Tag Archives: sickness

Sickness Avoided

“This is what is meant by no escape. No escape does not mean that anyone is bound to the past and to their former pain but that each is still bound to, and affected by, all that has been rejected or ejected. All that has been expelled is part of the wholeness of the self. As what was ejected or rejected and became “real” is returned to the Self, the physical manifestation dissolves, because the source, which was separation, is no more. In other words, illness is no longer observable once what was rejected rejoins the spacious Self. The illness was but is no more. Because it was physical it came only to pass. Because the feeling that generated the physical manifestation was not physical to begin with—was not of the physical world—it returns to its non-physical nature within the spacious Self. Thus it was not escaped but reintegrated into the oneness of the Self.” (ACOL, D:Day16.6)

We need to reintegrate any parts of the Self that we seem to be ejecting or rejecting from our experience. This is basically what the term “spacious,” in referring to the Self, means. By reintegrating ejected and rejected feelings, we will, we are told, actually heal sickness. And what a blessing this will be!

We can’t fully understand what Jesus is saying here until we have experienced it. The next time that illness threatens, get off by ourselves and get quiet. Ask simple questions: Is there anything that we are trying to get out of doing? Is there anything that we aren’t accepting in our lives? Are we rejecting any one in our circle? Have we attempted to eject unwanted feelings? These simple questions, if answered truthfully, will set us on the right course. We can, if we are particularly fortunate, abort the illness entirely.

Reintegration of all that we are experiencing is the primary point. Don’t try to avoid things; just bless them and, if they are bad, let them go on their way. Don’t resist anything, for resistance makes the unwanted strong, determined to stay in our lives. Resistance makes the force field stronger.

Simple inquiry will teach us much about sickness. We have attracted illness to ourselves for a reason, perhaps out of fear itself, and if we are patient with ourselves, we can see an end to it.

Dear God,

I would not attract illness to myself by focusing on it. I would gently turn aside from anything threatening, and let God handle it. He knows best.

Thank you for giving the answer to sickness. I may not always be able to follow in turning aside from illness, but that is my intent.

Amen.

Sickness Is Rejected Feelings

“Sickness has been defined as rejected feelings, feelings about which consciousness was not chosen. With this rejection, these feelings became physical. What is not of consciousness is of physical form. The rejected feel¬ings that became physical were made separate from the self and yet were maintained within the body, thus interrupting the body’s natural means of functioning. Sickness is not sickness but rejected feelings. The rejected feelings exist as separate and forgotten physical manifestations until they are willfully remembered and accepted back into the spacious Self. Rejected feelings are those for which you blame yourself. Sickness is the form of manifestation of rejected feelings. These manifestations come to you to prove to you what you think you know—that you are responsible for the sorry circumstances of your life.” (ACOL, D:Day16.4)

Only our little, personal self is responsible for the “sorry” circumstances that we encounter. The Self of Whom we are a part—God Himself—is innocent of these deeds. God does not visit us with calamities, though this is a good “out” for us. It won’t work. God is total loving always. He means us well. We, in our ignorance, bring disaster upon ourselves—always it is we who do it.

And this is the case with sickness, though we do not consciously choose sickness (most often). We reject our feelings, instead of inviting them in to our self, our spacious self, to be assimilated in the core of our being. When we reject, not allowing the spacious self to remedy the situation, the result if sickness.

It would be foolish to believe that we will never get sick again. We are not perfect here. We will make mistakes. But it is quite possible to believe—rightly—that sickness will be reduced in incidence for us when we discover how to think properly.

We ought not to chastise ourselves if we become ill. This only adds to our confusion, for none of us believe that we brought the sickness on ourselves. We may have done so, but we can’t accept this. And then we are back to blaming God, certainly a dead end, for God is only love.

If we are sick today, let us first accept the illness, welcoming it back into our spacious selves. This will go a long way toward soothing our minds and our hearts, and keeping the emotional turmoil to minimum will often be healing. It is truly the emotional turmoil that does us in, more often than not. And our emotional turmoil is soothed by prayer to the God Who resides in all of us.

Dear God,

I would feel well today. Right now no illness threatens, but I have had my moments. I pray for a good day today and a good day tomorrow. If illness comes near me, help me to realize that I have been rejecting my feelings, sending them underground where they emerge as symptoms.

Be with me today for a grand day.

Amen.

NEW AGE TEXTS TACKLE THE PROBLEM OF SUFFERING

Published in New Age Journal (online), March 4, 2017.

by Celia Hales

New Age enthusiasts have long read and considered what is now a spiritual classic, A Course in Miracles (copyright 1975). Now another classic is in the making by the same presumed author, Jesus. This one is called A Course of Love, published in a combined volume—three works in one–in 2014. The author uses different words for sickness/illness in the material scribed by Helen Schucman, A Course in Miracles, and Mari Perron, A Course of Love, but many of the words mean the same thing. The thread of meaning is virtually identical. The author has a dim view of sickness, stressing that although it is meaningless in the long run, sickness offers an opportunity for forgiveness, full acceptance, and—the ultimate answer—love.

Let’s see what our presumed author, Jesus, says in both of these courses.

A Course in Miracles talks about sickness as a defense against the truth. It is negative and so unnecessary. The cure for sickness in ACIM is forgiveness granted by one brother to another.

When we are sick, we are not asking for peace, for sickness is an illusion like all the rest of the illusions with which we surround ourselves, and we do not realize that we have failed to ask for peace. Ask for peace, and see what change may come, and come sooner rather than later. Jesus even says that all forms of sickness are the illusory but visible evidence of the fear of Awakening.

A Son of God cannot be sick in reality, true reality. And so we are asked not to view an individual as sick, not to give credence to the illusion. By so doing, we reinforce the illness, and this we would never knowingly want to do.

Sickness is but another call for love, and we are bidden to respond accordingly. One brother whose mind is whole can reach out to a split mind and heal it. Thus, one brother heals another, in love, always in love. Healing is accomplished the instant that a sufferer no longer sees any value in pain.

In Psychoanalysis: Purpose, Process, Practice, the supplement to ACIM scribed by Helen a little later than ACIM, he says that illness can be only an expression of sorrow and of guilt. And we weep when we are separate from God, even though we know that this is an illusory separation. We weep for the innocence that we think we have lost. We have a view of the self as weak, vulnerable, evil and endangered, and thus in need of constant defense (as said in ACIM). Illness then is a mistake like all the other mistakes that we have made in our “separation.” Sickness is insanity, like the other mistakes.

Defenselessness is strength. And the sooner we come to know this, the better, and the healthier we will become. When two brothers join in healing, healing is assured. But to continue to believe in sickness because of the appearance of symptoms is to believe amiss. This is a particularly difficult idea to believe.

Forgiveness extended from one brother to another will heal. God has entered their relationship, and with Him, all is possible. Only an unforgiveness can possibly give rise to sickness of any kind. (P-2.VI.5) The passing of guilt comes about when we know that forgiveness has been received. And guilt is all mixed up with our ideas of being unforgiven.

The Song of Prayer, another supplement to ACIM, emphasizes that certain negative traits, such as hatred in our heart, and attack, are banished from the mind, prayer will heal—but not until these traits are completely gone and we have reunited with our Source. The theme of all of Jesus’s channelings is present in Song of Prayer. The body, he says, can be healed as an effect of true forgiveness. The cause of sickness is the unacknowledged wish to die and to overcome the Christ.

A Course of Love dwells on sickness as either rejected or ejected feelings, feelings about which consciousness was not chosen, and so the feeling made the physical manifestation. Only love, in the embrace, and fostered by the Self, will heal for all time. And this is paradise re-found. (ACOL, D:Day16)
We have often suffered through our lives at the hands of rejected love. And Jesus indicates that this common experience can easily bring on illness. Because the pain is great, we reject the feelings rather than process them, and thus set ourselves up for sickness.

Bitterness, which is of the heart, keeps the cycle of suffering in place. And love’s disappointment is a particularly fertile place to foment bitterness.

Jesus makes clear to us in ACOL that no person is to blame for the sickness that overcomes them. It is a victimless phenomenon. Jesus indicates that we are to remove blame from our repertoire of emotions. It serves no useful purpose, and we replace it with nothing specific, we just remove it. Acceptance, though, is the next logical step.

Being in harmony with poor health, and accepting it for what it is, will return us to good health. Studying the lesson that sickness teaches is most important. What does our illness say to us? What is the lesson that it has come to bring?

I think Jesus is developing two trains of thought, one in ACIM and its supplements, and one in ACOL. Yet the ideas are similar. Rejected or ejected feelings (ACOL) are almost by definition the feelings that we are defending against (ACIM). ACIM describes feelings that cause us to lose our way as attack feelings, judging, or planning against contingencies to come (except when prompted to plan by guidance). ACOL describes feelings that cause to lose our way as loneliness or despair, anger or grief.

All of these feelings that we reject (and thereby cause illness) or eject (and thereby blame on other people), or we defend against, are negative. So I think that the New Agers who believe that we make our sickness by our negative thoughts are onto something. But to blame the victim is just more of the same. We’ve simply made a mistake. All who are sick are due compassion (ACOL).

We are healed through acceptance of the truth of what is. Our minds are healed, and then the bodily identification with physical ailments dissolves. (Both ACIM and ACOL say this.) We don’t get anywhere in resisting illness, because this is rejecting or ejecting (ACOL), and therefore defending ourselves against (ACIM).

I have some sense that these meanings are part of the “ideal” level of reading the works. On a practical level, not all illnesses are healed, regardless of how we twist our minds around the concepts that Jesus gives us. And our minds may be healed when our bodies are not. The healing of the mind and emotions, moreover, may be the greatest blessing.

Everyone has to exit this world somehow, and usually we go through illness of the physical body. This is when we discard the body out of choice, as one “lays by a garment now outworn.” (S-3.II.1) This experience does not carry the negative connotations that sickness in the midst of life does.

So, to heal sickness, we look to the reason for our negative feelings: What feelings are we rejecting or ejecting, or what are we defending against? We feel weak in this illusion of sickness, an illusion that is in no way reality, but nevertheless something that accompanies most people, at times, through our journey through life. We do not blame ourselves or other people for this evidence of illusory separation from God; we know that we are caught up in a dream of our making, and the sooner we return to our Source, the quicker our recovery can begin.
And it may not be a lasting recovery. If we slip again into illness, we look to heal our feelings yet again. Our Source can and does heal. But not always, and we don’t choose to blame ourselves if, like St. Paul, we have a “thorn in our side.”

Yet love is the ultimate answer, explained in ACOL in the following words:

“Could suffering really have gone on for countless ages simply due to your inability to birth the idea of an end to suffering?

“Has not a part of you always known that suffering does not have to be even while you have accepted that it is? Let us now put an end to this acceptance through the birth of a new idea.

“This idea is an idea of love. . . .

“It is an idea that says that if you live from love and within love’s laws you will create only love. It is an idea that accepts that this can be done and can be done by you in the here and now.” (ACOL, T3:8.12 – 9.1)

So, here we have it, in Jesus’s own words as received by Mari. He also says that previously we have said that we loved too little and we loved too much, but never “enough.”

Now Jesus is challenging us to love enough.

Choose the Joy of Heaven Every Day

“You can label joy heaven and pain hell and seek the middle ground for your reality thinking there are more than these two choices. A life of little joy and little pain is seen as a successful life, for a life of joy is seen as nothing more than a daydream, a life of pain a nightmare.” (ACOL, 2.7)

This quotation is only a partial quotation, but the entire passage indicates that Jesus here is not advocating a middle ground. We don’t want to be halfway between heaven and hell. We want to be entirely in heaven, and this is not something that has to wait for the afterlife, the Other Side.

We can know joy here, joy to a substantial extent that blesses us with each and every day. We may not always have positive things happen to us, but although we may know some pain, we don’t have to see this escalate into suffering. Our attitude is everything. We can see the joy in the midst of any adverse life circumstances that come our way. We don’t have to choose the middle way of little joy and little pain.

There is some magical thinking going on in our minds when we select the middle way. We think that if we don’t reach too high, the gods won’t strike us down. But we don’t believe in plural gods. And God Himself doesn’t punish, though we probably were brought up to believe that He punished us if we did “bad” things.

Get this egoic thinking out of the way. Choose joy today. Pray for a more positive outlook for whatever circumstances surround you in your life.

The way to see life as heaven is mapped out for us in A Course of Love. We need look no farther for the newest revelations in our spiritual lives.

PART 2: WHAT IS TRUE REALITY? WHAT REALITY IS NOT

Illness Is Evidence of Unreality

“He [god of sickness] is the belief that you can choose which god is real. Although it is clear this has nothing to do with reality, it is equally clear that it has everything to do with reality as you perceive it.” (ACIM, T-10.III.11)

A Course in Miracles sees sickness as unreal, as an illusion, as evidence that we are not “in reality.” Most importantly, ACIM does not “blame the victim,” though. We are to have compassion for ourselves as well as others when we or they are under the weather. If we can just see this evidence of illusion as illusion, we will not be so likely to exacerbate pain into suffering.

Not all of us can avoid this exacerbation all the time. Doing so is the “ideal” reading of A Course in Miracles, and on the practical level, we see plenty of evidence that many of us do get sick, and on a regular basis. In addition, sainthood is no preserver of good health. We see no evidence in ACIM that those who are “closer” to God have an immunity from the ills of the human condition.

Knowing that even good people have illnesses can help us to see that we are in no position to blame the victim. We can’t see the whole picture; that is because of our finite minds. The Christ Self within each of us is not omniscient. The Christ Self is just following true reality as far as this Self can muster.

So, seeing illnesses as unreal, as lacking true reality, means that our real Self has not suffered. Nothing awry has gone wrong with the inner Self. We are still safe. But, as long as live on earth, we will be subject to its ills. And we need compassion to get us through the rough spots.

Don’t be tempted to blame the victim, because we “create our own reality,” as is said in New Age circles. This type of mentality avoids the hard issues of suffering that nobody has an answer for. The best we can do is simply to see this suffering as not touching the real Self. The illusory “little” self can get into all kinds of trouble, though. And when this happens (and it will happen, inevitably, to many of us) we need to ask for the patience to endure, and, most importantly, not to be tempted to turn our pains into suffering. To do so adds an emotional component to the pain that can be avoided, and ought to be, whenever we can muster the impetus to avoid this emotional component.

Do Not Blame the Victim!

“No victim is to blame for the violence done to them. No sick person is to blame for the illness within them. But you must be able to look at and see reality for what it is. Just as we are telling you that new beliefs and ideas will lead to a new reality, old beliefs and ideas let to the old reality, a reality that will still exist for some even after it changes completely for you.” (ACOL, Treatise on the Personal Self, 19.12)

This is Jesus’s definitive answer to the question of “blame the victim.” Intuitively, we have known that to blame the victim is wrong, but perhaps, with all the talk about our “creating our reality,” we lost touch with the idea that to blame the victim is misguided. We are heading into a new reality, a reality without victims. The old reality had victims, sometimes desperately so. But we need to realize that the new reality will leave aside such desperate means to an end. Our ego will have fallen away, and with it the harshness of everyday life.

What does it mean to say that we heading into a new reality? Our new reality will be salvation personified. We will know what it means to live by the intuitive guidance that comes from our inner Christ Self. We will not think of this guidance as somewhat external to ourselves, as we (erroneously) thought of the Holy Spirit. We will know that the new way that we live is coming from our essence, and that this essence is in a bonding with God, for we are a part of Him.

True reality brooks no delay in coming. It is important that we remove the blocks to Christ-consciousness, or Awakening, so that we can get on with the business of this new reality. The world needs us to remove the blocks keeping us from attaining our real potential. The world is in desperate straits. Let us act today to stop judging, stop attacking, and stop making meaningless plans.
Leave behind fear, for that was a symptom of egoic living. Walk onward, along our paths, and know that Jesus is there with us. He is there with all of us. We cannot understand this, but I personally do believe it. He can clone himself into as many parts as are needed, with his entire essence being in each part. An example of a hologram.

So we walk forward with a clear mind about what “creating our reality” really means. We don’t harbor dark thoughts that the sick did this unto themselves. This frees us to be compassionate. And we need compassion, along with love, more than anything.

The Atonement Is Healing of All Forms of Sickness

“The offer of Atonement is universal. It is equally applicable to all individuals in all circumstances. And in it is the power to heal all individuals of all forms of sickness. (M-22.6)”

This quotation may seem hard to believe, because we have known saintly people who had emotional or physical illnesses that were never cured, regardless of their saintliness. Jesus says elsewhere in the Manual that to doubt healing because of the presence of continuing symptoms is not the way to go. The healing will be received when one is ready. In the meantime, we don’t try to repeat healing ceremonies or to imagine that the healing has not occurred because we see these lingering symptoms. The all-inclusive nature of healing is a healing that Jesus sees as inevitable. And God would brook no compromise in this pristine view of healing. We ask for healing, and it comes—despite physical evidence to the contrary. Only time separates, now, the request for healing and its culmination in a healed mind and body.

Perhaps an individual chooses now to leave this world. Most lay down the body through some illness. Is this a problem? Not as Jesus sees it. We give up the body when its usefulness is done, nothing more. We do not lose; we step into eternity.
All individuals have access to Atonement. It is a universal call. And it applies to all. God’s ways may seem mysterious, but they are that only in our own limited understanding. The truth of Atonement, a call to everybody, everywhere, stands over and above any doubts that we might have about its all-inclusiveness.

Jesus’s statements about Atonement and healing are in what might be termed the “ideal” interpretation of A Course in Miracles. We are not yet ready to see all forms of sickness disappear, including but not limited to physical healings. Sometimes we are not yet ready to see emotional healing. But we can know, on some level, that when we accept Atonement, this healing has come to us.

These are not easy statements. Jesus, though, accepts no compromise. Let us walk as far along into his interpretation as we can. We have not “failed” if we remain ill. We have just, so far, walked as far as we can. Jesus is concerned about our minds, and our minds may be healed even though our illusory bodies still show symptoms.

This is not a contradiction.

Atonement Cures the Sick by Taking Away the Guilt

“Atonement does not heal the sick, for that is not a cure. It takes away the guilt that makes the sickness possible. And that is cure indeed. (WB-140)”

Atonement takes away guilt, and A Course in Miracles indicates that it is our guilt that causes our sicknesses. This does not mean that if we get rid of all the guilt, we will necessarily be healed of all afflictions; this would be magical thinking. Some illnesses persist, and we need not blame our sicknesses on our “failure” to achieve a guilt-free existence. That would be very close to blaming the victim, which is an inaccurate way of reading ACIM.

When we take away the guilt, though, we are less likely to experience new sicknesses. And what we have may decline and eventually disappear. This will seem a miracle, and indeed it is. Jesus speaks in an ideal mode when making these assertions; we are very fallible, and we may not be able to rise to his ideal.

The cure comes when we do get rid of the guilt. Our minds are cured, and that is cure indeed. Physical symptoms may persist; indeed, may never go away. But with a healed mind, we can deal with anything. Our way is clear; we live successfully even in the face of debilitations and handicaps.

How to Re-find Paradise

1 – Day 16

“Everything that can’t be seen but is, is consciousness. Accepting everything that can’t be seen, including the unknown, is full consciousness. Acceptance is key. You can’t accept what you fear. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 16)”

2 – Acceptance

Much emphasis on acceptance in the Dialogues of A Course of Love! Jesus reiterates here how very important it is for us just to accept—not to judge, not to regret, not to even feel sorry over. Of course, A Course in Miracles emphasized forgiveness of our brother throughout. And forgiveness is still the key to undoing the ego. But in A Course of Love, it is hoped that we, the readers, will have gone beyond the ego into another realm—not yet Awakening or Christ-consciousness, but closer than ever before. And to move into this new realm, acceptance of ourselves just as we are is crucial. We may see many imperfections in our personalities, and, objectively, there may be many imperfections. How do we handle this? We just turn aside from those parts of our personalities that we don’t want to keep. Importantly, we don’t resist, for in the resistance the ego reasserts itself. Resistance to undesired personality traits is a form of defensiveness, and the ego is strong in defensiveness. Also, defenses make what they would defend against (from A Course in Miracles).

3 – Self

So we accept. Just as we are. Knowing that we are whole and good in our real Self, the inner Christ Self. Our imperfect, personal self has been made only in illusions. None of the bad things that we thought we might have done to others, or that we did to others, has actually done anything at all—in reality. Of course, in the illusion the material objects seem very hard to us, very real. And we may need to ask for forgiveness from those we might have wronged. This sets the record straight. We are undoing what made wrong in the dream, the illusion. And sometimes this endeavor moves us closer to accepting our Self just as we are. We accept the personality, and, as the personality is cleansed by turning aside from those character traits that we wish to overcome, we are healed.

4 – Consciousness

We need to move into full consciousness, and we need, as this quotation points out, to move into consciousness without fear. We will not fear when we have allowed Jesus to guide our minds. Or allowed the inner Christ Self to guide our minds (as in A Course of Love)—or the Holy Spirit (as in A Course in Miracles). How can we give up our fears? We can but try, and in the loving of ourselves and others—when the love replaces the fear—we find rest for our spirits.

5 – Sickness

“Sickness is not sickness but rejected feelings. The rejected feelings exist as separate and forgotten physical manifestations until they are willfully remembered and accepted back into the spacious Self. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 16)”

6 – Spacious Self

We want to get over any and all sickness. If we conceive of the spacious Self as a larger, more all-encompassing Self Whom we are, we can imagine enfolding that sickness into this spacious Self, and then, miraculously, we are healed of sickness. Sometimes physical symptoms do linger, but that does not have to concern us. Healing is actually of the mind, and when the mind is healed, our real Self is healed.

7 – Healing

The physical manifestations may go away. We can ask God for a healing, engage in dialogue with our inner Self, and then miraculously learn of a new medication, a new treatment, or a new way of living that will eliminate the physical manifestations of illness. Pills, medication, are a form of magic, but Jesus does not counsel giving up pills if they are keeping fear at bay. He says in ACIM that the last thing that the fear-ridden mind needs is more fear, and we may have more fear if we throw away our pills. We are living an illusion, and if we are aware that the pills are healing our symptoms, then we will find that in our dream. We create our reality. And our ideas about that reality come true. This is a stern warning as well as a truth about the nature of our illusory reality.

8 – Illness

If we dialogue with the illness, talk to it, actually, we may see that we are no longer rejecting feelings about that illness. And the illness may spontaneously disappear. Our ideas about “reality,” our dream, are stubborn, though, and nobody should doubt the reality of a healing because of the continuance of physical symptoms (from ACIM).

9 – Reintegration

“The reintegration requires, of course, a change in what you want to prove to yourself. All you may now continue to seek proof of is that your feelings, rather than your thoughts about your feelings, reflect who you are, and that by acting on them, you will act in accord with who you are and thus in accord with the universe. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 16)”
10 – Feelings

We need to get close to our feelings. We don’t need to be cerebral about it, meaning that we don’t need to bring the thoughts of our minds into the act. We need to experience feelings directly.

11 – Thinking

All of our lives we have been taught to discount feelings in favor of the so-called “rational” mind. Of course, the mind is not rational, and its judgments are always, always, faulty. The world teaches for reliance on judgment of our (ir)rational mind, but we need to recognize, as ACIM tells us, that judgment in our own minds is not possible. We cannot see past, present, and future in all its ramifications. We cannot judge aright. Not that we don’t judge aright, but that we cannot. Then we look to a Higher Power for His counsel. In ACIM, this is the Holy Spirit; in ACOL, this is the Self within, the Christ Who is the All with God.

12 – Holes

If we act on feelings, we will stop digging holes for ourselves. We will climb out of the holes that the ego dug for us. If we act on feelings, we will first experience the happy dreams the Holy Spirit sends; and then we will move ever closer to the reality that the Awakening will show us. Know, though, that we cannot merit Awakening. It is God’s gift, given us when we are ready. And being good and spiritual will not guarantee readiness. Only God knows what in us He is looking for, before we move into Christ-consciousness (Awakening).

13 – Intuition

“When you feel an ‘intuition’ you respond differently than you do to unwanted feelings that you are quick to want to ‘do something’ about. If all feelings were treated more like intuition is treated–with a ‘knowing’ that the feeling has come to tell you something that is as yet unknown to you, but nevertheless for your benefit, you would go a long way toward acceptance. (A Course of Love: Dialogues)”

14 – Spacious Self

We need to accept all feelings, even those that seem borne of fear rather than love. By so doing, we encompass all feelings with the spacious Self of Christ-consciousness, and the fear, held within the love, is dissipated.

15 – Illness
Illness is a form of rejected feelings. When sickness comes upon us, we are likely to try to reject it as an unwanted intrusion into our world. But we must hold within ourselves these feelings, knowing that illness is a form of external searching. When we accept all feelings, whether of loneliness or despair, anger or grief, we join with the spacious Self.
When we live in the present, we are accepting of all feelings by living the Christ-consciousness that we have all so desired to call our own.
16 – Paradise
Paradise is re-found when the fear that had been expelled is welcomed back by the embrace of love. No feelings are bad; all are to be accepted, and kept if we deem them good and “loved” into a better feeling if we deem them bad. The rejection of fear thoughts helped to create the hell that overcame our world. Welcoming back the fear thoughts, while encompassing them always within love thoughts, will lead us back to paradise.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I come to understand my feelings in the same way that I have, over the years, come to accept intuition as valid guidance. May I come to understand and to act on what my feelings are telling me, but only if they are loving feelings for my brothers and sisters.

May I encompass fear with love, rejecting nothing, because rejection will only act as a force field to make the fear stronger. Thank You for these thoughts by Jesus for this day.

Many people pray for Awakening, for Christ-consciousness. And I am among those people. Take from me all part of my personal, little, self which is hindering the bestowal of this great blessing. Like Michaelangelo, carve away the parts of the block of my personality that are in the way of the Self Whom you want me to display always. I know that it is only these excess blocks of marble that are keeping me from You. I would move closer to You today. Now and forever.

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.

What Death Should Be: A Quiet Choice, Made Joyfully and with a Sense of Peace

“False healing merely makes a poor exchange of one illusion for a ‘nicer’ one; a dream of sickness for a dream of health. This can occur at lower forms of prayer, combining with forgiveness kindly meant but not completely understood as yet. Only false healing can give way to fear, so sickness will be free to strike again. (S-3.II.1)”

 

1 – False Healing

 

There is much in the Song of Prayer that explains when and if healing will occur when we have asked for a healing. Jesus uses terms in the Song that do not occur in A Course in Miracles. Here we see the term “false healing,” in which we simply exchange dreams of sickness for a dream of health. But this dream of health may not last, if we have not forgiven totally. Our forgiveness is still often the “forgiveness to destroy,” in which we “forgive,” but we do not forget, and we think ourselves superior to the one we are forgiving. We think that we are in a better position than he/she is, but we certainly remember the wrong word or deed.

 

2 – Forgiveness that the World Gives

 

ACIM tells us that this type of forgiving is all the world can give. And it is a false forgiveness. We think that the person could have done better, when in actuality all of us are doing as well as we can, given our understanding at the time. The word or deed of another is actually a call for help (an ACIM tenet), and the only sane response (also a term from ACIM) is to rush to the other’s side with help. It keeps our rights from being sacrificed (ACIM tenet).

 

3 – Our Rights

 

What does it mean to keep our “rights from being sacrificed”? We are due a good day. All of us are. And when attack has entered the picture, which always happens when we hold against another his/her insanity, then we are sacrificing our own rights to a good day. We are mulling over things best forgotten. Only if our personal safety is an issue do we need to distance ourselves, and even this is not an ACIM tenet. To my mind, though, it is common sense to remove one’s self from the vicinity of another in attack mode, verbal or physical.

 

4 – Death

 

“Yet there is a kind of death that has a different source. It does not come because of hurtful thoughts and raging anger at the universe. It merely signifies the end has come for usefulness of body functioning. And so it is discarded as a choice, as one lays by a garment now outworn. (S-3.II.1)”

 

5 – Other Side

 

We move in this passage to the end of life, to the time that forgiveness has been extended to all whom we have encountered, and we are ready to go home to the Other Side. We do not always get sick at this juncture, though most do. We can simply lay the body aside as a well-worn garment, ready to assume a new form, our ethereal body (not an ACIM tenet, which does not identify what we will be like after death).

 

6 – Choosing Death

 

We can choose death in this world. We do not have to stay here if pain is too great. And I am not talking about suicide. The Self within knows when we have had enough, and there are exit points. Then we develop a terminal illness, and we leave.

 

7 – Remain Healthy

 

But it does not have to be thus. We can, in the ideal world, remain healthy until the end. And then simply lay the body aside. But this usually does not happen, for many of us are weak and frail. We do not yet know how to forgive sufficiently to keep ourselves from sickness and always to choose health.

 

8 – What Death Should Be

 

“This is what death should be; a quiet choice, made joyfully and with a sense of peace, because the body has been kindly used to help the Son of God along the way he goes to God. (S-3.II.2)”

 

9 – Consoling Thoughts

 

So death should be a quiet choice, made “joyfully and with a sense of peace.” What consoling thoughts! Thank you, Jesus, for guiding our minds to such a conclusion.

 

10 – Liberty

 

“We call it death, but it is liberty. It does not come in forms that seem to be thrust down in pain upon unwilling flesh, but as a gentle welcome to release. (S-3.II.3)”

 

11 – Ruth Montgomery

 

Liberty! That is what death at the conclusion of a good life is really all about. Ruth Montgomery, in 20th century writings by automatic writing from her Guides, asserted that death is like walking through an open door. Would that this be all that it is for all us! Ruth wrote such books as A Search for the Truth and A World Beyond, after a long and distinguished journalist in Washington, DC.

 

12 – Death as Benign

 

So we can choose to see death as something entirely benign. We have nothing to fear. Suffering, yes, perhaps. But pain does not have to turn into suffering. We can exit gently.

 

Prayer:

 

Dear Father/Mother,

 

May I see death in a wholly benign way. May I welcome death at the time that is right for me. I realize that this is not yet, for I am healthy and very immersed in living in this world. When my time comes, help me to lay aside my physical body as one would lay aside a well-worn garment.

 

Help me to live joyfully every day of my life. May my prayer life, today, be enriched by turning to You in “praying without ceasing.” When I pray for assistance, You always respond, and right away. You tell me what to do to have peace. I can depend on You, and for this I thank You.

 

Be with me now throughout this day. May my words and deeds always reflect well on You. Help me to set a good example as a student/teacher of A Course in Miracles.

 

And may this day go well. Thank You.

 

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.

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.

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.


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.

A Felt Sense of Being Separate = Leads to Sickness

“A sick person perceives himself as separate from God.  Would you see him as separate from you?  It is your task to heal the sense of separation that has made him sick.  (M-22.6)”

Affirmation:  “I would not separate myself from anyone today.”

Reflections:

1 – Theology

This passage is part of the theoretical and theological construct of A Course in Miracles.  We do not have to take on the theology of ACIM if we find it impossible to accept.  Jesus says that ACIM is concerned with the practical most of all, and the practical will prove the validity of ACIM.  If the ideas work in everyday life, then we will then be more open to considering some of the theology and the theory in back of the theology.  Theological debates are always controversial and therefore dividing among people.  We would not be separate from our brothers and sisters, to whom we are meant to bring salvation (a Text tenet).  We do not force our ideas, or even ACIM ideas, on anyone who is not ready.  But when others express an interest in what has changed our lives (ACIM), then is the time to speak.  Always ask the Holy Spirit what to say, and we are told in ACIM that what to say will come unfailingly into our minds.

2 – Sickness = A Physical Reality in an Illusory World

Sickness is a physical reality in our world, but the whole world is illusory.  We are told this with certainty.  This does not mean that we lack sympathy for the ill.  In many cases, recognizing the illusion in which our brother or sister believes may give us more sympathy.  But we ask for a healing, knowing that healing will occur–even when it is healing that we cannot see as either physical or emotional.  The healing has occurred.  This, of course, is more theory, and, just as I said above, we do not have to take unto ourselves anything that is dividing or too controversial.  The more we work with A Course in Miracles, the more likely we are to see its truth and to stop arguing with its tenets.  We are told that we may actively resist some of the teachings of ACIM in the Workbook, but none of this matters.  We are simply to do the exercises, and it is these that will convince us that Jesus is not misleading us.

3 – How to Heal the Belief in Separation?

How do we heal the belief in separation that has caused sickness?  That is not up to us.  It is the Holy Spirit, the Communicator from God, who carries out the miracle.  We are merely the instrument in His Hands.  If we recognize that the sense of separation has caused the sickness, we may be more likely to give up the folly of bringing sickness upon ourselves.

4 – Do Not Blame the Victim

Note that none of this theology blames the victim.  Everyone is doing the best that he/she can, given the understanding that he/she has at any given moment.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I pray for Your wellness to follow me all the days of my life.  Help me fully to understand, while remaining in a positive mind slant, that sickness comes about when we believe in the illusory separation from You.  I would entertain only thoughts and words that illustrate our Oneness.  And I am a part of You, though the separation has made all of us find this idea a difficult one, and possibly one that would even be termed blasphemous.  This truth is not blasphemy.  Knowing–not perceiving–this truth is one of Your greatest blessings to me in this lifetime.

Be with us as we walk through another day.  May we remain grateful for Your manifold blessings to us.  May we focus on thanking You for those blessings.  May we never dwell on the negative, for to do so is to invite more negative.  We need to attract what You would have us attract, and that is only the good.

Thank You for allowing me to experience the felt Presence of You.

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.

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.

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.

All Cause of Sorrow Disappears

ACIM Workbook Lesson 195 – for Saturday, July 14, 2012

Affirmation:  “Love is the way I walk in gratitude.”

“Gratitude is a lesson hard to learn for those who look upon the world amiss.  The most that they can do is see themselves as better off than others.  And they try to be content because another seems to suffer more than they.  How pitiful and deprecating are such thoughts!  For who has cause for thanks while others have less cause?  And who could suffer less because he sees another suffer more?  Your gratitude is due to Him alone Who made all cause of sorrow disappear throughout the world.  (WB372)”

Reflections:

1 – Do Not Compare

We would be wise not to compare ourselves to others.  There will always be those who seem to have more, as well as seem to have less.  This practice of comparison is not a good practice that could ever lead us to a sane mind.

2 – Cooperation

We need cooperation, not competition, in our world (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).  And in cooperation we find the gratitude due our brothers and sisters that is so lacking when we are competing with them for the “top” spot in our world.  We find ourselves loving each other more when we cooperate toward a common good.  We do not find ourselves in a loving mood when we are competing.

3 – Public Schools

Even the public school system is learning this truth.  Research in educational circles has been going on for a quarter of a century, and more, that recommends “cooperative learning” in our schools.  It is conceivable that this wide-based endeavor will turn out very different young adults than in our generation.  Our world needs a new system, and perhaps cooperative learning and living will emerge in the next generation.  (These ideas are not discussed in ACIM or in A Course of Love.)

4 – Pity Is Unworthy

It is particularly unworthy if we simply look with pity on another’s suffering, and use that situation to be glad that we too are not suffering that much.  Surely we ought to do what we can to lighten another’s load, and turn suffering into joy.  Surely we ought not to doubt the results of a healing when symptoms still seem evident (a Manual tenet).  But we need to recognize that, however lamentable, the suffering is not real (a Manual tenet).  It is an illusion, however much it may seem real to us or to the sufferer himself/herself.  The real Self (the “Christ” in us) has not been harmed.  Our task now is to move beyond suffering and to turn it back, if need be, simply into pain that would be avoided.

5 – Sickness as a Way of Life

Not everyone is ready for this change.  Some use sickness as a way of life, and a sudden healing might precipitate depression so deep that one would want to commit suicide (from the Manual).  So healing has to wait.  But we cannot doubt that a healing will be accepted when the individual is ready.  This can be either physical or emotional healing, and perhaps the emotional is the most important.

6 = With Grateful Eyes

Let us look with grateful eyes on our brothers and sisters, and let us help them, with more kindness, through their journey.  What better way to spend our day?

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I do feel grateful today for my many blessings.  I would feel more gratitude than is usual for me, for this lesson today is a reminder of how much we owe to You.  Be with me today as I walk through this world.

May I never use sickness to get me something that I want.  Nothing needs to be used in such a way.  I would not feel pity for those less fortunate, though I would try to help my brothers and sisters in need.  Show me what to do and say.

Thank You.

Amen.

Turn Hell to Heaven

“Peace now belongs here, because a Thought of God has entered.  What else but a Thought of God turns hell to Heaven merely by being what it is?. . .It is no longer, ‘Can peace be possible in this world?’ but instead, ‘Is it not impossible that peace be absent here?’  (M-11.4)”

 

Affirmation:  “May I see peace today.”

Reflections:

1 – Heaven on Earth

We are well-informed in A Course in Miracles that we can know Heaven on earth.  We do not deny the reverse that our physical eyes show us, but we recognize what is real and what is not.  We know that the intangibles of God, the Thought of God, is real.  The peace, the joy, the patience, the contentment. . . .Everything that is not a synonym of peace is an illusion, because we are living a dream (ACIM tenets).

2 – Peace

When we experience a Thought of God, we know that peace is meant to follow our footsteps wherever we go.  We can be mistaken in thinking a given thought is actually a Thought of God, but mistakes can be corrected.  We do not arrogantly determine that we are understanding God’s Mind, for we are not ready for this.  We humbly take what we are given, and we give thanks for it.  Then we realize that peace is indeed home in our world.

3 – Pain and Suffering

What of the pain and suffering, the terrors and war, that engulf our world?  We can make a difference, and when we pray for guidance, we will be directed what difference it is that we are to make–what our particular part in the cosmic drama is meant to be.  Until we know that much, we walk a dimly lit path.

4 – Save This World

Ask today for your part in God’s plan to save the world.  The Holy Spirit will respond, and, we can imagine, in our anthropomorphic way, that He is glad that we asked.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would do today what I can best do to help the individuals around live a good life.  I know that I do not experience Heaven on earth consistently, but this blessing happens more frequently than it did when I was in my early adult years.  I knew when to be contented with what I had, because I had gone “without” for so long.  I thank You now that I discovered ACIM so early, in my mid-thirties, and that its tenets have guided me to happiness many times over.

Be with all of us as we seek to learn A Course in Miracles.  When we fill our minds with ACIM‘s glorious words, we edge out defeatism, and we find ourselves attracting better and better things.  These things do not have to be materialistic only; they certainly can be emotional joys that provide us with a gentle happiness that no bad occurrence in our world can long overcome.  Thank You for leading me to this understanding.

If we attract Jesus’s blessings, we do so because we have accepted the non-dualism of his world.  We no longer seek for what will actually harm, seeking in ignorance precipitated by egoistic thinking.  I would let the ego wither even more today, leading me ever closer to Awakening on a consistent basis.

Be with me as I seek to do for the significant others in my life the things that they need me to do.  This has been a hard week, for personal reasons, but You know those personal reasons.  And I wish to continue to see improvement in the individuals with whom I share my life.

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.

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.

Release from Guilt = Release from Sickness

“Herein [he who has looked on the world and seen it as it is not] 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.

“With this idea is pain forever gone.  (M-5.II. 3-4)”

Affirmation:  “release from guilt and sickness”

Reflections:

1 – Guilt and Sickness

A very instructive passage from A Course in Miracles.  We may never have realized, heretofore, that guilt and sickness are one, and that when we are rid of the guilt, we will not know sickness.  Perhaps this seems too hard, for who can rid themselves of all guilt for all the mistakes that are recognized in a life?

2 – Turn Guilt over to the Holy Spirit

It can be done, and we do not have to be psychopaths or sociopaths to rid ourselves of guilt.  This, once again, is something that we turn over to the Holy Spirit.  He know that when we have expressed a desire for forgiveness, then we are in a position to be rid of the guilt that our misdeed or errant thought has caused in us.  It seems so little, just to ask forgiveness.  Our egoic mind cries out for punishment, even though on a conscious level we do not actually invite punishment.  When we are insane in the sense that ACIM means, we do ask to hold onto the guilt, and therefore receive the punishment.  If we can recognize that this is madness, we will be more ready to accept God’s glorious Answer, given us internally by the Holy Spirit.

3 – Sensitive Consciences

Those of us with particularly sensitive consciences will suffer the most, and, paradoxically, we can receive even more than perhaps another who does not suffer as we do.  We are still equal to each other, though.  We are not equal in time, but in eternity, and eternity is all there is; there is no time, which is an illusion.

4 – Removal of Guilt

May we pray today for forgiveness, for a removal of the guilt that clouds the minds that Jesus interprets so kindly.  He loves us, we are told in ACIM.  He holds nothing against us.  May we not hinder his love and kindness by refusing ourselves the forgiveness that we need to render unto ourselves.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be aware today that when I have recognized that forgiveness is mine, any guilt that I might feel over something I said or did will dissipate.  Thank You.  The fact that sickness may also subside is another blessing bestowed by the removal of guilt from my mind.  Thank You again.

Be with me today as I live a healthy life, unimpeded by guilt.  May I ask for forgiveness of my brothers and sisters, as well as of myself, and may I realize that You do not need to forgive me, because You have never condemned me.  What joy this should bring to me!

Thank You for this good day.  May my evening be peaceful and my joy, under You guidance, be complete.

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.

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.

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.