My attack thoughts are attacking my invulnerability.
What we are in truth is invulnerable and cannot be attacked. And yet, we fear attack. We can get sick, we can get injured, we can become depressed or manic, we can lose jobs and relationships, we are bound to die . . . Isn’t it natural that we protect ourselves? Isn’t it natural that we are so vigilant on our behalf?
A Course in Miracles asserts that we are confused about what we are, and it is this confusion which makes attack thoughts appear useful and necessary. Nor is the course ultimately concerned with the content of each individual attack. Rather, it aims to undo our confusion where the confusion is: in mind.
Nothing real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the peace of God (In.2:2-4).
Lesson 26 (extending the previous lesson’s emphasis on our “best interests”) invites us to become aware of the fact that in order to attack anyone or anything else we must first attack ourselves. And it is that first attack that ruins our inner peace and happiness.
If attack thoughts must entail the belief that you are vulnerable, their effect is to weaken you in your own eyes. Thus they have attacked your perception of yourself. And because you believe in them, you can no longer believe in yourself. A false image of yourself has come to take the place of what you are (W-pI.26.3:2-5).
We attack because we believe we can be attacked. Thus, by definition, attack thoughts include – are grounded in – the belief that what we are is vulnerable. And we believe this. Every time we project we effectively adopt a view of our own self sanctioned by attack thoughts – that we are vulnerable, weak, threatened, endangered, at risk.
This reflects a law that will become our salvation when we learn how to use it correctly: ” . . . what would have effects through you must have effects on you” (W-pI.W-26.1:4).
Nothing except your thoughts can attack you. Nothing except your thoughts can make you think you are vulnerable. And nothing except your thoughts can prove to you this is not so (W-pI.26.4:2-4).
Thus, today we go deeply into circumstances in our lives which cause us fear in any of its forms (depression, worry, anger, et cetera). Reflecting on our concern, we review – we specifically name – the many possible outcomes that we are frightened will occur. And to each we say firmly “That thought is an attack upon myself” (W-pI.26.9:2).
Our focus here is on depth and specificity. We want to begin to see with clarity the way in which fear permeates all our thinking. Only this clarity will allow us to let go of our insistence that we know what we’re doing. It takes humility to open up to the gift we have already been given in Creation.
So Lesson 26 deepens our commitment to discerning between attack thoughts, which reflect ego’s plan for survival, and loving thoughts, which reflect the Holy Spirit’s plan for atonement. Our work is to continuously see the way in which our thinking makes us unhappy and remember that there is another way.