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Attack Thoughts

“I can escape from the world I see by giving up attack thoughts. (WB34)”

Affirmation:  “I can escape from the world I see by giving up attack thoughts.”

 

Reflections:

1 – The Affirmation Works

This is a magnificently truthful statement.  On the surface of it, it sounds too easy, but it works.

2 – A Personal Story

I was once in a place of employment where there were many political pressures, and I had many political problems.  I did not “fit in” in that group of people.  I knew it, and they knew it, and perhaps as a result, they found much in my work performance to criticize.  I had recently discovered A Course in Miracles, and I read and reread the passage quoted above.  I stayed in that position for three years, and I left to much happiness for 19 years in a similar, but better position in another part of the country.  So this is why I know that this passage works.  I gave up my attack thought; I was not defensive; and soon I was led away from that work environment that was not “my” place.

3 – Projection Makes Perception

Our thoughts project the world that we experience.  That is a fundamental philosophical tenet of the Course.  If the world we see has much to regret, then perhaps it is because we are attacking it in our minds; we are having attack thoughts.

4 – Out Perception of the External Will Change

This statement has the potential to change totally the world that surrounds us.  This is true whether or not outer circumstances, the true externals, change very much.  Our perception of these externals will change.  And that is all that is needed.  We walk into a better world, one that we cannot recognize as long as we are futilely harboring attack.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I have been rereading favorite passages from A Course in Miracles.  I realized that I was not in a very positive mood, and ACIM, to date, has always soothed my troubled emotions.  Thank You for the gift that ACIM is for all of us.  And thank You for Your son Jesus, who channeled these magnificent words.

Be with us today as we go about a normal day.  Make light the pressures of the day, knowing that when we are stress-free, we will not normally attack anyone.  We are at peace, and do we not wish the same for all that we encounter?  May today be a time of special recommitment to Your way, knowing that attack never works at all, and knowing that giving up attack thoughts changes everything.

Be with us today–all who read these words.  And be with out significant others, so that the impetus to attack will not be caused by the baiting of our ego by another.

Amen.

Attack

“You could not recognize your ‘evil’ thoughts as long as you see value in attack.  You will perceive them sometimes, but will not see them as meaningless.  And so they come in fearful form, with content still concealed, to shake your sorry concept of yourself and blacken it with still another ‘crime.’ (T622)”

Affirmation:  “From henceforth I will put no value in attack.”

Reflections:

1 – Leave Attack Behind Forever

The Course would have us leave attack behind forever.  If we do attack, we may feel better momentarily, thinking that we have gotten the guilt out (from Ken Wapnick), the anger vented, but we will accuse ourselves of “sin,” or, as the Course says, yet another mistake.  We will feel worse about ourselves, a “sorry concept,” that has been blackened by yet another crime.

2 – Let the Holy Spirit Be the Judge

These words are deep.  They suggest that the only way out of our illusions of sin are to leave attack alone.  Turn over our anger to the Holy Spirit.  Let him judge the severity of the deed against ourselves, done by another.  It is not for us to judge; let Him.

3 – Thinking Unconsciously

I think that we attack another when we are thinking unconsciously; we just react in loud words, sometimes viciously if we are threatened.  I don’t have any experience with physical attack, but I have been guilty of verbal attack (and this is not yet conquered in me, though I always try to apologize when I am, once again, thinking clearly and sanely).  We need to realize that attack actually makes our way harder, not easier.  Nobody is going to feel better about us when we have attacked them; just the reverse is true.  And all of us actually long for the often-unexpressed love that we urgently desire from our significant others (most of all, our significant others).  If we all knew how to love better, we would.   This is the appeal of most religions, and love is always the theme.

4 – Love Afresh

A Course in Miracles counsels the way for us to love afresh, even when that love is not returned.  We can have a settled good will toward all of our brothers and sisters.  We do not have to blame others when they don’t take the roles that we have assigned to them (an ACIM tenet).

5 – The Way of Attack Never Works

We think that attack gives us something that we want.  We are wrong.  The way of attack can never work.  The Course embodies that premise.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would leave behind attack today, even when someone I know and love is baiting me.  That individual is acting unconsciously; what is actually wanted is love, but all of us so poorly understand how to love simply and effectively.  We think that attack, when we are angry, will get us something that we want.  But it only alienates another.  The soft word, the gentle touch, dispell attack from another.  And gentle, inner thoughts will dispel the wish to attack in ourselves.

Thank You for leading me to this realization.  Help me to keep in mind and make my own the intellectual understanding.  Help me to go beyond the intellectual, and to put into practice the emotional that I so wish to feel.

Thank You for being there, even when I do not always act well and lovingly.  I would act well and lovingly, but I will never do so until You aid me.  And You will.  I promise to be a willing student.

Amen.

Anger Is Never Justified

“Anger is never justified.  Attack has no foundation.  It is here escape from fear begins, and will be made complete. (T638)”

Affirmation:  “no anger and no attack”

Reflections:

1 – Attack and Anger = Out of Bounds

Let’s just recognize the truth of these statements, even when the withered ego rebels.  Remembering that attack and anger are out of bounds is a great liberator.  It will help in the tough times that we go through with our loved ones.

2 – Never Getting Angry?

How do we accomplish never getting angry?  We may not, and I do not believe that A Course in Miracles is recommending stifling anger, suppressing or repressing it–a result that would, according to current thinking in psychology, invite disaster in our emotional bearings.  I think that the anger doesn’t arise as readily when we are at peace, secure in the love that we feel is available to us, and aware of ACIM‘s tenet that we live in illusion, in maya (an Eastern term not used in ACIM).  If all that we encounter in life is illusion, and we are doing this unto ourselves (another ACIM tenet), we can even come to laugh at our moments of rising ire.  We can realize that our ego is rearing its head.

2 – Anger Arises = Stress

I personally have found that anger does not arise in me unless I am stressed.  I do not actually how true this is for other people, or whether or not this might be true for you.  But give it some thought, if you are so inclined.  When anger arises, I know that I need to have a timeout.  I am not yet disciplined enough never to express anger by attack, and, of course, this admission flies in the face of the truth of the passage for today.  But that is my aim.  And I ask for help when I am overwrought.  Peace invites compassion and forgiveness.  Serenity is catching.  Other people will not negatively affect us nearly as much if we are not inwardly seeing something that needs “fixing” in ourselves (a paraphrase from the ACIM teacher Hugh Prather).

3 – Relinquishment of Fear

There is a great boon here as well:  Leaving behind anger and attack leads to the relinquishment of fear.  Fear has dogged our every step, even when we have not been aware of this.  As the Course teaches, there are only fear and love, and, of the two, only love is real.

4 – Innocence

The underlying idea here is that our brother is actually, in his essence, innocent.  He has, like we all, been guilty of mistakes, but these can be overlooked–if we don’t at first make them real by thinking too much about them.

5 – Dream = Nothing Real Except Love

We are living a dream in which nothing except the love is real.   That is why anger and attack are never justified.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would ask You to help me to live peaceably this day, not allowing the normal stress of the day to impact my temperament.  I know that I never get angry and am then tempted to attack verbally, unless I am stressed.  I do not believe that stress is Your will.  I realize that some stress is even good, but all too often my stress escalates, and then I do not walk the pathway that You have laid out for me.

I would relinquish anger and attack with the assertion of my will, believing surely that it is Your will also.  Be with me in my weak moments.

Thank You.  You are always there; it is myself that chooses to look outward rather than within.

Amen.

A Sick Mind

“If you let your mind harbor attack thoughts, yield to judgment or make plans against uncertainties to come, you have again misplaced yourself, and made a bodily identity which will attack the body, for the mind is sick.  (WB260)”

Affirmation:  “no attack thoughts, judging, or ‘plans'”

Reflections:

1 – Why We Fall from Grace

This is a very important passage, but easy to overlook in all of the many important passages in the Course.  If the pathway has become easier, and then suddenly or even gradually turns to darkness, here is the answer.

2 – Lost in a Strange and Harsh World

So if the way seems rough, here is the answer.  Even times spent in happy dreams can turn to madness again if we harbor attack, if we judge, or if we make plans against uncertainties.  (If there are plans to be made, the Holy Spirit will prompt us at the appropriate time–an ACIM tenet.)  Attack and judging make the Holy Spirit’s advice impossible to hear.  We have fallen into an egoic place, and that is not where we would be.  If we lose the ability to hear our Guide, we will be lost in a strange and harsh world, not headed on the path back to God.  We will need to forgive, first of all, ourselves for this lapse; then we will need to forgive the others that have almost certainly contributed to our downfall.   This is not hard to do when we are determined.  And reading and studying Jesus’s words in A Course in Miracles will put us back on the right pathway.

3 – What “Planning” Means

Perhaps only the first two of these prohibitions seem pivotal:  attacking and judging.  Planning is not often seen as deplorable, but it means that we are defending against the future.  And defense, according to the Course, is not encouraged.  It is, indeed, actively warned against.  If we defend ourselves, we make what we would defend against (a Text tenet).  And we would not make these straw men a part of our new world.

4 – If We Fall Away, Here Is the Answer Why

Three prohibitions:  attacking, judging, planning against uncertainties to come.  The Course puts this warning in amidst many other great passages, but this one alone will go a long way toward explaining any falling away from the truth in our lives.

5 – An Almost Hidden Passage in ACIM

This is an almost hidden passage in A Course in Miracles.  I have never read it in any commentary on ACIM (though I do read commentaries in a limited way).  In the same vein, do go often to ACIM itself; take nothing that I say unto yourself unless it finds a warm place in your heart.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

It can be so easy to fall away, even after we think that we are making progress along our pathway.  Thank You for pointing out to me this pivotal passage.  May I stay in line with Your wishes, and not attack, judge, nor make plans that are not prompted by my Guide.

Be with me today as I seek to find a smooth way through complexities that would engulf me.  These complexities are often of an ego that has not completely withered away.  The ego is wily; I would not be misled today.

Be with me for a smooth, harmonious, relaxed and easy pace today.  There is always time for what is needful.  And You love my significant others even more than I do, because in this world I have my limitations.  May this day go well, and may I make a contribution to the best that the day can hold for those who surround me.

Amen.

Attack Thoughts

“I can escape from the world I see by giving up attack thoughts. (WB34)”

Affirmation:  “I can escape from the world I see by giving up attack thoughts.”

Reflections:

1 – Give Up Attack Thoughts

This is a magnificently truthful statement.  On the surface of it, it sounds too easy, but it works.  The passage and the affirmation for today are the same, because the sentence is easily remembered.  And a balm in times of trouble.  We will leave behind our misery when we turn our minds to God and the peace that He bestows.  The change in our lives can come very quickly.  God is not threatened by our shrill voices, demanding change.  He will respond, and respond quickly, when we are pliable in His hands.  That means that we don’t make our own decisions; we lean on the Holy Spirit to know what to say and to do.

2 – Projection Makes Perception

Our thoughts project the world that we experience.  That is a fundamental philosophical tenet of A Course in Miracles.  If the world we see has much to regret, then perhaps it is because we are attacking it in our minds; we are having attack thoughts.  We will remain “stuck” as long as we persist in rejecting others and ourselves by attacking them, and, simultaneously, ourselves.  We cannot simply attack another, however justified we may think that we are.  He/she is a child of God, and his attack is a call for help.  We need to rush to his/her side with that help, if intervention at the moment is what our Universal Inspiration bids us to do.  If not, we are to wait patiently until He gives us the green light.

3 – Our Perception Will Change

This statement has the potential to change totally the world that surrounds us.  This is true whether or not outer circumstances, the true externals, change very much.  Our perception of these externals will change.  And that is all that is needed.  We walk into a better world, one that we cannot recognize as long as we are futilely harboring attack.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I personally remember one important occasion when I left a difficult political situation in my work, to move to another position, where the politics were incredibly smooth.  This happened, perhaps importantly, when I stopped resisting and attacking in my mind.  This is why I know that You mean business with this statement.  I have seen it work.  I did escape from the world I was seeing by giving up attack thoughts.  Thank You.

Be with me today, in entirely different circumstances, when I am tempted to attack.  Usually this temptation occurs when I am very stressed, for I never get angry unless I am stressed.  I would not be stressed today, for I would leave the ways of this world to You to solve.  And I will try, with Your help, to follow my Guide to what to say and do next.  Then attack, like the ego, will wither away.

Be with me today as I seek to have a good day by turning perplexities over to You.

Amen.

A Prayer to Relinquish Attack

“You could not recognize your ‘evil’ thoughts as long as you see value in attack.  You will perceive them sometimes, but will not see them as meaningless.  And so they come in fearful form, with content still concealed, to shake your sorry concept of yourself and blacken it with still another ‘crime.’ (T622)”

Affirmation:  “‘Evil’ thoughts are meaningless.”

Reflections:

1 – Leave Attack Behind

A Course in Miracles would have us leave attack behind forever.  If we do attack, we may feel better momentarily, thinking that we have gotten the guilt out (an interpretation by Ken Wapnick), the anger vented, but we will accuse ourselves of “sin,” or, as the Course says, yet another mistake.  We will feel worse about ourselves, a “sorry concept,” that has been blackened by yet another crime.  This will not do.  We cannot live a rewarding life this way.  So what do we do?

2 – Turn Anger over to the Holy Spirit

The words of the passage are deep.  They suggest that the only way out of our illusions of sin are to leave attack alone.  Turn over our anger to the Holy Spirit.  Let him judge the severity of the deed against ourselves, done by another.  It is not for us to judge; let Him.  We are told in ACIM that attack and anger are never justified.  But this does not mean that we repress (or try to suppress) our anger.  Today’s psychology knows better, even as does ACIM.  Today’s psychology would have us vent this anger, but is this really the best way?  Don’t we likely hurt others in the process of venting?  And do we not feel guilty that we have hurt ourselves as well as others?  If we follow the way of A Course in Miracles, and turn our anger over to the Holy Spirit, He will relax us and stress will resolve (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).  When we have given our hurt over to the inner Guide, we know that we are not alone.  And we will live, daily, on a much better footing.

3 – Attack Never Works

We think that attack gives us something that we want.  We are wrong.  The way of attack can never work.  ACIM embodies that premise.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

One of my greatest regrets is the verbal attack that I made to someone who was actually one of my greatest friends, though we have never seen each other much at all.  When someone is out of our life, it is too late to make amends.  We can only try to forgive ourselves for this lamentable behavior.  You have not ever condemned me for my foolishness, and so You do not need, actually, to “forgive.”  But I need to feel forgiveness in my own mind and spirit, and that is what I pray for specifically today.

Be with me as I seek to walk a fresh pathway, clear of the false ways of acting that impeded my life when I was much younger.  Thank You for A Course in Miracles, for the blessing of ACIM.  We live in an eternity, and in eternity we are innocent.  May I take this promise unto myself today.

Be with my brothers and sisters who read this blog posting.  May they know forgiveness for any regrets that they still harbor for deeds that cannot be undone from the past.

Amen.

Anger Is Never Justified

“Anger is never justified.  Attack has no foundation.  It is here escape from fear begins, and will be made complete. (T638)”

 

Affirmation:  “I choose neither anger nor attack.”

Reflections:

1 – Attack and Anger Out of Bounds

Let’s just recognize the truth of these statements, even when the withered ego rebels.  Remembering that attack and anger are out of bounds is a great liberator.  It will help in the tough times that we go through with our loved ones.

2 – See the Relinquishment of Fear

There is a great boon here as well:  Leaving behind anger and attack leads to the relinquishment of fear.  Fear has dogged our every step, even when we have not been aware of this.  As the Course teaches, there are only fear and love, and, of the two, only love is real.

3 – Anger and Attack = Grievances

Anger and attack are usually present because we hold grievances.  And it is only when our grievances have been left behind that we know safety (from the Workbook).  It is said in ACIM that it is as though we held a dagger above our heads, and it will fall or be averted as we choose to forgive or to attack.  Our brother or sister attacks us because each is calling for help.  And it is our duty to rush to his/her side with assistance.  Doing so keeps our rights from being removed.  We recognize the truth of the situation, and we will find that we ourselves also get help when we need it.  As we give, we do receive (from the Treatises of A Course of Love).

4 – Our Innocent Brother

The underlying idea here is that our brother and sister are actually, in essence, innocent.  They have, like we all, been guilty of mistakes, but these can be overlooked–if we don’t at first make them real by thinking too much about them.

5 – Only Love Is Real

We are living a dream in which nothing except the love is real.   That is why anger and attack are never justified.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I know that when I feel anger what I am involved in an interpretation which is not true.  If I am outraged, it is even more certain that I am misperceiving.  In this world, of course, we are very human, and, for most of us, our fallibility includes being embroiled from time to time in arguments.  I would not let this state of affairs continue in my life, in the life that You have given to me.  Help me to recognize when I am misperceiving, and help me to forgive–regardless of how great the error of my significant others actually is.

I would accept that I am seeing a bad scene because I do not want to see it.  Help me to understand this paradox from A Course in Miracles.  I would choose to see only those scenes that will honor You, and that will give me the peace that only You can offer to me.  Be with me today if attack and anger become temptations.  I would turn to my Guide at such times.  I would ask to see the real truth, which is that I live in an illusion, and only the real things of peace, joy, serenity, and the like, are true.  I would find truth today.

 Thank You for leading me in recent time to a more peaceful pace of living.  May stress not overwhelm me, because I never get angry unless I am stressed.

Amen.

An Ancient Truth

“The world but demonstrates an ancient truth; you will believe that others do to you exactly what you think you did to them.  But once deluded into blaming them you will not see the cause of what they do, because you want the guilt to rest on them. (T587)”

Affirmation:  “I think that others do to me what I think I did to them.”

 

Reflections:

1 – Blaming

This passage sounds hard to understand at first glance.  Do we, we ask ourselves, really want the guilt to rest on others?  If we reflect a moment, we will realize that we do.  This is what “blaming” is all about.

2 – Projections Makes Perception

The philosophical basis of the Course is hinted at in this passage.  Our perceptions determine what we see, because what we see is a projected dream.

3 – The World Prompts Us

We believe that others do not always wish kindness upon us, and therefore we see that.  And we think that we have been guilty of unkindness.  The “we” comes first.  We project the dream that we are bad people, guilty of much “sin,” and then we see others doing bad things to us.  This is the way that we learn.  This is a reason for the world’s existence in its present form.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would see only kindness today.  I would not blame another if, during the day, I am feeling down.  This is just a continuation of the dream, the illusion.  I would escape from fantasies of attack by not attacking myself, not attacking myself or others at all.

Guide me today to the way of right living in this world.  I long to be at home in You, hour by hour and even minute by minute.

Amen.

Love Cannot Be Afraid

“Love is attracted only to love.  Overlooking guilt completely, it sees no fear.  Being wholly without attack, it could not be afraid.  (T410)”

Affirmation:  “I walk to love.”

Reflections:

1 – Leave Anxiety Behind

To walk away from anxiety (a form of fear), turn to love.  This solution, though not always easy, does always work.  When we are stressed, we are more likely to get angry, and with anger, attack is frequently not far behind.  And anger and attack are forbidden by A Course in Miracles.  Of course, we cannot always live up to the ideals that we read.  We are human.  So, when we stumble, we get up and try again.  As time wears on, and we study ACIM, the way does become easier.

2 – Attack Is a Call for Help

When we are beginning to get angry, we sooner rather than later recognize that there is no reason for our anger.  If a brother or sister is present and a part of that anger, we try immediately to click into ACIM‘s tenet that attack is a call for help.  And so our only sane response is to give that help.  We may not be able to give help overtly, if feelings are running high.  We may have to withdraw, temporarily, from the situation to give other people time to regain control.  We may need to reread passages from ACIM to calm us down.  We need never deny the emotions that we are feeling, but we do not have to drown in those emotions either.

3 – The Link between Anger and Stress

It is a hopeful sign to recognize that, for many of us, we never get angry unless we are stressed.  “Being wholly without attack” does mean that we must learn to recognize and abort this behavioral tendency as it arises in ourselves.  Take a time out, and contemplate the love that you really have for your brother.  Think of his good deeds, and choose not to focus on any deeds that disturb.  Not only will this move you from stress to love, but this type of reaction will also eliminate the guilt that always arises when we either mentally or verbally attack our brother.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would walk in love today.  I welcome the thought that fear is left behind when I love.  And I know that attack is a call for help.  And that stress and anger, at least in me, is linked.  May I walk through this day in peace, having understood these truths, at least as I live them.

Be with me today as I seek to find You in tranquility.  May I enjoy a happy day.  May my patience grow today, for You have been perfect patience with me.  Thank You for the gift of A Course in Miracles.  May I live out its truths today.

Amen.

Vicious Dream Figures

“. . .[Y]ou would not react at all to figures in a dream you knew that you were dreaming.  Let them be as hateful and as vicious as they may, they could have no effect on you unless you failed to recognize it is your dream. (T588)”

Affirmation:  “I am living a dream.”

Reflections:

1 – An Insane World

This is the solution to individuals who, in our opinion, treat us badly.  It leads easily to forgiveness.  It suggests to me that we can call these lamentable actions “insanity,” and then let it go at that.  Over time, we may find that calling bad words or actions from another just “insanity” will help to initiate our own sanity, our own living in the real world.  At such times of forgiveness, when we are truly living ACIM, we recognize that there is really nothing to forgive.  But most of us have not reached this pinnacle yet.  We still need to have the gesture of forgiveness, as much for ourselves as for the other(s) involved.

2 – An Illusion

Of course, there are times that we will react first, and then, maybe much later, remember this passage from A Course in Miracles.  It is hard to recognize that the “reality” that we see all around us is not really real, especially if things happen in that reality that hurt us.

3 – Patience

May we have patience with ourselves when we fail.  There will be times when we do not handle an attack from another in the best way.  We will retaliate, only to recognize later that we have acted amiss.  Then we need to retrace our steps, and make amends.  But first we need to recognize our own frailty, and ask the Holy Spirit to guide our minds ever more carefully.

4 – Resist Attack

ACIM suggests the remedy in these two sentences in the passage, above.  May we incorporate this passage so firmly in our minds that we are able to resist striking out verbally (or any other way).

5 – It Is Our Own Dream

We are in a dream that we ourselves made up.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would remember today that I live in a dream, and so if someone attacks me for any reason, I can know that I had something to do with finding myself in that situation.  Attack can be forgiven as a call for help.  Help me to have the “happy dreams the Holy Spirit brings” today.  I would thank You repeatedly through the day for the gift of the Holy Spirit, Who will take me back home to You.

May I resist responding in attack.  Give me the forbearance to refrain from retaliating.  May my emotions remain calm, as well as joyous, and may Your presence keep me serene.

I love this life that You have immersed me in, and I thank You everyday for my many blessings.  Even though it is a dream, it is a good dream, and only with Awakening will I progress farther along the pathway to You.  May Awakening come sooner rather than later.

Amen.

I Have No Cause for Anger or for Fear

ACIM Workbook Lesson 348 – for Wednesday, December 14, 2011

 

Affirmation:  “I have no cause for anger or for fear,
For You surround me.  And iin every need
That I perceive, Your grace suffices me.”

 

 

“I have no cause for anything except the perfect peace and joy I share with You.  What need have I for anger or for fear?  Surrounding me is perfect safety.  Can I be afraid, when Your eternal promise goes with me?  (WB477)”

Reflections:

1 – Anger/Attack Not Justifieed

A Course in Miracles counsels against anger and attack, saying that they are not justified or warranted in any situation.  Of course, most of us cannot live on this level consistently.  But when we can, we turn aside from fear.  God surrounds us and is in us.  His grace is sufficient unto every need.

2 – Turn to God

With God, we feel perfect peace and joy.  When we pray, we normally feel His presence, and we are comforted.  Anguish turns to peace; fear drops away.  What more could we ask, when that is all that we need?

3 – Grievances Gone / Safety Found

The Workbook says that when we let all our grievances go, we will know that we are perfectly safe.  May we know this today.  May we forgive our brothers and sisters all of their attacks and expressions of anger toward.  May we know peace in this forgiveness.  There is “sin” in time, but there is not time; since there is no time, we are living in eternity, where the world that we see is an illusion, a projection from within.  So we ourselves and others have made errors, but we have not “sinned,” being ultimately outside of time and in eternity.

4 – Walking through the Day

May this knowledge, and it is knowledge rather than perception, follow us through this day and out into the greater world.  And may we do for others those things that we wish to have accomplished in ourselves.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would so live today that I do not give stress a welcoming mat.  I know that if I remain relaxed and in Your care, there will be no reason for anger to arise in me.  I will know that my brother or sister’s attacks are calls for help, and I will rush to their side with the aid that they need.

May this day be peaceful.  I know that I can so pace the day, with Your help, that I can get my “to do” list done, and still have plenty of time with which to commune with You.  You come first; it is when I forget that that I get into trouble.

Amen.

Pain Begone!

ACIM Workbook Lesson 330 – for Saturday, November 26, 2011

Affirmation:  “I will not hurt myself again today.”

“Let us this day accept forgiveness as our only function.  Why should we attack our minds, and give them images of pain?  (WB466)”

Reflections:

1 – The Role of Forgiveness re Pain

When we forgive, we do not invite images of pain.  When forgiveness is seen as our only function, we do not attack our minds.  We do attack our minds when we hold grievances, attack ourselves and others, and look to the dark side of events in our world.  In fact, when we attack ourselves by holding grievances, we can never feel safe (a paraphrase of the Workbook).  We feel perfectly safe when we have let all grievances go.

2 – Our Functions re ACIM

A Course in Miracles gives other functions beside forgiveness, but these are also synonyms.  Happiness and salvation are the two that are most frequently cited.  But how can we know forgiveness without also signing on for happiness?  And how can we forgive without also offering salvation, in our own way, to our brothers and sisters?

3 – Forgive / Do Not Attack the Mind

It is the most important new concept on this day to note that we attack our minds when we fail to accept forgiveness as our function.  We are here to forgive.  Keep in mind that forgiveness, as we know it, is an illusion, because there is really nothing real to forgive; we forgive only illusions.  But in this world we experience the illusion as real, as tangible, and so we must be practical always (as Jesus bids in the Manual).  We forgive, knowing that nothing bad has actually happened to anyone, but in our deluded minds we think that the world that we see is real and capable of causing harm.  We must do what we can, in this illusion, to right the wrongs.  This declaration is not an insensitive attempt to save the world from itself.  We must reach out when we are welcomed by our brothers and sisters.  We are not meant to save when we would be rejected by the attempt.  But we should never underestimate the extent of the insanity in this world, and so others may not know enough to reach out to us.  Then, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we need to do what we can to lighten the load of our brothers and sisters.

4 – Living on a Higher Plain

If we would avoid images of pain, as seen by our minds, we must forgive.  When we forgive consistently and peacefully, we live on a higher plane.  Let us reach toward that higher plain today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would seek to forgive today, that I would help others and that I would also be helped.  I would not fill my mind with images of pain, which is the outcome when attack is made upon ourselves and our brothers and sisters.  

May I come to understand the other functions that find their primary home in forgiveness:  happiness and salvation.  I would ask You to help me to lead a happy life, in spite of appearances that invite the feeling that I am a victim when attacked.  Help me to realize that You honor the illusion, in that You wish us to treat well our brothers and sisters who believe in the illusion, and do not have the assurance that reality is a better place to make our home. 

May I live in Your real world today.  Assist me in making wise decisions that will lead to joy.  I know that this is Your will for all who make the earth our present home.  May illusions lose their hold upon my brothers and sisters, and me.  May together we walk into the light, always seeking the Christ-consciousness to which we will eventually be led.

Amen.