Chapter 8: The Journey Back
IX. Healing as Corrected Perception
1 I said before that the Holy Spirit is the Answer. He is the Answer to everything, because He knows what the answer to everything is. The ego does not know what a real question is, although it asks an endless number. Yet you can learn this as you learn to question the value of the ego, and thus establish your ability to evaluate its questions. When the ego tempts you to sickness do not ask the Holy Spirit to heal the body, for this would merely be to accept the ego's belief that the body is the proper aim of healing. Ask, rather, that the Holy Spirit teach you the right perception of the body, for perception alone can be distorted. Only perception can be sick, because only perception can be wrong.
2 Wrong perception is distorted willing, which wants things to be as they are not. The reality of everything is totally harmless, because total harmlessness is the condition of its reality. It is also the condition of your awareness of its reality. You do not have to seek reality. It will seek you and find you, when you meet its conditions. Its conditions are part of what it is. And this part only is up to you. The rest is of Itself. You need do so little, because it is so powerful that your little part will bring the whole to you. Accept, then, your little part, and let the whole be yours.
3 Wholeness heals because it is of the mind. 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.” Rest in peace” is a blessing for the living, not the dead, because rest comes from waking, not from sleeping. Sleep is withdrawing; waking is joining. Dreams are illusions of joining, taking on the ego’s distortions about what joining means if you are sleeping under its guidance. Yet the Holy Spirit, too, has use for sleep, and can use dreams on behalf of waking, if you will let Him.
4 How you wake is the sign of how you have used sleep. To whom did you give it? Under which teacher did you place it? Whenever you wake dispiritedly, it was not given to the Holy Spirit. Only when you awaken joyously have you utilized sleep according to His purpose. You can indeed be "drugged" by sleep, if you have misused it on behalf of sickness. Sleep is no more a form of death than death is a form of unconsciousness. Complete unconsciousness is impossible. You can rest in peace only because you are awake.
5 Healing is release from the fear of waking and the substitution of the will to wake. The will to wake is the will to love, since all healing involves replacing fear with love. The Holy Spirit cannot distinguish among degrees of error, for if He taught that one form of sickness is more serious than another, He would be teaching that one error can be more real than another. His function is to distinguish only between the false and the true, replacing the false with the true.
6 The ego, which always weakens the will, wants to separate the body from the mind. Yet the ego actually believes that it is protecting it. This is because the ego believes that mind is dangerous, and that to make mindless is to heal. But to make mindless is impossible, since it would mean to make nothing out of what God created. The ego despises weakness, even though it makes every effort to induce it. The ego wants only what it hates. To the ego this is perfectly sensible. Believing in the power of attack, the ego wants attack.
7 You have surely begun to realize that this is a very practical course, which means exactly what it says. So does the Bible, if it is properly understood. There has been a marked tendency on the part of many of the Bible’s followers, and also its translators, to be entirely literal about fear and its effects, but not about love and its results. Thus, “hellfire” means “burning,” but raising the dead becomes allegorical. Actually, it is particularly the references to the outcomes of love which should be taken literally because the Bible is about love, being about God.
8 The Bible enjoins you to be perfect, to heal all errors, to take no thought of the body as separate, and to accomplish all things in my name. This is not my name alone, for ours is a shared identification. The Name of God's Son is one, and you are enjoined to do the works of love because we share this oneness. Our minds are whole because they are one. If you are sick you are withdrawing from me. Yet you cannot withdraw from me alone. You can only withdraw from yourself and me.
9 I would not ask you to do things you cannot do, and it is impossible that I could do things you cannot do. Given this, and given this quite literally, there can be nothing which prevents you from doing exactly what I ask, and everything which argues for your doing it. I give you no limits because God lays none upon you. When you limit yourself we are not of one mind, and that is sickness. Yet sickness is not of the body, but of the mind. All forms of dysfunction are merely signs that the mind has split, and does not accept a unified purpose.
9 The unification of purpose, then, is the Holy Spiritʹs only way of healing. This is because it is the only level at which healing means anything. The re‐establishing of meaning in a chaotic thought system is the only way to heal it. We have said that your task is only to meet the conditions for meaning, since meaning itself is of God. Yet your return to meaning is essential to His because your meaning is part of His. Your healing, then, is part of His health since it is part of His Wholeness. He cannot lose this, but you can not know it. Yet it is still His Will for you, and His Will must stand forever and in all things.
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