A Course in Miracles Blog

If atonement is a cure and bodies reflect the mind, can bodies be fully healed?

  • By Paul West
  • In Body, Mind, Suffering
  • 8596 Words
  • 42 minutes 58 seconds
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If atonement is a cure and bodies reflect the mind, can bodies be fully healed?

Jackie asked:

"The course is very specific about sickness being a defense against the truth. And that it is the mind that needs healing not the body. But if the mind is healed then the body will be as well. The song of prayer speaks about our laying down the body when no longer needed. I want to take this literally. Our bodies are a reflection of our minds. Why can’t we expect to be fully healed? Mind and body.

An extension of my former question, lesson 140 "Only salvation can be said to cure". I want this lesson to be wholly true."

Yes bodies can be healed, they will be healed, and they must be healed, in order to reflect the change in the mind's attitude and belief. Healing miracles are perfectly possible! There is no REAL reason to experience sickness, because sickness isn't real.

The first two paragraphs of ACIM Lesson 140 are interesting so I'll quote these first:

" "Cure" is a word that cannot be applied to any remedy the world accepts as beneficial. What the world perceives as therapeutic is but what will make the body "better." When it tries to heal the mind, it sees no separation from the body, where it thinks the mind exists. Its forms of healing thus must substitute illusion for illusion. One belief in sickness takes another form, and so the patient now perceives himself as well.

He is not healed. He merely had a dream that he was sick, and in the dream he found a magic formula to make him well. Yet he has not awakened from the dream, and so his mind remains exactly as it was before. He has not seen the light that would awaken him and end the dream. What difference does the content of a dream make in reality? One either sleeps or wakens. There is nothing in between."

Here, you'll notice that Jesus refers to sickness in a way which many people might not think of sickness. He says that even if the symptoms of the body are changed in some way, through some kind of medicine or remedy which did something to change the body's condition, the person can still be sick. The sickness is the fact that their awareness is still not healed. There is still a separation in the mind, and just because the body appeared to change didn't mean the mind changed. Sickness in A Course in Miracles doesn't just mean physical sickness.

It is therefore perfectly possible for someone who has an apparently "healthy" body, to still be sick. Their sickness is a sense of separation from God. If I give myself a headache because I believe in punishment, and I take a drug to remove the symptoms of the headache, the headache seems to have gone, but my belief in punishment has not. What's happened is that I've attempted to play with the "effects" of a belief in sickness without undoing the belief in sickness. The unhealed belief will likely re-generate more symptoms of sickness in the body in future, ie expressions of a belief in sickness.

So we have to recognize there are two things going on here. There is the mind which actually causes the body, and then there is the effect of the mind. The body ultimately is the effect of the mind's dreaming that it is something it is not, which is sickness. If the body shows up as relatively unharmed or doesn't exhibit signs of sickness, that does not in any way necessarily indicate that the mind has sanity. (Note: An insane mind may or may not produce a sick body, but a sane mind MUST produce a healthy body.)

You might then think that because it seems possible to be sick in the mind but well in the body, that the mind's condition does not directly express itself in the body, otherwise all sick minds MUST produce sick bodies. However, sickness, as mental separation from God, can take on many forms. The ego is very split and fragmented and it may or may not attack the body directly or use it in ways that we think of as physical "sickness". It might express in other ways such as having terrible relationships, or a sense of lack which affects abundance, or may not manifest symptoms in the body until much later.

So this can give you the impression that the mind does not always cause the body to be sick, because it's apparently possible for the body to show up without major sickness even among the insane. It largely depends on whether the mind chooses to attack the body or not, and this is an individual thing. Coming from the mind-level, the egoic mind may express itself in other areas of life, and all of those expressions are what ACIM refers to as sickness. So you have to remember that the mind doesn't JUST express in the body, it expresses in ALL areas of life inside and outside of the body. The body is just one part of its experience.

If the mind has what Jesus refers to as sickness, ie separation in the mind from God, resulting in unconsciousness or sleep, this can play out in thousands of ways. Every imaginable lifetime of incarnation can express this separation in many many forms. Sometimes minds choose to more directly attack the body, sometimes they don't. The mind will use the entire canvas of "life" to express its self-attack and to project it in various ways.

Sometimes, you'll notice, those who are prolific at blaming others may have generally good physical health, because they dump their guilt onto "others" rather than straight onto their own body. Whatever works. This can also be why "the good die young", because people-pleasers and those unwilling to directly blame others (ie are trying to maintain a good persona) can instead end up attacking themselves more directly and their unconscious guilt is more likely to then express itself in attacks upon their body, from within and without. And sometimes people do both.

Using myself as an example, I have relatively good health with no significant "sicknesses" of the body, that I know of, and yet my mind is not awake to God. I have lessons still to go through and distortions in my awareness. My "stuff" plays out in other ways. I also know someone who is quite advanced spiritually, not necessarily fully awake, but has a lot of symptoms in the body. It's how they chose to work through their mental state, and ultimately heal it.

Depending on their lifetime script they may have chosen to work through certain mental issues in a physical way, and sometimes physical sickness can be used as a lesson to teach those around them to learn forgiveness and compassion.

Or perhaps you might have agreed with someone that they will be "the sick one" so that you can learn about how sickness is not real and thus learn to heal, using it as a stimulation to trigger your own belief in sickness so that you can undo it. Sometimes a sick person and a non-sick person will come together because the balance of teaching and learning is good.

What has been agreed to in scripts can seem quite obscure and difficult to discern, because often when there is sickness there is victimhood and a sense of not wanting it to happen, making it hard to see WHY you would choose it on purpose. And usually, without awareness, sickness and suffering seem like things you do not want. This can make it difficult to see past the very strong signals that physical sickness transmits to the mind, because pain and physical distress makes your mind constantly bombarded with "temptation" to pay attention to the body, keeping your mind distracted on purpose.

That all said, whatever form "sickness" is taking, be it mental illness or physical illness or financial illness or relationship drama or whatever - every expression of the ego is sickness, and it can be undone because it IS coming from the mind. The mind is choosing it and it is up to the mind as to what it is choosing. The mind does give sickness to the body, sometimes, and sometimes it gives sickness in other areas of life.

If you consider the end result of all forgiveness, and what's going to happen when your mind is completely fully accepting the Atonement, in such an advanced state of mind you WILL have the ability to heal the body if it appears to be sick. Jesus speaks to this in numerous places in the Course. These healing can also occur earlier if the mind is able to perform forgiveness and accept the atonement to some degree.

Precisely in this same Lesson 140, He says:

"Atonement does not heal the sick, for that is not a cure. It takes away the guilt that makes the sickness possible. And that is cure indeed. For sickness now is gone, with nothing left to which it can return."

What he means here about not healing the sick is, that IF sickness were real, it cannot be healed. If sickness is a reality and not an illusion, there is little you can do to cure it, because it cannot be undone. Reality cannot be undone. Attempts to "cure" a real sickness must be magic and must ultimately fail, because all that such attempts could possibly do is substitute one illusion for another, as described earlier in the lesson.

But in the Atonement, the truth is that sickness is not REAL, in any of its forms, bodily or otherwise, and the awareness of that fact CAN cure it. And that's simply because, as He says, if you perceive the truth that separation has not happened, sin is not real, and therefore there is no grounds for guilt, and given that all sickness stems from sin and guilt, then if there is no sin or guilt the sickness cannot exist. Literally. There is no guilt expressing itself in form.

Sickness is made of everything that follows on after separation, so if there is no separation, there can be no expressions of sickness - ie forms of sickness, because sickness - as separation in the mind from God's mind, does not exist. Whatever forms the sickness was taking, bodily or otherwise, must DISAPPEAR, because the mind has recognized that every illusion about separation has been undone.

If the illusions are gone, the sickness will be gone. Sickness IS just a belief in separation. All physical forms of sickness stem from that same belief, or will appear to stem from beliefs which follow on from that, such as that guilt demands punishment.

He says that the Atonement (forgiveness) takes away the guilt that makes the sickness possible. This tells us that sickness cannot EXIST without the guilt and sin, and that the sickness itself IS the guilt and sin. It is guilt and sin that has taken on form - expressions or manifestations in "matter" reflecting what the mind is believing. If there is no guilt, there is no guilt to express, so a picture (body) containing symbols of sickness will not be projected. And that will appear to be a miracle cure.

The ego in its thought system has no concept of a cure. It does not want anything to do with real forgiveness or real atonement. It substitutes fake forgiveness and fake atonement as ways to make sure that it keeps the separation intact. It will also use fake cures - which Jesus describes as the world "prescribing" from outside of yourself, as substitutes for an real cure. The ego wants to keep sickness and maintain it and make it worse, because its core belief is that death is inevitable and justified.

Most of the medical world at present is based on the ego's thought system, and therefore, for the most part, cannot cure much at all. It tends to diagnose and prescribe based on the external effects, and decides on "why" the sickness appeared based on external causes, and not the real causes in the mind. Even most psychotherapy doesn't really undo the belief in separation that led to the mental illness, but it at least acknowledges that all problems are in the mind.

Sometimes the "help" seems beneficial and preferable, because it works "magic", but it does not undo separation in the mind, or necessarily change any beliefs, so the mind will likely re-express more of the same later. This is why magic can seem to give the illusion of a cure, but not a real cure. And don't get me wrong, if your life seems to depend on magic right now, keep using it - I'm not giving a medical diagnosis or suggestion of treatment, we're just talking about what's happening in the big picture. Sometimes people get things like physical surgery, as the apparent "only way" to avoid death, and that is very welcome. But it is not really a real cure of the real cause of the "real" problem.

When the mind achieves some degree of "atonement" in the area that was acting as grounds for forms of sickness to take root, that sickness can no longer exist. And it must disappear. Jesus said in notes to Helen that when illusions are recognized as illusions, ie are not believed to be real, they must disappear. ie when the mind is corrected and is perceiving correctly and clearly, it will not be deluded and will not "give reality to" (make real) things which don't really exist. Since all forms are expressions of the mind, the form itself will appear to change to correlate to the mind choosing again. And thus the "sickness", as the expression or symptoms of mental sickness, showing up secondarily in the body, will disappear.

An example of how sickness is created and undone might be useful here.

A few years ago I was developing my relationship with Holy Spirit and, at the time, still regarded Him as something separate from me. In my mind I heard His Voice fairly easily, every day, and we'd been developing trust together. But this had all been based on believing that He was separate from me in some basic way. I referred to Him like He was some kind of entity or separate mind, and there was always a distinction between me and Him, psychologically.

One day, I had this idea to try to be open minded and was entertaining the thought that, perhaps, Holy Spirit and I are not really separate. I sensed that this must have some truth to it because if we were to become in some way "One", then we would be SHARING some kind of experience, perhaps even an experience of Self, or that somehow "He" was "me". To my mind, this opened up a brief experiential thought or visualization in which I sensed that Holy Spirit was not actually separate from me at all. Whatever the wall was that had always been between us, seemed to not be there, and we seemed to be a single unified being.

Now, what this meant to me at the time was that this joining, this sharing, and the absence of a separation between us, would allow Holy Spirit to have very direct access to me. With no walls to keep us apart, I experienced this flash of fear that if we were One, then I have no way of keeping Him from merging with me or accessing my being. Since I still had an ego at the time (and still do), and was still identified with being a separate self, this scared my separate self quite a lot. It came across to "it" as a threat.

If Holy Spirit and I are One and have no separation between us, that means that not only does He now have full access to my most intimate inner being, but also my ego self - which is made of and depends on separation - must ultimately not exist at all. Being in a sort of simultaneous state of mind where I was experiencing openness and sharing at the same time as being a separate individual, this simply made "me" interpret it as being very dangerous. I had no defenses to prevent this merging from undoing "me". My "self" seemed to be being invaded. This is the ONLY way the ego can perceive the truth. This honestly scared "me" quite strongly.

So in other words, I mis-perceived something upon being exposed to the truth. If you look at the section of the Course about "sickness is a defense against the truth", you'll see that Jesus describes this exact situation. You become exposed to something truthful, yet because you are still identified with the ego, the ego in you reads into it and mis-perceives it. Really, it's that the sense of Self becomes threatened by it, because IF the truth is true, then it implies that the ego self doesn't exist. And if you're "one" with your ego, that means YOU don't exist either. So it's very threatening, and is a misinterpretation that happens because you're looking at the truth THROUGH the eyes of the ego. It sees it only as an attack on itself, therefore on you, and you will become frightened. Jesus refers to it as the truth coming to topple your entire reality and make your world fall.

The next step after this, as He describes, is exactly what happened. I immediately attempted to put some distance between me and Holy Spirit (ie truth),  and to do so by making something happen in my mind. In my mind, I attempted to push Him away. Now, there is no real way to push God or Holy Spirit away, and certainly not physically, so when you push them away you really are actually recoiling and hiding psychologically. Attack is actually a withdrawal. So my attempt to "get rid of" Holy Spirit by pushing Him away, as an attack, actually caused me to withdraw into myself, into my ego mind.

What I did, mentally, was I tried to put up a barrier to block Him. This was kind of psychological warfare, using thoughts and illusions as weapons. I tried to shrink away from Him and go further inside my body. I could feel myself doing this very quickly. I wanted to hide, to defend myself against the truth. It wasn't that the truth wasn't loving and beautiful, it was that seeing a loving beautiful truth WITH the ego scares the living shit out of it because of what it means and implies.

Trying to take your ego self into the truth, is really an act of attempting to spiritualize the ego. It's an attempt to transform the ego itself into something more true and pure. It cannot go there. It will kick and scream and resist it. It is horrified about the idea of approaching God, and sees it only as meaning that it will be destroyed. Yet because we are attached to the ego, as we attempt to "wake up", we somewhat pull the ego along with us "into" the truth. It is fundamentally incompatible because its thought system CANNOT exist in the Holy Spirit's thought system.

Trying to make your "self" (as ego) more spiritual, thus results in the ego part of you being heavily offended and hurt by what the truth has claimed. The ego will then retaliate with attacks and counter-defenses because it (you seeing with it) "genuinely" is experiencing that it is being slapped in the face. The truth ignores it, doesn't validate it, acts like it doesn't exist, doesn't give it any credit, and blatantly demonstrates that it is unreal. The ego takes that as very offensive and this is the cause of all "ego rebounds", which is what happens when you try to take your ego self into something spiritual, rather than realizing that letting go of the ego itself - as your identity, is the only way to wake up FROM it.

Spiritual awakening means shifting your sense of identity from ego to Christ, and the ego cannot come along for the ride. But in this interim period where "you" are trying to wake up, believing you are not awake, and that you have an ego still, you will have this tug of war where some part of you yearns to break free of lies while the rest of you which is ego-identified is still holding onto them. The part of you still holding on, as one part of a split mind, will hate what you are trying to do, and does not want awakening at all. It thinks your efforts to be spiritual are efforts to destroy it.

So this produces a basis for needing to defend yourself against the truth, and I swear... I think that a lot of people become SICK because of their efforts to become spiritually awakened, because of the rebound their ego is having trying to protect its identity. The ego goes from suspicious to vicious, and while you still think it is "you", it will kick and scream each time you approach the truth. It does not want to wake up, and trying to wake "it" up along with you will call for war.

So anyway, back to my example... Having attempted to take my "self" closer to Holy Spirit, I took the ego with me, and it did not (and cannot) go there. So I saw the truth as a threat to the ego (to "me") and quite naturally, understandably, wanted to preserve "my" existence. I saw it as meaning that I do not exist, and that the Holy Spirit had a front-door key to my inner world. The idea of having no defenses against this truth, to the ego, is alarming. It sees the Holy Spirit as an attacker come to destroy it, with a weapon of unity in which there is no separation, threatening the ego's entire existence.

What I did then, is I somehow attempted to hide within myself. I shrunk away from Holy Spirit mentally, I turned away form Him in my mind. I don't even know how I did this or that I had the ability to do this, but it really is an innate and quite automatic ability in the ego split mind. If we really want to, we can construct illusions of separation out of thin air and create a split in the mind in an effort to get away from a threat, or to go into denial. The mind is perfectly capable of doing this spontaneously, and it has already done it a great deal. I wanted to get away from what "I" perceived as dangerous so I mentally pushed it away and tried to go unconscious.

Guess what happened next? My body very quickly started to express symptoms of sickness. My head started to become clogged up with sinus congestion, and my ears in particular started to become clogged and began to ring with tinnitus. This came on in a matter of a few hours.

Of course, at the time, I did not have any sense that I had caused this! This is what happens when we make sickness, because by shutting out the truth and separating from it, psychologically, we are choosing to go unconscious. We reject awareness and reject responsibility for being a cause. All we want to do is subdue our awareness and go to sleep and pretend the truth isn't there. I had literally "forgotten" that I made this happen because I didn't realize that this is what I was choosing. I thought I was choosing self preservation, and instead I got sickness!

So then the symptoms of this "sick mind" start to show up and, in a state of unconsciousness, we are not aware that we chose it or caused it. It's like there is a layer of unawareness over the mind acting like a wall - it was the wall we constructed to block awareness of the truth, which was seen as an attack. This wall we erected psychologically as a defense, to try to save our life and to maintain the existence of our sense of "self", even though that sense of self is confused with the ego. We just wanted self-preservation and whatever "self" we had, it needed to be protected.

Protecting the life of the ego "against Life", leads to death. All sickness is a step towards death, and this is why nobody can die without their own consent. Choosing to defend against the truth is a choice towards dying. It is an attempt to deliberately use death for the purpose of escape from God, seeing it as reasonable and as though it makes complete sense. To the ego it makes total sense because it sees truth as the opposite of itself and as though it would destroy it (and it would, if it were real). So then death seems like a very logical and sensible option, to give yourself sickness and to make yourself suffer in exchange for not being attacked by reality.

So I did not have awareness at first that I had chosen the sickness. My head was blocked up and my ears were sort of shutting down. The ringing got louder and uncomfortable. I thought that I must have just contracted a common cold or some kind of ear infection or something, you know.. some cause OTHER than myself. And this is what we'll do, we'll look anywhere OTHER than where the real cause is, and try to justify what made the sickness happen. We look for something to blame it on, attempting to find the truth outside of ourselves. "All sickness is a form of external seeking". And then we'll use that description of what made it happen as a kind of diagnosis, will try to make the diagnosis be the TRUTH, and then will prescribe various magical solutions to fix the problem.

Of course, any magic that I attempted to use to "heal" the sickness, did not help much. The sickness wasn't really that my body was sick, it was that my mind had used sickness to defend myself against the truth. Yet I believed my body had become sick and that this was the "sickness". The real sickness was outside of my awareness, where I wanted to keep it! And it definitely did not seem that my mind had anything to do with it, or that my mind was sick at all. So my sickness physically was helping me to not only defend against the truth, but keep my awareness AWAY from ever looking at the way that I had chosen this.

I did not want to admit to choosing it because that would've brought into question why I chose it and possibly that I would un-choose it. If I were to un-choose the sickness, how would I defend myself from that scary truth? I would become scared all over again, like someone taking the barricade off the door and letting the monster in. The sickness was keeping me safe! The sickness was my ally and I wanted it, and had no real intention of getting rid of it or seeing it cured. This is something that "sick people" do not want to admit to.

So for a couple of days I suffered, physically, and my ears were just ringing and were uncomfortable. I'd never had such a strong and quick onset of something like this before. And of course, things expressing in a dream are always SYMBOLIC, even in the physical level, because the world is a dream. All dreams are made of symbols. So symbolically, "I did not want to hear" that truth. And so I quite successfully shut down my hearing, or at least blocked it, symbolizing my "desire not to listen". It manifested physically as ear blockage. Symptoms in specific areas of the body are always symbolic of what's happened in the mind in some way.

I took a few pills here and there to try to alleviate symptoms which maybe helped a little but didn't solve it. If it had, I probably wouldn't have been forced to try to find a more spiritual answer, and would not have experienced the fullness of this LESSON, which has taught me a lot about sickness and healing. I also wouldn't have been able to use it as an example to teach others.

All of my focus was of course on the "sickness" - the symptoms of sickness in the body. The reason is, that sickness makes the body more real. Pain and suffering makes the body more real. It causes our awareness to fixate on the body even more strongly. We do this because we use the body as a defense against God. If we can bind the Son of God to the body, then when the body dies the Son of God will die. That's part of our ego's agenda. The more we can make the body "cause us" to fixate on it, through pain and suffering and symptoms of sickness, the more we will avoid looking at the mind or reconsidering our choices. Pain and discomfort give you very good reasons to believe the sickness is real, which maintains the separation and keeps you safe from the truth.

So for a few days I was suffering and using the sickness to protect me and thinking that the symptoms were the sickness, and that the symptoms themselves had come to attack me. I did not see a connection with my mind or choice, so saw myself as a victim who had been "unfairly treated" by... something or someone, not myself. And of course that produces reactions, like fear and anger and frustration and unhappiness.

Of course, because being in separation means being in a victim mindset. I saw the symptoms as having happened to me against my will, because it seemed to come from "out of the blue", from somewhere other than "me". Anyone perceiving that they did not choose the sickness will believe it came from someone or something else, and that they are under attack by it. And seeing not their own choice for it, they'll see their innocence as unfairly attacked, and this justifies being angry and retaliating. You will attack whatever you think is causing it, and will attack the sickness itself, as though IT chose for you. And this won't help.

So then the symptoms of sickness become "the issue" - really a distraction, and we start to defend against the possible attackers. We start to develop a drama and story about who caused it, maybe it was an allergy to something, maybe it was something I ate, maybe my neighbor contaminated me, etc. That all becomes a big fantasy story which has really nothing to do with what caused the symptoms of sickness and everything to do with maintaining an ILLUSION of what's really going on. And we can get quite lost in that.

And then even if we can let go of some of the "blame" onto other people, we still will wrestle with the symptoms and complain about how we didn't ask for it and how unfair it is and who did this to me, etc. All of that will sound like the person wants the sickness to be gone, BUT, the person will not DO what needs to be DONE in order to TRULY set themselves free of it. Instead it turns into a pity party and a sob story and a way to identify more with the ego.

Victims do not see, or want to see, that they have the POWER to do something about it, because they don't see that they were the cause of it, or that they even have an option, and secretly they want to be a victim so that they don't have to face the scary truth. Victimhood is a protection! Being victimized comes from trying to be protected! And this ties directly into "if I defend myself I am attacked". Defense against the truth attacks you and makes you sick and turns you into a victim, all in the name of trying to be safer.

We think the symptoms are REAL, which means we don't really believe (or want) them to be undone, so we'll get into an ego battle with them where we appear to be "wanting it to go away", but really at the same time are keeping it. And we have EVERY INTENTION to keep it, because secretly it is keeping us protected from the truth. Don't you dare take away someone's sickness against their will. Miraculous healing is a blasphemy ;-)

So I kept my sickness a few days and grew annoyed by it and tried to counter-attack it and it did not go away. And I didn't really want to go to the source of guidance - Holy Spirit - to get advice about what the "real cause" was. He was my enemy. So I was a bit stuck and feeling alone. And scared still. I had to somewhat push myself to think back to the steps that led up to this, and what came before it. It started to come back to my awareness that a couple of days prior I'd had this fearful encounter, and that problems seemed to start after that. I'd forgotten all about it.

I was afraid to actually find this out, because it meant that to find the "truth" about what was wrong with me, I would have to approach the truth itself, again. And that had been scary before. So I had quite strong resistance and not a lot of insight. In other words, not much willingness to listen. I did my best to become honest and humble and to listen, but kept it at arms length. I approached Holy Spirit quite tentatively, asking for help, having developed at least some trust prior to this on which I could depend.

He reminded me gently of how I'd been afraid of being One with Him, and that this had scared me. This is when it dawned on me that I did in fact remember making an automatic, split-second effort to push Him away, using my mind. I did remember how I didn't like what I saw in the experience of joining. I did remember that I pushed Him away and did not want to hear that truth. And I recalled how I recoiled and shrunk and hid away, psychologically, like I put up a wall against him to keep him out. This was like an "aha" moment.

What I basically was doing was a forgiveness, where I was becoming willing to admit to the truth (and admit means to "allow access"), that it was ME myself who had chosen the sickness, and that I had created it ON PURPOSE. And Jesus speaks to this also... it is because the sickness has a PURPOSE of defense, that it is held in place. There was a perceived NEED to be sick. Not so much a need to be "sick", but a need for a defense, a protection, against a perceived threat against your identity. And putting that defense in place psychologically, as an act of "separating" (which is the ego's only tool), later showed up as physical symptoms.

The physical sickness was not really the root of the problem. The root of the problem was the need to protect myself from the truth. It wouldn't be sufficient to just remove the sickness and still have in my mind the same distortion which caused me to mis-perceive. Because if I then re-approached the truth with the same ego perception I would likely see the same mistaken conclusion and scare myself again. What was necessary was for the attachment to the ego to be relinquished, to become willing to TRUST the truth, and to heal the relationship with the truth in a gentle way that wasn't frightening. I had to LET GO of some identification with the ego and be willing to be open to the possibility that Holy Spirit was telling the truth, and that it could be trusted.

I saw therefore that I had chosen the defense, I put it in place, I needed it, I gave it its purpose, and it was helping me. I am the one who attacked myself by using attack to protect myself from the truth. That is the ONLY reason why I made the split in my mind. That is the only reason the sickness showed up in the body, being projected by that mind.

Therefore, I allowed myself to re-approach Holy Spirit with a willingness to re-learn to trust Him, asking Him to help me to trust Him. I was willing to let go of the mis-perception of fear that arose, and was willing to be open to a different conclusion. The alternative conclusion is... since I am one with Holy Spirit, and Holy Spirit is love, and love can be trusted, ie IT IS SAFE, and since I am NOT really the ego self, that MEANS that it is safe to be one with Holy Spirit.

I repaired my sense of trust in Him and felt less afraid of this truth. And guess what happened to my body? Within a matter of hours, all symptoms of what appeared to be an ear infection plus sinus infection disappeared. My head cleared up and all of the congestion ie "blockage" went away. My ears stopped ringing and hurting and quickly become normal.

The next day it was like nothing happened! I am quite certain that it didn't just go away "on its own" and it wasn't healed BY the body or by any external causes. It was healed because, in my mind, I came to ACCEPT that the separation, or the need for it, was unfounded, I let go of the belief in the need for it, and therefore restored to my mind a state in which the separation DID NOT HAPPEN. My mind was made whole, and thus was my body.

I chose not to perceive that truth meant attack, and chose instead to trust the truth. That meant I recognized there was no NEED to be sick, ie no need to have a defense mechanism to keep me not only protected from the truth but SEPARATED from the truth. The sickness, expressed physically, was based on and came from that need for separation, so without it, it had no foundation. It had no purpose. It was like something I thought I wanted but really didn't, and could just discard it. I had no need for it. And therefore, it MUST disappear, and it did. "You made sickness and death and therefore can abolish both."

You WILL let go of things that you recognize as being just illusions, and you will let go of things that you see no purpose in. If it does not serve you and you do not need to protect yourself from the truth, you will not see any VALUE at all in being separate/sick, and so you will not choose it, and because it IS an illusion, it will disappear. What you value you will not give up, so if it serves a need/purpose, you will protect it. But when it has no value for you, you will just drop it and it will go. It cannot exist without you giving it power, without you making it real, and without you believing in it.

Illusions, when recognized AS illusions, with your belief withdrawn from them, MUST disappear. They are recognized as nothing real. The mind chooses to see no reality or truth in them, recognizing that they are not the truth BECAUSE you have accepted what the truth really is. If the truth is true and you trust it, the illusion is not true and has no justification for existing. The mind will RECOGNIZE that it IS just an illusion and not a "real sickness". What you thought was real sickness was an ILLUSION of sickness. So the mind will just drop it from existence by simply not dreaming it.

This doesn't have to take time. It can be immediate. In my case it took me a few days to work through what had bothered me and to try to get past the illusions about what the sickness was or why it was happening. But once I finally got there and accepted the truth as it is, without my ego reacting to it, through having a "little willingness" and learning to trust and have faith in it, the whole reason for and thus cause of the sickness didn't exist anymore, and so neither did the sickness. The sickness - mental separation - was healed, and therefore everything that came from it disappeared.

Often, the unconsciousness that accompanies sickness can be so strong, and then it is really difficult to figure out or discern why or when you chose to be sick. You'll be so distracted by symptoms and fake causes. I had to go through that also. We have to forgive the illusion that the physical sickness is real, or that it is even the real problem, and own up to what it is, what we are using it for, why we chose it, and why we are making it.

We have to recognize it for what it is, that it is a decoy, a distraction to get your mind away from the truth and to fixate on the body. We have to acknowledge that we want the pain and suffering, on purpose, because it is saving us from death caused by the truth. And we have to recognize why we set this whole thing up, to try to save our own (ego) life from the danger we perceived when the truth showed up. Again, protecting the ego's life results in death, and all forms of sickness are expressions of this agenda.

The mind is the only cause of all symptoms of sickness in all areas of life. However it expresses, in whatever form, and no matter how clever the disguise, and no matter how much it seems to have been "caused by" ANYTHING other than yourself, which is ALWAYS the case. You were the one who chose it and put it in place.

If you are sick, you automatically will perceive that you did not choose it, because the choice to be unconscious, to shut out awareness of truth, which produced the sickness (in the mind first), automatically denied that you had anything to do with it. You didn't want to be associated with the truth, so denial of truth results. You will then be experiencing that symptoms are starting to show up and you don't know why, or where it's coming from, and will look all over the place in fear, as though some alien attacker has come to destroy you from outside of you. But believing that story will keep you sick.

The body is not sick. Not really. It's just an image projected by the mind. All forms of physical symptoms are not really sickness. Sickness is psychological separation from God, and all "forms" of sickness including the body itself are just expressions of the mind. The body exists IN the mind and is made of the mind's imagination. The mind dreams it. The body is not "really" physical matter, as we have come to describe it, separate from mind. The body is a thought of separation WITHIN the mind. It is an idea. It is an illusion within the psyche. And when the mind changes its mind, this illusion can and will change also.

Believing the body cannot change and be healed is purely based on the illusion that sickness is real, because you believe the body is real. It seems very fixed and it seems to have its own history and its own will. It does not. It is no match for a mind that decides it is healed. It can be changed instantly. It can be flipped on and off like a light-switch. It has no reality of its own and is entirely an illusion. Like a frame from a movie projector, if the projector (mind) changes the story running through the projector, the body will change instantaneously, like a change of scenes. And this will show up as miraculous.

Now, just one final point to make I think, is that the body itself, being an illusion, effectively IS a sickness. The idea that the body lives and that it can die, really is an attempt to bind the Son of God to form so that the ego can play out its wish to destroy the Son of God. Basically, the body is a device for separation, just as sickness is. All forms of separation are sickness. All FORMS are sickness.

This is a huge thing to realize because it means the entire physical world is a symptom of mental illness, and is not REAL. And that also means all illusions of sickness are not real sicknesses, they are just make-believe. Sickness is not real, sin is not real, guilt is not real, separation is not real, fear is not real, bodies are not real, and the world is not real. These are all just expressions of a hidden mind which is dreaming it all.

Even the form of a "healthy body", is a sickness. If the body is being used by the mind to keep it unconscious and to block awareness of God, then the mind is still sick. A "well" body could be used by the mind as a camouflage for its mental sickness, to make the person believe that they are in fact well and sane and healthy, when in fact their mind is still unaware of the truth.

What Jesus demonstrated, and this is also revealed in the extra notes given to Helen, is that when he finally saw that the body was not real, it disappeared. He said that he had no further illusions about it, and that the last one (that "he" would die if the body died), had gone. Seeing no further "truth" or "reality" or "purpose" to the body itself, recognizing that it is an illusion just as sickness, designed to separate Him from the truth, he simply saw that he had no further NEED for it, and so - as an illusion, it literally disappeared.

To me this is the ultimate exit from the dream via truth, and not through "death" ie bodies in a grave. "Laying the body down" does not have to mean the body dies or goes through sickness and accidents and aging and terror in order to get out of here. That's the exact OPPOSITE of how the dream is left. The body can be disappeared in the truth, with no requirement for suffering or victimization or passive surrender to death! Nobody dies in peace. Death can be abolished!

The cure, then, in ultimate awakening as Christ, is the recognition that NO separation has ever happened in your mind, the truth is completely trusted and known and real, you need no defense against it, and therefore there is simply no further reason to maintain an illusion of a body. The body will just be let go of, as in, the illusion of the body will be seen through, and it will no longer be given reality, so will disappear completely. And I mean literally - it ceases to exist anywhere. That's why Jesus's body disappeared after the crucifixion.

Obviously then, what Jesus later demonstrated is that, since he now was free of the NEED for a body (a defense against truth), he could now have complete mastery over illusions and could, IF he wanted to, choose to temporarily manifest another "image" (illusion) of a body. And this is what He did when "he" appeared again to the disciples. It wasn't literally him as such, it was just an image he made. A teaching device. And he disappeared that one just like before. And he is perfectly capable of manifesting another appearance again at will, and has done so for many people. He can manifest bodies on demand.

The body has no reality of its own. It is the hero of the dream. It was made by a dreaming mind. Everything about it is decided by the mind. Everything about it can be changed. Its varied expressions of mental sickness can be undone. The body can be restored to a picture or representation of perfect health. AND, eventually, the body in its entirety can be undone.

Thinking this way, the body itself is seen as a symptom of sickness, happening to "the mind", and the mind is all that you really are. The body is like a welt or a growth covering the mind and distorting it. It can and will be healed and it will disappear like any other form of sickness. When you have no further use for it, you will cancel it entirely, just as you will cancel death. Sorry, you cannot die, you are the immortal Son of God!

So while it is wonderful to experience and share the healing of bodies and so on, restoring lost limbs or giving sight to the blind or raising the dead and so on, these miracles are stepping stones. Jesus says that they pave the way for REVELATION. They are building blocks and teaching devices to help you and your brother to have a happier DREAM, while you are still dreaming. And eventually, they will lead the way to the whole truth, and the way home through the complete undoing of the body. They CAN and DO heal the "body" by healing the mind, and they are not limited by anything in the dream at all. Miracles are supernatural!

This is why Jesus says in the course, "at no time does the body really exist." Some students are very attached to the body and the defense it provides, and do not want to accept that the body doesn't exist. They try to make out that it exists "for real" in the "now", but it doesn't. It can't really exist. It is just a symbol in a dream. A symbol of separation, dreamed by a mind that is dreaming of ways to be separate from the truth. Bodies are defenses against the truth.

What you are is immortal spirit. Nothing can happen to your immortal spirit. Your immortal spirit is already eternal and everlasting. It is your real identity. And your immortal spirit has no need of a body in order to exist. The body is just a temporary fashion accessory. Some bling to wear on your arm. A temporary way to block God and show you form. "Nothing so blinding as sight of form". All forms are the form of error, and all forms are unreal. God has no form and neither does your immortal spirit.

You will live forever because God has given your Spirit eternal life. There is, in truth, no real sickness, and there is nothing wrong with who you really are. You are perfectly innocent and holy and all is forgiven. Your acceptance of this will set you free. A Course in Miracles is all about your resurrection as Christ, the raising of yourself from the dead, and the subsequent salvation of your brother.

What happens when all of the Sons in the Sonship attain Christhood and simultaneously recognize that the entire world and all of the physical universe is an ILLUSION? It will disappear in its entirety!!! That is the end-game of the great awakening, the final conclusion of the atonement, and is what A Course in Miracles is leading us to bring about. The physical universe itself is a symptom of a belief in separation, it is entirely an illusion - a sickness - and it will be undone.

You are a miracle worker. Work some miracles.


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