Lesson 23 – I can escape from the world I see by giving up attack thoughts.

Commentary (full lesson beneath commentary)

This lesson is riveting.  We are given the “only way out of fear that will ever succeed.”  And it cannot fail.  The cause of the world I see is my attack thoughts.  Period.  If I give up my attack thoughts, my perception of the world will change–this is the happy dream which the Course talks about in the Text.

First, we need to identify what has caused the world–choosing the ego thought system.  Second, we need to be willing to let go of our attachment to the ego thought system.  Third, God via the Holy Spirit, takes the final step for us and reveals the Light and Love which we already are.

One tricky point is that our thoughts of attacking someone or something else are exactly the same as our thoughts that someone or something (e.g., a tsunami) is attacking us.  We have to get the hang of understanding that an attack thought is an attack thought no matter which direction it is going … it still indicates we have chosen the ego.

And now, here comes one of the many Course definitions of “salvation.”  Salvation is escaping from the cause of the world.  Salvation is that moment of decision when we opt for the Holy Spirit’s Vision rather than ego-seeing, eyesight.  Then loveliness can light all of our images.

Now get this:  “There is no point in lamenting the world.  There is no point in trying to change the world.  It is incapable of change because it is merely an effect. [emphasis mine]”   What a huge relief.  I no longer have to lament the world.  I do not have to worry about Mother Nature and the countless ways we defile Her.  I do not have to hate myself for not being an organ donor, for not adopting every orphan child and animal out there, for not always recycling!

What’s more, I need to grasp that the world is an effect of my choice to think through the ego mind.  It is a narrow mind, filled with guilt and fear, and it believes it has separated from God. That’s what’s happening.  That is the cause of me picturing a world.  I am outpicturing, projecting an image outwards … an image of attack, hatred, fear, retribution, vengeance.  And the world I see is the effect of my thoughts.

So Jesus says if I change my thoughts I will change my mind.  I will literally switch over from the limited ego edition mind 🙂 to the Full God Edition Mind.  We see a world but we don’t see ourselves as the image maker of the world.  We call that arrogance, to claim we could make a world–isn’t that a brilliant way of avoiding the Truth?

This led to a discussion between me and Scott about the law of attraction.  Scott said that he read a book on the subject a while back and found that “there was no traction in the law of attraction” for him.  He didn’t feel drawn to the teachings–he had an innate sense of this lesson: I can escape from the world I see by giving up attack thoughts, which originated during his 12-year-old lacrosse experience (see blogpost “W-21: I am determined to see things differently” posted on Jan 21, 2022).

There’s been some public concern about the law of attraction being used for greedy manifestation without spirituality.  True law of attraction taps into a higher vibration that guarantees the highest good of all.

My sense of the law of attraction is that the undoing process can bring us to the point when a piece of God’s mind said, “Let’s try being separate from God.  Let’s try duality.  Let’s try felt experience and gross form” and that this pure moment was free of fear, attack, hatred, guilt, death, etc.  This was still within eternity and could be achieved playfully in endless ways … this is my sense of what the law of attraction provides: a way to write our dream script in all variety of gorgeous, abundant, brilliant, peaceful, harmonious ways, just for the fun of it.

Playing at God’s feet, so to speak, and awakening refreshed when we feel like it.  Some of us want to pause here and have some fun in the world.  Some of us are ready to go Home.  What’s interesting to me is that Helen wasn’t thinking about the law of attraction when she scribed the Course–Jesus didn’t offer her an alternative to living in the world for manifestation purposes.  He offered her an alternative thought system–a doorway Home because that must be what she asked for whether she always knew it consciously or not.


I can escape from the world I see by giving up attack thoughts.

The idea for today contains the only way out of fear that will ever succeed.  Nothing else will work; everything else is meaningless.  But this way cannot fail.  Every thought you have makes up some segment of the world you see.  It is with your thoughts, then, that we must work, if your perception of the world is to be changed.

If the cause of the world you see is attack thoughts, you must learn that it is these thoughts which you do  not want.  There is no point in lamenting the world.  There is no point in trying to change the world.  It is incapable of change because it is merely an effect.  But there is indeed a point in changing your thoughts about the world.  Here you are changing the cause.  The effect will change automatically.

The world you see is a vengeful world, and everything in it is a symbol of vengeance.  Each of your perceptions of  “external reality” is a pictorial representation of your own attack thoughts.  One can well ask if this can be called seeing.  Is not fantasy a better word for such a process, and hallucination a more appropriate term for the result?

You see the world that you have made, but you do not see yourself as the image maker.  You cannot be saved from the world, but you can escape from its cause.  This is what salvation means, for where is the world you see when its cause is gone?  Vision already holds a replacement for everything you think you see now.  Loveliness can light your images, and so transform them that you will love them, even though they were made of hate.  For you will not be making them alone.

The idea for today introduces the thought that you are not trapped in the world you see, because its cause can be changed.  This change requires, first, that the cause be identified and then let go, so that it can be replaced.  The first two steps in this process require your cooperation.  The final one does not.  Your images have already been replaced.  By taking the first two steps, you will see that this is so.

Besides using it throughout the day as the need arises, five practice periods are required in applying today’s idea.  As you look about you, repeat the idea slowly to yourself first, and then close your eyes and devote about a minute to searching your mind for as many attack thoughts as occur to you.  As each one crosses your mind say:

I can escape from the world I see by giving up attack thoughts about _________.

Hold each attack thought in mind as you say this, and then dismiss that thought and go on to the next.

In the practice periods, be sure to include both your thoughts of attacking and of being attacked.  Their effects are exactly the same because they are exactly the same.  You do not recognize this as yet, and you are asked at this time only to treat them as the same in today’s practice periods.  We are still at the stage of identifying the cause of the world you see.  When you finally learn that thoughts of attack and of being attacked are not different, you will be ready to let the cause go.

Let’s practice together!  Watch and listen to me reading each ACIM Lesson on Youtube.  Also, check out Workin’ the Workbook, my online class which supports the ACIM Workbook practice.