Tag Archives: health

Being in Harmony with Whatever State of Health We Have

“In other words, being in harmony with poor health and learning the lesson that it has come to impart to you, will return you to good health. Your poor health is no cause for judgment, as it is the perfect health, now, in the past, and in the future, to bring you the lessons you would learn in order to return you to your Self and the unity of Christ-consciousness. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: A Treatise on the New, 7.7)”

1 – Illness

It is a common understanding in our culture that sometimes illness strikes to slow us down and give us time for our bodies to recoup from being under too great a strain. This quotation indicates that any type of illness is giving us time to regroup. Jesus says that all health is perfect at any given time, as a learning experience. It is interesting that Jesus’s take on health is exactly what our secular psychology is coming to see in this day and time.

2 – Message

So: When illness strikes, ask what the message is. We will “hear” an Answer from the One Who knows. We will not have to wait, at least only until our minds are calm and in a receptive frame of mind. Ask of your heart what the lesson really is. The Answer will come, and then we will begin, if we are smart, to let the healing begin from within. We will be in alignment with the universe.

3 – Learning

“Some will choose to continue to learn through the full variety of the human experience even after it is unnecessary. Why? Because it is a choice, pure and simple. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 7.8)”

4 – Continue to Live on Earth
This suggests that many of us will live on earth long after the time that the elevated Self of form has been accomplished. The elevated Self of form, of course, is the sustained Christ-consciousness. Most of us will leave “learning” behind, but there are those who love to learn, and this will not be denied them. They will still make their contributions to the All.

5 – Choices

We are always given choices in this world. Free will is a probable will (an ACOL tenet). God placed the limits on our ability to miscreate, but only to save ourselves from destroying ourselves (an ACIM tenet). We will know by studying both ACIM and ACOL that our real will is actually the same as the Will of God. We will not vacillate between following guidance (as the thought of the Holy Spirit or through direct revelation from God) and following what we perceive as our “own” will. This “own” will is likely to be a holdover from the days when the ego held sway.

6 – Ego Relinquished?

Let us resolve to let the ego wither away. And God will help us to do just that. Jesus has assured us at this point in A Course of Love that the ego has been relinquished, but perhaps we need to be made aware of this, to know it for certain. Spend some quiet time trying to ascertain if we are letting egotistic motives frame our days in any way. The answer should be “no.” And then we can know that the ego really has dissipated.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I have always loved learning, but maybe I need to realize that there is a stopping point. Continued seeking for religious truths is not needed when the Answer has been given to me. May I move forward today with the assurance that I can “let it be.”

Thank You for given me the assurance that there will be an Answer, an assurance that came in the night. I know now what You were trying to tell me. Please be with me today as I live out Your promise.

Amen.

When We See that Sickness Has No Value: One Need but Say, “There Is No Gain at all to Me in This” and He/She Is Healed.

1 – Valuelessness of Sickness

“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. (M17)”

2 – Belief

Do we really believe this? If we can believe it, then it will become true for us. “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth” (from the Bible).

3 – Not Everyone

Of course, not everyone does recognize the valuelessness of sickness. Some are learning lessons through sickness. Some are healed physically, some emotionally. And some do die, for most develop an illness as a way to make the transition to the Other Side.

4 – Healing Difficult to Understand

Healing is a part of the Manual that may be especially difficult to understand. We look all around us, and we see some brothers and sisters who are sick, even unto death, and we just do not believe A Course in Miracles when it says that healing will occur when the valuelessness of sickness is recognized. If sickness has a value to us (which it often does), then according to ACIM, we won’t know healing.

5 – Pain

Yet we can feel better. We may know pain, but we don’t have to know suffering. To my mind, attitude makes a great difference.

6 – 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. (M18)”

The body does not become ill all by itself. The mind controls. Always the mind. If we change our mind about sickness, very often we get well—emotionally, even if not physically. And this is wellness as well.

7 – The Body

We need to recognize that the body is not autonomous, though the ego would have us imagine that it is. Sickness is a powerful ego device that keeps us in bondage to that ego. We become weak, and we identify with the body in that weakness, and then the ego is, once again, in the ascendancy.

8 – The Mind

This need not be. We can recognize that it is the mind that makes these decisions, and we can turn aside from the decisions that we don’t want.

9 – 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. He chooses them in order to bring tangible form to his desires. And it is this they do, and nothing else. (M18)”

This passage states that any illness or medical condition is chosen by the individual. Having the “right” physician to cure one is a wrong concept. If cure is desired, then the right physician will be present, for the physician is the mind of the patient himself.

10 – Dying

We do not often understand this concept, but it can be very helpful if a loved one is dying. We can realize that, on some level, he or she has chosen this time to make an exit, and the best medical care in the world will not save that individual if he or she has determined that the time to die is now.

11 – Cure

On a more optimistic note, we can see that the mind of the individual can also cure. The illness may have been chosen for some reason other than final exit. There may be things that the individual wishes to learn from the illness. Elsewhere Jesus says that illness is some form of external searching. We do not have to search externally, but often we do choose to do so. This then becomes the reason for illness. A change in mind can effect a seeming miracle, but it is a natural law, in many cases, rather than a miracle. Of course, it is clear that our world does not yet accept this natural law or even know of its existence.

12 – Personal Experience

I turned to this passage more than 20 years ago when it appeared that my father, in intensive care, was dying. The words are very comforting. I could realize that he had chosen this time to make his exit. And I was at peace.

13 – The World Does Nothing

“The world does nothing to him. He only thought it did. Nor does he do anything to the world, because he was mistaken about what it is. Herein is the release from guilt and sickness both, for they are one. Yet to accept this release, the insignificance of the body must be an acceptable idea.

14 – An Illusion

The implied message of this passage is that the world is an illusion, and hence it does “nothing to him,” “Nor does he do anything to the world. If we can really see that we live a dream, we will be released from our guilt about what we have said and done, and sickness will disappear as well. The body is also part of that illusion, for it is part of the world. Only the mind and spirit are real, and we project the perception that we see outside of us.

15 – The Body

Consequently, the body is seen as insignificant in A Course in Miracles. There is a slightly different focus in A Course of Love, in which we are said to occupy, once Awakening has occurred, an “elevated Self of form.” The body is not so insignificant when elevated to the real world. And the real world is a place of harmony, peace, joy—the intangibles of God.

16 – Pain

“With this idea is pain forever gone. (M18)”

We may see the bad things that happen, still, to be learning experiences more than an example of pain. So much is a matter of attitude, and pain is an egoic notion that elevates the ego so that we think that we can’t be free.

17 – Holy Spirit

We can be free, when we follow the Holy Spirit, for our will is no longer imprisoned, and His Way for us points out the good, the true, and the desirable.

18 – Remembrance of God

“The final outcome of this lesson is the remembrance of God. What do guilt and sickness, pain, disaster and all suffering mean now? Having no purpose, they are gone. (M18)”

When we remember God, we are at home in His love. We have awakened. Any bad thing that might still happen will not touch our hearts. We feel no guilt, we deemphasize sickness.

19 – Heaven on Earth

The way is cleared to Heaven on earth.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to choose rightly in regard to my health. May I realize that the power of my decision, of my Self, makes the conditions in which I find myself.

Thank you for this insight. I know that the little self does not understand, but my larger Self does.

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.


Patience as We Await Christ-Consciousness

“If you acknowledge your impatience as a sign of readiness for change that does not necessarily monet - yellow water liliesrequire action on your part, you will feel some relief.  (A Course of Love, 25.22)”

Affirmation:  “I will acknowledge impatience but not be ruled by it.”

Reflections:

1 – Ever More Eager

This impatience in the passage for today is a referral to the fact that we will become ever more eager to reach Christ-consciousness.  But we must be patient, for we may not be ready.  We may not be ready for a long time.  We do not have to adopt an impatient attitude.  We do not have to do anything at all.  No action, as the passage says, is required.

2 – Personal Experience

I have longed for quite a while to reach the Awakening, or Christ-consciousness.  But I am not ready yet.  And I do accept that.  Most of us, indeed, are not ready. I am fortunate in having had glimpses of Christ-consciousness–for three months and, later, for six months–and other glimpses, briefly, during daily life.  I am assured that these glimpses will lengthen over time, if I stay true to the pathway.  God will provide, in His own time.  And who would I be to try to hasten God?

3 – Part of God

Of course, I am a part of God, as are all of us.  So we do have some influence on this deepest part of ourselves.  But the personal self does not know.  Only the Self/Christ within knows, and we must be aware that our knowledge of this part of ourselves is still limited.  But we can wait, and we can wait patiently.  There is no hurry.  There is much that we can teach, even though we have not reached the pinnacle.

4 – Learn through Observation

Be wtih us today.  May we carefully study, learn through observation, and reach out to others, if they are interested in what we do or say.

5 – Just for Today

This is enough for today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Please remove those barriers in my mind and heart that keep me unready for Christ-consciousness on a sustained basis.  Help met to avoid attack and anger.  Help me to be patient as I wait for Your timing.  This is not a thing to rush, or to imagine that I have when I don’t.  I ask for sanity and good sense in the real world, a safe transition to Christ-consciousness.  No fear as I make the transition.

Be with all of us as we seek You.  You will know when we are ready.  And then, and only then, will we know fully why the wait has been so long.

Amen.

Happiness So Fulfilling

“Each of you is aware of a threshold you would cross that leaves no route open for return.  That threshold is often a happiness so fulfilling that once you have experienced it you say, ‘I will take this despair no more.’  For others this threshold is the opposite, an experience of pain so great that they would rather die than continue on in such a way.  (A Course of Love, 10.21)”

Van-Gogh-sunflowersAffirmation:  “May I choose despair no more.”

Reflections:

1 – Dark Night of the Soul

When we reach the threshold that today’s passage proclaims, we are on our way to better times–that, or we choose to die (but normally not by suicide).  We have often heard that it is darkest just before the dawn, and it helps me to realize this when I feel a dis-ease or discomfort, or agitation (any negative emotion, in fact).  The turning point that is called the “threshold” is, though, an example of living in the midst of the dark night of the soul (a characterization by St. John of the Cross).  Most of us choose to put one foot in front of the other, and to go forward.  Very few choose to end their lives before the span of their years has run out.  (I speak now of choice in regard to physical ailments rather than the taking of one’s own life, for the physical ailments, even unto death, are a choice.)

2 – Accept Despair No Longer

Choosing to accept despair no longer is a choice for life, and a choice for a healthier life, both emotionally and physically.  It is also a better life spiritually, though we do not often think in those terms.  Sometimes the despair drives us to our knees, and we have an experience of God that has not come heretofore in our experience.  This is the blessing of dark nights of the soul.

3 – We Do Not Have to Learn through Pain

But we do not have to learn through pain (from A Course in Miracles).  It is said in ACIM that learning through pain is temporary, and that learning through rewards is lasting.  Here in the threshold, though, I think we are dealing with something qualitatively different.  We have reached the limit that we can withstand  in regard to pain.  And we choose pain no more.

4 – Eckhart Tolle

The experience described in the above paragraph hints at the experience that Eckhart Tolle so clearly has described as leading to his Enlightenment (i.e., The Power of Now and A New Earth).  The way of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love is not so extreme, but this very low point can and does come to students/teachers of these two works.  We cannot predict the future; we can only ask that God be gentle with us.  And then we need to cooperate in that gentleness.  He cannot reach us until we open the door from the inside.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would choose a happiness so fulfilling today that there is no turning back to despair.  I would reach the threshold that is You.  You are my goal as well as my Blessing.  Be with me as I walk along the path that You point out today.

May we live through dark nights of the soul, but may we not linger there.  They are teaching devices, but we are reaching the point that we come to know by observation, not learning, as A Course of Love tells us.  Be with me today as I seek to “learn” in the old way no more.

I cannot change overnight.  I need You to make the transition to a better life.  Help me to thank You for the blessings that You give so abundantly.  And may I never forget to thank my brothers and sisters who are also there for me.

Amen.

You Did Not Create Something from Nothing

“You are not your own creator.  This is your salvation.  You did not create something from nothing, and what you started with is what God created and remains as God created it.  You do not have to ask yourself to stretch your belief beyond these simple statements.  (A Course of Love, 9.28)”

Affirmation:  “I am still as God created me.”

Reflections:van gogh - tree4

1 – Akin to ACIM

The passage for today from A Course of Love is absolutely consistent and reminiscent, as well, of A Course in Miracles.  We do not understand “God,” but how could we?  It is enough to know the age-old injunction that God is Love.  He created us, not we ourselves.  Science cannot explain this, though the new physics is trying (and, in some cases, seemingly coming close).

2 – We Do Not Have to Understand Metaphysics

We do not have to understand metaphysics to have a good life.  We only need to turn to God in our perplexities.  But some concepts of metaphysics may help.  We are a part of God, and, like a hologram, the part is filled with the whole; every part is filled with the Whole.  And All is One–God.  This is not pantheism, which would see individual gods in everything.  There is a mystical understanding that will come as we proceed along this pathway.  All are truly One.

3 – We Would Self-Destruct

The fact that we are not our creator is indeed our salvation, for we would self-destruct if left to our own devices.  Indeed, we often think that we have done this anyway, when our way seems lost and very dark.  But we are saved from this impasse by the fact that there is One whose divine spark within us cannot be put out.  This is our salvation, that one divine spark.  And we will come to live joyous, happy times when we acknowledge that we did not make ourselves.

4 – This World

We did make this world, though, and that is a concept from A Course in Miracles that nobody on earth can understand.  There are worlds upon worlds, and a Self that is beyond all knowing while on earth.  But we did not create ourselves.  We did make the ego, and we can just disown it and thereby walk away from it.

5 – We Are Being Helped

If the way seems long and hard, know that Jesus and his companions are helping us.  The way back, the remembering, take great patience and willingness to learn, but as A Course of Love says, if we listen to our hearts we will make greater progress.  The heart does not ask for all of the “why’s” that the mind asks.  And that is a saving grace.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I did not create myself, though ACIM does say that we did “make” the illusion that is this world.  This is theology that I do not understand, and I thank You that I do not need to understand it.  It is enough to know that I remain as You created me, even though I have fallen away from the Ideal and made mistakes.  Be with me as I seek to move closer to Your way of life, the best way that all of us can live.

Help me to reach out to others even when I am not at my best.  Reaching out helps them, I hope, and I do know that reaching out helps me.  Thank You for shining Your light on the pathway that is ahead.  And knowing that all will be well, that I am coming into the good years.  Thank You for this insight.

Amen.

Sickness = Our Decision

“Certainly sickness does not appear to be a decision.  Nor would anyone actually believe he wants to be sick.  (M-22.4)”

Affirmation:  “I would be well today.”

Reflections:

1 – The Desire to Be Sick

Sickness seems to get us something that we want.  That is its only purpose.  If we want to stay home from work, if we want sympathy, if we want love–we think that sickness will grant these desires.

2 – Sicknesses Are Chosen

But we conveniently forget, and cannot retrieve that it is ourselves that makes this decision.  We do not actually believe that some of the more horrific illnesses are chosen.

3 – An Explanation of Illness

And we are right–on one level.  It is not our personal self (usually) that chooses these sicknesses.  It is our Self, the part of us that we don’t have access to all the time.  But the Self gives us what we have, unconsciously, asked for.  God will still protect us from the very worst, knowing that when we ask for some things, we ask amiss.  His protection is always there, knowing not to give us more than we can withstand.  But the personal self longs for some of the sicknesses that we encounter, seeing them as learning devices.  And our personal self is not really wrong, for we do often learn from illness.

4 – Learning through Pain = Temporary

There is a better way, though.  Learning through pain is always temporary (a Text tenet).  Learning from rewards leads to permanent learning.  And it is this permanent learning that we need to request.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would choose the state of wellness today.  This is my personal self speaking, but it is also a request that my Self choose a way for me to learn that will keep me free of bodily or mental incapacity.  I would choose to learn in a “permanent” fashion, and Jesus tells us that learning through pain is always temporary.  Learning through rewards is lasting, and it is this learning through rewards that I would choose today.

Be with me as I seek to understand these concepts from A Course in Miracles.  We do not blame the victim, regardless of how we come to understand.  We know that there is a Self who is in charge.  To the extent that our personal self helps the Self to make decisions, let us will today to walk Your Way of wellness and wholeness, in body, mind, and spirit.

Thank You.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Overcoming Anxiety

“When you are anxious, realize that anxiety comes from the capriciousness of the ego, and know this need not be.  You can be as vigilant against the ego’s dictates as for them.  (T63)”

Affirmation:  “When you are anxious, know this need not be.”

Reflections:

1 – Anxiety = Form of Fear

Anxiety is a form of fear, of course.  And fear and love are the primary emotions.  The phrase, “capriciousness of the ego,” can be a bit difficult, but essentially it is saying that our egos are wily, and we cannot trust where they lead.

2 – Pills

Just as with sadness, anxiety is an emotion that most of us experience–some of us for long periods of time.  Pills are not recommended long-term by physicians.  So in this sense our medical establishment is in line with Jesus’s explanation that pills are a form of magic that work because we believe in them.  Jesus implies that we would be better off without pills, if doing without would not raise our level of fear.

3 – Anxiety Overcome

Anxiety can be overcome by non-medical intervention, in many cases.  Certainly prayer is a great calming tool, for God’s Love for us becomes manifest when we turn to Him in heartfelt communion.  A Course in Miracles does not say a great deal about prayer, but it simply seems to be assumed that we will pray, or, as it is said in the opening pages of the Text, we will “commune” with God.  Many of the Workbook lessons appear to be a form of meditation, though this is a controversial interpretation for some students/teachers of ACIM.  Certainly the Workbook is filled with prayers to God, and so my personal interpretation is that we need to realize that there is a mystery about God that we will not know until Awakening, and not in its entirety then.  Some students/teachers of ACIM believe that God does not know about us, because we are lost in illusion, and He does not enter illusion.  My personal take on this,  though, is that God’s absence has not been my personal experience, except a few times when I was experiencing what has been called the “dark night of the soul.”

4 – Vigilance against the Ego

Vigilance against the ego’s dictates is a call to action, mental action.  We do not have to fall for the nefarious dictates of the ego, and we would do well to consider what some of those really are.  Certainly the ego is in control when we are anxious.  We need to consider whether or not this is really what we want.  We need to realize that other people and their attitudes toward us are not the essential point.  Our relationship to God is primary, and when we allow Him the upper hand, our anxiety about the opinions of others declines.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

Help me to eliminate anxiety from my mind and body.  If I am anxious because of what other people may do or say, help me to realize that this is false reasoning.  God’s way does not include fearfulness toward other people.

My anxiety may come and go without logical reason.  Help me to turn to You in such times, knowing that I have a helping hand always with me.

Amen.

Depression / Sadness

“When you are sad, know this need not be.   Depression comes from a sense of being deprived of something you want and do not have.  Remember that you are deprived of nothing except by your own decisions, and then decide otherwise.  (T63)”

Affirmation:  “I am deprived of nothing except by my own decisions”

Reflections:

1 – Change What Hurts

This passage is part of a group in which Jesus negates negative emotions.  He makes clear at this point that we make our own decisions, and we can change conditions that hurt.  In particular, in this passage he indicates that sadness can be overcome, even when it is depression.

2 – Pills

Elsewhere Jesus notes that pills are a form of magic, but that they may be necessary if we are already fearful.  They are an intermediate step that will assist us, still caught in illusions, to overcome what is wrong simply because we believe that it will work for us.  Certainly medication for depression would seem to fall in this category.

3 – Change the Circumstances

Pills are not magic potions, though some people may disagree.  We need to change the life circumstances that are causing our discomfort, but this does not necessarily mean an outward change.  It may be enough to change our inner reflections, turning to prayer and meditation, contemplation and reflection.  God will always be there for us when we seek Him.  The Holy Spirit guides us inwardly, and He will prompt us to make change in our outer circumstances if these seem warranted.  I have found, though, that most change is best made internally, by a readjustment in thinking and feeling.  And it is the thought that leads to the feeling (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).

4 – An Explanation of Why Depression Happens

Note the explanation of why depression happens:  a sense of being deprived of something you want and do not have.   The vast majority of us can relate to this, sometimes on a daily basis–and certainly over our lifetime.  It is a great relief to know that we have actually chosen these instances of deprivation.  We are trying to learn something.  The fact that we are learning through pain is not good, because elsewhere Jesus says that it is not necessary to learn through pain.  Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now) indicates much that supports A Course in Miracles, but his pathway toward Awakening was in fact through tremendous anxiety and depression.  A later book by Tolle, A New Earth, makes this point even clearer by his explanation of the “pain body.”  Jesus, though, would not have us take this route if we can follow him to the uttermost that he promises.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

May I leave sadness behind, by my own decision.  May I choose the gladness that can come, also by my own decision.

If I need to use pills to combat depression, may I do so knowing that they are an aid, but not a cure.  The real cure comes through changing our minds about what we want.  And what we want is joy.

Amen.

When Depressed

“The disheartened are useless to themselves and to me, but only the ego can be disheartened.  (T64)”

Affirmation:  “only the ego can be disheartened”

Reflections:

1 – We Are Needed in the This World

This passage indicates another reason that withdrawal from the world is not recommended.  We have a role to play in the salvation of the world.  If we do not take our place, it is left empty, and Jesus needs us to take the role that he assigns.

2 – Beginning the Day Again

When we begin the day as a “bad day,” it is wise to take steps that we know, from past experience, will turn around the day.  If we are faced with a rainy and dark day, the weather itself may affect our mood.  But when we do some simple things, such as physical exercise (for example), or getting out among people, or saying things that make us grateful, we can turn around a poor beginning immediately.  God does not wish us to have bad days.  Would we wish this on ourselves?

3 – The Ego Is Involved

Remember that feeling disheartened is a function of the ego.  In fact, it is one of the most common ways in which we are derailed.  Ego-based action is always misguided; there are no exceptions to this rule, in the tenets of the Course.

4 – Drop the Ego

We see, therefore, another way that we can recognize that the ego has taken over again.  If we feel disheartened, we are leading our lives in the way of the ego.  This cannot but bring us down.  The answer?  Give up thinking that we are more special than our brothers.  We are all equal, though not all equal in time.  Some have greater and some have lesser roles to play.  Some are closer to Awakening than others.  But we will all take the pathway to Awakening and find its conclusion eventually.  That is what time is for.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

When I am tempted to feel disheartened, may I drop this feeling because I can recognize it is of the ego.  I want to drop all things that are of the ego.

Help me to do for myself today the things that will turn around my day, and give me hope for a better day and a better tomorrow.  This is something that I can do to cooperate with you and drop the funk that threatens to engulf me.  My ego is having a field day, and I would not cooperate with its machinations.

Help me to take my role in salvation.  Until I do this, my place will remain empty, and your children will not all find their way back to You.

Amen.

Health = 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:  “Health is inner peace.”

 

Reflections:

1 – Health Is Peace

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.

2 – Need a Break from the Daily Routine?

Some writers believe that we become ill when we need a break from our daily responsibilities.  Sometimes, in this work-a-day world, we don’t think we can have a moment, or a day, to ourselves unless we get sick, forcing us to slow down.  It may be helpful to realize that we may need to slow down, overall, if sickness dogs our steps.  We are trying to do too much.

3 – There Is Always Time for What Is Needful

Perhaps, you may say, I have very real responsibilities and obligations that I cannot shirk.  To this I would say that there is always time for what is needful.  This idea came to me just before I started a graduate program, one which promised to be filled with unknowns and, I did not know, perhaps much hard work.  But remember the Sabbath.  The Bible is often very practical in what it recommends, and a day of rest is as practical as the ideas of A Course in Miracles.  We will treat others better if we are not frazzled.   If this seems too much to ask, perhaps we need to take a look at our priorities.  We will be of no use to others if we are not taking care of ourselves.  We will become inwardly focused, in a harmful way, a way in which we do not properly appreciate the significant others in our lives.  And life will go by so fast, with our missing some of the important things.

4 – Refrain from Attack

Our emotional health can be seen in that many of us have no problem with the Course 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.

5 – Physical Illness

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.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

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.