Reading A Course in Miracles: The Function of the Miracle Worker

I’m going to take this section of A Course in Miracles in two parts: The Function of the Miracle Worker and Special Principles of Miracle Workers. The two are related of course but readily stand independent scrutiny. However, we can say by way of introduction to this section generally that it picks up earlier threads about healing and weaves them into a single solid strand: the function of the miracle worker is to heal which she or he does by accepting the atonement for his or her self.

What stands in the way of healing others is – perhaps not unsurprisingly – a fear of being healed oneself. And that is another way of saying that we don’t want to be in our right minds. That seems threatening to us. Giving up the egoic self – its history, its body, its likes and dislikes, its power of judgment – feels like an embrace of emptiness. It’s like stepping off a cliff into nothingness. It’s like death – and there is no escape from death. Thus, the very action that would heal us totally and unleash our own healing powers is the very action that we resist.

We are talking, of course, about accepting the Love that is the atonement. This Love brings all the separated ones – you and me – together as the united One that we all are in truth. It reminds us that we never split from God but remain wholly a part of Divine Creativity.

All healing then begins with the recognition that what obstructs Love is Fear. Acknowledging this brings the need for healing into awareness. For most of us, this is a matter of confusing our identity with the body rather than the abstract perfection of mind. We have problems in the world – not enough money, the wrong body type, no friends, insufficient solitude. Whatever it is, we aim at solving it by moving pieces of the illusion here and there. But the body can’t create – it does nothing except what mind directs it to do. Thus, if we are going to heal fear, then we have to do it at the mind level.

Healing, at that level, is not a matter of mustering willpower. It is entirely unrelated to anything that our ego might use to bolster its own identity. It’s got nothing to do with the world. Instead, it is about faith in Jesus.

The healer who relies on his own readiness is endangering his understanding. You are perfectly safe as long as you are completely unconcerned about your readiness, but maintain a consistent trust in mine (T-2.V.4:1-2).

This is important. We are apt to decide for ourselves what constitutes healing. We are apt to take pride in the abilities we have – an empathetic ear, eloquence, psychic clarity, touch – as if we created ourselves that way. We tell ourselves – humbly, softly, subtly – that we’re good healers. We’re loving people doing God’s work.

But the body doesn’t heal anything. And neither do you or I – not in the separation-based way we understand ourselves. All we really do is put ourselves at the service of the Atonement and allow it to work through us. There is nothing in the world – be it the best hospital on the planet or the amethyst crystal I sometimes carry in my pocket – that can truly heal. Period.

What the physical eye sees is not corrective, nor can error be corrected by any device that can be seen physically. As long as you believe in what your physical sight tells you, your attempts at correction will be misdirected (T-2.V.8:2-3).

Sections like this are good examples of why the workbook is such a critical component of A Course in Miracles. How are we to give up on physical sight? How do we manage the fear that is inherent in the awakening of spiritual sight? How do we accept Jesus into our lives when so much of our identity is invested in keeping him at arm’s length?

The lessons help us to slowly – piece by tiny piece – undo our own belief system. We work on ourselves and by doing that we turn on our ability to heal others. In the end, there is no difference – the healing I extend to you is healing offered to me. The healing that comes from you to me is a blessing to us both. We are not separate.

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