Manual for Teachers: How Is Healing Accomplished? 5.I. The Perceived Purpose of Sickness
“Healing involves an understanding of what the illusion of sickness is for. Healing is impossible without this.” (M-5.1)
5.I. The Perceived Purpose of Sickness
I.1. Healing is accomplished the instant the sufferer no longer sees any value in pain. Who would choose suffering unless he thought it brought him something, and something of value to him? He must then think suffering is a small price to pay for something of greater worth. Sickness is just an election, a decision. It is the choice of weakness, in the mistaken conviction that it is strength. When sickness occurs, real strength is then seen as a threat and health is then seen as danger. Is this what you want -- to see the opposite of truth?
So what does the sufferer hope to gain from his suffering? Sickness is a method, conceived in madness, for placing God’s Son on his Father’s throne. God is seen, then, as outside, fierce and powerful, eager to keep all power for Himself. Only by His death can He be conquered by His Son.
I.2. What, in this insane conviction, does healing stand for then? It symbolizes the defeat of God’s Son and the triumph of his Father over him. You see, if the Son is healed, he is then responsible for his thoughts. If he is responsible for his thoughts, the Son (as he chooses to think with ego) thinks that he will be killed by His Father to prove to him how weak and pitiful he actually is. BUT if the Son chooses death himself, his weakness is now deemed as his strength, because he has given himself what God would give to him (death), and thus he has entirely usurped the throne of his Creator!
Of course, in order for this to be true, it would have to be God’s Will to destroy His Son as His Son supposes, in order for God to prove He is more powerful than His Son. After all, the strong remain standing, so the world thinks. So when the Son takes his own life, he would therefore have proved that he is stronger than the Creator. OR -- would he only have taken his own life – for nothing?
In essence, then, we punish ourselves to prevent God and others from punishing us. We hurt ourselves before anyone “outside ourselves” can hurt us, which supposedly proves that we are in charge. Therefore, just as with anger, to the extent that you understand that sickness will bring you nothing that you want, to that extent are you saved.
All sickness or “not-right-mindedness” is the result of level confusion, because it always entails the belief that what is amiss on one level can adversely affect another. Miracles are the means of correcting level confusion, for all mistakes must be corrected at the level on which they occur. Only the mind is capable of error. The body can act wrongly only when it is responding to misthought. The body cannot create, and the belief that it can, a fundamental error, produces all physical symptoms. When it is understood that the mind, the only level of creation, cannot create beyond itself, no confusion and no sickness or suffering, need occur. It is all seen as an illusion – not real. (T-2.IV.2.all)
Though the body’s illnesses falsely depict the mind as miscreating, it is equally a mistake to think that the body is causing the illnesses without the mind’s active participation. This is all an illusory game of the ego whereby it plays the mind and the body against each other. What causes the mind to appear to miscreate thus, is a false belief that something can be gained by it. Sickness appears to serve its master (the ego) in many ways in this world. Yet it is all an elaborate and complex ruse to keep the Son from remembering the Truth of the Father and His Love. It may even appear to work for a while, maybe a long while, yet since it is not the truth, it will eventually fail entirely to dupe the Son of God.
Purposes of sickness in the world are numerous. To name a few, some receive monetary sustenance from the government for being “disabled,” so it enables them to cease “working for a living.” Others receive a kind of attention or control from being ill that might otherwise be lacking. Such as “Mama will kiss it and make it better.” Or “You poor thing, let me do that for you.” Or a perennial childhood favorite “Guess you will have to stay home from school today (and take a make-up test).” Some receive a “handicap” sticker and get the closest parking spaces. And others use sickness as a reason to separate from their brothers. “Leave me alone; can’t you see I am sick?” And still others use it for “special” attention. “Help me, can’t you see I am sick, sick, sick, sick?”
Yet let us go deeper than this. Sickness supports the ego version of what you are. It says you are a body, and that you cannot break free from it or the limitations it provides. Yet Jesus tells us in the Course that we are not a body; we are free and without limitation – including the limiting idea of sickness. Going even deeper, we must realize that all sickness is essentially an authority issue. If the Son of God appears to be sick, then God is not in Heaven and all is not well. Once the Son of God recognizes that he is not sick, but healed (loved by God), then he has to recognize that his choice of the ego (fear of God) as his source was the culprit and that he was responsible for his own sickness.
Now he feels that God will surely take his life to show His Authority, and thus usurp the Son’s own authority over himself. And the split mind of the ego cannot abide this. So it puts the Son of God to death on its own, thus denying God the right to do so, and thus usurping His throne. “If only one of us can rule, it must be me (the ego), not God. If only one of us lives, it must be me (the ego) and not God. And if I put myself to death, then I can thus prove that God is wrong when he says there is no death. He is wrong when He says that I am His Son, and thus I prove that I am the ruler of the universe.” Yet now you are DEAD, so what have you gained? Would you rather be dead right, or happily alive? Even the ego can grasp the wisdom in that!
This is all magical or converted (subverted) and twisted thinking. God does not want you sick or dead. He knows, in fact, that you are not sick and that you cannot die. This game the ego plays with the mind of God’s Son is where the real sickness lies. What, then, is the remedy?
All healing is essentially the release from fear. Do not choose lies; choose truth. Do not choose the valuelessness of sickness; choose the value of healing. Do not choose the ego: choose instead the Holy Spirit. Leave God on the throne and join Him there. Remember that you are One with Him, that this is not a power struggle at all. Remember there is greater power in joining with Him and with your brother than there will ever be in separating. Thus all will be well with the Son of God. (T-19.IV.i.1-12)
Remember that you came this far together, you and your brother. And it was surely not the ego that led you here. No obstacle to peace can be surmounted through its help. The Guide Who brought you here remains with you, and when you raise your eyes you will be ready to look on terror with no fear at all. But first, lift up your eyes and look on your brother in innocence born of complete forgiveness of his illusions, through the eyes of faith that does not even see illusions -- only light.
No one can look upon the fear of God unterrified, unless he has accepted the Atonement and learned illusions are not real. No one can stand before this obstacle alone, for he could not have reached this far unless his brothers walked beside him. And no one would dare to look on the fear of God without complete forgiveness of his brothers in his heart. Let us join together in a holy instant here. Let us join in faith that He Who brought us here together will offer you the innocence you need. You need forgiveness of your brothers. In forgiveness you will share in Heaven together. You and your brothers will raise your eyes in faith together. All of us will share Heaven together; not alone but with GOD.
MANUAL FOR TEACHERS
5. HOW IS HEALING ACCOMPLISHED?
5.1. THE PERCEIVED PURPOSE OF SICKNESS
Healing is impossible without an understanding of what the illusion of sickness is for.
I. The Perceived Purpose of Sickness
1. “Healing is accomplished the instant the sufferer no long sees any value in pain.” (M-5.I.1:1) Sickness is an election, a decision, made to gain something of value. Sickness is a choice for weakness, in the mistaken conviction that it is strength. So the value gained in choosing sickness is supposedly “strength.” Looking at this clearly, it is very easy to see the absurdity in it.
2. “Sickness is a method, conceived in madness, for placing God’s Son on his Father’s throne.” (M-5.I.1:7) The Son gets sick, to gain strength, so he can get strong enough to overthrow the Father and His regime. This is the Son’s “power plan.” The Son may not be aware of the ego’s plan as it may be buried deep, but it is there, festering, waiting to manifest.
3. The opposite of sickness, or healing, in this insane conviction, symbolizes the defeat of God’s Son and the triumph of his Father over him.
So, sickness, which is weakness, is mistakenly seen as strength, and therefore coveted by the Son of God. It enables the Son to choose death himself, rather than waiting for the Father to take his life, thus usurping the Father’s supposed power over life and death, and thereby usurping the Father’s throne. The Son is now in the power seat. Now the Son has power over life and death, and he puts himself to death to prove it! So how is the Son supposed to reap the victory, if he is no longer alive? Apparently the Son did not realize this egregious flaw was in his “power plan.”
If the Son realizes that there is no death, then he will be chagrined to see that his “power plan” is for naught, that it is ludicrous to the extreme! You might wonder how the Son of God could be so foolish in his purpose and in his machinations as to even attempt to usurp the Father’s throne. How could he, or you or I, even possibly think of such a foolish plan? Only the insane could think thus.
The plan is still in force because you do not remember your participation in devising and agreeing to the plan. When the idea was first introduced, in that instant sooooooo long ago that none of us can even remember it, if the Son of God had seen it for what it was, he would have laughed at it and proceeded on – happy to be the Son of God.
But he took it seriously, and so began THOUSANDS OF YEARS of overthrow plots and plans – all for naught. Is it now time to unravel these twisted ideas and make the crooked paths straight? Is it time we stop trying and trying and trying to prove we are right, and to prove we are separate from God – and just be happy in reality? When you remember that if you kill Him you also kill your Self; when you remember that there is no separation, that you and God are One; then the battle/war is over. And everyone WINS. You see, it is not necessary to be “in power” when “Power is in you.”
The only real difference between you and the Father is that He created you, you did not create Him. And that will always be true. So remember, the goal is not to usurp the Father’s throne, but to take your rightful place on the throne with Him, as co-creator. And thus the choice for sickness will no longer have any purpose or value to you. And you will be healed, once and FOR ALL. AMEN.
We have all heard the saying that a team is only as strong as its weakest member, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Be a strong link in the chain of Atonement. Forgive, forgive, forgive. Hold nothing back from the truth, because it is the truth that will set you FREE. To the extent that you recognize the valuelessness in sickness, to that extent will you be healed. There is no such thing as “partially free.” You are either in bondage or free.
Do you choose to be in bondage to sickness? Of course not, so see no value in it, and you will not even be a “little bit sick.” Regardless of what the ego says, regardless of the “imp” that sits on your shoulder telling you there is power in sickness, this is NOT true. So do not listen to the ego when it advises you thus; listen instead to the Voice That knows the truth. Choose to be healed and you will know your Self as you were truly created – whole, perfect and complete. This IS true.
There is no need to usurp the throne of God. There is more power when those who have power JOIN than when they do not. When you have an idea, and others join you in that idea, then the idea builds momentum and is manifested. When you have an idea and others pull against you, there is conflict, and all too often the idea is abandoned – whether it be a good idea or a worthless idea. How many of us have had a brilliant idea, only to have it squashed by listening to those who would find fault with it? Do not listen to the nay-sayers. Instead, find some yay-sayers, and move forward to the light together.
Remember, sickness takes many forms – all darkness. Healing takes only one form – forgiveness in the light. The ego has many voices; the Holy Spirit has only One. See only light, then, and listen only to His Voice. Take as many of your brothers with you who are ready to go home. Those who are “left behind” will catch up when ready, and mighty companions will be sent to help them return to the path. Do not despair – all will find their way home. Simply forego the idea of sickness. Time is wasting. You need nothing to slow you down. Let us speedily go home now. His voice will guide us to remember GOD IS.