To gain the most from A Course in Miracles Text Made Simple, we recommend that
you read the corresponding chapter and section in the Text of the Second or
Third Edition of A Course in Miracles published by the Foundation for Inner Peace.
Read ACIM Chapter 2, Section IV (pages 23-24)
All release from fear is the release from mistaken thinking stemming from the desire to experience independence from God. We are released from fear as we are willing to let go of thinking we are separate from God. As we let go of what is not true, our mind is healed. In truth we are eternal Spirit. We are formless Love in one, undivided whole.
When we join with the false idea of being separate from What we are, our mind is sick. We are not in our right mind. Identifying with the physical body as what we are is an error in our mind. The body is just an effect of the desire to be separated from the all encompassing Love that we are in truth. Through the body we experience a world of separation and teach ourselves that separation is real. Even though the whole world is based on a false foundation and is not true, we experience it as true because of the power of our mind.
We were given all the power of God when we were created, which means we have the power to create like God. When we deny that we are Spirit united with God, we miscreate. “If one denies this unfortunate aspect of the mind’s power, one is also denying the power itself.” (3:13) In other words, if we deny that we have the power to miscreate, we are also denying the creative power that God has given us.
When we believe in separation and cherish our individuality, we are miscreating. This is called sickness or not-right-mindedness. The instrument of miscreation is the body. It was made as a learning device to teach ourselves that the physical world of separate bodies is real. It is important to remember that the body is the effect of a thought in the mind that desires to experience individuality. Everything that the body sees in the world is a reflection of the power of the mind to miscreate. Nothing in this world has any power of its own and cannot be a cause of anything, because it is the effect of thoughts in the mind.
Since the body is only an effect of thoughts in the mind, any “problems” in the body must also be an effect of thought. If we try to fix the body at the level of form, which is the level of effect, we are trying to heal the body using inappropriate means. This is called magic, which is trying to make illusions seem real. When we go to a magic show, the magician tries to trick us into thinking his illusions are real. This is why in paragraph four it says, “All material means that you accept as remedies for bodily ills are restatements of magic principles.” (4:1) They are attempts to make the illusions of the ego seem real by trying to fix its ‘problems’ with something in the physical world instead of healing the thoughts in the mind which is the real cause of every problem.
To change an effect, its cause must be changed. So the place where change must occur is in the mind. This is why the Course tells us all healing is of the mind.
Most of us identify very strongly with the body as who and what we are. Because of this, we resist anything that seems to indicate that this identity is a miscreation of the mind and is not real. In fact, it brings up great fear because we feel lost if we think our unique identity is being taken away from us. It feels like we are being cast into oblivion. This is the fear behind the fear of death, because it seems to be the complete loss of our very existence. For most of us this fear is unconscious. If asked, “What is your greatest fear?” you might answer, “Death,” but you are not likely to say “Losing my unique identity.” This is why the Holy Spirit works with us gently, leading us toward remembering our true Identity as Love united with our Creator.
Because the body is an effect, instant physical healing is possible through a change of mind. But such an event would be a profound demonstration of the power of our mind. When we identify with the body as what we are, we are denying the power of the mind, which is the cause of the body. A change of mind that heals the body can thus be perceived as frightening and will be defended against.
In this fearful state of mind, it may be more helpful for physical means to be used to relieve symptoms in the body while we let our minds gradually and gently be brought to the recognition of the truth that we remain one with God and share in all His power. As we learn to practice following the Holy Spirit’s lead, He will compassionately lead us away from fear, teaching us with language and experiences that we can accept without fear. As we learn to accept more and more of the power of our mind, physical means of resolving our problems become less and less important.
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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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