VII. Creating versus the Self-Image, P 6
6 The branch that bears no fruit will be cut off and will wither away. Be glad! The light will shine from the true Foundation of life, and your own thought system will stand corrected. It cannot stand otherwise. You who fear salvation are choosing death. Life and death, light and darkness, knowledge and perception, are irreconcilable. To believe that they can be reconciled is to believe that God and His Son can not. Only the oneness of knowledge is free of conflict. Your kingdom is not of this world because it was given you from beyond this world. Only in this world is the idea of an authority problem meaningful. The world is not left by death but by truth, and truth can be known by all those for whom the Kingdom was created, and for whom it waits.
I absolutely believe every word in the Course. Either it is all true or none of it is to be trusted. When I first read this, and other passages like it, I believed that the world is not real and that I will eventually forgive it and return to God. I believed it, but my understanding was uncertain. My mind made exceptions to what I understood, and simply would not understand all Jesus was telling me. And while I had no doubt that I would wake up, I could not envision that happening anytime soon. Of course, now I understand that all of this doubt was just a delaying tactic. It was my defense against God.
I am not feigning ignorance anymore. At least, I am not doing so as much as I used to. Now when it seems confusing to me, or when I can’t seem to let go, I am fully aware that it is by design, even if I don’t understand my own reluctance. I would swear to you that all I want is to wake up, and yet, here I am feeling frustrated that I am fighting for the right to be miserable, just so I can keep the story going a little longer. I don’t understand myself.
I am awake enough, though, to know that this is possible and is not that far away. I am awake enough that no matter what the circumstances show me, I know they are not true, but not awake enough to disregard them in every case. I still get afraid, feel guilty and get angry. The difference is that I watch myself do this and know its crazy. I know to ask for the Atonement and I accept it to the degree I am able. I never, ever believe my anger, fear and guilt are justified. No matter how upset I may be I never stop listening to the Holy Spirit.
I used to have doubts and uncertainties, but now it is more like confusion. I have been working on food and body issues, and it is really kicking my butt. It seems that I have some very fixed ideas about food and the body. I am having trouble letting those go. I don’t doubt I am wrong and I don’t doubt that I will succeed, but I get confused about how I am to see this, and I also notice that I am quick to feel guilty when I don’t succeed. Of course this means I am judging the situation and judging myself. So I know I still believe in guilt and I still cling to judgment.
Most of the time I am very happy to see what needs to be healed so that I can ask for the Atonement in that situation, but then at times, I make myself guilty instead. I catch it and forgive myself, but sometimes it takes awhile. I also know that the confusion is not real, not because this is so complicated, but because I don’t want to accept it and that is really frustrating. I feel like I am at war with myself.
Part of this correction the Holy Spirit is helping me with is realizing that the body is not “out there” but in my mind, and therefore anything that happens is only happening in my mind. The emphasis here is on “only.” In no case is my body affected by something I put into it or do for it. That is just the way that I project my beliefs onto the body, the story I use to make it feel real to me.
I have been applying this to pain, sickness, medicine, and most recently weight gain. One of the medicines I stopped taking was my Cenestin, which is used for hormone replacement, and at first everything was fine. Then I started having some symptoms such as trouble sleeping and weight gain.
A couple of days ago, I got myself into a state over whether I should start taking it again or not. I could not decide and I noticed I felt guilty at the thought of taking it again, and I felt afraid that I would be going backward, that stopping the pill was forward motion and starting it again would keep me from waking up. It sounds silly as I put it into words but, really, in retrospect I see that is the meaning I was giving it.
When I saw the guilt and fear I knew I was doing something wrong. I was confused about the whole thing and so I sat with Jesus and asked him to help me. I surrendered. I stopped trying to figure it out myself and asked what I should do. This is the message I got.
Jesus: Myron, stop scaring yourself. It does not matter if you take the pill or not. It doesn’t matter if you go back to dieting. You are innocent regardless of any decision you make. Your immortal soul is not in danger. It does not matter what you eat or what magic you use. Just do this: When you diet, remind yourself that nothing that goes into the mouth of the body has any affect on it. It is only your mind that can affect the body.
Every time you take your pill, remind yourself that this pill only does what you want it to do. It has no power outside your mind. It does what you believe it will do, and nothing else. You could just as easily say what you want and have it occur without these “helpers.” Go on the diet and take the pill. Then ask for healing of the mind that believes it is guilty for believing it needs the diet and the pill. Forgive yourself for wanting to be thinner, and forgive yourself for caring how your body looks.
You have become confused because you started believing that you need to change your own mind. Instead, go back to noticing, without guilt, without concern of any kind, what the ego mind wants. Notice the guilt and the fear when it arises. When you notice these things, ask the Holy Spirit to heal your mind, and accept His healing.
That is all that is required of you. You have done this many times and you know that it is effective. You also know that it is the only thing you have ever done that has worked for you. There is no hierarchy of illusions and you are not guiltier for your imagined sin of dieting and taking medicine, no more than you are for anything you do.
As soon as I heard this message, my mind cleared and what Jesus said became obvious to me. I don’t know why I forgot that, and why I thought this one thing should be different from any of the other healings I have experienced. I went back to the process knowing that I did not have to stop myself from doing anything, and that as I allowed my mind to be healed, whatever needed to be done in the world, would be done. It would not be an effort or a struggle, because I would want it.
It is only when my mind is conflicted that fear and guilt arise and it is only when I am conflicted in what I want that I become confused. What happened after I stopped trying to heal myself, and listened to his words is that I became very calm and peaceful. That is the miracle. I did nothing to make myself peaceful except to ask for healing. The peace was just there.