IV. Error and the Ego, P 4
4 Right-mindedness is not to be confused with the knowing mind, because it is applicable only to right perception. You can be right-minded or wrong-minded, and even this is subject to degrees, clearly demonstrating that knowledge is not involved. The term “right-mindedness” is properly used as the correction for “wrong-mindedness,” and applies to the state of mind that induces accurate perception. It is miracle-minded because it heals misperception, and this is indeed a miracle in view of how you perceive yourself.
Jesus is going to a lot of trouble to help me understand the difference between perception and knowledge. He wants me to keep in mind that the miracle of mind healing is still in the realm of perception. No matter how clear my mind becomes, how right minded it is, it is not the same as the knowing mind.
He points out that as my mind is healed, or corrected, I can be both wrong-minded and right-minded, and that this can occur in varying degrees, therefore it cannot be knowledge, which is whole and certain and does not vary. But, as he points out, even being right-minded is a miracle. We really are a mess.
I definitely relate to that. Sometimes I feel so clear about myself, who I am and what it all means, then the next moment I am Myron and the world is real and I am trying to make it all better. Then I remember that it is the mind that needs correction, not the illusion. I go back and forth with this all the time.
The only way I know I am making any progress is that it takes me less time now to remember the truth and I stay right-minded for increasing lengths of time. Obviously, though, what I think I know, though closer to truth than ever before, is not knowledge. If it were knowledge, if I knew, I would not forget. I would not move from my certainty to the illusion, even if I did come back quickly.
An example of this is when I think about my younger son. He has been having physical challenges for some time now and sometimes I have no trouble seeing him as he truly is. Jesus says that at no moment does the body exist and I know this is true. The suffering body of Toby is not my son. In spite of appearances, in spite of what my eyes show me, Toby is exactly as God created him.
But then I am with him when he gets a treatment and the body I identify as my son is suffering so much pain that I completely forget the truth. My mind sees only the pain and suffering and my heart breaks for him. At that moment I am right in the middle of the illusion and I can’t see anything else. All I want is for him not to hurt anymore. I would gladly accept a better medicine, a different doctor, another treatment. I would beg God for his relief if I could, but I don’t believe in that kind of God anymore so I can’t go there.
Now after all the mind healing that has taken place for me, I know that this is not right. I know that no matter how much pain I am in as I watch my son suffer, that this, too, is an illusion. I know it even as I sit here sobbing at the memory of that experience. I thank the Holy Spirit for helping me to see that this remains unhealed in my mind. I ask that He heal this belief in the world of suffering that I see.
For this to be a real prayer, I must set aside what I think I know. I must set aside the belief that the pain I see in my son is real. It is amazingly hard to do this. It sounds so easy, and yet I see myself cling to the picture of pain and suffering and realize that I am afraid to let go of it. It almost feels like a betrayal to my son to know that he is not really in pain because pain cannot be real. But I know enough to understand that I cannot heal him if I am an unhealed healer.
“So, Holy Spirit, I stand here before you, open and willing. I set aside all I think I know and all I think I want. I invite you into my mind and ask that you correct my thinking. I ask that you heal me. I don’t know what the outcome will look like, and I let go of what I think it should look like. I ask for the Atonement and I accept the Atonement in this situation.”
It is easy to see how my mind has been healed to the degree that I no longer lose sight of my purpose and no longer completely lose sight of the truth, but I do step out of joy and into pain at times. It is a matter of moving back and forth and it’s a matter of varying degrees of acceptance, so though there has been healing it is not complete and it is not knowledge.
I am not ungrateful for what I have. When I think of my life before A Course in Miracles, I know that the degree of mind healing I have experienced is indeed a miracle. My perception is being corrected and I am so grateful. I know that knowledge will come when the perception has stabilized. Surely that would be Heaven.