"Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
Herein Lies the peace of God."
A Course in Miracles
MANUAL for TEACHERS

22. Does Jesus Have a Special Place in Healing?

1 Healing and Atonement are not related; they are identical. There is no order of difficulty in miracles because there are no degrees of Atonement. It is the one complete concept possible in this world because it is the source of a wholly unified perception. Partial Atonement is a meaningless idea, just as special areas of hell in Heaven is inconceivable. Accept Atonement, and you are healed. Atonement is the Word of God. Accept His Word, and what remains to make sickness possible? Accept His Word, and every miracle has been accomplished. To forgive is to heal. The teacher of God has taken accepting the Atonement for himself as his only function. What is there, then, he cannot heal? What miracle can be withheld from him?

2 The progress of the teacher of God may be slow or rapid, depending on whether he recognizes the Atonement's inclusiveness or for a time excludes some problem areas from it. In some cases, there is a sudden and complete awareness of the perfect applicability of the lesson of the Atonement to all situations. This, however, is comparatively rare. The teacher of God may have accepted the function God has given him long before he has learned all that his acceptance holds out to him. It is only the end that is certain. Anywhere along the way, the necessary realization of inclusiveness may reach him. If the way seems long, let him be content. He has decided on the direction he will take. What more was asked of him? And having done what was required, would God withhold the rest?

3 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. This thought gives the body autonomy, separates it from the mind, and keeps the idea of attack inviolate. If the body could be sick, Atonement would be impossible. A body that can order a mind to do as it sees fit would merely take the place of God and prove salvation is impossible. What then is left to heal? The body has become lord of the mind. How could the mind be returned to the Holy Spirit unless the body is killed? And who would want salvation at such a price?

4 Certainly sickness does not appear to be a decision. Nor would anyone actually believe he wants to be sick. Perhaps he can accept the idea in theory, but it is rarely if ever consistently applied to all specific forms of sickness, both in the individual's perception of himself and of all others as well. Nor is it at this level that the teacher of God calls forth the miracle of healing. He overlooks the mind and body, seeing only the face of Christ shining in front of him, correcting all mistakes and healing all perception. Healing is the result of the recognition by God's teacher of Who it is that is in need of healing. This recognition has no special reference. It is true of all things that God created. In it are all illusions healed.

5 When a teacher of God fails to heal, it is because he has forgotten Who he is. Another's sickness thus becomes his own. In allowing this to happen, he has identified with another's ego and has thus confused him with a body. In so doing, he has refused to accept the Atonement for himself and can hardly offer it to his brother in Christ's Name. He will, in fact, be unable to recognize his brother at all, for his Father did not create bodies, and so he is seeing in his brother only the unreal. Mistakes do not correct mistakes, and distorted perception does not heal. Step back now, teacher of God. You have been wrong. Lead not the way, for you have lost it. Turn quickly to your Teacher, and let yourself be healed.

6 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. Not to believe this is to be unfair to God and thus unfaithful to Him. 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. It is your function to recognize for him that what he believes about himself is not the truth. It is your forgiveness that must show him this. 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.

7 Who can limit the power of God Himself? Who then can say who can be healed of what and what must remain beyond God's power to forgive? This is insanity indeed. It is not up to God's teachers to set limits upon Him because it is not up to them to judge His Son. And to judge His Son is to limit his Father. Both are equally meaningless. Yet this will not be understood until God's teacher recognizes that they are the same mistake. Herein does he receive Atonement, for he withdraws his judgment from the Son of God, accepting him as God created him. No longer does he stand apart from God, determining where healing should be given and where it should be withheld. Now can he say with God, "This is my beloved Son, created perfect and forever so."

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A Course in Miracles
MANUAL for TEACHERS

23. Does Jesus Have a Special Place in Healing?

1 God's gifts can rarely be received directly. Even the most advanced of God's teachers will give way to temptation in this world. Would it be fair if their pupils were denied healing because of this? The Bible says, "Ask in the name of Jesus Christ." Is this merely an appeal to magic? A name does not heal, nor does an invocation call forth any special power. What does it mean to call on Jesus Christ? What does calling on his name confer? Why is the appeal to him part of healing?

2 We have repeatedly stated that one who has perfectly accepted the Atonement for himself can heal the world. Indeed, he has already done so. Temptation may recur to others, but never to this one. He has become the risen Son of God. He has overcome death because he has accepted life. He has recognized himself as God created him, and in so doing he has recognized all living things as part of him. There is now no limit on his power because it is the Power of God. So has his name become the name of God, for he no longer sees himself as separate from Him.

3 What does this mean to you? It means that in remembering Jesus, you are remembering God. The whole relationship of the Son to the Father lies in him. His part in the Sonship is also yours, and his completed learning guarantees your own success. Is he still available for help? What did he say about this? Remember his promises, and ask yourself honestly whether it is likely that he will fail to keep them. Can God fail His Son? And can one who is one with God be unlike Him? Who transcends the body has transcended limitation. Would the greatest teacher be unavailable to those who follow him?

4 The name of Jesus Christ as such is but a symbol. But it stands for love that is not of this world. It is a symbol that can safely be used as a replacement for the many names of all the gods you pray to. It becomes the shining symbol for the Word of God, so close to what it stands for that the little space between the two is lost the moment that the name is called to mind. Remembering His name is to give thanks for all the gifts that God has given you. And gratitude to God becomes the way in which He is remembered, for love cannot be far behind a grateful heart and thankful mind. God enters easily, for these are the true conditions for your coming home.

5 Jesus has led the way. Why would you not be grateful to him? He has asked for love, but only that he might give it to you. You do not love yourself. But in his eyes your loveliness is so complete and flawless that he sees in it an image of his Father. You become the symbol of his Father here on earth. To you he looks for hope because in you he sees no limit and no stain to mar your beautiful perfection. In his eyes Christ's vision shines in perfect constancy. He has remained with you. Would you not learn the lesson of salvation through his learning? Why would you choose to start again when he has made the journey for you?

6 No one on earth can grasp what Heaven is or what its one Creator really means. Yet we have witnesses. It is to them that wisdom would appeal. There have been those whose learning far exceeds what you can learn. Nor would we teach the limitations we have laid on us. No one who has become a true and dedicated teacher of God forgets his brothers. Yet what he can offer them is limited by what he learns himself. Then turn to one who laid all limits by and went beyond the farthest reach of learning. He will take you with him, for he did not go alone. And you were with him then, as you are now.

7 This course has come from him because his words have reached you in a language you can love and understand. Are other teachers possible to lead the way to those who speak in different tongues and appeal to different symbols? Certainly there are. Would God leave anyone without a very present help in time of trouble? A savior who can symbolize Himself? Yet do we need a many-faceted curriculum, not because of content differences but because symbols must shift and change to suit the need. Jesus has come to answer yours. In him you find God's Answer. Do you then teach with him, for he is with you; he is always here.

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Part II
What Am I?

1 I am God's Son, complete and healed and whole, shining in the reflection of His Love. In me is His creation sanctified and guaranteed eternal life. In me is love perfected, fear impossible, and joy established without opposite. I am the holy home of God Himself. I am the Heaven where His Love resides. I am His holy sinlessness itself, for in my purity abides His own.

2 Our use for words is almost over now. Yet in the final days of this one year we gave to God together, you and I, we found a single purpose that we shared. And thus you joined with me. So what I am are you as well. The truth of what we are is not for words to speak of nor describe. Yet we can realize our function here, and words can speak of this and teach it, too, if we exemplify the words in us.

3 We are the bringers of salvation. We accept our part as saviors of the world, which through our joint forgiveness is redeemed. And this, our gift, is therefore given us. We look on everyone as brothers and perceive all things as kindly and as good. We do not seek a function that is past the gates of Heaven. Knowledge will return when we have done our part. We are concerned only with giving welcome to the truth.

4 Ours are the eyes through which Christ's vision sees a world redeemed from every thought of sin. Ours are the ears that hear the Voice of God proclaim the world as sinless. Ours the minds which join together as we bless the world. And from the oneness that we have attained we call to all our brothers, asking them to share our peace and consummate our joy.

5 We are the holy messengers of God who speak for Him, and carrying His Word to everyone whom He has sent to us, we learn that it is written on our hearts. And thus our minds are changed about the aim for which we came and which we seek to serve. We bring glad tidings to the Son of God, who thought he suffered. Now is he redeemed. And as he sees the gate of Heaven stand open before him, he will enter in and disappear into the Heart of God.

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Lesson 360
Peace be to me, the holy Son of God.
Peace to my brother, who is one with me.
Let all the world be blessed with peace
through me.

1 Father, it is Your peace that I would give, receiving it of You. I am Your Son, forever just as You created me, for the Great Rays remain forever still and undisturbed within me. I would reach to them in silence and in certainty, for nowhere else can certainty be found. Peace be to me and peace to all the world. In holiness were we created, and in holiness do we remain. Your Son is like to You in perfect sinlessness, and with this thought we gladly say "Amen."

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Sarah's Reflections

Lesson 360
Peace be to me, the holy Son of God.
Peace to my brother, who is one with me.
Let all the world be blessed with peace
through me.

Sarah's Commentary:
 
It was 5 a.m. several years ago when the radio came on, and I vaguely heard the news of a tsunami hitting Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, and Malaysia. Initially, this news was in the background of my mind and did not register that I should be concerned. Later, the CNN report showed the magnitude of the devastation, and my panic arose at the thought that my son and his girlfriend planned to be on Phi Phi Island, which was reported to have been most likely washed away. Not hearing anything from him and not having a clue about where he was, my distress increased. Then, I turned my attention to the Lesson for this day, looking to find some solace in Jesus’ words. Turning to the Course is generally my first line of defense against the voice of the ego. This Lesson was my anchor on that day. While the ego was manufacturing all kinds of scenarios of devastation in my mind, I recognized how easily I was tempted to keep invested in my fearful thoughts. My practice throughout that day was to rest my mind, to trust, and to keep going to the silence.
 
Fear and doubt thoughts arose and fell, like the waves of the ocean, to be released over and over again to the Holy Spirit. We all have found in various situations that our trust in the Holy Spirit gets put to the test when we are confronted by threats, which linger in our the mind. Fears arise that we project onto these events, but the fear that shows up and seems to be related to the situation at hand is already there in the mind, just waiting to be triggered. This event, as others like it, gave me an opportunity to keep my mind disciplined and focused on the truth rather than listening to the ego’s fear-based thoughts. I had absolutely no evidence on which to base the fear except these news reports. I reminded myself that the script is written and that fear is a decision. My mind was manufacturing thoughts that triggered the fear. It produced all kinds of scenarios but with no specific information on which to base my concern. Constant discipline was the order of the day to keep my mind away from the obsessive nature of the fear-based thoughts and in prayer---to focus on stillness and peace.
 
During the day, I did find moments of complete silence and surrender as I reflected on this Lesson, which assured me, "the Great Rays remain forever still and undisturbed within me." (W.360.1.2) The challenge now was to reach deeply, past the fear thoughts, into the quiet stillness of the Great Rays. Brief moments of peace were experienced until the next image of devastation would come to disturb the mind. More work was to be done. Holy Spirit, help me. Then friends showed up and the supportive presence of my mighty companions bolstered my wavering resolve to focus on the message of this Lesson and the Course, constantly reminding myself that the script is written and everything in this movie has already happened and none of it is true. The only truth is that we are safe at home in God, dreaming this existence.
 
Later that morning, there was a message that my son's father had received, which was recorded on his answering machine. It was terse and short but enough to be reassured that my son and his girlfriend had survived the devastation. Now my attention focused on the part of the Lesson that says, "Peace to my brother, who is one with me. Let all the world be blessed with peace through us." (W.360) I felt deep compassion for the suffering of those who were struggling with the after-effects of this situation. I experienced the opening of my heart to extend in prayer to others in this situation. I now experienced a deeper level of compassion and sincerity, having just gone through this experience.
 
This Lesson reminds us that peace is not dependent on external circumstances. It is there within us all the time. Certainty cannot be found in anything but the part of the mind that is forever still and undisturbed. It is there within us. Only by looking at the blocks to peace can it be revealed to us. The blocks are the fears. The obsessive thoughts, the imagination, and the concepts and beliefs that we hold in the mind conjure up pictures of death and disaster. To know God's peace is to be truly willing to want it above all else. To know God’s peace is to let the interfering thoughts be acknowledged and recognized as false.
 
We have all been in these kinds of situations in which the mind seems to draw our attention. Increasingly, we let our mind accept that the illusion is never the truth, there is no death, the script is written, everything here is for the purpose of waking up, we are only reviewing the past, and the story is already over. With each thought comes a loosening of the beliefs we tenaciously hold about ourselves, others, and this world. Yes, we seem to have lots of opportunities like these in this classroom we call life. The magnitude of each situation or event may seem different in the illusion, yet in truth, there are no differences. They are all the same in that they are all illusory. There is also no difference in the power of the miracle to shift our mind from any perceived problem. There is no order of difficulty in miracles.
 
Once again, we are reminded that to extend peace to our brother and see his sinlessness is to know our own. It is a reminder that we can only bring blessings to the world through acceptance of our own peace. I truly want to be the instrument of that blessing. I know this is the intention we all share. As we embrace the peace and use opportunities such as this to heal our mind, we become the peace we want to see in the world. When we blame anything or anyone for our lack of peace, we are seeing ourselves as the effect of events in the world. It is impossible to blame and yet accept the Atonement for ourselves at the same time. Our mind is cause and the world is effect. When we see it the other way around, we see ourselves as the victim of "outside" events. Only when we accept the peace within can it be extended to the world. Problems in the world will never be solved by trying to deal with effects. We must look at the cause. Only in this way is there any real solution. It is the only way to "Let all the world be blessed with peace through us." (W.360)
 
We have learned that spirituality is not just adding something spiritual to our everyday lives, but it is a wholesale retraining of the mind, which is what makes it so very challenging. Every step we take in forgiveness on this path opens us up to more experiences of the truth. Sometimes it seems that we take two steps forward and one back, but we know that with each step we take, we make progress up this ladder. Yet trust is called for until the ladder is no longer needed; even though we can't be the judge of that. Jesus says that we can't tell the difference between our advances and retreats.
 
"This Christmas, give the Holy Spirit everything that would hurt you. Let yourself be healed completely, that you may join with Him in healing, and let us celebrate our release together by releasing everyone with us. Leave nothing behind, for release is total, and when you have accepted it with me you will give it with me. All pain and sacrifice and littleness will disappear in our relationship, which is as innocent as our relationship with our Father, and as powerful. Pain will be brought to us and disappear in our presence, and without pain there can be no sacrifice. And without sacrifice there love must be." (T.15.XI.3.1-6) (ACIM OE T.15.XI.103)
 
Now, as we celebrate Christmas, we are reminded that "The birth of Christ is now, without a past or future. He has come to give His present blessing to the world, restoring it to timelessness and love. And love is ever-present, here and now." (W.308.1.6-8) May we all experience that miracle.
 
"The sign of Christmas is a star, a light in darkness. See it not outside yourself, but shining in the Heaven within, and accept it as the sign the time of Christ has come." (T.15.XI.2.1-2) (ACIM OE T.15.XI.102)
 
Today, I received a lovely reminder of the joy of Christmas from a friend who said she had awakened with such a peace, such a joy, and such a gratitude having put her burdens in a sack and laid them at the feet of Jesus. She described her "new birthing" experiences as all she ever really needed or wanted for Christmas; and that is all any of us could need or want. She went on to say:
 
" I've never been so happy. Perhaps because this Christmas I haven't bought into as much of the illusion and haven't given as much of this hopeless rubbish away because I'm not kidding myself anymore about what's true and isn't true...about so many meaningless attachments, desires, false fantasies. About Santa Claus. I really do feel like a child, who woke up Christmas morning, found out the real truth of who I am, and what is what...feeling so glad my intuitive hunches are confirmed, feeling undeceived, forgiving the ones who told me the lie, forgiving myself for believing it and finally setting us all free from the foolishness of it all! What more could a person ever want and ever get? "
 
If this is not how you are feeling, know that Christmas is every day and you can wake to this kind of peace and joy as you keep laying your false ideas, your expectations, and your burdens on the altar of truth. We can all experience the miracle when we release that which is blocking it. All it takes is a willingness to step back from the ego and take the time to ask the Holy Spirit to give us His interpretation of every situation. We want to remember today that if we are to achieve peace, everyone must be included in it. Peace does not come with a cost to anyone. To exclude anyone is to reflect belief in differences and specialness. We ask for help in letting go of that which separates us today.
 
Love and blessings, Sarah

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