A Course in Miracles asks that we pay attention to our thinking: that is the only level at which change is truly possible. It is the level at which Jesus can work with us. The effects of those thoughts – cumulatively the world of form – are meaningless.
My control can direct everything that does not matter, while my guidance can direct everything that does, if you so choose. Fear cannot be controlled by me, but it can be self-controlled (T-2.VI.1:3-4).
If we want to be peaceful and happy, then we must ask for Jesus’ help in watching our thoughts. The effects of our thinking – essentially the ups and downs of living in bodies in the world – are not properly our focus. Jesus will control the level of effect. And he will help us – if we are willing – to become more adept at the level of cause, which is thought.
In a sense, this is reminiscent of Jesus’ admonition to his disciples, urging them to a faith that transcended concern for the body.
Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls? And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest? Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
Most of us are aware of – and often quite obsessed with – bodily concerns. We want a job in order to feed ourselves and our families. We want certain accoutrements in order to feel self-esteem. Or we don’t have those things and so we feel bad about them. Our investment in these concerns is evidence that we are not giving our thoughts wholly over to Jesus.
It is important not to flagellate ourselves, however. Jesus is not asking us to wear sackcloth and ashes and confess what poor students of his course we are. He knows this and he still loves us. He is simply asking that we realize that change in the world of form is pointless. Will we not join him in a more practical healing process?
You do not need guidance except at the mind level. Correction belongs only at the level where change is possible. Change does not mean anything at the symptom level, where it cannot work (T-2.VI.3:5-7).
It doesn’t matter where we live, what we are wearing, who we are seeing or what we eat. Give those paltry concerns to Jesus who will take complete charge of them so that we might direct your energy entirely where it belongs: changing our mind in order to think the way Christ thinks. If this is our one goal, then we will know an abiding peace and not fear (T-2.VI.6:7-9).
This can feel like sacrifice – like we are giving up the sweet spot of life in the world – but we should be grateful for this simplicity and clarity! It is not a deprivation but a gift. We are not alone in needing this help, and our glad acceptance of it ensures the remembrance of our true Home.
You are not used to miracle-minded thinking, but you can be trained to think that way. All miracle workers need that kind of training (T-2.VII.1:9-10).
We are in good company when we humbly recognize our casual we are in our thinking and how recklessly we are in allowing body-thoughts and concerns to drive us. There is no punishment for this error: seeing it merely enables Jesus to demonstrate his Love and Justice the more clearly. Isn’t that what we want?
We are free when we surrender our will in order to follow Jesus: don’t sweat the form the following will take: what it will look like in the world. That’s not the point. It’s an inside process, an internal choice. There is nothing else.