VII. Cause and Effect, P 2
2 I cannot let you leave your mind unguarded, or you will not be able to help me. Miracle working entails a full realization of the power of thought in order to avoid miscreation. Otherwise a miracle will be necessary to set the mind itself straight, a circular process that would not foster the time collapse for which the miracle was intended. The miracle worker must have genuine respect for true cause and effect as a necessary condition for the miracle to occur.
Again, Jesus emphasizes that it is our thoughts that cause the effect (the world) and it is our thoughts that initiate the miracle (the undoing of the world). As I watch my thoughts and ask the Holy Spirit to heal my mind, I see how true this is. I notice something happening in my mind that is obviously ego thinking and I realize that the resultant fear and guilt are caused by these thoughts.
When I decide I want to have the belief behind those thoughts healed, it all goes away as if it had never happened and I return to peace. Sometimes when the thoughts have been especially virulent, and have caused a lot of fear in my mind, I am absolutely amazed at the process. It feels like magic and yet, it is the opposite of magic.
I no longer doubt that the problem is in my mind, but at one time I still had trouble seeing how this could be true at certain times. I looked at the effects as proof that the problem was real, instead of seeing that the thought produced the effect. I just couldn’t make the jump from believing the story to understanding that I was the maker of the story.
During this period I found The Work (Byron Katie) to be very helpful. Through this work, I learned to question my thoughts and not to believe them simply because they were in my mind. I learned, through turning them around, that these thoughts did not have a fixed meaning and that I could see them differently and when I did, I would have a different experience of them. It is still helpful to me when my mind becomes confused. That one question, “is it true?” is often enough to snap me back to reality.
When I was ready, I realized that what I was reading in the Course was telling me the same thing, but it was telling me more. Learning to see the situation differently was a step in the right direction, but it was only a step. Jesus wants us to understand how very powerful the mind is. It not only determines how we experience things, but it determines what we experience. We make this world up with our thoughts. That’s a little scary, isn’t it? That’s why we hide this power from ourselves. It scares us because of what we have done with our thoughts.
We can make a different choice from the ones that make up the world of pain, suffering, and death. The mind that made this can make other things as well, and eventually will remember Itself and stop making up stories and return to true creation. Each of us reading, studying and practicing the Course right now is in the process of doing this. We are in the process of waking up to our truth. We will practice on the dream world we made and when we have brought that world into alignment with truth, we will enjoy it a bit and then let it go. Then we will return to our true vocation, which is creating alongside God.
The way all of this happens is through the simple process of watching our minds for the errors in our thinking and accepting correction. Because we are confused about reality we need help with this. We cannot undo the ego from within the ego, so we have been given the Holy Spirit Who works from outside the ego. His function is to undo what we have made. He will respond to our slightest invitation to do so. As we watch the seeming magic of pain and suffering dissolve into peace and joy, we become more and more motivated to ask for His help. And our world begins to transform.
Holy Spirit, I would not forget my function today. I would remember my single purpose as I guard my thoughts and ask that you heal my mind.