I. Atonement Without Sacrifice, P 5
5 I have been correctly referred to as “the lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world,” but those who represent the lamb as blood-stained do not understand the meaning of the symbol. Correctly understood, it is a very simple symbol that speaks of my innocence. The lion and the lamb lying down together symbolize that strength and innocence are not in conflict, but naturally live in peace. “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God” is another way of saying the same thing. A pure mind knows the truth and this is its strength. It does not confuse destruction with innocence because it associates innocence with strength, not with weakness.
This idea that strength and innocence are not in conflict took me a long time to understand and accept. I used to keep a picture of the lion and lamb lying together because I wanted that to be true and I wanted to believe it. But my mind was steeped in fear and I could not let go of the idea that if the lamb was going to hang out with the lion he had better get some body armor and a good sharp sword.
I finally understand now that it is the belief that I am guilty and not innocent that makes me think I am weak and need protection. As I have been learning to allow the guilty beliefs to be healed, I have also let go of the need to defend myself. Here is an example of this. Sometimes when I am doing this writing, something comes through that is not at my level of understanding I feel afraid and defenseless.
In other words, Jesus tells me something I didn’t get from my current understanding of the Course and I am afraid to write it. I do write it down because I have come to trust the Voice within, but I feel a little thrill of fear each time. This is because I am afraid of getting it wrong. I am afraid of being called out on it. It is not a strong fear anymore, but just a shadow of an old fear that used to be strong. In fact, it is just a whisper of a fear now, but I still hear the warning voice in my head.
When I used to be very afraid, I felt like I was the metaphoric lamb and the other students of the Course represented the lion. I felt like they would read what I wrote and would “eat me alive” as the lion would the lamb. Or more realistically, would think or say that I was wrong, arrogant, a failed Course student, all the things I sometimes thought about myself. (Projection, right?)
Because of my fear, I would sometimes spend a lot of time trying to find passages in the Course that supported what I said. I would worry about it and argue with myself about posting it. I would doubt myself and think I should just delete the part I didn’t get through my study but was just given to me. All these things were the weapons of defense I thought I needed because I was guilty and would be found out and attacked for my guilt.
Now, I simply write what I get and enjoy the surprise. It might be that I don’t always get it exactly right, but that’s ok. I am not the sage with all the answers, but the student sharing with fellow students and learning right along with them. I might be criticized or doubted by some and that’s ok, too. It brings up all sorts of useful forgiveness lessons and this is something I welcome for all of us.
I can now lie with the lions and feel peaceful because I don’t feel guilty and don’t expect attack. If attack comes I know that it is a reflection of someone else’s fear and guilt and I know how that feels. If I do feel attacked and react to that attack, I am happy to have noticed that there is something within my own mind that still needs healing. I cannot ask for healing if I don’t know the error is there. It’s all good.