Introduction, P 3
3 The journey to the cross should be the last “useless journey.” Do not dwell upon it, but dismiss it as accomplished. If you can accept it as your own last useless journey, you are also free to join my resurrection. Until you do so your life is indeed wasted. It merely re-enacts the separation, the loss of power, the futile attempts of the ego at reparation, and finally the crucifixion of the body, or death. Such repetitions are endless until they are voluntarily given up. Do not make the pathetic error of “clinging to the old rugged cross.” The only message of the crucifixion is that you can overcome the cross. Until then you are free to crucify yourself as often as you choose. This is not the gospel I intended to offer you. We have another journey to undertake, and if you will read these lessons carefully they will help prepare you to undertake it.
The useless journey or the journey to the cross is death in its many forms. It is sickness, loss, lack, hatred, anger, fear, judgment, jealousy, and depression. Can you think of any other forms of suffering that you choose? All suffering is a form of death. Then, of course, there is the death of the body, the coup de gras, the final proof that I am not what God created, that I am indeed my own creation. The journey through suffering and finally to my death is my ultimate victory against God.
Jesus overcame death and in doing so it is done. All that is required of me is that I accept this gift and then it is done for me, too. His was meant to be the last useless journey, done for all of us and done for the last time. Instead, we have chosen sacrifice (a form of death). We have chosen to follow in his footsteps, endlessly reenacting the crucifixion while rejecting the resurrection which proved that death is not real. It proved that the ego/body/ cannot overcome God’s Will.
I say “we” because it is what we all do when we buy into sickness, suffering, and death as inevitable parts of life. Here is what I used to do and think that finally convinced me that I had been embracing the useless journey rather than accepting the gift of Atonement. I would see someone suffering and thought to pray for that person, and then wondered how I should pray.
They may have been sick and I would think I should pray for their healing. But then I wonder if it is my place to do this. What if their sickness is part of their lessons? Should I even pray for their body? Would that be reinforcing the idea they are a body and setting us both back on our journey? What if I pray for them and they don’t want to be healed? Should I overcome their own will to be sick with my will they be healed?
In my confusion, I had once again chosen a form of death. I had chosen to suffer as I turn my back on my brother. I had chosen fear over love. What was I really saying as I hesitated to heal? Was I saying that sickness is the will of God? Was I saying that sickness in someone else is not my business, not my job to heal? Is there someone else? Or is there but one Son of God appearing as many?
The sick body I see, wherever I see it, is a symbol of death. It is a projection from a sick mind. When I see a sick body, I see a need for healing, and I pray for that healing. Because the cause of the projection is the sick mind, it is the mind that needs prayer. The body is a neutral thing that will reflect only what is in the mind, so it does not need my healing prayers. Once the mind is healed, it will reflect a healed body.
In A Course in Miracles, we are told that if a person is not ready to accept their healing, the healing will stand back until it can be seen as a gift. Healing will not impose itself on an unwilling mind. But the mind will inevitably accept the healing because the idea of a separate, personal will is as much an illusion as is the body. The Will of God will prevail because it already has. The healing will wait until the mind is healed of its fear enough so that it can accept what is already done. I need not fear that I will impose healing on someone.
One may believe that one prays for a sick body, or a financial ruin, or a shattered relationship, but always healing is of the mind that projected these beliefs. In reality, the prayer for healing is always the prayer that God’s Will be recognized as done. There is no form of suffering that reflects God’s Will. I will not hesitate to invoke healing for my brother or myself because I would not leave them or myself on the cross. That has been done for us. Let us not suffer any longer than necessary. Let us accept his gift and follow Jesus into resurrection and finally into ascension. That is the journey Jesus intends for us.