II. SECTION 12. What is the Ego?
Lesson 338 I am affected only by my thoughts.
- It needs but this to let salvation come to all the world. For in this single thought is everyone released at last from fear. Now has he learned that no one frightens him, and nothing can endanger him. He has no enemies, and he is safe from all external things. His thoughts can frighten him, but since these thoughts belong to him alone, he has the power to change them and exchange each fear thought for a happy thought of love. He crucified himself. Yet God has planned that His beloved Son will be redeemed.
- Your plan is sure, my Father, – only Yours. All other plans will fail. And I will have thoughts that will frighten me, until I learn that You have given me the only Thought that leads me to salvation. Mine alone will fail and lead me nowhere. But the Thoughts You gave me promises to lead me home, because it holds Your promise to Your Son.
As we come to our devotional practice today, let us take account of our thoughts about the outside world. What are we afraid of? What thoughts keep us awake at night? What judgments and condemnations are we making about the world, about each other, about ourselves, and about those who seem to be in power? Who or what causes us to worry and fret?
What is the only Thought that leads to peace, to happiness, to our salvation? It is the Thought of God’s Love for us, it is the Thought of our innocence, it is the Thought of our certain salvation. While the ego would keep us in conflict, in pitting one side against the other in an ongoing scheme to distract and detract us from our identity in Christ, our single thought is of the certainty of God’s Love, His devotion to us, His commitment to waking us up from our dream of separation and returning us to wholeness, to unity, to Love.
All other plans fail to deliver us from fear, from disease, devastation, and death. As long as we give our thoughts to what the ego has designed to keep us occupied, we will falter and fret and fuss. If we find our minds filled with anything but happiness, joy, and forgiveness toward the world, the remedy is not in attempting to force change in the external world. The remedy, Jesus declares, is to exchange each thought of fear for a happy thought of love. There is no reason at all for us to torment ourselves. There is no reason at all to allow the ego’s projections, prophecies, and portents to cloud our minds and keep us from the path that leads us Home.
Exchanging thoughts of fear for thoughts of God’s Love for us may seem like too simple a solution to the daily concerns we have for our survival in the world. Jesus does not ask us to believe without experience that informs us if what He teaches is true or not. Jesus asks us to try it. Push the worrying thoughts aside and choose a thought that reminds us of God’s Love. Even when we do not believe in it, it works. As we learn how it works in practice, with or without our “belief” in it, we gain confidence in the lesson idea.
Reality is reality whether I believe in it or not or whether you believe in it or not. Today Jesus asks us to replace each thought of fear with a thought of Love. When we do this, we are set free of fear and nothing can hurt us. We can not be in danger. We have no enemies. We are safe and secure. We are saved. Today commit to this holy practice. Exchange all your fears of divorce, disease, disruption with thoughts of God’s protection and undying Love. Exchange all your fears about aging, poverty, hunger, crime, violence, and calamity by thoughts of God’s devotion to us. Exchange all your worries about the salvation of your sons and daughters, your friends and family members with thoughts of God’s promise to restore Creation. As you put your fears aside and step into the realm of miracles, your thoughts become one with God’s thoughts and nothing is impossible to you. Nobody is left behind – for as our minds become one with His, Our love for the world, for Creation, for Ourselves and One another will save Us all.
A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 337. Foundation of Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). p. 471.
Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com