Monday, March 31, 2008

LESSON 25 I do not know what anything is for. & LESSON 26 My attack thoughts are attacking my invulnerability.


I do not know what anything is for.

Purpose is meaning. Today's idea explains why nothing you see means anything. You do not know what it is for. Therefore, it is meaningless to you. Everything is for your own best interests. That is what it is for; that is its purpose; that is what it means. It is in recognizing this that your goals become unified. It is in recognizing this that what you see is given meaning.

You perceive the world and everything in it as meaningful in terms of ego goals. These goals have nothing to do with your own best interests, because the ego is not you. This false identification makes you incapable of understanding what anything is for. As a result, you are bound to misuse it. When you believe this, you will try to withdraw the goals you have assigned to the world, instead of attempting to reinforce them.

Another way of describing the goals you now perceive is to say that they are all concerned with "personal" interests. Since you have no personal interests, your goals are really concerned with nothing. In cherishing them, therefore, you have no goals at all. 4 And thus you do not know what anything is for.

Before you can make any sense out of the exercises for today, one more thought is necessary. At the most superficial levels, you do recognize purpose. Yet purpose cannot be understood at these levels. For example, you do understand that a telephone is for the purpose of talking to someone who is not physically in your immediate vicinity. What you do not understand is what you want to reach him for. 6 And it is this that makes your contact with him meaningful or not.

It is crucial to your learning to be willing to give up the goals you have established for everything. The recognition that they are meaningless, rather than "good" or "bad," is the only way to accomplish this. The idea for today is a step in this direction.

Six practice periods, each of two-minutes duration, are required. Each practice period should begin with a slow repetition of the idea for today, followed by looking about you and letting your glance rest on whatever happens to catch your eye, near or far, "important" or "unimportant," "human" or "nonhuman." With your eyes resting on each subject you so select, say, for example:

I do not know what this chair is for.
I do not know what this pencil is for.
I do not know what this hand is for.

Say this quite slowly, without shifting your eyes from the subject until you have completed the statement about it. Then move on to the next subject, and apply today's idea as before.


Lesson 25

“I do not know what anything is for.”

I do not know what anything is for because, if I am identifying with the ego, I do not know what I am or where I am. I do not realize that what I am seeing as an outside world is coming from my own mind. I do not realize that what I am seeing is what is in my mind. The meanings that I give to the world are the meanings that are still in my mind, and if I am identifying with being a separate person, all these meanings are wrong. They are simply mistaken ideas that are reflecting the ego’s thought system.

Because I still do identify with the ego thought system, I do not know what anything means. I need practice in stepping back and being willing to open up to the Holy Spirit’s healing correction. As I am willing to let go of the meaning that I am giving to things, it leaves an empty space where the Holy Spirit can write its true meaning.

I need to do this with everything I experience in this world. Atonement, or true perception, means undoing the meaning that I have given to everything. This comes with stepping back again and again and again, letting the Holy Spirit bring Its healing perceptions into my mind. This is my salvation. This is how I return Home to where I never left. This is how I remember my true Identity. This is how I find freedom from the ego’s imprisoning thoughts of separation.

I find that reminding myself that I don’t know what anything is for is a great way for me to open my mind to receive insight from Holy Spirit. I need to practice this many times through the day. I have invested much in training myself to figure out what things are for. In my ego identification, my value or worth is attached to my ability to figure out what things are for, what circumstances mean and if they are not to my liking, to fix them. The aspect that takes pride in this is insulted to hear that I do not know what anything is for.

I am grateful that I have had enough experience with acknowledging that I don’t know and receiving the healing of Holy Spirit’s perception that my willingness has grown to practice this lesson. Despite the pride that comes with ‘knowing,’ there is always an accompanying sense of inadequacy, because underneath, there is still a recognition that this ‘knowing’ is very limited. And so this affirmation offers me release from limited perception and identification with inadequacy. It welcomes the all knowing, wise and compassionate perception of the Holy Spirit. It is this I truly want. It is this that brings me peace and happiness. I am willing to remember that on my own, I do not know what anything is for. I am willing to perceive the gift of Holy Spirit’s vision.

©2003, Pathways of Light, Inc. You may freely share copies of this page with your friends, provided all copies include this notice.



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.


Lesson 26
“My attack thoughts are attacking my invulnerability.”

This lesson is teaching me that if I fear anything, if I am worried about anything, or if I have a concern of any kind, that what appears to come from the outside world is really coming from attack thoughts that are still residing in my mind. My experience of an outer world is an effect, not a cause. If I think I am vulnerable in any way, it is because I am still holding on to attack thoughts. It is very powerful to have this understanding. What I think of as real in this ‘life’ journey shows me where there is still a need to heal my mind.

Now, instead of continuing with these effects, I can change my mind by handing over all thoughts of duality, all thoughts of attacking or being attacked to the Holy Spirit to be undone. I have a way out of the seemingly endless spiral of thinking that I am weak and vulnerable in a dangerous world. Now I know that this simply is not true. In truth all is Love, so all that is real is invulnerable. In the introduction to the Course Jesus says, “Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.”

It is only my own attack thoughts that give me the dream experience of being attacked or vulnerable. I can change my thoughts and I am thankful that this is so. I am willing to look at all the places where I am concerned or afraid, and realize that these thoughts are an attack upon myself. I can take each situation to the Holy Spirit. I can receive a correction in my perception. This process of taking each concern, no matter how mild it may seem, to the Holy Spirit is important. Each baby step takes me one step closer to returning me to my true Identity as Love and nothing else.

This lesson is making it very clear that if I perceive vulnerability anywhere, that is an attack on myself. I have forgotten Who I am. I am forgotten that I was created by Love as Love. Thus any time I perceive somebody as harmed in any way, including myself, or I see the potential for harm, I am attacking myself. I could not perceive weakness if I did not perceive weakness in myself first. In reviewing my thoughts, it is clear that there are many areas in my thoughts where I perceive weakness. I have established many defenses to protect myself. I think about ways to avoid ways to avoid confrontation. I think about taking vitamins to stay healthy. I think about financially preparing for a secure future. I think about what might happen to my body if one thing or another occurred.

Thoughts like this pass through my mind many times a day in different forms. Sometimes they seem to be about me. Sometimes they seem to be about other people or world conditions. They are all the same. They are all thoughts of vulnerability and therefore they represent belief that it is possible to be separate from the all powerful strength of God, my Source.

I am grateful that this lesson makes it clear that I can change my mind. It gives me a tool to become aware of the many ways I attack myself, mostly unconsciously. By bringing it to conscious awareness, I have the opportunity to turn it over to the Holy Spirit to receive His gentle and loving correction. This is how I free myself from limitation and fear. This is how I transform my world from a place of vulnerability and conflict to a place of safety and peace.

The more I practice this lesson, the more I will become aware of ways that I limit myself with my thoughts so that I can turn these thoughts over to Holy Spirit to receive His healing Light. The truth is that I and everyone are created invulnerable, for we remain in the heart of God, not separate and alone. We remain Love and nothing else.

©2003, Pathways of Light, Inc. You may freely share copies of this page with your friends, provided all copies include this notice.

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