A Course in Miracles: Lesson 196

Lesson 196

It can be but myself I crucify.

In the process of liberation, we exercise our courage to investigate the array of “masks” that appear in our inner and outer world. As spiritual beings having a human experience this means we have privy to the wide range of experiences and emotions possible on the spectrum.  This ranges from joy to rage, happy to sad, love to fear, and everything in between.  Thanks to this magnificent vessel, known as our body, we are able to express and feel any option on the human buffet called life, where it all depends on our desire.  If our desire is to fully awaken and to be liberated of the world, we must dare to look at this spectrum and all of its facets and faces and how it shows up in our daily lives.  We cannot just cherry pick our chosen emotions or feelings, only leaving the good ones.  To experience one is to experience them all.  Thus, must we come to peace with even the not so great emotions that arise in the body.  We must have the courage to question who and what is behind the mask that is presenting itself to us in our inner and outer world.

As we discussed yesterday, we often try to guard our experience from another, believing in separation.  We do what we have to do to fortify our existence in order to be ready to attack at any moment someone or something tries to cross our boundary.  It is in our preparation that we have already begun to attack.  Fear has made root and has extended its hand to those around us.  The “fear goggles” have been put on and all we see before us is violence and harm.  Even though nothing as happened, this is the power of a thought and how far it reaches.  Thus, the actions we take only hurt ourselves.  We may attack by word or actions but, regardless, it was birthed into our awareness, first, by our thought.  Truly, we only hurt ourselves when we think we hurt another.

“…You will realize that to attach another is but to attack yourself” (ACIM Lesson 196 1:2).

Attack is the follow-up to fear.  This is where courage comes in, as in order to halt this cycle we must look at what we truly fear.  When the thought of being on guard and attacking comes to mind, we have the opportunity to pause and notice the trigger, to look behind the mask of the “accuser” and see what is really there.  Sometimes it is helpful to look behind the mask and to continue to ask the question, “What am I afraid of?” until the query has become exhausted.  The repetition of this inquiry is crucial, as behind the mask the face shown could be wearing make up, once more rousing us with another mask of sorts.  We must peel back layer after layer to see the fear behind the fear, “What am I really afraid of?”  It is this courageous self-inquiry that leads us past the idea that we are scared of our parents, a colleague, someone who hurt us in the past, or the world around us.  Do you see how in any instance, although they can feel very eminent, it is just a means of giving our power away?  The point is to continue to the root in order to reclaim our Divine Power, so that as we investigate further we will see that what we actually want to reclaim and what we are truly scared of is the same thing, our God Self.

We come to find in our investigation that we are just as fearful of God and Her wrath as we are of the power of God that lies within us.  Experiencing our divinity can feel very overwhelming at times, as we feel this force, we know that have access to the entire gamut of emotions as a humans, which means we can just as easily misuse our power for the good things as easily as the “bad.”  These fears both appear to be ludicrous yet possible and where there is that potential, separation happily takes root.  But this is where the valiance of your awareness comes in.  You have stepped up to Reality’s doorstep and started knocking, knowing that there must be Truth beyond these fears and that it could not be possible for your Light to can cause any harm and that the God that loves you cannot know any opposite.

“The dreary, hopeless thought that you can make attacks on others and escape yourself has nailed you to the cross.  Perhaps it seemed to be salvation.  Yet it merely stood for the belief the fear of God is real.  And what is that but hell?  Who could believe his Father is his deadly enemy, separate from him, and eating to destroy his life and blow him from the universe, without the fear of hell upon his heart?”  (ACIM Lesson 196 5:1-5).

The power of inquiry is what heals our mad beliefs.  The moment we stop to question our attack thoughts or actions, is the moment in which we save ourselves.  That one glitch in the cycle undoes it all.  A moment of Love’s inquiry is similar to installing a virus in a computer, it is guaranteed to spread and break down the system.

“Yet your redemption, too, will come from you” (ACIM Lesson 196 12:6).

Today, we install the question that unravels fear by looking directly at it.  We take off the “fear goggles,” and ask our friend, “In this moment, what am I truly afraid of?  What about you makes me so fearful?”  And with a soft heart, we listen.  We come to realize that there really is no monster in our closet or under our bed; it is only the thought of such that made us bury our Lights under the covers.

“For once you understand it is impossible that you be hurt except by your own thoughts, the fear of God must disappear.  You cannot then believe that fear is caused without” (ACIM Lesson 196 8:3-4).

We only crucify ourselves by our thoughts; it is nothing outside ourselves.   Although there appears to be many things in the world we can be afraid of (climate change, the election, school shootings, ISIS, hurricanes, etc.), it is those very same things that can also be looked upon in love.  If we have the entire spectrum to choose from to create our experience, why not use our energy more wisely?  Instead of being fearful of our world, we can just as easily use that same power to free the world with love.  And you might say, “Well, how is that making any difference in a horrific event?  You can’t love something from horrific to healed.”  And I would answer your question with another, “How is your fear helping a horrific event besides adding more fear?”  Why not use our precious energy for good if it takes the same amount of energy to love as it does to fear?

This is not about fixing the world; it is about recognizing its freedom and yours and its perfection and yours.  You have a choice; today is a call to exercise it.  It is a day to look at the distraction of fear and to no longer let this option hide your Light.  The world needs more Light, not more darkness.  Wouldn’t you agree?

“You have sought to be both weak and bound, because you feared your strength and freedom” (ACIM Lesson 196 9:7).

Dear One, you are courageous.  You are courageous for even considering the words written in Lesson 196.  Yet in that one moment of consideration is that little bit of willingness that God needs to move through you.  In your consideration is It All done.

Let your exploration be joyful as you investigate fear.  Be as a child in wonder, exploring the landscape that is your mind, as if it is for the first time before you even knew fear existed.  Take this time to care for yourself, not crucify yourself.  I am truly inspired by your courage to be curious.  I picture you reclaiming your Light today.  I picture your strength and the joy on your face as you walk about your world as you truly are, fearless.  Namaste.

 

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