VI. From Vigilance to Peace, P 2
2 The mind that accepts attack cannot love. That is because it believes it can destroy love, and therefore does not understand what love is. If it does not understand what love is, it cannot perceive itself as loving. This loses the awareness of being, induces feelings of unreality and results in utter confusion. Your thinking has done this because of its power, but your thinking can also save you from this because its power is not of your making. Your ability to direct your thinking as you choose is part of its power. If you do not believe you can do this you have denied the power of your thought, and thus rendered it powerless in your belief.
Jesus has told us that what we believe is true for us. When we don’t believe in our power we feel powerless. This kind of thinking drives us to a dead end. The power of our mind allowed us to drive there as we used it to make up a story of powerlessness, and the power of our mind allowed us to believe we are stuck there because our story of powerlessness left us no way out.
Fortunately, through our power we can manipulate the story in any way we like, even to the point of feeling powerless, but since the power is in us but not of us, we cannot destroy the power or be without the power. So we seem stuck, but we are not. What we are doing now is choosing to rediscover our power.
We start by allowing ourselves to remember that we are imagining the world we see, then we allow our mind to be awakened from the imagined world into reality. The power that made the illusion will undo the illusion through the Holy Spirit. Our true and holy Self will emerge in our minds and we will remember who we are. What a moment that will be!
Yesterday’s lesson offered this prayer: God still is Love and this is not His Will. That was very simple and easy to remember, but I wrote it on the palm of my hand anyway. I had been having some confusion about my place in the Kingdom and so the prayer was right on time. I was also listening to a book called Divergence. It is a Young Adult book about a sixteen year old girl finding her place in the world.
In the part I was listening to yesterday, she was going through a training technique to help her learn to be in control of her fear. She sits in a chair and receives an injection that causes her to hallucinate something that symbolizes her greatest fears. In the first one she is attacked by a flock of crows. It is very real to her and she feels the terror of being helpless as they peck away at her body, even getting into her body through her mouth.
At first she flails away at them, screaming in terror, but she starts to calm herself by remembering it is just a simulation. She begins to hear the voice of her instructor reminding her of the truth. She is still in the illusion but she is remembering it is an illusion. She gets calm enough to use breathing to calm herself even more, and finally she lies down and surrenders to the experience. She finds herself back in the chair and the birds are gone. It was awful and the fear stays with her but at least she is out of the simulated experience until the next time she will have to face a fear.
I thought about what a good metaphor this is for us. We are imagining a life with lots of fears and they seem so real to us. We have the power to let go of the fear and see that it is all just an illusion, but often our fear is too great for us to do so. When we are ready we begin to listen to our Instructor as He reassures us that it is all just a dream, an illusion.
He encourages us to relax and to listen to His Voice and not the voice of our fears. We probably all go through an experience similar to Trices’ and learn to use tools to help us when we are afraid, breathing techniques, mantras, remembering the words from the Course. We learn to surrender to the experience and let the fear fall away.
In her second time in the chair, Trice gets another injection and has another horrific experience. This time she is in a glass box that slowly fills with water. She is drowning and cannot get out. As before, she reacts in panic and terror, but she remembers pretty quickly that it is a simulation and not real through listening to the Voice of her instructor.
It feels so real, though, that it is hard to hold onto the idea that it is not real. Then Trice does something that she shouldn’t be able to do. She breaks to glass. She got hold of her fear enough to think and to act instead of react. She changed the simulation. This is our next step, too. First we learn that the world we see is an illusion, then we learn to listen to the Voice of our Instructor even when we are afraid. We learn to stop fighting the illusion and just let it be.
Finally, we begin to glimpse our true power and this is the first step to manipulating the illusion. Trice lost her fear of the simulations once she saw through them. Breaking that box showed her she was not powerless and so the fear no longer controlled her. We are learning that we are not powerless. Dreaming about fear cannot make fear real. We are learning to manipulate the dream and this proves to us that we are not powerless and that if a scary situation can be manipulated it cannot be real, and we cannot be a victim to it.
We are powerful beings who deliberately chose to look at fear. This whole world we see is a simulation, a very realistic hallucination with lots of scary stuff. But it is scary only as long as we believe in it. We are only in danger as long as we believe we are in danger, but the story of danger continues for as long as we continue to believe it.
When we start to doubt the authenticity of the story, we begin to wake up. We can then manipulate it as did Jesus when he healed the sick and resurrected the dead. There was nothing special in what Jesus did; he simply stopped believing in the story. If you don’t believe in sickness and death, changing the simulation is simple. We can do this, too.