If I defend myself I am attacked.
Who would defend himself unless he thought he were attacked, that the attack were real, and that his own defense could save himself? And herein lies the folly of defense; it gives illusions full reality, and then attempts to handle them as real. It adds illusions to illusions, thus making correction doubly difficult. And it is this you do when you attempt to plan the future, activate the past, or organize the present as you wish.
You operate from the belief you must protect yourself from what is happening because it must contain what threatens you. A sense of threat is an acknowledgment of an inherent weakness; a belief that there is danger which has power to call on you to make appropriate defense. The world is based on this insane belief. And all its structures, all its thoughts and doubts, its penalties and heavy armaments, its legal definitions and its codes, its ethics and its leaders and its gods, all serve but to preserve its sense of threat. For no one walks the world in armature but must have terror striking at his heart.
Defense is frightening. It stems from fear, increasing fear as each defense is made. You think it offers safety. Yet it speaks of fear made real and terror justified. Is it not strange you do not pause to ask, as you elaborate your plans and make your armor thicker and your locks more tight, what you defend, and how, and against what?
Let us consider first what you defend. It must be something that is very weak and easily assaulted. It must be something made easy prey, unable to protect itself and needing your defense. What but the body has such frailty that constant care and watchful, deep concern are needful to protect its little life? What but the body falters and must fail to serve the Son of God as worthy host?
Yet it is not the body that can fear, nor be a thing of fear. It has no needs but those which you assign to it. It needs no complicated structures of defense, no health-inducing medicine, no care and no concern at all. Defend its life, or give it gifts to make it beautiful or walls to make it safe, and you but say your home is open to the thief of time, corruptible and crumbling, so unsafe it must be guarded with your very life.
Is not this picture fearful? Can you be at peace with such a concept of your home? Yet what endowed the body with the right to serve you thus except your own belief? It is your mind which gave the body all the functions that you see in it, and set its value far beyond a little pile of dust and water. Who would make defense of something that he recognized as this?
The body is in need of no defense. This cannot be too often emphasized. It will be strong and healthy if the mind does not abuse it by assigning it to roles it cannot fill, to purposes beyond its scope, and to exalted aims which it cannot accomplish. Such attempts, ridiculous yet deeply cherished, are the sources for the many mad attacks you make upon it. For it seems to fail your hopes, your needs, your values and your dreams.
The "self" that needs protection is not real. The body, valueless and hardly worth the least defense, need merely be perceived as quite apart from you, and it becomes a healthy, serviceable instrument through which the mind can operate until its usefulness is over. Who would want to keep it when its usefulness is done?
Defend the body and you have attacked your mind. For you have seen in it the faults, the weaknesses, the limits and the lacks from which you think the body must be saved. You will not see the mind as separate from bodily conditions. And you will impose upon the body all the pain that comes from the conception of the mind as limited and fragile, and apart from other minds and separate from its Source.
These are the thoughts in need of healing, and the body will respond with health when they have been corrected and replaced with truth. This is the body's only real defense. Yet is this where you look for its defense? You offer it protection of a kind from which it gains no benefit at all, but merely adds to your distress of mind. You do not heal, but merely take away the hope of healing, for you fail to see where hope must lie if it be meaningful.
A healed mind does not plan. It carries out the plans that it receives through listening to wisdom that is not its own. It waits until it has been taught what should be done, and then proceeds to do it. It does not depend upon itself for anything except its adequacy to fulfill the plans assigned to it. It is secure in certainty that obstacles can not impede its progress to accomplishment of any goal that serves the greater plan established for the good of everyone.
A healed mind is relieved of the belief that it must plan, although it cannot know the outcome which is best, the means by which it is achieved, nor how to recognize the problem that the plan is made to solve. It must misuse the body in its plans until it recognizes this is so. But when it has accepted this as true, then is it healed, and lets the body go.
Enslavement of the body to the plans the unhealed mind sets up to save itself must make the body sick. It is not free to be the means of helping in a plan which far exceeds its own protection, and which needs its service for a little while. In this capacity is health assured. For everything the mind employs for this will function flawlessly, and with the strength that has been given it and cannot fail.
It is, perhaps, not easy to perceive that self-initiated plans are but defenses, with the purpose all of them were made to realize. They are the means by which a frightened mind would undertake its own protection, at the cost of truth. This is not difficult to realize in some forms which these self-deceptions take, where the denial of reality is very obvious. Yet planning is not often recognized as a defense.
The mind engaged in planning for itself is occupied in setting up control of future happenings. It does not think that it will be provided for, unless it makes its own provisions. Time becomes a future emphasis, to be controlled by learning and experience obtained from past events and previous beliefs. It overlooks the present, for it rests on the idea the past has taught enough to let the mind direct its future course.
The mind that plans is thus refusing to allow for change. What it has learned before becomes the basis for its future goals. Its past experience directs its choice of what will happen. And it does not see that here and now is everything it needs to guarantee a future quite unlike the past, without a continuity of any old ideas and sick beliefs. Anticipation plays no part at all, for present confidence directs the way.
Defenses are the plans you undertake to make against the truth. Their aim is to select what you approve, and disregard what you consider incompatible with your beliefs of your reality. Yet what remains is meaningless indeed. For it is your reality that is the "threat" which your defenses would attack, obscure, and take apart and crucify.
What could you not accept, if you but knew that everything that happens, all events, past, present and to come, are gently planned by One Whose only purpose is your good? Perhaps you have misunderstood His plan, for He would never offer pain to you. But your defenses did not let you see His loving blessing shine in every step you ever took. While you made plans for death, He led you gently to eternal life.
Your present trust in Him is the defense that promises a future undisturbed, without a trace of sorrow, and with joy that constantly increases, as this life becomes a holy instant, set in time, but heeding only immortality. Let no defenses but your present trust direct the future, and this life becomes a meaningful encounter with the truth that only your defenses would conceal.
Without defenses, you become a light which Heaven gratefully acknowledges to be its own. And it will lead you on in ways appointed for your happiness according to the ancient plan, begun when time was born. Your followers will join their light with yours, and it will be increased until the world is lighted up with joy. And gladly will our brothers lay aside their cumbersome defenses, which availed them nothing and could only terrify.
We will anticipate that time today with present confidence, for this is part of what was planned for us. We will be sure that everything we need is given us for our accomplishment of this today. We make no plans for how it will be done, but realize that our defenselessness is all that is required for the truth to dawn upon our minds with certainty.
For fifteen minutes twice today we rest from senseless planning, and from every thought that blocks the truth from entering our minds. Today we will receive instead of plan, that we may give instead of organize. And we are given truly, as we say:
If I defend myself I am attacked. 5 But in defenselessness I will be strong, and I will learn what my defenses hide.
Nothing but that. If there are plans to make, you will be told of them. They may not be the plans you thought were needed, nor indeed the answers to the problems which you thought confronted you. But they are answers to another kind of question, which remains unanswered yet in need of answering until the Answer comes to you at last.
All your defenses have been aimed at not receiving what you will receive today. And in the light and joy of simple trust, you will but wonder why you ever thought that you must be defended from release. Heaven asks nothing. It is hell that makes extravagant demands for sacrifice. You give up nothing in these times today when, undefended, you present yourself to your Creator as you really are.
He has remembered you. Today we will remember Him. For this is Eastertime in your salvation. And you rise again from what was seeming death and hopelessness. Now is the light of hope reborn in you, for now you come without defense, to learn the part for you within the plan of God. What little plans or magical beliefs can still have value, when you have received your function from the Voice for God Himself?
Try not to shape this day as you believe would benefit you most. For you can not conceive of all the happiness that comes to you without your planning. Learn today. And all the world will take this giant stride, and celebrate your Eastertime with you. Throughout the day, as foolish little things appear to raise defensiveness in you and tempt you to engage in weaving plans, remind yourself this is a special day for learning, and acknowledge it with this:
This is my Eastertime. And I would keep it holy. I will not defend myself, because the Son of God needs no defense against the truth of his reality.
The Following is Forwarded from Pathwaysoflight.org
"If I defend myself I am attacked."
Serving the Holy Spirit's plan of awakening to the truth is the only plan that has any lasting value. It is the only plan that brings true happiness. I can serve Holy Spirit's plan only when I still my mind enough to listen and be open to Holy Spirit's direction. This is the key to my salvation. If I am to remember one thing, it is this. If I bring the past to the present and think I already know, I will not be open to Holy Spirit's direction in the moment. So stepping back and listening for the direction of the Holy Spirit is my highest priority. It is the only thing that will really work. This is my practice today and every day.
The ego thought system is there to defend against God. The whole world comes from this thought system and therefore the whole world is a defense against God's oneness. We are one Identity as part of God. Separate identities could never be true. Separate interests could never be true. Returning to Love as our one Identity is the answer. This means letting go of the defense against God. This means letting go of the ego thought system.
In order to let go of the ego thought system, I must step back and be willing to receive a better way. I must be willing to receive the Holy Spirit's plan for awakening to the truth. I must remember that on my own I do not know what anything means. Deciding on my own is a defense against the truth, and when I am deciding on my own, I am attacking myself. Letting go and letting God is the only answer that will work.
Where do I place my trust? Am I placing my trust in the ego's defenses, or in the Holy Spirit's plan for awakening to the truth? I make this choice every moment. Am I bringing the past to the present and deciding on my own? Or am I opening my mind and asking for the Holy Spirit's direction in this moment? As I trust in the ego's plans, I am defending against God. As I open to the Holy Spirit's plan, my mind is transformed and I awaken to my true Identity, my one Self in God.
I make this choice every moment of the day whether I realize it or not. Today my practice is to step back and be open to Holy Spirit's plan. From this one decision everything that I really want comes with gentleness and ease. This is my answer to every problem I may think I have.
The more I practice stepping back and letting Holy Spirit be my guide, the more peaceful and happy I am. Whenever I try to make plans on my own, to figure out what will bring me what I want or make me safe, I experience tension, stress and uncertainty. When I try to figure things out on my own, there is always an awareness in the back of my mind that no matter how much experience I think I might have, my planning can never take into account all possibilities or consider what is helpful to all concerned.
So planning on my own always carries a level of uncertainty. Peace and uncertainty cannot coexist. If I want to experience peace in my life, I must give up all planning on my own. I have had enough experiences when I allowed myself to receive Holy Spirit's plan and found it to know that His plans work. They save time. They are always helpful and kind. They always help me loosen my identification with the forms of the world. They always help me feel more safe and aware of the Love that surrounds me and is me. This is what I want.
Today I will practice again and again and again, stepping back and receiving Holy Spirit's plan. I resign as CEO of my life and appoint Holy Spirit as my CEO. I would not lead, but only follow His plan.
The other day I received a bill in which I was clearly overcharged and I was immediately outraged at the amount and prepared myself to call these people and tell them that they had made a mistake and, boy, they better fix it or else, etc. And then I decided that if we couldn't come to an agreement about the bill, the charges were going to go on my credit record and I'd have to pay for it anyway if I was going to buy the house I want. And furthermore I thought about how we get screwed in life, and on and on. And what happens when I call people like this to discuss a discrepancy, they are prepared for people like me and are ready to defend themselves.
I can almost hear the ego sitting back and laughing at both of us because we're doing exactly what it wants us to do. There are days when the only thing missing in my life are the boxing gloves. I go around angry and ready to attack anyone who even looks at me wrong.
Even though many times I don't understand these lessons because the illusions seem so real to me and I feel totally justified in my need for defense, the lessons have taught me to stop, or at least slow down, and question my thoughts, which the lesson says are in need of healing.
It says a healed mind does not plan, which, to me, means staying in the moment, as it is so true that reliving the past determines our future. There's been so many times when I've been in a situation and I think to myself "I just know what's going to happen." I never realized I had the power to make it happen.
Most Holy Spirit, help me today to step back and allow you to lead the way for me; help me to know I don't need to defend myself because I am not being attacked. Amen.
This was a lesson I had to read over many times, meditate on, and ask the Holy Spirit for help on to understand.
My life has been such that to be attacked and not to defend myself would mean that I would die. I grew up in racially divided tough ethnic Detroit, was a soldier in Vietnam, and a fireman for years. I currently work in Corrections, where to not defend oneself could also mean death. With the help of the Holy Spirit I realize though that the lesson speaks to the part of me that must lift itself out of the great illusion that preoccupies God's Son with the "kill or be killed" mentality that rules the world.
If only we would stop defending ourselves long enough to enjoy a moment of peace then the real Self would come shining through and we would recognize that defense is no longer needed.
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