One of the more challenging concepts students face in A Course in Miracles is the nature of physical healing. Given course assertions that the body isn’t real (e.g., T-2.V.1:9), and that all forms of healing its apparent ills are magic (e.g., T-2.IV.2:7, T-7.V.4:2), what is the status of physical healing in A Course in Miracles?
A Course in Miracles has clear roots in Christian Science, a nineteenth century religion that suggests sickness is an illusion that only prayer can heal. Both Helen Schucman and Bill Thetford had a relationship with that tradition in their childhoods. Thematic strains of Christian Science are evident throughout the text and workbook, particularly with respect to healing and atonement.
For example, in “Atonement and Eucharist” from Science and Health, Mary Baker Eddy sees atonement as an end to our separation from God.
Atonement is the exemplification of man’s unity with God, whereby man reflects divine Truth, Life, and Love. Jesus of Nazareth taught and demonstrated man’s oneness with the Father, and for this we owe him endless homage.
And later yet she discussed the relationship between truth and error, in terms that – with fairly minor semantic adjustments – should be familiar to students of A Course in Miracles.
Love and Truth are not at war with God’s image and likeness. Man cannot exceed divine Love, and so atone for himself. Even Christ cannot reconcile Truth to error, for Truth and error are irreconcilable. Jesus aided in reconciling man to God by giving man a truer sense of Love, the divine Principle of Jesus’ teachings, and this truer sense of Love redeems man from the law of matter, sin, and death by the law of Spirit, — the law of divine Love.
Eddy’s premise was that sickness was illusory and thus could be healed through prayer, through bringing one’s spirit into alignment with truth as God created it. Eddy contemplated specifically physical healing. Her own profound experience included healing from a fall.
Does A Course in Miracles make a similar case for that kind of healing?
It is true that some students of the course experience healing of this sort. I have heard and read testimony about skin cancer being healed, migraine headaches disappearing, addictions disappearing and more.
I have no reason to doubt testimony like this. It is entirely consistent with the release of guilt fostered by the course. Miracles heal the body because we are learning – through the undoing of guilt – that the mind, not the body, makes illness. What happens in the body merely reflects what is happening in the mind (T-28.II.11:4). This is as true of our sexual relationships as our relationships with food and eating.
The miracle is always about the shift in our thinking from ego to Christ, from little self to God. It has no other goal; and really, healing needs no other.
But – and this is critical – physical healing is not the ultimate goal of A Course in Miracles.
Yet half the lesson will not teach the whole. The miracle is useless if you learn but that the body can be healed, for this is not the lesson it was sent to teach. The lesson is the mind was sick that thought the body could be sick; projecting out its guilt caused nothing, and had no effects (T.28.II.11:5-7).
The real goal of A Course in Miracles is to restore cause and effect to its rightful place. Cause lies in the mind and the physical world – from our bodies to other bodies to the weather to the sea to the distant stars – are merely effects that witness to what is happening in the mind.
As our mind heals – which is to say as it accepts its responsibility as a decision-maker that is choosing to think either with or against God, or Love – the real fruit is inner peace. That might show up as a miraculous deliverance from a fatal cancer diagnosis. But it might also show up as the grace to simply accept the cancer because the cancer is not real. So there is nothing to get worked up about. There is never anything to get worked up about.
We can’t fake this insight. Most of us think of miracles in terms of what we can get materially. That’s what we do! But A Course in Miracles slowly and surely redirects our thinking, aligning it with something closer to Truth, or reality. At that level, sickness is impossible regardless of what appears to be happening in the world. We heal by realizing this. We heal by realizing that at that level, there is no sickness or harm.
In other words, we lose our attachment to the symbols of hate and guilt that show up in the world. Whatever shows up is okay. It can’t shake our inner peace because our inner peace is not caused by what is external. It is reflected there for learning purposes, but reflections are not causative.
In this sense, the course differentiates – subtly perhaps – from Christian Science. This is not to say that one path is “better” or more “right” than the other. Either can be a useful path to salvation, to the realization of our fundamental unity. It is a question of what is most helpful to us at a given time.
But in terms of miracles, the miracle is always about the shift in our thinking from ego to Christ, from little self to God. It has no other goal; and really, physical healing needs no other.
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Sean–This is so well said. I belong to a Science of Mind church (Science of Mind was birthed from Christian Science) but I am primarily A Course in Miracles student. Because there is so much emphasis on healing in Science of Mind, I always ponder about it in connection with the Course. I, too, see the similarities, but also the same difference you see. In my Science of Mind classes, I have learned how to use thought to heal. However, while we are perfectly capable of healing ourselves by USING spirit, it is when we simply turn the outcome of everything over to Spirit, that the truly deep healings begin, both mental and physical.
By the way, in my life with my “regular” non-spiritual friends I hear nothing but pain talk. But my friends who are really doing deep spiritual work are mostly enjoying their bodies with much less attachment to them and experience little pain, if any. The “happy dream” comes in many forms and can include release from illness and physical pain!
Thank you for sharing that, Susan. I am only nominally familiar with Science of Mind (tried to read Holmes a few years ago and it didn’t take; Christian Science fascinates me – actually, the whole emphasis on healing is fascinating. The emphasis ACIM places on healing taking place solely in the mind – with or without manifestation in the world and body – is very rigorous and hard to sustain. It is so easy to slip into a belief that the body is useful for that it can get us, and “health” is one of those things. I agree with you whole-heartedly – when we release outcomes to spirit, then a “truly deep healing” begins, we are moving in the direction then of something radically whole.
It does seem like a grounded spiritual practice tends to promote a certain detachment from the body – not in a negative way, but just in a simple and relaxed way. It is as if we are learning that the body is merely part of our experience of the physical world, no more and no less, and useful primarily for communication.
Thanks again, Sue – hope all is well!
Sean: As our mind heals – which is to say as it accepts its responsibility as a decision-maker that is choosing to think either with or against God – the real fruit is inner peace. That might show up as a miraculous deliverance from a fatal cancer diagnosis. But it might also show up as the grace to simply accept the cancer because the cancer is not real. So there is nothing to get worked up about. There is never anything to get worked up about.
Pam: Sean, I am certainly not advocating ‘getting upset’ about anything as that mental/emotional state has no healing power in it whatsoever. However, Course metaphysics with respect to Reality have been compared, and I think rightly so, to a movie projector on which we project our thoughts on the screen we call ‘the external world.’ In other words, it may look like there are things ‘out there’ existing separately from what we believe to be our thoughts but that isn’t true. Therefore, cancer is nothing but a thought and healing thoughts is what ACIM is all about. In addition, ACIM informs:
All forms of sickness, even unto death, are physical expressions of the fear of awakening. They are attempts to reinforce unconsciousness out of fear of consciousness. This is a pathetic way of trying not to know by rendering the faculties for knowing ineffectual.
If this is true, I must ask, just exactly what is it that we are accepting when we accept unhealed cancer? It seems reasonable to think that what we are accepting is that we still have fear of awakening, that we are still engaged in attempts to reinforce the unconscious out of fear of consciousness, and that we are engaging in a ‘projection’ that the Course refers to as pathetic or ‘marked by sorrow.’ I would like to suggest that maybe it is better to accept that we are healed, that being healed is our natural state. Whether or not we manifest it in this particular life, we should nonetheless accepting thinking it right up until our very last breath – be that last breath taken by a disease or a germ or a bullet or simply old age (e.g., It may look like I have cancer, but I am totally whole and totally healed. It may look like this gunshot is taking me out but I will die with affirmations of being complete and whole and healed on my lips. It may look like I am old but I am an eternal being and I will not accept thoughts that tell me otherwise!
It’s nice to hear from you – I hope you and your family are well.
We agree that we are eternal beings!
The problem is never external – it’s not the cells that are cancerous, not the body that is orgasmic, and not the other body pointing a gun. It is always our interpretation of those wholly neutral things – the internal decision to call some of them good, some of them bad, some of them right, some of them wrong. That is what A Course in Miracles addresses – the internal decision-maker that projects its fear and guilt outside and then judges it.
At that level it doesn’t matter if we are pleased or displeased with what is happening outside. To judge it in any way is to make it real, and to make it real is to believe that our will can create apart from God’s will, and that one can meaningfully choose between them.
Death is nothing, because the body is nothing, but we believe otherwise – and it is that belief that has to change, and that is internal. That is the only level that ACIM addresses. What happens externally as a result of that changed belief is beside the point – once the external is accepted as illusory, what happens there ceases to matter.
So again, sure, some people might be “healed” the way the ego defines healing – the disappearance of a “bad” symptom. But others will not. And the course does not judge either way. It is not concerned with what happens to the body, only to the mind. Bodies are wholly neutral; the issue that we are dealing with is always interpretation, or judgment.
Thus, healed cancer and unhealed cancer are the same thing. To argue otherwise is to fall into the ego’s trap of judgment.
It is increasingly my experience that I do not need to “insist” on anything any more than I need to “resist” anything. The course is much gentler than that. I simply need to give attention to thought and share it with the the Holy Spirit (which is simply to hold it in awareness without judgment) and it is undone for me. Healing in this sense is far more passive than the ego wants to admit, given its fondness for combat, complexity and conditions.
Thank you for sharing, Pamela. I know that we don’t always see eye-to-eye on these issues, but I am always grateful for your thoughts.
You know what is amazing to me is that our interpretations of ACIM have so many common elements and yet on this particular point we are soooo far apart. I can literally find passages that, in my mind, contradict almost every point you made yet I know that does not matter. What matters most to me is that I have been able to share a few thoughts with you and I’ve not been able to do that for some time, so I am very grateful for it.
I am grateful too, Pamela . . .
Excellent, and thank you. I have focused too much on trying to heal my physical ailments only to be disappointed in the end and then doubting the course. Realizing that it’s not really about healing the body has helped me a great deal.
As a new reader to the Course in Miracles, I am struck by similarties between Christian Science and TCIM. (I am familiar with Christian Science from my childhood and have had Christian Science class instruction from an authorized practioner/teacher.)
Your point, Sean, that physical healing is not the goal of TCIM is similar to that of Christian Science. Metaphysical healing of physical disease is a side effect—one that attests to its divine, Christly origin. As Mary Baker Eddy states on page 150 of Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures:
“The mission of Christian Science now, as in the time of its earlier demonstration [by Jesus], is not primarily one of physical healing. Now, as then, signs and wonders are wrought in the metaphysical healing of physical disease; but these signs are only to demonstrate its divine origin,—to attest the reality of the higher mission of the Christ-power to take away the sins of the world.”
For Eddy, “Christian Science” refers primarily to the laws of God, not a religious denomination. It is synonymous in her writings with “Divine Science” and the “Science of Mind (terms that were used later — and in their own way — by the founders of Religious Science and Divine Science).
If interested, you can search Eddy’s writings and the Bible at https://login.concord.christianscience.com/concord/secure/dashboard (online concordance) where you can login as a guest for free.
An excerpt from a letter to the editor of an Alaskan newspaper by Alfred Farlow, the Christian Science Committee on Publication and reprinted in the 11-28-1908 Christian Science Sentinel, states the mission of Christian Science in plain English:
“The mission of Christian Science is first to reform—regenerate—its beneficiaries mentally and morally. Thus we note that the healing of the sick is a consequence of Christian Science practice and not its prime object. The practice of Christian Science is not a business, but a ministry, not a profession, but a rule of life. … Bodily healing is the result of regeneration.”
Thank you so much me to share these ideas, Sean! I appreciate your allowing feedback and replies on your site!
Thank you for sharing.
Both Helen Schucman and Bill Thetford had childhood encounters with Christian Science that – however brief or apparently trivial – clearly had a profound affect on their spiritual thinking. The course very much tracks some of the key ideas one encounters in Christian Science.
Over the years I have read Mary Baker Eddy’s Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures a couple of times. I’m hardly an expert 🙂
I think that ACIM differs slightly from Christian Science in that ACIM is – at its core, which can be hard to discern sometimes – effectively a Christian Vedanta. There is no world and there is no body. Sickness is an illusion – but so is the body.
Thus, in ACIM, it’s fine to take an aspirin or get chemotherapy, and there is no association between healing of physical ailments and divine healing. The body and its affects simply aren’t real.
It would not surprise me to learn that some Christian Science practitioners or thinkers advocate a similar position. But I’m not at present aware of that.
Eddy’s work has always struck me as an extension of the ongoing dialogue between western medicine and western theology, whereas A Course in Miracles arises from a more recent confluence of eastern spiritual influence, traditional psychotherapy and early Christian thinkers in the neo-Platonic tradition.
But I do think that course students who are interested are wise to take a look at Eddy’s book, because the two traditions – ACIM and CS – are entangled in interesting ways.
Thank you again for sharing, and good luck with your reading of the course. Please always feel free to share; I have a lot to learn 🙂
Thanks for your kind and informative reply, Sean.
According to the teachings of Christian Science, matter is an illusion. Therefore, the material body, the material universe, and all material phenomena are illusory—mortal misconceptions about the nature of reality, which is actually spiritual.
Regarding reliance on metaphysics, Eddy wrote, “Emerge gently from matter into Spirit” (Science and Health, page 485). Each individual makes his/her own decisions based what seems right at the time, including choice of healing methods. Although the ideal in Christian Science is metaphysical healing, there is no condemnation if an individual chooses other methods of healing. This article from explains more:
Christian Science or Medical Means?
I believe that Spirit’s revelations are designed to meet people where they are in every age and clime.
Thanks again for helping a new reader like me understand more about ACIM!
Thanks, Margaret. CS seems to me to place a premium on healing, though – yes? Eddy points to examples in her writing; and my occasional reading of contemporary CS witnessing talks about healing from physical ills without allopathic intervention.
There seems to be an emphasis on physical healing. Am I wrong about that?
Whereas, in ACIM, the emphasis is that we are not bodies, and that the body’s so-called problems are all illusory. What you are in truth can neither get cancer nor be healed from cancer.
In that sense, the focus is on healing the mind that believes in sickness at all, rather than addressing the sickness manifesting in the body. One may appear to get sick, just as one may appear to be healed, but both reflect the same illusion (and confusion about what we are in truth).
I’m not suggesting that one approach is superior to the other, and obviously I’m far more familiar with ACIM than CS. I do appreciate their similarities and, as I’ve said, I think the course has nontrivial roots in CS.
I appreciate your engagement on this very much 🙂
Hi again, Sean!
It’s not my intention to monopolize this thread on ACIM with a discussion of Christian Science. So I’ll just respond to your questions about the inferred CS focus on physical healing and leave it there.
My understanding is that, in Christian Science, healing = awakening to the spiritual reality. A shift in thought/consciousness occurs—a realization of the presence and power of God, divine Love. The discordant condition or experience then vanishes. The healing can be of any type of discord, not just physical or bodily ailments. All healings are evidence of the spirtual reality.
To gauge whether my impressions of Christian Science are correct, I did an archival, online search of the Christian Science religious periodicals (www.jsh.christianscience.com) using the keywords “what is healing.” I found two articles that address the subject head-on and support my assertion that the term “healing,” as used in Christian Science, refers to much more than physical healing of the body.
Here’s an article from 1900:
And one from 2020:
“What is Christian Science healing?”
Thanks again for letting me share!
Thanks, Margaret. You’re not monopolizing a thread when the site owner/post author is in happy dialogue with you 🙂
And I don’t think we’re just talking about Christian Science here. For me, we are clarifying where ACIM and Christian Science diverge (or, perhaps, where they unify), which is hopefully helpful for both Christian Science practitioners and ACIM students.
As I said, ACIM owes a creative debt to Christian Science that I think is helpful to acknowledge, ideally while respecting and honoring both traditions.
Also, in a general way, compassionate and informed interfaith dialogue is a gift to those in the dialogue as well as those who encounter a record of it along the way. We are doing God’s work here 🙂
Implicit in Deborah Huebsch’s article is the assumption that money woes are bad and that money needs met is good. Heroin addiction is bad, and not being addicted is good.
She further implies that this is a reasonable objective for Christian Scientists, which seems consistent with the Christian Science governing body’s sense that health encompasses “our bodies, relationships, finances, or environment” and that spiritual healing includes “physical cures of disease and dysfunction as well as the reformation and restoration of lives,” which healing ideally extends from self to family and to world.
A Course in Miracles teaches that we are not bodies (e.g., W-pI.199.h) and that there is no world (W-pI.132.6:2).
From the perspective of a body in a world, heroin addiction is bad and relief from that is desirable. Same with money woes. But if those are illusory (because there is no world and we are not bodies), then healing is not really about fixing those so-called problems.
Rather, it is about healing the mind that believes it is in a body in a world and subject to those kinds of deprivations and illnesses.
That feels like a nontrivial distinction for me. I don’t assert that every Christian Scientist toes that line (obviously, both you and some of the examples you share are evidence of this) nor that all ACIM students agree with my characterization of the course (a cursory review of comments to this post makes that very clear).
But in general that feels like a space where the two traditions are different.
On the other hand, I am mindful of this sentence about Christian Science from Bryan Wilson’s Sects and Society: A Sociological Study of the Elim Tabernacle, Christian Science, and Christadelphians:
“What heals is really the realisation that there is nothing to heal.”
That strikes me as very much in accord with ACIM principles. Or, if one prefers, a principle from which ACIM derives its ideal of spiritual healing.
In a lot of ways, this exchange neatly reflects your observation a few comments back that “Spirit’s revelations are designed to meet people where they are.”
I think that’s true, in no small part because we cannot actually be where Spirit is not – or be other than Spirit – though we can be confused (even mortally confused about this). It does seem that both Christian Science and ACIM are deeply practical responses to that confusion.
By the way, your comments get held for moderation because of the links they include, not for any other reason. Thanks for your patience, sharing and perseverance.
Sean, I can’t find anywhere in the course that says: “The miracle is always about the shift in our thinking from ego to Christ, from little self to God. It has no other goal; and really, healing needs no other.”
Could you give me the exact reference?
Thank you for your note, Jose.
The sentences to which you point are not in quotation marks – therefore, there is no exact reference. But I think you know this 🙂
When we study and practice A Course in Miracles, it meets us where we are. Hence, we can end up with divergent practices (as anybody who has ever sat through an ACIM study group knows) and also with teachers whose perspective on the course can appear almost opposite (compare Gary Renard to Tara Singh, for example).
All of us are simply trying to bring into application the lessons of a curriculum that seems to resist every effort to constrain it. It’s almost as if God – i.e., love – is not interested in the ego dynamic of “I get it and you don’t.”
So it’s honestly hard for me to imagine someone studying A Course in Miracles seriously and not understanding the helpfulness and integrity of those sentences I wrote, even if they’d phrase them differently, or even decide they’re not helpful for them right now.
Put another way, A Course in Miracles is not required to be read or treated as if it were a scripture or other kind of holy text, amenable to one reading. Ken Wapnick – for whom I have no unkind words – spent a LONG time learning that lesson 🙂
Still, assuming good faith in your inquiry, I’m happy to offer you some references 🙂
“The miracle is always about the shift in our thinking . . . ”
I’d suggest starting with the Miracle Principles 12, 36 and 37.
You could also look at “From Vigilance to Peace” in Chapter 7, especially its emphasis on wrong and right thinking and our ability to “direct” our thinking as we choose, aligning it with love instead of fear.
Note that this characterization of the miracle as a shift in thinking is consistent with Helen Schucman’s understanding of the material. She wrote in the course preface about the “thought reversal at which the Course aims.”
Later, in the same preface (albeit in language for which she projected authority onto Jesus), she makes clear that the Holy Spirit teaches us to “reverse our thinking and unlearn our mistakes.”
While A Course in Miracles doesn’t eschew Road-to-Damascus awakenings, most students experience the “reversal” to which Schucman/Jesus refers as a series of gradual shifts in thinking – i.e., miracles. Have you ever been in a canoe? You don’t change direction at once; you shift gradually and intentionally, and eventually end up pointed in an entirely other direction 🙂
” . . .from ego to Christ . . . ”
I’d read – or re-read – the “The Christ in You” in Chapter 24, giving close attention to the contrast between its description of specialness (which is of ego (e.g., T-24.II.1:1-2)) and its description of Christ. The movement ACIM invites us to make – the shift to which I refer – is from specialness to holiness, hatred to forgiveness, ego to Christ. The semantics are less critical than the actual movement.
” . . . from little self to God.”
See the section “Littleness vs. Magnitude” in Chapter 15, especially:
When we listen to ego, we are little; yet because we are God’s Creation, we share the magnitude of God. Our “littleness” is an illusory consequence of wrong thinking (specifically, we are wrong about what we are).
“It has no other goal . . . ”
Take a look at “Healing as a Release from Fear:”
The miracle is the means of healing which occurs in the mind, not in the world or the body (though its effects will surely be reflected there (e.g., T-21.in.1:5), and thus is applied to thinking to help it shift from wrong to right (e.g., T-1.37:1).
” . . and really, healing needs no other.”
I think it’s fair to be critical of this phrase! Healing uses lots of forms and modalities, not just those of ACIM (much less some supposedly “right” or otherwise superior interpretation of ACIM). Perhaps I should amend it: “healing as contemplated by A Course in Miracles needs no other.”
Again, ACIM is not about being healed from cancer or an overdrawn checking account. Those things happen or they don’t. ACIM is about healing the thinking that values those things and learning instead how to value what only what is real.
“You do not want the world. The only thing of value in it is whatever part of it you look up on with love (T-12.VI.3:1-2). Therefore, the Holy Spirit teaches us to accept Christ’s vision because “Christ’s eyes are open and He will look upon whatever you see with love if you accept His vision as yours” (T-12.VI.4:4).
Again, most students accept this vision piecemeal and by degrees.
To accept this vision is to be healed because it is to look with love upon all things, and to receive the love they offer in return. There is nothing else. Is this true for you? It doesn’t have to be! Can it be true for others? I think we are called by love to at least say “maybe,” if not “yes.”
As our thinking shifts, we remember what we are, and the memory further restores to our mind the crystalline clarity of direct experience, which is free of thought. This is NOT the work of ACIM; ACIM prepares us for this, that’s all. Ideally, after studying and practicing the course, we move on from it. Tara Singh used to say if one is sufficiently receptive, a single line from the course will wake you up. It doesn’t take decades; indeed, leaning into it that way – as a kind of formal practice, like meditation, that one adopts religiously – can be problematic. Tara Singh was not immune from this. But that’s another story.
He did gently help many students remember that “the purpose of thought/is ever to bring one to the clarity/of the living moment,/to bring the mind to stillness” (The Voice that Precedes Thought 138). The shift is an illusion: the stillness – which transcends our attempts to name and thus contain it – is all.
Thank you again for sharing, Jose.
Just found this. So beautifully written, Sean. Just wanted to say thank you from all of my heart. Peace and blessings ✨🙏🙏🙏🌿🤍
You’re welcome, Jurgita. Thank you for being here 🙏
Healing of the body is only half the lesson, but it is still part of the lesson.
“The body can be healed as an effect of true forgiveness. Only that can give rememberance of immortality, which is the gift of holiness and love.” ~S-3.I.3
Since true forgiveness is the essential means employed by the course, the healed body can be viewed as witness to its achievement.
Sometimes the body is healed but sometimes it is not – in that sense, the body is never actually sick. Rather, the mind is sick that believes it is in a body, or subject to what happens to the body. A healed mind is not alarmed or stressed about the body’s cancer, because it knows that it’s not a body. It knows that IT is cause and the body mere effect.
As the Song of Prayer points out in another section, “Healing the body is impossible” (S-3.I.1:4).
The problem is not the cancer diagnosis – it’s that we think the diagnosis matters. We think it’s bad news, a thing to be fought with, et cetera. We think it’s the cause of suffering. We look at ourselves or others as if the sickness of the body IS who they (and we) are. If we are seeing the sickness, then we are not truly seeing our brother. So healing has to do with perception – it has to do with seeing the other NOT as a body (regardless of that body’s health or sickness).
Sickness, in ACIM terms, is “. . . a sign, a shadow of an evil thought that seems to have reality and to be just, according to the usage of the world. It is external proof of inner “sins,” and witnesses to unforgiving thoughts that injure and would hurt the Son of God (S-3.I.1:2-3).
A healed mind does not see the “shadow,” it does not read that “sign.” It does not indulge “false healing” – i.e., trading poor health for good health. Rather, it practices “true forgiveness,” which does not see the other as separate but rather as equally created by Love.
“. . . in this oneness is [the other’s] separate sense dispelled, and it is this that made him sick. There is no point in giving remedy apart from where the source of sickness is, for never thus can it be truly healed (S-3.III.4:7-8).
To heal is to see the other as joined with us, which joining happens at the level of mind, not the body. Bodies come and go; the Peace of God – and the Love of God – are forever.
Yes, it says, “Healing the body is impossible” (S-3.I.1:4), but this is a conditional statement. In its full context, healing of the body is impossible IF sin is believed to be true.
The preceding sentence, which you cited, gives us a clue: “It [sickness] is external proof of inner “sins,” and witnesses to unforgiving thoughts that injure and would hurt the Son of God (S-3.I.1:2-3).
Later in that same section we read, “God’s Voice alone can tell you how to heal. ²Listen, and you will never fail to bring His kindly remedy to those He sends to you, to let Him heal them, and to bless all those who serve with Him in healing’s name. ³The body’s healing will occur because its cause has gone.” S-3.III.6:1-3
I have to make this addition to our comment thread to let others know that the healing of the body can indeed occur. The one sentence, “Healing the body is impossible” (S-3.I.1:4) is misleading if read by itself.
That being said, I agree with you that the mind, not the body, is the focus of healing. But we must remember, too, that Jesus healed the sick. He did this, of course, not through magic but by truly seeing the oneness of Christ in all who came to him. In ACIM, he is asking us to join him, reminding us that we are equals.
“You have surely begun to realize that this is a very practical course, and one that means exactly what it says. ²I would not ask you to do things you cannot do, and it is impossible that I could do things you cannot do. ³Given this, and given this quite literally, nothing can prevent you from doing exactly what I ask, and everything argues _for_ your doing it. ⁴I give you no limits because God lays none upon you. ⁵When you limit yourself we are not of one mind, and that is sickness. ⁶Yet sickness is not of the body, but of the mind. ⁷All forms of sickness are signs that the mind is split, and does not accept a unified purpose.” ~T-8.IX.8:1-7
God bless you, brother
Thank you for sharing, Derek 🙏
I have been studying the course on and off for maybe 14 years. In fact all.I did was study.
I attempted the lessons way back then, read the lessons and forgot about them for the rest of the day. So I thought I had met the requirements.
Then, I went on to spew the course online in long winded philosophical nonsense. Nothing like you are doing here.. I stated in conflicted inwardly and of course outwardly.
What finally happened was, I became so sick and.desperate that I began the lessons in earnest 96 lessons ago.
I am happy, although I spend most of my time peering out from the ego.thought system,.trying not to hurt myself.
I am however beginning to experience miracles, a.few, but awareness is growing slowly like gradually, and that is enough for me.
I said all.of that to say this, I have finally came to the decision to deactivate FB. and really shut up and do the lessons. Lol
What I found in my lesson quiet time, in the last couple of days was the idea I read twice in this thread, once from you and in the comments.
Leave all of it to Holy Spirit, or my Self, every single problem no matter how big or small, good or bad, I perceive them.
I know they may resurface, but I intend to hand them over immediately. And just take 1 step after another. Do the things in front of me as best I can.
Who in this messy world,.could instruct me?
Thank you for sharing, Tom. Lots of clarity in this comment, and lots of trust. What else can we do but surrender? The war is unwinnable. There is no peace anywhere in conflict. I know the course is not the only path or the best path – indeed, that frame of thinking is itself rooted in the judgment that begets conflict – but for some of us it is the right path to undo ego, remember what we are in truth, and reach that juncture where all we receive (and so all we give) is love. I’m glad the course is settling something in you, and I hope the miracles undo every last thread of ego. Thank you for being here.
“Yet half the lesson will not teach the whole. The miracle is useless if you learn but that the body can be healed, for this is not the lesson it was sent to teach. The lesson is the mind was sick that thought the body could be sick; projecting out its guilt caused nothing, and had no effects” (T.28.II.11:5-7).
Thanks so much for this.
I was brought up in the Christian Science religion and while it has remained with me not all of my longings were answered through this teaching.
The above quote speaks to me. For even after the raising of Lazarus he still appeared to die. And even if you “manifest” lovely things in form, someone down the street is suffering (or appears to be). This writing answers some questions that I was finding difficulty defining. Thank you.
Some believe that the author of Science and Health, had authority in her teaching as she is symbolic of the woman in the Apocalypse. This however to me is still a figure in the dream.
I don’t know anything. Thanks again.
You’re welcome, Susan. Knowing that we don’t know anything is a good start, actually. I don’t say it’s a comfortable place but it can certainly be a fertile ground for the peace that surpasses understanding to put down roots in us.
The Course is not far from Christian Science. Both Helen and Bill had nontrivial childhood experiences with that tradition; a lot of the language between the two paths is very resonant.
I do think the emphasis on physical healing can be a distraction. Bodies age and die; there is no way out of this for a body. Yet the Course aims to teach us that we are not bodies, and therefore need not fear – nor grieve over – illness and death.
This is closer to a psychological stance than a religious one, in my experience. What are we in truth?
Thank you for reading what I write – I’m very grateful.