Day 140 - A Course in Miracles
The ego can and does allow you to regard yourself as supercilious, unbelieving, “light-hearted”, distant, emotionally shallow, callous, uninvolved, and even desperate, BUT NOT REALLY AFRAID. MINIMIZING fear, but NOT its undoing, is the ego’s constant effort, and is indeed the skill at in which it is VERY ingenious. How can it preach separation WITHOUT upholding it through fear, and would you listen to it, if you recognized this IS what it is doing?
YOUR recognition that whatever seems to separate you from God is ONLY fear, regardless of the form it takes, and quite apart from HOW THE EGO WANTS TO YOU TO EXPERIENCE IT, is therefore the basic ego threat. Its dream of autonomy is shaken to its foundation by this awareness. For though you may countenance a false idea of independence, you will NOT accept the cost of fear, IF YOU RECOGNIZE IT. Yet this IS the cost, and the ego CANNOT minimize it. For if you overlook love, you are overlooking YOURSELF, and you MUST fear UNreality BECAUSE YOU HAVE DENIED YOURSELF. By believing that you have successfully attacked truth, YOU ARE BELIEVING THAT ATTACK HAS POWER. Very simply, then, YOU HAVE BECOME AFRAID OF YOURSELF. And no one wills to learn what he believes would DESTROY him.
If the ego’s goal of autonomy COULD be accomplished GOD’s purpose could be DEFEATED, and this IS impossible. Only by learning the lesson of what fear IS, can you finally learn to distinguish the possible from the impossible, and the false from the true. According to the ego’s teaching, ITS goal CAN be accomplished, and GOD’s Purpose can NOT. According to the Holy Spirit’s teaching, ONLY God’s Purpose IS accomplishment, and it is ALREADY accomplished.
God is as dependent on you as you are on Him, because HIS autonomy ENCOMPASSES yours, and is therefore incomplete WITHOUT it. You can only ESTABLISH your autonomy by identifying WITH Him, and FULFILLING YOUR FUNCTION AS IT EXISTS IN TRUTH. The ego believes that to accomplish ITS goal IS happiness. But it is given YOU to know that GOD’s function IS yours, and happiness CANNOT be found apart from your joint will. Recognize only that the ego’s goal, which you have pursued quite diligently, has merely brought you FEAR, and it becomes difficult to maintain that FEAR is happiness.
UPHELD by fear, this IS what the ego would have you believe. Yet God’s Son is not insane, and CANNOT believe it. Let him but RECOGNIZE it, and he will NOT accept it. For only the insane would choose fear IN PLACE of love, and only the insane could believe that love can be gained by ATTACK. But the sane KNOW that only attack COULD produce fear, from which the love of God COMPLETELY protects them.
The ego analyzeds; the Holy Spirit ACCEPTS. The appreciation of wholeness comes ONLY through acceptance, for to analyze MEANS to separate out. The attempt to understand totality by BREAKING IT UP is clearly the characteristically contradictory approach of the ego to everything.
Never forget that the ego believes that power, understanding AND TRUTH lie in separation. And to ESTABLISH this belief it MUST attack. Unaware that the belief cannot BE established, and obsessed with the conviction that separation IS salvation, the ego attacks everything it perceives, by breaking it up into small and disconnected parts, without meaningful relationships, and thus without meaning. The ego will ALWAYS substitute chaos for meaning, for if separation is salvation, harmony is a threat.
The ego’s interpretations of the laws of perception are, and would HAVE to be, the exact opposite of the Holy Spirit’s. The ego FOCUSES ON ERROR, and OVERLOOKS TRUTH. It makes real every mistake it perceives, and with characteristically circular reasoning, concludes that, BECAUSE of the mistake, consistent truth must be meaningless. The next step, then, is obvious. If consistent truth is meaningless, INCONSISTENCY must be true if truth has meaning. Holding error clearly in mind, and protecting what it has made real, the ego proceeds to the next step in its thought system; that error is real, and TRUTH IS ERROR.
The ego makes no attempt to UNDERSTAND this, and it is clearly not understandable. But the ego does make EVERY attempt to DEMONSTRATE it, and THIS it does constantly. Analyzing to ATTACK meaning, the ego DOES succeed in overlooking it, and is left with a series of fragmented perceptions WHICH IT UNIFIES ON BEHALF OF ITSELF. This, then, becomes the universe it perceives and it is this universe which, in turn, becomes its demonstration of its own reality.
Do not underestimate the appeal of its the ego’s demonstrations to those who would listen. Selective perception chooses its witnesses carefully, and its witnesses ARE consistent. The case for insanity IS strong to the insane. For reasoning ends at its beginning, and no thought system transcends its source.
Yet reasoning without meaning CANNOT demonstrate anything, and those who are convinced by it, MUST be deluded. Can the ego teach truly, when it overlooks truth? Can it perceive what it has DENIED? Its witnesses DO attest to its DENIAL, but hardly to WHAT it has denied. The ego looks straight at the Father and does not see Him, for it has denied His Son.
Urtext – Manual for Teachers (How are Healing and Atonement Related? cont.,)
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 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. How could the mind be returned to the Holy Spirit unless the body is killed? And who would want salvation at such a price?
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.
Workbook - L e s s o n 140
Only salvation can be said to cure.1 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.
2 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.
3 The happy dreams the Holy Spirit brings are different from the dreaming of the world, where one can merely dream he is awake. The dreams forgiveness lets the mind perceive do not induce another form of sleep, so that the dreamer dreams another dream. His happy dreams are heralds of the dawn of truth upon the mind. They lead from sleep to gentle waking, so that dreams are gone. And thus they cure for all eternity.
4 Atonement heals with certainty and cures all sickness. For the mind which understands that sickness can be nothing but a dream is not deceived by forms the dream may take. Sickness where guilt is absent cannot come, for it is but another form of guilt. 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.
5 Peace be to you who have been cured in God and not in idle dreams. For cure must come from holiness, and holiness can not be found where sin is cherished. God abides in holy temples. He is barred where sin has entered. Yet there is no place where He is not. And therefore sin can have no home in which to hide from His beneficence. There is no place where holiness is not, and nowhere sin and sickness can abide.
6 This is the thought that cures. It does not make distinctions among unrealities. Nor does it seek to heal what is not sick, unmindful where the need for healing is. This is no magic. It is merely an appeal to truth which cannot fail to heal and heal forever. It is not a thought which judges an illusion by its size, its seeming gravity, or anything that is related to the form it takes. It merely focuses on what it is and knows that no illusion can be real.
7 Let us not try today to seek to cure what cannot suffer sickness. Healing must be sought but where it is and then applied to what is sick so that it can be cured. There is no remedy the world provides that can effect a change in anything. The mind that brings illusions to the truth is really changed. There is no change but this. For how can one illusion differ from another but in attributes that have no substance, no reality, no core, and nothing that is truly different?
8 Today we seek to change our minds about the source of sickness, for we seek a cure for all illusions, not another shift among them. We will try today to find the source of healing, which is in our minds because our Father placed it there for us. It is not further from us than ourselves. It is as near to us as our own thoughts—so close it is impossible to lose. We need but seek it, and it must be found.
9 We will not be misled today by what appears to us as sick. We go beyond appearances today and reach the source of healing from which nothing is exempt. We will succeed to the extent to which we realize that there can never be a meaningful distinction made between what is untrue and equally untrue. Here there are no degrees and no beliefs that what does not exist is truer in some forms than others. All of them are false and can be cured because they are not true.
10 So do we lay aside our amulets, our charms and medicines, our chants and bits of magic in whatever form they took. We will be still and listen for the Voice of healing which will cure all ills as one, restoring saneness to the Son of God. No voice but this can cure. Today we hear a single Voice which speaks to us of truth where all illusions end, and peace returns to the eternal quiet home of God.
11 We waken hearing Him and let Him speak to us five minutes as the day begins and end the day by listening again five minutes more before we go to sleep. Our only preparation is to let our interfering thoughts be laid aside, not separately, but all of them as one. They are the same. We have no need to make them different and thus delay the time when we can hear our Father speak to us. We hear Him now. We come to Him today.
12 With nothing in our hands to which we cling, with lifted hearts and listening minds we pray:
13 Only salvation can be said to cure.
Speak to us, Father, that we may be healed.
14 And we will feel salvation cover us with soft protection and with peace so deep that no illusion can disturb our minds nor offer proof to us that it is real. This will we learn today. And we will say our prayer for healing hourly and take a minute as the hour strikes to hear the answer to our prayer be given us as we attend in silence and in joy. This is the day when healing comes to us. This is the day when separation ends and we remember Who we really are.
365 Days Through A Course in Miracles
A Daily Miracle Lesson
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