LESSON 23. I can escape from the world I see by giving up attack thoughts.
W-23.1. The idea for today contains the only way out of fear that will ever succeed. 2 Nothing else will work; everything else is meaningless. 3 But this way cannot fail. 4 Every thought you have makes up some segment of the world you see. 5 It is with your thoughts, then, that we must work, if your perception of the world is to be changed.
W-23.2. If the cause of the world you see is attack thoughts, you must learn that it is these thoughts which you do not want. 2 There is no point in lamenting the world. 3 There is no point in trying to change the world. 4 It is incapable of change because it is merely an effect. 5 But there is indeed a point in changing your thoughts about the world. 6 Here you are changing the cause. 7 The effect will change automatically.
W-23.3. The world you see is a vengeful world, and everything in it is a symbol of vengeance. 2 Each of your perceptions of "external reality" is a pictorial representation of your own attack thoughts. 3 One can well ask if this can be called seeing. 4 Is not fantasy a better word for such a process, and hallucination a more appropriate term for the result?
W-23.4. You see the world that you have made, but you do not see yourself as the image maker. 2 You cannot be saved from the world, but you can escape from its cause. 3 This is what salvation means, for where is the world you see when its cause is gone? 4 Vision already holds a replacement for everything you think you see now. 5 Loveliness can light your images, and so transform them that you will love them, even though they were made of hate. 6 For you will not be making them alone.
W-23.5. The idea for today introduces the thought that you are not trapped in the world you see, because its cause can be changed. 2 This change requires, first, that the cause be identified and then let go, so that it can be replaced. 3 The first two steps in this process require your cooperation. 4 The final one does not. 5 Your images have already been replaced. 6 By taking the first two steps, you will see that this is so.
W-23.6. Besides using it throughout the day as the need arises, five practice periods are required in applying today's idea. 2 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. 3 As each one crosses your mind say:
4 I can escape from the world I see by giving up attack thoughts about ___.
5 Hold each attack thought in mind as you say this, and then dismiss that thought and go on to the next.
W-23.7. In the practice periods, be sure to include both your thoughts of attacking and of being attacked. 2 Their effects are exactly the same because they are exactly the same. 3 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. 4 We are still at the stage of identifying the cause of the world you see. 5 When you finally learn that thoughts of attack and of being attacked are not different, you will be ready to let the cause go.