V. The Function of the Miracle Worker, P 8
8 The fear of healing arises in the end from an unwillingness to accept unequivocally that healing is necessary. What the physical eye sees is not corrective, nor can error be corrected by any device that can be seen physically. As long as you believe in what your physical sight tells you, your attempts at correction will be misdirected. The real vision is obscured, because you cannot endure to see your own defiled altar. But since the altar has been defiled, your state becomes doubly dangerous unless it is perceived.
There is a reason it is so important that I look with the Holy Spirit at the mistaken thoughts in my mind, in order for them to be healed. Jesus explains here in this paragraph that I don’t fully accept that healing is necessary. I don’t want to see how badly I have defiled the altar so I refuse to look at my mind, but not looking does not mean the altar is not defiled and so I remain unhealed.
At first, I hid from my mistaken thoughts by projecting blame onto everyone and everything else. This seemed perfectly normal to me. In fact, when I first became aware of this, it was hard for me to see how the cause could be anything but outside me. It just seemed so obvious to me that it was my husband’s fault that I was miserable. Jeez, anyone who would just look at his behavior could see why I was miserable.
I wanted to believe what I read in the Course, but it seemed self-evident that the cause of my unhappiness lay in the world. What I did see clearly was that if the Course was wrong and I was right, then I was doomed because there was no hope. I could not change other people and I could not control the world. My hope lay in seeing things differently so I gave more willingness to that, and I stayed vigilant in looking at my mistaken thoughts instead of looking for people to blame.
At first looking at the defiled altar was hard and I was resistant because of the fear that God would condemn me for what I found there. It’s funny when I think about it. It seems that I believed that if I didn’t look at what was in my mind, and if I didn’t take responsibility for it, then I was safe from God. I was miserable, but at least God would not know what I had done. If I couldn’t see it, then God couldn’t see it, seemed to be my strange logic.
Because of consistent practice, I have become nearly fearless in looking for mistaken thoughts. I see now that instead of being condemned for them as I had thought before, just the opposite is happening. I am being healed. This is wonderful motivation for going further and looking more deeply. When the body is in pain, I realize that it could only happen because I believe in pain. This must be a mistaken belief because Jesus says that pain is not real.
So I ask that my mind be healed of this belief and the Holy Spirit shows me other beliefs in my mind that are related to this one. I see that I am using sickness to defend against God. I am, in effect, saying that because I feel pain, and pain is not of God, then I must be separate from God. Maybe God does not even exist. Through my pain, I have protected myself from God by denying His existence, and the proof is in my suffering.
That was a very scary thought and while I had read about it in the Course some time ago, I have only recently been willing to accept that this was my plan all along. Once I was willing to really look, to accept responsibility for the plan, I became willing to let it go, and my mind was healed.
This is a very big part of ego’s plan to remain separate from God and so I seem to be doing this in layers. I look at the thought and ask for healing and I see proof of the healing, but then I pick it up again, perhaps in some new form, and it seems like I have to start all over. But not really. What I notice is that the next time, there is not so much reluctance to look and letting it go is easier. Each time I do this I move through the process more quickly and with less resistance.
So my first step was to become aware that I was hiding from God behind my pain and suffering. Then I had to become willing to look at the hiding places in my mind, the thoughts, and beliefs that were the barriers against God, and be willing to give them up. I had to step out of hiding and stand before God, naked of my protections. Once I did this and saw that I was not punished or condemned for my error, it was just a matter of practice as I chipped away at the ego’s defenses.
What I then noticed is that the ego mind was getting sneakier. It was making exceptions to the rule, holding out certain areas in my life saying that these areas are special, and the rules do not apply. There were areas in my life that I was willing to see differently, and where I did choose differently, my experience changed.
For instance, I could pretty easily see that I was projecting my self-loathing onto others when I experienced them as rejecting me. I was willing to see that unconscious guilt was the true source of my feelings of unworthiness and not the other person. As I became willing to let that be healed, I began to notice that people no longer reject me. I was no longer rejectable in my own mind, and so I did not have that experience in my life.
I began to see that when I experienced sadness that I was doing it to myself. I could see that the sadness was in my mind, and then took form in the world. I was sad because I missed God, and sad because I was living as if God was not my Source, but then that thought would lead me directly to the fear of God that I spend my life trying to avoid. So it was better to project that sadness as circumstances which explained it away and proved that I was not the wrong-doer (that I had not rejected God) but the victim. Better to be the victim than the target of an angry God, seemed to be my logic.
Once I became willing to look at my thoughts about this and then to see it differently, I was willing to let this be healed. There were many thoughts like this, each one coming into my awareness through the circumstances of my life. As each one was looked at unflinchingly, it was let go and since the thought was no longer there and so there was no longer a need to hide it, the projection disappeared as well, and my life became happier and more peaceful. That only makes sense.
Here is where the ego got really sneaky. As I was studying the Course, the ego was studying right along with me. The ego learned the language and uses it to confuse the situation. I bet most Course students have noticed this. I said that there were certain areas in my life that the ego would make special, idols that were untouchable. The way this was done was through using the spiritual language of the Course to confuse the mind.
An example is healing of the body. Nouk Sanchez, in an excerpt from her new book, The End of Death, talked about this, and I highly recommend it. This excerpt can be read on her web site. This is the link: http://undoing-the-ego.org/noukblog/?p=359. I’m not going to go into this too deeply right now, but here is how it played out for me. I would get sick and would be willing to look at the belief in sickness in my mind. I could even accept that this belief was just another defense against God. After all, how could God be real if pain and suffering are real?
Where the ego confused me was in seeing the effects of the mind healed of this belief. The ego would say that the body is not real so I should not be concerned with it, and to do so would be to make it more real. I should have caught on to this much sooner, but the words sounded right, and there is still fear of God in my mind, so I went along with the ego for a long time.
But eventually, the Holy Spirit found a work-around for me. He helped me to by-pass the ego thinking through guiding me to specific Lessons and to a study of the Manual for Teachers, and also a study of The Song of Prayer, and now a slow and careful study of the Text. Slowly, I began to see that my thinking was screwed up and that excluding the body (and certain other areas) from the miracle just didn’t make sense no matter how you dressed it up with spiritual language.
If the mind is sick it will project a sick world. If the mind is healed it will project a healed world. There are no exceptions to this and to make false exceptions is just another ego attempt to make separation real. By convincing me that the body should be excluded from the miracle, the ego was ensuring that I reserve some part of the illusion, and even one small thing held onto keeps imprisoned in my illusions. God is whole and I cannot know Wholeness if I still cling to separation.
Excluding the body from miracles also served to confuse me about the healing. I would feel peaceful when I turned the belief over to the Holy Spirit. I always feel peaceful when I do that. But then the body would be sick and I would be fearful that I had failed, or worse, that God had failed or that God didn’t really love me. Then I would see that thought and could not reconcile it with the Course and so decide that I was not supposed to include the body. But then I was making special and separate so how could that be right? You see how tangled the mind becomes when we allow the ego to join us on our spiritual path?
The cause of the world are the thoughts in my mind. Change these thoughts and the world changes. No exceptions. No special circumstances. If it is true for anything, it is true for all things. I choose not to make a false idol of sickness. As my mind heals sickness of the body becomes exposed for the fraud it is. If I slip back into false thinking again and this is projected onto the body, then it is just another opportunity to remember the truth for us all.