"I will not be afraid of love today."
(See Part II Practice Summary, and also Part II Introduction)
Here is another of the dozens of statements which the Course says, if accepted without reservation, can constitute the entirety of salvation. "If I could realize but this today, salvation would be reached for all the world" (1:1). A few of the others that fall into this category which come to mind are: "I am as God created me;" "Ideas leave not their source;" "There is no world;" "Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists;" and "Forgive the world, and you will understand that everything that God created cannot have an end, and nothing He did not create is real."
How often do I realize that I am afraid of love? We are afraid of love far more frequently than we realize. Ken Wapnick has used a variation of this thought as a suggested mental response whenever we notice our egos acting up: "I must be afraid of love again." There is a sense in which we could say that the ego is the fear of love. It is a mental stance that rejects Love as our Source, that rejects Love as our Self, and that refuses to recognize Love in everyone and everything around us. When we look at it in this way, it begins to be more understandable that if we could simply realize this one thing--not to be afraid of love--the salvation of the world would be accomplished.
Fear of love is insane on the face of it. Of all the things we might be reasonably afraid of, love is not one of them. A famous old-time Christian evangelist, Charles Grandison Finney (famous in the 1800's), once wrote that "Love is the eternal will to all goodness." To be afraid of that which eternally wills only our good is truly insane. So to accept today's idea is "the decision not to be insane" (1:2).
Fear of love is a fear of our own Self, which is Love. Therefore, to realize today's idea is "to accept myself as God Himself, my Father and my Source, created me" (1:2). We are indeed afraid to recognize ourselves as Love; it seems a very dangerous thing to do, to our egos.
Fear of love is to fall asleep and dream of death, because in rejecting love we are rejecting that which guards us, protects us, and brings us joy. In fearing love we are imagining ourselves to be something other than loving, or in other words, evil and sinful. In such a picture of ourselves we imagine we deserve death. To forget what we are and to believe we are something else, the mind must fall asleep. Therefore to realize today's idea is a determination not to be asleep in dreams of death (1:3).
To will not to be afraid of love is a choice to recognize my Self because my Self is Love.
No matter what names we may have called ourselves in our madness, names cannot change what we are in truth (2:1-3). To choose not to fear love is to remember this. What we have done in calling ourselves unloving is not a sin: "The name of fear is simply a mistake. Let me not be afraid of truth today" (2:4-5).
What is the Holy Spirit? (Part 2)
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