V. The Function of the Miracle Worker, P 1
1 Before miracle workers are ready to undertake their function in this world, it is essential that they fully understand the fear of release. Otherwise they may unwittingly foster the belief that release is imprisonment, a belief that is already very prevalent. This misperception arises in turn from the belief that harm can be limited to the body. That is because of the underlying fear that the mind can hurt itself. None of these errors is meaningful, because the miscreations of the mind do not really exist. This recognition is a far better protective device than any form of level confusion, because it introduces correction at the level of the error. It is essential to remember that only the mind can create, and that correction belongs at the thought level. To amplify an earlier statement, spirit is already perfect and therefore does not require correction. The body does not exist except as a learning device for the mind. This learning device is not subject to errors of its own, because it cannot create. It is obvious, then, that inducing the mind to give up its miscreations is the only application of creative ability that is truly meaningful.
Well, if I had not already come to this conclusion, this paragraph would have blown me out of the water! Let’s look at this sentence:
None of these errors is meaningful because the miscreations of the mind do not really exist.
This is the bottom line. The mind’s miscreations do not actually exist. These miscreations include the body. That’s right, the body that most of us are still so closely identified. The body does not exist. I think I know this, then some little thing happens or some stray thought betrays me, and I realize I still believe in the body.
Jesus has told us that the body is merely part of our experience in the physical world, but he also says that it is almost impossible to deny its existence in the world and that we should not try to do so. In this world, I have a body, but this does not in any way make the body real. Just because I have thought of a body and then projected onto the world so that I can experience it, does not mean it actually exists. No matter how real it looks and feels, no matter how vivid the experience of it, no matter how strongly I identify myself to it, the body is still an illusion.
Because I am ready to undo that identification with body the Holy Spirit is helping me one step at a time. I think it began in earnest when He directed me to study Lesson 190 and to practice what I learned there. I began to let go of the idea that pain is real. In this lesson, Jesus tells us that it is our thoughts that cause us pain. He says pain cannot be real because it is not part of God. Holy Spirit had me use this idea every time the body experienced pain.
After doing this for months, with extraordinary results, I began to realize that if pain is not real because God is not pain, then guilt cannot be real either. All that awful guilt that seemed so impossible to give up must be just a thought in my mind, too. So I continued the study until, very slowly, guilt began to loosen its grip on me. Or more accurately stated, I began to loosen my grip on guilt. It is amazing to me that pain and guilt are not real, and yet it is now clear to me that they are only thoughts I choose to believe. I but do this to myself.
Now the Holy Spirit has me working more directly on the idea of the body itself as an illusion. The other work was leading to this. How else do we feel pain and guilt except through the body? Even emotional pain is possible only if I believe in the body. Bodies are the symbol of the idea of separation. They are the way we experience separation, and separation is the cause of suffering of every kind.
As I have mentioned before, the Holy Spirit guided me to set aside two of my favorite magic potions, the sleep aid, and the headache pill. I can do this because I know that He is not asking me to sacrifice them or to suffer for God. He is asking me to use this experience to remember that the body is not real and that the problems with the body are equally unreal.
If the body is a thought in the mind that is projected onto the world, then the ailments of the body can only be more thoughts. And no matter how much I project, the actual location is not the world, but my mind, so the location of the ailment can also only be my mind. How can a pill heal an illusion except that the mind that miscreated both, decided on that solution? I made both the problem and the solution and neither one truly exist.
This idea is so clear to me that you would think it would be a snap to do this, but, alas, the mind really wants to keep its illusions in place. Last night I thought about taking an Ambien because I wanted to go to sleep early so I could get up early, and I did not feel sleepy enough to do that. Then I became nervous thinking this might mean I would not be able to go to sleep.
I considered it with my thinking mind (always a mistake) and soon I was confused about the whole thing. It was a brief, but total confusion, in which I forgot that the body cannot decide it is sleepy or not sleepy. It cannot have insomnia. Only the mind can do this. The body has no creative powers. I may as well believe that my hammer can decide what it can do or not do. The body is a tool that responds to the beliefs held in the mind.
As my mind began to clear, I forgot all about the Ambien. It would be silly to take a pill made to put the body to sleep when my mind was the actual source of sleepiness in the body. Then I noticed another thought, this one from Spirit. I was actually keeping myself awake when I could have gone to bed earlier. I realized that I do this all the time. I set myself up to “need” the pill. The pill is important to the ego mind because it reinforces the idea that the body is real and is creative. This keeps the ego in place and in charge.
This practice the Holy Spirit has me doing is very important. It has nothing to do with taking pills or not taking them. He is using this practice to help me break the bond I have with the physical self, to remember who I am. In this step of the process, he is helping me to do so by showing me how to induce the mind to give up its miscreations.