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“Sickness is a defense against the truth.”
Today’s lesson makes it clear the extreme length we are willing to go to deceive ourselves into believing that we are a body in a world of separation where pain and loss and death are real. All this comes from valuing specialness over oneness and God’s gift of all of His Love given to all.
Maintaining a separate identity is the means by which we keep our specialness and the body is the chief mechanism for making individuality (specialness) real. Because the body is so central to maintaining the sense of the reality of individuality, defending this image and our identification with it is top priority. The ego does not hesitate to use sickness as a means of reinforcing this identification. When the body is in pain, it seems to command our full attention. It’s difficult to feel peaceful when the pain seems to have all of our attention. This lesson points out that this is a choice, but we deceive ourselves into forgetting that we made the choice so that it seems to happen to us.
It surely doesn’t seem that we make the choice to get the flu. But this lesson goes to a much deeper level than the surface symptoms. They are just the effect of the decision to value separation (specialness) over the Love of God. Sickness is just a means of defending our specialness. We made our specialness and will defend it “at all cost.” Pretty extreme!
Here Jesus is showing the game for what it really is. We now have the opportunity to end the self deception. We will end it the instant we cease to value specialness more than the Love of God. This single change in values will completely reverse our perception of reality. As we value God’s Love over specialness, a body no longer is the means to make separation real. It becomes a useful instrument which serves as a means to extend Love to all our brothers, no longer used for attack and defense, the body is healthy, because it serves a healthy mind that values Love and offers It to all.
Holy Spirit, guide my thoughts today, that I might see beyond form to the Light of Love that is everywhere. Help me to recognize false values and let them go so that I can make room for the one magnificent gift that outshines all others — the Love of God.
To me this is one of the most helpful lessons of the Course. Here Jesus describes what I call “the quick forgetting.” In paragraphs 3-5 he explains just how we make the choice to maintain the illusion of separate bodies and then forget that we made this decision so that it looks like something happens to us and that we had nothing to do with it.
In paragraph 6 he gets to the core of why we made the decision to create the illusion of separate bodies. “When parts are wrested from the whole and seen as separate and wholes within themselves, they become symbols standing for attack upon the whole; successful in effect, and never to be seen as whole again.” (6:3)
During the 15 minute meditation when I asked to receive the truth, I received the following: There is nothing that your holiness cannot do. You can open to your Self and be led, minute by minute to remember What is real. You can reflect Heaven here. It takes a commitment to be consistent in your practice of being open to the truth.
In truth, there is no world of separate bodies. It could never be so in God, and you are part of God. You are eternal Spirit. You are still as God created you. You have not changed. Not one part of the Sonship has changed. All your brothers and sisters are the Light of God and nothing else.
What you believe in order to have the effect of seeing bodies is not the truth. Practice today seeing past bodies. Practice today being aware of the Light of God that is the truth about everyone. Practice remembering that you have never changed in Reality. You are limitless Love and nothing else. Practice letting your mind be open to the truth as often as you are willing. Let Love lead you Home to where you never left. You have all the help you need. You just need to be receptive to that help.
If ever you feel weak or limited in any way, return to remembering that God is your Source. You have not left God and God has not left you. You are one. All is one in God. This is the truth. Dwell on this thought. Let it take you to the stillness and peace of God. Let yourself feel God’s peace and God’s Love. Let yourself feel your oneness with all that Is. Let yourself be led in how to be truly helpful as you continue your process of awakening to the Truth. All is whole, perfect and complete, now. Let us hold this truth together and celebrate this one Reality.
When I did yesterday’s lesson I thought that we should do it for about a year before we went on. Today’s lesson is the same. How can I give up sickness by practicing this lesson in my spare moments just this one day?
As I read the lesson and got to the part that said that the body should not feel at all, not pain or pleasure, I felt a surge of resistance. I guess I could give up pain, but pleasure? I have learned not to try to reason with my ego. I just gave my resistance to Holy Spirit and asked for another way to see this. I await enlightenment.
I discovered ACIM last fall and immediately started the lessons. I had been a spiritual searcher for many years and had a strong sense that there was something I needed to teach, something I could give to others. I was 10 pages into ACIM and I knew I had finally found it. I have been gobbling up everything I could since then and feeling like I am making tremendous spiritual progress.
Then I had the most unhealthy worst winter of my life. I live in the North woods of Michigan and winters can be pretty rough and this one was. Every ache or ailment I ever had resurfaced and agitated me. I read this lesson several times trying to understand. I think paragraph 7, lines 3 and 4 may explain what happened. I was making progress, I was glimpsing the truth and the ego counterattacked with extreme viciousness. I pray to the Holy Spirit for all those who struggle today to accept the truth of who they are.
This lesson would almost be funny if it wasn’t so sad. The ego has various ways of distracting our attention from our true selves, sickness being one of them. And the sad thing is that this is a decision we make, a choice, a plan.
At one time I was losing a lot of hair from the top of my head and my hairdresser told me that what was causing me to lose my hair was worrying about losing my hair. Deep inside I knew that was true but maybe it would help if I bought certain hair products or possibly hair implants or a number of other remedies for this problem, when in truth my “problem” is an illusion in the first place.
I also quit trying to understand my ego self a long time ago, but I’m grateful for knowing there is another way and I’m open and willing to learn it through the power of my Divine Guidance.
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How to Read References for Quotes from A Course in Miracles
Below are example references to specific sentences using the notation of the Second & Third Editions of A Course in Miracles published by the Foundation for Inner Peace:
T-26.IV.4:7 = Text, Chapt. 26, Section IV, paragraph 4, sentence 7.
W-pI.169.5:2 = Workbook, Part I, Lesson 169, paragraph 5, sentence 2.
M-13.3:2 = Manual for Teachers, Question 13, paragraph 3, sentence 2.
C-6.4:6 = Clarification of Terms, Term 6, paragraph 4, sentence 6
The above numbering system
of the Second & Third Editions is © Copyright 1992,
The Foundation for A Course in Miracles.
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