ACIM Manual for Teachers Reading for October 9
7. SHOULD HEALING BE REPEATED?
This question really answers itself. Healing cannot be repeated. If the patient is healed, what remains to heal him from? And if the healing is certain, as we have already said it is, what is there to repeat? For a teacher of God to remain concerned about the result of healing is to limit the healing. It is now the teacher of God himself whose mind needs to be healed. And it is this he must facilitate. He is now the patient, and he must so regard himself. He has made a mistake, and must be willing to change his mind about it. He lacked the trust that makes for giving truly, and so he has not received the benefit of his gift.
Whenever a teacher of God has tried to be a channel for healing he has succeeded. Should he be tempted to doubt this, he should not repeat his previous effort. That was already maximal, because the Holy Spirit so accepted it and so used it. Now the teacher of God has only one course to follow. He must use his reason to tell himself that he has given the problem to One Who cannot fail, and must recognise that his own uncertainty is not love but fear, and therefore hate. His position has thus become untenable, for he is offering hate to one to whom he offered love. This is impossible. Having offered love, only love can be received.
It is in this that the teacher of God must trust. This is what is really meant by the statement that the one responsibility of the miracle worker is to accept the Atonement for himself. The teacher of God is a miracle worker because he gives the gifts he has received. Yet he must first accept them. He need do no more, nor is there more that he could do. By accepting healing he can give it. If he doubts this, let him remember Who gave the gift and Who received it. Thus is his doubt corrected. He thought the gifts of God could be withdrawn. That was a mistake, but hardly one to stay with. And so the teacher of God can only recognise it for what it is, and let it be corrected for him.
One of the most difficult temptations to recognise is that to doubt a healing because of the appearance of continuing symptoms is a mistake in the form of lack of trust. As such it is an attack. Usually it seems to be just the opposite. It does appear unreasonable at first to be told that continued concern is attack. It has all the appearances of love. Yet love without trust is impossible, and doubt and trust cannot coexist. And hate must be the opposite of love, regardless of the form it takes. Doubt not the gift and it is impossible to doubt its result. This is the certainty that gives God’s teachers the power to be miracle workers, for they have put their trust in Him.
The real basis for doubt about the outcome of any problem that has been given to God’s Teacher for resolution is always self-doubt. And that necessarily implies that trust has been placed in an illusory self, for only such a self can be doubted. This illusion can take many forms. Perhaps there is a fear of weakness and vulnerability. Perhaps there is a fear of failure and shame associated with a sense of inadequacy. Perhaps there is a guilty embarrassment stemming from false humility. The form of the mistake is not important. What is important is only the recognition of a mistake as a mistake.
The mistake is always some form of concern with the self to the exclusion of the patient. It is a failure to recognise him as part of the Self, and thus represents a confusion in identity. Conflict about what you are has entered your mind, and you have become deceived about yourself. And you are deceived about yourself because you have denied the Source of your creation. If you are offering only healing, you cannot doubt. Doubt is the result of conflicting wishes. Be sure of what you want, and doubt becomes impossible.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for October 9
I will not be afraid of love today.
If I could realize but this today, salvation would be reached for all the world. This the decision not to be insane, and to accept myself as God Himself, my Father and my Source, created me. This the determination not to be asleep in dreams of death, while truth remains forever living in the joy of love. And this the choice to recognize the Self Whom God created as the Son He loves, and Who remains my one Identity.
Father, Your Name is Love and so is mine. Such is the truth. And can the truth be changed by merely giving it another name? The name of fear is simply a mistake. Let me not be afraid of truth today.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #124: What does the term “magic” mean when used in A Course in Miracles?
A: Magic is “an attempt to solve a problem where it is not….guilt is projected outside our minds onto others (attack) or our bodies (sickness) and sought to be corrected there, rather than being undone in our minds by bringing it to the Holy Spirit…” (Glossary-Index for A Course in Miracles, p.143, Kenneth Wapnick). The ego uses magic in its interpretation of any problem or conflict; it sees the problem as outside of the mind, and seeks to solve it by external means. When we choose to believe this ego version, and identify with the ego thought system, we use magic to solve our problems, and it does seem to work. For example, when we take an aspirin for a headache and the pain goes away, we believe the aspirin took the headache away. The Course is telling us that what actually happens is that there is a decision in the mind to experience pain in the form of a headache, and then a decision in the mind against pain, which is symbolized by taking an aspirin: “Special agents [i.e., medicine] seem to be ministering to him, yet they but give form to his own choice. He chooses them in order to bring tangible form to his desires. And it is this they do, and nothing else. They are not actually needed at all” (M.5.II.2.8,9,10,11). Of course, there is nothing wrong with using “magic” forms — money, clothing, social contacts, medicine, etc. In fact, we cannot function in this world without them, and we should not feel guilty or “unspiritual” when as we use them. But we can do so without endowing them with the power to make us truly happy or meet our real need, which is joining with the Holy Spirit, the memory of God, in the mind.
The same magic principle is at work whenever we think we can effect change in the world by resolving conflicts through changes in behavior, never realizing that the conflict originates in our mind and only there can it truly be solved. The Course asks us to learn to recognize the problem where it is, in the mind, so it can be healed: “…decisions are of the mind, not of the body. If sickness is but a faulty problem-solving approach, it is a decision. And if it is a decision, it is the mind and not the body that makes it” (M.5.11:4,5,6).
A Course in Miracles also tells us there is only one problem — the thought of separation from God. Believing this thought is the cause of tremendous guilt and feelings of emptiness, despair, and need. This drives us to seek to fill our need and assuage our pain externally through magic, making the whole world a “magic show”: “In this world, you believe you are sustained by everything but God. Your faith is placed in the most trivial and insane symbols; pills, money, ‘protective’ clothing, influence, prestige, being liked, knowing the ‘right’ people, and an endless list of forms of nothingness that you endow with magical powers” (W.p.I.50.1:2,3). Whatever form of magic we choose it will not truly work. The Course is asking us to undo our belief in magic by recognizing the problem: “If you could recognize that your only problem is separation, no matter what form it takes, you could accept the answer because you would see its relevance. Perceiving the underlying constancy in all the problems that seem to confront you, you would understand that you have the means to solve them all. And you would use the means, because you recognize the problem” (W.p.I.79.6:2,3,4). The “means” we have is the power of our mind to choose, and our choice is always between magic or the miracle; between seeking outside ourselves in the illusion, or going within to the mind where our decisions can be changed.