"Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
Herein Lies the peace of God."
Course in Miracles
The Problem of Guilt
III. The Fear of Redemption
You may wonder why it is so crucial that you look upon your hatred and realize its full extent. You may also think that it would be easy enough for the Holy Spirit to show it to you and dispel it,
the need for you to raise it to awareness yourself. Yet there is one more complication which you have interposed between yourself and the Atonement, which you do not yet realize. We have said that no one will countenance fear if he
it. Yet in your disordered state, you are
afraid of fear. You do not like it, but it is not your desire to attack which
frightens you. You are not seriously disturbed by your hostility. You keep it hidden because you are
afraid of what it covers.
You could look even upon the ego's darkest cornerstone
fear if you did not believe that,
the ego, you would find within yourself something you fear even more. You are
afraid of crucifixion. Your real terror is of
Under the ego's dark foundation is the memory of God, and it is of
that you are really afraid. For this memory would
restore you to your proper place, and it is this place that you have sought to
Your fear of attack is nothing compared to your fear of love. You would be willing to look even upon your savage wish to kill God's Son if you did not believe that it
you from love. For this wish
the separation. You have protected it because you do not
the separation healed, and you realize that, by
the dark cloud that obscures it, your love for your Father would impel you to answer His call and leap into Heaven. You believe that attack is salvation to prevent you from
For still deeper than the ego's foundation, and much stronger than it will ever be, is your intense and burning love of God, and His for you. This is what you
want to hide.
In honesty, is it not harder for you to say "I love" than "I hate"? You associate love with weakness and hatred with strength, and your own
power seems to you as your real
For you could not control your joyous response to the call of love if you heard it, and the whole world you think you control
vanish. The Holy Spirit, then, seems to be attacking your fortress, for you would shut out God, and He does not will to
You have built your whole insane belief system because you think you would be helpless in God's Presence, and you would
yourself from His love because you think it would crush you into nothingness. You are afraid it would sweep you away from yourself and make you little. For you believe that magnitude lies in defiance and that attack is grandeur. You think you have made a world which God would destroy; and by loving Him, which you
you would throw this world away, which you
. Therefore, you have used the world to
your love, and the deeper you go into the blackness of the ego's foundation, the closer you come to the love that is hidden there.
And it is this that frightens you.
You can accept insanity because you made it, but you cannot accept love because you did
. You would rather be slaves of the crucifixion than Sons of God in redemption. For your
death is more valued than your living oneness, and what is
you is not so dear as what
made. You are more afraid of God than of the ego, and love cannot enter where it is not welcome. But hatred can, for it enters of
will and cares not for yours.
The reason you must look upon your delusions and not keep them hidden is that they do
rest on their own foundation. In concealment they appear to do so, and thus they
to be self-sustained. This is the fundamental illusion on which they rest. For
them and concealed as long as
are hidden is the loving mind that
it made them in anger. And the pain in this mind is so apparent when it is uncovered that its need of healing cannot
denied. Not all the tricks and games you offer it can heal it, for here is the
crucifixion of God's Son.
And yet he is
crucified. Here is both his pain
his healing, for the Holy Spirit's vision is merciful, and His remedy is quick. Do not
suffering from His sight, but bring it gladly to Him. Lay before His eternal sanity
your hurt, and
Him heal you. Do not leave any spot of pain hidden from His light, and search your minds carefully for any thoughts which you may fear to uncover. For He will heal every little thought which you have kept to hurt you and cleanse it of its littleness, restoring it to the magnitude of God.
Beneath all your grandiosity, which you hold so dear, is your real call for help. For you call for love to your Father as your Father calls you to Himself. In that place which you have hidden, you will only to unite with the Father in loving remembrance of Him. You will find this place of truth as you see it in your brothers, for though they may deceive themselves, like you they long for the grandeur that is in them. And perceiving it you will welcome it, and it will be
. For grandeur is the
of God's Son, and
illusions can satisfy him or save him from what he
Only his love is real, and he will be content
with his reality.
Save him from his illusions that you may accept the magnitude of your Father in peace and joy. But exempt no one from your love, or you will be hiding a dark place in your mind where the Holy Spirit is not welcome. And you will exempt
from His healing power, for by not offering total love, you will not be healed completely. Healing must be as complete as fear, for love cannot enter where there is one spot of fear to mar its welcome.
You who prefer specialness to sanity could not obtain it in your right minds. You were at peace until you asked for special favor. And God did not give it, for the request was alien to Him, and you could not ask this of a Father Who truly loved His Son. Therefore you made of Him an unloving father, demanding of Him what only such a father could give. And the peace of God's Son was shattered, for he no longer understood his Father. He feared what he had made, but still more did he fear his
Father, having attacked his own glorious equality with Him.
In peace he needed nothing and asked for nothing. In war he
nothing. For how could the gentleness of love respond to his demands
by departing in peace and returning to the Father? If the Son did not wish to remain in peace, he could not remain at all. For a darkened mind cannot live in the light, and it must seek a place of darkness where it can believe it is where it is not. God did not allow this to happen.Yet you
that it happen and therefore believed that it was so.
To "single out" is to "make alone" and thus
. God did not do this to you. Could He set you apart,
that your peace lies in His Oneness? He denied you only your request for pain, for suffering is not of His creation. Having
you creation, He could not take it
you. He could but answer your insane request with a sane answer which would abide with you in your insanity. [And this He did. No one who hears His answer but will give up insanity.] For His answer is the reference point
illusions from which you can look back on them and
them as insane. But seek
place, and you
find it, for love is in you and will lead you there.
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A Course in Miracles
When I am healed, I am not healed alone.
Today's idea remains the central thought on which salvation rests. For healing is the opposite of all the world's ideas which dwell on sickness and on separate states. Sickness is a retreat from others and a shutting off of joining. It becomes a door that closes on a separate self and keeps it isolated and alone.
Sickness is isolation. For it seems to keep one self apart from all the rest to suffer what the others do not feel. It gives the body final power to make the separation real and keep the mind in solitary prison, split apart and held in pieces by a solid wall of sickened flesh which it can not surmount. The world obeys the laws that sickness serves, but healing operates apart from them.
It is impossible that anyone be healed alone. In sickness must he be apart and separate. But healing is his own decision to be one again and to accept his Self with all its parts intact and unassailed. In sickness does his Self appear to be dismembered and without the unity that gives it life. But healing is accomplished as he sees the body has no power to attack the universal oneness of God's Son.
Sickness would prove that lies must be the truth. But healing demonstrates that truth is true. The separation sickness would impose has never really happened. To be healed is merely to accept what always was the simple truth and always will remain exactly as it has forever been. Yet eyes accustomed to illusions must be shown that what they look upon is false. So healing, never needed by the truth, must demonstrate that sickness is not real.
Healing might thus be called a counter-dream which cancels out the dream of sickness in the name of truth but not in truth itself. Just as forgiveness overlooks all sins that never were accomplished, healing but removes illusions that have not occurred. Just as the real world will arise to take the place of what has never been at all, healing offers restitution for imagined states and false ideas which dreams embroider into pictures of the truth.
Yet think not healing is unworthy of your function here. For anti-Christ becomes more powerful than Christ to those who dream the world is real. The body seems to be more solid and more stable than the mind. And love becomes a dream, while fear remains the one reality that can be seen and justified and fully understood.
Just as forgiveness shines away all sin and the real world will occupy the place of what you made, so healing must replace the fantasies of sickness which you hold before the simple truth. When sickness has been seen to disappear in spite of all the laws that hold it cannot but be real, then questions have been answered. And the laws can be no longer cherished nor obeyed.
Healing is freedom. For it demonstrates that dreams will not prevail against the truth. Healing is shared. And by this attribute, it proves that laws unlike the ones which hold that sickness is inevitable are more potent than their sickly opposites. Healing is strength. For by its gentle hand is weakness overcome. And minds which were walled off within a body free to join with other minds, to be forever strong.
Healing, forgiveness, and the glad exchange of all the world of sorrow for a world where sadness cannot enter, are the means by which the Holy Spirit urges you to follow Him. His gentle lessons teach how easily salvation can be yours, how little practice you need undertake to let His laws replace the ones you made to hold yourself a prisoner to death.
His life becomes your own as you extend the little help He asks in freeing you from everything that ever caused you pain. And as you let yourself be healed, you see all those around you or who cross your mind or whom you touch or those who seem to have no contact with you healed along with you. Perhaps you will not recognize them all, nor realize how great your offering to all the world when you let healing come to you. But you are never healed alone. And legions upon legions will receive the gift which you receive when you are healed.
Those who are healed become the instruments of healing. Nor does time elapse between the instant they are healed and all the grace of healing it is given them to give. What is opposed to God does not exist. And who accepts it not within his mind becomes a haven where the weary can remain to rest. For here is truth bestowed, and here are all illusions brought to truth.
Would you not offer shelter to God's Will? You but invite your Self to be at home, and can this invitation be refused? Ask the inevitable to occur, and you will never fail. The other choice is but to ask what cannot be to be, and this cannot succeed. Today we ask that only truth will occupy our minds, that thoughts of healing will this day go forth from what is healed to what must yet be healed, aware that they will both occur as one.
We will remember, as the hour strikes, our function is to let our minds be healed that we may carry healing to the world, exchanging curse for blessing, pain for joy, and separation for the peace of God. Is not a minute of the hour worth the giving to receive a gift like this? Is not a little time a small expense to offer for the gift of everything?
Yet must we be prepared for such a gift. And so we will begin the day with this and give ten minutes to these thoughts with which we will conclude today at night as well:
When I am healed, I am not healed alone. And I would share my healing with the world, that sickness may be banished from the mind of God's one Son, Who is my only Self.
Let healing be through you this very day. And as you rest in quiet, be prepared to give as you receive, to hold but what you give, and to receive the Word of God to take the place of all the foolish thoughts that ever were imagined. Now we come together to make well all that was sick and offer blessing where there was attack. Nor will we let this function be forgot as every hour of the day slips by, remembering our function with this thought:
When I am healed, I am not healed alone. And I would bless my brothers, for I would be healed with them as they are healed with me.
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When I am healed, I am not healed alone.
This Lesson reminds us once again that this world is about separation. At no time do we feel this more and at no time do we feel more shut off and alone than when we are not feeling well, whether physically or emotionally. When we are in this state, there is a tendency to withdraw into ourselves and look only for those special relationships where our need for relief from our perceived condition might be met. This is precisely the purpose of sickness, which is to focus our attention on the body and our specialness and to keep us from awareness of the love we are. Thus, it is a defense. It keeps us in separation by establishing the body as real and proves that God is not. With sickness, the body becomes the whole focus of our attention. Our challenge is to learn that the mind has the power to choose again.
I remember a conversation I had with Willis Harmon who introduced me to the Course. When I met him, he was the head of the Institute for Noetic Sciences at Stanford University founded by the astronaut Edgar Mitchell. The purpose of the institute was to investigate phenomena beyond the realm of ordinary science. One of the areas they were researching was remission in cancer patients and the difference between those who experienced remission and those who did not. They discovered that those who experienced remission had released some major grievances. Unfortunately, the project suffered from a lack of good information from doctors whose files were sadly lacking with regard to the emotional state of their patients. The focus of the reports in these files was mostly restricted to the body.
While the body reflects healing that has taken place in the mind, the state of the body does not affect the choice for peace that we can make in the mind. As we read in Chapter 2,
"Health is inner peace."
(T.2.I.5.11) (ACIM OE T.2.I.17) We might ask, "Would it really make a difference if we no longer identified with the body and were at peace, even though the body seemed to stay sick?"
This was apparent to me recently when a friend was going through a sickness that resulted in his seeming death. After much turmoil on learning of his condition and as the sickness of the body progressed, it seemed apparent he was increasingly choosing peace and joining, as he welcomed so much love into his life. His last words were, "I am happy." He used the illusion of sickness as an opportunity for healing. The condition of the body is not where the sickness is. It is all in the mind. As Byron Katie said recently, "My life is full of joy and love, but what is my life? It is awareness. It is not a physical body." That is what this Lesson is about---to heal our belief that life is a physical body. Life did not start with birth nor will it end with death. This is not what life is. Our Eternal Self never dies. We are not these bodies.
"Sickness is a retreat from others, and a shutting off of joining
It becomes a door that closes on a separate self, and keeps it isolated and alone
Sickness is isolation.
" (W.137.2.1) It seems to keep us in a solitary prison of our own suffering that seems to separate us from the One Self. Sickness appears to have the power to attack the truth of our reality. It is not that sickness has this power, but we have given power to the ego thought system that says when I am in pain, whether emotionally or physically, I have chosen against the love I am. Both can't be true. Either I am the experience of pain in a body, or I am Love. I have chosen the Kingdom of God, or I am in my own isolated kingdom. If I identify with the sickness and distress, I have stepped out of truth, away from love, and into separation.
Healing operates apart from the laws of the world because healing is only of the mind, which is outside the body. Since sickness is the belief in separation, healing must undo this belief. To heal is to undo our investment in the reality of the body and beliefs of this world. In other words, it is a process of undoing our investment in the illusion. This is only possible with forgiveness. Forgiveness says that what I think is happening has not occurred except in the dream. In the same way, healing says that sickness of the body can't be real. Healing reminds us who we really are. We are not our experiences of pain and distress. Thus, to heal is to step out of this dream above the battleground and see the figures in the dream, including ourselves, as not what we are. From this perspective, we look with Jesus at the figures in the dream and see their unreality. Without belief in separation, there can be no separate self to be sick.
When the pain in our minds is healed, the state of the body becomes irrelevant because it is not what we are. We are only as God created us. Thus, the seeming appearance of the sick body must be an illusion.
"In sickness does the Self appear to be dismembered, and without the unity that gives It life."
(W.137.3.5) Jesus is saying that who we are seems to be crucified and disempowered when we are sick. Yet healing is accomplished when we accept the truth that what we are in our creation can never be changed. We may not be aware of our reality, but truth is always there, waiting for our acknowledgment. We can only do this when we are willing to look at the ego's lies and give up suffering.
"Sickness would prove that lies must be truth."
(W.137.4.1) The lie is that we are bodies living in the world; the truth is that the separation never happened.
Healing demonstrates that truth is true, and
"The separation sickness would impose has never really happened."
(W.137.4.3) All that is needed for healing is acceptance of this truth. Jesus calls this a simple truth, but to us, it does not feel so simple because of our identification with the body, personality, and self-concepts. Healing demonstrates the unreality of the illusion of sickness. What healing does is demonstrate that sickness was never real in the first place. The belief in separation, which sickness demonstrates, shows us we are vulnerable bodies. We have given power to something that is not real. We do not deny the body nor deny pain, but only step back from it and look at it through a different lens. By seeing our experiences here as part of a dream and not true, we start to distance ourselves from our identification with our bodily experience. We might question it by asking, "Who is the me that is suffering?"
"Healing might thus be called a counter-dream, which cancels out the dream of sickness in the name of truth, but not in truth itself."
(W.137.5.1) In other words, neither the sickness nor the healing is real. They are still part of the dream of this world. In truth, healing is not required because we are already whole and perfect. It just seems to be required in the dream. It is the same as forgiveness, which is an illusion as well, but it is an illusion which ends all illusions because it awakens us from the dream.
"Just as forgiveness overlooks all sins that never were accomplished, healing but removes illusions that have not occurred."
(W.137.5.2) Nothing real has happened.
The healing of the body becomes a very powerful experience that seems real to us, although
"healing but offers restitution for imagined states and false ideas which dreams embroider into pictures of the truth."
(W.137.5.3) In spite of the unreality of sickness, Jesus is not saying, "Just get over it." Instead, he encourages us to do the work of healing our minds and calls our function of forgiveness here to be very worthy.
"Yet think not healing is unworthy of your function here. For anti-Christ becomes more powerful than Christ to those who dream the world is real."
The body seems more real and solid to us than the love we are. The state of love seems to us to be more like a dream or fantasy. We seem to be able to experience the body and fear more readily than concepts of love, Oneness, and God. Sickness seems to have triumphed over God and seems to have more power. It is important not to deny our beliefs but to look at them, as this is the only way they can be corrected. When we can laugh at the idea that who we are in truth could ever be sick, sickness is thus seen as powerless, and instead, the laws of love are demonstrated to have real power.
When the mind is healed, the condition of the body becomes irrelevant. Even "enlightened" beings leave their bodies sometimes through sickness. Ramakrishna and Ramana Maharishi both "died" from cancer, but in their enlightened state, they no longer identified with the body any more than Jesus identified with his body on the cross. Byron Katie, who does not call herself enlightened, but who can be seen as highly evolved, has had cancer, blindness, and osteoporosis and finds it all irrelevant to her state of mind. She says she can't fear death because, "You have to be born before you can fear dying and there is nothing born but a belief system, and we identify as the person we believe ourselves to be and that can never be. So, who lives?"
Jon Mundy wrote about having cancer and what it did for his healing; It allowed him to let go. "I let go of entanglements, hang-ups, regrets, and remorse--all the nostalgia about what might have been--relationships that did not turn out better---the belief that anything 'had' to happen--even everything I've been ashamed of. I go deeper and deeper. I take a good look at my secret sins and hidden hates. And then comes the last thing, the biggest thing of all. I even forgive myself for not having done a better job."
And Tomas Vieira wrote, at the end of his process with the body, that we should look beyond appearances, as there was no one there to suffer. When the concept of the "me" I identify with has been healed, there is no one there to suffer, meaning, I am seeing the self I have identified with from outside the dream. It is a process of becoming empty; the debris of our misperceptions is cleared from our minds, and now we become a channel of healing for the world, not by doing anything but by recognizing
"Healing is freedom
(W.137.8.1) It is a reflection of the Oneness of Heaven. Acceptance of healing anywhere in the Sonship is accepting it for all.
When we have had this experience of healing, whatever the pain is, whether emotional or physical, we begin to realize our minds are not limited by our bodily experience. Our minds are very powerful. The impact of our healing on the world is beyond our ability to comprehend.
"And as you let yourself be healed, you see all those around you, or who cross your mind, or whom you touch or those who seem to have no contact with you, healed along with you
. (W.137.10.1) We have no idea how great this offering is to the world;
"And legions upon legions will receive the gift that you receive when you are healed."
(W.137.10.4) It is an amazing thought but relevant because there is only one mind!
Our whole purpose here that gives meaning to our lives is about letting our minds be healed so this healing can be brought to the world. Today, let us bless those who have hurt us instead of cursing them. Let us share our joy with them instead of attacking them. And let us share our love instead of moving into withdrawal and separation. (W.137.13.1) Today, I choose my healing so I can be a channel of blessings to the world. Healing and forgiveness are my only functions here. No other purpose can bring me joy. To heal is to share because, as we let go of our separation, it restores the truth of who we are in our awareness, and then healing can flow through our minds to other minds.
We give time to this practice today. It is a very small expenditure for the gift of everything in return. It is a huge contribution we make to the healing of the One Mind. Jesus is urging us to follow him, telling us his Lessons are gentle, and showing us how easily salvation can be ours. It takes practice, which is why we have these Lessons. We have made laws that hold us prisoner to death, (W.137.9.2) but the Holy Spirit needs our help if these laws we have made are to be replaced by His laws. He needs our help to free us from all the pain we have caused ourselves. Bodies get sick, wither, and die; so, if we are betting on our bodies, we are betting on a losing proposition. Today, we are again being asked to question what we are believing about who we are. The thoughts we identify with become our reality; not in truth but in our beliefs. When we open the mind to the truth, we can experience the Infinite Self we are.
Longer practice: We are asked to take ten minutes in the morning and again in the evening and start the practice period with the statement,
"When I am healed I am not healed alone. And I would share my healing with the world, that sickness may be banished from the mind of God's one Son, Who is my only Self."
First, become aware of any pain you are feeling, your thoughts of sickness and of not being well, physical symptoms you feel, discomfort of any kind in your mind, anger, attack thoughts, grief, and sadness. Then recognize these thoughts are secret decisions to exclude yourself from love. The cause of these thoughts is in the mind and not in some external event or agent. Now, be willing to look at those thoughts. This practice of healing does not make sense if we don't apply it to something going on in our minds that is keeping us separate. Recognize the discomfort in your body as a reflection of discomforting thoughts in your mind. Remember, you can have the peace of God instead of the experience you are holding onto. It is entirely up to you whether you hold onto them or choose to give them over and place them on the inner altar.
Then, we rest in quiet and receive the Word of God to replace all our insane thoughts. Try not to let this Lesson be forgotten today, remembering your purpose at least hourly with this thought,
"When I am healed I am not healed alone. And I would bless my brothers, for I would be healed with them, as they are healed with me."
Love and Blessings, Sarah
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