My attack thoughts are attacking my invulnerability.
When I practice this lesson, I often find myself pulled in another direction. I can do the lesson okay – it’s not that. But I find myself drawn to a meditation around what it actually means to be invulnerable. It calls to mind this central tenet from the introduction to the text:
Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God.
We equate ourselves with bodies. And we do a lot on behalf of those bodies. We feed them. We clothe them. We worry about whether the food is healthy (’cause if it’s not those bodies won’t last as long). We worry about whether the clothes are fashionable, whether they show off our best sides. We work the bodies to improve their tone. We employ them to earn money for more clothes and food and gym dues.
All of those activities bear witness to a central idea: the body is eminently vulnerable. Cut it and it bleeds. There isn’t one alive that isn’t going to turn to dust.
Lesson 26, then, tells us that we aren’t bodies.
What about the egoic self – the ego? You know – I’m Sean Reagan, I lived in Vermont and now I live in Massachusetts. I’ve got three kids, a wife, a dog habit, a penchant for walking. I study ACIM. I write and teach. Et cetera. We all have these narratives attached to our bodies and we tend to get pretty invested in them.
But on cross-eyed look from a student and I’m not a good teacher anymore. I’m a failure. Give me a good Joel Goldsmith book and I’m ready to throw ACIM out with the bath water. That narrative self is pretty slippery – pretty fragmented – pretty fragile. It, too, is vulnerable.
Thus, Lesson 26 would say that we aren’t that narrative self either.
So what are we?
That’s the million dollar question that undergirds all our efforts with A Course in Miracles. And it’s not a question that our bodies and egos can answer. They like the question – but the answer is their death knell. Nor is it enough to say, “well, I’m spirit.” Okay. We can say that. But what is our experience? If you’re like me, you have some faith in the intellectual proposition that you’re spirit, but your experience is pretty much body/ego. That’s not a crime. Being honest about it is the only way to start undoing it.
But that faith is important. Faith is what drives our willingness, lets us push beyond our comfort zone. We have to change.
Lesson 26 isn’t aimed directly at that. It’s more of an attempt to come to grips with the fact that our attack thoughts – about anything – are like boomerangs. All we’re really doing is attacking ourselves. That those attacks are futile is what’s going to save us. But right now we don’t know that.
I like the bonus, too. The chance to muse on invulnerability, to chip away at the blocks that stand between the me I think I am and what it is that God created.