In my defenselessness my safety lies.
Few lessons upend our innate understanding of how to live as this one does. Self-defense is firmly established as a right in our mind, to be justly wielded in the service of righteousness. The idea that one would just surrender it and live without recourse to defense of any kind feels beyond foolish.
If we were bodies, then perhaps self-defense would be logical. Bodies are vulnerable; they do die. But we are not bodies (W-pI.199.8:7), and so our relationship to attack and defense must be different. We need to see the cycle of violence inherent in attack and defense, and see further how that cycle appears to trap us against our will.
It is as if a circl held [the mind] fast, wherein another circle bound it and another one in that, until escape no longer can be hoped for or obtained. Attack, defense; defense, attack, become the circle of the hours and the days that bind the mind in heavy bands of steel with iron overlaid, returning but to start again (W-pI.153.3:1-2).
This is not a trap we escape by struggle but by letting go. We stop fighting; we accept our innocence as the only strength we need; we let God’s Will be our guide in all things. But we cannot let go until we see the futility of anything else. So long as we cling to the idea that our strength, our ideas, our will is sufficient, we will remain stuck.
Indeed, this lesson suggests that even at our most open-minded and inspired we do not actually understand the truly insidious nature of defense. We don’t know how much we have been “made to sacrifice” on its account (W-pI.153.5:3), nor what we have done to “sabotage the holy peace of God” (W-pI.153.5:4).
Defensiveness hides our brothers and sisters from us, and forces us into a deadly game of escalating violence that has no winners, only losers.
How do we learn to take the radical step of becoming totally defenseless?
We accept without qualification or condition the lofty function A Course in Miracles assigns us: We are here to save the world (W-pI.153.8:2) – we represent the One Who sent us (T-2.IV.A.18.8:3) – and there is nothing else in our lives but this.
In other words, it is time to accept our function in Creation: to bring love to what is loveless, love to what is fear-filled, and love to what is lost and forsaken and beyond consolation.
Be still a moment, and in silence think how holy is your purpose, how secure you rest, untouchable within its light. God’s ministers have that the truth be with them. Who is holier than they? What defense could possible be needed by the ones who are among the chosen ones of God, by His election and their own as well? (W-pI.153.10:1-3, 6)
If you have come this far in the lessons, then you are not fooling around. You are ready to see the real world, and to remember your rightful place in God’s Creation. All that remains is to become active in the ministry of awakening, which rests upon the simple truth that “you will not see the light, until you offer it to all your brothers” (W-pI.153.11:5).
A Course in Miracles teaches us that we are extensions of love, and that we can only create as we were created, and so all that we can offer is love. We have forgotten this, and live in the world forgetfulness both made and maintains. There is another way. The other way is simply to love you brothers and sisters now. Don’t worry what form this love takes, or whether you are up to it, or what your brother or sisters does or does not do in response to your offer. That is not our concern any longer.
The ministers of God can never fail, because the love and strength and peace that shine from them to all their brothers come from Him. These are his gifts to you. Defenselessness is all you need to give Him in return (W-pI.153.20:4-6).
Thus, we set aside conflict and focus on acceptance. We open our hearts and our minds to our brothers and sisters, bearing witness to the fearlessness that comes from knowing God’s Will and our own are not separate but united as one. We “lay aside what was never real” and “look on Christ and see His sinlessness” (W-pI.153.20:7).
Seek your brother’s innocence. Seek only Christ in him. Withdraw all attack and offer no defense against illusions of powerlessness and hate. In this way, the Peace of God will be restored to our Mind, and flow like a healing river across the fearful, violent world.