“False healing merely makes a poor exchange of one illusion for a ‘nicer’ one; a dream of sickness for a dream of health. This can occur at lower forms of prayer, combining with forgiveness kindly meant but not completely understood as yet. Only false healing can give way to fear, so sickness will be free to strike again. (S-3.II.1)”
1 – False Healing
There is much in the Song of Prayer that explains when and if healing will occur when we have asked for a healing. Jesus uses terms in the Song that do not occur in A Course in Miracles. Here we see the term “false healing,” in which we simply exchange dreams of sickness for a dream of health. But this dream of health may not last, if we have not forgiven totally. Our forgiveness is still often the “forgiveness to destroy,” in which we “forgive,” but we do not forget, and we think ourselves superior to the one we are forgiving. We think that we are in a better position than he/she is, but we certainly remember the wrong word or deed.
2 – Forgiveness that the World Gives
ACIM tells us that this type of forgiving is all the world can give. And it is a false forgiveness. We think that the person could have done better, when in actuality all of us are doing as well as we can, given our understanding at the time. The word or deed of another is actually a call for help (an ACIM tenet), and the only sane response (also a term from ACIM) is to rush to the other’s side with help. It keeps our rights from being sacrificed (ACIM tenet).
3 – Our Rights
What does it mean to keep our “rights from being sacrificed”? We are due a good day. All of us are. And when attack has entered the picture, which always happens when we hold against another his/her insanity, then we are sacrificing our own rights to a good day. We are mulling over things best forgotten. Only if our personal safety is an issue do we need to distance ourselves, and even this is not an ACIM tenet. To my mind, though, it is common sense to remove one’s self from the vicinity of another in attack mode, verbal or physical.
4 – Death
“Yet there is a kind of death that has a different source. It does not come because of hurtful thoughts and raging anger at the universe. It merely signifies the end has come for usefulness of body functioning. And so it is discarded as a choice, as one lays by a garment now outworn. (S-3.II.1)”
5 – Other Side
We move in this passage to the end of life, to the time that forgiveness has been extended to all whom we have encountered, and we are ready to go home to the Other Side. We do not always get sick at this juncture, though most do. We can simply lay the body aside as a well-worn garment, ready to assume a new form, our ethereal body (not an ACIM tenet, which does not identify what we will be like after death).
6 – Choosing Death
We can choose death in this world. We do not have to stay here if pain is too great. And I am not talking about suicide. The Self within knows when we have had enough, and there are exit points. Then we develop a terminal illness, and we leave.
7 – Remain Healthy
But it does not have to be thus. We can, in the ideal world, remain healthy until the end. And then simply lay the body aside. But this usually does not happen, for many of us are weak and frail. We do not yet know how to forgive sufficiently to keep ourselves from sickness and always to choose health.
8 – What Death Should Be
“This is what death should be; a quiet choice, made joyfully and with a sense of peace, because the body has been kindly used to help the Son of God along the way he goes to God. (S-3.II.2)”
9 – Consoling Thoughts
So death should be a quiet choice, made “joyfully and with a sense of peace.” What consoling thoughts! Thank you, Jesus, for guiding our minds to such a conclusion.
10 – Liberty
“We call it death, but it is liberty. It does not come in forms that seem to be thrust down in pain upon unwilling flesh, but as a gentle welcome to release. (S-3.II.3)”
11 – Ruth Montgomery
Liberty! That is what death at the conclusion of a good life is really all about. Ruth Montgomery, in 20th century writings by automatic writing from her Guides, asserted that death is like walking through an open door. Would that this be all that it is for all us! Ruth wrote such books as A Search for the Truth and A World Beyond, after a long and distinguished journalist in Washington, DC.
12 – Death as Benign
So we can choose to see death as something entirely benign. We have nothing to fear. Suffering, yes, perhaps. But pain does not have to turn into suffering. We can exit gently.
May I see death in a wholly benign way. May I welcome death at the time that is right for me. I realize that this is not yet, for I am healthy and very immersed in living in this world. When my time comes, help me to lay aside my physical body as one would lay aside a well-worn garment.
Help me to live joyfully every day of my life. May my prayer life, today, be enriched by turning to You in “praying without ceasing.” When I pray for assistance, You always respond, and right away. You tell me what to do to have peace. I can depend on You, and for this I thank You.
Be with me now throughout this day. May my words and deeds always reflect well on You. Help me to set a good example as a student/teacher of A Course in Miracles.
And may this day go well. Thank You.