A Course in Miracles Lesson Insights

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Listen to Lesson 248 Insights

ACIM Workbook Lesson 248 Insights

“Whatever suffers is not part of me.”

Only the Light of God is truth. When I make anything else real, I am disowning the truth. When I make differences real, when I make bodies real, when I make the world real, I am disowning the truth. I cannot make illusions real and remember the truth at the same time. They are complete opposites. It is helpful to ask myself, “Right now, what am I making real, illusions or the truth?”

This lesson is asking me to be faithful in disowning falsity. I can only do this when I do not believe in what my eyes and ears are showing me. This takes vigilance on my part. It takes a willingness to see through the eyes of Christ. The Holy Spirit reminds me that everyone is still Love, no matter what the false mask they may be showing me. Illusion is still just illusion and does not matter.

The Holy Spirit helps me dis-identify with the world and all its forms, if I let Him. The Holy Spirit helps me dis-identify with suffering and pain, if I let Him. The Holy Spirit helps me dis-identify with every ego thought, if I let Him. Today I will practice letting the Holy Spirit transform my mind and see the world as the Holy Spirit sees it.

In general I would describe my life as peaceful and happy. Yet when I pay close attention to my thoughts, it’s amazing how many of my thoughts still seem to focus on things that are less than peaceful and happy. A disapproving thought about someone’s behavior, a sore muscle, an itch, a headache, a thought of impatience, feeling hurried, concerns about money. These are just a few of the little distractions that all too often succeed in limiting my experience of peace and happiness.

It’s as though I have a threshold in my mind of how much I will allow happiness and peace in my life. If I go too far above that threshold, some judgmental thought will pass through my mind or some body twinge will capture my attention to bring me back to that acceptable threshold.

Today’s lesson reminds me that nothing that suffers or lacks peace in any way is part of me. I simply need to disown these thoughts instead of claiming them and ruminating on them.

In this world these thoughts are all around me. It is not my job to be without them. My job is not to claim them and make them real in my mind. A key to this is practicing vigilance, watching my thoughts. As any discomforting thought crosses my mind, the moment I recognize it, I can remind myself, “Whatever suffers is not part of me.” It is a way to step back and disown those thoughts so that I can make room for the Thought of Love, which is What I am, to return to my awareness. It’s like the section in the Text “above the battleground.”

Each time I can step back from conflicting thoughts, I make it easier to welcome the Holy Spirit’s perception in place of my own. The habit of thinking in terms of separate identities is well established. And so I need to rededicate my faithfulness to disowning those thoughts. Each time I revert to buying into the old thought system is just another opportunity for re-dedication. It is not justification for self-condemnation. It is simply a reminder to choose again and remember, “Whatever suffers is not a part of me.”

I’ve had a real opportunity to practice this lesson. I seldom get sick. Even when stuff is going around the office and everyone else is getting it, I don’t. But a couple of days ago, I got a bug or something right out of nowhere. I’m on the road, visiting customers and started throwing up and got a fever. I finally made it to a motel and spent the night being sick.

I didn’t know exactly how to disown this. It was pretty compelling evidence of misery. I started noticing how strongly I was resisting the physical manifestations and decided to stop. I surrendered the whole thing to Holy Spirit. I decided that if I needed to throw up then, so what? I’d just do it. I also realized that when I asked for healing, I was asking for healing not only of the physical discomfort, but also of the sick thoughts that brought me to this illness.

My principle prayer was that Holy Spirit heal my thinking. When I woke up in the night feeling bad and unable to go back to sleep, I just took out the Pathways A Course in Miracles study course I was working on and did a few questions until I was sleepy enough to fall asleep again. Several times over the last two days I’ve reminded myself that it is my choice to surrender my situation.

I’m not sure if this was the best way to handle the situation, but it was the best I could do under the circumstances. It did help me a lot, and it was the least uncomfortable I have ever been when sick. When I quit resisting the discomfort, it eased up and I felt better.

I wonder how other people disown thoughts of illness when in the midst of discomfort and pain?

Regarding your comments about your difficulty with disowning thoughts of illness, which result in sickness, Jesus is not asking us to deny the fact that in the dream we experience sickness. In this lesson he is asking us to realize that all pain is disowning the truth of our total perfection and safety in God. We are not our bodies. In truth we are part of God and God cannot be sick. What gets sick comes from the sick ego mind and is illusion.

This is an important difference. Sickness is not of God. We are part of God. That is why Jesus says in the title of the lesson, “Whatever suffers is not part of me.” When we remember this, we don’t take physical manifestations so seriously. We may still experience the manifestations, but we recognize that this is not what we are. The experience comes from not recognizing ourselves as the Love that God created us to be. In this lesson Jesus tells us, “Whatever suffers is not part of me. What grieves is not myself. What is in pain is but illusion in my mind.” (1:3-5)

It can be helpful to remind ourselves of the truth, such as, “I accept myself as God created me. I am worthy of His Love and peace. I remain innocent. My Identity has not changed from the loving universal Self God created.”

Now I am disowning self-concepts and deceits and lies about the holy Son of God. Now I am ready to accept my Identity back as God created me and as I am. In short, sickness shows me I am denying my Identity as God’s Son. The antidote is in accepting my Identity as the holy Son of God.

This morning I experienced an itchiness in my eyes. My ego mind tells me it is a reaction to the pollen in the air. I do not want to deny the fact that my eyes are experiencing itchiness and are watering. I do want to deny that this is what I am. I do want to deny that I am a body. The itchiness is experienced by the body, which is the ego’s mechanism to experience the lie of separation. I am not the body. This goes back to the title of the lesson, “What suffers is not part of me.”

Thanks. That is a very clear explanation of this lesson as it applies to illness. I see the difference you are pointing out. If I understand you correctly, I don’t deny I am sick; I deny I am the manifestation of the illness.

I think it is a matter of separating myself from my script, or the dreamer from the dream. I wrote myself a part as a suffering individual. That doesn’t mean I am that sad, sick, person all alone with her misery. I am still as God created me; perfect and whole and never apart from the Sonship, and that is the thought I hold as my prayer.

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Reference Keys for
A Course in Miracles Quotes

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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