Chapter 2.VI.1 points out that: "Being afraid seems to be involuntary; something beyond your own control. Yet I have said already that only constructive acts should be involuntary. My control can take over everything that does not matter, while my guidance can direct everything that does, if you so choose. Fear cannot be controlled by me, but it can be self-controlled. Fear prevents me from giving you my control. The presence of fear shows that you have raised body thoughts to the level of the mind. This removes them from my control, and makes you feel personally responsible for them. This is an obvious confusion of levels."
So, it seems to me, we have in two short paragraphs the guidance that it is our job to eliminate fear from our lives. Fear, like the ego, seems to be an adversary; likely it's the same adversary. So once again I come back to the question: "How can I undo the ego? How can I eliminate fear?" And the answer seems to come to me: "Accept the Atonement." For until I do, Jesus says he cannot give me his control.
What is this fear? To me it is the fear of make the choice of accepting the Atonement in full. It's as if we're all so enamored of our ego lives that we fear giving them up -- as if we'd be whisked away to somewhere, leaving a vacuum where our body existed just a nanosecond ago. Much of the Course repeatedly asks the question, in so many words, "Why would we choose this world of pain, suffering and misery when in the twinkling of an eye we can choose God and Love and Heaven?"
Yet I read, further along in Chapter 2, that:
- "Whenever there is fear, it is because you have not made up your mind. Your mind is therefore split, and your behaviour inevitably becomes erratic." [Split between God and ego]
- "Only your mind can produce fear. It does so whenever it is conflicted in what it wants, producing inevitable strain because wanting and doing are discordant. This can be corrected only by accepting a unified goal." [Choosing the Atonement rather than the ego]
- "The first corrective step in undoing the error is to know first that the conflict is an expression of fear. Say to yourself that you must somehow have chosen not to love, or the fear could not have arisen. Then the whole process of correction becomes nothing more than a series of pragmatic steps in the larger process of accepting the Atonement as the remedy. These steps may be summarised in this way:"
Know first that this is fear.
Fear arises from lack of love.
The only remedy for lack of love is perfect love.
Perfect love is the Atonement.
Of late I have given much thought to thinking about many of the past events in my life as if they did not happen, just as the separation never happened. This thinking sometimes translates to a state of mind when seeming wrongs, insults and hurts I've "suffered" take on much less importance or even fade away -- at least in the sense that they no longer hold any emotional impact on me. I think that may be a sign of progress toward acceptance of the Atonement. I'll continue to practice.
Earlier this week I spent a good deal of time meditating on the fact that we are indeed all One Sonship. I asked the Holy Spirit for help in knowing that to be true, as in seeing with spiritual sight rather than the body's eyes that brothers and sisters world-wide are truly all One. That night I went to bed to meditate a bit more. I have found a "place" that is not a place -- on the right side of the darkness perceived with eyes closed -- and that seems "outside of time" in some indescribable way. It's the "place" where I meditate. It's almost as if that instead of being a "place" in "time" it is simply being. I can sometimes see that place expand and push away what appears to be a dirty, dusty old city on the left side of my closed-eye "field of vision." That city seems to be my ego. I am always secretly pleased to see the city diminish in size, and to see the being place enlarge -- as if I am becoming more attuned to the Holy Spirit during the meditation.
In any case, in that dark meditation space suddenly appeared faces of men and women of every nationality, each "falling" toward me like leaves falling from a tree. Asians, Arabs, Indians, Muslims, Black, White -- dozens dozens of faces of every nationality. As the imagery slowed to a stop, the last two faces seemed to "fall into my body" as if they were becoming part of me, or that I became part of them, or more likely, that we simply merged. I suppose it was an event triggered by meditations on the One Sonship. All in all, a pleasant meditation!