82 The first corrective step is
know first that this is an expression of fear. Then say to yourself that you must somehow have willed not to love, or the fear which arises from behavior-will conflict could not have arisen.Then the whole process is nothing more than a series of pragmatic steps in the larger process of accepting the Atonement as
the remedy. These steps can be summarized as follows:
83 1. Know first that this is fear.
84 2. Fear arises from lack of love.
85 3. The
only remedy for lack of love is perfect love.
86 4. Perfect love is the Atonement.
87 We have emphasized that the miracle, or the
expression of Atonement, is always a sign of real respect
from the worthy
to the worthy. This worth is re-established by the Atonement. It is obvious then that when you are afraid, you have placed yourself in a position where you
need Atonement because you have done something loveless, having willed without love. This is precisely the situation for which the Atonement was offered. The need for the remedy inspired its creation. As long as you recognize only the need for the remedy, you will remain fearful. However, as soon as you
remedy it, you have also abolished the fear. This is how true healing occurs.
88 Everyone experiences fear, and no one enjoys it. Yet it would take very little right-thinking to realize why fear occurs. Very few people appreciate the real power of the mind, and no one remains fully aware of it all the time. However, if anyone hopes to spare himself from fear, there are some things he must realize and realize fully. The mind is a very powerful creator, and it never loses its creative force. It never sleeps. Every instant it is creating and
always as you will. Many of your ordinary expressions reflect this. For example, when you say, "Don't give it a thought," you imply that if you do not think about something, it will have no effect on you. And this is true enough.
89 On the other hand, many other expressions clearly illustrate the prevailing
lack of awareness of thought-power. For example, you say, "Just an idle thought," and mean that the thought has no effect. You also speak of some actions as "thoughtless," implying that if the person had thought, he would not behave as he did. While expressions like "think big" give some recognition to the power of thought, they still come nowhere near the truth. You do not expect to grow when you say it because you do not really think that you will.
90 It is hard to recognize that thought and belief combine into a power surge that can literally move mountains. It appears at first glance that to believe such power about yourself is merely arrogant, but that is not the real reason why you do not believe it. People
prefer to believe that their thoughts cannot exert real control because they are literally
afraid of them. Many psychotherapists attempt to help people who are afraid, say, of their death wishes by depreciating the power of the wish. They even try to "free" the patient by persuading him that he can think whatever he wants without any
real effect at all.
91 There is a real dilemma here which only the truly right-minded can escape. Death wishes do not kill in the physical sense, but they
do kill spiritual awareness.
All destructive thinking is dangerous. Given a death wish, a man has no choice except to
act upon the thought or behave
contrary to it. He thus chooses
only between homicide and fear. The other possibility is that he depreciates the power of his thought. This is the usual psychoanalytic approach. It
does allay guilt but at the cost of rendering thinking impotent. If you believe that what you think is ineffectual you may cease to be overly afraid of it, but you are hardly likely to respect it.
92 The world is full of examples of how man has depreciated himself because he is afraid of his own thoughts. In some forms of insanity, thoughts are glorified, but this is only because the underlying depreciation was too effective for tolerance. The truth is that there
are no "idle" thoughts.
All thinking produces form at some level. The reason people are afraid of ESP and so often react against it is because they
know that thoughts can hurt them. Their own thoughts have made them vulnerable.