Lesson 26

Lesson 26

My attack thoughts are attacking my invulnerability.

It is surely obvious that if you can be attacked you are not invulnerable. You see attack as a real threat. That is because you believe that you can really attack. And what would have effects through you must also have effects on you. It is this law that will ultimately save you, but you are misusing it now. You must therefore learn how it can be used for your own best interests, rather than against them.

Because your attack thoughts will be projected, you will fear attack. And if you fear attack, you must believe that you are not invulnerable. Attack thoughts therefore make you vulnerable in your own mind, which is where the attack thoughts are. Attack thoughts and invulnerability cannot be accepted together. They contradict each other.

The idea for today introduces the thought that you always attack yourself first. If attack thoughts must entail the belief that you are vulnerable, their effect is to weaken you in your own eyes. Thus they have attacked your perception of yourself. And because you believe in them, you can no longer believe in yourself. A false image of yourself has come to take the place of what you are.

Practice with today’s idea will help you to understand that vulnerability or invulnerability is the result of your own thoughts. Nothing except your thoughts can attack you. Nothing except your thoughts can make you think you are vulnerable. And nothing except your thoughts can prove to you this is not so.

Six practice periods are required in applying today’s idea. A full two minutes should be attempted for each of them, although the time may be reduced to a minute if the discomfort is too great. Do not reduce it further.

The practice period should begin with repeating the idea for today, then closing your eyes and reviewing the unresolved questions whose outcomes are causing you concern. The concern may take the form of depression, worry, anger, a sense of imposition, fear, foreboding or preoccupation. Any problem as yet unsettled that tends to recur in your thoughts during the day is a suitable subject. You will not be able to use very many for any one practice period, because a longer time than usual should be spent with each one. Today’s idea should be applied as follows:

First, name the situation:

I am concerned about ______.

Then go over every possible outcome that has occurred to you in that connection and which has caused you concern, referring to each one quite specifically, saying:

I am afraid ______ will happen.

If you are doing the exercises properly, you should have some five or six distressing possibilities available for each situation you use, and quite possibly more. It is much more helpful to cover a few situations thoroughly than to touch on a larger number. As the list of anticipated outcomes for each situation continues, you will probably find some of them, especially those that occur to you toward the end, less acceptable to you. Try, however, to treat them all alike to whatever extent you can.

After you have named each outcome of which you are afraid, tell yourself:

That thought is an attack upon myself.

Conclude each practice period by repeating today’s idea to yourself once more.

 

Journal

My attack thoughts are attacking my invulnerability.

“And what would have effects through you must also have effects on you.”

All attack begins in my mind; it begins with the belief in attack. If I believe in attack as valuable, I will attack others in defense of myself. However, it is the belief in attack that makes me think I need defense, so even though it may appear as if the attack began outside me, it did not. It began in my mind that held the belief in attack and valued that belief.

“Nothing except your thoughts can attack you. Nothing except your thoughts can make you think you are vulnerable. And nothing except your thoughts can prove to you this is not so.”

If I want to be free of attack, it is essential that I accept the premise that attack begins and ends in the mind. I remember a story about Byron Katie. She was asked to do The Work in a country that was considered unstable and dangerous. Her friends were afraid for her and tried to talk her out of going. Katie had no fear because she knew that there was no harm in her so no harm could come to her.

This is freedom. And it is possible for all of us because it is our natural state. However, nearly all of us have a strong sense of vulnerability. Even as I have come to believe what Jesus says about this, that the vulnerability is not a fact but something we taught ourselves to believe, I still have attack thoughts. It takes great vigilance and determination to undo this kind of thinking.

This morning, I am waiting for a call from my doctor about my lab reports. I wonder what they will say and what that will mean for me. So this is one of the ideas I am practicing with. I am afraid they will indicate the necessity for surgery. I am equally afraid they will be inconclusive and leave me without a solution.

To be clear, I am not frantic or obsessed with this, but the idea is in my mind and is attacking my sense of invulnerability. One of the results is that I notice a tendency to project my unease onto the doctor’s office. If they would get back to me as they should have already, the mystery would be solved and I would feel calmer about it.

And yet, are the lab results necessary to my peace of mind? As Katie might suggest, “I want the lab reports to give me peace of mind? Why not cut out the middleman and give it to myself. Peace of mind is not dependent on anything happening, but on my decision to have it. It becomes clear that my upset is in my mind and so is the solution.

If I don’t hear something today, I will call the doctor’s office in case someone dropped the ball. But the outcome, one way or another is not the point. The point is that I am attacking my invulnerability with my attack thoughts. Whether I am attacking my peace of mind or I am attacking the doctor, it is all the same. Attack leaves me feeling vulnerable.

Additional thoughts

I used this example not because there is anything wrong with taking care of the body, but that I have been anxious to hear what the tests showed, and anxiety is an attack on my invulnerability. It says that I am at risk, that I am not safe.

Regina’s Tips

That can also be summed up with, “What I think I see (project); What I see, I experience; What I experience, I think.” Etc.

The exercise that is introduced in today’s workbook lesson is an incredibly helpful exercise. This exercise can work in a way that is similar to Root Cause Inquiry. For example, I woke up late this morning so I am doing my Gentle Healing Homework instead of being in the Sanctuary this morning. I noticed a bit of concern about not being in the Sanctuary, so I practiced today’s exercise on that. Here’s how it worked:

“I am concerned about not being in the Sanctuary. I am concerned people will think I don’t care. I am concerned that if they think I don’t care, they won’t care. I am concerned if they don’t care, they will quit coming. I am concerned if they quit coming, Awakening Together will fall apart. I am concerned Awakening Together will end. I am concerned I will not have direction in my life. I am concerned I will be nothing. That thought is an attack upon myself.”

Do you see how letting one fear into awareness naturally led to the next underlying fear until finally a root fear was gently exposed? That is why the workbook lesson says, “As the list of anticipated outcomes for each situation continues, you will probably find some of them, especially those that occur to you toward the end, less acceptable to you.” That is because the ones that occur near the end may be the ideas you have been denying.

This is very exciting to me. This exercise allows hidden ideas to come up into the light of awareness where they can be healed, and it happens in a very natural, gentle way. Today’s exercise is really valuable. However, don’t work too hard at trying to expose denied thoughts. Just practice the exercise gently, and see what appears.

Past Entries

I am invulnerable because that is how I was created. So why is it that I don’t feel invulnerable. In fact, I often feel endangered, even frail. When I think of all the ways the body can be hurt, I feel very frail indeed. When I hear about someone losing a child, I feel my own vulnerability as I realize this could happen to me. If I obsessed about all the ways I could suffer in this life, I would live in fear all the time.

My sense of vulnerability feels more real to me than my true nature, and there is a reason for this. I believe I can be attacked. I have attack thoughts in my mind, and the thoughts in my mind are projected outward to make up the world I see. I make images of the thoughts in my mind, and seeing those images with my eyes, I am convinced that I am vulnerable to attack.

It seems as if the world proves to me that I am vulnerable, but it all happens in my mind. This false sense of vulnerability can be corrected only in my mind. I have spent a lifetime trying to protect myself from attack by manipulating the world around me. I try to protect the body from attack through medicines and through careful driving, and locks on my doors when I am home alone.

Those are just a few of the ways I try to protect the body. If I listed them all it would take hours, I think. And still, the body gets sick, it gets hurt, and eventually it dies. Nothing I can do within the illusion will give me a sense of safety, no matter how hard I try or how many protective devises I use. It can’t work because the threat is not in the world, it is in my mind.

I make an image of a thought and I project it outward. If the thought is one of vulnerability, I will always experience stories in which I am vulnerable, in which I am a victim and attacked. It is ridiculous to try to work on the issue from the point of the effect, that is, from within the story. The only way to make a difference is to change the cause, that is, the thought that made the effect.

Jesus helps us to see what we are doing by giving us this exercise. We look at a fear in our mind and think of all the possible outcomes. We get to see the many fear thoughts we hold in our mind, and as we do this we can become aware that we are attacking ourselves with these thoughts. We are teaching ourselves that we are vulnerable and endangered everywhere we look. What we believe becomes our experience and is true for us even though it is not truth.

Here is something that happened to me one time that taught me this lesson in a way that made it very clear to me. I used to travel for a living and often when I came home at the end of the week it was very late at night. One night I got home later than usual and the whole neighborhood was dark. When I pulled into my driveway, something was not quite right. I don’t remember what it was. Maybe the light should have been on and it wasn’t.

Whatever it was that triggered my concern, the door to fear was opened in my mind and dark thoughts flooded through me. I thought that maybe someone was in my house hiding and waiting for me to come in. I had many thoughts about what I should do and what might happen. Part of my mind thought this was nonsense, but once the fear thoughts started crowding in, common sense didn’t stand a chance.

I decided to go in anyway because, after all, what else could I do. But even as I looked through the house to satisfy myself that I was alone, I began to be afraid of what could happen. I had a French door that was impossible to secure in a way that made it impervious to entry and I started worrying about that. I wound up stacking things in front of it so that if someone came in I would wake up before they killed me. My mind was totally out of control and I knew it and yet, the fear drove me on to greater extremes.

The more I did to defend myself, the more afraid I became. Every tiny sound became a potential attack. I lay in my bed in absolute terror nearly all night. My body was frozen in place, and I could not pull myself out of my fear. I kept reminding myself that I am not this, and that I am loved, and that I am not alone. There is a prayer in The Way of Mastery that Jeshua offers us for times when the fear overwhelms and I said it over and over.

All this time, I knew this was insane behavior brought on by insane thoughts, and yet I still could not pull myself out of it. This experience was a gift. It was how I came to understand that my attack thoughts always attack me first. I understood from this experience that what I fear cannot be defended against from the point of the image, because the fear is the result of thoughts in my mind.

That was an extreme experience and useful because it was so extreme. Nothing actually happened. I was only responding to thoughts. The lesson I learned is that all fearful stories in my life are sourced by the belief that I am vulnerable. Believing I am vulnerable, I believe I must defend myself, and so I believe I can attack others. If I can attack others, then they can attack me and so I am vulnerable. What an awful cycle of attack and defend I have made. It all began with a thought in my mind, and the way out of this cycle is to realize what I have done and to choose again.

3 thoughts on “Lesson 26

  1. Great story Myron. I’ve done that exact thing a couple of times or more. I hear a noise in the middle of the night and wonder if someone is in my house then I lay there awake in terror for a couple of hours. And I’m not even alone in the house…my husband is sleeping beside me. I often wonder how I will cope if he goes before me because of that fear. That’s a good one for today’s lesson. I’ve been practicing this lesson for a couple of hours already today. I am amazed at what I do with my concerns! They really are attacks on myself. Mine surround health issues mostly but also weight issues. I have been normal sized most of my life but in my mind I have always felt fat and I was always on one diet or another. I look back now and laugh at how I looked when I thought I was fat. Sheesh. I was never fat except during menopause. But it’s a fixation of mine maybe from being called fatso so much as a kid by my brother when I was not fat at all. I know I felt shamed and humiliated and i thought the way to handle that shame and humiliation was to lose weight! (Aha. a lightbulb just went on!) Of course there’s always the possibility my weight issue is just the ego mind finding a way into making the body a fixation any which way it can. But with the health issue I watched myself today with the answers to “I am concerned ______ will happen.” Wow. The fears I saw doing that exercise are unreal and very constricting. I had no idea I walked around in these particular thoughts so much and so often. Every twinge in my body causes me to spin off into old tapes of doom and destruction coming up in the future. If I’m not thinking those catastrophic thoughts I also noticed this AM I feel like I’m not doing my duty, I’m slacking, being careless about my health. That’s a laugh. I am the opposite of careless about my health and that’s because I am fixated on it, you could say obsessed. I used to talk about it all the time to others and I would see their eyes roll up in their heads and feel the tedium I created talking about it so much. So I stopped talking about it to others. But I never stopped talking about it in my head. This lesson could break loose a lot of that stuff for the first time. They are meaningless thoughts and they are vengeance thoughts and they are attacks on my self. What a huge awareness that is for me. Thank you Holy Spirit, Thank you Jesus for these exercises and this course, and thank you Myron for these daily shares that help me overcome so much. 🙂

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