I. Principles of Miracles, P 23
23 Miracles rearrange perception and place all levels in true perspective. This is healing because sickness comes from confusing the levels.
Sickness comes from confusing the levels. I think that means we experience sickness because we are confused about what we are. Very simply, there are at least two levels, mind and body. When we believe we are a body it follows that sickness will occur in the body. When we remember that we are mind, pure awareness, it will not be possible to be sick.
Healing is affected by this confusion of levels as well. The idea of sickness occurs in mind and is then projected onto the body, and our belief that we are the body causes us to suffer as if we are sick. Because the sickness is actually caused by thoughts in the mind, in reality the body is never healed, but always it is the mind that is healed and then a healed mind is projected onto the body. When we see it backward, when we perceive that the body is the source of the problem, we try to heal with medicines and other methods. This is what the Course refers to as using magic.
Let’s say I have a migraine. If I am confused about the levels, I think that the migraine is triggered by something I ate or an environmental factor. I might keep a diary of everything I eat or come into contact with and try to find a pattern. In the meantime I see a doctor and get pain pills to make the periodic headaches more tolerable.
As my mind is healed I see things more clearly and realize that headaches don’t come from anything in the world, but are caused by untrue beliefs held in the mind. The only way to cure a headache is to heal the mind of those beliefs. As I become closer to having true perception I have less illness in the body. Sometimes sickness comes anyway, and I think that this is because even as the mind heals, what has been put into motion must play its self out. But there is always another way to see and experience it and that is of the mind as well.
So if healing occurs in the mind and not the body, why is it that medicine and other methods of healing seem to work? I think it is because we want it to. This is our illusion, our own little kingdom that we made up. It would be intolerable if there were no “cures” within our illusion. Also, if we could not heal the body it would drive us to heal the mind and then where would our illusory kingdom be? Right out the door.
Healing the body is magic because the body is not sick. Healing the body is magic because the body doesn’t exist. It is an illusion. So when we heal something in the body we haven’t really done anything and sickness returns, if not in that particular form then in some other. This applies to all sickness, sickness of the body, of the mind, of relationships, financial, and all forms of lack.
This is why when I get a headache or some other sign of a confused mind I use it as an opportunity to remember the truth. My first thought is that pain is not real. If I am emotionally upset, my first thought is that this is not real. I remind myself that pain of any kind cannot be real because it is not part of God. I ask, “Who am I?” I ask the Holy Spirit to come into my mind and undo what I have done.
If the pain does not go away on its own I take something. If I am sick and the sickness does not go away, I go to the doctor. It is not a sin to use magic to achieve what the mind is not yet ready to accept. I have not found that trying to force acceptance is helpful, nor is it necessary, and that changing my behavior is not a sign of healing nor does it bring healing with it. I have discovered that the mind will be healed in perfect timing as I am ready, and when it is healed, all else falls away on its own.
To feel guilty for not accepting the healing of the mind sooner or for having pain after I have asked for healing is just a trick of the ego, a way the ego keeps the illusion going. When I feel guilt for anything, I respond in the same way as I do for pain. I remind myself that guilt is not real because it is not part of God. I ask the Holy Spirit to come into my mind and undo what I have done.
It is guilt itself that causes sickness of every kind, so it is certainly not helpful to feel guilty if I use magic to bring relief. Magic can be a handy stop-gap measure until the mind is completely healed. The whole illusion is magic, and medicine is just another form of magic. My experience has been that using these magical cures has not slowed down my healing in the least. Feeling guilty for doing so and failing to forgive myself is what keeps the illusion in place.