I. Principles of Miracles, P 20
20 Miracles reawaken the awareness that the spirit, not the body, is the altar of truth. This is the recognition that leads to the healing power of the miracle.
Sometimes I get bad headaches and when that happens my first thought is, “What triggered this headache?” I wonder if it could be something I ate or sitting for too long at the computer. I used to try to figure it out and would keep a journal of what I had been doing when it occurred. I was making the body the altar of truth, looking to the body for the cause and for the solution, looking to the body to tell me the truth. What a joke I was playing on myself! As if the body, which is an illusion, could be the cause of anything.
Now when I have a headache, I might still, out of habit, wonder what caused it but I quickly pop back into reality. I caused it. I remember the power of decision. I know that I decided on this.
No one suffers pain except his choice elects this state for him. L 152
I am now aware that spirit is the altar of truth.
Lesson 190 says that pain is not real and one day I decided that this must be true. It only makes sense that if it is not part of God then it cannot exist. I began to practice this idea every time I experienced pain. Eventually my practice led to greater conviction and I began to realize that long term pain that I had experienced for years was no longer there.
As I had been doing my practice, I would ask the Holy Spirit to come into my mind (join with me) and heal it, or undo the ego belief there. Because I really want this, the prayer is answered and as I became ready it began to manifest in my human experience and became apparent even there. While still in the middle of the process I would take medication that I had given the power to relieve the pain, but that did not heal me.
Even if there were a cure for headaches they would only be a way of allowing a frightened mind to accept the miracle, because medicine does not heal without our permission. It is only at the level of spirit that healing occurs. I have experienced the miracle and I will never again be able to believe in the body as the altar of truth.
I still get headaches occasionally, or other pain because I have not completely let go of the value I have placed in sickness, but I also never believe it has anything to do with the body except that the body is the screen onto which I project that belief. The body is never again going to be the altar of truth for me. This is good because as the lesson says, “This is the recognition that leads to the healing power of the miracle.”
PS: The body is the home of the ego, that which so clearly represents separation. In this world we have elevated the body and so completely identified with it as ourselves that most of us do not think of it as an illusion. Even when learning differently, for a long time we will think of ourselves as having three distinct parts, body mind and soul. This is just another form of separation.
What I see in this paragraph is a movement away from body altogether. I am hallucinating a body for a specific purpose, but it is not real in any sense of the word. When I believe in the body it is my altar of truth. As with the headache, I go to it to find my answers. But knowing what I know now, that I am spirit, and nothing else, I see that spirit is the altar of truth and that is where I go for my answers these days.