“Who is the physician? Only the mind of the patient himself. The outcome is what he decides that it is. Special agents seem to be ministering to him, yet they but give form to his own choice. (M-5.II.2)”
Affirmation: “My mind is the physician.”
1 – Personal Experience
This is the passage in the Manual of A Course in Miracles that I sought out when my father was gravely ill and in intensive care in 1992–fully 20 years ago. Believing as I did in the truths of ACIM, I also believed that my father had chosen the particular circumstances of his grave illness for a purpose. The words of this passage were very comforting to me during this terrible time. And my father died. I believe that he chose the manner and timing of his death (interpretations based on ACIM, but not stated directly). If we can reach this point in understanding A Course in Miracles, there is a great blessing bestowed on us.
2 – When Illness Visits Us
We do not have to seek out this passage only when others are involved. We can adopt its philosophy as our own when illness visits, for it will sometimes come and seem unsought.
3 – The Self Has Chosen
The answer is that it is the Self that has chosen, the Christ within, not the personal self, not the little self comprised, in part, of an ego. Knowing this, we can have both sympathy and empathy for ourselves and others when sickness comes into this world. We do not have to believe in its true reality, for we are, as always, in the illusion. We particularly do not want to blame ourselves in personal illness, or the evolution of others on the spiritual path (if others are considered at this time). This is a “blame the victim” mentality, and is one of the pitfalls of those who believe in many of the tenets of New Age thought. We do not blame the victim in any case; we realize that on a higher level the Self has made a choice, but we can never know the circumstances of that choice. Only the Holy Spirit can know this, and He does not always tell us enough that we are led to understand.
4 – “Special Agents”
Physicians and other medical staff are the “special agents” that minister to ourselves and others during sickness. We can ask for guidance about which medical staff, specifically, to seek out. If we choose to become well again, with the aid of these special agents, we can know that we saw the valuelessness of sickness–at least this time. There are no guarantees in this world. We may fall down again, and find ourselves sick–through no fault of our own. When more sickness comes, it is evidence that we are learning through pain. Jesus would not counsel this, but ACIM recognizes the almost inevitable nature of this type of thinking for human beings.
5 – When Sickness Strikes
So, when sickness strikes (and, for most of us, it will, sooner or later), ask for the guidance to know how to choose aright, how to choose healing. And then go about to follow that guidance. The Holy Spirit will be with us every step of the way, and we can also believe that Jesus holds our hand, for he has promised to come at a single unequivocal call (from ACIM).
May I know, if sickness visits me, that my Self has chosen this form of intervention for a purpose. May I listen quietly and try to discern what that purpose is.
Be with me today so that no illness, physical or emotional, visits me. I know that You are “for health” all the way, and that learning is better effected through rewards rather than pain.
Many of us choose sickness, but I would not go this way. I would be healthy and vibrant, and this can happen only if I follow You. Your Way is the best way, the practical way, to a life in this world that is peaceful, calm, tranquil, and joyous. I would learn Your way, not through pain.
May I learn through rewards today.