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Reading A Course in Miracles: Introduction Chapter 5

There are few sentences as cheerful and uplifting – and unambiguous – as the one that precipitates Healing and Wholeness: “To heal is to make happy (T-5.In.1:1).” I wish that everyone who identifies as a healer – from crystal healers to talk therapists to MDs – would paste that above their office. To heal is to make happy. What else is there?

The miracle is an act of love, be it a smile to a stranger, a harsh word overlooked, or warm muffins made before anyone else in the house rises – gives rise to a happiness that in turn gives rise to gratitude. That has become my barometer. When I am in a state of thankfulness, I am miracle-minded. I am open to giving and receiving love. And I ask again: what else is there?

I have read ACIM commentaries that talk about how “we” are really “joy.” We don’t feel joy – we are joy. I get that and I respect that. But I’m at the lower rungs of the ladder. When the Course tells me that to heal is make happy – with its obvious corollary that to be healed is to feel happy – I take it quite literally. I don’t mind being happy in this body, in this world, in this long story that I am calling myself. That’s what healing is. It’s concrete and real and we are all entitled to it, all the time.

The other day I wrote a bit about spending some time in a hospital. Those are difficult environments for me. If I indulge the course language that focuses on the world as illusion, then I’m tempted to ignore the world. For me, that’s a mistake. The way out of the world is forgiveness – the way out of the world is through healing. So I turn to Jesus in prayer, and I ask for help, and I turn over my egoic tendencies as best I’m able in favor of simple willingness and – surprise surprise – I am lifted. What seemed impossible passes with ease.

That, too, is A Course in Miracles. We can’t underestimate it. We can’t get so hung up on the metaphysics – which are so cool and which make me feel very smart and ultra spiritually radical when I sling them in conversation – that we overlook the simple need for healing in both ourselves and our brothers and sisters. When we perceive that need, we can ask for help in meeting it, and it will be met. Happiness will be the bellwether. Gratitude will attend.

Are you happy? It’s good sometimes to stop and check in. If the answer is yes, great. If the answer is no, then fix it! You do not have to be unhappy.

Think honestly what you have thought that God would not have thought, and what you have not thought that God would have you think. Search sincerely for what you have done and left undone accordingly, and then change your mind to think with God’s (T-4.IV.2:4-5).

And then this, from the introduction to chapter five.

You are being blessed by every beneficent thought of any of your brothers anywhere. You should want to bless them in return, out of gratitude (T-5.In.3:1-2).

Healing is a decision to be happy by making happy. That it seems hard to pull off is no big deal: we aren’t doing this alone. We’re doing it together – and we’re doing it with that part of our minds that is bigger and more powerful than “we” ever can be. Be happy!

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