Friday, November 7, 2008

Lesson 196 It can be but myself I crucify.

Lesson 196

It can be but myself I crucify.

When this is firmly understood and kept in full awareness, you will not attempt to harm yourself, nor make your body slave to vengeance. You will not attack yourself, and you will realize that to attack another is but to attack yourself. You will be free of the insane belief that to attack a brother saves yourself. And you will understand his safety is your own, and in his healing you are healed.

Perhaps at first you will not understand how mercy, limitless and with all things held in its sure protection, can be found in the idea we practice for today. It may, in fact, appear to be a sign that punishment can never be escaped because the ego, under what it sees as threat, is quick to cite the truth to save its lies. Yet must it fail to understand the truth it uses thus. But you can learn to see these foolish applications, and deny the meaning they appear to have.

Thus do you also teach your mind that you are not an ego. For the ways in which the ego would distort the truth will not deceive you longer. You will not believe you are a body to be crucified. And you will see within today's idea the light of resurrection, looking past all thoughts of crucifixion and of death, to thoughts of liberation and of life.

Today's idea is one step we take in leading us from bondage to the state of perfect freedom. Let us take this step today, that we may quickly go the way salvation shows us, taking every step in its appointed sequence, as the mind relinquishes its burdens one by one. It is not time we need for this. It is but willingness. For what would seem to need a thousand years can easily be done in just one instant by the grace of God.

The dreary, hopeless thought that you can make attacks on others and escape yourself has nailed you to the cross. Perhaps it seemed to be salvation. Yet it merely stood for the belief the fear of God is real. And what is that but hell? Who could believe his Father is his deadly enemy, separate from him, and waiting to destroy his life and blot him from the universe, without the fear of hell upon his heart?

Such is the form of madness you believe, if you accept the fearful thought you can attack another and be free yourself. Until this form is changed, there is no hope. Until you see that this, at least, must be entirely impossible, how could there be escape? The fear of God is real to anyone who thinks this thought is true. And he will not perceive its foolishness, or even see that it is there, so that it would be possible to question it.

To question it at all, its form must first be changed at least as much as will permit fear of retaliation to abate, and the responsibility returned to some extent to you. From there you can at least consider if you want to go along this painful path. Until this shift has been accomplished, you can not perceive that it is but your thoughts that bring you fear, and your deliverance depends on you.

Our next steps will be easy, if you take this one today. From there we go ahead quite rapidly. For once you understand it is impossible that you be hurt except by your own thoughts, the fear of God must disappear. You cannot then believe that fear is caused without. And God, Whom you had thought to banish, can be welcomed back within the holy mind He never left.

Salvation's song can certainly be heard in the idea we practice for today. If it can but be you you crucify, you did not hurt the world, and need not fear its vengeance and pursuit. Nor need you hide in terror from the deadly fear of God projection hides behind. The thing you dread the most is your salvation. You are strong, and it is strength you want. And you are free, and glad of freedom. You have sought to be both weak and bound, because you feared your strength and freedom. Yet salvation lies in them.

There is an instant in which terror seems to grip your mind so wholly that escape appears quite hopeless. When you realize, once and for all, that it is you you fear, the mind perceives itself as split. And this had been concealed while you believed attack could be directed outward, and returned from outside to within. It seemed to be an enemy outside you had to fear. And thus a god outside yourself became your mortal enemy; the source of fear.

Now, for an instant, is a murderer perceived within you, eager for your death, intent on plotting punishment for you until the time when it can kill at last. Yet in this instant is the time as well in which salvation comes. For fear of God has disappeared. And you can call on Him to save you from illusions by His Love, calling Him Father and yourself His Son. Pray that the instant may be soon,–today. Step back from fear, and make advance to love.

There is no Thought of God that does not go with you to help you reach that instant, and to go beyond it quickly, surely and forever. When the fear of God is gone, there are no obstacles that still remain between you and the holy peace of God. How kind and merciful is the idea we practice! Give it welcome, as you should, for it is your release. It is indeed but you your mind can try to crucify. Yet your redemption, too, will come from you.


The Following is Forwarded from Pathwaysoflight.org


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Lesson 196
"It can be but myself I crucify."

I see today's lesson as very empowering. It is teaching me that all power is in me. There is nothing external to me that can harm me. Nothing, no exceptions. This puts me fully in charge of my experience and it eliminates all belief in enemies. There is no external force in any form to battle against. There is nothing to defend against. All fear, all pain, all sorrow and guilt are products of my own thinking.

Since they come from my thinking, I can be free of them by changing my thinking. I need no external help but I do need to be willing to accept the Help that is in my mind, ready to teach me the difference between true and false, real and unreal. My freedom does not wait on time. It waits only on my willingness to let the Holy Spirit in my mind show me the Love behind all the forms of fear I have imagined. My own thoughts are the cause of all my distress.

In this world, we are taught and taught again that we must protect ourselves from myriad external forms of danger. Now we are being encouraged to recognize the true source of that perceived danger -- our own thoughts. No longer need we be helpless victims. Our power is recognized once again as we accept that it is our own thoughts that are the cause and that we have the power to change our thoughts.

This is perhaps the most difficult part of changing our mind. We have so thoroughly taught ourselves that our thoughts are powerless that we need help in recognizing the falsity of this teaching. By the grace of God we have that Help. It is the Holy Spirit in our minds. He needs only our willingness to open to His teaching for Him to bring us the gift of new perception that shows us our strength, our innocence and our safety.

With His vision we see that only Love is real, that God is our Friend and our Father. Now we can walk with confidence and peace, knowing that God goes with us wherever we go. We always have a Friend Who will show us the truth, Whom we can trust.

I have great gratitude for today's idea, for by it I am able to recognize my true Strength, my Self, and recognize that I am not an ego. I am in truth the extension of Love that I was created to be.


This lesson reminds me how important it is to really look at the thoughts that I am putting my belief in. It is these thoughts that create my experience. As long as I continue to believe that something outside is the cause of my experience, I am denying my salvation and putting up a barrier against God.

It is only the ego's thought system that generates the idea that there is anything outside myself. My job now is to expand my willingness to remember that it is always an inside job. As I am willing to monitor my thoughts, I will soon learn to recognize when I am joining with the ego thought system. Joining with this thought system is the same as crucifying myself.

The Course tells me that it does not take a thousand years to undo the ego thought system. The time is shortened when I am willing to look at ego thoughts and take them to the Holy Spirit to be undone. This needs to be my consistent practice, the one habit that I consistently apply to every concern, every anxiety, every circumstance where I am not in peace.

In reality, the world is nothing. My belief in separate bodies comes only from my joining with the ego thought system. It is only my thoughts that give a world "outside" me any meaning. I can practice today letting the Holy Spirit give the world all the meaning it has for me today.

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