“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”
1 – A Sequence of Thoughts
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 – Cause and Effect
Jesus says elsewhere that if he were to remove the fear for us, he would be tampering with a most important aspect of reality, cause and effect. We have to take responsibility for what we have made in this world, and fear is one of those things that the ego has made. It is not real, but we don’t realize this when we are in throes.
3 – Personal Experience
I have not always taken kindly to this assertion of Jesus. I have thought, previously, that if a minor tranquillizer could remove anxiety, how is this OK to be effective when Jesus himself does not help directly (as he says he won’t)? The reason is that the Valium or Xanax is a magic potion, but a pill that is quite in line with what we might do in our fear-weakened state. Jesus does not directly encourage pills, but he does say that sometimes we have to take an oblique approach to illness and let medication do its work. He indicates, though, that pills are a form of magic or magical approach to our ailments.
4 – Conditions
The most important thing to remember is that Jesus will help with the conditions that have brought the fear about, and this is a very close thing to helping directly with the fear. And it does not tamper with the effect that we have wrought when we made a cause that brought the anxiety upon us. We do have the power to handle anxiety, and prayer and meditation are among our most potent tools in our tool kit. Jesus walks beside us, when we call for him (“a single unequivocal call” from the Text of A Course in Miracles), and this in itself is frequently enough to take the agitation from us. It has proved to be enough for me on any number of occasions.
5 – Pivotal
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. Indeed, we cannot understand insanity, for it is beyond reason, being irrational. Remember that the ego approves of our analyzing our conditions, as this seems to lean credence to the importance of the ego. Let such analysis drop by the wayside. It will get us nowhere. Instead, we need to note madness when we see it, and then quietly let it go.
6 – 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?
7 – Our Power
It is very reassuring to hear from Jesus in ACIM that we have the power to remove fear. Our minds are very powerful and never rest, even in sleep (from ACIM). We do not normally credit the mind with such power because we are afraid of this power (also from ACIM). But we need not fear our own minds when we have willingly laid down our own judgment and turned to the Holy Spirit for His help. He will guide us surely. More than surely. It is one of His functions, and He will not neglect His functions. We do not know all the conditions that surround us–past, present, and future–and so we would choose wrongly. Turn to one who does have this prescience. And life will smooth out. I know this for a fact.
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.