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Lesson 23

I can escape from the world I see by giving up attack thoughts.

1. The idea for today contains the only way out of fear that will ever succeed. ²Nothing else will work; everything else is meaningless. ³But this way cannot fail. ⁴Every thought you have makes up some segment of the world you see. ⁵It is with your thoughts, then, that we must work, if your perception of the world is to be changed.

2. If the cause of the world you see is attack thoughts, you must learn that it is these thoughts which you do not want. ²There is no point in lamenting the world. ³There is no point in trying to change the world. ⁴It is incapable of change because it is merely an effect. ⁵But there is indeed a point in changing your thoughts about the world. ⁶Here you are changing the cause. ⁷The effect will change automatically.

3. The world you see is a vengeful world, and everything in it is a symbol of vengeance. ²Each of your perceptions of “external reality” is a pictorial representation of your own attack thoughts. ³One can well ask if this can be called seeing. ⁴Is not fantasy a better word for such a process, and hallucination a more appropriate term for the result?

4. You see the world that you have made, but you do not see yourself as the image maker. ²You cannot be saved from the world, but you can escape from its cause. ³This is what salvation means, for where is the world you see when its cause is gone? ⁴Vision already holds a replacement for everything you think you see now. ⁵Loveliness can light your images, and so transform them that you will love them, even though they were made of hate. ⁶For you will not be making them alone.

5. The idea for today introduces the thought that you are not trapped in the world you see, because its cause can be changed. ²This change requires, first, that the cause be identified and then let go, so that it can be replaced. ³The first two steps in this process require your cooperation. ⁴The final one does not. ⁵Your images have already been replaced. ⁶By taking the first two steps, you will see that this is so.

6. Besides using it throughout the day as the need arises, five practice periods are required in applying today’s idea. ²As you look about you, repeat the idea slowly to yourself first, and then close your eyes and devote about a minute to searching your mind for as many attack thoughts as occur to you. ³As each one crosses your mind say:

⁴I can escape from the world I see by giving up attack thoughts about _________.

⁵Hold each attack thought in mind as you say this, and then dismiss that thought and go on to the next.

7. In the practice periods, be sure to include both your thoughts of attacking and of being attacked. ²Their effects are exactly the same because they are exactly the same. ³You do not recognize this as yet, and you are asked at this time only to treat them as the same in today’s practice periods. ⁴We are still at the stage of identifying the cause of the world you see. ⁵When you finally learn that thoughts of attack and of being attacked are not different, you will be ready to let the cause go.

(ACIM, W-23.1:1–7:5)

Posted in ACIM Lessons

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