“Love Is Letting Go of Fear”–a book written by psychiatrist Gerald G. Jampolsky, M.D.–is a book on personal transformation which is based on the teachings found in “A Course in Miracles”.
In his book Dr. Jampolsky explains that there are only two emotions: fear and love. Love is our natural inheritance; it is the essence of our being. Fear, on the other hand, is manufactured by the mind. In other words, love is real, while fear is an illusion.
Dr. Jampolsky shares that in 1975 the outside world saw him as a successful psychiatrist who appeared to have it all. However, the reality was that his inner life was chaotic, empty, and unhappy. That’s when he came across “A Course in Miracles”. He adds that by applying the concepts of the Course to both his professional and personal life he began to experience periods of peace that he had never dreamed possible.
In “Love Is Letting Go of Fear”, Dr. Jampolsky shares 12 lessons for creating inner peace. Lessons 1 to 6 are enumerated and explained below. In my next post I’ll discuss Lessons 7 to 12.
Lesson 1: All That I Give is Given to Myself
Lesson 1 is the following: “All That I Give is Given to Myself”. This is a two-part lesson. The first part explains that if you want more love in your life the solution isn’t to try to get love from others. Instead, what you need to do is give love. When you give your love unconditionally to others, you increase the love within you. That is, you’ll simultaneously be giving love to another and to yourself.
The second part of this lesson is that you can never run out of love. The world of the five senses is based on the notion of scarcity: if you have an apple and you give it away, you’re left empty-handed. Love, however, is limitless. Not only can you never run out of love, but the more love that you give to other people, the more love that you’ll be giving to yourself.
This lesson is a variation of the Golden Rule, which states that you should treat others as you want others to treat you. The variation is as follows: give to others only the gifts (love, peace, forgiveness) that you want to accept for yourself.
Lesson 2: Forgiveness is the Key to Happiness
Lesson 2 states that happiness–or inner peace–can only be reached when we practice forgiveness. Here’s the logic behind this lesson:
- Love is all there is.
- Anything that we perceive which does not mirror love is a misperception.
- Forgiveness is letting go of the thought, or the interpretation, that we have been harmed by another. It’s the means for correcting our misperceptions; when we forgive this allows us to see only the love in others and ourselves.
Lesson 3: I Am Never Upset for the Reason I Think
Lesson 3 states that you are never upset for the reason that you think. Our physical senses appear to relay information from the outside world to our brain. Therefore, we think that events take place in the outside world which trigger certain thoughts and feelings within us. In other words, we believe that the outside world is the cause and our subsequent thoughts and feelings are the effect. The truth is that this thinking is backwards.
What we see in the outside world is determined by the thoughts in our mind. That is, our thoughts are the cause, and what we see in the outside world is the effect. Our mind is like a motion picture camera projecting our internal state and our thoughts onto the world.
Here’s a quote from “Love is Letting Go of Fear”:
“When our mind is filled with upsetting thoughts, we see the world and those in it as upsetting to us. On the other hand, when our mind is peaceful, the world and the people in it appear to us as peaceful.”
We gain inner peace not by trying to control the outer world, but by gaining control of our inner world. When our thoughts reflect peace, those thoughts will extend outward, and a peaceful perception of the world arises.
Here are two extensions of this lesson:
- Negative feelings such as anger, jealousy, resentment and so on, represent a form of fear that you’re experiencing.
- When you recognize that you always have the choice between being fearful or experiencing love by extending love to others, you no longer need to be upset for any reason.
Lesson 4: I Am Determined to See Things Differently
Lesson 4 — “I Am Determined to See Things Differently”-explains that we don’t see the present moment as it is because we’re always preoccupied with the past and the future. We’re constantly thinking of the fear and pain we’ve experienced in the past, and trying to take measures in order to protect ourselves from having to feel this fear and pain again in the future.
However, the reality is that the only way to stop feeling fear and pain is by exercising our power to see people and events with love instead of fear in the now. Let go of the past and of the future by putting all of your attention on giving in the present moment.
In addition, take responsibility for your state of mind. Stop giving power to others to determine whether you’ll experience love or fear. Whenever you are tempted to see through the eyes of fear, stop yourself and say the following: “I am determined to see things differently.”
Lesson 5: I Can Escape the World I See by Giving Up Attack Thoughts
Lesson 5–“I Can Escape the World I See by Giving Up Attack Thoughts”–is intricately tied to Lesson 3. It states that we can change the world that we see by changing our thoughts about it. When we change our thoughts we change the cause; then the world we see–the effect–will change automatically.
Whenever we perceive that we are being attacked by another, the attack actually originated in our own mind. This is because we always look within before we look out. Here’s how this works:
- You perceive you were attacked by another.
- You feel hurt and you decide to attack the other in an effort to protect yourself from future attacks.
- The attack thought in your mind extends outward and distorts your perception; you perceive further attacks, which makes you feel hurt again.
- This turns into a vicious cycle; at the end of the day you are being hurt by your own attack thoughts.
Dr. Jampolsky recommends that you get out of this vicious cycle by telling yourself the following. “I want to experience peace of mind right now. I happily let go of all attack thoughts and choose peace instead.”
Lesson 6: I Am Not the Victim of the World I See
Lesson 6 indicates that we have to stop seeing ourselves as being victims of the world we live in and of other people, and instead choose to perceive a world in which everyone is innocent. When we think about the past we can choose to focus on the love that we have experienced and think of everything else as being irrelevant. We can also selectively choose to see the love and the beauty in the present, and focus on other people’s strengths, rather than on their weaknesses.
Imagine that you’re standing in a room that has two windows. One is the window of love and the other is the window of fear. If you look out of the window of love you experience peace. But if you look out of the window of fear you experience conflict. You decide which window you’re going to look out of.
In my next post you’ll read about Lessons 7 – 12 from “Love Is Letting Go of Fear”.
1. How to Live Your Best Life – The Essential Guide for Creating and Achieving Your Life List
2. Make It Happen! A Workbook for Overcoming Procrastination and Getting the Right Things Done
3. How to Be More Creative – A Handbook for Alchemists
4. The One-Hour-A-Day Formula: How to Achieve Your Life Goals in Just One Hour a Day
Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to “Daring to Live Fully” by clicking here and get free updates.