V. The Ego’s Use of Guilt, P 5
5 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.
This is one of my favorite paragraphs because it cleared up my confusion about sickness. When Jesus talks about healing, I used to wonder if he meant just the healing of the mind. If the body is not real then maybe he was not interested in healing the body, and so maybe I shouldn’t be either. I hated that thought because when the body is sick, real or not, I feel like I am suffering. Surely, God does not want me to suffer.
I see that, yes, it is the healing of my beliefs, the healing of the mind, but in that healing all forms of suffering are healed, including my body. He says here that guilt is the cause of suffering and when the mind is healed of the belief in guilt it will be sane. A sane mind does not project pain and suffering. It does not punish itself. It goes on to explain the reason we punish ourselves through sickness. We think we are guilty and so God is going to punish us. Our magical solution to this is to quickly punish ourselves instead. This only makes it worse because then we feel guilty for usurping a function we believe belongs to God.
What a mess we have gotten ourselves into. Here is my solution based on what I am learning through the Course. I notice I am sick. I realize that I have done this to myself. I must have perceived incorrectly in some way. I ask the Holy Spirit to correct my perceptions. I wait to see how this is going to unfold. Sometimes I am made aware of the specific perception so that I can see my error. Sometimes I simply receive the healing. I know that I have received the correction because I feel peaceful and typically the body heals quickly, sometimes instantaneously.