The healing anticipated by A Course in Miracles – which is the healing that attends one’s study of it – is simply the ability to discern between what is false and what is true.
This discernment is natural but having forgotten we can do it, we need to remember how to do it. That is what the curriculum does: it restores to mind its capacity to discern between what is true and what is false.
We don’t have to change anything or resist anything; we don’t have to figure anything out; we don’t have to give anything up or buy anything new. We are merely asked to give attention to our self and its experience in the world.
Eventually, a gentle and sustained attention reveals the conflict that seems to be inherent in what we call our lives. The conflict is this: we believe we are separate beings with agency, in a world filled with similar beings, and that we are all in competition for scarce resources ranging from food to sex to seats in the movie theater.
And we are wrong.
Generally, we don’t see that we are wrong right away. First we decide – as Bill Thetford and Helen Schucman did – that there must be another way, and then we start seeking that other way.
A lot of wise people will say that seeking is the problem. But seeking isn’t the problem. The problem is the underlying belief that there is a decider – someone who can actually say “there must be another way” and be right about it.
It can take a long time to see that we are wrong about that. Yet it is this insight that makes the end of conflict possible – not because at last we have found the “right” path to follow or “right” action to take but because it is clearly seen that there is nothing to do and – more to the point – no body to do it.
Heaven is wholly true. No difference enters, and what is all the same cannot conflict. You are not asked to fight against your wish to murder. But you are asked to realize the form it takes conceals the same intent (T-23.IV.1:7-8).
The perception of differentiation is what obscures Heaven. Sure we love some of what appears – this teacher, this spiritual practice, this poet. We can spend a lot of time coveting a text or a lover by pretending our experience with them will be transcendent or holy or whatever.
But all these “loves” only appear because we have accepted perception of differentiation as reality. The error isn’t in choosing among the many appearances; that just happens. Rather, the error is in believing those appearances reflect reality and the choices therefrom meaningful.
When truth is seen as true, the false naturally falls away, and what was was always there is seen because it was and is always there.
All that happens is that we are no longer confused about the difference between what is false and true, and so the conflict inherent in falsity no longer plagues us. We know that truth has no parts or differences and therefore there is nothing to fight about or worry about.
We are still going to see blueberry bushes and smell baking bread and feel cold when it snows and enjoy a nice snuggle and advocate for the end of the death penalty or whatever but we aren’t going to consider those objects, activities, and ideas to be real in any ultimate or absolute sense. They are merely appearances.
The distinction may seem subtle to the point of why-bother-making-it, but all healing and all peace flows from our awareness of what is true and what is false.
A Course in Miracles puts it this way.
The body’s eyes will continue to see differences. But the mind that has let itself be healed will no longer acknowledge them. There will be those who seem to be “sicker’ than others, and the body’s eyes will report their changed appearance as before. But the healed mind will put them all in one category; they are unreal (M-8.6:1-4).
What should we do?
If you are interested in A Course in Miracles, take it. Take the course. Read the text, and do the lessons. If a teacher or guide is helpful, find them and make use of them. Don’t worry is it right or wrong; it’s neither.
If you are on the far side of the course, and sort of playing with waking up, then give attention to what is going on. Just look at what’s happening – the objects that appear, the differences, desire and fear, theory and idea. All of it.
This looking – this giving of attention – is healing. It reveals the whole by revealing that in truth nothing is separate from anything else nor ever was. You are already perfect; already awake. You rest in God at rest in you.
Perception forges ahead but its forging is no longer taken as fact. It is no longer taken as reality. It’s what shows up and leaves.
But God never leaves, nor left, and so it is with us.