See complete instructions in a separate document. A short summary:
- Read the commentary paragraph slowly and personally.
- Pray the prayer, perhaps several times.
- Morning and evening: Repeat the idea and then spend time in Open Mind Meditation.
- Hourly remembrance: Repeat the idea and then spend time in Open Mind Meditation.
- Frequent reminders: Repeat the idea and then spend a quiet moment in meditation.
- Response to temptation: Repeat the idea whenever upset, to restore peace.
- Read the “What Is” section slowly and thoughtfully once during the day.
Practice suggestion: Search your mind for things in this world that you believe make you safe. Then, with each one, affirm that God is your safety. You may want to use the following form:
I think that my bank account [or job, or spouse, or family, etc.] makes me safe.
I see myself living within the walls of its protection.
But I live within God, not in this world.
In Him I find refuge; in Him I am safe.
If you have read over the preceding page in the Workbook on “What Is the Body?” you will have noticed that the last paragraph of that section talks about how we “will identify with what [we] think will make [us] safe” (W-pII.5.5:1). The thought is echoed in the start of this lesson: “I will identify with what I think is refuge and security” (1:1). If we have a home which makes us feel safe and secure, for example, we will identify with that home. The thing which makes us feel safe becomes part of our identity. If the connection is strong enough, it will actually become our identity in our minds. We begin to see our “citadel” (1:2) of safety as an essential part of ourselves. “I will behold myself where I perceive my strength” (1:2).
This is what we have done with our own bodies. We mistakenly see our bodies as that which makes us safe (“safe from love,” actually — see (W-pII.5.1:1-3). The body becomes the thing that protects us from God, or from the conflict between love and fear within our minds: you “interpret the body as yourself in an attempt to escape from the conflict you have induced” (T-3.IV.6:3). Seeing the body as what makes me safe, I identify with it and perceive my “self” as existing within it. I also perceive my individual ego identity in the same way. It protects me from “losing myself” in the unity love encourages. I therefore encourage my sense of “danger” and even engage in “murderous attack” (1:3) because these things seem to protect my individuality from the inroads of other “selves.” The same dynamic is reflected in the world in people and even nations who violently attack others, claiming they are only seeking to preserve their own peace. The stance is obviously self-contradictory. How can we “find security in danger” or “peace in murderous attack” (1:3)?
Our true security is in God. “I live in God” (1:4), and not in my body nor my ego self.
In Him I find my refuge and my strength. In Him is my Identity. (1:5-6)
To know this as true, we have to release our hold on the thoughts that identify us with our bodies and our egos, and we have to begin to give up attack as a way of life and self-preservation. Attack does not preserve the Self; it preserves the ego, the false self. It preserves fear, chaos, and conflict. The only way, therefore, to truly find peace and to find “Who I really am” is to put an end to our protection of the false self, and to remember that our true everlasting peace is found only in God (1:7- 8).
May I, Father, come home to You today. May I, in entering into Your Presence in this holy instant, feel that sense of peace and security that is mine in truth, in my Identity in You. May I be able to sigh, “Ah! Home!” and feel the release of tension it brings to be here, in You. May I find my Self, and let go of all false identification with lesser things. Be my refuge, today, Father. “The eternal God [is thy] refuge, and underneath [are] the everlasting arms” (Dt 33:27). May I allow myself to fall back into Your arms today. When the day presses on me, be my refuge, my fortress and my high tower. Let me escape to You in the holy instant, and know the safety of Your Love.