“It is essential to realize that all defenses do what they would defend.  The underlying basis for their effectiveness is that they offer what they defend.”  (A Course in Miracles, FIP ed., T-17.IV.7)

But this dynamic causes the exact opposite of what we want!  We get what we defend against; how good is that?  In the illusory world that the ego rules, we are trying to avoid the thing that we are so massively constructing brick walls against.  Here, though, Jesus makes a startling assertion that we might well check out in our daily life (especially if we don’t think Jesus has it right).

Have you ever found yourself trapped by defenses, defenses that had been erected to protect yourself?  Of course.  I once knew someone who was barricaded against attacks from others by a wall so strong and fortified that those of us who knew her well saw through what was happening.  Unfortunately, she herself often attacked others.  So, though she had never studied A Course in Miracles, she believed that she would be attacked.  She projected her belief onto others, and so this was her perception.  And she was attacked by others, try as hard as she might to destroy their lives first!

It was a mess.  This scenario, even in description and not in the living, so easily conveys the ridiculous nature of following the ego.  Attack, defense, defense, attack.  We need to get real.  As Jesus says in this quotation selected for tonight, defenses do what they would defend. 

Vow tonight to avoid being defensive.  It will be hard at first, because we reflexively defend ourselves when we are challenged by another.  And especially when we are attacked by another.  The psychological truth of Jesus’s statements about defense, though, ought to be enough to convince us that we need to make an about-fact promptly.

We will walk an easier pathway when we decide that defenses do not help us at all, and they harm (in the illusion) more than almost anything else.

World of Love

“Now, as we reverse this set of circumstances, and replace the world of fear with a world of love, there can be no more weighing of love against fear.  God did not create fear and will not be judged by it.  All judgment is the cause of fear and this effort to weigh love’s strength against fear’s veracity.  While you chose to believe and live in a world the nature of which was fear, you could not know God.  You could not know God because you judged God from within the nature of fear, believing it to be your natural state.”  (A Course of Love, T4:3.7)

We thought that it was protective to have fear in our arsenal of defenses.  But did it ever work very well?  We got anxious often, but did this really protect us?

We don’t need fear’s protection.  We don’t need protection at all.  We have no need for defense against anything.  We will be warned when we need to do anything to “protect” ourselves because we are in danger of some kind.  God does not leave us defenseless; He is our defense, if we ever need to have a defense in this world at all, and that is debatable. 

Defenses do what they would protect against. 

We thought that fear was a natural reaction, not realizing that it was, instead, evidence of living insanity.  We need to replace this world of fear we have made into a world of love, and only then can we relax in the grace that God gives us.  We need to make a definite decision to give up judgment, and this much we can do.  We can determine that we will not judge ourselves, others, or God, and we can stand by this as a promise.  The world will never again look as dismal.  We will have found means to emerge from a world of insanity.  We will walk into the light.

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'”


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.


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.