52 The emphasis will now be on healing. The miracle is the means, the Atonement is the principle, and healing is the result. Those who speak of "a miracle of healing" are combining two orders of reality inappropriately. Healing is
not a miracle. The Atonement or the final miracle is a
remedy, while any type of healing is a result. The
kind of error to which Atonement is applied is irrelevant. Essentially,
all healing is the release from fear. To undertake this, you
cannot be fearful yourself. You do not understand healing because of your
53 A major step in the Atonement plan is to undo error at
all levels. Illness, which is really "not-right-mindedness," is the result of level confusion in the sense that it always entails the belief that what is amiss in one level can adversely affect another. We have constantly referred to miracles as the means of correcting level confusion, and all mistakes must be corrected at the level on which they occur. Only the
mind is capable of error. The body can
act erroneously, but this is only because it is responding to mis-thought. The body cannot create, and the belief that it
can, a fundamental error, produces all physical symptoms.
54 All physical illness represents a belief in magic. The whole distortion which created magic rests on the belief that there is a creative ability in matter which the mind cannot control. This error can take two forms—it can be believed that the mind can miscreate
in the body or that the body can miscreate in the mind. If it is understood that the mind, which is the
only level of creation, cannot create beyond itself, neither type of confusion need occur.
55 The reason only the mind can create is more obvious than may be immediately apparent. The Soul
has been created. The body is a learning device for the mind. Learning devices are not lessons in themselves. Their purpose is merely to facilitate the thinking of the learner. The most that a faulty use of a learning device can do is to fail to facilitate learning. It has no power in itself to introduce actual learning errors.
56 The body, if properly understood, shares the invulnerability of the Atonement to two-edged application. This is not because the body is a miracle but because it is not
inherently open to misinterpretation. The body is merely a fact in human experience. Its abilities can be and frequently are over-evaluated. However, it is almost impossible to deny its existence. Those who do so are engaging in a particularly unworthy form of denial. The term "unworthy" here implies simply that it is not necessary to protect the mind by denying the unmindful. [There is little doubt that the mind can miscreate.] If one denies this unfortunate aspect of the mind's power, one is also denying the power itself.
57 All material means which man accepts as remedies for bodily ills are merely restatements of magic principles. It was the first level of the error to believe that the body created its own illness. It is a second misstep to attempt to heal it through non-creative agents. It does not follow, however, that the use of these very weak corrective devices is evil. Sometimes the illness has a sufficiently great hold over a mind to render a person inaccessible to Atonement. In this case it may be wise to utilize a compromise approach to mind
and body, in which something from the
outside is temporarily given healing belief.
58 This is because the
last thing that can help the non-right-minded, or the sick, is an
increase in fear. They are already
in a fear-weakened state. If they are inappropriately exposed to an "undiluted" miracle, they may be precipitated into panic. This is particularly likely to occur when upside-down perception has induced the belief that miracles are frightening.
59 The value of the Atonement does not lie in the manner in which it is expressed. In fact, if it is truly used, it will inevitably
be expressed in whatever way is most helpful to the receiver[, not the giver]. This means that a miracle, to attain its full efficacy,
must be expressed in a language which the recipient can understand
without fear. It does not follow by any means that this is the highest level of communication of which he is capable. It
does mean, however, that it is the highest level of communication of which he is capable
now. The whole aim of the miracle is to
raise the level of communication, not to impose regression in the improper sense upon it.
60 Before miracle workers are ready to undertake their function in this world, it is essential that they fully understand the
fear of release. Otherwise, they may unwittingly foster the belief that release is imprisonment, a belief that is very prevalent. This misperception arose from the underlying misbelief that harm can be limited to the body. This was because of the much greater fear that the mind can hurt itself. Neither error is really meaningful because the miscreations of the mind do not really exist.
This recognition is a far better protective device than
any form of level confusion because it introduces correction at the level of the error.