IV. Healing as Release from Fear P 2
2 A major step in the Atonement plan is to undo error at all levels. Sickness or “not-right-mindedness” is the result of level confusion, because it always entails the belief that what is amiss on one level can adversely affect another. We have referred to miracles as the means of correcting level confusion, for all mistakes must be corrected at the level on which they occur. Only the mind is capable of error. The body can act wrongly only when it is responding to misthought. The body cannot create, and the belief that it can, a fundamental error, produces all physical symptoms. Physical illness represents a belief in magic. The whole distortion that made magic rests on the belief that there is a creative ability in matter which the mind cannot control. This error can take two forms; it can be believed that the mind can miscreate in the body, or that the body can miscreate in the mind. When it is understood that the mind, the only level of creation, cannot create beyond itself, neither type of confusion need occur.
I found this paragraph a little confusing at first so I am going to look at it closely. The first sentence says that the Atonement plan is to undo error at all levels. That is especially reassuring to me because I was, for a long time, confused about that. I thought that there was something wrong with expecting or wanting the effect, or the level of form, to change. Only fairly recently have I realized I was mistaken about this. All levels are to be undone.
The other statement which helps me to understand this idea of correction on all levels is that all errors must be corrected on the level that they occur, and also that only the mind is capable of error. So it is always the mind that must be healed, but the healing of the mind facilitates correction at the level of the physical because all levels are to be corrected. I don’t have to worry about the body because it only responds to the mind, so heal the mind and the body will be healed.
The reason I get sick is because I am confused about this. There is a belief in the mind that the body can be creative and that something can happen within the body or any matter, and that the mind has nothing to do with it. In the past I believed that what happens to the body cannot be controlled by the mind. This is a very deep belief and even as I come out of that belief, it still tends to affect my thinking on more subtle levels.
I still believe that bacteria and viruses, for example, act independently of the mind. This means I must somehow protect the body against them using other forms of matter to do this (antibiotics, chlorine, Lysol, etc.) This completely overlooks the truth that the bacteria and virus are the product of the mind, just as is the body. The mind made the body and made the bacteria. Another way to think of this is that the body is in the mind, the bacteria is in the mind, and the error that matter (bacteria and body) acts on its own and cannot be controlled by mind is the cause of the physical symptoms.
This must be why Spirit has been urging me to remember that everything is in my mind. I have been practicing this with my Ambien, and with my headache pills. I have, through earlier practice watched as a lot of pain disappeared, but I was still taking the pain pills for headaches and sometimes for achiness or muscle tension at the end of the day.
For some reason, I have decided to exempt these things from the idea that pain is not real. Of course, I know this can’t be true, but I just let it slide rather than working with it. Now it seems that it is time for that to change. Also, even though I have proven to myself over and over that I no longer have the symptoms of sleep deprivation, when I have insomnia (again through the practice of these principles) I still return to the idea that I need to sleep and to get a certain amount of sleep.
Very recently the thought came to me to use these two pills as a way to further practice the idea that all things are in my mind and that there is only an illusion of control outside my mind. One night when I was deciding whether I should take an Ambien, I had the clear thought that the body is in my mind and so was the idea that I could not sleep, and that maybe I would like to use this differently, to heal the error in my mind rather than to try to control the effect in the body. The idea extended to the pain pills as well.
I have done a lot of work with the idea that there is no pain and have seen the proof that the pain was not in the body but in my mind, and seen the pain disappear as I learned to believe this. Now I am watching the same thing happen with the sleep problems. I saw a lot of resistance to this idea in my mind but I am doing it anyway.
This is not a stubborn willfulness on my part, and in fact when, one night I felt trepidation about not sleeping and was sitting there thinking something like, “I will not take that pill!” I realized I should take it. I knew this should not become a battle in which the ego was determined to win. That was clearly not the point. I also noticed that night that I felt fear at the idea of not taking the pill. I only barely noticed it so I must have been hiding that from myself. I guess it didn’t fit my idea of the spiritual person I am to feel fear about it.
I am very excited about this next step in remembering the truth. Taking the pills or not taking them is not the point. What I am learning through this practice is that the mind is the only creative power in this world we made, and that it does not create beyond itself. This means that the world in all its various aspects cannot really exist. So I look at the body and the world to see what I have believed that is contrary to this truth. Having seen and acknowledged the error, I return to the cause, which is mind, and forgive the thought that there is any creative power outside my mind. I ask the Holy Spirit to correct my thinking on this.