It is reassuring to be told that any call we make to God will be answered. "It does not matter where he is, what seems to be his problem, nor what he believes he has become." (W.356.1.2) It is not a matter of how worthy we feel. God's answer is already given. How could it not be when we already have all His gifts? We already have everything we ask for since all we ever ask for is peace, joy, and happiness. It is all within us now. We have not changed ourselves no matter how we feel about ourselves. His answer is a miracle that reflects His Love for us. The miracle is a reminder of the truth. As we are trying to work things out, He has already worked everything out. We just need to step back in trust and be led by Love instead of listening to the voice of the ego.
Sometimes, we have a specific problem, and we call on God for His help, but so often we have already decided on what the solution should be to our specific problem. Now, this is what we ask for because we believe we know what the problem is. We believe we understand what is going on. We think we know what we need. I may have a flat tire on the freeway, and I am going to be late for my appointment. I ask for someone to come along and fix it for me. Or I may call out to God, asking why this is happening to me and demand He do something. Or I think my problem is I will be late for my appointment, but I don't know the problem. When I think that I do, that is the problem. The only problem is that we are blocking the peace within us with thoughts about what is going on outside of us. If we were to truly ask for help, we would ask to accept the situation as it is. We would ask to recognize we don't know what any of this is for. We would ask to see this situation as God would have us see it. We would ask that His Will be done. We would ask to remember the truth of who we are so we could attend to the situation in peace. We have no idea what anything is for. We don't know our own best interests.
Our part is to look at how we are blocking His love. That is the only real problem we have. We don't trust His answer because we believe it will require sacrifice on our part. We don't want to sacrifice our thoughts and opinions about what we think the problem is. We think we know, and the one that thinks it knows anything is the false self. We defend this self, believing it is who we are. Thus, we defend against His Love.
His answer is a miracle that shifts our perception from wrong-mindedness to a healed perception and with it comes another step in trust. We trust in the perfection of whatever shows up. When we get out of the way, we recognize more and more that everything is perfectly given. Everything is a classroom for remembering the truth of who we are and for the undoing of our wrong-mindedness.
We only have one problem and that is the belief that we are guilty and have done something terribly wrong. It is the belief in the self we think we are. We think we are on our own in the world and doing our best to defend against contingencies that befall us. We don't trust the beneficence of the Loving Presence in our minds that has already solved every problem we think we have.
When we choose the healing of our minds rather than focusing on how to fix and control things in the illusion, we will recognize the perfection of all that appears. We will open to His guidance instead of our own limited thinking. We will choose to surrender and to trust that all is given when we step out of our own way and remember that we don't know our own best interests. Jesus tells us, "Babies scream in rage if you take away a knife or scissors, although they may well harm themselves if you do not." (T.4.II.5.2) (ACIM OE T.4.III.28) We are like those babies. We think we know what we want and need to be happy, but Love will not give us what will hurt us. When we ask for what will hurt us, it will not be delivered.
We are called to remember that we are One Self, One with God, and One with all our brothers. Jesus appeals to our need to feel better rather than to continue to experience the pain and suffering we experience. There is no difference in the welcome we give a brother and our acceptance of God's love for us. We may think we love God and have anger toward a brother, but it is all the same. There is no such thing as me, God, and my brothers, as we are all One. Anger at our brother comes from our own belief that we are unworthy of God's love. When we have anger in us, that is what we give our brother and receive for ourselves.
When we project our self-hatred onto our brothers, we are given an opportunity to see what is in our own minds. By bringing our unloving thoughts about our self or others and all of our worries, fears, and concerns to the healing light of Love, space is made for the miracle to shine forth. We recognize that we are one when we bring our pain to the Holy Spirit and accept the miracle.
Sickness reflects the guilt in our minds, but the condition of the body is not what is ultimately important. It is only in the healing of the mind where health resides. As long as we carry the belief in the reality of the body, we will experience aging, sickness, and death. As long as we continue to carry a heavy burden of guilt, we will not realize that we are the glorious and grand, enlightened beings that Jesus assures us we are. He reminds us daily that we have not succeeded in substituting the image of ourselves for who we really are.
Our belief in our unworthiness keeps the truth that we are ". . . complete and healed and whole, shining in the reflection of His Love" (W.PII.Q14.1.1) out of our awareness. We don't experience the clean slate of innocence, which is our natural inheritance and what we truly are. We try to be loving, yet we attack, we get angry, we worry, and we make judgments. Basically, we feel like sinners and thus unworthy of love. All the tears we shed for whatever seeming distress we feel come from the deep sorrow we feel as a result of the belief that we have forever lost our innocence. Yet God assures us, "My Arms are open to the Son I love, who does not understand that he is healed, and that his prayers have never ceased to sing his joyful thanks in unison with all creation, in the holiness of Love." (Song of Prayer.3.IV.7.3)
What does he mean when he says sickness is but another name for sin? It does not mean that being sick is a sin, only that sickness is an ego device to keep us believing that who we are is a separated self, living in a vulnerable body in a world we think is real and where we will experience sickness and ultimately death. Sickness is how we attack ourselves because of the guilt in the mind projected onto the body. "Sickness is anger taken out upon the body, so that it will suffer pain." (T.28.VI.5.1) (ACIM OE T.28.VII.58) Sickness reinforces our sense of inadequacy and vulnerability. For healing to happen, the only work we need to do is with our own thoughts. Sickness is not a condition of the body at all, but it is all about the mind. If the mind is healed, then whether the body is seemingly sick or healthy is not relevant because we are not the body. However, this does not mean we don't attend to our sickness or our well-being while we still believe in the reality of the body.
The reason sin and sickness are the same is because it is how the ego mind tries to prove illusion is the truth. While the forms sickness takes are different, the purpose is the same, which is to keep us believing in the separation. What needs healing is therefore only the thought of separation. The Holy Spirit can use the sickness for a holy purpose, just like everything else we have made. It is not helpful to feel guilty over any bodily sickness and worry about how we "manifested" this situation. Healing, when discussed in the Course, is not about healing any particular thing in form, but only about healing the mind.
"Healing is but another name for God."
(W.356) This means that when we recognize our reality, we will know there is no separation and indeed our true identity is one with God. We share the same nature. All healing is just a return to our Source, our Self. Since our Self is One with God, all healing is a return to our reality. That is why this Lesson says Healing and God are synonymous.
Whether we believe in God, talk with the Holy Spirit, or consider Jesus as part of this process, it does not matter, as they are all symbols of the holiness in our right minds. What matters is to bring every unloving thought to this right-minded Symbol, to make every encounter a healing and holy encounter, to offer forgiveness, to follow guidance, to surrender, and to release grievances. When we do, Love is there. The Source is there. As the words of this Course remind us, "A universal theology is impossible, but a universal experience is not only possible but necessary." (Clarification of Terms.IN.2.5) In other words, this Course is not an intellectual exercise. It is about application so we can have an experience of the miracle and with each experience, our trust will grow and expand. We are recognizing more and more that we are truly loved. We don't need to try to control the events of our lives because our efforts will never be as great as His. "Who would attempt to fly with the tiny wings of a sparrow when the mighty power of an eagle has been given him?" (M.4.I.2.2) To do so is indeed insane.
We have been given this Course as a ladder back to God. The words only point to the truth. The words are not the focus of our learning, so let's not get stuck on the beauty of these words. What they point to is what is important. The metaphysics of this Course are not just for our intellectual understanding but to motivate us to forgive. In applying these teachings daily to every situation and event that shows up where our emotions are triggered, we learn the power of what Jesus is telling us. The purpose of these words is to point us to an experience of peace and joy. It is a process. Jesus asks, "Are you ready yet to help Me save the world?" (C.2.9.1) When we say yes, we commit to doing the healing. Saving the world means choosing the peace within our own minds. Only by healing the cause (our own minds) will there be any change in effects (our own lives). Let us not lament the world but choose to change our minds about what we see by asking for the Holy Spirit's interpretation in everything. It means we must be willing to live in humility, giving over the mind that thinks it knows anything. It is to live in a state of acceptance and inspiration, recognizing the perfection of everything showing up in our lives.