IV. The Escape from Darkness, P 4
4 The emptiness engendered by fear must be replaced by forgiveness. That is what the Bible means by “There is no death,” and why I could demonstrate that death does not exist. I came to fulfill the law by reinterpreting it. The law itself, if properly understood, offers only protection. It is those who have not yet changed their minds who brought the “hell-fire” concept into it. I assure you that I will witness for anyone who lets me, and to whatever extent he permits it. Your witnessing demonstrates your belief, and thus strengthens it. Those who witness for me are expressing, through their miracles, that they have abandoned the belief in deprivation in favor of the abundance they have learned belongs to them.
It’s strange to think of fear as emptiness, as nothing. Fear seems so big and so overwhelming. When I was afraid for my son, fear felt so big that I couldn’t, for awhile, feel anything else. It was like it filled me up and nothing else could fit. When I think of being on a mountain, of driving around it and not being able to see what is coming toward me from the other side, or especially to think of driving and coming to a switchback and having that sensation of driving right off into air before the sharp turn that allows me to hug the mountain again, well, the fear is huge.
Just writing about it I feel my stomach tighten and I want to cry. This fear is even worse because it doesn’t make sense and I don’t know what to do with it, how to let it go. It makes it seem like fear is bigger than God because so far I have not been able to give it over to Spirit and let it be healed. And here is Jesus saying that fear is nothing. Where I think that monstrous fear sits in the dark place in my mind, there is only… emptiness? How strange.
I have not yet been able to replace that particular fear with forgiveness. Maybe I will not in this lifetime do that, or maybe I will do it in a few minutes. I trust that this process is unfolding perfectly. At some point, I will forgive the fear of heights, which evidently is really the fear of death. Jesus showed (witnessed to me) that death is not real. He overcame death for himself and for me. Perhaps all fear is the fear of death in some way. Speaking of fear, Jesus also reassures us that the scary parts of religion are only the result of interpretations by frightened people. When I first read that it was a great relief.
Jesus uses the language of Christianity in the Course, sometimes redefining certain terms as he did with the word “forgiveness.” Since I was not raised Protestant, at first I was confused by the word “witness” as used here. I looked it up in the dictionary and it said that that to witness is to testify to Christian beliefs, and this is done publicly. I read some passages from the Bible, which didn’t enlighten me especially. But thinking about what I read there and how my protestant friends typically use the word witness, I gather that to witness is to say aloud how God has worked in your life for the purpose of spreading the word.
I was thinking how this applies to witnessing through miracles. As I perform miracles I show others that healing the mind works and this encourages and motivates them to do the work for themselves. When I read the articles that Nouk Sanchez wrote (http://undoing-the-ego.org/noukblog/?p=212) in which she described two mind healing miracles that manifested in form as well, I was inspired. It helped me realize that I was on the right path and encouraged me to continue my own work. Both miracles perfectly expressed that she chose to abandon the belief in deprivation in favor of the abundance she has learned belong to her.
I can tell you that my life has changed because of my belief in Jesus, but if I show you that I am consistently happier and more peaceful, if you see my life change for the better, my witnessing will be more powerful. I used to be depressed all the time. I am never depressed now. I used to be afraid of the rage that was always just below the surface and might burst out at any time. I get angry very seldom now and when I do it passes quickly.
I used to blame others and outside circumstances for what happened to me and I felt sorry for myself a lot. I rarely feel or act like a victim now and readily accept responsibility for everything in my world. When someone notices those changes in me (or even if they don’t know how different this is) and they ask me how it happens, I gladly add words to my witnessing, and of course, I witness through my writing and teaching. I witness through the physical healings I have experienced.
Jesus says that he will witness for anyone who lets him, and to whatever extent he permits it. He whispers in my heart the truth when I ask for it. A few days ago I started asking Spirit to take me to God and then spending a few moments in that space. I did not have any expectations as to what that might look like to me but just did it in trust. Yesterday on Thanksgiving morning, when I asked, something happened on a conscious level.
I have a hard time finding words to match the experience, and I don’t want to explain it into something it was not. That’s so easy to do when I use the thinking mind. But very briefly, I seemed to have a fleeting thought of wondering what God is. I felt enormous power and maybe flinched from it. Then felt love; love like a mighty river flowing endlessly, a constant current of love. Harmless. I cried uncontrollably for a few minutes.
Afterward, I wondered at my reaction, and when I would think of God as benign, nonthreatening, and harmless, I would start crying again. Thinking about it, I believe that Spirit witnessed to me. It was done in feelings rather than words, and the feelings were evoked through me. It was as if Jesus were saying, “Before I can bring you to God, I must show you that you are afraid of Him, and allow you to let go of that fear. We can’t do it all at once, but we can touch on it a little this morning.” So maybe this is the kind of thing that Jesus means when he says he witnesses to us as much as we allow.