Lesson 170

“There is no cruelty in God and none in me.”

No-one attacks without intent to hurt. This can have no exception.
When you think that you attack in self defense, you mean that to be
cruel is protection; you are safe because of cruelty. You mean that you
believe to hurt another brings you freedom. And you mean that to
attack is to exchange the state in which you are for something better,
safer, more secure from dangerous invasion and from fear.

How thoroughly insane is the idea that to defend from fear is to
attack! For here is fear begot and fed with blood, to make it grow
and swell and rage. And thus is fear protected, not escaped. Today we
learn a lesson which can save you more delay and needless misery
than you can possibly imagine. It is this:

You make what you defend against, and by
Your own defense against it is it real
And inescapable. Lay down your arms,
And only then do you perceive it false.

It seems to be the enemy without that you attack. Yet your
defense sets up an enemy within; an alien thought at war with you,
depriving you of peace, splitting your mind into two camps which
seem wholly irreconcilable. For love now has an enemy, an opposite;
and fear, the alien, now needs your defense against the threat of what
you really are.

If you consider carefully the means by which your fancied self-defense
proceeds on its imagined way, you will perceive the premises
on which the idea stands. First, it is obvious ideas must leave their
source. For it is you who make attack, and must have first conceived
of it. Yet you attack outside yourself, and separate your mind from him
who is to be attacked, with perfect faith the split you made is real.

Next are the attributes of love bestowed upon its enemy. For
fear becomes your safety and protector of your peace, to which you
turn for solace and escape from doubts about your strength and hope
of rest in dreamless quiet. And as love is shorn of what belongs to it
and it alone, love is endowed with attributes of fear. For love would
ask you lay down all defense as merely foolish. And your arms indeed
would crumble into dust. For such they are.

With love as enemy must cruelty become a god, and gods
demand that those who worship them obey their dictates, and refuse
to question them. Harsh punishment is meted out relentlessly to
those who ask if the demands are sensible or even sane. It is their
enemies who are unreasonable and insane, while they are always
merciful and just.

Today we look upon this cruel god dispassionately. And we note
that though his lips are smeared with blood and fire seems to flame
from him, he is but made of stone. He can do nothing. We need not
defy his power. He has none. And those who see in him their safety
have no guardian, no strength to call upon in danger, and no mighty
warrior to fight for them.

This moment can be terrible. But it can also be the time of your
release from abject slavery. You make a choice, standing before this
idol, seeing him exactly as he is. Will you restore to love what you
have sought to wrest from it, and lay before this mindless piece of
stone? Or will you make another idol to replace it? For the god of
cruelty takes many forms. Another can be found.

Yet do not think that fear is the escape from fear. Let us
remember what the course has stressed about the obstacles to peace.
The final one, the hardest to believe is nothing, and a seeming
obstacle with the appearance of a solid block, impenetrable, fearful
and beyond surmounting, is the fear of God Himself. Here is the
basic premise which enthrones the thought of fear as god. For fear is
loved by those who worship it, and love appears to be invested now
with cruelty.

Where does the totally insane belief in gods of vengeance come
from? Love has not confused its attributes with those of fear. Yet must
the worshippers of fear perceive their own confusion in fear’s enemy;
its cruelty as now a part of love. And what becomes more fearful than
the heart of Love Itself? The blood appears to be upon His Lips; the
fire comes from Him. And He is terrible above all else, cruel beyond
conception, striking down all who acknowledge Him to be their God.

The choice you make today is certain. For you look for the last
time upon this bit of carven stone you made, and call it god no
longer. You have reached this place before, but you have chosen that
this cruel god remain with you in still another form. And so the fear
of God returned with you. This time you leave it here. And you
return to a new world unburdened by its weight; beheld not in its
sightless eyes, but in the vision that your choice restored to you.

Now do your eyes belong to Christ, and He looks through
them. Now your voice belongs to God, and echoes His. And now
your heart remains at peace forever. You have chosen Him in place of
idols, and your attributes, given by your Creator, are restored to you
at last. The Call of God is heard and answered. Now has fear made
way for love, as God Himself replaces cruelty.

Father, we are like You. No cruelty abides in us for there is none
in You. Your peace is ours. And we bless the world with what we have
received from You alone. We choose again and make our choice for
all our brothers, knowing they are one with us. We bring them Your
salvation as we have received it now. And we give thanks for them
who render us complete. In them we see Your glory, and in them we
find our peace. Holy are we because Your holiness has set us free. And
we give thanks. Amen.

Britney Shawley added:

I am Gods Son. There is no cruelty in God, and there is none in me.

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