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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 6 The Lessons of Love

III. The Relinquishment of Attack

  1. As we have already emphasized, every idea begins in the mind of the thinker. Therefore, what extends from the mind is still in it, and from what it extends it knows itself. The word “knows” is correct here because the Holy Spirit still holds knowledge safe in your mind through His impartial perception. By attacking nothing, He presents no barrier to the communication of God. Therefore, being is never threatened. Your God-like mind can never be defiled. The ego never was and never will be part of it, but through the ego you can hear and teach and learn what is not true. You have taught yourself to believe that you are not what you are. You cannot teach what you have not learned, and what you teach you strengthen in yourself because you are sharing it. Every lesson you teach you are learning.  
  2. That is why you must teach only one lesson. If you are to be conflict-free yourself, you must learn only from the Holy Spirit and teach only by Him. You are only love, but when you deny this, you make what you are something you must learn to remember. I said before that the message of the crucifixion was, “Teach only love, for that is what you are.” This is the one lesson that is perfectly unified, because it is the only lesson that is one. Only by teaching it can you learn it. As you teach so will you learn. If that is true, and it is true indeed, do not forget that what you teach is teaching you. And what you project or extend you believe. 
  3. The only safety lies in extending the Holy Spirit, because as you see His gentleness in others your own mind perceives itself as totally harmless. Once it can accept this fully, it sees no need to protect itself.  The protection of God then dawns upon it, assuring it that it is perfectly safe forever. The perfectly safe are wholly benign. They bless because they know that they are blessed. Without anxiety the mind is wholly kind, and because it extends beneficence it is beneficent. Safety is the complete relinquishment of attack. No compromise is possible in this.  Teach attack in any form and you have learned it, and it will hurt you. Yet this learning is not immortal, and you can unlearn it by not teaching it. 
  4. Since you cannot not teach, your salvation lies in teaching the exact opposite of everything the ego believes. This is how you will learn the truth that will set you free and will keep you free as others learn it of you.   The only way to have peace is to teach peace. By teaching peace, you must learn it yourself, because you cannot teach what you still dissociate. Only thus can you win back the knowledge that you threw away. An idea that you share you must have. It awakens in your mind through the conviction of teaching it. Everything you teach you are learning. Teach only love and learn that love is yours and you are love. [1]

Every idea we have begins in the mind of either the high mind of Holy Spirit or the low mind of ego.  Holy Spirit extends His loving thoughts to others – Holy Spirit never confuses the issue – it does not extend thought to the egos of others, it extends to Itself in others – it is one, it is the spirit of unity and completeness.  Holy Spirit does not play favorites, it does not make one special and leave another bereft.  Holy Spirit never attacks or withholds good things to punish others who relate at times with their ego.  Holy Spirit does not obligate Himself to the ego or give the ego any attention at all. Giving the ego any regard at all would present a barrier to the Voice of God, for God’s Voice is loving, joyful, kind, and sharing, but above all respectful.  It does not try to drown out the ego or push itself to the front.  Holy Spirit is quiet and must be welcomed in a state of peace and calm.  It is because of the wholeness and wellness of Holy Spirit that our Being is never threatened and can never be defiled. 

The ego cannot ever be a part of it, but it is through the lower mind of ego that we can hear lies, we can believe in lies, and we can teach things that are not true.  Jesus tells us that we have taught ourselves to believe what is not true about us.  And as long as we believe that we are imperfect, that we are not whole and holy, that we are separated from God and from one another, we continue to teach that which cannot be built upon, we continue to teach that we are not as God created us to be.  We continue to believe and to teach that there can exist in a Universe that is Loving, Joyous, and full of Peace, that which is not any of those things.  Hence, the world keeps spinning its birth and death cycles, until we remember who we are and what we are about!

One lesson that we bring to our practice will free us of all that is not love and peace and joy – forever.  To free ourselves of opposition, we learn and teach only the message of Holy Spirit: You are made of and for and by Love, and so am I.  When we deny this, we forget who and what we are.  We must learn again, we must be reminded, we must let go of any false thoughts and misleading ideas about ourselves and be born again.  The message of the crucifixion teaches us who we really are.  The crucifixion is not who we are, it is not something we did, it is not something we deserve.  We are not that which can hang upon a cross nor are we that which can nail another upon a cross.  We are love.  When we accept this, we learn it and we teach it, and this is the only message that Christ taught us through the crucifixion.  It is the only lesson, the one, unified lesson and the only way we establish this truth in us it to practice it – because what we practice, we teach, and what we practice and teach, we learn.  It is the same as saying what we share we receive.  Whatever we project with our ego or extend with Holy Spirit is what we believe about ourselves and about each other.  Because we are one – we cannot believe something different about our own selves than we believe about each other.  This is why projection hurts us – when we blame others, we are blaming ourselves.  This is why extending God’s love and mercy blesses us because when we share God’s love and mercy, we are receiving it for ourselves as well. 

Our only safety is in extending Holy Spirit.  As your eyes are opened and my eyes are opened to see past the ego in others and see their purity, goodness, kindness and gentleness, our own minds recognize themselves as pure and innocent, incapable of doing harm.  In this state our minds are full of peace and goodwill.  It cannot make attack us anymore.  Our minds will not wake us up in the night and remind us of all our cruel words and hurtful deeds, for when we remembered the tender lovingkindness of others, our tender lovingkindness was reborn in us – because we are one.  God’s protection dawns upon our minds, assuring us of our salvation and our eternal security.  Those who have nothing to fear are completely harmless.  Those who remember that they have everything cannot be selfish, they do not withhold, they bless because they know they are blessed.  When I am no longer worried about anything at all, my mind is no longer in a state of attack, but a state of benevolence. 

Jesus tells us that there is simply no compromise in this.  If we teach attack in any form, if we think that defending ourselves against each other, calling names and blaming, quarrelling over the things of God or the things of flesh is of benefit to us, we will be hurt by that which we teach and practice. 

Jesus tells us that if we are tempted to attack, we are not held accountable forever.  We simply “unlearn” it.  Yesterday I was so angry at Lover.  I felt as if he had set me up to be embarrassed by telling me it was okay to use the emergency door at Sam’s Club.  When I opened the door the alarms went off and kept wailing loud and piercing, and I could only imagine the inconvenience and headache that the alarms would have upon the other shoppers and the workers.  I huffed out of the store, fuming and asking him why he would blankety-blank lie like that.  Going down the road, the lower part of my mind wanted to nurse my grudge and build a case against him.  I started to think of all the other little things James had said and done throughout the day that indicated he did not extend goodwill toward me.  He had made a judgmental comment toward me when I chose to play the table arcade at Olive Garden; he had blamed me when my Sam’s Club app acted up and I had to restart my phone to restore our barcode.  He had not seemed too thrilled…

But I knew better.  I have invited Holy Spirit to take over my mind.  I have asked God to establish His thoughts of love, mercy, and goodness in my mind toward Creation.  James is the man that God gave me to share this dream with – to learn of love together, to be reborn together, to share in the ministry of Christ.  My anger toward him was not immortal.  When I chose to give up all misperception, which is anything that is not loving, I began to see the whole escapade as harmless, even funny.  James had not blankety-blank lied to me; he had made a mistake, and it was a humorous mistake.  Instead of being embarrassed and stewing over it, I let it go and laughed.

I did not demand an apology from him – because any perception that makes James out to steal my joy and make me feel low is the same perception I have toward God and toward myself!  When we accept this to be true and put this concept into practical application in our lives, we teach it and when we practice and teach it, we learn it.  And we are freed from the results of ego’s division, multitudinous maladies, and needless dramas that would follow otherwise. 

In paragraph four, Jesus tells us that it is impossible for us not to teach.  If we want to know the truth, practice doing exactly opposite our ego’s inclinations to accept perceptions of attack, ill will, and mean comments.  When we practice communicating honestly, taking the time to address slights with love instead of defense, taking a stand for peace and unity rather than conflict and division, we teach it to others.  This is the way we end our dissociation with who and what we really are.  We win back the knowledge we threw away when we forgot our divinity.  What we practice we teach, we share, we strengthen. 

Meditate upon this concept in your devotional practice today, letting it rest upon your quiet mind and enlighten your consciousness.  Renounce all thoughts of anger, revenge, retaliation, and division by teaching only love.  Take note that we do not have to believe in it to begin our practice of teaching love.  We just have to do it, for when we do it, we teach it.  It may seem awkward, it will definitely go against our egos, it will seem counterintuitive, unnatural, and even a bit scary, but the only way we will know it works and learn that love is ours and that what is ours is what we are, is in the doing.  Ask Holy Spirit to illuminate your mind and give you personal illustration in which to experience the liberty, the joy, the healing that happens by letting go of all thoughts of attack.


[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 6 The lessons of love III The relinquishment of attack. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons, visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

Filed under: ACIM

About the Author

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Coming up on sixty, my love for God, home and hearth, my husband and family fueled my decision to devote the rest of my life only to pursuits which brought love, joy, peace, and purpose. I am a writer, seeker, student, and teacher with experience professional and otherwise from waitressing to teaching the English language in China, Taiwan, and Singapore. I hold a BA in Psychology from Bloomsburg University, which took nearly 30 years to attain while I squeezed courses in between raising my children, journaling, relationships, work, and an assortment of escapades, some of which I would rather forget! An ongoing passion for reading, writing, adventure, food, and fun, eventually led me to the love of my life, James, whom I met in 1996 and married in 1997. Our life together has been an exciting journey of work and travel, spiritual awakening, and domestic bliss ever since. Although we have experienced the tragic loss of family members and friends through death and estrangement, we have managed to turn our special relationship into a holy one by the grace of God and an acute and growing awareness of “there must be a better way!” In 2006, I published my first novel, Luella’s Calling, and am currently working on my second, Grover Good and the Stone Chateau. From 2013 through 2018, I worked as a Prevention Education Specialist for Transitions, a local domestic violence sexual abuse victim’s service agency. My work there, fueled by a lifelong enthusiasm for teaching, led me to obtain an MS in Education from Scranton University. In 2018, I resigned to accompany James on his work travels while focusing on my calling to study and teach A Course in Miracles. To that end, I dedicate the rest of my days to writing, sharing, and teaching the message of salvation found within the Course pages. Thank you for your interest in this blog. As I do not respond to comments on the posts, if you care to contact me, please email me at eckief@yahoo.com.

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