I defend myself I am attacked."
Purpose: To come without defense and learn you part in God's plan. To
anticipate with present confidence the time when your light, joined with the
light of your followers, will light up the world with joy. A special day for
learning; a giant stride for you; Eastertime in your salvation.
Longer: 2 times for 15 minutes
* Say: "If I defend myself I am attacked. But in defenselessness I will be strong, and I will learn what my defenses hide."
* Then rest from all planning and all thoughts that would block the truth from your mind. Without defense present yourself to your Creator. Receive from Him so that you may give. If there are plans, you will be told. They may not be the ones you expected, nor answer the problems you saw. They are answers to a crucial question that is yet unanswered.
Remarks: In light of simple trust, you will wonder why you ever raised defenses, which only defended you against what you will receive today. The light of hope will be reborn in you, for you come without defense to learn you function. You will be sure that everything you need for this function will be given you if you will just be defenseless and lay aside planning.
Response To Temptation: throughout the day
Whenever your defensiveness tempts you to weave plans, say: "This is my Eastertime. And I would keep it holy. I will not defend myself, because the Son of God needs no defense against the truth of his reality."
Remarks: Try not to shape and organize the day as you think would benefit you. Instead, learn the inconceivable happiness that comes from His plans, not yours and the whole world will celebrate your Eastertime with you.
COMMENTARY"If I defend myself I am attacked." The general thought that heads this lesson states that all forms of defense are actually witnesses to attack, or to your belief in attack. If you see a need for a defense, you must be perceiving an attack.
The self you think you are is something so weak it needs defense; your true Self, which is mind or spirit, needs no defense. This lesson shows that when you make plans whose purpose is to defend your small "self" (the image you have made of yourself, comprised of your ego and its expression, the body) you are indirectly attacking your true Self, because you perceive that Self as attacking "you."
The Course continually teaches us that "all attack is self-attack" (T-10.II.5:1; line not in 1st ed.). It says we are constantly attacking ourselves, but that we are blind to the fact. We think the attack is coming from somewhere outside ourselves, and never realize that it stems from our own thoughts of guilt. It advises us, over and over, to look carefully at what we are doing and thinking, to recognize the self-attack in what we do, and to choose to let go of it.
Lesson 135 applies this general principle to a particular area of our lives that we have probably never thought of as a form of self-attack: planning.
First, it points out that all defenses are a form of self-attack because they make the illusion of threat real, and then attempt to handle them as if they were real. It asks us to look closely at what we think we are defending, how we defend it, and against what.
Second, it identifies our plans as a form of defense. Plans, Jesus says, are a form of defense against anticipated future threats. If plans are a form of defense, the reverse is true: All "Defenses are the plans you undertake to make against the truth" (Workbook, p. 247; W-135.17:1). In other words, defenses and plans are the same thing. When you set up a defense against something, you are making plans of what to do if "X" happens. All defenses are plans; and all self-initiated plans are defenses.
In sum, making plans is a form of defense, and all defenses are attacks on myself. Therefore, making plans is just another form of self-attack, to be noticed and abandoned.
Finally, the lesson discusses how "the healed mind" approaches life: not making plans, but receiving plans from the Holy Spirit, with full present trust in the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and with confidence in His plan. Only this approach allows for change, healing and miracles to take place in the present moment.
"A healed mind does not plan. It carries out the plans that it receives through listening to Wisdom that is not its own" (11:1, 2). This does not mean that a healed mind does not follow a plan. It follows a plan; it just doesn't make the plan; it receives the plan through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
In simple language, the healed mind listens to the Holy Spirit and does what He directs, instead of listening to the ego's plans, which are always based on fear and take a defensive posture. The ego's plans are always trying to protect and preserve the body; often, the plans of the Holy Spirit seem to be unconcerned about the body at all. The Holy Spirit has very different priorities.
When the Course is talking about "a healed mind" it is talking about the goal of the Course-the state your mind will be in after you graduate from the Course. This isn't something you simply step into after reading a few lessons; this is what you will be like after working with the Course and completely integrating it into your life.
[Note from Allen: The thoughts expressed above have been taken almost directly from a booklet I wrote, "A Healed Mind Does Not Plan," published by The Circle of Atonement. This is a 48-page booklet that deals entirely with the subject of planning and decision-making as taught in ACIM.]
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