud, believed that the ego was necessary for our successful living in this world.

3 – Freud’s Definition of the Ego

Freud’s definition of the ego is not quite what A Course in Miracles means.  For Freud, the ego mediated between the superego and the id, and gave the personality stability.  In A Course in Miracles, the ego is seen as a false self, a part of ourselves that has gone awry, a belief about ourselves that does not mean us well.  And so, with this understanding, we want to rid ourselves as quickly as possible from a false sense of self that the ego perpetuates.  We do not need this self-image to form our personality in such a way that it can function in the world.  It is a persona, a self-image, that is best let fall away.

4 – Personal Self

When the ego has withered away, the personal self will change greatly.  I have earlier called this personal self, the “little” self.  And indeed it is little, for it partakes of illusion.  We still live in this dream, this maya, this illusion, but the real world will dawn on our inner sight as a little more time goes by.  Then the inner Self/Christ, the elevated Self of form, will take predominance.

5 – At Home

And we will be home in God.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be at home with You today.  Thank You for the good beginning to this glorious day.  May my day go well.  May I say and do for my significant others what they need.  May I be there for them.

Help us to respect You, but not to be afraid of You.  Surely it would be disappointing to You to see Your children cringe in fear before You.  May I love You unreservedly.  And may I love with respect but not fear.  I sometimes feel awe, and I understand from A Course in Miracles that this is alright.

Be with me throughout this day.  May I feel Your Presence in a tangible way.  Thank You for the times in my life when I am conscious of Your Presence.  And may this feeling overwhelm me today in a cocoon of love.

Amen.

Are You Afraid of God?

“You are afraid of Him [God], and do not see you hate and fear your Self as enemy.  (M-19.4)”

Affirmation:  “May I think calmly.”

Reflections:

1 – Afraid of God?

This passage is true because we project our God from within, seeing Him in our own image.  And that image believes that the true Self is Someone to be feared.  The true Self is elsewhere identified as the Christ within, or Christ-consciousness.  (These ideas are developed in A Course of Love.)

2 – Holy Spirit = Our Guide

We have no reason to be fearful of our true Self.  It is the ego that has led us to this impasse.  And we must be careful of nothing.  Let the Holy Spirit make the decisions that we are afraid to make.  Let Him guide.

3 – Internal Self

To hate and fear our own internal Self is a great deterrent to improved living.

4 – Forgiveness

How might we cease to hate and fear our Self?  We must entertain forgiveness of ourselves and our brothers and sisters.  The fact that we still hold something against ourselves and others is the point around which our problem revolves.  But we can, through greater insight, bring an end to this foolishness.  We can still see that we did not create ourselves, and it is only a detour into fear that we have made.  (Interpretations of ACIM, most not stated precisely therein.)

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I can remember when I feared You, and not in the sense of “awe,” which is what is meant in the Bible.  I really was afraid of You, fearing that I would be sent to hell for any of the childhood misdeeds that I did.  I know now that not is childhood a time of innocence, but so is adulthood.  Thank You for leading me to A Course in Miracles, which proves this point.

Be with me as I seek to enlarge not my ego, but my real Self, the inner Self that is a part of You.  As a part of You, I have never really been separated from You.  All of that thinking was a detour into fear, a fantasy that we forgot to laugh about.  So this tiny, mad idea took hold, and the ego of us all was born.  May the ego in all of us just cease to exist.  May we cense to depend on such a shallow basis for self-worth, for the ego can give no genuine self-worth.  You are the Source of my self-worth, as well as my self-esteem, and I would turn to and our Guide, the Holy Spirit, for the flow of my days.  Help this day to be good, and may I answer any need that is legitimately mine to answer.  I pray that You have guided me today.

Amen

Be Still

“You are part of reality, which stands unchanged beyond the reach of your ego but within easy reach of spirit.  When you are afraid, be still and know that God is real, and you are His beloved Son in whom He is well pleased.  (T55)”

Affirmation:  “When you are afraid, be still”

Reflections:

1 – Comforting Passage

This is a comforting passage to recall in times of fear, and, especially, if we feel that we have wronged a brother.  God loves us still, and all mistakes are correctable.

2 – Guilt as a Barrier

A personal issue is often that we feel such remorse that we do not forgive ourselves.  Indeed, I sometimes wonder if that is the great need of our time.  We are instructed in A Course in Miracles to forgive our brother, but often we cannot do that because of the guilt that we still feel, the guilt that is keeping us mad and unable to forgive ourselves.  Then we need to realize that Jesus would not have us react this way.  He always forgave, in part because his understanding was greater, and he knew that his brothers were, at heart, innocent of wrongdoing.  Do we know the same?  It is true, and knowing this and taking it to heart will go a long way toward smoothing our own pathway through this sometimes troubled and insane world in which we find ourselves.

3 – Real World / Dream or Illusions

There is a theoretical aspect to this passage as well:  the image of “reality,” as opposed to the world that we made, which is actually, as seen by the Course, an illusion.  The ego lives in this world of illusion, and so naturally if we are listening to the ego, we will believe that we have wronged a brother, and we will be afraid accordingly.  The ego feeds upon such imaginings.

4 – In Reality, No Harm

Actually we cannot truly wrong a brother in his (or her) reality, and when we move beyond the ego to the spirit, we know this.   Note that reality is within “easy” reach of spirit.  This reminder we may need often, as we go about in an insane world.  God never leaves us alone, though; we are always shadowed by His inner essence in ourselves, and we always have the Holy Spirit for guidance.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

When I am afraid, help me to realize that You are there for me.  I do not have to retain the emotion of fear; I only need to realize that You will lead me out of that emotion.

I am within easy reach of spirit.  Let me always remember this.  And thank You.

Amen.

Are You Afraid?

“It is because you have made him a stranger that you are afraid of him.  (T41)”

Affirmation:  “made him a stranger”

Reflections:

1 – See the Self in Our Brothers/Sisters

When you sense fear of your brother, you have made of him (or her) a stranger.  You do not really know the Self that is loving.

2 – No Sacrifice Is Asked

Of course, there are times in our world when we need to take precautions against harm from another.  The Course is always practical, and it does not sanction sacrifice of any kind.  No sacrifice is ever asked of a child of God.

3 – Anger or Attack

In everyday events, though, we usually feel afraid of our brother when we have reacted in anger or verbal attack.  Then we may even wonder if our holy relationship is irreparable.  Certainly these thoughts make of our brother a stranger, and make us afraid of what he (or she) may do, even if he may sever the relationship.  In extreme cases, this may happen.  We must realize another Course tenet, though, that no relationship is ever lost to us.  Those who have once formed a relationship will meet again, to make of what may have been only a special relationship into a holy one.  The Course does not specify when this meeting will happen, but seems to imply that it may be beyond the veil of death.  Eternity is stressed repeatedly in the Course.

4 – Make No Brother/Sister a Stranger

Make no brother a stranger, then, if we would know peace.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

My I retain my holy relationships, and let not even one fall into a “special” relationship.  In so doing, I will make no brother or sister a stranger to myself.  And I will not be afraid of any person.  If I feel fear, may I understand that I have made a stranger of one who is actually a brother or sister.  May I encourage friendly relationships with all.  May I not depend on special relationships to save me, because this is a dead end.  May I turn to You to transform the special relationships that I do have to a better place–a holy relationship.  This holy relationship will give us the assurance of Your grace that heretofore we have all lacked.

May I know that all who meet are destined to meet again, to make their relationship a holy one.  Thank you for this reassurance.

Amen.

To Eliminate Fear

“The correction of fear is your responsibility.  When you ask for release from fear, you are implying that it is not.  You should ask, instead, for help in the conditions that have brought the fear about.  (T29)”

Affirmation:  “help in the conditions that have brought the fear about”

Reflections:

1 – Can We Leave Fear Behind?

These three sentences, and the order in which they appear, are a very important sequence.  We may feel that the correction of fear is beyond what we can do, but this passage says not.  We can get help, though, in the slightly different matter of the “conditions” that brought the fear about.  For that we ask for help, and rightly so.  And when we ask, we receive.

2 – Change Thoughts that Hurt

I have read and reread the passage for today from the Text.  I try to understand what it is saying, and I do realize that Jesus is adamant that he not interfere with the cause-and-effect nature of our thinking and our actions.  This is a basic law of our universe as we know it.  But help with the conditions that have brought the fear about!  That is the crux of the matter, and we get help, when we ask, with these lamentable conditions.  We need to watch our thinking, so that we do not entertain anxious and fearful thoughts.  Thoughts frequently govern our actions, but Jesus also says that we cannot control the effects of fear by changing our behavior.  We can change our thoughts, which will automatically change the behavior in which we will be led to display.  There is a subtle difference between these two ideas that we would probably do well to understand, or to ask to understand, more clearly.

3 – Distraction Helps

When we focus our minds on something unrelated to the fear that we are currently feeling, we can short-circuit the bad feelings.  Feelings follow thoughts, and if the thoughts are bad, we are led to anxious and lamentable feelings.  We stop realizing how really blessed we are, so certain we are that right now we are in a bad place mentally.  But we can change the record on the old stereo, and we can stop going around and around, like an old record.  We can overlook our fear for loss of love or loss of relationship, or loss of composure in a world that does not sometimes seem to heed our fragile feelings.  When we distract ourselves by focusing on other things than our hurt, we are well on the way to a better day.  And, as A Course in Miracles points out, we can always start the day anew.  We do not have to linger in the unhappiness that we have brought on ourselves by our obsessions about what might have gone wrong in our day.

4 – A “Reason” to Feel Fearful

The matter of conditions is pivotal.  There is always an (insane) reason that we feel fearful.  We don’t need to understand insanity, but we do need to leave it behind, and this passage notes that the help we need in leaving insanity behind is there for the asking.  Elsewhere in ACIM we read that Jesus is saying that we are afraid because we have not let him guide our thoughts.  We have gone our own, egoistic, way alone.  How foolish of us, when there is so much help available, just for the asking.

5 – Fearful Thoughts = Madness

Fearful thoughts are always a form of madness, the form in which most of us live in this world the vast majority of the time.  Until we willingly leave fear behind and return to love consistently, we will be afraid periodically.  Can this be something we want to keep?

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I leave fear behind.  This sometimes seems impossible to me, but You have promised that I can do so.

May I have the help that You have promised with the conditions that have brought the fear about.  Then my fear is self-controlled, which is what Jesus asks me to do.

Amen.

Why Am I Afraid?

“Whenever you are afraid, it is a sure sign that you have allowed your mind to miscreate and have not allowed me to guide it.  (T29)”

Affirmation:  “My I allow Jesus to guide my mind.”

Reflections:

1 – Mind Wandering

Elsewhere the Course counsels against mind wandering.  This mind wandering is exactly the way in which miscreation happens.  We fantasize about horrors of the past, present, or future, and soon we find ourselves afraid–full of fear.  The exact opposite of love.

2 – Personal Experience

I have almost constantly to caution myself not to let my mind wander when I am praying.  I have learned that praying aloud, when possible, keeps me on track.  Jesus is especially negative about mind wandering, maybe because all thought creates form on some level (an ACIM tenet).  I would not make form that is a miscreation.  While some of these ideas are theology of ACIM, and thus perhaps a bit controversial, I think that all of us can probably see that keeping a mind that is obedient to our commands, and the commands of the Holy Spirit (however these commands are experienced), will give us a better life, a different life in which there is far more peace and far less rancor.  ACIM does not say this specifically, but much can be found therein that suggests this idea.

3 – Allow Jesus to Guide Our Thoughts

When we allow Jesus to guide our thoughts, we do not know fear.  This takes great deal of concentration in the beginning, an awareness of what our minds are doing.  This kind of concentration usually does not come easily to us.  But it can be done, when motivation is strong.

4 – Motivation to Change Our Lives

If the fear is strong, the motivation to change to a better way of living will be strong as well.  We need at first attend only to the motivation to change, and then the remainder will fall into place without effort.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I allow my miscreating mind to rest in Your power and strength.  May I allow the Holy Spirit to guide my thoughts.

When my mind does not wander into fantasies, I am better off.  Thank you for the wisdom that would lead me to eliminate miscreations of my mind and eliminate fear.

Amen.