There are some who remain confused as to Jesus’ teaching in A Course in Miracles. Is the miracle purely metaphor? Or is it literal? Can a healed mind bring about a healed body? Or in fact, a healed world?
For two decades of studying the Course I had believed the concept of physical miracles was simply a distraction from the Truth. I took much of what Jesus speaks clearly about in the Course, as metaphor. We are not the body and the body is an illusion, so what purpose would physical miracles serve? Except to bring attention to an illusion. In other words, wouldn’t they make the body appear real? Why heal the body if it’s an illusion?
It was not until my own unconscious fear of God’s Love had dissipated somewhat, that I was gifted with many indisputable experiences of miracles. And now I see the deeper teachings of Jesus more clearly than ever before. I no longer see Jesus’ teachings as metaphor. I see and experience them as literal. My journey of un-learning took me from the intellectual appreciation of these principles, to a deepening experience of embodied heart-mind knowing. And this continues.
The one Mind unified in God’s Will, holds all power; the one Power of God. The body itself is neutral, as is the world. As a projection of the mind and having no ability of its own to change in appearance, the body cannot sicken, age nor heal. The biological laws that we place the body under are not the Laws of God, but the laws of the ego. And these laws are a projection of the ego and can therefore be transformed.
All changes the body appears to display arise from the specific teacher in the mind that we choose. Either the ego or Spirit. Either fear or Love. There is no other choice and no middle ground. These two inner teachers are mutually exclusive. All sickness, guilt, pain and death come from the ego and never from God’s Love. All joy, Love, innocence and life come from God and never from the ego.
Let’s get back to the ego’s central dream. Death is the epic hoax upon which this entire ego paradigm of fear rests. If death is real, there is no God. If God is real, there is no death. Death is the ego’s escape from remembering God’s Love as our Holy Self. Death is our most unconsciously compelling and compulsive escape from awakening from the ego’s dream of time and suffering altogether.
“Death is indeed the death of God, if He is Love.” M-27.5
“And the last to be overcome will be death.” Of course! Without the idea of death there is no world. M-27.6
Death, pain and sickness seek to prove that the body is far more powerful than the one Mind unified in God’s Will. All adversity including sickness, pain and death are attempts to prove, 1) that the body is more powerful than the mind, 2) That “effect” is cause, and 3) that the body is indeed real and autonomous.
“All forms of sickness, even unto death, are physical expressions of the fear of awakening. They are attempts to reinforce sleeping out of fear of waking. This is a pathetic way of trying not to see by rendering the faculties for seeing ineffectual.” T-8.IX.3:2-4
We will not know the body is an illusion until we first discover the power of the mind. And we cannot know the power of the mind until we undo all the false beliefs that we have given the body and the world. Hence we must exhume and release our false dependence on and defenses against seeming phenomena outside us, including the body itself. While we remain victims of the body, by believing it has the power to sicken or heal of its own, then we will never know the power of the healed mind. And we will remain forever attracted to physical death as the ego’s primary defense against awakening to the invulnerable Christ within.
Following are two examples…
Example 1): The body is believed to be sick, unhealed, broken or dying.
In this demonstration, the ego seeks to prove the body is real and more powerful than God’s Will, which is always perfect health and life. It seeks to prove that matter or form has dominion over the mind; or that “effect” (body) has power over cause in our mind. Sickness is the result of abdicating the body’s purpose to the ego for its pursuit of pleasure and pain (sin, guilt, fear and death). Health is a direct result of turning the body’s purpose over to Spirit completely. The idols of pleasure and pain are gladly exchanged for Love, guiltlessness and joy.
“One thing is sure; God, Who created neither sin nor death, wills not that you be bound by them. He knows of neither sin nor its results. The shrouded figures in the funeral procession march not in honor of their Creator, Whose Will it is they live. They are not following His Will; they are opposing it.” T-19.IV.C.3:3-6
A broken body seeks to prove that the mind is powerless over the body; that cause is powerless over effect. While the body, being simply an “effect” and never a cause, is still believed to be at the mercy of ego laws such as disease, aging and pain (more effects), there must remain a hierarchy of illusions. This is a belief that there is indeed an order of difficulty in miracles. A body that can order a mind to do as it sees fit, could merely take the place of God and prove salvation is impossible!
“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 could 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. M-22.3:2-7
In this example, the body has been unknowingly given reality. It is now lord of the mind. How? Because in its sickness, pain and death we assigned it special power to be immune from the miracle. But why should “form”, which is inseparable from the mind that made it, be immune from the limitless healing of a miracle? There is no hierarchy of illusions. And therefore no order of difficulty in miracles.
As I know now, a sick body is in the same order of illusion as a grievance. There is no difference in the ego’s hierarchy of illusions. A sick body and a grievance are both forms of attack and are therefore equally healed by the miracle of forgiveness. Think about that. Unless, in our belief, we have separated “form” from Spirit; and have excluded form from healing. When we do this, the ego has made form an idol apart from God. See how deviously the ego separates? We unknowingly separate cause from effect when we split form from Spirit. When we do this, we unknowingly attempt to prove that ideas do in fact, leave their source! Yet as Jesus tells us, this is clearly impossible, because the image of the body and world always remain united to their cause in our mind.
Form or matter is in our mind and cannot be separate from it. Therefore, the issue is never about the form itself. The form is neutral. The real issue is which teacher in our mind is doing the “seeing” (believing)? Is it the ego, or is it God’s Love? For instance, “God is in everything I see, because God is in my mind. And what God sees through my mind is therefore healed.” In other words, if I choose to see with Spirit then what I see with Spirit, is healed. It cannot be otherwise.
This also works with the ego. If I choose to look at the body and world through the ego in my mind? Then it would be, “Ego is in everything I see, because ego is in my mind. And what ego sees through my mind is therefore sick.”
The Physical Miracle
Example 2) The mind is healed through forgiveness, the Atonement, the miracle. Thus the healed mind heals the body. The healed cause results in healed effect.
This experience proves beyond all doubt that we are not a body. The sick body is powerless over the healed mind. It demonstrates that the healed mind and not the body, is the source of all healing, of all power. The healed mind, being cause, heals the body as its effect. And because cause and effect always remain together in the mind, they can never be separate. Heal the cause and the effect must follow. Otherwise there would be a fatal flaw in God’s Plan.
“A broken body shows the mind has not been healed. A miracle of healing proves that separation is without effect.” T-27.II.5:1-2
“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.” M-22.6:1-4
Here there is no hierarchy of illusions, thus we witness that there is no order of difficulty in miracles. We recognize, embody and demonstrate, just as Jesus did, that we are under no laws but God’s. And that, our holiness literally reverses all the laws of the world. The Christ within takes dominion over all the ego made to attack and to separate from God’s Love. The healed mind reverses all the laws of this world, and in doing so, unveils the wondrous joy of the Real World.
“There is nothing my holiness cannot do…” “Your holiness reverses all the laws of the world. It is beyond every restriction of time, space, distance and limits of any kind. Your holiness is totally unlimited in its power because it establishes you as a Son of God, at one with the Mind of his Creator.” W-38.1.
We need the body in order to undo everything the ego made including and especially, the ego’s greatest defense against God’s Love, being the concept of death itself. And think about this…we cannot undo the concept of sickness, deprivation and death without the body. Following are some very important quotes from Jesus in the Course:
“The guiltless mind cannot suffer. Being sane, the mind heals the body because [it] has been healed. The sane mind cannot conceive of illness because it cannot conceive of attacking anyone or anything. I said before that illness is a form of magic. It might be better to say that it is a form of magical solution. The ego believes that by punishing itself it will mitigate the punishment of God. Yet even in this it is arrogant. It attributes to God a punishing intent, and then takes this intent as its own prerogative. It tries to usurp all the functions of God as it perceives them, because it recognizes that only total allegiance can be trusted.” T-5.V.5.
“It must be true the miracle can heal all forms of sickness, or it cannot heal.” T-30.VI.7:1
“There is no surer proof idolatry is what you wish than a belief there are some forms of sickness and of joylessness forgiveness cannot heal. T-30.VI.6:1
Sickness is a defense against the truth. W-136.
All forms of sickness are a defense against the Truth (Love) because they serve to testify that we are merely a body. A weak, fragile and defenseless body, and not the unassailable Being within. Jesus tells us that:
“Pain demonstrates the body must be real. It is a loud, obscuring voice whose shrieks would silence what the Holy Spirit says, and keep His words from your awareness. Pain compels attention, drawing it away from Him and focusing upon itself.” T-27.VI.1:1-3
“And for each witness to the body’s death He sends a witness to your life in Him Who knows no death. Each miracle He brings is witness that the body is not real. Its pains and pleasures does He heal alike, for all sin’s witnesses do His replace.” T-27.VI.4:7-9
“The miracle makes no distinctions in the names by which sin’s witnesses are called. It merely proves that what they represent has no effects. And this it proves because its own effects have come to take their place. It matters not the name by which you called your suffering. It is no longer there. The One Who brings the miracle perceives them all as one, and called by name of fear. As fear is witness unto death, so is the miracle the witness unto life. It is a witness no one can deny, for it is the effects of life it brings. The dying live, the dead arise, and pain has vanished. Yet a miracle speaks not but for itself, but what it represents.” T-27.VI.5.
Quite frankly now when I read the Course I can see why earlier, I was so terrified to take these messages literally. As I said previously in this book, if total and spontaneous healings were to occur as a direct result of forgiveness, then the illusory and fearful fabric of this ego world would rapidly disintegrate. No longer could we regard the ego’s laws as immutable.
“Miracles enable you to heal the sick and raise the dead because you made sickness and death yourself, and can therefore abolish both. [You] are a miracle, capable of creating in the likeness of your Creator. Everything else is your own nightmare, and does not exist. Only the creations of light are real.” T-1.I.1
The idols of this world, both those of pleasure and of pain, would clearly turn to dust as we remembered the most irresistible longing we have had since the beginning of time; to join again in the beloved oneness of our Heart. The risen Christ within would indeed claim dominion over all the ego made and reverse its laws. This is what Jesus means by “reversing the thinking of this world.”
“The resurrection is the denial of death, being the assertion of life. Thus is all the thinking of the world reversed entirely.” M-28.2:1-2
In the following quote, Jesus shares that he raised the dead by knowing that life comes from God and is therefore incorruptible. Life cannot be terminated by death. Otherwise God could be terminated by the ego, which is impossible! Jesus asks us why do we believe it is harder for him to help us when we need him? He does not believe in an order of difficulty in miracles…but we do.
“I raised the dead by knowing that life is an eternal attribute of everything that the living God created. Why do you believe it is harder for me to inspire the dis-spirited or to stabilize the unstable? I do not believe that there is an order of difficulty in miracles; you do. I have called and you will answer. I understand that miracles are natural, because they are expressions of love. My calling you is as natural as your answer, and as inevitable.” T-4.IV.11:7-12
This fear of physical miracles makes sense given that our greatest fear is not death, but “life” lived fully in the incorruptible Power of God as our Holy Self.
“The resurrection of the world awaits your healing and your happiness, that you may demonstrate the healing of the world.” T-27.VI.8:8
“Reality is changeless. Miracles but show what you have interposed between reality and your awareness is unreal, and does not interfere at all. The cost of the belief there must be some appearances beyond the hope of change is that the miracle cannot come forth from you consistently. For you have asked it be withheld from power to heal all dreams. There is no miracle you cannot have when you desire healing.” T-30.VIII.4.
The old adage of “never look to form for evidence of inner healing”, must now be revised. But let’s look at the well-meaning intent beneath this warning because it certainly makes sense in one respect. If physical healing was a result of using magic (and not a result of true forgiveness), then it is simply a shift between illusions; a shift between the illusion of sickness and the illusion of health. And this is false healing because the single cause of all sickness, being unconscious guilt in the mind, has been by-passed and therefore it remains to return again in another form.
However if one’s mind was truly healed by accepting Atonement, and a spontaneous physical healing was one of the effects, such as Jesus accomplished while on Earth, wouldn’t that be quite a convincing demonstration and witnessing to the world, of the astonishing power of forgiveness and the Atonement?
I cannot think of a more compelling testimony than this to a sleeping world. Such a miracle, with observable effects, would clearly not be another shift between the illusions of sickness and health. It would be the sign of a healed mind transcending the ego’s polarities of both sickness and health altogether. The guilt that causes all sickness, once removed, cannot return again in different form.
Jesus teaches that the purpose of the miracle is to demonstrate that the separation is without effects or symptoms. And this is how all ego “effects” will be undone. Not through death as Jesus explains; but through life itself, as he has already accomplished for us all in his resurrection and Atonement. Are you ready to join him?
“Your sighs will now betray the hopes of those who look to you for their release. Your tears are theirs. If you are sick, you but withhold their healing. What you fear but teaches them their fears are justified. Your hand becomes the giver of Christ’s touch; your change of mind becomes the proof that who accepts God’s gifts can never suffer anything. You are entrusted with the world’s release from pain.” W-166.14.
“Betray it not. Become the living proof of what Christ’s touch can offer everyone. God has entrusted all His gifts to you. Be witness in your happiness to how transformed the mind becomes which chooses to accept His gifts, and feel the touch of Christ. Such is your mission now. For God entrusts the giving of His gifts to all who have received them. He has shared His joy with you. And now you go to share it with the world.” W-166.15.
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