1. How does one overcome illusions? Surely not by force or anger, nor by opposing them in any way. Merely by letting reason tell you that they contradict reality. They go against what must be true. The opposition comes from them, and not reality. Reality opposes nothing. What merely is needs no defense and offers none. Only illusions need defense because of weakness. And how can it be difficult to walk the way of truth when only weakness interferes? You are the strong one in this seeming conflict. And you need no defense. Everything that needs defense you do not want, for anything that needs defense will weaken you.
2. Consider what the ego wants defenses for. Always to justify what goes against the truth, flies in the face of reason, and makes no sense. Can this be justified? What can this be except an invitation to insanity, to save you from the truth? And what would you be saved from but what you fear? Belief in sin needs great defense, and at enormous cost. All that the Holy Spirit offers must be defended against and sacrificed. For sin is carved into a block out of your peace and lay between you and its return.
3. Yet how can peace be so fragmented? It is still whole, and nothing has been taken from it. See how the means and the material of evil dreams are nothing. In truth you and your brother stand together, with nothing in between. God holds your hands, and what can separate whom He has joined as one with Him? It is your Father whom you would defend against. Yet it remains impossible to keep love out. God rests with you in quiet, undefended and wholly undefending, for in this quiet state alone is strength and power. Here can no weakness enter, for here is no attack and therefore no illusions. Love rests in certainty. Only uncertainty can be defensive, and all uncertainty is doubt about yourself.
4. How weak is fear; how little and how meaningless. How insignificant before the quiet strength of those whom love has joined! This is your “enemy” – a frightened mouse that would attack the universe. How likely is it that it will succeed? Can it be difficult to disregard its feeble squeaks that tell of its omnipotence, and would drown out the hymn of praise to its Creator that every heart throughout the universe forever sings as one? Which is the stronger? Is it this tiny mouse or everything that God created? You and your brother are not joined together by this mouse, but by the Will of God. And can a mouse betray whom God has joined?
5. If you but recognized how little stands between you and your awareness of your union with your brother! Be not deceived by the illusions it presents of size and thickness, weight, solidity, and firmness of foundation. Yes, to the body’s eyes it looks like an enormous solid body, and movable as is a mountain. Yet within you is a force that no illusions can resist. This body only seems to be immovable; this force is irresistible in truth. What, then, must happen when they come together? Can the illusion of immovability be long defended from what is quietly passed through and gone beyond?
6. Forget not, when you feel the need arise to be defensive about anything, you have identified yourself with an illusion. And therefore, feel that you are weak because you are alone. This is the cost of all illusions. Not one but rests on the belief that you are separate. Not one that does not seem to stand, heavy and solid and immovable, between you and your brother. And not one that truth cannot pass over lightly, and so easily that you must be convinced, in spite of what you thought it was, that it is nothing. If you forgive your brother, this must happen. For it is your unwillingness to overlook what seems to stand between you and your brother that makes it look impenetrable and defends the illusion of its immovability.
Today as we come to our devotional practice, Jesus instructs us that there is nothing between us – you and me. We are not bodies; we are Spirit, and we are one. All the differences we seem to have, the great distance between us, our backgrounds, belief systems, and education levels mean nothing to the eyes of Sonship – for when we forgive one another, when we overlook the human story in each other, when we accept ourselves and each other as we were created our communion and our communication is always and forever whole.
There is never any need for us to defend this position. We are never to argue with our brothers about this to convince them this is truth. We are not to force our belief system on other people, threaten them with hellfire and brimstone and separation from God, we are not to get ourselves all worked up into a tizzy over the unbelief of this brother or that. For as Sons of God, love joins us while fear would seem to tear us and keep us apart.
When our peace is disturbed, we are troubled by illusions and not reality – for reality brings peace and illusions oppose it. When we see our brothers struggling in the world of illusion, weighed down by shame and sorrow, confusion and consternation – we simply lift the veil. This is our function. How do we lift the veil that separates us from our brother? We forgive our mutual humanity, we overlook the concerns of the flesh, we recognize that the heavy material that seems to stand between us is immaterial, it is a little squeaky mouse pretending to be something that it is not. When we join with Christ in Sonship, we no longer chase the idols of the world for we know where they lead and what they amount to. When we no longer chase the illusions of this world, sin holds no power over us. When we forgive it all – time opens its clasp upon us; the world transforms from one of pain and sorrow to one of joy and peace.
God’s Will is done on earth as it is in Heaven. And God’s Will and our will are one. We can rest in this. For this is our happiness and our strength. No defensiveness, no weakness, no fear.
 A Course in Miracles. Chapter 22 Salvation and the holy relationship. V. Weakness and defensiveness. 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