"If I defend myself I am attacked."
"Sickness is a defense against the truth."
Purpose: To prepare for part II of the Workbook, by concentrating on readiness for it and by reviewing the last 20 lessons in a way that will facilitate that readiness.
Longer: 2--beginning and ending of the day for 5 minutes or more.
* Open your mind, clear it of all distracting thoughts. For five minutes let this thought alone occupy it, displacing all others: "My mind holds only what I think with God."
* Read the day's two ideas. Close eyes and repeat ideas slowly, without hurry, for this is what time was made for. Let each word shine with the meaning God gave it. Receive from each idea the gift God placed in it.
Remarks: Phase 1 will be enough to set your day along the lines God planned, making it a special time of blessing for you and for the world. It will be enough to place Him in charge of all your thoughts. Your thoughts will come from more than you. They will also come from Him and tell you of His Love. Thus will you, His completion, join with Him. And He, your completion, will join with you. He thanks you for your practicing. And as your day ends, His gratitude will surround you.
Shorter: hourly, for a quiet moment
* Say: "My mind holds only what I think with God." Spend a quiet moment with it.
* Then repeat the day's two ideas, slowly enough to see their gifts and receive their gifts.
What seem to me to be obstacles within my mind, out-of-control thoughts that hinder me on my spiritual path, are my defenses against the truth. Nothing enters my mind without my permission. No one is thinking thoughts in my mind except me (and God). As Lesson 26 taught us, my attack thoughts are attacking my own invulnerability. I may think I am attacking someone else, but I am really attacking my own Identity with God.
My ego has built up a clever, multi-layered defense system against the truth, and has hidden it in obscurity and disguise. The process the Course sets before me is one of uncovering these defenses, becoming aware of them, judging them as insane, and letting them go. All of them are false, and what is false cannot affect what is true. Beneath all the camouflage of the ego, my mind still holds only what I think with God. The rest is elaborate illusion with no real power to cause any effects whatsoever.
Sickness is one very prominent and very effective defense system of the ego. In sickness, something my mind has caused appears to be an attack from the outside, a visible or invisible enemy with very visible effects on my body. It is something I must continually defend against, and fight with every resource when it strikes. As soon as one disease is conquered, another seems to arise with even more devastating effects. Most of mankind is not ready to accept that sickness is only of the mind. I have not fully accepted it myself; my level of fear is still too high. So there is every reason to continue to alleviate diseases in the ways we have been doing, yet we must realize that we are only muting the symptoms and not eradicating the cause. Only as more and more of us begin to realize that our minds hold only what we think with God, and that everything which seems to be other than from God is an illusion of our creation, will the need for the compromise approach of physical medicine begin to disappear.
Today in my practice I am contributing to the ultimate cure of every disease. As I search out my own inner defenses, which are actually forms of self-attack, and let them go, I am collaborating with the power of God to free mankind from disease, and not only disease, but every such ego-based system of defense against the truth. As I clear my mind of all thought that would deceive (W-pI.rIV.5:2), and place God's Mind in charge of the thoughts I receive (5:4), I am not working alone.
"They [the thoughts] will not come from you alone, for they will all be shared with Him" (6:1).
Let me, then, take the assigned times today to remember the true Source of all my thoughts, and to allow the Holy Spirit to clear the cobwebs of deception from my mind. Let me take five minutes in the morning to "set the day along the lines which God appointed" (5:4). Each time I do so, each day I remember my practice, I bring myself and all the world nearer the day when all deception will vanish in the light.
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