Attack And Fear

(March 22, 1966)

The relationship of anger to attack is obvious, but the inevitable association of anger and FEAR is not always so clear. Anger ALWAYS involves PROJECTION OF SEPARATION, which must ultimately be accepted as entirely one’s own responsibility. Anger cannot occur unless you believe that you have BEEN attacked, the attack was JUSTIFIED, and you are in no way responsible for it. Given these three wholly irrational premises, the equally irrational conclusion that a brother is worthy of attack rather than of love follows. What can be expected from insane premises EXCEPT an insane conclusion?

The way to undo an insane conclusion is always to consider the sanity of the premises on which it rests. You cannot BE attacked, attack HAS no justification, and you ARE responsible for what you believe. You have been asked to take me as your model for learning. And we have often said that an extreme example is a particularly helpful learning device. EVERYONE teaches, and teaches all the time. This is a responsibility which he assumes inevitably, the moment he has accepted any premises at all. And NO-ONE can organize his life without ANY thought system. Once he has developed a thought system of any kind, he lives by it and TEACHES it.

You have been chosen to teach the Atonement precisely BECAUSE you have been EXTREME examples of allegiance to your thought systems, and therefore have developed the capacity FOR allegiance. It has indeed been misplaced. Bill had become an outstanding example of allegiance to apathy, and you have become a startling example of fidelity to variability. But this IS a form of faith, which you yourselves had grown willing to redirect. You cannot doubt the STRENGTH of your devotion when you consider how faithfully you observed it. It was quite evident that you had ALREADY developed the ability to follow a better model, if you could ACCEPT it.