“When you are anxious, realize that anxiety comes from the capriciousness of the ego, and know this need not be. You can be as vigilant against the ego’s dictates as for them. (T63)”
1 – Anxiety = Form of Fear
Anxiety is a form of fear, of course. And fear and love are the primary emotions. The phrase, “capriciousness of the ego,” can be a bit difficult, but essentially it is saying that our egos are wily, and we cannot trust where they lead.
2 – Pills
Just as with sadness, anxiety is an emotion that most of us experience–some of us for long periods of time. Pills are not recommended long-term by physicians. So in this sense our medical establishment is in line with Jesus’s explanation that pills are a form of magic that work because we believe in them. Jesus implies that we would be better off without pills, if doing without would not raise our level of fear.
3 – Anxiety Overcome
Anxiety can be overcome by non-medical intervention, in many cases. Certainly prayer is a great calming tool, for God’s Love for us becomes manifest when we turn to Him in heartfelt communion. A Course in Miracles does not say a great deal about prayer, but it simply seems to be assumed that we will pray, or, as it is said in the opening pages of the Text, we will “commune” with God. Many of the Workbook lessons appear to be a form of meditation, though this is a controversial interpretation for some students/teachers of ACIM. Certainly the Workbook is filled with prayers to God, and so my personal interpretation is that we need to realize that there is a mystery about God that we will not know until Awakening, and not in its entirety then. Some students/teachers of ACIM believe that God does not know about us, because we are lost in illusion, and He does not enter illusion. My personal take on this, though, is that God’s absence has not been my personal experience, except a few times when I was experiencing what has been called the “dark night of the soul.”
4 – Vigilance against the Ego
Vigilance against the ego’s dictates is a call to action, mental action. We do not have to fall for the nefarious dictates of the ego, and we would do well to consider what some of those really are. Certainly the ego is in control when we are anxious. We need to consider whether or not this is really what we want. We need to realize that other people and their attitudes toward us are not the essential point. Our relationship to God is primary, and when we allow Him the upper hand, our anxiety about the opinions of others declines.
Help me to eliminate anxiety from my mind and body. If I am anxious because of what other people may do or say, help me to realize that this is false reasoning. God’s way does not include fearfulness toward other people.
My anxiety may come and go without logical reason. Help me to turn to You in such times, knowing that I have a helping hand always with me.