a stand against our anger, that our fears
may disappear and offer room to love.
Here is salvation in the simple words
in which we practice with today's idea.
Here is the answer to temptation which
can never fail to welcome in the Christ
where fear and anger had prevailed before.
Here is Atonement made complete, the world
passed safely by, and Heaven now restored.
Here is the Answer of the Voice of God.
Complete abstraction is the natural
condition of the mind. But part of it
is now unnatural. It does not look
on everything as one. It sees instead
but fragments of the whole, for only thus
could it invent the partial world you see.
The purpose of all seeing is to show
you what you wish to see. All hearing but
brings to your mind the sounds it wants to hear.
Thus were specifics made. And now it is
specifics we must use in practicing.
We give them to the Holy Spirit that
He may employ them for a purpose which
is different from the one we gave to them.
Yet He can use but what we made to teach
us from a different point of view, so we
can see a different use in everything.
One brother is all brothers. Every mind
contains all minds, for every mind is one.
Such is the truth. Yet do these thoughts make clear
the meaning of creation? Do these words
bring perfect clarity with them to you?
What can they seem to be but empty sounds,
pretty, perhaps; correct in sentiment,
yet fundamentally not understood
nor understandable. The mind that taught
itself to think specifically can
no longer grasp abstraction in the sense
that it is all-encompassing. We need
to see a little that we learn a lot.
It seems to be the body that we feel
limits our freedom, makes us suffer and
at last puts out our life. Yet bodies are
but symbols of a concrete form of fear.
Fear without symbols calls for no response,
for symbols can stand for the meaningless.
Love needs no symbols, being true. But fear
attaches to specifics, being false.
Bodies attack but minds do not. This thought
is surely reminiscent of our text,
where it is often emphasized. This is
the reason bodies easily become
fear's symbols. You have many times been urged
to look beyond the body, for its sight
presents the symbol of love's "enemy"
Christ's vision does not see. The body is
the target for attack, for no-one thinks
he hates a mind. Yet what but mind directs
the body to attack? What else could be
the seat of fear except what thinks of fear?
Hate is specific. There must be a thing
to be attacked. An enemy must be
perceived in such a form he can be touched
and seen and heard, and ultimately killed.
When hatred rests upon a thing, it calls
for death as surely as God's Voice proclaims
there is no death. Fear is insatiable,
consuming everything its eyes behold;
seeing itself in everything; compelled
to turn upon itself and to destroy.
Who sees a brother as a body sees
him as fear's symbol. And he will attack
because what he beholds is his own fear
external to himself, poised to attack,
and howling to unite with him again.
Mistake not the intensity of rage
projected fear must spawn. It shrieks in wrath,
and claws the air in frantic hope it can
reach to its maker and devour him.|
This do the body's eyes behold in one
whom Heaven cherishes, the angels love,
and God created perfect. This is his
reality. And in Christ's vision is
his loveliness reflected in a form
so holy and so beautiful that you
could scarce refrain from kneeling at his feet.
Yet will you take his hand instead, for you
are like him in the sight which sees him thus.
Attack on him is enemy to you,
for you will not perceive that in his hands
is your salvation. Ask him but for this,
and he will give it to you. Ask him not
to symbolize your fear. Would you request
that love destroy itself? Or would you have
it be revealed to you and set you free?|
Today we practice in a form we have
attempted earlier. Your readiness
is closer now, and you will come today
nearer Christ's vision. If you are intent
on reaching it, you will succeed today.
And once you have succeeded, you will not
be willing to accept the witnesses
your body's eyes call forth. What you will see
will sing to you of ancient melodies
you will remember. You are not forgot
in Heaven. Would you not remember it?|
Select one brother, symbol of the rest,
and ask salvation of him. See him first
as clearly as you can in that same form
to which you are accustomed. See his face,
his hands and feet, his clothing. Watch him smile,
and note familiar gestures that he makes
so frequently. Then think of this; what you
are seeing now conceals from you the sight
of one who can forgive you all your sins,
whose sacred hands can take the nails which pierce
your own away, and lift the crown of thorns
which you have placed upon your bleeding head.
Ask this of him that he may set you free:
Give me your blessing, holy Son of God,
I would behold you with the eyes of Christ,