A Course In Miracles, Lesson 48 plus Commentary by Allen Watson
There is nothing to fear.
The idea for today simply states a fact. It is not a fact to those who believe in illusions, but illusions are not facts. In truth there is nothing to fear. It is very easy to recognize this. But it is very difficult to recognize it for those who want illusions to be true.
Today's practice periods will be very short, very simple and very frequent. Merely repeat the idea as often as possible. You can use it with your eyes open at any time and in any situation. It is strongly recommended, however, that you take a minute or so whenever possible to close your eyes and repeat the idea slowly to yourself several times. It is particularly important that you use the idea immediately, should anything disturb your peace of mind.
The presence of fear is a sure sign that you are trusting in your own strength. The awareness that there is nothing to fear 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. The instant you are willing to do this there is indeed nothing to fear.
Commentary by Allen Watson
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". As the lesson yesterday said, "Who can put his faith in weakness and feel safe?". 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".
If we believe in illusions, fear seems very real, but we are afraid of nothing. The lesson says it is "very easy to recognize" that there is nothing to fear; what makes it seem difficult is that we want the illusions to be true. 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". 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.