Course in Miracles
6 - Attack and Fear
relationship of anger to attack is obvious, but the inevitable association
of anger and fear is not always so clear. Anger
always involves projection of separation, which must ultimately
be accepted as entirely one's own responsibility.
occur unless you believe...
1. that you have been attacked;
2. that your attack (anger) was justified; and
3. that you are in no way responsible.
three wholly irrational premises, the equally irrational conclusion
that a brother is worthy of attack rather than of love follows.
What can be expected from insane premises except an insane conclusion?
to undo an insane conclusion is to consider the sanity of the
premises on which it rests.
1. You cannot be attacked.
2. Attack (anger) has no justification,
3. you are responsible for what you believe.
Message of the Crucifixion
You have been asked
to take me as your model for learning, since an extreme example
is a particularly helpful learning device. Everyone
teaches, and teaches all the time. This is a responsibility which
he inevitably assumes the moment he accepts any premise at all,
and no one can organize his life without any thought system. Once
he has developed a thought system of any kind, he lives by it and
have been chosen to teach the Atonement precisely
because you have been extreme examples of allegiance
to your thought systems, and therefore have developed
the capacity for allegiance. It has indeed been
misplaced, but it is a form of faith, which you
yourselves have been willing to redirect. You
cannot doubt the strength of your devotion, when
you considerhow faithfully you have observed it.
It was quite evident that you had already developed
the ability to follow a better model, if you could
teaching purposes, let us consider the crucifixion
again. We have not dwelt on it before, because
of its fearful connotations. The only emphasis
we laid upon it was that it was not a form of
punishment. Nothing, however, can be really explained
in negative terms only. There
is a positive interpretation of the crucifixion
which is wholly devoid of fear, and therefore
wholly benign in what it teaches, if it is properly
understood. The crucifixion is nothing more than
an extreme example. Its value, like the value
of any teaching device, lies solely in the kind
of learning it facilitates. It can be, and has
been, misunderstood. This is only because the
fearful are apt to perceive fearfully.
I have already
told you that you can always call on me to share my decision and
thus make it stronger. I also told you that the crucifixion was
the last foolish journey that
the Sonship need take, and that it should mean release from fear
to anyone who understands it. While we emphasized only the resurrection
before, the purpose of the crucifixion and how it actually led
to the resurrection was not clarified at that time. Nevertheless,
it has a definite contribution to make to your own lives. And
if you will consider it without fear, it will help you understand
your own role as teachers.
You have reacted for years
as if you were being crucified (unfairly
treated). This is a marked tendency of the separated ones,
who always refuse to consider what they have done to themselves.
Projection (of responsibilty) means anger, anger fosters assault,
and assault promotes fear.
meaning of the crucifixion lies in the apparent intensity of the
assault of some of the Sons of God upon another.
This, of course, is impossible
(in the oneness of Reality)
and must be fully understood as an impossibility. In fact unless
it is fully understood as only that, I cannot serve as a real
model for learning.
ultimately be made only on the body.
There is little
doubt that one body can assault another, and can even destroy it.
Yet if destruction itself is impossible, then anything that is destructible
cannot be real. Therefore, its destruction does not justify anger.
To the extent to which you believe that it does, you must be accepting
false premises and teaching them to others.
The message which the
crucifixion was intended to teach was that it is not necessary to
perceive any form of assault (attack) in persecution because you
cannot be persecuted.
If you respond
with anger, you must be equating yourself with the destructible
(body) and are therefore regarding yourself insanely.
Role As Teachers
I have made
it perfectly clear that I am like you and you are like me, but our
fundamental equality can be demonstrated only through joint decision.
You are free to perceive yourselves as persecuted if you choose.
You might remember, however, when you do choose to react that way,
that I was persecuted as the world judges, and did not share this
evaluation for myself. And because I did not share it, I did not
strengthen it. I therefore offered a different interpretation of
attack,and one which I do want to share with you. If you will believe
it, you will help me to teach it.
We have said
before, “As you teach so shall you learn.”
If you react
as if you are persecuted (unfairly
treated, you are teaching persecution.
This is not a lesson which the Sons of God should want to teach,
if they are to realize their own salvation. Rather, teach your own
perfect immunity, which is the truth in you, and know that it cannot
be assailed. Do not protect it yourselves, or you have believed
that it is assailable. You
are not asked to be crucified, which was part of my own teaching
contribution. You are merely asked to follow my example in the face
of much less extreme temptations to misperceive and not to accept
them falsely as justifications for anger.
There can be no justification
for the unjustifiable (anger). Do not believe there is, and do not
teach that there is. Remember always that what you believe, you
will teach. Believe with me, and we will become equal as teachers.
Your resurrection is your
reawakening. I am the model for rebirth, but rebirth itself is merely
the dawning on your minds of what is already in them. God placed
it there Himself, and so it is true forever. I believed in it and
therefore made it forever true for me.
Help me to
teach it to our brothers in the name of the Kingdom of God. But
first believe that it is true for you, or you will teach amiss.
slept during the so-called “agony” in the garden, but
I could not be angry with them because I had learned I could not
be abandoned. Peter swore he would never deny me, but he did so
three times. He did offer to defend me with the sword, which I naturally
refused, not being at all in need of bodily protection. I
am sorry when my brothers do not share my decision to hear only
one voice, because it weakens them as teachers and as learners.
Yet I know that they cannot really betray themselves or me, and
that it is still on them that I must build my church.
There is no
choice in this because only you can be the foundation of God’s
church. A church is where an altar is, and the presence of the
altar is what makes it a church. Any church which does not inspire
love has a hidden altar which is not serving the purpose for which
God intended it. I must found His church on you because you, who
accept me as a model, are literally my disciples. Disciples are
followers, but if the model they follow has chosen to save them
pain in all respects, they are probably unwise not to follow him.
I elected both
for your sake and mine to demonstrate that the most outrageous
assault as judged by the ego did not matter.
As the world
judges these things, but not as God knows them, I was
- torn, and
- finally killed.
It was perfectly
clear that this was only because of the projection of others, because
I had not harmed anyone and had healed many. We are still equal
as learners, even though we need not have equal experiences. The
Holy Spirit is glad when you can learn enough from mine to be re-awakened
by them. That was their only purpose, and that is the only way in
which I can be perceived as,
Way, the Truth and the Light."
When you hear only
One Voice you are never called on to sacrifice.
On the contrary, by enabling yourselves to hear the Holy Spirit
in others, you can learn from their experiences, and gain from them
without experiencing them yourselves. That is because the Holy Spirit
is one, and anyone who listens is inevitably led to demonstrate
His way for all.
You are not persecuted,
nor was I.
You are not asked
to repeat my experiences because the Holy Spirit, Whom we share,
makes this unnecessary. To use my experiences constructively, however,
you must still follow my example in how to perceive them.
My brothers and yours
are constantly engaged in justifying the unjustifiable
(anger). My one lesson, which I must teach as I learned, is that
no perception which is out of accord with the judgment of the Holy
Spirit can be justified. I undertook to show this was true in a
very extreme case merely because it would serve as a good teaching
aid to those whose temptations to give in to anger and assault would
not be so extreme. I will, with God, that none of His Sons should
Remember that the
Holy Spirit is the communication link between God the Father and
His separated Sons.
If you will listen
to His Voice you will know that you cannot either hurt or be
that many need your blessing
to help them hear this for themselves.
When you perceive
only this need in them, and do not respond to any other, you will
have learned of me, and will be as eager to share your learning
as I am. The crucifixion cannot be shared because it is the symbol
of projection, but the resurrection is the symbol of sharing because
the re-awakening of every Son of God is necessary to enable the
Sonship to know its wholeness. Only this is knowledge.
message of the crucifixion is perfectly clear: “Teach
only love, for that is what you are.”
If you interpret the
crucifixion in any other way, you are using it as a weapon for assault
rather than as the call for peace for which it was intended. The
Apostles often misunderstood it, and always for the same reason
that makes anyone misunderstand anything. Their own imperfect love
made them vulnerable to projection. And out of their own fear, they
spoke of the “wrath of God” as His retaliatory weapon.
Nor could they speak of the crucifixion entirely without anger,
because their own sense of guilt had made them angry.
Thinking In the New Testament
There are two glaring
examples of upside-down thinking in the New Testament, whose whole
gospel is only the message of love. These are not like the several
slips into impatience which I made. I had learned the Atonement
Prayer, which I also came to teach, too well to engage
in upside-down thinking myself.
If the Apostles had not felt guilty they never
could have quoted me as saying, “I come not to bring peace
but a sword.” Matthew
10:34 This is clearly the exact opposite of everything
Nor could they have described my reactions to Judas as they
did if they had really understood me. They would have realized I
could not have said, “Betrayest thou the Son of Man with a
22:48 unless I believed in betrayal. The whole message
of the crucifixion was simply that I did not. The “punishment”
which I am said to have called forth upon Judas was a similar reversal.
Judas was my brother and a Son of God, as much a part of the Sonship
as myself. Was it likely that I would condemn him when I was ready
to demonstrate that condemnation is impossible?
am very grateful to the Apostles for their teaching and fully aware
of the extent of their devotion to me. Nevertheless, as you read
their teachings, remember that I told them myself that there was
much they would understand later because they were not wholly ready
to follow me at the time.
emphasize this only because I do not want you to allow any fear
to enter into the thought system toward which I am guiding you.
I do not call for martyrs, but for teachers.
No one is “punished”
for sins, and the Sons of God are not sinners.
Any concept of punishment
involves the projection of blame, and reinforces the idea that blame
is justified. The behavior that results is a lesson in blame, just
as all behavior teaches the beliefs which motivate it. The crucifixion
was a complex of behaviors arising out of clearly opposed thought
systems. As such, it was the perfect symbol of conflict between
the ego and the Son of God.The conflict is just as real now, and
its lessons, too, have equal reality when they are learned. I do
not need gratitude any more than I needed protection. But you need
to develop your weakened ability to be grateful, or you cannot appreciate
He (God) does not need
your appreciation, but you do.
You cannot love what
you do not appreciate, and fear makes appreciation impossible. Whenever
you are afraid of what you are, you do not appreciate it and will
therefore reject it. As a result, you will teach rejection. The
power of the Sons of God is operating all the time because they
were created as creators. Their influence on each other is without
limit, and must be used for their joint salvation. Each one must
learn to teach that all forms of rejection are utterly meaningless.
The separation is the
notion of rejection.
As long as you teach
this, you still believe it. This is not as God thinks, and you must
think as He thinks if you are to know Him again.