"Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
Herein Lies the peace of God."
A Course in Miracles

From Perception to Knowledge

VIII. The Decision For Guiltlessness

64 Learning will be commensurate with motivation, and the interference in your motivation for learning is exactly the same as that which interferes with all your thinking. The happy learner cannot feel guilty about learning. This is so essential to learning that it should never be forgotten. The guiltless learner learns so easily because his thoughts are free. Yet this entails the recognition that guilt is interference, not salvation, and serves no useful function at all.

65 You are accustomed to using guiltlessness merely to offset the pain of guilt and do not look upon it as having value in itself . You believe that guilt and guiltlessness are both of value, each representing an escape from what the other does not offer you. You do not want either alone, for without both, you do not see yourselves as whole and therefore happy. Yet you are whole only in your guiltlessness, and only in your guiltlessness can you be happy. There is no conflict here. To wish for guilt in any way, in any form, will lose appreciation of the value of your guiltlessness and push it from your sight.

66 There is no compromise that you can make with guilt and escape the pain which only guiltlessness allays. Learning is living here, as creating is being in Heaven. Whenever the pain of guilt seems to attract you, remember that, if you yield to it, you are deciding against your happiness and will not learn how to be happy. Say therefore to yourself gently, but with the conviction born of the love of God and of His Son,

67 What I experience, I will make manifest. If I am guiltless, I have nothing to fear. I choose to testify to my acceptance of the Atonement,  not for its rejection. I would accept my guiltlessness by making it manifest and sharing it. Let me bring peace to God's Son from his Father.  

68 Each day, each hour and minute, even every second, you are deciding between the crucifixion and the resurrection, between the ego and the Holy Spirit. The ego is the choice for guilt; the Holy Spirit the decision for guiltlessness. The power of decision is all that is yours. What you can decide between is fixed because there are no alternatives except truth and illusion. And there is no overlap between them because they are opposites which cannot be reconciled and cannot both be true. You are guilty or guiltless, bound or free, happy or unhappy.

69 The miracle teaches you that you have chosen guiltlessness, freedom, and joy. It is not a cause, but an effect . It is the natural result of choosing right, attesting to your happiness that comes from choosing to be free of guilt. Everyone you offer healing to returns it. Everyone you attack keeps it and cherishes it by holding it against you. Whether he does this or does it not will make no difference; you will think he does. It is impossible to offer what you do not want without this penalty. The cost of giving is receiving. Either it is a penalty from which you suffer or the happy purchase of a treasure to hold dear.

70 No penalty is ever asked of God's Son except by himself and of himself. Every chance given him to heal is another opportunity to replace darkness with light and fear with love. If he refuses it, he binds himself to darkness because he did not choose to free his brother and enter light with him. By giving power to nothing, he threw away the joyous opportunity to learn that nothing has no power. And by not dispelling darkness, he became afraid of darkness and of light. The joy of learning that darkness has no power over the Son of God is the happy lesson the Holy Spirit teaches and would have you teach with Him. It is His joy to teach it, as it will be yours.

71 The way to teach this simple lesson is merely this: guiltlessness is invulnerability. Therefore, make your invulnerability manifest to everyone, and teach him that whatever he may try to do to you, your perfect freedom from the belief that you can be harmed shows him he is guiltless. He can do nothing that can hurt you, and by refusing to allow him to think he can, you teach him that the Atonement, which you have accepted for yourself, is also his. There is nothing to forgive. No one can hurt the Son of God. His guilt is wholly without cause, and being without cause, cannot exist.

72 God is the only Cause, and guilt is not of Him. Teach no one he has hurt you, for if you do, you teach yourself that what is not of God has power over you. The causeless cannot be . Do not attest to it, and do not foster belief in it in any mind. Remember always that mind is one and cause is one. You will learn communication with this oneness only when you learn to deny the causeless and accept the Cause of God as yours . The power that God has given to His Son is his, and nothing else can His Son see or choose to look upon without imposing on himself the penalty of guilt in place of all the happy teaching the Holy Spirit would gladly offer him.

73 Whenever you decide to make decisions for yourself, you are thinking destructively, and the decision will be wrong. It will hurt you because of the concept of decision which led to it. It is not true that you can make decisions by yourself or for yourself alone. No thought of God's Son can be separate or isolated in its effects. Every decision is made for the whole Sonship, directed in and out and influencing a constellation larger than anything you ever dreamed of. Those who accept the Atonement are invulnerable. But those who believe they are guilty will respond to guilt because they think it is salvation and will not refuse to see it and side with it. [They believe that increasing guilt is self-protection.] And they will fail to understand the simple fact that what they do not want must hurt them.

74 All this arises because they do not believe that what they want is good . Yet will was given them because it is holy and will bring to them all that they need, coming as naturally as peace that knows no limits. There is nothing their wills will not provide that offers them anything of value. Yet because they do not understand their will, the Holy Spirit quietly understands it for them and gives them what they will without effort, strain, or the impossible burden of deciding what they want and need alone.

75 It will never happen that you will have to make decisions for yourself. You are not bereft of help, and Help that knows the answer. Would you be content with little, which is all that you alone can offer yourself, when He Who gives you everything will simply offer it to you? He will never ask what you have done to make you worthy of the gift of God. Ask it not therefore of yourselves. Instead, accept His answer, for He knows that you are worthy of everything God wills for you. Do not try to escape the gift of God which He so freely and so gladly offers you. He offers you but what God gave Him for you. You need not decide whether or not you are deserving of it. God knows you are.

76 Would you deny the truth of God's decision and place your pitiful appraisal of yourself in place of His calm and unswerving value of His Son? Nothing can shake God's conviction of the perfect purity of everything that He created, for it is wholly pure. Do not decide against it, for being of Him, it must be true. Peace abides in every mind that quietly accepts the plan which God has set for his Atonement, relinquishing his own . You know not of salvation, for you do not understand it. Make no decisions about what it is or where it lies, but ask of the Holy Spirit everything and leave all decisions to His gentle counsel.

77 The One Who knows the plan of God which God would have you follow can teach you what it is . Only His wisdom is capable of guiding you to follow it. Every decision you undertake alone but signifies that you would define what salvation is and what you would be saved from . The Holy Spirit knows that all salvation is escape from guilt. You have no other "enemy," and against this strange distortion of the purity of the Son of God, the Holy Spirit is your only friend. He is the strong protector of your innocence, which sets you free. And it is His decision to undo everything that would obscure your innocence from your unclouded mind.

78 Let Him, therefore, be the only Guide that you would follow to salvation. He knows the way and leads you gladly on it. With Him you will not fail to learn what God wills for you is your will. Without His guidance, you will think you know alone and will decide against your peace as surely as you made the wrong decision in ever thinking that salvation lay in you alone. Salvation is of Him to Whom God gave it for you. He has not forgotten it. Forget Him not, and He will make every decision for you, for your salvation, and the peace of God in you.

[to be continued...]

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A Course in Miracles

Lesson 153
In my defenselessness my safety lies.

1 You who feel threatened by this changing world, its twists of fortune and its bitter jests, its brief relationships and all the "gifts" it merely lends to take away again, attend this lesson well. The world provides no safety. It is rooted in attack and all its "gifts" of seeming safety are illusory deceptions. It attacks and then attacks again. No peace of mind is possible where danger threatens thus.

2 The world gives rise but to defensiveness. For threat brings anger, anger makes attack seem reasonable, honestly provoked, and righteous in the name of self defense. Yet is defensiveness a double threat. For it attests to weakness and sets up a system of defense that cannot work. Now are the weak still further undermined, for there is treachery without and still a greater treachery within. The mind is now confused and knows not where to turn to find escape from its imaginings.

3 It is as if a circle held it fast, wherein another circle bound it, and another in that one, until escape no longer can be hoped for nor obtained. Attack, defense; defense, attack, become the circles of the hours and the days that bind the mind in heavy bands of steel with iron overlaid, returning but to start again. There seems to be no break nor ending in the ever-tightening grip of imprisonment upon the mind.

4 Defenses are the costliest of all the prices which the ego would exact. In them lies madness in a form so grim that hope of sanity seems but to be an idle dream, beyond the possible. The sense of threat the world encourages is so much deeper and so far beyond the frenzy and intensity of which you can conceive that you have no idea of all the devastation it has wrought. You are its slave. You know not what you do in fear of it. You do not understand how much you have been made to sacrifice who feel its iron grip upon your heart.

5 You do not realize what you have done to sabotage the holy peace of God by your defensiveness. For you behold the Son of God as but a victim to attack by fantasies, by dreams, and by illusions he has made; yet helpless he is in their presence, needful only of defense by still more fantasies and dreams by which illusions of his safety comfort him.

6 Defenselessness is strength. It testifies to recognition of the Christ in you. Perhaps you will recall the course maintains that choice is always made between His strength and your own weakness seen apart from Him. Defenselessness can never be attacked because it recognizes strength so great attack is folly or a silly game a tired child might play when he becomes too sleepy to remember what he wants.

7 Defensiveness is weakness. It proclaims you have denied the Christ and come to fear His Father's anger. What can save you now from your delusion of an angry god whose fearful image you believe you see at work in all the evils of the world? What but illusions could defend you now, when it is but illusions which you fight?

8 We will not play such childish games today. For our true purpose is to save the world, and we would not exchange for foolishness the endless joy our function offers us. We would not let our happiness slip by because a fragment of a senseless dream happened to cross our minds, and we mistook the figures in it for the Son of God, its tiny instant for eternity.

9 We look past dreams today and recognize that we need no defense because we are created unassailable, without all thought or wish or dream in which attack has any meaning. Now we cannot fear, for we have left all fearful thoughts behind. And in defenselessness we stand secure, serenely certain of our safety now, sure of salvation; sure we will fulfil our chosen purpose as our ministry extends its holy blessing through the world.

10 Be still a moment, and in silence think how holy is your purpose, how secure you rest, untouchable within its light. God's ministers have chosen that the truth be with them. Who is holier than they? Who could be surer that his happiness is fully guaranteed? And who could be more mightily protected? What defense could possibly be needed now by those who are among the chosen ones of God by His election and their own as well?

11 It is the function of God's ministers to help their brothers choose as they have done. God has elected all, but few have come to realize His Will is but their own. And while you fail to teach what you have learned, salvation waits and darkness holds the world in grim imprisonment. Nor will you learn that light has come to you, and your escape has been accomplished. For you will not see the light until you offer it to all your brothers. As they take it from your hands, so will you recognize it as your own.

12 Salvation can be thought of as a game that happy children play. It was designed by One Who loves His children, and Who would replace their fearful toys with joyous games which teach them that the game of fear is gone. His game instructs in happiness because there is no loser. Everyone who plays must win, and in his winning is the gain to everyone ensured. The game of fear is gladly laid aside when children come to see the benefits salvation brings.

13 You who have played that you are lost to hope, abandoned by your Father, left alone in terror in a fearful world made mad by sin and guilt, be happy now. That game is over. Now a quiet time has come in which we put away the toys of guilt and lock our quaint and childish thoughts of sin forever from the pure and holy minds of Heaven's children and the Son of God. We pause but for a moment more to play our final happy game upon this earth. And then we go to take our rightful place where truth abides and games are meaningless.

14 So is the story ended. Let this day bring the last chapter closer to the world that everyone may learn the tales he reads of terrifying destiny, defeat of all his hopes, his pitiful defense against a vengeance he can not escape, are but his own deluded fantasies. God's ministers have come to waken him from the dark dreams this story has evoked in his confused, bewildered memory of this distorted tale. God's Son can smile at last on learning that it is not true.

15 Today we practice in a form we will maintain for quite a while. We will begin each day by giving our attention to the daily thought as long as possible. Five minutes now becomes the least we give to preparation for a day in which salvation is the only goal we have. Ten would be better; 15 better still. And as distraction ceases to arise to turn us from our purpose, we will find that half an hour is too short a time to spend with God. Nor will we willingly give less at night in gratitude and joy.

16 Each hour adds to our increasing peace, as we remember to be faithful to the Will we share with God. At times, perhaps, a minute, even less, will be the most that we can offer as the hour strikes. Sometimes we will forget. At other times the business of the world will close on us, and we will be unable to withdraw a little while and turn our thoughts to God.

17 Yet when we can, we will observe our trust as ministers of God in hourly remembrance of our mission and His Love. And we will quietly sit by and wait on Him and listen to His Voice and learn what He would have us do the hour that is yet to come, while thanking Him for all the gifts He gave us in the one gone by.

18 In time, with practice, you will never cease to think of Him and hear His loving Voice guiding your footsteps into quiet ways where you will walk in true defenselessness, for you will know that Heaven goes with you. Nor would you keep your mind away from Him a moment, even though your time is spent in offering salvation to the world. Think you He will not make this possible for you who chose to carry out His plan for the salvation of the world and yours?

19 Today our theme is our defenselessness. We clothe ourselves in it as we prepare to meet the day. We rise up strong in Christ and let our weakness disappear as we remember that His strength abides in us. We will remind ourselves that He remains beside us through the day and never leaves our weakness unsupported by His strength.

20 We call upon His strength each time we feel the threat of our defenses undermine our certainty of purpose. We will pause a moment as He tells us, "I am here." Your practicing will now begin to take the earnestness of love to help you keep your mind from wandering from its intent.

21 Be not afraid nor timid. There can be no doubt that you will reach your final goal. The ministers of God can never fail because the love and strength and peace that shine from them to all their brothers come from Him. These are His gifts to you. Defenselessness is all you need to give Him in return. You lay aside but what was never real to look on Christ and see His sinlessness.

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Sarah's Reflections

Lesson 153
In my defenselessness my safety lies.

This is a particularly long Lesson, the teaching is very deep, and it might not be the way we think now. Many of us believe our safety lies in our defenses and that we must protect ourselves against the threats of this world. Jesus starts by telling us the nature of this world we made is one where we feel threatened. We tend to deny this. I was just listening to the song, "It's a Wonderful World," which reflects what we mostly do our best to believe about the world; but Jesus describes it in a way that totally refutes anything beautiful about the world. When we get really honest about our lives in the world, we can see how it is characterized by changes, problems, twists of fate and fortune, bitter jests, brief relationships, and gifts that seem to come and then get taken away. And of course, the body ages, gets sick, and finally dies.
All of this is part of our separated state from God. With separation came a world made as a defense against God’s Love, and in fact, an attack on God. We believe God will catch up with us for our sin of separating from Him and punish us with His wrath. God is what we are ultimately defending against, but there is no need for defense, as there is no problem. The ego made it all up. Yet as long as we believe in the ego’s myth that we have sinned against God and are guilty, we will run away from Him. We do our best to defend against all the trials of this world until our plans and strategies ultimately overcome us. Jesus affirms, "The world gives rise but to defensiveness." (W.153.2.1)
When we feel threat, we feel justified in defending against it, whether the threat is germs we believe can make us sick, financial markets that can crash, people who can hurt us, or any number of things we protect ourselves from. All the threats in our lives make us fearful and angry, and when we are angry, attack seems like a reasonable response. We thus feel justified in our anger and believe that it will serve to protect us from harm. Our attacks seem righteous because after all, we reason, we are simply defending against what we believe others are going to do to us! Everyone in the world uses the same rationale for their attacks and defenses. They reason they are simply responding to unjustified attacks and thus defenses are necessary.
This all arises as a result of the choice made by the Son of God for the ego. The ego has convinced us that our safety lies with it. It has woven a tale of sin, guilt, and punishment for what the Son of God has seemingly done in destroying Creation and running away from God. Now there is so much fear in the mind that the only escape is to make a world and body and become totally preoccupied with its problems, rather than go back to the mind and recognize the fallacy of this story. But there is a way out. The solution is to recognize that everything the ego has told us, and what we have come to believe, is false. We can choose against the ego by being willing to look at the guilt in the mind projected onto the world and to choose again. The attacks seemingly coming at us from the world are, in fact, our own projected thoughts of attack in our own minds. These thoughts originated with our belief that we attacked God to win our separate, individual selves. When we recognize that it all starts in our own minds, then it is apparent that the power is in us to make a different choice. We can make a choice to heal our misperceptions about ourselves, the world, and God and thus experience a benign world.
When we choose not to look at the attack thoughts in our own mind, then we perceive them in everyone else and see hostility and guilt all around us while we maintain the "face of innocence." We have chosen to achieve our own perceived innocence by choosing to see guilt outside of our minds. Our hope is that God is watching and will punish the guilty ones, and we will escape the punishment we fear. Now we are being invited to question all of this. Jesus lays out how the ego set all of this up, and how we can become aware that we have a choice and can withdraw our attacks on the world. We can look within, take back responsibility for our guilt, and start the healing process. Until we are willing to recognize the source of all attack is in our own minds, we will feel justified in being angry and for defending against attacks that seem to originate in the world.
All defenses make us feel weak and vulnerable. "There seems to be no break nor ending in the ever-tightening grip of the imprisonment upon the mind." (W.153.3.3) It is a cycle of attack and defense where someone always has to lose for us to get what we want. Yet Jesus is showing us a way out by helping us to see that the answer is to return to the mind where the solution to our one and only problem of separation lies. He is showing us how this was all set up so we could see the choice we could make in every situation. It is right in front of us. The decision we could make is always for Heaven or hell, life or death, awakening or sleeping, forgiveness or grievances, love or fear.
In this Lesson, Jesus brings to our awareness how our "defensiveness is a double threat." (W.153.2.3) We may wonder how, by being defensive, we are threatened further. To us, the defenses we set up, both physical and psychological, seem like safety and protection against all kinds of threat. But Jesus says there are two reasons why defensiveness is a double threat: One, our defenses simply attest to our weaknesses; and two, they just don't work! If they did work, we would indeed feel safe. Instead, there is a feeling of weakness and lack of safety, regardless of what we do to try to protect ourselves. We feel attacked both by events seemingly outside of ourselves and from our own inner sense of ourselves. "Now are the weak still further undermined, for there is treachery without and still a greater treachery within." (W.153.2.5) When we are not aware that there is any other choice, we just keep turning to the ego for protection.
Where is our escape? If we look to the world, it is attacking us, and if we look to our own defenses, they undermine us and affirm our weakness. "It is essential to realize that all defenses do what they would defend." (T.17.IV.7.1) (ACIM OE T.17.V.33) This is the vicious cycle of our lives of "Attack, defense; defense, attack , " (W.153.3.2) where we feel trapped, vulnerable, threatened, and unsafe. Our peace of mind is thus sabotaged by our own defensiveness, and it is an extremely costly price we pay to maintain this cycle. In fact, "Defenses are the costliest of all the prices which the ego would exact." (W.153.4.1)
Basically, nothing going on in our lives is as difficult, challenging, problematic, or costly as what we have made real in our own minds, which is extremely devastating to our sense of safety and peace. The reason for this is that we keep seeing the problems outside of our own minds and never go to the source for the answer. This keeps us spinning our wheels trying to solve problems we are convinced are external, but never solving the only problem we have.
While we may look calm and in control on the outside, Jesus asks us to consider the terror going on inside of us. We have learned to mask, organize, control, and manage our lives to the best of our ability, but it can never work, no matter how capable we appear in the world. The assaults just keep coming; whether we feel the threat due to world issues, such as war, greed, economic collapse, climate change, food additives; or personal issues, such as divorce, job loss, weather, crime, drugs, and death. The threats of this world keep us on high alert. Yet Jesus assures us that peace can be available in the midst of this grim picture. It is not helpful to see it through rose-colored glasses and overlook our terror, but instead, we need to look directly at what we are holding in the mind and be willing to put it on the inner altar.
We hold the belief that attack is coming at us from the world, but our real fear is that we have denied God and that He will extract from us what we believe we stole from Him. Since He is all-powerful, He will eventually get us in the end and win the battle that we perceive we are in. As long as we are the slaves of our defenses, being ruled and controlled by them, we see threat all around us and live in fear. But what are we really defending against? Jesus says that the real threat to us is God's Love. We are afraid to know this love. We made this world, this body, and this identity, and we like what we have made. It may be hurtful, but it is familiar.
We fear we have thrown away our identity as the Christ Self and exchanged it for the idol of specialness, which is our perceived self. Now we protect that idol, which is what we think we are. "For you behold the Son of God as but a victim to attack by fantasies, by dreams, and by illusions he has made;" (W.153.5.5) Yet we cannot and have not changed ourselves, for none of it is real. Our defensiveness is just an illusion of safety. We have the illusion of threat and the illusion of safety, and it is all coming from our own minds.
Once again, the guilt we hold in the mind is the culprit. When we hold the belief that we are guilty, we conceive of God as angry and that He is behind the attacks we are getting from the world. God is the author, in our deceived minds, of the lacks we experience in the world, the wars, the nasty neighbors, the infestation of lice, the tornadoes, the price of gas, the lack of work, and the sickness we experience. It matters not what the attacks are. We see God working through all of these attacks and thus getting back at us for what we have done. How could our defenses ever protect us from that? "What can save you now from your delusion of an angry god, whose fearful image you believe you see at work in all the evils of the world?" (W.153.7.3) Can you see this belief working in your own life? Has the thought crossed your mind in which you wonder why God is making you suffer? Or perhaps you wonder why God has abandoned you. There are many such thoughts in which we make God responsible for our experiences.
"We look past dreams today, and recognize that we need no defense because we are created unassailable , without all thought or wish or dream in which attack has any meaning." (W.153.9.1) When we look from above the battleground, we can recognize attack as the "silly game a tired child might play, when he becomes too sleepy to remember what he wants. " (W.153.6.4) No, we don't see it this way when we are on the battleground where our problems take on a great seriousness. It is very challenging to meet attack with forgiveness, yet it is possible when we recognize we are not the dream figures, but the dreamer of this dream. If we are dreaming it, we can choose a gentler dream. Will all of our difficulties disappear? No, but how we see them will shift. If we can step back in the face of attack, step aside and ask for help, we are making progress. The choice we make in each instance is whether we will respond with the Holy Spirit or the ego. When we choose with the Holy Spirit, we learn that "Defenselessness is strength," (W.153.6.1) for it rests on awareness of Christ's strength in us, a strength so great it could never be attacked.
Jesus asks, "What defense could possibly be needed by the ones who are among the chosen ones of God, by His election and their own as well?" (W.153.10.6) We have chosen to contribute to the healing of our own minds by choosing defenselessness, by choosing the strength of Christ in us, and by reaching out and joining with our brothers, instead of choosing to defend our own weakness. It puts us in a position where we can't be attacked because we choose not to defend, knowing the truth about what we are. Jesus is a model for us in this, showing us his invulnerability in the face of seeming attack. Like him, we can offer salvation to everyone by reaching out to the world with love. Defenselessness "testifies to recognition of the Christ in you." (W.153.6.2) It is strength so powerful defense is not necessary. We have many examples of this in people like Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Peace Pilgrim, the Dalai Lama, and many others.
"We are created unassailable," (W.153.8.1) and can only know it when we undertake our purpose as a minister of God. How this is illustrated is for us to be an example of the choice we have made in our minds. Our behavior in the world reflects our choice. Our peace and happiness are fully guaranteed, as we walk in trust. We can't be assailed when we rest untouchable within the light of our holy purpose. When we know the Self we are, we stop defending and, instead, we help our brothers to make the choice we have made. "And while you fail to teach what you have learned, salvation waits and darkness holds the world in grim imprisonment." (W.153.11.3) We learn to be defenseless with each moment when we can demonstrate it. When we meet attack with defenselessness, we are communicating to our brother that his attack has no effect, and thus, he is innocent. In turn, we are learning that our seeming attack on God had no effect.
Jesus urges us to give up the silly childish game we have been playing. "You who have played that you are lost to hope, abandoned by your Father, left alone in terror in a fearful world made mad by sin and guilt; be happy now." (W.153.13.1) He says it's time to be done with this silly childish game and realize that there is a happy game we can play on this earth. By our practicing today, we could bring the last chapter of our happy game on earth closer to the end. We are now no longer interested in playing the game of defensiveness against God but choosing instead a happy game where we bring the message of hope and defenselessness to our brothers. "We will not play such childish games today. For our true purpose is to save the world, and we would not exchange for foolishness the endless joy our function offers us." (W.153.8.1‑2)
It is so easy to get defensive when we forget that every attack is a call for love. Instead, we take these attacks as if they were assaults on us and can get quite indignant in defending our character. When we perceive attack coming from a brother in pain, it takes great effort and intention to see all of it as a call for love. To be invulnerable from attack, we must connect to our inner core of strength, which is our right mind where the Holy Spirit dwells. When we no longer believe the accusations are true about us, then they have no place to land in us. We know the truth and are strong in that truth. "Now a quiet time has come, in which we put away the toys of guilt, and lock our quaint and childish thoughts of sin forever from the pure and holy minds of Heaven’s children and the Son of God." (W.153.13.3)
Henceforth, we will be following the practice instructions for quite a while so we need to look at them very specifically and note these instructions because they will continue until Lesson 170. They will not be repeated again except for brief directions in the Lessons to follow. We will now be relying on our own intentions and willingness as to the length of time we give to our practice. "And as distraction ceases to arise to turn us from our purpose, we will find that half an hour is too short a time to spend with God ." (W.153.15.5)
We watch our thoughts throughout the day for the temptation to defend ourselves. "We call upon His strength each time we feel the threat of our defenses undermine our certainty of purpose. We will pause a moment, as He tells us, 'I am here'." (W.153.19.5-6) It is up to us to make this choice for God's strength. We won't know the benefits to ourselves unless we make this choice. When we are triggered by a seeming attack, we need to remember to stop and call on His help.
Perhaps most important is where he says, "Your practicing will now begin to take the earnestness of love, to help you keep your mind from wandering from its intent. Be not afraid nor timid. There can be no doubt that you will reach your final goal. The ministers of God can never fail, because the love and strength and peace that shine from them to all their brothers come from Him. These are His gifts to you. Defenselessness is all you need to give Him in return. You lay aside but what was never real, to look on Christ and see His sinlessness." (W.153.20.1-7)
It is a time of heartfelt desire to know ourselves without the fear and timidity of uncertainty. We simply cannot fail to reach our goal.

Love and blessings, Sarah


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