Lesson 281: Evil Requires a Host: I Can Be Hurt by Nothing but My Thoughts

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Today’s ACIM lesson, #281, I can be hurt by nothing by my thoughts, is the first lesson in the “What is the Holy Spirit” section of the workbook.  It’s important stuff to understand because as humans, we are frequently hijacked by our thoughts and it helps to know that God gave up a helper to bring us back to sanity.  We are not at the mercy of the insanity.  It can’t hurt us unless we give it energy by inviting it to come in and dine with us. Evil requires a host.  Even then, those thoughts can’t really hurt us (they can’t change who we are – the Holy Son of God Himself).  They are but apparitions and it’s important to understand that the fastest way to dispel them is to call on the Holy Spirit and then be willing to look at those thoughts. The Course says,  ”Do not be afraid, then, to look upon fear, for it cannot be seen. Clarity undoes confusion by definition, and to look upon darkness through light must dispel it.” Today’s lesson, from last year’s writing:

Evil requires a Host

Evil requires a Host

Thoughts are things.  We all have them; sometimes try to stop them or disown them but in some ways, they seem to operate independently of us.  The late Wayne Dyer used to refer to this as the “pop-in theory,” where a thought would pop into our heads and because it was there, we would identify with it; we would think that it’s true.  Had I been more aware of career choices in my younger days, I might have built a career out of studying such things.  It’s fascinating to me how completely we can be seduced by a thought.  But it’s just a thought.  Byron Katie‘s life work is dedicated to the realization that the way to relieve suffering is to question our thoughts.  Today’s A Course in Miracles lesson is about that, about realizing that “I can be hurt by nothing but my thoughts.”  If Mark David Chapman had realized that, we might not have lost John Lennon.  In fact, maybe it’s a skillset that should be taught in schools – the art of not believing our thoughts.  How many school shootings could be prevented?  Thoughts appear but they only have power if we believe them, and a good many of them aren’t true because they are thoughts born from the ego thought system and not from God.  They are born from fear not love.  Thoughts are things but some of those things are apparitions.

Evil requires a host.

Nothing but My Thoughts

Nothing but My Thoughts

This was a discussion in our Roots class last Monday.  I won’t go into the specifics from the class (confidentiality and all), but suffice it to say that when I came home last night to find my husband watching Ghost Adventures the content reminded me of our conversation.  The episode featured an “evil entity” who was in the habit of scratching guests.  (Don’t ask me which episode; I have no idea.) Anyway, as I prepped dinner with the TV in the background, I thought, you have to believe in the effects (scratching), for the energy to grow, because evil requires a host.

We’ve all had experiences things that were less than holy.  We all have moments where the evidence appears to be real and hellish and awful.  But part of the reason for studying the Course is to help us recognize that such things are the effects of beliefs.  1 It is impossible not to believe what you see, but it is equally impossible to see what you do not believe. Perceptions are built up on the basis of experience, and experience leads to beliefs. It is not until beliefs are fixed that perceptions stabilize. In effect, then, what you believe you do see.”

Which is why I’m thinking that Ghost Adventures and other such shows that perpetuate the belief in “evil entities” should not be watched or encouraged.

Our reading from last Tuesday began, 1 No one can escape from illusions unless he looks at them, for not looking is the way they are protected. There is no need to shrink from illusions, for they cannot be dangerous. We are ready to look more closely at the ego’s thought system because together we have the lamp that will dispel it, and since you realize you do not want it, you must be ready. Let us be very calm in doing this, for we are merely looking honestly for truth. The “dynamics” of the ego will be our lesson for a while, for we must look first at this to see beyond it, since you have made it real. We will undo this error quietly together, and then look beyond it to truth.”

What we are attempting to do is to recognize that listening to the ego thought system is the basis for a life of suffering. Nothing can hurt us but our thoughts, and to see past them, we need the help of the Holy Spirit.  Its function is explained at the beginning of this section, What is the Holy Spirit?

Today’s lesson:

Lesson 281

Section 7. What is the Holy Spirit?

The Holy Spirit mediates between illusions and the truth. Since He must bridge the gap between reality and dreams, perception leads to knowledge through the grace that God has given Him, to be His gift to everyone who turns to Him for truth. Across the bridge that He provides are dreams all carried to the truth, to be dispelled before the light of knowledge. There are sights and sounds forever laid aside. And where they were perceived before, forgiveness has made possible perception’s tranquil end.

The goal the Holy Spirit’s teaching sets is just this end of dreams. For sights and sounds must be translated from the witnesses of fear to those of love. And when this is entirely accomplished, learning has achieved the only goal it has in truth. For learning, as the Holy Spirit guides it to the outcome He perceives for it, becomes the means to go beyond itself, to be replaced by the eternal truth.

If you but knew how much your Father yearns to have you recognize your sinlessness, you would not let His Voice appeal in vain, nor turn away from His replacement for the fearful images and dreams you made. The Holy Spirit understands the means you made, by which you would attain what is forever unattainable. And if you offer them to Him, He will employ the means you made for exile to restore your mind to where it truly is at home.

From knowledge, where He has been placed by God, the Holy Spirit calls to you, to let forgiveness rest upon your dreams, and be restored to sanity and peace of mind. Without forgiveness will your dreams remain to terrify you. And the memory of all your Father’s Love will not return to signify the end of dreams has come.

Accept your Father’s gift. It is a Call from Love to Love, that It be but Itself. The Holy Spirit is His gift, by which the quietness of Heaven is restored to God’s beloved Son. Would you refuse to take the function of completing God, when all He wills is that you be complete?

Lesson 281

I can be hurt by nothing but my thoughts.

Father, Your Son is perfect. When I think that I am hurt in any way, it is because I have forgotten who I am, and that I am as You created me. Your Thoughts can only bring me happiness. If ever I am sad or hurt or ill, I have forgotten what You think, and put my little meaningless ideas in place of where Your Thoughts belong, and where they are. I can be hurt by nothing but my thoughts. The Thoughts I think with You can only bless. The Thoughts I think with You alone are true.

I will not hurt myself today. For I am far beyond all pain. My Father placed me safe in Heaven, watching over me. And I would not attack the Son He loves, for what He loves is also mine to love.

© Foundation for Inner Peace • PO Box 598 • Mill Valley, CA  94942-0598


“The goal the Holy Spirit’s teaching sets is just this end of dreams. For sights and sounds must be translated from the witnesses of fear to those of love.”

It is why we give everything to the Holy Spirit because He knows how to translate “from the witnesses of fear to those of love.”  Including scratches from “evil entities.”

I sometimes watch “The Haunting of”.  What I love about Kim Russo is that she is there to get the story.  Someone (a ghost) needs their story heard.  So even when she encounters “bad spirits,” it’s really more about giving voice to human tragedy and invariably, she sends them to the light.  It’s the recognition that they don’t know who they are or they could never behave that way.

Evil requires a host.  Kim Russo is there to usurp that host so that peace can return.

It is only my thoughts that can hurt me and so if I recognize that,  if I know that anything that isn’t love is a call for love but that it isn’t real, then I can return to the peace of God.  I can be a miracle worker.  I can make sure evil isn’t provided with a host.

We made the fearful images when we believed our thoughts (the lies of ego).  But what can be thought can be unthought.  “When I think that I am hurt in any way, it is because I have forgotten who I am, and that I am as You created me. Your Thoughts can only bring me happiness.”

When we learn to think with the Mind of God life changes.  We see innocence.  We teach love.  “My Father placed me safe in Heaven, watching over me. And I would not attack the Son He loves, for what He loves is also mine to love.”

This is a course in mind training.  I am training my mind to see through the eyes of love and to listen to the Holy Spirit.  What I have seen that does not reflect that is a testament to my own need for healing.  It is a testament of where ego has colored my perceptions and shown me a world that is not as God created it.  But this is a world of dreams.

2 What is healing but the removal of all that stands in the way of knowledge? And how else can one dispel illusions except by looking at them directly, without protecting them? Be not afraid, therefore, for what you will be looking at is the source of fear, and you are beginning to learn that fear is not real. You are also learning that its effects can be dispelled merely by denying their reality. The next step is obviously to recognize that what has no effects does not exist. Laws do not operate in a vacuum, and what leads to nothing has not happened. If reality is recognized by its extension, what leads to nothing could not be real. Do not be afraid, then, to look upon fear, for it cannot be seen. Clarity undoes confusion by definition, and to look upon darkness through light must dispel it.”

What scares me is not real.  But I can’t disavow its power unless I am willing to look at it.  How ego helps protect its miscreations is by trying to keep it hidden.  “To look upon darkness through light must dispel it.”

Which thought system am I feeding?  Which one do I believe in?  Ernest Holmes said, “We have within us a power that is greater than anything that we shall ever contact in the outer, a power that can overcome every obstacle in our life and set us safe, satisfied and at peace, healed and prosperous, in a new light, and in a new life. Mind, all mind, is right here. It is God’s Mind, God’s creative Power, God’s creative Life. We have as much of this Power to use in our daily life as we can believe in and embody. “

“Turn toward the light, for the little spark in you is part of a Light so great that it can sweep you out of all darkness forever.”

Evil requires a host and I am, for one, am not willing to be that host.  I refuse to believe any thoughts that ego tells me.  I am not willing to suffer by believing its lies.  Are you?

Namaste, my friends, Namaste.


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