Healing of the Atonement

“It is obvious, then, that when you are afraid, you have placed yourself in a position where you need Atonement because you have done something loveless, having willed without love. This is precisely the situation for which the Atonement was offered. The need for the remedy inspired its establishment. As long as you recognize only the need for the remedy, you will remain fearful. However, as soon as you use the remedy, you have also abolished the fear. This is how true healing occurs.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.IX.13:1-6)

How do we “use” the remedy of Atonement to reach our own fearlessness? It is easy to say, but sometimes difficult to do—but we clear our minds, choose love in the setting where we are afraid, and the Love heals. Just that easy. It will work if we work it.

We are after true healing in this life. Nobody receives true healing who still holds something against a brother or sister. Our ego, withering though it is, makes that impossible. We must over and over, in every situation, choose to keep a positive, kindly attitude toward those whom we feel have wronged us. This is called forgiveness, and if we recognize that we called that action to ourselves, we will realize the innocence in another. Everyone is doing the best he/she can do in every situation. Not all are ready for love, and if we are in their way, we may get burned.
Our own innocence in this process must be highlighted. We are not victims of another; we merely got in the way, choosing to get in the way when we didn’t know better how to handle the situation. Would we blame ourselves for our ignorance? I think not. We simply learn, discover, from the mistake we made what is better next time to choose. We choose again.

If there is an unhealed place in our lives, let us ask for healing today. We will not be left in disaster; our guidance will tell us how to extricate ourselves from the problems in which we find ourselves.

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Mind Wandering

“The correction of fear is your responsibility. When you ask for release from fear, you are implying that it isn’t. You should ask, instead, for help in the conditions which have brought the fear about. This always entails a willingness on the part of your separated mind. At this level, you can help it. You are much too tolerant of mind wandering, thus tacitly condoning your mind’s miscreations. The particular result never matters, but this fundamental error does. The fundamental correction is always the same. Before you will to do anything, ask me if your will is in accord with mine. If you are sure that it is, there will be no fear.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.IX.5:1-10)

The most important sentence in this quotation, I think, is the following: “You are much too tolerant of mind wandering.” Is this not just about everybody’s problem?

We need to discover how to wipe clean our minds, put problems on the back burner, and (as A Course of Love says) let our inner Christ-Self come up to the surface with an Answer, a divine Answer. This is the same as looking to the Holy Spirit, Who is within us also. Of course, we need the patience to allow this to happen. If we persist in wiping our minds clean of pesky problems, letting a wiser Wisdom surface, the results will be the proof. We really will find that the Self knows better, for it draws from Divinity, God Himself, to lead us, ever so gently, to the resolution of those matters that threaten to disturb our peace of mind.

We need not be fearful, but it does take an ego-free mind to realize this. And many of us are not there yet. As we make decisions, if we allow Jesus to influence us, we will know that the process by which we come to a decision is divinely led. This may not completely remove the fear, for we are used to fretting over trifles, and sometimes we are confronted with more than trifles in this life.

Let guidance from within lead. It will not fail. And we will rejoice when we know that this is so.

Way Out of Fear

“Whenever you are afraid, it is a sure sign that you have allowed your mind to miscreate; that is, you have not allowed me to guide it. It is pointless to believe that controlling the outcome of misthought can result in real healing. When you are fearful, you have willed wrongly. This is why you feel you are responsible for it. You must change your mind, not your behavior, and this is a matter of will. You do not need guidance except at the mind level. Correction belongs only at the level where causation is possible. The term does not really mean anything at the symptom level, where it cannot work.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.IX.4:1-8)

Jesus knows that we have not given up fear, that we still have misthought, and we feel the results, in pain often. He emphasizes that a change of mind is far more important, and pivotal, than a change in behavior. A change in behavior will happen when we have changed our mind, then and only then.

He wants us to correct our thinking, and then we will see an improvement in our behavior. It seems that he is not so much concerned with the outcome of misthought as he is with the problem of the mind itself. He wants us to think aright.

A Course of Love, channeled later, emphasizes that we change our mind when we listen to our heart—a heart that has always known what to think, say, and do. Our heart does not need any teaching, but our mind, so long egoic, has still patterns of the ego lingering. And so we need a sounder basis for making decisions, and that sounder basis is our heart.

Everyone knows what the heart means without a tedious telling. Our heart will inform our mind, which will inform our behavior. Then we will really be healed.

Insanity / Madness

“You would not tolerate insane behavior on your part, and would hardly advance the excuse that you could not help it. Why should you tolerate insane thinking? There is a fallacy here you would do well to look at clearly. You believe that you are responsible for what you do but not for what you think. The truth is that you are responsible for what you think, because it is only at this level that you can exercise choice. What you do comes from what you think. You cannot separate the two by giving autonomy to your behavior. Behavior is controlled by me automatically as soon as you place what you think under my guidance.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.IX.3:1-8)

In a number of places in A Course in Miracles, our thoughts in the egoic state are seen as “insanity” or “madness.” Here Jesus determines that our mind slant is just as important, and maybe even more important (sometimes), than our behavior. We don’t condone insane behavior, but our thinking is insane when it derives from the ego. We have to work our way out of this insane thinking, slowly and over a long period, until the grace-filled moment when God Himself lifts us up to Awakening. Our ego is banished, our good sense returned to us, for remembrance is complete. ACIM is preparing us for this change, dislodging the ego. Then A Course of Love will enable us to form a new identity.

Here, once again, we see that Jesus is assuming a central place in our thought processes, before he brings in the Holy Spirit as our guidance. He will guide us, but the Holy Spirit is the arbiter of what is accurate for many of us. (Not everybody allows the Holy Spirit to so rein in their lives.)

Ask to be rid of madness today. It is perhaps new to believe that virtually all of us have lived part of our lives on earth as insane. We have thought that only a tiny percentage of our populace would merit that characterization. But anybody who willingly allows the ego full rein in their thoughts is actually thinking amiss.

Ask today. You have nothing to lose but a part of ourselves—the ego—that does not mean us well.

The Spiritual Eye

“There is no doubt that the spiritual eye does produce extreme discomfort by what it sees. The thing that you forget is that the discomfort is not the final outcome of its perception. When the spiritual eye is permitted to look upon the defilement of the altar, it also looks immediately toward Atonement. Nothing which the spiritual eye perceives can induce fear. Everything that results from accurate spiritual awareness merely is channelized toward correction. Discomfort is aroused only to bring the need to correct forcibly into awareness.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.VIII.8:4-9)

The concept about the “spiritual eye” will allow us to realize that God is always and forever looking to move us closer to Him. If we realize that our own altar, the inner place in us, has been defiled by our choices, we can immediately look to the solution provided by Jesus, the Atonement, which will give us comfort and ensure us that the defiled altar will not stand when we are confronting Atonement. We begin to feel better. Our spiritual eye has saved us.

We all have this spiritual eye, and the eye is informed by the Holy Spirit (or the Christ-Self, if we are following A Course of Love). The spiritual eye is the discernment of our Wisdom, and this Wisdom is accessed in the present moment, especially when our heart is filled with gratitude about what life is presenting to us. Even if outer blessings appear to be minimal, there is still much to praise. And it is this praise, this gratitude, that will save us. It is this praise that will set us back on the pathway.

Let our spiritual eye discern today. Let our spiritual eye show us what needs to change, for all of us have desert places that need to be left. If we utilize our spiritual eye, we will walk a fresher path.

We will know the Love that spiritual discernment will always show us.

The Miracle Worker

“The healer who relies on his own readiness is endangering his understanding. He is perfectly safe as long as he is completely unconcerned about his readiness, but maintains a consistent trust in mine. Errors of this kind produce some very erratic behavior, which usually points up an underlying unwillingness to cooperate. These errors inevitably introduce inefficiency into the miracle worker’s behavior and temporarily disrupt his miracle-mindedness.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.VIII.2:1-4)

At this point in A Course in Miracles, Jesus is asking us to rely on himself to note when and if a miracle is warranted. He has not yet made the Holy Spirit’s role plain. He does make clear at this point that if we don’t follow himself, we will lose our way. When we depend on ourselves to try to determine what expressions of love we might offer, we depend amiss.

Depending on ourselves seems such a good goal, being independent in our spirituality seems OK. But it is not. Why? We don’t know enough. We are never encouraged, in A Course in Miracles or A Course of Love, or in The Way of Mastery, to depend on ourselves. It is a slim reed indeed if we attempt this.

Our minds and hearts need to be attuned to a greater understanding than we personally have. That is the only way that we can succeed in this miracle readiness of ours. It is the only way to offer love that will be accepted fully.

Offering Miracles Rightly

“The value of the Atonement does not lie in the manner in which it is expressed. In fact, if it is truly used it will inevitably be expressed in whatever way is most helpful to the receiver, not the giver. This means that a miracle, to attain its full efficacy, must be expressed in a language which the recipient can understand without fear. It does not follow by any means that this is the highest level of communication of which he is capable. But it does mean that it is the highest level of communication of which he is capable now. The whole aim of the miracle is to raise the level of communication, not to impose regression (in the improper sense) upon it.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.VII.10:1-6)

When we engage in expressions of love, miracles, we need to be well aware of what we perceive the understanding level of the recipient really is. It is not enough that we understand what we are trying to do when we express love; it is vitally important that we correctly figure out what the receiver is ready to accept. Then the miracle, prompted by Jesus, can find a true home. Then the miracle truly heals.

We need to be sure that our communication, expression, of love does not contain any elements that might cause the other person to feel fear. Knowing what to say and do then requires guidance, for who among us would know how to couch our words in a wholly benign and loving way? If another feels threatened by what we say, the miracle would be lost. No love would have been felt, no miracle truly received.

Let your expressions assume miracle status by asking for guidance in this matter of giving. Not only do we need to ask if a miracle is appropriate, but we need also to ask what to say or do. So all aspects of our miracle readiness draws on a higher Source.