Frequent reminders: Very frequent, as often as possible.
This has two forms. Use the longer whenever you can.
1. Repeat the idea. You can do this with eyes open under any circumstance, even while in conversation. It can take as little as two seconds.
2. Take a minute or so, close your eyes, and repeat the idea slowly several times.
Remarks: The longer practice periods have been cleared away today, so you can focus on frequency. We saw the same thing in Lessons 20, 27, and 40. Today’s lesson, therefore, is part of a series designed to teach us the crucial habit of frequent practice. Therefore, rather than taking a rest today, really give it your all. The more you put into it, the more you’ll get out of it.
Earlier lessons (27, 40) recommended setting a frequency at the beginning of the day and then trying to stick to it. I would recommend doing the same today. What sort of frequency should you set? Let’s look at previous lessons that specified a frequency:
20: two per hour
27: two to four per hour
39: three to four per hour
40: six per hour
The average is three to four per hour, but notice also that the frequency goes up as the lessons go up. I would suggest picking a frequency you really think you can maintain, and then setting a firm intention to stick with it, and even taking a moment to imagine yourself practicing it frequently under different circumstances. During the day, when you notice you have lapsed, don’t be disturbed; it happens to all of us. Simply get back to practicing—immediately and without guilt.
Response to temptation: When anything disturbs your peace of mind.
Repeat the idea immediately.
One can understand this simple thought in at least two ways:
1. Nothing exists of which to be afraid.
2. Fear? Nothing to it!
As the third paragraph makes clear, this thought is connected to yesterday’s lesson about trusting in God’s strength versus trusting in our own strength, apart from Him. “The presence of fear is a sure sign that you are trusting in your own strength” (3:1). As the lesson yesterday said, “Who can put his faith in weakness and feel safe?” (W-pI.47.2:3). So, when we trust in our own strength, we feel fear. When we trust in God’s strength, we do not. Fear is nothing to be afraid of, however; it is merely a warning sign indicating that our faith is misplaced, and simply calls for correction, not condemnation.
That there is nothing to fear is a simple fact, from the perspective of the right mind. God is all there is, and we are part of Him; nothing outside Him exists. Of course there is nothing to fear. Fear is a belief in something other than God, a false god, an idol with power that opposes and overcomes God. We secretly believe that we have done so, and so we fear, but what we are afraid of is ourselves. Yet what we think we have done has never occurred. Therefore there is nothing to fear. “Nothing real can be threatened” (T-In.2:2).
If we believe in illusions, fear seems very real, but we are afraid of nothing. The lesson says it is “very easy to recognize” (1:4) that there is nothing to fear; what makes it seem difficult is that we want the illusions to be true (1:5). If they are not true, we are not who we think we are and who we wish to be; we are God’s creations instead, and not our own. So we hold on to the illusions to validate our egos, and in so doing, hold on to the fear.
When we allow ourselves to recall that there is nothing to fear, when we consciously remind ourselves of that fact throughout the day, it shows that “somewhere in your mind, though not necessarily in a place you recognize as yet, you have remembered God, and let His strength take the place of your weakness” (3:2). This is what the Text calls the “right mind.” There is a part of our minds—really the only part there is—in which we have already remembered God! That part of our minds is what is waking us up from our dream.
Have you ever wondered how you happened to come upon A Course in Miracles, and why it seems attractive to you? Your right mind has created this experience for you; your true Self is speaking to you through its pages to awaken you. Each time we repeat the thought for today, “There is nothing to fear,” we are aligning ourselves with the part of us that is already awake, and has already remembered. Since we are already awake, the outcome is inevitable. But we need this appearance of time to “give ourselves time,” so to speak, to dispense with our illusions and to recognize the ever-present truth of our reality.