A Course in Miracles Lesson 196

It can be but myself I crucify.

This is a more acute phrasing of the standard ACIM teaching that the secret to salvation is that we are doing this – causing suffering by accepting the ego’s interpretation of self and world – to our selves.

The alternative – the other way to which Bill Thetford so helpfully referred – relies on letting of the insane idea that “to attack a brother saves yourself” (W-pI.196.1:3).

By accepting this idea, we let go of the ego’s lies, and truth naturally arises to take the place of distortion and confusion. It is the work of an instant when we consent to get out of the way.

It is not time we need for this. It is but willingness. For what would seem to need a thousand years can easily be done in just one instant by the grace of God (W-pI.196.4:3-5).

And what is crucifixion in this case? We are not literally talking about being nailed to a cross, strangling to death in the hot sun outside Jerusalem. Or Boston or Berlin.

No, crucifixion in this case refers to that salvation lies in holding another responsible for what we are doing. It is our own thoughts that cause the appearance and experience of the outer world. It is not our brothers and sisters – no matter how it might appear in the ego’s rendition of reality.

Our work is to question the logic of this, and to ask if the God of Love could allow such a world to exist, let alone create it. That becomes the crux – it is not really that we blame others, it is not really that we do not see our own culpability.

Rather, it is the fear of God that lies beneath the blame and ignorance. That is what we don’t want to look at, and that is why we have to work our way through the layers – letting go of assigning cause to the exterior, accepting responsibility for what we are doing, and then gazing directly at our fear of God.

If it can be but you you crucify, you did not hurt the world, and need not fear its vengeance and pursuit. No need you hide in terror from the deadly fear of God projection hides behind . . . You have sought to be both weak and strong, because you feared your strength and freedom. Yet salvation lies in them (W-pI.196.9:2-3, 7-8).

When we cannot see that we are the one we fear, then our mind splits, and we dwell forever in the horror and chaos of separation. We think it is the other we have to defend against, and God – because He has allowed this grim situation to occur – becomes an object of fear as well.

Yet in an instant is this all undone – all we need to do is accept that the external horror is our own doing.

This is not easy. And yet the lesson assures us that we are not bound to work it alone.

There is no Thought of God that does not go with you to help you reach that instant, and to go beyond it quickly, surely and forever. When the fear of God is gone, there are no obstacles that still remain between you and the holy peace of God (W-pI.196.12:1-2).

That is a sweet promise. And it can inform our practice today, allowing us to tap deep reservoirs of willingness as we confront the external world not as the cause of our suffering, but as a outside picture of an interior condition for which we are responsible.

Just as suffering arises in us, so to does our salvation (W-pI.196.12:6).

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