Lesson 240 • August-28

Fear is not justified in any form.


Practice Instructions

See complete instructions in separate document. A short summary:

  • Read the commentary paragraph slowly and personally.
  • Pray the prayer, perhaps several times.
  • Morning and evening: Repeat the idea and then spend time in Open Mind Meditation.
  • Hourly remembrance: Repeat the idea and then spend time in Open Mind Meditation.
  • Frequent reminders: Repeat the idea and then spend a quiet moment in meditation.
  • Response to temptation: Repeat the idea whenever upset, to restore peace.
  • Read the "What Is" section slowly and thoughtfully once during the day.

Practice suggestion: Try to be vigilant all day for any instance of fear, including worry, anxiety, or nervousness. When you notice an instance, repeat the line in this specific way: "Fear is not justified in this form, because fear is not justified in any form."

Commentary

"Fear is deception" (1:1). When we are afraid, we have been deceived by some lie, because given what we are (Sons of God, a part of Love Itself) (1:7-8), nothing can ever harm us or cause us loss of any kind. Therefore, when fear arises, we must have seen ourselves as we could never be (1:2). The reality of what we are is never in danger: "Nothing real can be threatened" (T-In.2:2). All the things in the world that appear to threaten us are simply impossible, because we cannot be threatened. "Not one thing in this world is true" (1:3). "Nothing unreal exists" (T-In.2:3).

All the threats of the world, whatever their forms, witness only to one thing: our illusions about ourselves (1:4-5). We are seeing ourselves as something vulnerable; a body, a fragile ego, a physical life form that can be snuffed out in an instant. That is not what we are, and when we fear, that is what we are thinking we are. In order for us to come to believe that we are something else-the eternal Son of God, forever secure in God's Love, beyond the reach of death-we must be willing to learn the unreality of all that the world seems to witness to. Eventually we must come to see that to attempt to hold on to the reality of this world is to hold on to death.

If we insist on making the world real, today's statement, "Fear is not justified," will never seem true to us. Everything in this world is vulnerable, changeable, and will ultimately pass away. If we try to hold on to it, fear is inevitable because the end of what we are holding on to is also inevitable. The only way to be truly free from fear is to cease to value anything but the eternal.

This does not mean that we cannot enjoy what is temporary, that we cannot, for instance, pause to appreciate the beauty of a sunset which passes in minutes. But we come to understand that it is not the sunset we value, but the beauty it mirrors for a moment. It is not the touch of a body we value, a body which withers and is gone, but the eternal love it catches and expresses in the moment. Not the form, but the content. Not the symbol, but its meaning. Not the overtones, the harmonics, or the echo, but the eternal song of love (S-1.I.3:4).

Let me practice, then, today, by repeating, "Fear is not justified in any form." And when fears arise, let me remember they are foolish (2:1). Let me recall there is no real reason for them. Let my very fears remind me that the truth of what I value never passes away.

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