ACIM III. Perception versus Knowledge P 7. If you attack error in another, you will hurt yourself.
ACIM III. Perception versus Knowledge P 7
7 III. Perception Versus Knowledge, P7
7. If you attack error in another, you will hurt yourself. ²You cannot know your brother when you attack him. ³Attack is always made upon a stranger. ⁴You are making him a stranger by misperceiving him, and so you cannot know him. ⁵It is because you have made him a stranger that you are afraid of him. ⁶Perceive him correctly so that you can know him. ⁷There are no strangers in God’s creation. ⁸To create as He created you can create only what you know, and therefore accept as yours. ⁹God knows His children with perfect certainty. ¹⁰He created them by knowing them. ¹¹He recognizes them perfectly. ¹²When they do not recognize each other, they do not recognize Him. (ACIM, T-3.III.7:1-12)
Becoming Vigilant for Attack Thoughts
Jesus tells us in so many ways that our ticket Home is to love our brothers and to recognize them as one with ourselves. Everyone is our brother; everyone is God’s creation, and He knows each one. He knows you, and He knows me. To know God, I must know you, not as the images we imagine are us, but as we were created. Here, Jesus is telling us that if we perceive each other incorrectly, we make of him a stranger and will fear him.
If we recognized everyone as one with us, we would know him and know ourselves and God. We would never attack him. Why would we? We would remember what we are and would love that as God loves His creations. But because we think we are separate and different from each other, we may attack rather than love.
I have been paying careful attention to those times when I attack. The attacks are seldom obvious and can be quite subtle, so I have to watch for them. Because I sincerely want to love rather than attack, I am made aware of them when they occur. I then ask for healing because a mind that is confused about something so basic as what it is, is sick.
The Homeless Lady
Where I live, you seldom see street people. On those rare occasions when someone is asking for help, I give it without thinking twice. But recently, there has been a woman on a corner who has been asking for money. I’m surprised because she has been on the same corner for several days, and that doesn’t generally happen. I have never given her anything and feel resistant to doing so.
I have judged her harshly, and I have no idea why. But I do know that the judgment is an attack. I am asking the Holy Spirit to show me who it is that I am judging. That is, not the image of a homeless woman, but who she is in truth. I want to recognize her as God’s creation and someone I love as He loves her. I want this for her and for me.
Some Common Attack Thoughts
Here are the most common ways that attack shows up in my mind. I will be doing some mindless tasks, and suddenly I notice that I am having an argument with someone who is not there. It’s funny, in a way. I guess I like that I always win the argument since I am taking both sides. But I lose simply because I am attacking and thus lost to my Self and her Self and God.
As soon as I notice this bit of insanity, I stop. I ask for healing, and I let it go. I might look at it with the Holy Spirit so He can show me the underlying belief that is the cause of my desire to attack. If this is a repeated attack, I might have a conversation with Jesus. I might tell him what I was thinking and how it makes me feel. I like to share my life with him, and doing so can bring clarity and correction.
Shopping at Walmart
I was shopping at Walmart and began to notice how often I was attacking those around me, the way someone was dressed, and the rudeness of another shopper. Here is a subtle attack, something I didn’t see as an attack before. If I become worried about someone, I stop immediately and question that worry. I think of worry as being an anti-prayer or a prayer for what I do not want.
Instead, I rest a minute in God, relaxing the mind that wants to think about what is wrong. Then I let the Holy Spirit fill my mind with the truth. I place my awareness on the other person as they are in truth. In other words, I see them with Christ’s vision, and I hold onto that knowing instead of what my eyes show me about them.
And there is when I defend myself because to defend, I must attack. For instance, if someone points out an error on my part to defend myself, I would have to point out she was wrong about that. I would be saying that she was guilty of misjudging me. It’s helpful for me to notice all of the attack thoughts in my mind. I don’t feel guilty for them, just grateful to have the opportunity to heal the belief that attack is ever justified.
To read a short article on giving and receiving, CLICK HERE.