ACIM Text Reading for October 10
Manual for Teachers
VII. 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 recognize 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 He thought the gifts of God could be withdrawn.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 recognize it for what it is, and let it be corrected for him.
One of the most difficult temptations to recognize 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 recognize 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. If you really want the problem solved, you cannot doubt. If you are certain what the problem is, 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 10
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 #410: Do you think practices that focus on the physical body (like yoga and other more conventional forms of exercise) are leading me further away from the truth? It seems like these things help me feel better, but am I just deluding myself? Is it just the ego that is feeling better?
A: There is nothing wrong with doing anything with the body that makes you feel better, whether it’s yoga, or walking or other physical exercise, or going to a movie, having a beer, or sex, etc. And the Course would never ask you to give up anything that seems to help you. All that Jesus asks of us is to recognize that, if the Course is our path, the only practice that will truly make us feel better is forgiveness, because it is the only practice that gets to the root of our unhappiness — our belief that we are separate from love, from God, and from each other.
We all have to do something with our bodies while we believe we live in them, and it can be a kind and loving thing to care for them in a way that we believe maintains their health and well- being. But the bottom line will always be – what is our purpose? If we are focusing on our body to reinforce our specialness, we are setting ourselves up for pain and suffering. A sobering passage towards the end of the text makes this clear:
Ask yourself this: Can you protect the mind? The body, yes, a little; not from time, but temporarily. And much you think you save, you hurt. What would you save it for? For in that choice lie both its health and harm. Save it for show, as bait to catch another fish, to house your specialness in better style, or weave a frame of loveliness around your hate, and you condemn it to decay and death (T.24.VII.4:1,2,3,4,5,6).
The reason for this is not punitive, as the ego would want us to believe, but simply the inevitable consequences of identifying with a thought system that reinforces the belief in loss and limitation as a result of separation, as the following explains:
Whenever you attempt to reach a goal in which the body’s betterment is cast as major beneficiary, you try to bring about your death. For you believe that you can suffer lack, and lack is death (T-29.VII.4:1,2; see also T.19.IV.B.12).
The problem is not with taking care of the body as we think we need to. It would be foolish, for example, to stop eating or drinking simply because they happen to be the imagined needs of a mind that believes it is separate and housed in a body. The problem arises when our focus on the body is to maintain it for the purpose of attack — either for special love or for special hate — that is, as a means to meet our own needs at someone else’s expense, seeing our interests as separate from everyone else’s. And an honest starting point would be to acknowledge that, for most of us, most of the time, that in fact is our focus.
But the correction would not be to eliminate the physical activity we are engaging in to help improve our body, but rather to ask for help in looking at the mental activity that we are buying into that tells us that using others can bring us happiness. If we look honestly, we will see the lie beneath that argument and it will diminish in its appeal to us. And then, with a different Thought behind our actions, one that points to the genuine benefits that come from recognizing our shared interest with all our brothers, our body can then become a medium for sharing that message with others, not through any specific words or actions, but through our attitude of love and peace.