"My attack thoughts are attacking my invulnerability."
PRACTICE SUMMARYPurpose: To realize that vulnerability is the result of your own attack thoughts and that invulnerability is the result of your own thoughts as well.
Exercise: 6 times, for 2 minutes (reduce to a minute if discomfort is too great).
- Repeat idea.
- Then close eyes and review the unresolved situations you are concerned about. Any unresolved problem that tends to come to mind during the day and cause any kind of negative emotion is suitable. First name the situation: "I am concerned about_____." Then go over every possible outcome that is distressing you. For each one say: "I am afraid_____will happen," followed by telling yourself: "That thought is an attack upon myself."
- To conclude, repeat idea.
COMMENTARYThe American Heritage dictionary defines "invulnerable" as "immune to attack." So to believe I can be attacked means, by definition, that I believe I am not invulnerable. That much is obvious.
There is a little bit of logic in the first paragraph that might slip by without careful reading:
You see attack as a real threat. That is because you believe that you can really attack (1:2-3).
It is my belief that I am capable of attack that makes me fear attack from without; if I can attack, so can everyone else. My fear of attack, therefore, comes from the projection of my own belief about myself! It comes from my belief that I am not a wholly loving being, but rather I am malicious, malign and wicked. That is what the second paragraph is all about.
"What would have effects through you must also have effects on you" (1:4). This is why, as Lesson 23 said in the last paragraph, thoughts of attacking and thoughts of being attacked are exactly the same. My belief in attack within myself, acting through me, will also have effects on me. "It is this law that will ultimately save you." What that is referring to is the truth, much emphasized in the Course, that the way I find forgiveness is by giving it; the way I receive healing is to heal others. But we are "misusing" that law now, projecting guilt instead of extending love. So we need to learn how to use it for our own best interests, rather than against them (a reference to Lesson 24).
Attack thoughts weaken me in my own eyes, whether they are fearful thoughts of assault from without, or agressive thoughts of attack on another. "The strong do not have enemies," as it says elsewhere (T-23.In.1:5). If I can let go of attack thoughts I will perceive my invulnerability; my "vulnerability or invulnerability is the result of [my] own thoughts" (4:1).
"Nothing except your thoughts can attack you" (4:2). That is a thought I have meditated on for years, and have proved valid in my own experience. It is particularly difficult to believe at first; that's okay. Work with it. It is an empowering thought. (In this light you might want to read over Chapter 10's Introduction in the Text.)
The instructions for today's lesson are longer and quite detailed. Read them carefully. This is a real mental process we are to engage in. In thinking of a situation we are to "go over every possible outcome" (7:3), referring to it very specifically. The lesson emphasizes being thorough, and taking time with each situation.
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