One of the harder concepts to grasp in A Course in Miracles is the simple truth that we are responsible for how we feel. We are making a decision at the level of mind which leads either to happiness or unhappiness, peace or conflict. Thus, there is nothing to “do” with respect to healing through A Course in Miracles other than to give attention to this internal decision.
Giving attention is a deeply personal, even intimate process. It cannot be delegated, nor even shared. Tara Singh used to say “there is nothing to do, and only you can do it.” When we give attention, we are actively resisting the ego’s habit of “mind wandering” (T-2.VI.4:6), choosing instead to “gift” the Holy Spirit with our capacity to be open and attentive in the interest of remembering what we already know.
It is an internal process that often yokes itself to an external practice. For example, my morning walks before the sun rises are conducive to the solitude and interior focus that giving attention requires. Careful reading of course material (and certain teachers, certain other texts) can have this affect as well. A sort of energetic passivity emerges, in which I can “see” my thoughts, and beyond them too, to what is shared with God. I realize again the critical insight that “if you are as God created you, you cannot think apart from Him, nor make what does not share His timelessness and Love” (W-pI.132.11:1).
There is nothing that happens, nothing that arises, that does not have a correlative in thought: we are always interpreting, always thinking. This is as true of death as choosing ice cream. Separation from God pervades all our decisions.
That insight clarifies that external circumstances cannot affect my state of peace or joy unless I consent to such influence.
There is no world apart from what you wish, and herein lies your ultimate release. Change but your mind on what you want to see, and all the world must change accordingly. Ideas leave not their source (W-pI.132.5:1-3).
This is why A Course in Miracles so gently yet so often insists that we “[B]e willing to forgive the Son of God for what he did not do” (T-17.III.1:5). This is a miracle offered to ourselves and our brothers and sisters: we say to them “you are not the cause of my guilt and fear.” We are liberated with them when we believe this, because it reflects the truth inherent in all God’s creation.
Giving attention to our thought can reveal those moments when we are holding another responsible for how we feel. Remembering that this is a form of projection that injures all parties, we can make another choice. When we see projection, we are no longer projecting. This is what the course hints at when it invites us to “[a]ccept the miracle of healing” and see how it proceeds to “go forth because of what it is” (T-27.V.1:4).
It is its nature to extend itself the instant it is born. And it is born the instant it is offered and received. No one can ask another to be healed. But he can let himself be healed, and thus offer the other what he has received” (T-27.V.1:5-7).
Attention given to what obscures love undoes those blocks and love is all that remains.
The key is to apply this to all the experiences of our lives without exception: the people, the places, the things, the events. There is nothing that happens, nothing that arises, that does not have a correlative in thought: we are always interpreting, always thinking. This is as true of death as choosing ice cream. Separation from God pervades all our decisions.
As we practice this mindfulness – this giving of attention to what folds and unfolds within – it becomes more natural and familiar. We might say that our relationship with the Holy Spirit is deepening and supplanting our relationship with the ego.
Healing begins with responsibility: our willingness to give attention to the ways in which thought obfuscates our inherent creativity and love. As healing becomes the essence of experience in this made-up world, the real world of Creation is gently revealed.
You will behold the beauty the Holy Spirit loves to look upon, and which He thanks the Father for. He was created to see this for you, until you learned to see it for yourself (T-17.II.1:7-8).
That is the promise of A Course in Miracles. That is the joy and peace for which we are responsible: we need but give it to remember it is ours.