Discover more from Sean Reagan / A Course in Miracles
The Gift of Jesus is Peace
. . . attack is never justified, even in self-defense
NOTE: I had to trim a lot from this post. Some of those notes are here.
If we are serious students of A Course in Miracles, then we live by the law that attack is never justified (T-25.III.1:2), even in self-defense.
All devoted students of the course recognize within it a call to radical transformation. The law attack is never justified even in self-defense, is a good example. It's easy to say, easy to promote as an ideal but to actually live it . . .
. . . that is a level of being that can can seem "impossible to reach for a very long time" (M-4.I.A.7:7).
Say at work I discover that somebody is criticizing me to higher-ups. Instantly I feel threatened. My livelihood, my reputation . . . all of it is under attack. Of course I become protective. Of course I strike back. Of course I salt the earth.
What do we do in those situations? They seem so minor compared to what's happening in, say, the Middle East or even the local ER, and yet they are so disruptive to inner peace and understanding. They completely destroy our potential for communion by driving forgiveness from our mind.
Well, the first thing we can do is remember that "there are no small upsets" (W-pI.5:4:3). A Course in Miracles does not differentiate between triggers. It doesn't judge them at all. If you're triggered, then you're triggered. End of discussion.
That's because the so-called triggers are never actually the cause of our upset. They are convenient illusions, projections of hatred and fear. They seem to cause upset but in fact they are just manifestations of an internal error: the confusion of perception for reality.
In other words, the error is the same regardless of the trigger's size or intensity.
According to A Course in Miracles, we experience this error as the belief that we are bodies in a world in which bodies are constantly under attack. Bodies can be threatened - by illness, by falling pianos, by guns and bombs.
But we are not bodies (W-pI.199.h). It is the belief that we are in which the illusion of threat arises.
The belief in ego autonomy is costing you knowledge of your dependence on God, in which your freedom lies. The ego sees all dependency as threatening, and has twisted even your longing for God into a means of establishing itself. But do not be decieved by its interpretation of your conflict (T-11.V.6:7-9).
There is a way out of this dilemma, exemplified by this brief prayer.
I do not know what anything, including this, means. And so I know not know how to respond to it. And I will not use my own past learning as the light to guide me now (T-14.XI.6:7-9).
In order words, faced with a situation in which, say, a co-worker is talking about me behind my back, my only function is to not impose my own interpretation on the situation.
By this refusal to attempt to teach yourself what you do not know, the Guide Whom God has given you will speak to you. He will take His rightful place in your awareness the instant you abandon it, and offer it to Him (T-14.XI.6:10-11).
And what does the Holy Spirit say?
He reminds me that the other's actions do not arise in malice but fear, and I am not a stranger to fear, and therefore should judge no brother or sister for acting fearfully. He reminds me that all fear is a cry for love, and that the only appropriate response to a cry for love is love. He translates the appearance of attack into a call for love.
To which I say - slow learner that I am - great. Thanks, Holy Spirit. But what does love look like in this situation? How does it show itself? What do I do?
To which the Holy Spirit - patient Teacher that He is - gently responds, nothing, Sean. Do nothing. Forget about it. Do the next thing on your list and let this one go.
And that is the part that's hard, right? Not the cool ideas about love and fear - I'll talk and read and write about them until the moon falls from the sky. But to actually let go, to actually trust God . . .
. . . that is not easy. There is a lot of resistance. There is a lot of internal pushback. What if I lose my job? How will I feed and house my family? What about my ideas about dialogue and conflict mediation? What about honoring my boundaries? But all my ideas have one thing in common: they are a breeding ground for attack.
A Course in Miracles does not equivicate. No matter how well-intentioned I am, I am always wrong. There is no situation in which I do not need guidance from the Voice for God. Not one.
And that is the other radical thing about the course, right? It's basically saying that no matter how hard it is, or how scared I am, I always need to step aside and let the Holy Spirit interpret what's happening and thus guide my response. Big stuff, little stuff - all the stuff. This is the way. Let go and let God or don't but don't pretend you weren't given a choice.
That sounds judgemental and in a way it is but it's also the Holy Spirit coaching us back up the ladder separation led us down (T-28.III.1:2). When we lean into the Holy Spirit, then we adopt a posture of total trust in God which manifests as "trust in the world because . . . it is not governed by the laws the world made up" but rather by a power that is in us but not of us (M-4.I.1:4-5).
It is through this power - which is the Love of God, which is the Creative Action of God - that we look upon a forgiven world (M-4.I.1:6).
And in that forgiven world remember - again and for all - that attack is never justified, even in self-defense.
I mentioned stories earlier. Here is another. The night before Jesus was brutally executed he and his followers shared a last meal. As he served the apostles bread and wine, Jesus said to each of them "I leave you peace, my peace I give you" (John 14:27).
I am saying that if we listen carefully - with ears that hear - Jesus is still saying that. A Course in Miracles teaches us how to hear him and - even better - how to accept the gift that ends all conflict and restores to our awareness the cause for peace and joy.