Tag Archives: healing

A Miracle is the Expression of Atonement

“I have emphasized that the miracle, or the expression of Atonement, is always a sign of respect from the worthy to the worthy. The recognition of this worth is re-established by the Atonement. It is obvious, then, that when you are afraid, you have placed yourself in a position where you need Atonement. You have done something loveless, having chosen without love. This is precisely the situation for which the Atonement was offered. (T-2.VI.8)”

Miracles are expressions of Atonement between worthy people. You, to whom I offer a miracle that Jesus prompts, are just as worthy as you, who receives that miracle. Each and every one of us are worthy, with recognition of our worthiness being re-established by the Atonement. God grants our worthiness to us; elsewhere we learn that nothing that we do or think or make establishes our worthiness. We are children of God, and that is why the miracle heals us, the miracle as an expression of Atonement, and a reaching out from the worthy to the worthy.

What but a divine Source could have developed such a fabulous instrument of healing? When we are afraid, we have done something loveless, having chosen without love? And so we need to recognize that the Atonement has been created for us in just that situation. The ego, as a faulty part of our view of ourselves, always makes us afraid. The ego, being empty of love for us, its host, always prompts us to say and to do loveless things. When we are free of the ego, even for a moment, we will be freed to accept the solution of the Atonement to get us out of this fearful state.

Jesus won’t come between our thinking, even our faulty thinking, and its results. He will help, though, in the conditions that brought the fear about. And saying and doing loveless things are instances of what brings about fear. Do we not have powerful incentives to ask to do and say the loving thing always? Even in the fact of provocation?

So see miracles as expressions of Atonement, for miracles thus become another example of the definition of Atonement. And miracles are at the center of the message of forgiveness which A Course in Miracles brings to us.

Is Jesus Still Available for Help?

1 – Temptation

“God’s gifts can rarely be received directly. Even the most advanced of God’s teachers will give way to temptation in this world. (M58)”

2 – Fallibility

Even the most advanced of God’s teachers is still fallible. We won’t get it right all the time. We will succumb to temptations in this world, and that includes especially the tendency to feel anger and then to attack. In addition, we will judge ourselves and others. And we will make contingency plans against uncertainties to come. These three actions are all ways in which temptations take us away from God. And we will fall on our face in our dealings with our brothers and sisters.

3 – Holy Spirit

Leaving temptation behind is an ongoing pathway. We will never, perhaps, be free of temptations in this world, but the times that they intrude upon our lives will lessen as we live closer to the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

4 – Miracles

God gives us gifts, though we may not recognize them when they come. One might not recognize a miracle at high noon, if our thoughts are solely on our own desires and wishes. We may study the Course, and as we do, we will do better in this world. Our power will come to us as we let guidance lead the Way.

5 – Name of Jesus

“The Bible says, ‘Ask in the Name of Jesus Christ.’ Is this merely an appeal to magic. . . What does calling on his Name confer? Why is the appeal to him part of healing? (M58)”

6 – Faith

This invocation is not an appeal to magic; it is a statement of faith, a truly undivided appeal. We know that Jesus performed miracles in his life, and we think therefore that the miracles that we ask to be performed for ourselves now will have a welcome ear in him.

7 – Jesus

And so it is. Jesus hears still, though nobody on earth can figure out how this may be. There are laws of the physical and spiritual world of which we know nothing. Calling on the name of Jesus is one such appeal to laws of which we know nothing.

8 – Still Available?

“Is he [Jesus] still available for help? What did he say about this? Remember his promises, and ask yourself honestly whether it is likely that he will fail to keep them. . .Would the greatest teacher be unavailable to those who follow him? (M58)”

9 – Yes, Jesus Is Available

This passage proclaims, without question, that Jesus is available to us. Other passages suggest that we ought to visualize holding his hand, and we are told that this will be no “idle fantasy.”

10 – Traditional Christianity

Many traditional Christian teachings, inspirational writing, give accounts of time when individuals felt that Jesus, with the healing touch, was present and performed miracles—especially a relaxed calm in the heart. An inner peace. May we all experience this when we ask. Jesus says in A Course in Miracles that he will come with one “unequivocal call.”

11 – Cloning

How is this possible? We don’t know, but we can surmise, that Jesus can clone himself, appearing to many people simultaneously and in different settings. Nothing is said in ACIM about this, but we can speculate. How else would his presence to any and all of us be possible?

12 – Greatest Teacher

In this passage he is proclaimed the “greatest teacher.” Edgar Cayce, a psychic of the last century, said, in trance, that Jesus was the leader of a group of souls that came here to save people who had become enmeshed in matter. This does not mean that there are not other leaders. Christianity, fundamental Christianity, has long believed that people must accept Jesus as the Son of God, the only Redeemer. ACIM does not say this. ACIM says that there are other teachers for other people, for nobody is left bereft of counsel and help.

13 – Take a Chance

We need to take a chance today and ask for Jesus’s help. We should not feel presumptuous in so doing. He has welcomed that advance in ACIM. And it is not arrogant to believe that he will come when called. He will not intrude, but he is there when we need him: one unequivocal call.

14 – Comforting Passage

May this word be a blessing for us today. The passage is comforting in the extreme. And we know that we all need help.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I not give way to temptation, though You say that I will be likely to do so from time to time. May I not give way to temptation today.

Thank You for your support always. May I avoid anger and attack today. May I be good to my brothers and sisters. When I hear guidance, let me be steadfast to hold it close to me.

Amen.

Healing and Atonement

1 – Identical Concepts

“Healing and Atonement are not related; they are identical. There is no order of difficulty in miracles because there are no degrees of Atonement. (M55)”

2 – The Sequence

If we are right with God (atonement), then the healing of our minds is next to happen. Note that physical symptoms may still be present, but the mind is where the healing happens. Physical symptoms very well may disappear in time (and there is no time, and so this is irrelevant).

3 – Undoing

Atonement, the “undoing,” happens when we surrender to God. We find that salvation has been waiting for us all along. We also find that miracles can and will heal anything that ails us. The fact that miracles do not always happen for us is not a reason to doubt the validity of some miracles. God may be saying “no” to us, and our inner Self will have acquiesced to this denial.

4 – Accept Atonement

“Accept Atonement and you are healed. Atonement is the Word of God. Accept His Word and what remains to make sickness possible? Accept His Word and every miracle has been accomplished. (M55)”

5 – Ideal Level

This assertion belongs to the “ideal” level of A Course in Miracles. The books are written on at least two levels, and not all of us can reach up to the ideal level at all times.

6 – Faith

This is not a reason to lose faith. In fact, Jesus healed when faith was strong—only “believe,” he said.

7 – Unhealed Illness

Of course, you as well as I can point to many examples of sick people who believed that they would be healed, and to our eyes they were not healed. Is this reason to doubt what God has promised to us?

8 – Inner Healing

I think not. Know that an inner healing may happen even when outer circumstances do not change. The inner may be a far superior form of healing than the outer. We will be given the grace to accept our predicament.

9 – Can You Believe?

See if you can reasonably believe in a healing. If you cannot visualize a healing, then chances are good that this healing is not in the cards for you. Our failure to visualize something is almost proof positive that we are on the wrong track (an interpretation, not stated in A Course in Miracles).

10 – Progress

“The progress of the teacher of God may be slow or rapid, depending on whether he recognizes the Atonement’s inclusiveness, or for a time excludes some problem areas from it. In some cases, there is a sudden and complete awareness of the perfect applicability of the lesson of the Atonement to all situations, but this is comparatively rare. (M55)”

11 – Holy Spirit

We need to turn to the Holy Spirit with all of our decisions, but rarely are we courageous enough to do so. It takes time to trust Him. When we come to learn that following His advice brings good, and following our own often leaves us unhappy, we will turn to Him more and more. And our lives will get better, accordingly.

12 – Do Not Rely on Yourself

Sometimes a miracle happens, and as soon as one accepts the Holy Spirit into his or her life, then that person recognizes that the truth is good for all things. We usually don’t experience this sudden awareness, though, because we have been reared to place our dependence upon our own judgment. We think that we are missing something unless we rely upon ourselves. But this is a false doctrine. The world teaches it to us, but the Course teaches just the reverse.

13 – Judgment

Our own judgment can never know all the factors about a given situation. But the Holy Spirit does know all factors. Would we not be foolish to fail to take advantage of such a Helper? This Helper is always available to us, and He has only our best reactions at heart.

14 – Function

“The teacher of God may have accepted the function God has given him long before he has learned all that his acceptance holds out to him. It is only the end that is certain. (M55)”

15 – Healing May Be Delayed

This passage contains a hint that healing may be delayed. Sometimes healing is delayed for our own good, in that a sudden healing might precipitate depression, because we have learned to see our sickness as part of our self-image—and we know not where to turn if healed. (Paraphrases from ACIM.)

16 – All Will Be Healed

In the end, we are all healed, whether now, later, or on the Other Side. We will know abundant health, now or in the future, for sickness has no place in the Son/Daughter of God’s reality, the true reality.

17 – Inclusiveness

“Anywhere along the way, the necessary realization of inclusiveness may reach him. If the way seems long, let him be content. He has decided on the direction he wants to take. What more was asked of him? And having done what was required, would God withhold the rest? (M55)”

18 – Patience

This passage essentially says to be patient. There are illnesses that are contained only by medication, and Jesus himself says in A Course in Miracles that, though “spells,” he does not oppose taking pills if this is what we need to keep down the fear, the anxiety. An increase in fear is the last thing that we need now.

19 – Awakening

We want Awakening, but the way may be long for most of us. Awakening in our current culture in this world is relatively rare, and when it happens at all, it is frequently not sustained, but is instead a passing satori (a glimpse of Awakening). But the end is certain. God wants us to awake, and when we turn ourselves over to Him in all particulars, our way eases. We have happy dreams sent by the Holy Spirit, and these happy dreams teach us what God would have us know, how He would have us proceed before He reaches down to lift us up to Awakening.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May my progress as a teacher of God be rapid. Help me to realize that trusting the Holy Spirit for guidance in all my decisions is the way to go.

I know that You want the very best for me. And You need me to reach out to my brothers and sisters. Help me to do Your will, which is also my own.

Amen.

If the Teacher of God Senses even the Faintest Hint of Irritation in Himself as He Responds to Anyone, Let Him Instantly Realize that He Has Made an Interpretation that Is Not True.

1 – Healing

“In order to heal, it thus becomes essential for the teacher of God to let all his own mistakes be corrected. If he senses even the faintest hint of irritation in himself as he responds to anyone, let him instantly realize that he has made an interpretation that is not true. Then let him turn within to his Eternal Guide, and let Him judge what the response should be. (M48)”

2 – Negativity

This passage succinctly describes what our reaction should be when confronted with negativity. If we become even slightly irritated at a circumstance in the outer world, we are to turn within, to our internal Teacher, the Holy Spirit. He will remind us of what our response should be.

3 – Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit often guides us very specifically, because our problems seem to be specific. He will lead us out of the storm in which we sometimes find ourselves. We will speak with new authority and with wisdom that is beyond us. This is a great blessing, and one of the most important motivators to learning A Course in Miracles.

4 – Irritation

If we are feeling irritation, this is a prime time to let our mistakes be taken from us. We do not need to compound the error by turning to attack. Then the ego will have taken the upper hand. We need to be healed if we are to heal. An unhealed healer is a contradiction (a Course tenet). May we all be led to turn to the inner Guide for the best reactions in such moments of temptation.

5 – Pupils

“So is he healed, and in his healing is his pupil healed with him. The sole responsibility of God’s teacher is to accept the Atonement for himself. (M48)”

6 – Immediate Response

When we turn inward to the Holy Spirit, and, once again, ask for His assistance, then He WILL respond—and immediately. We don’t have to wallow in distress. When we turn inward, we are allowing Atonement to work in ourselves. We are accepting a new way of living, and this is constitutes the atoning value of Jesus’s place in our little world.

7 – A Clear, Grassy Path

If our significant other is healed, if we ourselves are healed, then we walk a clear, grassy path back Home. We only have to accept salvation for ourselves; this is the Atonement principle. But in our acceptance, our “pupil,” whoever he/she may be, is healed as well.

8 – Not Magic

This is not magic, though it may sound that way. This is not irrational thinking. It is the soundest good sense, as stated by Jesus in A Course in Miracles.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Irritation does not seem as bad as anger, but the Course would say that both are equal. May I turn immediately to the Holy Spirit when I sense irritation, and may I let it fall away. The Holy Spirit will guide me.

May I not flare in anger before I realize what is happening. May this be the first step on my pathway to eliminating poor thoughts and behaviors in myself.

Amen.

All Healing Is of the Mind, and so Continuing Physical Symptoms Should Not Alarm Us

1 – Healers

“Healers there are, for they are Sons of God who recognize their Source, and understand that all their Source creates is one with them. (S-3.III.5)

2 – Gender-Inclusive Language

Of course, “Sons” also includes “Daughters,” because the terminology of the 1960s was all-inclusive, the male embodied the female as well.

3 – Sons and Daughters – Capitalized

This passage suggests that Sons and Daughters, capitalized, are the real healers. This is reminiscent of the warning that an “unhealed healer” cannot really heal (from A Course in Miracles). And those who have not yet recognized their inner Self may be living in the personal self, which listens to the ego, and not be able to heal very much at all.

4 – Exceptions

Of course, there are exceptions, for God can use us all.

5 – The Source = God Himself

The Source, in this passage, is God Himself. We are sourced in God, and until we recognize this, all that we do will be confused.

6 – God’s Voice

“God’s Voice alone can tell you how to heal. Listen, and you will never fail to bring His kindly remedy to those He sends to you, to let Him heal them, and to bless all those who serve with Him in healing’s name. (Song of Prayer, S-3.III.6)”

7 – Holy Spirit

God’s Voice is the Holy Spirit, the Universal Inspiration. Listening to this Voice will tell us what to say or do when faced with illness of whatever sort. The Holy Spirit has a “kindly remedy.” And He blesses all.

8 – Reassuring

These are reassuring words indeed. We can be assured that the mind will be healed, and ultimately everything that is not of the mind (or the spirit), everything that is of the body, is illusion (ACIM tenets).

9 – Holy

“How holy are the healed!. . .Their healing has restored their wholeness so they can forgive, and join the song of prayer in which the healed sing of their union and their thanks to God. (Song of Prayer, S-3.IV.1)

10 – Forgiveness

When we are healed, we can forgive! A wonderful promise.

11 – The Sequence of Healing

“You first forgive, then pray, and you are healed. Your prayer has risen up and called to God, Who hears and answers. Song of Prayer, S-3.IV.4)”

12 – Physical Symptoms

We ought not to fret if we forgive, then pray, and then have continuing physical symptoms. It is not up to us to decide when God’s healing will be accepted.

13 – Healing Is of the Mind

And remember that all healing is of the mind, and so the body may often still display symptoms of illness. We have often chosen those very symptoms as a learning device, and if the particular ones we are faced with were healed, they could easily soon be replaced with other symptoms of illness.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the many healings, over the years, that I have known I my life. Often the healing was mental, or emotional, and that too is good. But when I was very fortunate, the healing was physical as well. Help me to think aright so that I can be placed under Your care for complete health. As Catherine Marshall said, I know that you are “for health” all the way.

Amen.

There Is a Place for Helpers in Healing

“False healing rests upon the body’s cure, leaving the cause of illness still unchanged, ready to strike again until it brings a cruel death in seeming victory. (S-3.II.6)”

1 – False Healing

This “false healing” is the “body’s cure,” which ignores the mind’s powerful importance to healing. The body’s cure would be physical healing. Physical healing sometimes does not last, though there may be a respite. And, frequently, the body adopts some new symptom of yet another illness, and the cycle starts all over again.

2 – Healing of the Mind

The healing of the mind is different, and A Course in Miracles says that healing that lasts is always of the mind. When we have chosen a symptom in the body, the body will choose another symptom if the mind has not been healed, “ready to strike again.”

3 – Forgiveness

So the cause of the illness has not been eradicated. We are told elsewhere that only forgiveness can heal the mind and thus heal sickness of the mind. The mind is always the healing place to begin.

4 – Healing-to-Separate

“Healing-to-separate may seem to be a strange idea. And yet it can be said of any form of healing that is based on inequality of any kind. (S-3.III.2)”

5 – Difficult Passage

This is a bit obtuse. We do not want to see inequality between our brother and ourselves. We want not to experience “healing-to-separate.” If we think that we have walked further along the path to God than our brother, and therefore think that we are better than he/she, then we are much mistaken. Only time separates us from our brother, and time does not really exist; it is an illusion.

6 – Equality

Let us resolve to bring equality into all of our relationships. The sooner we see everyone as inherently equal, the sooner we will experience healing of the mind, and often of the body as well.

7 – Physicians

“Someone knows better; this the magic phrase by which the body seems to be the aim of healing as the world conceives of it. And to this wiser one another goes to profit by his learning and his skill; to find in him the remedy for pain. (S-3.III.3)”

8 – Esteem

This passage explains our propensity to elevate physicians to a higher plane, to go to them, always, for cure. Now Jesus never denigrates physicians or the medications that they give. He says that pills, though a form of magic, may be a compromise cure. We may increase our anxiety if we try to heal without pills, and we are already in a compromised state of mind, and so anything that raises anxiety is not good.

9 – Patient’s Mind

But the mind of the patient only is the way that healing progresses. The mind decides if healing will be allowed. If healing is not allowed, then illness may progress even unto death (and most choose some illness as the way to exit from this life to the Other Side). “Special agents” seem to be ministering to us, but actually they are not always needed. Yet do not see this statement as a choice not to go to physicians, for Jesus never says this. The mind of the patient makes the decisions about illness or healing. (These are tenets from the Manual of A Course in Miracles)

10 – Helpers

“Is there a role for healing, then, that one can use to offer help for someone else? In arrogance the answer must be ‘no.’ But in humility there is indeed a place for helpers. (S-3.III.4)”

11 – Helpers = Physicians

These helpers are often physicians. And in humility there is a place for helpers. And we ourselves can be helpers as well. We do not have to alone and lonely when we are sick. We can reach out, and in the reaching out, often we find solace and healing. Our minds may have made the decision, but we may be too weak to heal ourselves alone. We do need help, and often this comes by way of orthodox medicine and/or other people who heal by alternative methods. We decide, though not sometimes as the conscious mind. The Self makes these decisions, the inner Self which we do not always consciously access.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I have a healing today. I know that I don’t need a physician today; the healing I need is emotional. Help me to react peaceably to all that I encounter. Help me to be less stressed, for it is only stress that brings out the anger in me. I would be tranquil and calm, in love with You and all of Your creation today.

Help me to know when to go to physicians. They have their place, and Jesus never denies this. Help me to know the difference between healing with You only and healing with others.

Be with me as I walk through this day. May it turn out better than I fear right now.

Amen.

Sickness Is a Shadow on the Holy Face of Christ

“The body’s cause is unforgiveness of the Son of God. It has not left its source, and in its pain and the mark of death upon it this is clearly shown. (Song of Prayer, S-3.I.2)”

1 – Song of Prayer

Now we return to the Song of Prayer, a tract scribed by Helen later than A Course in Miracles, also channeled by Jesus. This passage emphasizes the pivotal important of unforgiveness, in that it is seen to be the cause of the body. The body’s source is seen to be unforgiveness, and we experience pain and death as a result.

2 – A Course of Love

This emphasis is different from the later-channeled A Course of Love, in which we are bade to embody an elevated Self of form and the physical is not denigrated nearly so much.

3 – The Difference?

What is the difference here? I think that the first emphasis, that the body is to be lamented, is an ideal. This is one level of A Course in Miracles. But we are not living that ideal; we occupy a physical reality in which we all have bodies that do hurt when probed or struck, and which do die.

4 – Unforgiveness

We need a way to look at the unforgiveness, once unforgiveness has been replaced with forgiveness. This is when the elevated Self of form makes sense. We are living in a forgiven world at that point, and we are seeing the real world—the world of peace, harmony, joy, etc. We no longer hold the mistakes of our brothers and sisters against them. And we have forgiven ourselves as well. We are at home in God.

5 – Body

Then we can enjoy the body, when inside is the Self, the Christ Self that had only been covered up by the part of our belief about ourselves that is called the ego. We have elevated the physical, and we no longer need to lament that we have a physical body. We can merge the ideal with the practical, and we can live a good life, even though encased in matter.

6 – Healing as an Effect of Forgiveness

“The body can be healed as an effect of true forgiveness. Only that can give remembrance of immortality, which is the gift of holiness and love. Forgiveness must be given by a mind which understands that it must overlook all shadows on the holy face of Christ, among which sickness should be seen as one. (S-3.I.3)

7 – Healing

This passage, also from the Song of Prayer, emphasizes the central place of healing in Jesus’s message. If we truly forgive, we are placing ourselves under a higher law, one that embraces healing from sickness as an integral part of this world. Remember, though, that it is the mind that is healed always. This may or may not include the healing of the body. Physical symptoms of sickness may continue, even though the mind has been healed. (These tenets are from the Manual of ACIM.)

8 – The Mind

Note the emphasis in this passage on the mind: “a mind which understands that it must overlook all shadows.” Sickness is seen as one of these shadows, and we overlook that sickness. This is akin to the fact that we are encouraged, even taught, to overlook our brother’s mistakes, his attacks and anger directed at ourselves.

9 – Overlooking

This process of overlooking is crucial to living a peaceful life. We do not set ourselves up for more grief by overlooking. Indeed, we set ourselves up for more grief by refusing to overlook. We are encouraged to remember the good deeds of our brother, not to focus in our thoughts on his misdeeds. If we focus on his misdeeds, we have made them real to ourselves, and then how can we overlook what we have made real?

10 – The Secret

We cannot. That is the secret. Overlook and move on. Only if one’s own self is in danger should we consider some other course of action, for God’s way does in no way demand sacrifice of our own best interests.

11 – Judgment

“Nothing but that; the sign of judgment made by brother upon brother, and the Son of God upon himself. For he has damned his body as his prison, and forgot that it is he who gave this role to it. (S-3.I.3)

12 – Do Not Judge!

Do not judge! That is the idea behind this brief two-sentence passage. When we do not judge, we will awaken (from the ACIM Text). We do not have to damn the body as a prison. We can rejoice instead that we have been given a serviceable instrument in which to do God’s bidding, for His bidding is what we really, in our heart of hearts, want to do. The Holy Spirit will guide us very specifically. We will be told all that we need to know, all that we need to say and do.

13 – Body

We can give the role of prison to our bodies, but it does not have to be so. Even the weakest and sickest bodies in the world can find some meaning in living. The most infirm people, upon occasion, have done more for this world than those with robust health and robust bodies. Think of Stephen Hawking, the most famous physicist in the world, who suffers from disabilities that are in the extreme. Yet he accomplishes much. Think of Helen Keller, robbed of her hearing and sight at the age of two, who went on to be an inspiration to millions. With examples like this, how can we lament our small illnesses? They can be overcome, if we do not let our minds succumb to the illness as well as our bodies.

14 – Help in the Voice

“What he has done now must God’s Son undo. But not alone. For he has thrown away the prison’s key; his holy sinlessnes and the remembrance of his Father’s Love. Yet help is given to him in the Voice his Father placed in him. (S-3.I.4)”

15 – Holy Spirit

This passage emphasizes, once again, the powerful place of the Holy Spirit in taking us back home to God. We cannot heal ourselves; we have thrown away the prison’s key, the key to our bodies, and, indeed, our minds. The Holy Spirit is God’s Voice, placed in us to lead us home to Him. Listen today. Follow today. See if the day does not improve.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would have a good day in Your love. I would remember that guidance will take me from any ruined day at any moment that I turn to the Holy Spirit within. He guides, he teaches me to love, he teaches me to forgive. The way is clear to a sunny day with such a Helper as this.

Be with my brothers and sisters as I seek to forgive them any mistakes that have included their actions toward me. May I love with a love greater today than anything I have known in the past. May I love with Your love, shown to me by Your Holy Spirit, my Guide, Your Voice.

Amen.

There Can Be No Order of Difficulty in Healing Merely because All Sickness Is Illusion

“There can be no order of difficulty in healing merely because all sickness is illusion. Is it harder to dispel the belief of the insane in a larger hallucination as opposed to a smaller one? (M25)”

1 – No Order of Difficulty

Do we really believe this? If we don’t, this explains our difficulty with the concepts of healing that Jesus is discussing.

2 – Of the Mind

Earlier we noted that he indicated that all healing was of the mind. This eliminates the problem with continuing physical symptoms, for the body, we know, is not real—but an illusion. The reference to hallucination is important. Elsewhere Jesus asks us if we see a difference in the number of pitchforks that a devil holds—or do we see all of this as hallucination? His metaphor here is very, very similar. We do not have to view a large hallucination as more “real” than a smaller one. All are illusory, for we are trapped in a dream from which we need only awaken.

3 – Forgiveness

And we cannot awaken ourselves, though we can smooth way by forgiving our brother/sister, our significant others. The holy relationship is the way that this course is saving time. We don’t use large amounts of time in contemplation; we just forgive our brother/sister for what they have not, in reality, done. And we are healed thereby.

4 – Awakening

God does the Awakening, when He knows that we are ready (ACIM tenet).

5 – The “Devil”

“Will he agree more quickly to the unreality of a louder voice he hears than to that of a softer one? Will he dismiss more easily a whispered demand to kill than a shout? And do the number of pitchforks the devils he sees carrying affect their credibility in his perception? (M25)”

6 – Illusions

“When he realizes they are all illusion they will disappear. (M25)”

7 – Hallucination

Here are especially graphic illustrations of what hallucination can do to us. We are projecting our “reality,” our illusions, even when we are not insane in the psychiatric way of thinking. All of us, however rational we appear, are mad to a degree until we accept Awakening. We live in insanity.

8 – Madness

Knowing that, prior to Awakening, we are, to varying degrees, mad, can go a long way toward justifying forgiveness. The angry words, the attack, can be seen for what it is—the cry of another human being to be loved. His distress is based on error (from ACIM Text), and we know that all of us make errors.

9 – Body’s Eyes

“The body’s eyes will continue to see differences. But the mind that has let itself be healed will no longer acknowledge them. . . .the healed mind will put them all in one category; they are unreal. (M25)”

10 – Perceptions

The body’s eyes see perceptions, based on projection from within, that are untrue. When we have a healed mind, we will see the unreality of what we have previously viewed.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I ask today to be healed of my misperceptions. I know that I bristle when someone verbally attacks me, but I also know that the anger that I feel dissipates when I realize that this beloved son or daughter of You is actually crying out for help. I realize that I am to rush to his/her side with that help—if intervening now is advisable.

Help me to know when it is advisable to intervene, and when it is wiser to withdraw briefly until the air clears. You do not demand sacrifice, and our own well-being is dear to Your heart.

May I know that You wish all of your children well. And I know that Your heart bleeds when You see us hurt each other.

Amen.

Should Healing Be Repeated?

“This question really answers itself. Healing cannot be repeated. If the patient is healed, what remains to heal him from? And if the healing is certain, as we have already said it is, what is there to repeat? (M22)”

1 – The Mind

What is certain is that the MIND is healed. The physical symptoms may last. The fact that ease is required is important. We don’t keep coming back with more pleas; we accept that healing has occurred.

2 – Jesus

This may be difficult to accept, but I do believe that Jesus is giving it to us straight. We need to recognize that the body is illusion, and its continued symptoms do not really mean much except in this world. Our mind’s well-being is the most important.

3 – Channel for Healing

“Whenever a teacher of God has tried to be a channel for healing he has succeeded. Should he be tempted to doubt this, he should not repeat his previous effort. That was already maximal, because the Holy Spirit so accepted it and so used it. (M22)”

4 – Holy Spirit

A very reassuring passage, this indicates that we as teachers of God will not fail. The Holy Spirit does the healing, and the healing is of the mind.

5 – Continuing Symptoms

“One of the most difficult temptations to recognize is that to doubt a healing because of the appearance of continuing symptoms is a mistake in the form of lack of trust. As such it is an attack. Usually it seems to be just the opposite. It does appear unreasonable at first to be told that continued concern is attack. . . .Yet love without trust is impossible, and doubt and truth cannot coexist. (M22)”

6 – The Sticking Point

This is the sticking point: How can we believe healing has occurred when the body still exhibits symptoms of disease? It is with the mind that the Holy Spirit works, and that is not seen by the physical eye.

7 – Doubt

“The real basis for doubt about the outcome of any problem that has been given to God’s Teacher for resolution is always self-doubt. (M23)”

8 – God’s Teacher

The meaning herein is a bit obscure, but basically the passage is letting us know that God’s Teacher, who is the Holy Spirit, will always resolve problems for us. The answer may not come immediately if we are not yet ready. It may take awhile. But come it will, unless we doubt. And what is there but self-doubt? Surely, if we have come this far, we do not doubt the resolutions of problems by the Holy Spirit. If we hesitate, we are using our own minds against ourselves, and this is the meaning of self-doubt.

9 – A Resolution to Our Problems

We must trust the Holy Spirit to bring about a resolution to our problems. Elsewhere Jesus asks that we pray for a resolution of the conditions that have brought about fear. This concept is akin to what is meant in this passage. Cause-and-effect will not be tampered with, by the Holy Spirit or Jesus. Jesus says that he will not tamper with the power of our minds, and that we ask him to do so at our peril. Only the power of our minds keeps us caught in dreams of pain. There is a way out, and the Course spells out what it is. Follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit! We cannot emphasize this enough. It is the solution to our myriad problems, and it is the Answer to our prayers as well.

10 – Self-Doubt

Self-doubt is a particularly insidious form of self-betrayal. We would be wise to drop our misgivings about the power of our own minds, and then turn our wills over to the Holy Spirit. Then the resolution to our problems will be seen, often sooner rather than later.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I look forward to the quick resolution of the problems that I have given to the Holy Spirit to solve. May I not doubt that He will resolve my problems. Let me have trust in His Word.

Thank you for being there for me. I look forward to a brighter world ahead.

Amen.

Jesus’s Difficult Words about Healing

“Healing is the change of mind that the Holy Spirit in the patient’s mind is seeking for him. (M20)”

Affirmation: “Healing is a change of mind.

1 – Of the Mind

Yes! Healing is a change of mind—not necessarily of body! So this is why we have hesitated when we approached Jesus’s words about healing in the Manual of A Course in Miracles. Seeing the body as an illusion, he focuses on the mind.

2 – Healing

And the mind knows healing.

3 – Emotions

This sets the healing in the realm of the emotions, which everyone can recognize is a much easier place to be than the physical. All too often we are “caught” in the physical, seeing effects of illness, and we cannot get beyond this. That is why we doubt healing because of continuing symptoms.

4 – Jesus

But Jesus is talking about a healing of the mind, for the mind, unlike the body, is real. Of course, there may be healing of the body as well, but we do not have to depend upon this to believe Jesus’s encouraging words.

5 – Change of Mind

This passage summarizes the idea that we have been exploring for the last several days. Healing comes about with a change of mind, a change from a desire for illness–external searching–to a desire for health. Nowhere is this concept made clearer in A Course in Miracles than in this one sentence.

6 – Health

It is clear here that the Holy Spirit is for health all the way. Yet He will not stand between cause-and-effect, if our minds desire illness. Even when we don’t recognize that we desire illness, this still is true. It is frequently an unconscious choice.

7 – Death

Death would best come by just laying down the body as finished, its usefulness over (ACIM concept). There is no reason for a prolonged illness to overcome us at any time in our lives, unless we mistakenly think that this external searching will lead us to what we need to know. And often it appears to do so. A Course in Miracles would not choose this for us, though. ACIM would choose health, and by reading such passages as this one, we can see that health is the choice of the Holy Spirit as well.

8 – Holy Spirit

“And it is the Holy Spirit in the mind of the giver Who gives the gift to him. How can it be lost? How can it be ineffectual? How can it be wasted? (M20)”

The Holy Spirit gives healing. This is familiar territory for us, for long have we talked about guidance and the place of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

9 – Giver

The “giver” is the individual seeking to be a conduit to healing for another person. We must not doubt; that is imperative. And we must recognize that the healing will be accepted when it is not a threat.

10 – Sickness as a Way of Life

Elsewhere Jesus talks about healing that must stand aside if an individual has used the sickness as a way of life. He notes that perhaps depression would result from a sudden healing, that the person might even attempt suicide, his loss being so great. So, in such cases, healing must stand aside as too dangerous for the personal self (the “little” self).

11 – Gifts

“What concern, then, can a teacher of God have about what becomes of his gifts? Given by God to God, who in this holy exchange can receive less than everything? (M21)”

12 – God Within

“Given by God to God” is an indication that God is within each of us. God is the All, in the interpretation of A Course in Miracles.

13 – More Certain Healing

This whole exchange about healing in the Manual is an example of the level of the ideal to which ACIM points. Some are ready to meet Jesus at that level, but some are not. And it behooves us to commune with God to reach that level of the ideal. Then healing is far more certain.

14 – Body an Illusion

Certainly healing is of the mind, for the body is only an illusion. So emotional healing will get us home free every time. We won’t worry so much, even about pain, for we know that we are safe.

15 – Home

We have found the medical treatment that works—a healing of the mind. Let the physical symptoms remain, if they seem stubborn. We have found the way home.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to realize that true healing is a change of mind, and that if continuing physical symptoms are present, it does not mean a lack of healing.

Thank you for the many healings that I have known in my life. I know that all of them came from You.

Amen.

Is Healing Certain?

“Healing is always certain. It is impossible to let illusions be brought to truth and keep the illusions. (M20)”

1 – Oft-Difficult Concept

The passages for today describe the oft-difficult matter of healing from sickness, physical and emotional. We leave illusions behind when we accept healing.

2 – Jesus

Elsewhere Jesus explains that to doubt a healing because of the presence of continuing symptoms is not where we want to go. In the New Testament, Jesus is described as asking the sick, “Do you believe that I can do this?”

3 – Doubt / Belief

I think that this question is at the heart of healing in our day also. If we doubt that the healing can take place, then our doubt rises in ascendancy. When our belief is able to take hold, healing—either emotional or physical—is much more likely.

4 – Healing

So Jesus tells us in the Manual that healing is always certain.

5 – Terminal Illnesses

I do not understand this, for I have known individuals who believed strongly that they would be healed of a terminal illness, only to find that they died, right on schedule. I can’t get into their minds, to determine if their belief in healing were true, or only wishful thinking and wishful speaking. I have heard of individuals who went to great distances for dubious healing methods, only to fall on their face.

6 – Ram Dass

What is Jesus saying, then? I think that his healing may be of the etheric body. This is not so stated in either A Course in Miracles or A Course of Love, but perhaps we find that healing is of many different hues. Ram Dass once counseled a dying woman to do more living in her final days; she was spending all her time obsessing about her impending death. She listened to him, and she had a great resurgence of true living before passing on. This type of healing may be some of what Jesus is saying to us in these passages.

7 – All Die

All individuals die eventually. Most choose some form of illness to make their departure. This choice does not negate Jesus’s words; it teases us out of thought to try to understand.

8 – God Is for Health

Most illnesses, though, over the course of a lifetime, are not life-threatening. And many spontaneous healings do occur, whether or not the person invokes Jesus’s healing power. We must believe that God is for health all the way. Guidance will lead us to legitimate forms of healing, either with ministering physicians or medication. We need not be afraid.

9 – Threats

“Healing will always stand aside when it would be seen as threat. The instant it is welcome it is there. (M20)”

This is yet another of the very reassuring passages that are prevalent in A Course in Miracles. We can be healed if we are not threatened by that healing. We will often not recognize that we are threatened by healing; in fact, we think just the reverse. Yet, if we are ACIM students, and we trust Jesus, we should look deeper for the meaning of this passage.

10 – Depression

Elsewhere Jesus talks of precipitating a depression in an individual who is unprepared by a sudden healing. He even talks of the possibility of suicide in such cases. This is an extreme interpretation, but one that we would be wise to accept. Sudden healing can be about as threatening to our belief system as anything we may encounter.

11 – When Will Healing Occur?

The more optimistic way to view this passage is to see that healing will be “there” when welcomed. This is reassuring indeed, as we noted at the beginning of this reflection. May we ask for healing, and may we welcome it when we are confronted by it. Anything else is chosen by the mind for reasons that may remain obscure to us as long as we are in this world.

12 – Offering Healing

“No teacher of God should feel disappointed if he has offered healing and it does not appear to have been received. It is not up to him to judge when his gift should be accepted. (M20)”

“Who gives a gift and then remains with it, to be sure it is used as the giver deems appropriate? Such is not giving but imprisoning. (M20)”

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to understand that I am threatened by healing when I am not healed. When the fear is gone, the healing will be present.

May I realize that there may be continuing symptoms, but the healing is real. Thank you for leading me to understand this paradoxical statement from the Course.

Amen.

Illness Is Some Form of External Searching. Health Is Inner Peace.

“Illness is some form of external searching. Health is inner peace. It enables you to remain unshaken by lack of love from without and capable, through your acceptance of miracles, of correcting the conditions proceeding from lack of love in others. (T18)”

Affirmation: “Illness is external searching. Health is inner peace.”

Reflections:

1 – Unclear?

Perhaps this passage will remain unclear for some time as we study A Course in Miracles. We may not fully understand for what we are searching when we become ill. But surely we have recognized, over our lifetimes, that we are peaceful when we are in good health. Good health can be either emotional or physical; it makes no difference. This passage holds the implication that it is ourselves that make us sick or ill. And that when we are at peace, we enjoy health. How rational does this appear to us? Perhaps not rational at all, because we know that we do not want to blame the victim. We do not want to feel that an ill person drew to himself/herself the sickness. How can we fail to blame the victim if we think that we are in control of our bodies, through our minds?

2 – Role of the Self

The answer is completely that it is the inner Self that makes these decisions, and the inner Self is not controlled by the “little” or personal self, the one that we carry with us as we walk through our days. Nobody, however holy, is immune to illness. Enlightened beings have died of cancer. Most people die in some suffering. This does not mean that if they were more holy, they would suffer less. It is true that the more we walk the pathway, the less mental suffering we will sustain. The emotional suffering is more in our control, at least sometimes, than the physical.

3 – Something in You

So don’t be afraid to recognize that something in you did make the illness. It is some form of external searching. Ultimately, when we identify what that external searching is seeking to tell us, the illness itself may be cured. God does not look with favor on sickness; He is “for health” all the way. Certainly Jesus’s miracles of healing in the New Testament are evidence that a holy one can see the need for healing, once the mind of the believer believes strongly enough in the power of God’s grace.

4 – Emotional Health

The emotional health can be seen in that many of us have no problem with the ACIM concept of refraining from attack when we are at peace. When stress happens, though, we may find it all too easy to succumb to attack and also the accompanying anger. This is not good emotional health. And we know that we have it under our power to change. We can release our angers, overcome our tendency to attack, and we will be emotionally well again–at least from those tendencies. Emotional health itself is much more complicated than this, though. There are illnesses that do not cure themselves without medication, at least for most people.

5 – Medication

Jesus in A Course in Miracles recognizes that pills are a form of magic, but that the medications can reduce fear, and this is good. So Jesus develops in ACIM a compromise approach in that he recommends pills, a magic potion, when the fear has sufficiently strong power over our minds that we cannot rise above the fear and heal.

6 – Physical Health

Physical health is frequently a challenge that either brings us closer to God or seems to drive Him away. We can respond either way, but the obviously better way is to seek God in our suffering. He will be there. And we will not have to wait long. Many miracles revolve around physical ailments. There is no damaging illness that has not been cured in somebody, and so there is always grounds for hope. Yet the disease may be present for a reason that only the Self recognizes, and we do not have access to the unconscious at every point. One aspect of prayer that may help is a dialogue with a Higher Power that asks what we might do to heal ourselves. Use pen and pencil, or type on a computer. Write nothing down that does not impress itself on your mind. Many cures have come about through just this method. And if living with one’s ailment is the only answer, we will also be given the grace to do so.

7 – Summary

So we see that we are seeking something external to ourselves when we become ill. But there is, according to ACIM, nothing outside ourselves. There is no world! So the secret to good health is an inner communion that transforms one’s mind to peace. Inner peace is healing. Any doctor will attest to this.

8 – Healing?

May the illnesses of my readers be assuaged today. The answer to healing may be, from God, a “no,” but if this is the case, we will be given the means to live well in spite of limitations. We are not without limitations in this world (an ACIM tenet).

Prayer:

Dear Father,

Surely you are with us in good health and bad. When we are in good health, may we experience gratefulness. When we are ill, may we experience the grace to be accepting of that which we do not understand.

May we move closer to You in health and in illness. May our emotional and physical condition make no difference in the zeal with which we seek You.

Amen.


The Last Judgment Is a Final Healing rather than a Meting Out of Punishment

“The Last Judgment is generally thought of as a procedure undertaken by God. Actually it will be undertaken by my brothers with my help. It is a final healing rather than a meting out of punishment, however much you may think that punishment is deserved. (T34)”

Affirmation: “The Last Judgment. . .a final healing”

Reflections:

1 – Healing

The Last Judgment is usually fraught with fear. The way Jesus explains it, though, it is a healing, not an opportunity to determine if punishment is justified. This is a much more modern way of interpreting the Last Judgment, and also much more in line with the love that emanates from the New Testament. What would an angry God want to do with His children but to heal them? Why would He punish in some hell-fire-and-brimstone way? What good would that do? And how could we still believe this of a loving God?

2 – Traditional Concepts

We couldn’t believe the traditional hell of a loving God, although perhaps in an earlier era people were “scared” into heaven by sermons warning of hell. Maybe. I’m not so sure. I think that the “hell” concept has made many enemies for God, many people who don’t believe that He could do such a thing. And indeed, A Course in Miracles tells us that God cannot.

3 – Brothers

There is an indication here of our “brothers,” working with Jesus, to carry out the Last Judgment. There are no other indications in the Course of what Jesus meant, aside from the tenet that our brothers are our way home, that we learn through our holy relationships. I once had a waking dream, a kind of hypnosis, in which a brother of mine walked me through the Last Judgment. I was asked to do all kinds of things in my life (most of which I have done, later on), and I cried during the trance that I felt myself in. But was this the brother, sent by Jesus, to walk me through the Last Judgment? I think that he was, for he meant many things to me, and he was an advanced spiritual soul.

4 – Holy Relationship

We must just accept the idea that Jesus puts forth in this passage, without being able, within ACIM or without, to understand the message fully. As time passes, perhaps we will come to understand. It is perhaps in the final working out of the holy relationship that the Last Judgment actually takes place.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

My I no more fear the Last Judgment. I do not understand how my brothers will help with the Last Judgment, but I trust what Jesus has said.

May I endeavor to have holy relationships with all of my brothers. May this concept grow in time, and may I feel your blessing in it.

Amen.

Indescribably Happy

pennsylvania-impressionist-impressionism-painting-by-kenneth-nunamaker-over-looking-the-delaware-from-center-bridge-1928-original-size-22-x-24“If you could accept the world as meaningless and let the truth be written upon it for you, it would make you indescribably happy. But because it is meaningless, you are impelled to write upon it what you would have it be. It is this you see in it. It is this that is meaningless in truth. (W-12)”

Affirmation: “I would be indescribably happy today.”

Reflections:

1 – Preconceptions

How do we let go of our preconceptions about this world? We have written our own meaning upon it. That is all. We need to accept that the world itself is meaningless, and then let the truth be written upon it for us.

2 – Passive

This attitude is essentially passive. But we do contemplate, read, study, and pray. And in these actions we come to understand more fully what this world really means. We do not add our own meaning to it; we accept what comes to us in such moments of reflection, essentially waiting for God to speak to us.

3 – God

And He will. We all too often think that God is remote from us, but instead He is the deepest part of our being. When we turn within, we will find Him. And we will also find the answers to our questions.

4 – Solution Is with the Problem

Remember that the solution to the problem is always with the problem–at the very moment. And frequently we get an answer immediately. Unfortunately, when our emotions are turbulent, we cannot always hear the answers. We don’t get the solution, and so we need to calm down, relax, commune with our deepest nature, and then take the steps that come to us, intuitively.

5 – Problems

When we contemplate in the most serene way, our answers come to what is troubling us. And if the answers don’t come, perhaps this is a problem that God is holding out to us as a learning exercise. Ask, instead, what this problem is meant to teach us? And the answer will dawn, sooner rather than later.

6 – The World

We do not stay with the idea that the world is meaningless, for to believe this would be demoralizing. We let God write its meaning upon our hearts, and then we are at peace.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

The solution is with the problem. Thank You for that knowledge–a great blessing! When problems come up, if I remember to listen to guidance, the answer does come. Invariably. But my emotions must be calm for the guidance to come through. Help my emotions to be calm today.

I would be indescribably happy today. There is no better way to follow You, and no better way to live in this world. Happiness is a worthy goal, for we are of much better use to others when we are happy. And happiness is a witness to what salvation offers. May I never forget this.

Be with me today as I seek to pray for others whom I know are in crisis. Praying to You works, a very practical technique for healing.

May this day, as all days, be good.

Amen.

The Value of Prayer

pissarro-montmartre-night“Prayer is but reproducing and recollecting a divine memory and divine memory cannot help but produce a divine outcome.  Said in another way, prayer reproduces the truth and allows the truth to exist as it is.  Prayer does this because it is the act of consciously choosing union.  (Treatises of A Course of Love:  Treatise on the Art of Thought, 6.2)”

Affirmation:  “I will pray often and sincerely today.”

Reflections:

1 – Personal Experience

One of the most important points of the spiritual life, to me, is the matter of prayer.  A favorite professor of mine once, in effect, witnessed to me about prayer.  In answering a question as to how he had come to a given answer, he replied, quietly, “Prayer.”  In truth he was a changed man from what he had been like just a couple of years previously.  The witness of his truth about prayer was a defining moment in my own life.  The exchange constituted a peak experience.

2 – Practice Prayer

So, in my own way, in many years since, I have practiced prayer–deep prayers when I was upset about something, deep prayers in which I felt God’s touch of healing.  A Course in Miracles refers to this action as “communing” with God, and that is, in effect, what I have tried to do in times of crisis.  Prayer rights things.  There is absolutely no emotional charge that can remain, of an upsetting nature, that in my experience is not made better by deep prayer.  And by “deep” prayer, I mean the heartfelt reaching toward God that I imagine the author of The Cloud of Unknowing (an anonymous medieval treatise) had in mind.

3 – Tenderness

Now we find in A Course of Love that prayer is counseled.  Of course, this simply reinforces in my own mind something that I have believed since I was 24, when the encounter with my professor occurred.  The joy of communing with God is exceedingly tender, for He is a gentle God.  His way is not perceived, in prayer, to be a hard or difficult pathway to follow.  His is the way of supreme good sense.  His is the way that I know, in such moments, that I want to walk.

4 – Healing

We cannot all be healed of physical ailments, and there are emotional ones as well that are not healed.  But certainly the physical and emotional ones stand a much better chance of healing if prayer has taken place.  And, in my experience, the emotional difficulties are especially prone to healing by prayer.  There is a calm that settles over one who is in deep prayer.  Sleep comes gently in such a case, if one is saying nightly prayers.  We end the day aright, and we are preparing, in our own way, for a subsequent day that will be started aright.  There is no substitute for the comfort that prayer can and does give.  This I know from personal experience.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the myriad answers to pray that You have given me over the years.  Prayer works in a very practical sense, and I am not upset by “using” prayer in this way.  Of course, I do not want to use You, but to love You.  And to know that You love me.  Communing with You in deep prayer shows me that love flows in both directions.

Thank You for the experience that I lived through when I was 24, the experience of first learning how valuable prayer could really be.  Thank You that this occurrence happened so early in my life.  I am very grateful for the role that You have played in my life through the deep prayers that I have been led to have over the years.

Be with all of us today.  If hard times come, let us know that we always have You to whom to turn.  And the hard times melt away in the blessing of communing with You.  Thank You especially that healing of emotional issues comes with prayer.  I do not rule out healing of physical issues as well, but it is with the emotional that I am especially grateful today.  When our mind and heart are calm, we can live through any struggle, and we, with Your help, can turn that struggle into ease.

Amen.

Healing through Yearning

“Your saving grace is that even a separated self yearns for union and knowledge of its creator.  Thus along with this yearning was a means provided for its fulfillment, and with this fulfillment lies the end of the separation.  (A Course of Love, 19.6)”

Affirmation:  “May my yearning turn to God today.”

la-prominade-monet

Reflections:

1 – Yearning for Union

We are, in a sense, saved by our yearning.  The presence of yearning (for union) is evidence that we are not meant to remain isolated (or to think ourselves isolated).

2 – Peace that Passeth Understanding

There is a way of praying that is a yearning for God.  This prayer is very satisfying emotionally.  It asks for little specifically except the sense of His Presence.  And, when this sense, this feeling, comes, there is a tranquility that is unlike anything else.  This experience is indeed the “peace that passeth understanding” (from the Bible).

3 – Gratitude

When we experience the fulfillment of this yearning, we are satisfied in a deep sense, a sense deeper than anything else can or does bring.  And we are grateful.  The gratitude can be both an outgrowth of the fulfillment, or the initiator of the prayer.

4 – Dark Night of the Soul

Of course, many of us know of the dark night of the soul, when no prayer seems to bring comfort.  It is felt by some that at such times God withdraws a bit for reasons that are obscure.  He wants us to want Him for Himself alone, not His comforting Presence.  (That is one explanation, but nobody really knows.)  At such times, we are bade not to abandon our faith, but to go deeply within it by whatever means we are led to experience.  This may be deeper and longer prayers, meditation, contemplation, helping others, forgetting self, losing one’s self in a large cause; the list is endless.  We will have to determine what will work for us.  Yet in all likelihood it is not ourselves that brings us out of the dark night of the soul, but God and His helpers.  We are not strong enough; we are too frail.  We cannot effect such a sea change in ourselves without help.

5 – The Cloud of Unknowing

But the yearning is important.  The Cloud of Unknowing, an anonymous medieval manuscript, makes yearning its central point.  With a dart of longing, we reach toward God, and He stretches out His Hand and touches us.  Then what more could we want?

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I yearn today to know the tranquility that is mine when I pray and receive You.  I feel the peace that passeth understanding, and I am mellowed out.  This sense of Your presence is a balm for every hurt, a solution to every problem.  It is the best that I can hope for, and I thank You that this peace comes often.

Be with me today as I seek my Self/Christ within.  Today will be a quiet day for reflection, and I thank You for the lack of stress that I foresee.  We can each choose, in our own way, the calm that transcends conflict.  And I would choose so today.

Amen.

We Cry Out for Healing Today

“Your choice to separate from God is but a separation from your own Self, and this is truly the separation that needs to be healed to return you to God.  (A Course of Love, 17.2)”

Affirmation:  “May I join with my Self today.”vincent-van-gogh-portrait-of-peasant-detail-resized-600.jpeg

Reflections:

1 – Personal Self

We are often moody.  Why?  We are living in the personal self, the little self that is still occupied with and identified with the ego.  The ego does not wish us well.  It welcomes conflict, because conflict keeps the ego alive and thriving.

2 – Relax into Our Hearts

There is a better way to live.  We can relax into our hearts, when we are down, and still the mind.  The final pages of the Workbook of A Course in Miracles are filled with reflections that some view as meditation.  These reflections, as well as the trilogy of A Course of Love, are particularly appropriate to consider our Self, the real inner being that is the Christ.  And when we turn to the inner being, we are reconciled to ourselves and to God at once.

3 – Glimpses of Revelation

We will sometimes fail to make this transition, for the glimpses of revelation are brief in the beginning.  But gradually, as we continue our pathway, the glimpses lengthen, and our time with the Self expands.  Then we are truly being returned to God, and posthaste.  We are not alone with the ego any longer.

4 – Ineffable Peace

When we have returned to our Self, we will know peace, an ineffable peace, far more often than we will experience any other emotion.  Indeed, Jesus says in A Course in Miracles that we will be “perfectly calm and quiet” all the time.  Drama of the ego will have faded away, and we will be glad of the fading.

5 – Listen Quietly

May we return to the Self today.  We cannot do this alone.  But we can ask for help, and, if we listen quietly, we will hear.  Invite God’s peace into your heart today.  He will not disappoint.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would do whatever I can today to return to my Self, the Christ in me.  I cannot do this without help, and I ask for Your help.  May the glimpses of revelation that I have known come again today, and may those glimpses lengthen in time.  I can eventually look forward to living in the Self all the time.  I welcome that day, though I know that the decision is Yours, and I respect this from the bottom of my heart.

Be with me today.  Keep me from anxiety.  If I am truly living as separated from You, I will have anxiety.  I will not have anxiety when I choose to heal the separation, the separation that has never been real anyway.  You have always been there for me, deep within me–as well as outwardly.  May my perceptions be cleansed into knowledge, Your true knowledge.  May I project outwardly only the harmony and peace that You encompass within me.

Be with me today as I sort out these complexities.  Salvation is simple, and when I get too much into complexities, I am speaking from my ego.  Correct this in me today.  Thank You.

Amen.

Jesus Holding Our Hand

“Now you seek to know how to escape what you have made.  To do so you must withdraw all faith from it.  This you are not ready yet to do, but this is what your heart will now prepare you for.  As you are prepared, you walk alongside he who has waited for you with a single purpose instead of alongside the conflicting desires you chose to let lead you to this strange world.  You travel lightly now where before you walked in chains.  You travel now with a companion who knows you as you are and would show your Self to you.  (A Course of Love, 9.9)”

Affirmation:  “I walk with Jesus today.”

Reflections:

1 – Jesus

Jesus is talking about his presence with us in this remarkable passage.  I have earlier speculated about the “how” that Jesus could be everywhere at once.  But there are natural laws in the metaphysical realm that our science know not of.  And this is one of them.

2 – Escape

We would escape from what we have made, and we would withdraw our faith from it.  We need to realize the world that we made has been deeply flawed from the beginning.  We sought to learn apart from God, and we immersed ourselves in mire.  But we are returning.  And in A Course of Love, we look to our heart to guide us, our heart that is within, where Christ/Self is, and where God is.  And we have mighty companions with us as we follow this pathway (from the Manual of A Course in Miracles).

3 – Jesus = Our Companion

Jesus is the companion who knows us as we are, and we travel lightly with him.  This statement is akin to the teaching of Jesus in the New Testament, in which he is quoted as saying that his burden is “light.”  We indeed no longer have to even think in terms of “burdens” (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM or ACOL).  Previously we traveled in chains, with a bundle of troubles that we might periodically release to God, but which we would always retrieve, for we felt bereft without our bundle of problems.

4 – We Have No Problems

Let this thinking fall by the wayside!  A Course in Miracles said that we would come to see that we had no problems.  Our primary problem–separation, or our perceived separation–has been solved, and we have no other problem that God will not address, removing it from our sight.

5 – Healing Is Certain

Healing is certain, and the continuance of physical symptoms is not evidence that healing has not occurred (from the Manual of A Course in Miracles).  The passage for today is talking about healing in the greatest sense possible (though the word is not used).  May we accept Jesus’s hand as we walk through this illusory world.  And then we will be home in God, and ready to reach out to all that might receive our words and actions.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I recognize anew that today I have a companion beside me.  I have nothing to fear.  There is nothing in this world to fear, though difficulties abound.  There are no real problems when faith is strong.  May my faith be strong today.

May we know that healing is certain, once we listen to the guidance that we receive.  The healing may come through doctors, through medication, through natural means, and even through prayer–a miracle happening.  May any and all “cures” be appropriate and not a misguided effort to bypass that which You would have us experience.

Amen.

How to Understand Healing

“Healing is very simple.  Atonement is received and offered.  Having been received, it must be accepted.  It is in the receiving, then, that healing lies.  All else must follow from this single purpose.  (M-22.6)”

Affirmation:  “May I accept Atonement fully today.”

Reflections:

1 – Personal Note

I worry about those of you who read this blog, and today’s passage, are true believers, and are sufferers of any illness/sickness.  I worry that you will reject the message of A Course in Miracles outright.  Or perhaps you will feel depressed because you have long ago accepted Atonement, and it seems that this passage for today would make you doubt your good intentions.

2 – Many Forms of Healing

My answer, although incomplete, is that there are many forms of healing.  Primarily, I would like for you to entertain the truth that an emotional healing is sometimes what we see most often when we have turned to God in prayer.  The Holy Spirit gives us the miracle of accepting our predicament, though not by lying down in the dust and giving up.  The Holy Spirit would have us exemplify a fighting spirit, though not of the ego (for Jesus always counsels the peace of God).

3 – Ask and Receive Healing

And perhaps we have not been as “receiving” of God’s mercies as we might be.  Often we pray, over and over, for a healing, and then we forget to thank God for receiving that healing.  Jesus notes that the continuation of symptoms is not a reason to doubt a healing.  The healing has come, and it will be received when the time is right.  When a teacher of God has offered healing from the Holy Spirit, ACIM counsels that it is a fait accompli (a completed act).  So let us remind ourselves that in the receiving come gratitude for the receipt, and see if perhaps this is an aspect of healing that we have overlooked.  Our own habitual patterns of mind have much to do with emotional healing.

4 – Ask for the Right Prayer

Physical healing, even in this world, does happen.  And this is not always from delusions, or frantic cries of denial.  Jesus would not have us caught in denial.  If you feel stopped in a prayer for healing, an inner sense that this is not the right prayer, then perhaps it is time to contemplate what is the right prayer.  God is always there, carrying us when the Way is rough.  The solution is always with the problem (an ACIM tenet), but the solution may be something other than what we superficially want.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Not everyone who asks for healing experiences what he/she recognizes as healing.  Yet Jesus has told us that healing is always certain, and to doubt this is not appropriate.  May we go as far with this reasoning as it is possible for us to go.  If our minds balk, let us ask again with our hearts.  And then let us open our prayer to receiving, because just to ask, without also asking to receive, is to fail to complete the circuit.

May I have glorious, abundant health through all the days of my life.  May I recognized that medical symptoms do not mean that a healing has failed, because Jesus says that a healing never fails to come.  I do not understand this completely, but I recognize that Jesus is speaking in ACIM of the ideal.  May I walk, with my rational mind and my open heart, as far along the pathway to accepting this ideal as I am able to go.

Thank You for being here for me, and may others similarly find You present in their lives.

Amen.

The Blessing of Healing

“And in it [offer of Atonement] is the power to heal all individuals of all forms of sickness.  Not to believe this is to be unfair to God, and thus unfaithful to Him.  (M-22.6)”

Affirmation:  “Atonement can heal me.”

Reflections:

1 – An Answer to Any Kind of Sickness

Atonement is our answer to sickness of any kind.  Of course, Jesus warns in the Manual that to doubt the granting of a healing because of the continuation of symptoms is not the way to go.  The symptoms might continue, but the healing may be occurring on a level other than the illusory one of the body.

2 – Be Fair to God

We do not want to be unfair to God, and certainly we do not want to be unfaithful to Him.  God takes care of us; He wishes us well.  To doubt this is to doubt all things.  It is a bedrock of our faith and our caring for ourselves and others.

3 – Live in Wellness

Atonement can heal, and often does.  And sometimes the Self has chosen death already, and illness is normally how we exit this world.  So we are not to be insistent about a healing if it is truly our time to go.  But if we have years ahead of ourselves, it would be well to live in wellness.  And Atonement can give us the emotional and physical wherewithal to so live.

4 – Illusory Symptoms

Remember that the emotional and  physical symptoms are illusory.  Never let this knowledge–and it is knowledge, not perception–disappear from the mind.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I accept Atonement, once again.  You know that I have asked to reach an understanding of my place in Your world, and the place of Atonement as preparation, many times.  Be with me as, once again, I ponder questions of the nature of ultimate reality.

When we accept Atonement for ourselves, our only function, we are being prepared to be not only students, but also teachers, of You.  May all of us move to this decision sooner rather than later.  May we forgive ourselves for our unkind thoughts and our unkind deeds, and walk into the sunlight with You.  You do not forgive, for You have never condemned me.  Actually, I am as You created me, as Jesus tells me in ACIM.  Be with all of us as we accept this glorious reassurance.

Amen.

How to Experience Healing

“That forgiveness is healing needs to be understood, if the teacher of God is to make progress.  The idea that a body can be sick is a central concept in the ego’s thought system. . . . If the body could be sick Atonement would be impossible.  (M-22.3)”

Affirmation:  “It is not really my body that is sick.”

Reflections:

1 – Mind Is Sick

The mind is sick that has influenced the body to present symptoms.  That is what is being said in this sometimes confusing passage.  Jesus would not have us deny what the physical eyes see, though he would have us recognize that was we are seeing, we are projecting, and we are projecting an illusion or dream.

2 – The Ego’s Part

The ego thinks that the body makes decisions, and therefore the ego affirms the importance and the primacy of the body in the ego’s thought system.  But it is all “mind stuff.”  The mind does not choose sickness, when it see s a better way.  Atonement would indeed be impossible if we believed that the body could manipulate us in such ways.

3 – Primacy of Forgiveness

Once again we see stressed in this passage the primacy of forgiveness.  Forgiveness does mean healing, and we will be healed, either emotionally or physically, or both, if we forgive ourselves and our brothers and sisters who have offended us in some way.  We do want to make progress, and only through forgiveness is this possible.  It is the one idea in our thought system that cannot be turned against us.  Forgiveness always heals, and if we can believe this, we will be well on our pathway.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I realize and correct today–immediately–any concept that sickens my mind.  It is the mind that makes the body appear sick, and I would pray for a healing of my mind, so that my body does indeed stay well.  I know that I am in Your Will when I pray for a well, illusory body.

I would let the ego wither away, for it is that part of my mind that makes my body appear sick.  This convoluted reasoning is against You, and I would be with You for all time and all places.

Be with me today, to lead me further along the pathway that leads to full understanding of forgiveness in my life.

Amen.

The Prayer of the Heart

“What Is the role of words in healing?  Strictly speaking, words play no part at all in healing.  The motivating factor is prayer, or asking.  What you ask for you receive.  But this refers to the prayer of the heart, not to the words you use in praying.  (M-21.1)”

Affirmation:  “Guide my prayers today.”

Reflections:

1 – Healing

If we are trying to heal ourselves or a brother or sister, we must be sure that the prayer of our heart is to truly heal.  If we say words about healing, and do not believe that the person will live, we may be negating our prayer.  Or we may be correctly intuiting.  There will always be a healing, but some illnesses do end in death, and we do not know what happens after death (though there are psychic books on the market, which purport to tell us).

2 – Unbelief in the Heart

If we do not, in our heart, believe that a healing will happen, then we need to get quiet and ask for guidance.  Is it true that this individual will not be healed?  No, for elsewhere in the Manual, we are told that healing is always certain.  We cannot understand this, for there are many illnesses that do not get “healed,” as we define the word.  But I believe Jesus, and I believe that there is something going on here that I do not understand.  Let us all ask for the healing that Jesus says will come, and then may we accept what does happen.  There may be a greater definition of “healing” that we have ever known.

3 – Words May Be Meaningless

So know that to say words is virtually meaningless.  It is the prayer of the heart that gives us the desires of our heart.  And it is this that heals, this and only this.

4 – Prayer Is Asking

Prayer at its most elemental is asking.  And God does not turn His back on those of us who are His children, especially when we are in need.  It may sometimes seem that we have been abandoned, but this may only be a dark night of the soul (from St. John of the Cross, a medieval mystic), and the light will shine on us again.  Keep hope in your mind and heart and spirit, and see what miracles take place.  We will not have to wait long.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I pray for your comfort today, and I hope that this is the “prayer of the heart.”  I ask for a healing of anything that is wrong for my brothers and sisters, as well as myself.

Handle my heart with gentleness, and give me the understanding, in my heart, that I need.  I would follow Your guidance today, but I would not “force” myself if my form, my human body, is not ready.  Jesus says this to us in A Course in Miracles, in slightly different words.

Thank You again for the blessing of ACIM.

Amen

Oneness = Only Non-Dream

“Unity alone is not a thing of dreams.  And it is this God’s teachers acknowledge as behind the dream, beyond all seeming and yet surely theirs.  (M-12.6)”

Affirmation:  “unity”

Reflections:

1 – We Are All One

We are all One, with each other and with God.  This is the understanding of unity that I take from an interpretation of A Course in MiraclesA Course of Love similarly stresses unity also, as well as relationships with our brothers and sisters.

2 – Elements of the Real World

We are caught in a dream (ACIM tenet), an illusion.  But there are elements of reality, the real world, in what we experience.  And unity, as well as relationship, are elements of the real world.  We will experience unity and relationship to a much greater extent when we have experienced Awakening.

3 – Unity Is behind the Dream

If we know that unity is behind the dream, we have ample reason to rest easy.  There is nothing that we need to worry about.  God is underneath all, and we are His children.  The unity is behind all “seeming,” as we are told here, and we do not have to worry about “seeming.”  We are protected.

4 – Harold Kushner

What about the bad things that happen to “good” people, as Harold Kushner has said in his book by the same title?  We are told in the Workbook that healing always occurs when it is asked for, but there may be lingering symptoms and we may not be ready to accept the healing.  These are hard passages to understand, because we are bidden not to deny inappropriately, but still to realize that the continuance of symptoms does not mean that healing has not occurred.  The healing will be there when we are ready to accept it.

5 – Healing Is Always Here

And there is both emotional healing and physical healing, and sometimes the emotional is the most important.  That is the ultimate truth of ACIM, that healing is always here.  We may be right with God with an emotional healing.  Moreover, the illness for which we seek healing may be the individual’s way to die.  It may not be appropriate in such cases to cry for a healing.  Most of us in today’s world do choose to leave for the Other Side through an illness or disease.  Advanced teachers of God, we are told in ACIM, may just lay their body aside when its usefulness is over, but not everybody is advanced–yet.  Time, which does not really exist, separates the student from the teacher.  So all will reach the Awakening eventually, though that time may take millions of years (just as the separation also extended over millions of years).  (These latter points are paraphrases from the Text.)

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I revel in Your goodness today.  This day has started so well, and I pray that this will continue.  When I am reassured that healing is always an aspect of our life on earth, then I am reassured also that no matter what comes, all is well.  Be with my significant others.  Thank You that as of today, everybody close to me is well.  And may my faith not be shaken if this is not always the experience that I have.

We live in a dream, but unity is not a thing of dreams.  We live in unity, as One with each other, and in relationship, as we experience the various parts of ourselves that others embody.  Help me to carry this paradox in my mind and heart.  Be with me as a I seek to convey these paradoxes to other people.  May the intuitive truth light upon the minds and warm the hearts of the individuals who read this blog.  

Amen.

The Unhealed Healer

“By accepting healing he can give it.  If he doubts this, let him remember Who gave the gift and Who received it.  Thus is his doubt corrected.  (M-7.3)”

Affirmation:  “I herewith accept healing for myself, and thus for others.”

Reflections:

1 – Warning for Teachers of God

The “unhealed healer” is a false notion that teachers of God who themselves know illness can still function without any additional help.  But it is not ourselves who are effecting the healing; it is the Holy Spirit, according to A Course in Miracles.  If we recognize that we are an unhealed healer, we must turn our uncertainties over to God.  He would not have us to witness falsely.

2 – Few Are Always Healthy

Few of us are healthy at all times and in all circumstances.  This is the very human fact of our life in this world.  But we can be healed, either physically, emotionally, or both, when we turn our predicament over to a Higher Power.  This is the way home for us.  This is the way that we can be of service to others.

3 – Symptoms = Seen in an Illusory World

When we accept our own healing, even if symptoms persist, we are well on our way to being channels for healing in others.  The symptoms, as we have said repeatedly, are not anything other than illusions, seen in an illusory world.  The Holy Spirit gives the gift of healing; we are only channels, a body that our brothers and sisters can see, a voice that they can hear.  And we do not understand all that is going on with others.  That is why we need to remember that the Holy Spirit does know all of the circumstances.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be healed myself, so that I might be a communication device for the Holy Spirit to heal others.  Being a device for communication is the only true use of the body.  And we are not to give the body undue importance in any way at all.

May I not be an “unhealed healer.”  That is a contradiction in terms; it is impossible.  May I not try to give to anybody else what only the Holy Spirit can deliver.  And may he heal my brothers and sisters today.

Amen.

Uncertainty in Healing = Fear and Hate

“Now [i.e., when the teacher of God doubts healing] the teacher of God has only one course to follow.  He must use his reason to tell himself that he has given the problem to One Who cannot fail, and must recognize that his own uncertainty is not love but fear, and therefore hate.  (M-7.2)”

Affirmation:  “The Holy Spirit cannot fail.”

Reflections:

1 – Fear Entertains Hate

This passage says something very solemn.  It says that when we are fearful, we are actually entertaining hate.  When stated so directly, nobody would want fear to intervene in his or her daily life.  We do not wish to hate.  What good could ever come from it?  Absolutely none.

2 – Uncertainty

Even so benign a concept as “uncertainty” leads down the path toward hate.  We who are seeking to be channels for healing of ourselves and others must believe absolutely in the Power upon which we are calling.  And the lingering appearance of symptoms of illness must not cause us to waver in our certainty that our prayer for healing has been heard, and acted upon.  The Self know more than the personal self.  The Holy Spirit does not fail to bring about anything upon which he focuses attention for the good.

3 – Holy Spirit

We use our reason for this understanding.  We believe solidly in the rightness of our belief in the Holy Spirit’s infallibility, and we do not waver in our certainty that healing will be received when it is wholly welcome.

4 – Suffering and Pain

To believe otherwise is to ask for suffering and pain to remain.

5 – Emotional Healing

I have come to accept an emotional healing as sometimes the best that we can know on this uncertain world.  But mental anguish is surely one of the worst parts of any illness.  When we turn ourselves, our bodies and minds, over to God, then do we know wellness.  The physical symptoms that may persist are not given ascendancy any longer by our minds, and we function much better.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would know emotional healing today if physical is not in the cards.  I know that the healing, of some type, is there.  I thank You that my ailments over my lifetime, for the most part, and usually, have been minor.

Be with my brothers and sisters who suffer greatly.  May their courage remain high, and may they be grounded in the certainty that You walk with them.

Thank You.

Amen.

Can You Be a Channel for Healing?

“For a teacher of God to remain concerned about the result of healing is to limit the healing.

“Whenever a teacher of God has tried to be a channel for healing he has succeeded.  (M-7.1-2).”

Affirmation:  “I wish to be a channel for healing.”

Reflections:

1 – Don’t Doubt the Outcome

When we remain concerned about the results of our petition for healing, we are doubting the outcome.  And Jesus assures us that healing has happened, even when our eyes show us that the situation is unchanged.  We cannot doubt.  The Self has gotten involved, and the personal self will know wellness when completely ready for it.

2 – Don’t Offer Continuing Concern

Continuing concern about healing, or recovery from illness or sickness, in our world appears to be compassionate.  But Jesus in the Manual indicates otherwise.  Continuing concern that the healing has actually happened does limit the healing in ways that surely none of us fully understand.  This is one time that we just have to take Jesus at his word.

3 – Channels for Healing

To know that we can be channels for healing, and that we can succeed, is enormously liberating.  We do not have to appeal to faith on the ground that the healing has not occurred.  If we take Jesus at his word, the healing, at least on some level, has occurred when we have asked for it.  We cannot doubt without limiting our asking.

4 – To Be Received Openheartedly

May we seek to heal ourselves and others with a joyous spirit, confident that the healing will happen when it will be received openheartedly.  We do not have to doubt; indeed, we cannot doubt if we wish the healing to be received in any way other than a limited way.  Full release comes from full confidence in Jesus.  We are not healers, but through us the Holy Spirit can handle the situation with grace and ease.

5 – Living an Illusion

If the ideal of healing does not appear ever to be received, we fall back on the surety that we are living an illusion.  The inner Self always knows healing, and it is the personal self that lives in this world that knows illness, suffering, and death.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would experience today what the Self experiences, which is peace and healing.  If my personal (little) self wants to see something else, may I be let to know that this is a request for illusion.

Be with me today as I seek to follow Your way.  Healing will always come, when it is asked for.  Help me to rest on this assurance.

Thank You.

Amen.

Turn the Pain Over to God

“Healing will always stand aside when it would be seen as threat.  The instant it is welcome it is there.  (M-6-2)”

Affirmation:  “I welcome healing today.”

Reflections:

1 – Don’t Retain the Pain

We take a lot of interest in our physical and emotional health, perhaps especially when either is compromised.  The more interest we devote to pain, the more likely we may be to retain the pain.  But Jesus would not have it this way.  Yet he stands aside when that is our choice.

2 – Levels of Our Mind

We do not have access to all levels of our minds.  And it is this that seems to be implied in the passage for today.  We think we want healing, but do we really?  Are we getting something, some benefit, from our compromised health?  This is a question that all of us would do well to ponder as each new ailment rises on the horizon.

3 – Emotional Healing

The healing that will be there immediately may not be viewed by the physical eyes.  But all of us have known miraculous emotional healing when one turned the matter over to God.  We have seen this in ourselves, and we have seen this in others.  There is probably no exception to this miracle.  We have made emotional healing a priority, and we have admitted that we do not know how to bring it about.  So we turn it over, and, there, in a place that we do not often see, is the healing that we have prayed to have.

4 – The Best

Could we wish for anything less today for ourselves and others?

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would have emotional and physical healing, beginning immediately.  I do not ask in arrogance, but in humility.  You want me well; you want me to learn through rewards, not pain.  Let me leave any and all discomfort aside today.

Thank You that my health has always, with a few exceptions, been good.  As I grow older, I ask for the same.

Be with me today as I seek to walk Your pathway of healing, physical and emotional.

Thank You.

Amen.

Medication May Be Necessary

“Healing is always certain.  It is impossible to let illusions be brought to truth and keep the illusions.  (M-6.1)”

Affirmation:  “Healing is always certain.”

Reflections:

1- Healing Is Always Certain

The passage for today is the culmination of the thoughts that we having been walking toward in previous days.  Healing is always certain, even when we do not see it happening, even though the illness may lead to death.  The real Self has not been hurt by any pain or suffering.  The real Self is always above and beyond such imperfect happenings in our world.

2 – Miracles

When we realize that healing is always certain, we introduce the idea that a miracle can occur.  This may not be physical healing.  It may not be emotional, but perhaps emotional healing happens far more often than physical.  Jesus takes us where we are and then leads us farther down the pathway to wellness.  He also, as in the New Testament, wants to be certain that we truly desire healing.  We have to make that choice.

3 – Illness as a Way of Life

If we have chosen illness as a way of life, the Manual tells us that perhaps healing will have to wait, for our own protection.  We could become so depressed from a spontaneous healing that we could become suicidal.  And this nobody would wish, least of all, Jesus.

4 – Medication (Pills)

Many of us have chosen sickness as a way of life, and in such cases, pills can become the magic solutions that even Jesus does not denounce.  If we are very fearful, we may need a compromise approach to healing, a way to know that we ourselves did not heal ourselves (the ego would love to believe this).  We do not want fear to increase, because the ego is always strong when fear has reared its ugly head.  So we wait, confident that healing will come when it is truly welcome.  And a compromise approach that allows pills may be just what we need.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May the sequence of postings for the last few days be a way for all of us to understand the words of A Course in Miracles about sickness and healing.  These passages are uncompromising, that we choose sickness, and we choose whether we get well or not, including when we die.  But it is the larger Self that does the choosing.

Thank You for the better insight that almost comes unbidden.  I personally need to know when I have chosen an illness.  And I would not so choose again.

Be with my brothers and sisters in their sicknesses.  Let them get well, if it is the choice of their larger Self.

Amen.

We Are Living a Dream

“They [teachers of God] seek for God’s Voice in this brother who would so deceive himself as to believe God’s Son can suffer.  And they remind him that he did not make himself, and must remain as God created him.  They recognize illusions can have no effect.  (M-5.III.3)”

Affirmation:  “I remain as God created me.”

Reflections:

1 – Salvation

When we are trying to bring salvation to another, we must seek for the Voice for God in that other.  This Voice is another name for the Holy Spirit.  The Manual makes it clear that we are only separated from our brothers and sisters by time, and time does not really exist.  We can quickly fall from teacher to student by missteps, and often these missteps come because we have failed to listen to the Holy Spirit or Christ-consciousness (the latter is described in A Course of Love).

2 – When We Suffer

We are deceived when we are suffering, and similarly deceived are our brothers and sisters who are suffering.  This does not mean that we deny the sight of our physical eyes, but just that we recognize that what we are viewing is illusion, and therefore, ultimately, unreal (ACIM tenets).

3 – The Personal Self and the (Larger) Self

We are still as God created us.  We may have trouble understanding how this can be, when we see our failings and even our travails as evidence that we have fallen from greater heights.  But the real Self has not changed, and it is the essence of the personal self that is the Self (sometimes called the Christ).

4 – Illusions

We do not always recognize that illusions are, in fact, illusions.  We look with our physical eyes, and we empathize and sympathize with those whom we see as poor, suffering individuals.  This may in fact not be a hindrance to us, as long we ask for healing as soon as we recognize the need for it.  We may not see a physical change, and maybe not even an emotional one.  But the request for healing is always granted, and the healing will be received when the individual is ready for it (ACIM tenets).

5 – Not to Choose Healing

I should note that the view of A Course in Miracles is an ideal, and not all will experience healing.  Most of us choose an illness to cause our death at the end of our lifespan.  And then healing does not appear to have been received.  But who knows what remains beyond the veil of death?  We do not know, and we normally believe that life on the Other Side is free of illness, suffering, and pain.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Be with me as I continue my study of Jesus’s statements on sickness in A Course in Miracles.  I do not expect to understand fully; some things are veiled on this earth.  Be with me, though, as I try to understand.

I would choose physical and emotional healing today.  I would not knowingly choose illness.  Be with me in this choice.

I know that learning through rewards lasts, whereas learning through pain is only temporary.  ACIM tells me this.  May I learn through rewards today and every day.

Thank You.

Amen.

Turn Away from Death

“Very gently they [i.e., teachers of God] call to their brothers to turn away from death:  ‘Behold, you Son of God, what life can offer you.  Would you choose sickness in place of this?’ (M-5.III.2)”

Affirmation:  “I choose life.”

Reflections:

1 – How to Live

The way of A Course in Miracles is the way of living life in an extremely positive manner–full of joy for all that one’s day holds.  It is a way of gratitude for the goodness of God, the certainty that we are not alone in the universe, and the peace that living with guidance from the Holy Spirit or Christ-consciousness does bring.  Nothing negative has to be so viewed, even very bad things.  We are living an illusion, a dream.  We feel empathy for others who do not believe that life is meant to be good, and we do not blame them for any negative circumstances that arise.  But we ourselves choose the good for ourselves, and both ACIM and A Course of Love lead us down the lovely pathway to salvation and oneness with God.

2 – Gentleness

The change in our lives is known as soon as we fill our minds with the words of Jesus.  This knowledge automatically keeps us on the straight and narrow, and if we do stray, we immediately ask for forgiveness and walk a smooth path again.  This is a gentle way to live, and gentleness does attend the teacher of God (from the Manual).

3 – Sickness

We do not have to choose sickness, and neither do our brothers and sisters.  Sickness is not automatically eliminated from our lives, though; this would be unrealistic and impractical, and it is the practical with which A Course in Miracles is most concerned.  We must recognize that we have made the reality in which we find ourselves.  Some of us have chosen sickness as a learning device, though Jesus warns us in ACIM that pain offers a temporary bit of learning only.  And we do not have to learn through pain, though many of us choose to do so.

4 – The Self and Sickness

It is important to note that the Self is the part of our being that has chosen sickness.  That is ultimately why no credence is given herein to blaming the victim.

5 – The Personal Self

The personal (little) self that walks the way of the world does not normally choose sickness, unless there are benefits that come about from such a choice.  We may get a day off from work, to relax when we will not allow ourselves any relaxation without sickness.  We may get sympathy from our significant others, and perhaps they do not realize that this sympathy is reinforcing the pain–making us more likely to choose illness again in the future.

6 – No Suffering

We must live in such a way that suffering is eliminated from our lives.  This means that we are able to live above any pain that does occur.  By carefully rising above the pain, we do not turn it into suffering, and therein lies our release.  Then we are free, next time, to choose to learn through rewards, which Jesus says is the only lasting way to retain our learning.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would live well today, as You wish.  I would not worry needlessly and frantically.  I would turn to my Guide when I am tempted to overreact to something that seems negative.

Help me to find my way in peace today.  Staying in peace is Your way, and I would go Your way, with determination.

Amen.

Guilt, Sickness, Pain, Disaster, Suffering: Begone!

“The final outcome of this lesson [i.e., the insignificance of the body] is the remembrance of God.  What do guilt and sickness, pain, disaster and all suffering mean now?  Having no purpose, they are gone.  (M-5.II.4)”

Affirmation:  “My body is actually insignificant.”

Reflections:

1- The Ego’s View

A Course in Miracles notes that we all too often want things of the world that glorify the body.  These usually, though not always, are material things.  They may also be intangible, such as our bent toward wanting success in this world.  But do these things–beauty of the body, prestige, comfort, success–really mean anything to our Self, the part of us that is not a body at all?

2 – Negative Experiences

I think not.  We are inescapably in a body for the duration of our time on earth, although out-of-body experiences are sometimes reported.  When we put the body first in all things, we also invite negative experiences–the guilt, sickness, pain, disaster, suffering that are mentioned in the above passage from ACIM.

3 – Body = Communication

ACIM does not deny that the body exists, but ACIM does reconsider what it is best used for, and that greater reason is for communication from one individual to another.

4 – Jealousy

If we use the body for communication, we will not want to use it to create jealousy in others.  We will be benign in our use of the body, hurting nobody, including ourselves.  This is the real reason for physical expression at all.

5 – A Love/Hate Relationship

Most of us already have a love-hate relationship with our bodies.  We criticize their appearance, even when we are beautiful or handsome.  We are never satisfied.  Is not this primary evidence that the ego is in the ascendancy?  And would we have that?  Have not we come far enough along on the pathway to know that the ego will only wish disaster upon us?

6 – Health

Let us thank God for the health that we do enjoy, even when that health is impaired.  To the extent that we can still communicate with others, in some way, our bodies are important to our experience in this world.  And nothing more.  The body then becomes deemphasized in our own experience, and we look to the intangibles of God–the love, joy, peace, tranquility, strength–that are our birthright as children of God.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would understand today that my body is my means of communication with my brothers and sisters.  I would not use it as a means to incite jealousy.  I would be gentle as I go about the world, realizing that my body is mine, but that there is more to me.  The body itself is illusion.

Thank You for these insights, which come from A Course in Miracles.  Thank You for the channeling of so wonderful a communication from Jesus to us.  May all find A Course in Miracles who are ready to appreciate what these books say.

Amen.

Does ACIM Blame the Victim?

“He [the teacher of God] has. . .a more specific function for those who do not understand what healing is.  These patients do not realize they have chosen sickness.  On the contrary, they believe that sickness has chosen them.  (M-5.III.1)”

Affirmation:  “I alone choose sickness, and I would not do so.”

Reflections:

1 – Sickness = Learn through Pain

We need to open our minds a bit today.  We need to entertain the concept that we have invited any sickness that has invaded our world.  This does not mean that we “blame the victim.”  This is a paradoxical truth that many do not understand.  We do not consciously choose sickness, in most cases.  We may put ourselves in a position wherein sickness becomes inevitable, but even cases of this scenario are limited.  Sickness is chosen when we believe that it will teach us something.  And that we will learn through pain.

2 – Learning through Pain = Temporary

Jesus says that there is only a temporary learning component to pain.  In ACIM, he states conclusively that we do not have to learn through pain, that learning through rewards is the only lasting learning.

3 – Physical Illness

Once into sickness, though, sickness can become a way of life.  We may not know how to rid ourselves of apparently incurable illnesses.  And we may even die from them.  After all, everyone passes from this world in some way, and it is usually through physical illness–some organic illness, either quick or slow.

4 – Healing Accepted

May we pray today to be healed of our afflictions.  May we know that we will accept the healing when we are ready, and that the healing may be emotional rather than physical.  It may be an example of our choice to leave this world now.  It may be a lesson that we wanted to learn, and that this too shall pass.

5 – The Role of the (Larger) Self

When we know that we are in the driver’s seat, that our Self has chosen the sickness that afflicts us, then we are in a better position to choose again, to choose anew.  There is great celebration, we may believe, in Heaven, when a child of God chooses to give up his/her belief in the value of sickness.  There are other ways to learn.  Let us explore some of them, through our study of ACIM, today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I doubt that I will understand the role of the Self in my life while I am alive on earth.  But I trust what has been said, and I believe that this Self, of which my “little” or personal self is a part, does much to decide what transpire for me in my life.  Thank You for guiding the Self.  I would not allow inferior decisions by the personal self to influence my walk through this world.  May I choose guidance that allows me to learn through rewards rather than through pain.

Be with me as I walk through this day.  Be with me when I am having a bad day.  Help me to keep my thoughts on the positive side so that I do not attract the things in my life that I do not want.

Thank You for always being here for me.

Amen.

Sickness Is a Decision of the Mind

“The acceptance of sickness as a decision of the mind, for a purpose for which it would use the body, is the basis of healing.  And this is so for healing in all forms.  A patient decides that this is so, and he recovers.  If he decides against recovery, he will not be healed.  (M-5.II.2)”

Affirmation:  “Sickness is a decision of the mind.”

Reflections:

1 – A Summary

This passage encapsulates much that I have tried to teach over the last few days of postings.  If we decide against recovery, we are not healed.  If we decide that we have to take medication for the rest of our lives, we have decided to use magic agents to accommodate our physical and emotional states of health.  Neither choice is to be lamented, though Jesus is the healer that encourages us to recognize that pain is not necessary, even in this world.

2 – The Self Chooses

We stay in the driver’s seat.  We make the decisions.  But it is the Self that does so, and we, as personal selves living in a fantasy, are not privy to all of the reasons for decisions made by the Higher Self.  So we suffer, sometimes needlessly, because we do not turn over our sickness to God.

3 – Healing

If we seek healing, it will be found.  The catch in all of this is that we may not recognize the healing when it is given.  We may still see the sickness and believe, by viewing the lingering symptoms, that all is not well.  Jesus in the Manual would have us understand that the appearance of lingering symptoms is evidence of a lack of trust.  We don’t believe that we can be healed, and so we are not.  But healing will come, in a form that we can accept, as soon as healing is welcomed.  Keep in mind that there are different types of healing, and that emotional healing is not the least of these.  We are not to continue to fear the continuing symptoms.  We are meant to recognize that healing has occurred, though our Self may leave symptoms for reasons that we cannot comprehend.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would ask for healing today, of any and all difficulties that I may have.  I would ask that I recognize Your healing when it occurs.  May no physical symptoms mask the emotional healing that You always give me.  Thank you for the emotional healing, for You know that I think that emotional healing is more important than physical.

Be with me throughout the day.  Help me to walk Your way.  May my study of sickness, and the choices that I have made throughout my life, mean something good.  May I turn now to learning through rewards, and leave pain in the distant past.  I believe that this is Your wish for me, for You want a lasting healing–not a temporary one that might come from experiencing pain.  You want for me to learn through rewards, and I share that desire.  Thank You for this understanding that comes in A Course in Miracles from Jesus.

Amen.

It Is Not Necessary to Learn through Pain

“The patient could merely rise up without their [i.e., special agents] aid and say, ‘I have no use for this.’  There is no form of sickness that would not be cured at once.  (M-5.II.3)”

Affirmation:  “I have no use for sickness today.”

Reflections:

1 – View of Sickness in ACIM

This passage reflects the uncompromising view of sickness in A Course in Miracles.  It is always something that can be healed.  We do not often believe this, and perhaps, in our limited way, we are indeed unable to find the healing that, on some level, we still want.  The Self may have chosen this sickness as a way to learn through pain, though Jesus would have us learn through rewards, a more lasting choice (from the Text).  Pain brings only a temporary learning experience.

2 – Learning through Pain = Temporary Effect

Perhaps it is time that our world learns the truth that it is not necessary to learn through pain (a Text tenet).  Perhaps we need to understand that learning through pain brings only a temporary respite, and that learning through rewards (which we can invite) is lasting–the only lasting cure.  (These are paraphrases from the Text.)

3 – Jesus

Again we need to stress the uncompromising nature of the words that Jesus gives us in this passage.  He is for health all the way, but he does not interfere with our choices.  Perhaps we are not ready to be healed; perhaps we have even chosen this means of exiting from this world by death.  Our minds cannot wrap around the truth of this passage without recognizing that there are deeper truths than we have ever recognized before.  We choose special agents (medical staff and/or medication) to give flesh to our desires.  Perhaps we need to question some of this as a form of magic best left behind.
Jesus does not countenance unwise choices.  He sees medication as a compromise approach to illness, in that our fear is not increased when we seek relief through this magic means.  He does not want our fear increased.  And when we are sick, we are, at least temporarily,  not in our right minds (from ACIM).  Lacking rightmindedness, we can only increase this deplorable state by an increase in fear.  And Jesus would not have us, as we are stressing, any increase in fear.

4 – Seek Guidance

Seek guidance if and when sickness visits.  Try to discover the reason for its visit, for there are psychic communications that the world does not recognize as real channels of communication (from the Manual).  With the knowledge of why we have become sick, we may be in a better position to welcome healing as a real possibility.  May we do not less today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would take a completely focused stand for health in all its manifestations today.  I would not know physical or emotional pain/sickness/ill health.  I would entertain this possibility.  I know that this affirmation is in line with Your wishes for me, and I ask You now to help me to carry out this decision to stay well and healthy.

May my Self recognize that my personal self has made a decision in line with Your wishes.  I do not need to learn through pain.  I would not learn what can be only temporary in its effect.  I would learn through rewards, which Jesus says in ACIM is the only lasting cure.

May my weakness be overcome by Your joy.  I know that when I am joyous, I do not dwell on temporary, minor difficulties of any kind.  I would ask today that You keep me on the straight and narrow, back to You.

Amen.

Who Is Your Physician?

“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.”

Reflections:

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).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

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.

Amen.

Sickness Brings Us Nothing that We Want

“Healing must occur in exact proportion to which the valuelessness of sickness is recognized.  One need but say, ‘There is no gain at all to me in this’ and he is healed.  (M-5.II.1)”

Affirmation:  “Sickness is valueless.”  

Reflections:

1 – Any Sickness Less Easily Healed?

Perhaps we believe that some sickness is less easily healed than others.  Our ego’s common sense would tell us that.  And, as long as we are in this world, we need to recognize and not deny what we see before our eyes.  But this does not mean what it seems to mean.  What it does mean is that we are seeing illusions, not reality at all.  So sickness visits us in our illusory world, and it would be a particularly unworthy form of denial to believe otherwise (from ACIM).

2 – We Have Chosen Sickness

But we have chosen sickness (an ACIM tenet), some of which does not physically ever become cured.  But we can have an emotional healing, in many cases, that overshadows the physical and leads us to praise God for our wellness once again.  If we see no value in our sickness (as the passage recommends), then we can disregard what our eyes have shown us by turning over our sick, physical selves to a Higher Power.  Miracles do happen, and surely we all believe this or we would not be interested in a book entitled A Course in Miracles.  When we truly recognize that sickness brings us nothing that we want, we may find ourselves in the very best position for a healing.

3 – Does Sickness Get Us What We Want?

We often think that sickness gets us something that we want.  Would any of us deny this?  Would any of us ever be in a position to deny this?  It is to the latter question that Jesus addresses us in this passage.  And his assurance that we will be healed, once we believe that there is no gain to sickness, is the turning point, leading us to healing.

4 – “Special Agents”

We do live in an illusory world, and miracles do not always happen that lead to healing.  We do, in my opinion, sometimes need medical intervention–for these “special agents” may minister to us in a way that heals.  Jesus healed with a touch, and  he still can (I believe), but sometimes modern medicine is the way that we come to recognize a miracle.  It is like pills, which, even though a form of magic, cannot lead us to believe, egotistically, that we have effected our own healing.  In a similar way, medical personnel can act to heal, in some cases, an effect that keeps our ego from getting involved and thinking that somehow we were smart enough to bring about our own healing.  Grandiosity is a trait of the ego, and most of us still live with an ego, though we hope that it has withered somewhat over the years of our lives.

5 – We Can Learn through Pain

Sometimes we learn through pain; in fact, often in this world, it is the way that we learn.  We do not have to learn through pain, Jesus asserts in the Text, but we often choose to do so.  And he would support us, but not join us, in that decision.  (An interpretation, not stated in ACIM.)

6 – Emotional Healing

The best thing that can happen may be an emotional healing, and this is no lack.  We can give thanks for what comes, after we have prayed for a healing.  And we can know that the healing will be accepted on some level.  It waits not on time (an illusion), but on eternity.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be well in all respects today.  As minor things crop up, and I get upset, please be with me.  Calm me, and help me to realize that I have brought minor sickness upon myself.

This is frustrating.  Why do I choose sickness, when I know that You are “for health” all the way?

Perhaps I do not yet understand fully.  Please enlighten me, so that I do understand.  Please help me to be patient, as in Your time the right answer will unfold.

Amen.

Sickness Is an Election

“. . .[S]ickness is an election; a decision.  It is the choice of weakness, in the mistaken conviction that it is strength.  (M-5.I.1)”

Affirmation:  “I would not choose sickness today.”

Reflections:

1 – Sickness, Pain, and Suffering

Now we study a section of the Manual that deals, on a deep level, with sickness, pain, and suffering.  The ideas in this section are unequivocal; they represent an Ideal (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).  We are human, and we cannot accept all of these ideas at face value; we are too weak, not yet risen to the position that the Self occupies.

2 – Sickness = Our Decision

But the more that we can entertain ideas such as these, that sickness is a decision of our minds, and a decision that can be changed, the more we follow Jesus.  Is he not the great healer?

3 – Busy Lives and Sickness

Do we not sometimes recognize that we will not allow ourselves to stop from our busyness, our much too busy lives, unless we get sick?  Do we not realize that we sometimes entertain such ideas, just as a way to legitimately stay home from work?  I think that we all can identify with what Jesus is telling us in A Course in Miracles, at least on this level.  We do have some control that even we, not yet risen to his level, can see.

4 – We All Choose Sickness

In this section of the Manual, Jesus places sickness as a decision that we all make from time to time.  We think that sickness gives us something that we want, and therefore we think that it is strength rather than the weakness that he declares sickness to be.

5 – Tiny Bits of Time to Rest

May we take the tiny bits of time today that we have to rest, so that we are not tempted to allow sickness as a legitimate way to avoid work.  May we open our minds, ever so little, to the idea that it is ourselves who welcome sickness into our lives, by our own decision.  And may we make the opposite decision today, the decision to stay healthy, or to invite health back into our lives, if we have already chosen sickness.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I not be tempted today to choose sickness, when actually I just need some time to rest.  We are all so busy much of the time.  We think that we cannot take a timeout without a plausible excuse, and we think that sickness is a plausible excuse.

May I realize that this kind of thinking is akin to the insanity that the ego always leads us into.  I would thank You today for knowing that sickness is a decision, made on some level which I cannot always comprehend.  My Self is beyond my little, personal self that gets into trouble with the ego.  I would ask for Your blessing today so that I might know the Self better.

Be with me in the tiny illnesses that sometimes come my way.  I ask for the patience to heal, the patience to get the recuperation going.  Your Way is always the way of peace, quiet, and calm.  And it is these very things that keep sickness from being a part of my life.  I know that sometimes there are exceptions to this view of sickness, but help me to realize that my decision is the primary factor.  This places me under Your Providence, and gives me the strength to stay well.

Amen.

Voluntary Dis-Spiriting / Depressed Spirits

“Watch your mind for the temptations of the ego, and do not be deceived by it.  It offers you nothing.  When you have given up this voluntary dis-spiriting, you will see how your mind can focus and rise above fatigue and heal.  Yet you are not sufficiently vigilant against the demands of the ego to disengage yourself.  This need not be.  (T63)”

Affirmation:  “My mind can rise above fatigue and heal.”

Reflections:

1 – Voluntary!

“Voluntary dis-spiriting.”  Of course!  This is what Jesus has been trying to tell us in these several passages with a similar theme.  Elsewhere he indicates that the disspirited are not helpful to him, and we need to give up this emotion.  Now we learn that it is voluntary.  We can choose to leave this depressed spirit behind.

2 – Blame the Ego

Jesus places the blame for our depression solely on the temptations of the ego.  Elsewhere he believes that we are strong enough to leave these temptations behind.  Of course, we do not do it alone ever, and we do not have to feel that we are alone in this trial.  The Holy Spirit will guide us if we let Him into our lives, if we turn to him often.

3 – Don’t Withdraw

Elsewhere Jesus also counsels in the Course that we not withdraw from the world in our low moments.  We will make more progress if we stay engaged.  The only exception might be the need to take control of ourselves in a weak moment, but even this is a momentary withdrawal.  And even the thought of taking control of ourselves is a little misleading.  We are never alone.  This cannot be said often enough.  We need only ask for help, and it is there for us.  Life then gets a whole lot better.

4 – Remedies

If going through the trial of depressed spirits, there are helpful changes that can be made, small helpful changes that make a big difference.  (These are personal suggestions, not from ACIM.)  Getting out and about among people, early in the day, is a great way to start the morning.  We do know, from experiencing low spirits, that the morning hours are the most problematic.  Just putting one’s self in a position of having to talk to people will turn aside the dark inner thoughts that lower one’s affect.  A journal is a helpful concept, and some people have found writing early in the morning to be helpful.  I personally don’t follow this advice, as writing early tends to raise my anxiety level, something that I don’t welcome when facing a long day.  So some experimentation with any advice is always a welcome choice.

5 – We Are Never Alone

We can overcome depression, whether with the help of pills or without.  There are ways that we can drop the offending thoughts from our minds.  Ask for guidance in this matter, knowing that we are never alone.  This fact of knowing that we are never alone is one of the greatest unsung blessings of A Course in Miracles.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

May I just give up feeling low, feeling disspirited.  There is no need to feel this emotion when the Course tells us that we can feel pure joy and limitless release.

Be with me as I resolve to drop disspirited feeling from my range of emotions.  I know that You will help me, because you have promised this to me.

Amen.

Need the Last Judgment Be a Fearful Prospect?

“The Last Judgment is generally thought of as a procedure undertaken by God.  Actually it will be undertaken by my brothers with my help.  It is a final healing rather than a meting out of punishment, however much you may think that punishment is deserved.  (T34)”

Affirmation:  “The Last Judgment. . .a final healing”

Reflections:

1 – The Last Judgment Is Healing

The Last Judgment is usually fraught with fear.  The way Jesus explains it, though, it is a healing, not an opportunity to determine if punishment is justified.

2 – Personal Experience

I once had a real phone conversation  in which I wondered later if I had been hypnotized during it.  For six months later, I seemed to remember, through admitted fantasy, that I had been asked questions that were akin to a Last Judgment.  Of course, I was reading A Course in Miracles at the same time that this experience happened.  And it is possible that I imagined the whole experience, much as in a waking dream that John Keats wrote poetry about in the early Nineteenth Century.  From this distance in time, there is no way to know, for I am not in touch with the individual in the phone conversation.  But I do wonder.  Was this fantasy a real example of the “brothers” of Christ conferring the Last Judgment on one who seemed ready, being at the time in a vulnerable state of mind?

3 – Brothers Working with Jesus

There is an indication here of our “brothers,” working with Jesus, to carry out the Last Judgment.  There are no other indications in the Course of what Jesus meant, aside from the tenet that our brothers are our way home, that we learn through our holy relationships.
4 – An Understanding for the Future

We must just accept the idea that Jesus puts forth in this passage, without being able, within the Course or without, to understand the message fully.  As time passes, perhaps we will come to understand.  It is perhaps in the final working out of the holy relationship that the Last Judgment actually takes place.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

My I no more fear the Last Judgment.  I do not understand how my brothers will help with the Last Judgment, but I trust what Jesus has said.

I do not know if I was actually under hypnosis so long ago, when I imagined that I was asked question akin to a Last Judgment.  Perhaps I was so exhausted that I fell into a dream.  But, given this experience, I thank You for it.  The experience has led me to understand, somewhat, how the brothers of Jesus and myself could effect a Last Judgment.  It could happen just as Jesus says in this passage, and for that I am grateful to You.

Be with me now as I seek to join in sharing with my brothers and sisters, to love them, and to avoid fear and judgment.  These aspects of the truth are paramount as we move farther along in the way pointed out by Jesus.  Thank You for this revelation, coming to us now, now that we are all ready.  May the credo of A Course of Love influence my reading of A Course in Miracles, and point out the whole way back to You.

May I endeavor to have holy relationships with all of my brothers and sisters.  May this concept grow in time, and may I feel Your blessing on it.

Amen.

Revelation May Reveal the End

“Healing is of God in the end.  The means are being carefully explained to you.  Revelation may occasionally reveal the end to you, but to reach it the means are needed.  (T16)”

Affirmation:  “Revelation may occasionally reveal the end”

 

Reflections:

1 – Awakening

We may know revelation, the revelation of Awakening, several times before it is permanent.  This is not a Course concept, but one that we can observe in our brothers and ourselves.  To have known Awakening, even briefly, is a very wonderful blessing; it shows us what is possible.  We really do live in the present, and we live without anxiety in the present.  It is a time of great joy and freedom from fear.

2 – The Means to Awakening

The “means,” in this passage, are found in A Course in Miracles.  When we follow the way pointed out in its lovely writing, we will ultimately know the end of the Awakening that does not leave us.

3 – Personal Experience

I once lived in a state of mystic awareness for a little more than six months.  I knew a love for others that was all-encompassing, even toward people who were heretofore strangers to me.  I did not feel any fear (that I can recall) in the entire period of months, and anxiety had previously dogged my steps for many years.  I followed guidance as I perceived it, and, as ACIM warns, this sometimes led me into situations that were extremely embarrassing to me.  (ACIM, in the Manual, says that my embarrassment was borne of a “shabby self-image,” and thus not worthy of even the feeling of embarrassment.  The shabby self-image is best dropped.)  I did feel calmly joyous nearly all the time.  I  liked to sit as I waited for someone, secure in the certainty that the encounter I was about to have would be alright.  I was not nervous ahead of time in regard to any anticipated experience.

4 – A Return Soon?

Obviously, I would like for such awakened feelings to return.  They sometimes do, fleetingly.  I wait patiently (as possible) for the Awakening of which all long-time students of A Course in Miracles clamor.  But patience must be the watchword, even as we avoid the judgment of ourselves and  our brothers and sisters that will make impossible the boon of Awakening.  If we judge not, we are told in ACIM, we will awaken.  How hard a dictate to practice, even when we have learned a good bit about the ego’s wily ways.

4 – Revelation from God

It is comforting to know that we are, at any time, subject to revelation.  This is not quite the same as miracles.  We cannot easily explain revelation, as it sounds truthful only to ourselves, being intensely personal–from God to us, always.  He knows us as nobody in this world can.  An inner awareness of God will go a long way toward recognizing that He and we are not separate at all.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank you for the times in my life that revelation has revealed Awakening to me.  It was not sustained, but that it happened at all is grounds for hope that one day Awakening will be permanent.

May all of us know this great joy of experiencing Awakening.  A Course in Miracles explains the healing that leads us to it.

Amen.

Sickness Is but Another Name for Sin

ACIM Workbook Lesson 356 – for Thursday, December 22, 2011

Affirmation:  “Sickness is but another name for sin.
Healing is but another name for God.
The miracle is thus a call to Him.”

“Your Name replaces every thought of sin, and who is sinless cannot suffer pain.  Your Name gives answer to Your Son, because to call Your Name is but to call his own.  (WB482)”

Reflections:

1 – Sickness and Pain Are Illusions

This is the level of A Course in Miracles that offers no compromise.  Certainly in this world we do know sickness and pain, but, ultimately, these are not real.  That is the one conclusion to which we can come.  We live in illusion, in maya.  And as long as we project from an egoic interior, we will project sickness and pain.  We will perceive sickness and pain, but when we tell ourselves that what we are seeing is not real, we will be at peace.

2 – But Do No Deny Your Sight

God grants us healing–healing that sometimes we can see and sometimes we cannot.  ACIM is always practical, and these books would not have us to deny the sight of our egoic eyes.  We see sickness and pain, and therefore it is there for us.  To deny this sight would be a particularly unworthy form of denial.  But we can be healed when we find God within.  Healing is not always of the physical, and even the mental may take its hits.  But healing is real when we trust God to show us the Way.

3 – Sinless in Eternity, Not in Time

We are sinless in eternity, not in time.  But there is no time, ultimately.  And so there is no lasting sickness or pain.  Let us ask God today to teach us the real truth behind these words.  May we take unto ourselves the truth of the illusion in which we find ourselves, and may we walk into the sunlight with Christ.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

The lesson for today teaches me important truths, and I thank you for those.  I cannot deny the pain and sickness that my perception shows me in this unreal world, but I can turn to You for help in handling the pain and sickness that I observe.  And I can know that what is happening does not affect the Self, that we are well in eternity.  And You will help us to cope in this world, when pain and sickness intrude.

Be with me and guard my mind so that I do not make my own pain and sickness.  Help me to realize, as Jesus has said in A Course in Miracles, that sickness is external searching.  I would not search externally today.  I would turn inward to have You heal me, and even when my perception still sees pain and suffering, I will know that, ultimately, all will be well.  My prayers can do much to lead me to accept Your healing.

Be with me today and with all brothers and sisters who suffer.  May we ask for a quick healing, and ask in faith that what we ask for, frequently is granted.  Thank You.

Amen.

Live This Holy Instant Only

ACIM Workbook Lesson 308 – for Friday, November 4, 2011

Affirmation:  “This instant is the only time there is.”

“Thanks for this instant, Father.  It is now I am redeemed.  This instant is the time You have appointed for Your Son’s release, and for salvation of the world in him.  (WB453)”

Reflections:

1 – We Live In the Present Always

There is no past and no future; we live only in the present.  The only exception to this is what we do with our minds.  We can imagine ourselves in the past or the future, but never can be go there.  The time is always–now.

2 – Make This Instant Holy

This instant of time can be a holy instant if we are open to it.  Holy instants are harbingers of the Heaven on earth to which we all are headed.  Holy instants, for which we do not have to prepare (a Text tenet), are evidence of the Holy Spirit’s guidance.  And our blessing will come from the holy instant that He has prepared for us.

3 – In the Now We Are Redeemed

It is only in the Now that we can be redeemed.  What does it mean to be redeemed?  This is another word for salvation, and ultimately for Awakening.  As we practice living in the present, our worries will diminish.  As we see a long “to do” list for the day, we try to go down one item at a time, not looking ahead in frustration that there is too much to do.  Taking one item at a time on  our “to do” list is an example of living in the present, living in the Now.  It is the best way to live, and this ensures that we will live aright.

4 – May We Be Healed Healers

We are meant to bring salvation to the world.  We first become “healed healers,” or what we do will be misguided.  According to ACIM, an “unhealed healer” needs to turn within and seek for his or her own healing.  Then we reach outward.  All of this doesn’t happen at one time, but in repeated evidence that we are not totally healed.  We oscillate between being healed and being unhealed.  And when we recognize that we have fallen into the latter, we are to turn to the Holy Spirit, and, once again, to ask for healing.  He will answer.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would practice living in the Now, the present, today at every point of which I live in awareness.  I would take one item on my “to do” list at a time.  I would not focus on the future, in fretting; and I would not focus on the past, in worry.  I would remain serene and calm in this moment.

Help me to deliver on this intention.  I know that to do so will not be easy.  But You are always there to guide me, and the Holy Spirit, inwardly, leads me home.  Be with me as I seek home often today.

Amen.

I Love You, Father, and I Love Your Son

ACIM Workbook Lesson 298 – for Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Affirmation:  “I love You, Father, and I love Your Son.”

“Father, I come to You today, because I would not follow any way but Yours.  You are beside me.  Certain is Your way.  And I am grateful for Your holy gifts of certain sanctuary, and escape from everything that would obscure my love for God my Father and His holy Son.  (WB447)”

Reflections:

1 – God’s Sanctuary

We need God’s sanctuary.  Indeed, when times are tough (and they are tough for everyone at some point in life, and maybe at many points), we need God’s sanctuary more than ever.  We need this sanctuary more than anything else.  Why do we delay to find it?

2 – We Don’t Have to Depend on Ourselves Alone

We think that we are somehow failing if we don’t depend on ourselves, to gird ourselves to be strong.  But this is usually egoic strength, which is inherently weak, a two-edged sword (from the Text).  We need a defense that cannot be turned against us (a Text tenet), and this is the defense that God provides, though it is not called a “defense.”  It is called salvation.

3 – How to Healed so that We Love Ourselves Properly

Loving God and loving His Sons and Daughters go hand-in-hand.  We will also love more fully when we have a genuine and non-egoic love for ourselves.  If we do not feel a genuine, holy love for ourselves, we have damaged parts of our psyche that will hinder our finding God.  And if this is true for us, we need to pray, get counseling, read widely, study ACIM and A Course of Love, read inspirational books and pamplets, read the Bible.  There is almost no end to the manner in which we can be healed, but a simple turning to God is often all that is needed.  Do not leave God out of the equation, or we will simply search long and hard, finding nothing that is meat for our spirits.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would not turn to the ego for love of myself, but I would turn to You for love of both myself and my brothers and sisters.  May we turn to You, to depend on You.  This is not weakness, but the greatest strength.  I know that it is a fallacy to believe that it is weakness to believe in You and to depend on Your Grace.  Help me today to call upon You whenever I feel a need–and even when I am feeling confident.  You are always there for me, and You will allow me to step aside from the ego.

Be with me as I walk through this day.  I will never be healed until I learn how to love in the right way, and I ask for You to help me to understand this blessing of love today.

Thank You for holding me by the hand, and keeping fear far from my thoughts.

Amen.

Fear Appears in Many Forms, but Love Is One

ACIM Workbook Lesson 295 – for Saturday, October 22, 2011

Affirmation:  “The Holy Spirit looks through me today.”

“Redemption must be one.  As I am saved, the world is saved with me.  For all of us must be redeemed together.  Fear appears in many different forms, but love is one.  (WB446)”

Reflections:

1 – We Must All Be at Home in God

We will not be free of this world until all others have reached to the God within.  We are One, and this is as it should be.  Early psychic writers have said the same thing, notably Ruth Montgomery, who channeled “Guides.”  We are pulled backward by our brothers and sisters until we walk along beside them, and take steps in tandem.  Jesus says in A Course in Miracles that we sometimes think that we will walk a little ahead, or a little behind, but then he indicates that this is faulty thinking.  We can proceed if we alter our stride in this manner.  We take our brother or sister by the hand, and together in happiness we walk to God.

2 – We Are All One

When we love others, we are loving because we know that we are all one.  We do not truly love until we realize this (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).

3 – We Are Here for Salvation

We are here for salvation, forgiveness, happiness.  And salvation and redemption are close in meaning.  Let us ask for our redemption today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would do what I can to bring others to You today.  But I would not impose myself or my beliefs on my brothers and sisters.  Help me to know when to speak and when to be silent.  Help me to know who is ready to hear any words that I might say about You and salvation.

May all of us find You sooner rather than later.  This world knows much suffering, and we all need to find healing.  Help me to fully realize that the Answer to healing lies in what the mind thinks, not what the body does.  May You rest gently in my mind and bring it home to You.

Thank You for granting me the warmth of Your companionship today.  May I share that warmth with the significant others whom I see or touch today.

Amen.

A Happy Outcome to All Things Is Sure

ACIM Workbook Lesson 292 – for Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Affirmation:  “A happy outcome to all things is sure.”

“We thank You, Father, for Your guarantee of only happy outcomes in the end.  Help us not interfere, and so delay the happy endings You have promised us for every problem that we can perceive; for every trial we think we still must meet.  (WB444)”

Reflections:

1 – The Solution Is Always with the Problem

One reassurance from A Course in Miracles that I return to when comforted with a problem is the statement that the solution is always with the problem.  And solutions do not wait; there is an answer coming, and it is quick to arrive.  When we find ourselves cornered, supposedly, by insoluble problems, we need only relax and ask what we need to do.  An answer will come into our minds shortly.  If not, then we are too emotional to hear the answer.  We need to relax, take our minds off the problem, and get involved in some kind of distraction.  Sometimes prayer helps, but if we are too worried, I have found that my mind will lose the prayer, and I will returning to worrying.  But after a very short while, a next step will appear apparent.  And then the next and the next steps.  We are only shown one step at a time.

2 – We Will Not Have to Wait Long for the Solution

The solution always comes.  Sometimes I find that over a day or two, one thought will occupy my mind in regard to the problem.  If it is a solution, I have come to believe that this is the action that I should next take.  Of course, I can misinterpret, and if the answer is not loving, I am listening to the fears of the ego.  We need to test out our interpretations, lest we mislead ourselves.

3 – Trials

We sometimes think that we have trials ahead, when in actuality we are making the difficulty by our own reactions.  This is especially true if one magically thinks that worry will protect against the thing about which one is worrying.  Forget not that this is magic, and ACIM warns repeatedly against magical thinking.  If we just keep in mind that no problem comes without a solution, right with it, then we will be alright.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I realize that when I am healed, when there are no trials in place, it is my mind that has been healed.  Suffering and pain are never truly of the body; they are of the mind and the choice of the mind.  We would not live this way.  Let us turn to You with our pain and suffering, and wait, only a brief time, to see our attitude change.  The attitude toward pain and suffering is what is amiss.

What of the pain that may be physical?  It is still the mind that must be healed.  We must open ourselves to You and Your healing, and accept that it is ourselves that have chosen the pain–for whatever insane reason.  May we adopt the love in our attitude that will assuage any and all suffering.  Thank You for helping me to do this, and to do this today.

Amen.