I was reading the Original Edition of “A Course in Miracles” this morning when I came across a section that really struck me.
“How weak is fear – how little and how meaningless! How insignificant before the quiet strength of those whom love has joined! This is your “enemy” – a frightened mouse that would attack the universe. How likely is it that it will succeed? Can it be difficult to disregard its feeble squeaks..?”
This paints such a profound picture to me of how little and how weak fear really is. It is no more than a little mouse, yet I can give that fear the power as if it were a giant, massive, grizzly bear. It reminds me of an old Looney Tunes episode when some mice are after Porky Pig and their shadows appear gigantic on the wall, one even bearing an executioner’s axe. Terrifying!!!
“Which is the stronger? Is it this tiny mouse or everything that God created?”
The answer is obvious, yet, we really don’t believe it at all. Instead, the fear feels massive, imposing, and inescapable. And all around us we see evidence that the fear is justified – there is sickness, death, war, lack, starvation, etc. Yet the Course teaches again and again, that this picture, these witnesses of death that we see are coming from our own minds.
So not only am I the one holding up the flashlight, enlarging the mouse’s shadow into a “terrifying” monster, but I made up the fear-filled mouse in the first place.
If the mouse represents my fear in this analogy, I am creating that fear.
“You who constantly complain about fear still persist in creating it.”
Why am I compelled to keep making this fear (i.e. Why do I keep shining the flashlight on the mouse to terrify myself by the shadow?)?
Because we believe we really chose to separate from God. The only way we can keep the belief in separation going is by believing in these separate ego identities. And what better way to keep believing that our small ego identities are real, than to have witnesses that show and tell us we can suffer.
Another way of saying it is that there is a part of me that wants to keep the separation going. Fear in whatever form it takes (anxiety, depression, sickness, etc.) serves a nice purpose for that to continue and so the anxiety, depression, etc. must be looked at WITH the Holy Spirit each time it appears until we have let go of it completely.
The happiness and the peace that comes as I let go of what I think “is” and let the Holy Spirit show me instead, teaches me that I am in this world but not of it. What I perceive now is coming from my right mind, joined with the Holy Spirit, thankfully showing me that I am not this limited body. What I see or how I feel is a perfect barometer for how much I am identified with my small ego self. What I see is a barometer for how I need to heal. If I’m fearful (or anxious or depressed or angry, etc.), I’m certainly identified with my ego. If I feel peace, I am willing to let the Holy Spirit teach me what I am.
What to then do with all of this? First, be willing to take responsibility for what you see. “I am not a victim of the world I see” and ”I have invented the world I see” are two lessons that point to this teaching. Then simply, get in touch with your willingness to see it differently, “Above all else I want to see…” and offer that tiny bit of willingness over to the Holy Spirit to interpret for you. The Holy Spirit’s job is to sort out the false from the true, so only the love remains. The Course tells us that the point is not the mastery of fear — that would mean that fear is real. We have to learn to master love — our job is only to seek out ALL of the barriers which we have built against love and give our fixed ideas to the Holy Spirit. So all I have to do is be willing to look at that fearful mouse WITH the Holy Spirit and not try to fix it or control it on my own.
The great thing about ACIM is that you don’t have to believe a thing it says. Just try it. The results speak for themselves.