MANUAL FOR TEACHERS
#5. HOW IS HEALING ACCOMPLISHED?
The Shift in Perceptions 6 What is the single requisite for this shift in perception? It is simply this: the recognition that sickness is of the mind and has nothing to do with the body. What does this recognition "cost"? It costs the whole world we see, for the world will never again appear to rule the mind. For with this recognition is responsibility placed where it belongs---not with the world but on him who looks on the world and sees it as it is not. He looks on what he chooses to see. No more and no less. 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 was. 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.
A COURSE IN MIRACLES
WORKBOOK for STUDENTS
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio
~ Original Hand Script
A miracle is a correction. It
does not create, nor really change at all.
It merely looks on devastation, and
reminds the mind that what it sees is false.
It undoes error, but does not attempt
to go beyond perception, nor exceed
the function of forgiveness. Thus it stays
within time's limits. Yet it paves the way
for the return of timelessness and love's
awakening, for fear must slip away
under the gentle remedy it gives.
A miracle contains the gift of grace,
for it is given and received as one.
And thus it illustrates the law of truth
the world does not obey, because it fails
entirely to understand its ways.
A miracle inverts perception, which
was upside-down before, and thus it ends
the strange distortions that were manifest.
Now is perception open to the truth.
Now is forgiveness fully justified.
Forgiveness is the home of miracles.
The eyes of Christ delivers them to all
they look upon in mercy and in love.
Perception stands corrected in His sight,
and what was meant to curse has come to bless.
Each lily of forgiveness offers all
the world the silent miracle of love.
And each is laid before the Word of God
upon the universal altar to
Creator and creation, in the Light
of perfect purity and endless peace.
The miracle is taken first on faith,
because to ask for it implies the mind
has been made ready to conceive of what
it cannot see and does not understand.
Yet faith will bring its witnesses, to show
that what it rested on is really there.
And thus the miracle will justify your faith
in it, and show it rested on a world
more real than what you saw before;
a world redeemed from what you thought you saw.
Miracles fall like drops of healing rain
from Heaven on a dry and dusty world,
where starved and thirsty creatures came to die.
Now have they water. Now the world is green.
And everywhere the signs of life spring up,
to show that what is born can never die,
for what has life has immortality.
A COURSE IN MIRACLES
L e s s o n 342
I let forgiveness rest upon all things,
For thus forgiveness will be given me.
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio
I thank You, Father, for Your plan to save
me from the hell I made. It is not real.
And You have given me the means to prove
its unreality to me. The key
is in my hand, and I have reached the door
beyond which lies the end of dreams. I stand
before the gate of Heaven, wondering
if I should enter in and be at home.
Let me not wait again today. Let me
forgive all things, and let creation be
as You would have it be, and as it is.
Let me remember that I am Your Son,
and opening the door at last, forget
illusions in the blazing Light of Truth,
as memory of You returns to me.
Brother, forgive me now. I come to you
to take you home with me. And as we go,
the world goes with us on the way to God.
~ Original Handscript of ACIM
ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections
I let forgiveness rest upon all things,
For thus forgiveness will be given me
This Lesson seems to capture the entire Course teaching. We live in a world that is not real. It is a dream we have invested with meaning. Now we have been given the ". . . means to prove its unreality," (W.342.1.3) but it is up to us. "The key is in my hand. . ." (W.342.1.4) It is up to me to withdraw the meaning I have given to the world. No one will do this for me. I can't ask Jesus to take away my fear, my pain, and my suffering. He calls to us from outside the dream to come to where he is. I have to be the one to identify the thoughts, take complete and total responsibility for them, recognize I am choosing them, and be willing to release them. I have to be willing to release my investment in my story. I have to be willing to give up my attachments, my values, and my beliefs. I have to be willing to forgive.
"Forgiveness is the key to happiness."
And how else can one dispel illusions except by looking at them directly, without protecting them? Be not afraid, therefore, for what you will be looking at is the source of fear, and you are beginning to learn that fear is not real.
(T.11.V.2.2-3) (ACIM OE T.10.VI.40)
Do not be afraid, then, to look upon fear, for it cannot be seen. Clarity undoes confusion by definition, and to look upon darkness through light must dispel it.
(T.11.V.2.8-9) (ACIM OE T.10.VI.41) Thus, healing is no different than the miracle, forgiveness, or the Atonement. It is all about releasing guilt; and the way we do this is simply to look at everything we have put in the way of the love we are.
The interesting thing is that we are not seriously disturbed about being unhappy. Our desire is mostly to be right about the way we see things. We put a lot of value on our worldview and tenaciously hold onto it. To listen with an open mind and take in what Jesus is telling us means that everything we think and believe is wrong. No wonder we have resistance! Jesus says it is really frightening for us to conceive of the fact that "I do not know the thing I am, and therefore do not know what I am doing, where I am, or how to look upon the world or on myself." (T.31.V.17.7) (ACIM OE T.31.V.60) We are wrong about everything we believe, including who we think we are. This feels like an insult to our intelligence and threatens our sense of what we perceive as real.
We accept reality as we have determined it to be, and we argue for the correctness of our perception. We don't want to see ourselves as responsible for our condition. We prefer to see ourselves as a victim of circumstances over which we have no control. After all, we did not ask to be born...or did we? We justify our anger and frustration, pointing our finger at others. "If it weren't for them," we claim, "I would be happy." This is the reason that at a deeper level we want to suffer and want to be betrayed so we can make someone else responsible for our suffering. We prefer to suffer as long as we can assure ourselves that someone else is guilty for our condition. It seems worth paying the price in suffering in order to be right.
And we want to be right because then we don't have to look at the fact we chose separation and specialness, which is the real cause of all our pain---the choice we made for the ego. We agreed to accept the myth that we stole our existence from God, and with the horror of that belief in our minds, we chose to escape into the body and the world. It is a place where the ego tells us we can hide from God and escape His wrath. This is not a conscious thought, but deep down we feel we have done something dreadfully wrong, though we don't know what it is. At our core, we believe we are bad, but Jesus urges us to see that we are innocent and have done nothing wrong. This is all just a dream we are having. By showing us how and why we made it up, he invites us to see it is not real; but we resist because for us to withdraw our belief in the ego is to withdraw our investment in our separate self and in the world. We hang on because we think there is still some value in the world.
To forgive is to let go of our wrong-minded thinking. It is to let go of our belief that something real is happening that is the cause of our pain. "Forgiveness recognizes what you thought your brother did to you has not occurred." (W.PII.Q1.1.1) This can only make sense if the world is illusory. To us, it seems as if real damage has been done, but Jesus assures us, nothing real has happened because it is just a dream. Now we are invited to look at everything that seems to happen to us as an opportunity to turn our judgments over to be transformed by the miracle. "It [the miracle] merely looks on devastation, and reminds the mind that what it sees is false." (W.PII.Q13.1.3) The happiness that is already in us can only be known when we are willing to let go of our stories, which means letting go of being right about how we see things.
When someone says or does something that seems to take away my peace, I need to recognize that peace is a condition in me and no one can take it away. Only I can choose to throw my peace away in the face of a challenging situation. Instead, I can turn to the Holy Spirit to help me withdraw blame from someone for taking my peace. The Holy Spirit reminds me of my brother's innocence so I can know my own. This Lesson reminds us again that what we give, we receive.
I recently saw a movie about Nelson Mandela's life called, Long Walk to Freedom. It is such a beautiful example of forgiveness, love, and reconciliation in the face of dreadful circumstances. He spent 27 years in jail. As I watched the movie, I noticed how everyone played their part so perfectly to allow reconciliation and forgiveness to shine forth. Mandela's influence was based entirely on his example of grace and forgiveness. I thought of my day and the irritants that I made real. The movie reminded me of the message Jesus teaches us that we are here to be a demonstration of the love we are. All attack is a call for forgiveness and peace. If we see attack in any other way, we are using it as a justification for anger. Jesus saw his crucifixion as a justification for forgiveness, as did Nelson Mandela. They are beautiful symbols for us of what is possible in our own lives. "Yet the instant you waken you realize that everything that seemed to happen in the dream did not happen at all." (T.10.I.2.4) (ACIM OE T.9.VIII.65)
On our own, we do not know how to respond to any situation. When we think that we know, we are turning to the ego as our teacher. Jesus asks us to resign as our own teacher, acknowledge we don't know, step back, and turn to the Holy Spirit in every situation. That is what he means when he asks us not to make decisions by ourselves. On our own, we will always be wrong. The ego speaks first, meaning our first thoughts about how to respond in any situation are ego-driven. When we ask to see another way, we make space for guidance. This simply requires us to be willing to let go of our way and be open to receiving a new perception. "Learning of Christ is easy, for to perceive with Him involves no strain at all. His perceptions are your natural awareness, and it is only the distortions you introduce that tire you." (T.II.VI.3.7-8) (ACIM OE T.10.VII.61) I find that for guidance to come I must take the time to step away from a difficult situation rather than reacting to it. When I take the time to be still and do nothing, the answer always comes; and the answer is always to let go of my way. An insight then comes to me that would not be there if I relied on my own thinking. Life is then lived in a state of inspiration, rather than trying to figure things out on our own. When I get out of the way by giving over my interpretations and judgments, the channels are cleared for His Love to come through.
Each time we are willing to recognize that all our sense of lack and deprivation is a choice we make in our own minds and is not caused by anything outside of our minds, we choose with the Holy Spirit instead of the ego, and thus, we experience more love in our lives. This is not dependent on the things going on in our external circumstances as Nelson Mandela illustrated so beautifully. The good news is that if our own minds are the source of all our unhappiness, so too are they the source of all our happiness. It is all within our power to choose. We have both the thought system of the ego and the thought system of the Holy Spirit in us to choose between. The script is written and it is the script we chose. Now, in each situation and every decision we make in our script, we choose Heaven or hell. We choose to judge or to extend love.
"Let me forgive all things, and let creation be as You would have it be and as it is. Let me remember that I am Your Son, and opening the door at last, forget illusions in the blazing light of truth, as memory of You returns to me."
Love and blessings, Sarah
#5. How is Healing Accomplished?
1 Healing involves an understanding of what the illusion of sickness is for. Healing is impossible without this.
The Perceived Purpose of Sickness
2 Healing is accomplished the instant the sufferer no longer sees any value in pain. Who would choose suffering unless he thought it brought him something, and something of value to him? He must think it is a small price to pay for something of greater worth. For sickness is an election, a decision. It is the choice of weakness in the mistaken conviction that it is strength. When this occurs, real strength is seen as threat and health as danger. Sickness is a method, conceived in madness, for placing God's Son on his Father's throne. God is seen as outside, fierce and powerful, eager to keep all power for Himself. Only by His death can He be conquered by His Son.
3 And what, in this insane conviction, does healing stand for? It symbolizes the defeat of God's Son and the triumph of his Father over him. It represents the ultimate defiance in a direct form which the Son of God is forced to recognize. It stands for all that he would hide from himself to protect his life. If he is healed, he is responsible for his thoughts. And if he is responsible for his thoughts, he will be killed to prove to him how weak and pitiful he is. But if he chooses death himself, his weakness is his strength. Now has he given himself what God would give to him and thus entirely usurped the throne of his Creator.
The Shift in Perception
4 Healing must occur in exact proportion in which the valuelessness of sickness is recognized. One need but say, "There is no gain to me at all in this," and he is healed. But to say this one must first recognize certain facts. First, it is obvious that decisions are of the mind, not of the body. If sickness is but a faulty problem-solving approach, it is a decision. And if it is a decision, it is the mind and not the body that makes it. The resistance to recognizing this is enormous because the existence of the world as we perceive it depends on the body being the decision-maker. Terms like "instincts," "reflexes" and the like represent attempts to endow the body with non-mental motivators. Actually, such terms merely state or describe the problem. They do not answer it.
5 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. 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 to bring tangible form to his desires. And it is this they do, and nothing else. They are not actually needed at all. The patient could merely rise up without their aid and say, "I have no use for this." There is no form of sickness that would not be cured at once.
6 What is the single requisite for this shift in perception? It is simply this: the recognition that sickness is of the mind and has nothing to do with the body. What does this recognition "cost"? It costs the whole world we see, for the world will never again appear to rule the mind. For with this recognition is responsibility placed where it belongs---not with the world but on him who looks on the world and sees it as it is not. He looks on what he chooses to see. No more and no less. 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 was. 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.
7 With this idea is pain forever gone. But with this idea goes also all confusion about creation. Does not this follow of necessity? Place cause and effect in their true sequence in one respect, and the learning will generalize and transform the world. The transfer value of one true idea has no end nor limit. 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. And with them also go all the effects they seemed to cause. Cause and effect but replicate creation. Seen in their proper perspective, without distortion and without fear, they re-establish Heaven.
The Function of the Teacher of God
8 If the patient must change his mind in order to be healed, what does the teacher of God do? Can he change the patient's mind for him? Certainly not. For those already willing to change their mind he has no function except to rejoice with them, for they have become teachers of God with him. He has, however, 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. Nor are they open-minded on this point. The body tells them what to do, and they obey. They have no idea how insane this concept is. If they even suspected it, they would be healed. Yet they suspect nothing. To them the separation is quite real.
9 To them God's teachers come to represent another choice which they had forgotten. The simple presence of a teacher of God is a reminder. His thoughts ask for the right to question what the patient has accepted is true. As God's messengers, His teachers are the symbols of salvation. They ask the patient for forgiveness for God's Son in his own name. They stand for the alternative. With God's Word in their minds they come in benediction, not to heal the sick but to remind them of the remedy God has already given them. It is not their hands that heal. It is not their voice that speaks the Word of God. They merely give what has been given them. Very gently they call to their brothers to turn away from death. Behold, you Son of God, what life can offer you. Would you choose sickness in place of this?
10 Not once do the advanced teachers of God consider the forms of sickness in which their brother believes. To do this is to forget that all of them have the same purpose and therefore are not really different. They 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 has not made himself and must remain as God created him. They recognize illusions can have no effect. The truth in their minds reaches out to the truth in the minds of their brothers, so that illusions are not reinforced. They are thus brought to truth, and truth is not brought to them. So are they dispelled, not by the will of another but by the union of the One Will with itself. And this is the function of God's teachers-to see no will as separate from their own, nor theirs as separate from God's.
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