Miracles are associated with
fear only because of the belief that darkness can hide.
You believe that what your physical
eyes cannot see does not exist.
This leads to a denial of spiritual
Let me spend a little time on this one.
The ego teaches us that the core of our being is this dark sinful spot
which is our guilt, and that this is who we really are. There is a workbook
lesson that says that if you really looked within, you would believe that
if people saw you the way you believe you are, they would recoil as if
jumping back from a poisonous snake (work- book, p. 159; W-pI.93.1:1-2).
We feel that we are wretched, sinful persons. Then we believe that somehow
we could be protected from the horror of ever getting too close to this
by defending ourselves with all the things the ego uses. These are what
Freud called the mechanisms of defense, and most important of these are
denial and projection. We make believe this is not what we are, after we
first made believe that it is exactly what we are. Then we try to hide
from it by putting a cloak of unconsciousness around it and projecting
it out. Finally, I no longer see that dark spot of guilt in me; I see it
in others and I attack them for it.
This means that we believe that this
defense can hide what is underneath. By projecting onto someone else, I
believe that my guilt can be hidden from me. This is the belief that darkness
can hide. The "darkness" in this statement can be equated with the word
"defense." My defense can hide this, which means that I need my defense
to protect me from my own guilt. The ego teaches me that if I give this
up, I am going to have nothing to protect me from my guilt, and I am going
to be in a lot of trouble. The ego teaches that defenses protect us; darkness
can hide. This, then, builds up the fear that if I give the darkness up,
I am going to be thoroughly exposed to this guilt and I will be in trouble.
The ego never tells us that defenses do not hide: the fact that I do not
see the guilt does not mean it is not there.
An important line that occurs later
on in the text says that "defenses do what they would defend" (text, p.
334; T-17.IV.7:1), which is a very important principle. The reason that
we invest such time and effort and energy into maintaining defenses is
that we believe they will protect us from what we are afraid of. The purpose
of all our defenses is to defend us against our guilt. What the ego never
tells us is that the more that we invest in a defense, the more we are
saying there is, indeed, something horrible inside us. If I did not have
this horrible guilt, then I would not have to bother with the defense.
Therefore, the more that I invest in having a defense against my guilt,
which I am afraid of, the more fearful I am going to get because the fact
that I have the defense is telling me, "You had better watch it; there
is something inside of you that is vulnerable." That is what Course
in Miracles means when it says that "defenses do what they would defend."
Their purpose is to protect us from fear, but they really reinforce the
fear. The ego never tells us that.
In a very powerful section in Chapter
27 of the text called "The Fear of Healing" (text, p. 628; T-27.11), the
Course makes it clear why the ego teaches us to be afraid of the miracle
and healing. The ego teaches that if you choose the miracle and give up
the defenses of attack (i.e., see your brother as your friend and not your
enemy), you will have no place to project your guilt. It will then remain
with you and destroy you. And then the fear really grows.
That is another example of what the
Course means a little later on when it says that when you begin to hear
the Holy Spirit's Voice and pay attention to what He says, your ego will
become vicious (text, p. 164; T-9.VII.4:4-7). The ego's viciousness is
always some expression of fear, of terror, which then gets projected into
anger, disruptiveness, etc. The ego teaches us that if we let go of our
defenses, then all hell will break loose, literally. Psychologists fall
into the same trap when they teach that if you do not have defenses you
will go psychotic. It is really the opposite. If you do not have defenses
you will go sane; you will not go psychotic. But that does not mean that
you strip people's defenses away. The process has to be very gentle and
loving, and the therapist often has to be very patient. To repeat, this
does not mean that we should strip all the defenses away. What it does
mean is that if you follow the Holy Spirit's guidance, the goal will be
to have no defenses. And then when you look within, you will not see sin;
you will see that there was no sin. That is the end of the journey.
"Miracles are associated with fear only
because of the belief that darkness can hide." Once you can recognize that
darkness cannot hide, that defenses do not do what they say that they do,
then you are ready to take the next step, which is explained later on in
Chapter I of the text. Then you realize that there is nothing that has
to be hidden because this guilt is not anything terrible; it is just a
silly belief system that will disappear. This is why we are afraid of choosing
a miracle, which translates to why we are afraid to truly forgive someone,
to really let go of the past and realize that we are not victims, no matter
how convincingly the experiences of the world would teach us that belief.
We all are very good at rationalizing why we do not want to give all of
this up. The real reason we do not want to give it up is that we do not
want to be peaceful. That is what the Course talks about later as the ego's
attraction of guilt (text, p. 382; T-19.IV.A.i). We would rather be guilty
and make guilt real; then we have to defend against it.
We believe that what our physical eyes
cannot see does not exist. This is really the principle of the ostrich,
which is the principle of repression or denial. If I do not see a problem,
it does not exist. If I cover over my guilt, then it is not there. That
is the idea again that darkness can hide. This then leads to a denial of
"spiritual sight," the term the early sections of the Course use for "vision."
And, when A Course in Miracles talks about vision, or spiritual
sight, it is not talking about seeing with one's eyes. It is talking about
seeing with the Holy Spirit's eyes, which is an attitude. It has nothing
to do with physical sight.