After taking the first corrective step, i.e., "Knowing it IS fear," you might benefit temporarily by adding another next step BEFORE going on with the corrective process. Try saying to yourself that you MUST have willed not to love somehow or somewhere, or that fear which arises from behavior-will conflict could not have happened. Then follow previous instructions.
If you consider what the process really means, it is nothing more than a series of pragmatic steps in the larger process of accepting the Atonement as THE remedy. From this viewpoint, the steps can be reworded as follows:
1.) Know first this is fear.
2.) Fear arises from lack of love.
3.) The ONLY remedy for lack of love is perfect love.
4.) Perfect love IS the Atonement.
The final procedural step (3) is inherent in the last statement (4). We have emphasized that the miracle, or the EXPRESSION of Atonement, is always a sign of real respect from the worthy TO the worthy. This worth IS re-established by the Atonement.
It is obvious, then, that when you are afraid you have placed yourself in a position where you NEED Atonement BECAUSE you have DONE something loveless because you WILLED without love. This is precisely the situation for which the Atonement was offered. The need for the remedy inspired its CREATION.
As long as you recognize only the NEED for the remedy, you will remain fearful. However, as soon as you REMEDY it, you have also abolished the fear. This is how TRUE healing occurs.
Everyone experiences fear, and nobody enjoys it. Yet, it would take very little Right-thinking to know why it occurs. Neither you nor Bill have thought about it very much, either. ( I object at this point to the use of plural verb with a properly singular subject - - Helen Schucman - - and remember that last time in a very similar sentence, He said it correctly and I remembered it with real pleasure. This real grammatical error makes me suspicious of the genuineness of these notes. ANSWER: What it really shows is that YOU are not very receptive. The reason it came out that way, is because you are projecting (in the inappropriate way) your own anger, which has nothing to do with these notes. YOU made the error, because you are not feeling loving, so you want me to sound silly, so you won't have to pay attention. Actually, I am trying to get through against considerable opposition, because you are not very happy, and I wish you were. I thought I'd take a chance, even though you are so resistant, because I MIGHT be able to make you feel better. You may be unable not to attack at all, but do try to listen a little, too.)
Very few people appreciate the real power of the mind. Nobody remains fully aware of it all the time. This is inevitable in this world, because the human being has many things he must do, and cannot engage in constant thought-watching. However, if he hopes to spare himself from fear, there are some things he must realize, and realize them fully, at least some of the time.
The mind is a very powerful creator, and it never loses its creative force. It never sleeps. Every instant it is creating, and ALWAYS as you will. Many of your ordinary expressions reflect this. For example, when you say "don't give it a thought", you are implying that if you do not think about something, it will have no effect on you. This is true enough.
On the other hand, many other expressions are clear expressions of the prevailing LACK of awareness of thought-power. For example, you say, "just an idle thought", and mean that the thought has no effect. You also speak of some actions as "thoughtless", implying that if the person HAD thought, he would not have behaved as he did. You also use phrases like "thought provoking", which is bland enough, but the term "a provoking thought" means something quite different.
While expressions like "think big" give some recognition to the power of thought, they still come nowhere near the truth. You do not expect to grow when you say it, because you don't really believe it. It is hard to recognize that thought and belief combine into a power-surge that can literally move mountains.
It appears at first glance that to believe such power about yourself is merely arrogant, but that is not the real reason why you don't believe it.
People prefer to believe that their thoughts cannot exert real control because they are literally AFRAID of them. Therapists try to help people who are afraid of their own death wishes by depreciating the power of the wish. They even attempt to "free" the patient by persuading him that he can think whatever he wants, without ANY real effect at all.
There is a real dilemma here, which only the truly right-minded can escape. Death wishes do not kill in the physical sense, but they DO kill spiritually. ALL destructive thinking is dangerous. Given a death wish, a man has no choice except to ACT upon his thought, or behave CONTRARY TO it. He can thus choose ONLY between homicide and fear. (See previous notes on will conflicts.) (NOTE I avoided this term in the last series of notes intentionally, because it seemed too Rankian. Apparently, there was a reason why this word should have been used last time. It is used in this section for a very good reason.)
The other possibility is that he depreciates the power of his thought. This is the usual psychoanalytic approach. This DOES allay guilt, but at the cost of rendering thinking impotent. If you believe that what you think is ineffectual, you may cease to be overly afraid of it, but you are hardly likely to respect it, either. The world is full of endless examples of how man has depreciated himself because he is afraid of his own thoughts. In some forms of insanity, thoughts are glorified, but this is only because the underlying depreciation was too effective for tolerance.
The truth is that there ARE no "idle thoughts." ALL thinking produces form at some level. The reason why people are afraid of ESP, and so often react against it, is because they KNOW that thought can hurt them. Their OWN thoughts have made them vulnerable.
You and Bill, who complain all the time about fear, still persist in creating it most of the time. I told you last time that you cannot ask ME to release you from it, because I KNOW it does not exist. YOU don't. If I merely intervene between your thoughts and their results, I would be tampering with a basic law of cause and effect, in fact the most fundamental one there is in this world. I would hardly help if I depreciated the power of your own thinking. This would be in direct opposition to the purpose of this course.
It is certainly much more useful to remind you that you do not guard your thoughts at all carefully, except for a relatively small part of the day, and somewhat inconsistently even then. You may feel at this point that it would take a miracle to enable you to do this, which is perfectly true. Human beings are not used to miraculous thinking, but they CAN be TRAINED to think that way.
All miracle-workers HAVE to be trained that way. I have to be able to count on them. This means that I cannot allow them to leave their mind unguarded, or they will not be able to help me. Miracle-working entails a full realization of the power of thought, and real avoidance of miscreation. Otherwise, the miracle will be necessary to set the mind ITSELF straight, a circular process which would hardly foster the time-collapse for which the miracle was intended. Nor would it induce the healthy respect that every miracle-worker must have for true cause and effect.
Miracles cannot free the miracle-worker from fear. Both miracles AND fear come from his thoughts, and if he were not free to choose one, he would also not be free to choose the other. Remember, we said before that when electing one person, you reject another.
It is much the same in electing the miracle. By so doing, you HAVE rejected fear. Fear cannot assail unless it has been created. You and Bill have been afraid of God, of me, of yourselves, and of practically everyone you know at one time or another. This can only be because you have miscreated all of us, and believe in what you have created. (We spent a lot of time on this before, but it did not help very much.) You would never have done this if you were not afraid of your own thoughts. The vulnerable are essentially miscreators, because they misperceive Creation.
You and Bill are willing to accept primarily what does NOT change your minds too much, and leaves you free to leave them quite unguarded most of the time. You persist in believing that when you do not consciously watch your mind, it is unmindful.
It is time to consider the whole world of the unconscious, or unwatched mind. This will frighten you, because it is the source of fright. You may look at it as a new theory of basic conflict, if you wish, which will not be entirely an intellectual approach, because I doubt if the truth will escape you entirely.
The unwatched mind is responsible for the whole content of the unconscious, which lies above the miracle-level. All psychoanalytic theorists have made some contribution to the truth in this connection, but none of them has seen it in its true entirety. (The correct grammar here is a sign of your better cooperation. Thank you.) Jung's best contribution was an awareness of individual vs. collective unconscious levels. He also recognized the major place of the religious spirit in his schema. His archetypes were also meaningful concepts. But his major error lay in regarding the deepest level of the unconscious as shared in terms of CONTENT. The deepest level of the unconscious is shared as an ABILITY. As MIRACLE-MINDEDNESS, the content, (or the particular miracles which an individual happens to perform) does not matter at all. They will, in fact, be entirely different, because, since I direct them, I make a point of avoiding redundancy. Unless a miracle actually heals, it is not a miracle at all.
The content of the miracle-level is not recorded in the individual's unconscious, because if it were, it would not be automatic and involuntary, which we have said repeatedly it should be. However, the content IS a matter for the record, which is NOT within the individual himself.
All psychoanalysts made one common error, in that they attempted to uncover unconscious CONTENT. You cannot understand unconscious activity in these terms, because "content" is applicable ONLY to the more superficial unconscious levels to which the individual himself contributes. This is the level at which he can readily introduce fear, and usually does.
Freud was right in calling this level pre-conscious, and emphasizing that there is a fairly easy interchange between preconscious and conscious material. He was also right in regarding the censor as an agent for the protection of consciousness from fear. HIS major error lay in his insistence that this level is necessary at all in the psychic structure. If the psyche contains fearful levels from which it cannot escape without splitting, its integration is permanently threatened. It is essential not to control the fearful, but to ELIMINATE it.
Here, Rank's concept of the will was particularly good, except that he preferred to ally it only with man's own truly creative ability, but did not extend it to its proper union with God's. His "birth trauma", another valid idea, was also too limited, in that it did not refer to the Separation, which was really a FALSE idea of birth. Physical birth is not a trauma in itself. It can, however, remind the individual of the Separation, which was a very real cause of fear.
The idea of "will-THERAPY" was potentially a very powerful one, but Rank did not see its real potential because he himself used his mind partly to create a theory OF the mind, but also partly to attack Freud. His reactions to Freud stemmed from his own unfortunate acceptance of the deprivation-fallacy, which itself arose from the Separation. This led him to believe that his own mind-creation could stand only if the creation of another's fell. In consequence, his theory emphasized rather than minimized the two-edged nature of defenses. This is an outstanding characteristic of his concepts, because it was outstandingly true of him.
He also misinterpreted the birth-trauma in a way that made it inevitable for him to attempt a therapy whose goal was to ABOLISH FEAR. This is characteristic of all later theorists, who do not attempt, as Freud did, to split off the fear in his own form of therapy.
No one as yet has fully recognized either the therapeutic value of fear, or the only way in which it can be truly ended. When man miscreates, he IS in pain. The cause and effect principle here is temporarily a real expeditor. Actually, Cause is a term properly belonging to God, and Effect, which should also be capitalized, is HIS Sonship. This entails a set of cause and effect relationships which are totally different from those which man introduced into the Miscreation.
The fundamental opponents in the real basic conflict are Creation and miscreation. All fear is implicit in the second, just as all love is inherent in the first. Because of this difference, the basic conflict IS one between love and fear.
So much, then, for the true nature of the major opponents in the basic conflict. Since all such theories lead to a form of therapy in which a re-distribution of psychic energy results, it is necessary to consider OUR concept of libido next. In this respect, Freud was more accurate than his followers, who were essentially more wishful. Energy CAN emanate from both Creation AND miscreation, and the particular ratio between them which prevails at a given point in time DOES determine behavior AT that time. If miscreation did NOT engender energy in its own right, it would be unable to produce destructive behavior, which it very patently DOES.
Everything that man creates has energy because, like the Creation of God, they (it) come FROM energy, and are endowed by their creator with the power to create. Miscreation is still a genuine creative act in terms of the underlying IMPULSE, but NOT in terms of the CONTENT of the creation. This, however, does not deprive the creation of its OWN creative power. It DOES, however, GUARANTEE that the power will be misused, or USED FEARFULLY.
To deny this is merely the previously mentioned fallacy of depreciation. Although Freud made a number of fallacies of his own, he DID avoid this one in connection with libido. The later theorists denied the split-energy concept, not by attempting to heal it, but by re-interpreting it instead of redistributing it.
This placed them in the illogical position of assuming that the split which their therapies were intended to heal had not occurred. The result of this approach is essentially a form of hypnosis. This is quite different from Freud's approach, which merely ended in a deadlock.
A similar deadlock occurs when both the power of Creation and of miscreation coexist. This is experienced as conflict only because the individual feels AS IF both were occurring AT THE SAME LEVEL. He BELIEVES in what he has created in his own unconscious and he naturally believes it is real BECAUSE he has created it. He, thus, places himself in a position where the fearful becomes REAL.
Nothing but level-confusion can result as long as this belief is held in ANY form. Inappropriate denial and equally inappropriate identification of the REAL factors in the basic conflict will NOT solve the problem itself. The conflict CANNOT disappear until it is fully recognized that miscreation is NOT real, and therefore there IS no conflict. This entails a full realization of the basic fact that, although man has miscreated in a very real sense, he need neither continue to do so, nor to suffer from his past errors in this respect.
A REDISTRIBUTION of psychic energy, then, is NOT the solution. Both the idea that both kinds MUST exist, and the belief that ONE kind is amenable for use or misuse, are real distortions. The ONLY way is to STOP MISCREATING NOW, and accept the Atonement for miscreations of the past. Only this can re-establish true single-mindedness. The structure of the psyche, as you very correctly noted yourself, follows along the lines of the particular libido concept the theorist employs. (I still think it was the other way around - - Helen Schucman. Answer: This confusion arises out of the fact that you DID change the order - - several times in fact. Actually, it didn't matter, because the two concepts DO flow from each other. It was a TERRIFIC waste of time, and one in which I hardly care to become engaged myself. PLEASE!)
Freud's psyche was essentially a good and evil picture, with very heavy weight given to the evil. This is because every time I mentioned the Atonement to him, which was quite often, he responded by defending his theory more and more against it. This resulted in his increasingly strong attempts to make the illogical sound more and more logical.
I was very sorry about this, because his was a singularly good mind, and it was a shame to waste it. However, the major purpose of his incarnation was not neglected. He DID succeed in forcing recognition of the unconscious into man's calculations about himself, a step in the right direction which should not be minimized. Freud was one of the most religious men I have known recently. Unfortunately, he was so afraid of religion that the only way he could deal with it was to regard IT (not himself) as sick. This naturally prevented healing.
Freud's superego is a particularly interesting example of the real power of miscreation. It is noteworthy throughout the whole development of his theories that the superego never allied itself with freedom. The most it could do in this direction was to work out a painful truce in which both opponents LOST. This perception could not fail to force him to emphasize discontent in his view of civilization.
The Freudian id is really only the more superficial level of the unconscious, and not the deepest level at all. This, too, was inevitable, because Freud could not divorce miracles from magic. It was therefore his constant endeavor, (even preoccupation) to keep on thrusting more and more material between consciousness and the real deeper level of the unconscious, so that the latter became increasingly obscured. The result was a kind of bedlam, in which there was no order, no control, and no sense. This was exactly how he FELT about it.
The later theoretical switch to the primacy of anxiety was an interesting device intended to deny both the instinctive nature of destructiveness, and the force of the power of miscreation. By placing the emphasis on the RESULT, the generative nature of the power was minimized.
Destructive behavior IS instinctual. The instinct for creation is NOT obliterated in miscreation. That is why it is always invested with reality. *One of the chief ways in which man can correct his magic-miracle confusion is to remember that he did not create himself. He is apt to forget this when he becomes egocentric, and this places him in a position where belief in magic is virtually inevitable. His instincts for creation were given him by his own Creator, who was expressing the same instinct in His Creation. Since the creative ability rests solely in the mind, everything which man creates is necessarily instinctive.
We have already said that the basic conflict is one between love and fear, and that the proper organization of the psyche rests on a lack of level confusion. The section on psychic energy should be re-read very carefully, because it is particularly likely to be misinterpreted until this section is complete.
It has already been said that man CANNOT control fear, because he himself created it. His belief in it renders it out of his control by definition. For this reason, any attempt to resolve the basic conflict through the concept of mastery of fear is meaningless. In fact, it asserts the power of fear by the simple assumption that it need be mastered at all.
The essential resolution rests entirely on the mastery of love. In the interim, conflict is inevitable. The reason for this is the strangely illogical position in which man had placed himself. Since we have frequently emphasized that correction must be applied within the level that error occurs, it should be clear that the miracle MUST be illogical because its purpose is to correct the illogical and restore order.
Two concepts which CANNOT coexist are nothing and everything. To whatever extent one is believed in, the other HAS BEEN abolished. In the conflict, fear is really nothing, and love is really everything. (This recognition is really the basis for the castration complex.) This is because whenever light penetrates darkness, it DOES abolish it. The unwillingness to be seen, or submit error to light, is spuriously associated with active doing. In this incarnation, this can take the form of oedipal involvement and concomitant castration anxiety.
However, in more long range and meaningful terms, the oedipal complex is a miniature of the true Separation fear, and the castration complex is a way of denying that it ever occurred. Like all pseudo-solutions, this kind of distorted thinking is very creative, but false. The Separation HAS occurred. To deny this is merely to misuse denial. However, to concentrate on error is merely a further misuse of legitimate psychic mechanisms. The true corrective procedure, which has already been described as the proper use of the spiritual eye (or true vision), is to accept the error temporarily, BUT ONLY as an indication that IMMEDIATE correction is mandatory. This establishes a state of mind in which the Atonement can be accepted without delay.
It is worth repeating that ultimately there is no compromise possible between everything and nothing. The purpose of time is essentially a device by which all compromise in this respect can be abolished. It seems to be abolished by degrees precisely because time itself involves a concept of intervals which do not really exist. The faulty use of creation has made this necessary as a corrective device.
"And God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son so that whosoever believeth on Him shall not perish but have Eternal Life" needs only one slight correction to be entirely meaningful in this context. It should read "And God so loved the world that he gave it TO His only begotten Son." It should be noted that God HAS begotten only ONE Son. If you believe that all of the Souls that God created ARE His Sons, and if you also believe that the Sonship is One, then every Soul MUST be a Son of God, or an integral part of the Sonship. You do not find the concept that the whole is greater than its parts difficult to understand. You should therefore not have too great difficulty with this. The Sonship in its Oneness DOES transcend the sum of its parts. However, it loses this special state as long as any of its parts are missing. This is why the conflict cannot ultimately be resolved UNTIL all of the individual parts of the Sonship have returned. Only then, in the true sense, can the meaning of wholeness be understood.
The concept of minus numbers has always been regarded as a mathematical rather than an actual expedient. (This is a major limitation on mathematics as presently understood.) Any statement which implies degrees of difference in negation is essentially meaningless. What can replace this negative approach is a recognition of the fact that as long as one part (which is the same as a million or ten or eight thousand parts) of the Sonship is missing, it is NOT complete.
In the Divine psyche, the Father and the Holy Spirit are not incomplete at all. The Sonship has the unique faculty of believing in error, or incompleteness, if he so elects. However, it is quite apparent that so to elect IS to believe in the existence of nothingness. The correction of this error is the Atonement.
We have already briefly spoken about readiness. But there are some additional awarenesses which might be helpful. Readiness is nothing more than the prerequisite for accomplishment. The two should not be confused. As soon as a state of readiness occurs, there is always some will to accomplish, but this is by no means undivided. The state does not imply more than the potential for a shift of will. Confidence cannot develop fully until mastery has been accomplished. We began this section with an attempt to correct the fundamental human error that fear can be mastered. The Correction was that ONLY love can be mastered. When I told you that you were "ready for Revelation", I did not mean that you had in any way mastered this form of communication. However, you yourself attested to your readiness by insisting that I would not have said so if it had not been true. This IS an affirmation of readiness. Mastery of love necessarily involves a much more complete confidence in the ability than either of you has attained. But the readiness at least is an indication that you believe this is possible. This is only the beginning of confidence.
In case this be misunderstood as a statement that an enormous amount of time will be necessary between readiness and mastery, I would again remind you that time and space are under My control. Dictated without notes by Helen Schucman)
One of the chief ways in which man can correct his magic-miracle confusion is to remember that he did not create himself. He is apt to forget this when he becomes egocentric, and this places him in a position where belief in magic is virtually inevitable. His instincts for creation were given him by his own Creator, who was expressing the same instinct in His Creation. Since the creative ability rests solely in the mind, everything which man creates is necessarily instinctive.
It also follows that whatever he creates is real in his own eyes, but not necessarily in the sight of God. This basic distinction leads us directly into the real meaning of the Last Judgment. (I am aware of the fact that you would much rather continue with the parallels involved in other theories of basic conflict. However, this would merely be a delay which we will engage in only if you regard it as essential.)