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Psychotherapy: Purpose, Process and Practice -- Process of Illness

Lesson 7


IV. The Process of Illness

Paragraph 1. As all therapy is psychotherapy, so all illness is mental illness.” (P-2.IV.1:1) It is a judgment on the Son of God, and judgment is a mental activity. Judgment is a decision, made again and again, against creation and its Creator. Yet whenever you appear to have an illness, is it your mind, your judgment where you seek remedy? Or is it the body that commands your attention? Is it outer remedies that you seek? What if you knew that it was entirely unforgiveness or judgment against yourself, your brother, the truth, and God, that was responsible for your “illness.” Would you then seek for a different remedy? Perhaps you would seek for an inner remedy? (We have already stated that healing is an “inside” job.)

Sickness is a decision you make; a decision that truth can lie and must be lies. It is a decision to perceive the universe as you would have created it. It is a decision that is an expression of sorrow and guilt. We appear to weep for many things, such as perceiving ourselves to be mistreated, not getting our way, the “loss” of a love one, the experience of pain or hopelessness. Yet we weep for only one thing: a decision of lost innocence. Yet you cannot lose the innocence that was given you in your creation. Recognize this and then weep no more.

Paragraph 2. “Once God’s Son is seen as guilty, illness becomes inevitable.” (P-2.IV.2:1) It has been asked for and will be received -- as punishment for the perceived guilt. Yet as it says in paragraph 1, it is merely a judgment of guilt. And judgments can be changed. Change the judgment (cause) and you change the effect (illness). See yourself and your brothers only as God created you (innocent, pure, whole, complete, loving), and you will see past illness to perfection. No aspirin needed -- only a change of perception.

“There can be nothing that a change of mind cannot affect, for all external things are only shadows of a decision already made.” Change a decision and its shadow will change. Erase the decision of guilt altogether and there will be nothing of substance to cause a shadow. Think about that. “Illness can be but guilt’s shadow.” (P-2.IV.2:6) Guilt is a perceived deformity at the heart of your identity which illness reflects. If illness appears, ask the help of the Holy Spirit to seek and find the perceived dark cause of the guilt; see it in the light and the darkness will disappear and the illness along with it. Simple? Easy? The truth is both simple and easy!

Paragraph 3. “The descent into hell follows step by step in an inevitable course, once the decision that guilt is real has been made.” (P-2.IV.3:1) Illness follows guilt, pain follows illness, hopelessness follows pain, and sickness and misery and death now stalk the guilty in unrelenting waves, sometimes together and sometimes in grim succession. All these things are but illusions, decisions for what is not real. Yet try telling it to the one who has chosen this path, and see the kind of response you get.

Yet who could have faith in them once they are recognized as what they are? They are but symbols of symbols. Illness is but a symbol of guilt; pain is but a symbol of illness; and hopelessness is but a symbol of pain. And who could NOT have faith in all of them until he realizes that they are NOT real. Healing is therapy or correction, and all healing is psychotherapy, or of the mind. To heal the sick is but to bring this realization to them. This is the only “medicine” needed by those who have chosen to be sick. But by yourself you cannot help them recognize this. With Him, though, you can.

Paragraph 4. This paragraph talks about the therapists of the world and says “For not one of them can cure, and not one of them understands healing.” (P-2.IV.4:2) “At worst, they but make the body real in their own minds, and having done so, seek for magic by which to heal the ills with which their minds endow it. How could such a process cure?” (P-2.IV.4:3-4) To try to effect a healing where there is not and never will be an “ill,” is to fail in its entirety.

Paragraph 5. At best, the “healers” of this world may recognize the mind as the source of illness, but their error lies in the belief that the mind can cure itself. Yet since the mind is the source of the guilt that is the cause of the illness, it is as though the mind is in quicksand and is trying to extricate itself from it. Thus, any “cure” must be only temporary, as the mind cannot extricate itself from the mire of guilt, and death has not been overcome until the meaning of love is understood. “And who can understand this without the Word of God, given by Him to the Holy Spirit as His gift to you?” (P-2.IV.5:5) No worldly healer can, that is for sure.

Paragraph 6. “Illness of any kind may be defined as the result of a view of the self as weak, vulnerable, evil and endangered, and thus in need of constant defense.” (P-2.IV.6:1) All illness, at its root, is a case of a sick self-concept. Remember, psychotherapy’s purpose is to change the self-concept of the patient from guilty and worthless back to beloved Son of God in Whom He is well pleased.

The patient feels weak (unable to totally defend himself from hurt), vulnerable (able to be hurt), evil (ready to wreak vengeance upon any and all perceived attackers), and endangered (on the verge of being hurt) -- because he believes he deserves to be hurt and has already judged himself as guilty. If this were true, how could the patient possibly defend himself, unless he substitutes another illusion of himself armed with magical powers which will allow him to cope with the world. Yet all these illusions of power simply cover up the original misperception of weakness, vulnerability, evil and endangerment with a kind of pseudo-self, covered in blankets of denial. “In a word, error is accepted as real and dealt with by illusions.” (P-2.IV.6:5) Salvation is seen as but an idea that is far from reality. “Thus is the circle closed against the ‘inroads’ of salvation.” (P-2.IV.6:8)

Paragraph 7. “Illness is therefore a mistake and needs correction.” (P-2.IV.7:1) Correction cannot be effected by first confirming the “rightness” of the mistake and then overlooking it. The mistake must first be seen as an error in judgment, as not real, and then the corrected perception will take its place and heal the mind that thought the error in the first place. That is true correction, a miracle.

Paragraph 8. “Sickness is insanity because all sickness is mental illness, and in it there are no degrees.” (P-2.IV.8:1) One of the illusions by which sickness is perceived as real is the belief that illness varies in intensity, that the degree of threat differs according to the form it takes. Herein lies the basis of all errors, for all of them are but attempts to compromise by seeing but a little bit of hell. Certainly it seems that certain forms of illness are more intense than others. Yet to see a difference in intensity is but to see illness as real. Some appear more real than others, but all appear real, nonetheless. To see illness as unreal is the only way to withdraw belief in it altogether. Choose to see illness as unreal, and then choose not to see it at all, either in yourself or your brothers. And it will be gone. Free at last.

Paragraph 9. “A madman will defend his own illusions because in them he sees his own salvation.” (P-2.IV.9:1) Thus, he (the patient) will attack the one (the therapist) who tries to save him from his illusions of himself, all the while believing that the therapist is attacking him (he takes it personally). This curious circle of attack-defense is one of the most difficult problems with which the psychotherapist must deal. In fact, this is his central task; it is the core of psychotherapy. Remember, the patient’s self-concept is insanity; this is his sickness. Yet he is totally committed to this sick self-concept, and will defend it “against the ‘inroads’ of salvation.” The therapist is the bringer of salvation, the one who helps the patient release his sick self-concept. Thus the therapist is seen as the “enemy” to the ego, to be attacked and even killed by the ego.

Paragraph 10: “The psychotherapist, then, has a tremendous responsibility.” (P-2.IV.10:1) He must meet attack without attack, and therefore without defense. It is his task to demonstrate that defenses are not necessary, and that defenselessness is strength. He must therefore respond to the patient’s “call for love”:

  • without anger,

  • without attack,

  • without defense.

“God’s teachers’ major lesson is to learn how to react to magic thoughts wholly without anger.” (M-18.2:1) It cannot be too strongly emphasized that the insane believe that sanity is a threat. This is the corollary of the “original sin”; the belief that guilt is real and fully justified, that you were born with it. It is therefore the psychotherapist’s function to teach that guilt, being unreal, cannot be justified. But neither is it safe. And thus it must remain unwanted as well as unreal. When the therapist demonstrates that safety lies in defenselessness, he is showing the patient a whole other way to live his life, teaching a whole other way of being and envisioning – the way of sanity.

Paragraph 11. “Salvation’s single doctrine is the goal of all therapy. Relieve the mind of the insane burden of guilt it carries so wearily, and healing is accomplished.” (P-2.IV.11:1-2) Given this single shift, all else will follow. The body is a messenger of the Word of God, to be given to the Holy Spirit for His purpose to teach your brothers salvation, and in so doing to learn the lessons of salvation for yourself. Once the body is seen rightly, there will be no further need for the body to become sick. It will have found a purpose that is higher than carrying guilt. In short, release the guilt, serve the Holy Spirit, and all sickness formally imposed upon the body will be gone, never to appear again.

This single shift from guilt to purpose is all that is needed, for “truth is simple.” There will be no further need “for long analyses and wearying discussion and pursuits.” And no opportunity for therapists to fall asleep when patients are “telling their story.” Patients will ‘let go’ of their story by opting to listen to the therapist tell the truth instead. Jesus made a similar remark to Helen and Bill about their own long process in analysis:

You both went over your childhoods in some detail and at considerable expense, and

it merely encouraged your egos to become more tolerable to you. I would hardly want

you to repeat that same error. (Absence From Felicity. P.296)

“The ego’s plan is to have you see error clearly first, and then overlook it. Yet how can you overlook what you have made real? By seeing it clearly, you have made it real and cannot overlook it.” (T-9.IV.4:4-6) Think of a recent time when you have been upset at what you perceived as being treated unfairly. Realize that you were really upset at your own lost innocence. That is what you believed damaged you, not this external event. Then dwell on these lines (W-pI.182.12:1-9) . “You have not lost your innocence. It is for this you yearn. This is your heart’s desire. This is the voice you hear, and this the call which cannot be denied. The holy Child remains with you. His home is yours. Today He gives you His defenselessness, and you accept it in exchange for all the toys of battle you have made. And now the way is open, and the journey has an end in sight at last. Be still an instant and go home with Him, and be at peace a while.”

You have carried the burden of guilt wearily and the body and mind have grown even wearier carrying it over the years. But there is no longer any reason to carry it. It is insane. Release it now to Him Who will relieve you of its burden forever.




The Process of Psychotherapy

The Process of Illness

  • All illness is mental illness. It is a judgment on the Son of God (SOG), and judgment is a mental activity. Judgment of the SOG as guilty and deserving of punishment ASKS for punishment. Illness is that punishment. What you ask for your brother, you also choose for yourself. This is a KEY POINT!

  • Once the decision for guilt has been made and deemed real, the descent into hell then follows step-by-step in a downward spiral to illness, pain, hopelessness and eventually to death.

  • To reverse that downward spiral of illness, the decision for guilt must be corrected by the mind. To heal the sick is but to bring this realization to them. But how?

  • The mind cannot extricate itself from the mire of guilt, and the resulting illness until the meaning of love is understood. Again, HOW?

  • The meaning of love is understood through the Word of God, given by the Holy Spirit as a gift to you.

  • An illness, at its root, is a case of a sick self-concept of weakness, vulnerability, evil and endangerment. This concept must be changed to "beloved Son of God in Whom He is well pleased."

  • This is how the psychotherapist, with the help of the Holy Spirit, helps the patient. The therapist must help the patient release his sick self-concept and see things differently, by seeing the truth in him and this must all be done without anger, attack, force or defense.

  • True correction of a mistake lies in seeing that the mistake (guilt and resulting illness) was not real in the first place. This allows the truth to take its place. But, how do you see it as not real?

  • To see a difference in the intensity of an illness, is but to see the illness as real. To see illness as unreal (and thus not to see it at all) is to withdraw belief in it altogether.

  • The patient may see the psychotherapist as the enemy who has come to destroy his illusions of himself. Rather, the therapist helps the patient to see the REALITY of himself. (Don't dispense medication, dispense with the illusion.) It helps that the truth is more palatable than the illusion.

  • The goal of all therapy is to "relieve the mind of the insane burden of guilt it carries so wearily," and healing is thereby accomplished, so help me God . . . But how?

"Be still an instant and go home with Him, and be at peace a while."


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