V. The Function of the Miracle Worker, P 6
6 It should be emphasized again that the body does not learn any more than it creates. As a learning device it merely follows the learner, but if it is falsely endowed with self-initiative, it becomes a serious obstruction to the very learning it should facilitate. Only the mind is capable of illumination. Spirit is already illuminated and the body in itself is too dense. The mind, however, can bring its illumination to the body by recognizing that it is not the learner, and is therefore unamenable to learning. The body is, however, easily brought into alignment with a mind that has learned to look beyond it toward the light.
Jesus is going to a lot of trouble to help me understand the position and purpose of the body in our experience. He wants me to know that the body does not create. Accepting that this is true helps me to realize that if I experience sickness in the body then I must be projecting it there because the body cannot create sickness.
He is telling me that the body does not learn. It is a learning device, but is not the learner. Here is how I understand this. I project a body. This body is not real, but is just a thought form. I use this body to experience the world. Whatever beliefs I hold in my mind are projected onto the world and onto the body, which is part of the world, and it is there that I experience these beliefs as if they were actually real.
Obviously, expecting the body to learn would be like expecting my hammer to learn. The hammer is an excellent device for driving nails or removing them, but I cannot teach it to be something else. The body is an excellent device for experiencing my thoughts, but it cannot be taught to be something else. It can never be anything but a thought form that reflects my beliefs.
If my body is sick and I take it to the doctor and give it medicine, and then the body gets well, here is what I think happened. I think that “I” was victimized by sickness from something outside myself, or by the body itself. Then I think that something else outside of me caused the body to heal. I then try to protect this fragile home of mine by shielding it from all attacks. I spend my life in service to the body.
Here is what really happened. This body is a mirror to my mind. Just as a mirror faithfully reflects the image of the one standing before it, my body reflects the thoughts standing before it. When the mind is filled with guilty thoughts, those thoughts become reflected in the body and the world. When the mind is filled with fear thoughts, fear becomes reflected in the body and the world.
When we are afraid and guilty, we expect punishment and feel we deserve punishment. We project (or reflect) that expectation onto the world and the body and it appears on the body as disease or, we have an accident and suffer from that. Reflected on the world, we find ourselves in situations that are difficult, or relationships that are painful. All of these very real looking experiences are simply reflections of the belief in guilt and fear held in the mind.
Would it make any sense at all to try to get rid of the mirrored reflection? When I put my make up on this morning, if I smear my lipstick, I am not going to try to repair it by wiping the mirror clean. The problem isn’t in the mirror even though that is where I see it. The same idea works for sickness in the body, or any problem in the world. The body is just a mirror image. You can’t fix the disease or a painful situation by wiping at the mirror (the body).
The solution is to recognize the body for the learning device it is. The body shows us a clear picture of the thoughts we hold in our minds and the effects they have on our happiness. If the body is sick, this shows me that I believe I am guilty and I am afraid that I will be punished for that guilt. The source of my guilt is the belief that I have separated myself from God. This holds true for any form the guilt takes; relationship problems, money problems, any problem I think I have in the world is just a reflection of my belief that I am guilty.
The Atonement is the solution. The Atonement undoes the belief we are guilty. It restores the mind to its original sinless state. All that I need to do is accept the Atonement. I must take my eyes off the mirror images. This means I stop believing the body and the world I see is real. This means I stop trying to fix the problem where it is reflected, rather than where it is. The problem is not in the world or in my body. It is in my mind and this is what needs to be healed. A healed mind will reflect a healed body and a healed world. A mirror can only reflect what is standing before it.
Here is the prayer I am using so often now. It was adapted from what the angel told Eban Alexander in his near death experience, and from a prayer I learned from Barbara Griffin. It helps me let go of the idea that I am guilty and need to suffer for that guilt. It helps me to remember that while that thought is in my mind, I do not have to believe it or keep it. This prayer is equally effective when I am praying for others.
God loves me deeply and forever.
There is nothing to fear.
I can never do anything wrong. I am innocent now and forever.
This fearful situation in which I find myself (or someone else) was done by me, but now I would choose again. Holy Spirit, please come into my mind and undo what I have done.