Do We Choose Our Sicknesses And Whatever Happens To Us?
This lesson says that sickness is a choice and that we consciously choose it (and quickly forget that we chose it and instead make it seem like what happens to us against our will). We choose it to make our bodies seem real; in sickness we feel that we are bodies and that body is real. If our bodies are real then what bodies house, our separated selves, are real. The world exists to enable us make our separated selves seem real. Body, matter, space and time are illusions we use to make that which is not real, separated self, seem real. What is real is our unified spirit self. The goal of the lesson is to enable us stop choosing sickness in a futile effort to make an illusion, separated self, seem real. It is kind of difficult for us to accept that we choose our sicknesses and everything that happens to us on earth and that there are no accidents in our lives. Normally, we tend to see ourselves as victims that things, good or bad, happen to; that is the perspective of materialism, science, anyway. The view that we choose whatever happens to us is the perspective of A course in miracles; make of it what you like.
A COURSE IN MIRACLES
Sickness Is A Defense Against The Truth
This lesson says that sickness is a defense against the truth. So, we must first understand what the truth that sickness is defending against is.
According to A course in miracles, the truth is our eternal union. In truth we are all unified as one spirit self with one spirit mind; all of us and God share one self and one mind; there is no space (space is defense against union; union is the truth) and time (time is defense against the eternal now of God) and matter (matter/body is used to defend separated self).
Spiritual reality is one unified whole. We wish to live as separated selves with different minds. We invented illusions to make separated selves seem real. We invented the illusions of space, time and matter and use those to defend separated self and defend against unified self.
Space gives us the impression that you are over there and I am over here hence we are separated; time gives us the impression that it takes time for you to reach me when in fact you and I share the same self; matter is used to construct our bodies and our bodies give us the sense of having boundaries from each other, hence are separated selves.
Having posited the illusions, lies of separation, space, time and matter we house ourselves in bodies. When we begin to recognize that bodies are illusions and that in truth we are unified self and that we share the same self and mind we make our bodies sick. Sickness is an attempt to defend our chosen separated selves (make it seem real) and deny our unified spirit self, deny God and his son.
Let me personalize this discourse so as to avoid unnecessary abstraction. I make my body weak, pained and sick (you do the same). Sickness is a conscious choice I made (that you make); sickness is not something that happens to me/you against our wishes.
If my body is sick I have to think about it and worry about making it healthy. I have to go to doctors for medications, take medications, eat food etc. to heal my body; in sickness I fear death (death is another illusion for in truth we are not born in bodies and do not die).
Sickness is the illusion (for we are always healthy in spirit) we invented to make us forget that we are spirit and instead believe that we are separated selves housed in bodies.
Defense of bodies, whether it is through food, medications, clothes, shelter or sickness hides the reality of who we are, unified spirit.
Whatever you do to make you feel like you are a body has made you mask your reality, unified spirit. Therefore, to know that you are not body and that your true identity is unified spirit you must stop all defense of your body. You must desist from identification with body and its needs; you must stop thinking that body can get sick and accept that you are eternal unified spirit and you are healed.
Only mind can be sick. Mind is sick if it believes in separation. A healed mind accepts our eternal union with each other and with God.
If you return your mind to union, your body, an illusion, will still be there but is now healed. You will not feel like you are body; your body will not have any feeling in it. Your body is now like a lump of meat; it is lifeless. You merely use that lump of meat to move around in the world of space, time and matter and use it to reach other people and tell them that our reality is unified spirit.
Ultimately, if you like, you can so completely dis-identify with your body, space and time that you could awaken in the reality of formless unified spirit, light, our true state in God.
If you feel that other people can attack you (only body can be attacked, mind cannot attack for mind does not have body) and you bear grievances and seek vengeance for what people did to you, you are operating from defense of the ego separated self hence in the temporal universe.
Forgiveness means overlooking other people's attacks on you to know that you and they share oneself in spirit and that they cannot attack you; attack only takes place in dreams and what took place in dreams have not taken place in reality; no one attacked you even though in the dream you saw other dream figures attack your dream figure.
If you identify as the ego in body you must feel pain from other people's attack on your body and separated ego mind and react with defenses to protect your body hence defend against unified reality. Everything that we do on earth is defense of separated self and its body and thus defense against reality, unified self.
Everything we do on earth is geared to adapting to the world of illusions, space, time and matter. It follows that everything we do on earth, be it eating food, taking medications, wearing clothes, living in houses, having governments, practicing leadership and so on are defenses against God (union). Everything we do to adapt to the phenomenal world is means to enable us deny our truth, unified spirit. Everything we do on earth is defense of separated self and defense against unified self, God.
If you want to know God you have to stop all the things we do on earth that enable us adapt to the world. To know God is to escape from earthly reality for the reality of God is different from earthly reality.
Did you get what I just said? If you did you would know that it is a tough act to follow and difficult to do and yet easy to do. It is easy in that all that is required of you is for you to deny that you have a separated self and have a body; it requires you to let go of your belief that you have a separated self and body and keep quiet and let our unified self-dawn on your empty, still mind.
That unified self cannot be conceptualized by our egos for it transcends ego separated thinking. In ego there is you and I but in unified thinking there is no you and no I; in God there is only one self and one mind; there is no other, no subject and object in God.
Our ego minds and thinking are designed to think that there are other people, that there is space, time and matter; our ego communication and speech assume that other people exist and you talk to them.
In God there are no other people; there are infinite sons of God who are one with God and each knows himself to be others hence do not need language and speech or ego thinking to do so.
THE PURPOSE OF THE GRANDIOSE SELF
I have a grandiose self-concept and self-image. I tend to see myself as better than other people. In fact I have not seen any human being, black or white, that I would exchange myself for; this is because since childhood I felt superior to all human beings.
I have had occasion to wonder why I have a grandiose self-concept. From a psychological perspective I know that the wish to have a superior self is neurosis and the belief that one is better than other people is delusion disorder; mental; health is belief that one is the same and coequal with all people.
If you feel inferior to other people you are neurotic; if you feel superior to other people you are also neurotic.
Mental health lies in the feeling of sameness and equality with all people. This is ideal, an ideal found in what we might call normal people (not really for even normal persons entertain the desire for superiority). So how come some persons want to feel superior to other people?
In childhood I felt my body weak and pained. I was born with a genetic disorder called Cytochrome C Oxidase deficiency. Read it up for I do not have the time to explain it here.
All said, as a child I felt totally inferior and therefore compensated with desire to be strong and powerful. That is to say that my desire for superiority, what Alfred Adler calls neurosis, is rooted in the weakness of my body. This is how scientific psychology explained it to me.
Spiritual psychology has a different explanation of the desire for a superior self. Spiritual psychology, as represented by A Course in miracles, says that I was born with the awareness that separation is false; I knew from the get go that our true self is unified spirit.
Reality is unified, but I did not want to accept that reality because to accept it meant that I would not have to live in this separated world. To live in the world of separated selves I had to see me as separated from other people.
A course in miracles says that I chose a problematic body and housed myself in that weak and pained body. I made my body to give me loads of difficulties.
My pained body enabled me to forget unified reality and instead concentrate on making my body healthy via ego means. To the extent that I saw my body as weak and sick I defended against unified spirit and defended for separated self.
I posited a grandiose ego for it was a means for me to do what I had to do to survive in the separated world. The grandiose ego self, the self that wants to seem superior to other people, is a means of defending against God and defending for the separated self.
As long as I seek the grandiose ego self I want to do what I had to do to adapt to the realities of this world.
Desiring a big self I threw myself to doing what enabled me to adapt to the realities of this world. Thus, even though I was born in Africa I was able to obtain a doctorate degree at just about the same age Americans do. I drove myself ragged. Ambition was my real name.
Simply put, the pursuit of grandiose self was designed to enable me adapt to the realities of my world, a pained world but defense against unified God.
In time, I realized the disturbing nature of the quest of grandiose self and struggled to give it up. It is rather difficult to give it up, for if you make me angry I would tell you that you are inferior to me and since I have superior IQ I would tell you that I am better than you. This is how neurosis operates.
In truth I know that you and I are the same and equal. In God there is no difference between you and me. But in time each of us seems different and has different talents. What we need to do is use our different talents in the illusion of time to teach all of us our sameness in reality.
For example, I have the talent of understanding spiritual reality and typing it. Thus I wake up in the morning and within an hour type five pages of stuff on spiritual matters and go to work. At work I do not deal with spiritual matters.
The point is that I have talent for thinking about spiritual matters and can dash off writings on them in a few minutes (these three pages were typed within thirty minutes).
Secular psychology and psychiatry tries to heal neurosis and delusion disorder by asking the patient to shrink them down. If you feel superior to other people you are told to feel equal to all people. This is easier said than done; psychology has no record of shrinking any ones swollen ego (all mental disorders such as mania, schizophrenia, paranoid type, delusion disorder etc. are rooted in desire for a big self and psychiatry has not healed any psychotic).
What helps shrinks down the big ego is the realization that the ego is a false self; what heals the human mind is the acceptance that we have a different self, the unified spirit self-aka Christ self, Buddha self, Atman etc.
If you give up your ego, big or small, and accept that you and all people are parts of God's unified son and that all of us in spirit are the same but in time different you then use what you perceive to be your differences, the strength of your earthly ego, to help all of us live well on earth.
A course in miracles teaches that sickness and all the things we do on earth are defenses for the separated self, and by implication defense against the reality of our unified spirit self. It asks us to stop defending what adapts to the world of separated self and, instead, defend what returns us to unified spirit self.
Reality requires no defense to be real; thus, all we have to do is stop defending the separated self and its world and we experience the formless unified world of God, our reality.
What is that unified reality? I do not know and even if I did know since it transcends words and language I cannot explain it to you.
If you want to experience your real self, unified spirit self then stop defending against it; that is, stop doing all the things you do to adapt to the world of separation.
Stop making your body sick to make your body real hence make your separated ego seem real in your awareness. Your real self is part of Unified Spirit Self, aka God; it is part of formless light; it is eternal, permanent and changeless.
May 17, 2016
Sickness is a defense against the truth.
No one can heal unless he understands what purpose sickness seems to serve. For then he understands as well its purpose has no meaning. Being causeless and without a meaningful intent of any kind, it cannot be at all. When this is seen, healing is automatic. It dispels this meaningless illusion by the same approach that carries all of them to truth, and merely leaves them there to disappear.
Sickness is not an accident. Like all defenses, it is an insane device for self-deception. And like all the rest, its purpose is to hide reality, attack it, change it, render it inept, distort it, twist it, or reduce it to a little pile of unassembled parts. The aim of all defenses is to keep the truth from being whole. The parts are seen as if each one were whole within itself.
Defenses are not unintentional, nor are they made without awareness. They are secret, magic wands you wave when truth appears to threaten what you would believe. They seem to be unconscious but because of the rapidity with which you choose to use them. In that second, even less, in which the choice is made, you recognize exactly what you would attempt to do, and then proceed to think that it is done.
Who but yourself evaluates a threat, decides escape is necessary, and sets up a series of defenses to reduce the threat that has been judged as real? All this cannot be done unconsciously. But afterwards, your plan requires that you must forget you made it, so it seems to be external to your own intent; a happening beyond your state of mind, an outcome with a real effect on you, instead of one effected by yourself.
It is this quick forgetting of the part you play in making your "reality" that makes defenses seem to be beyond your own control. But what you have forgotten can be remembered, given willingness to reconsider the decision which is doubly shielded by oblivion. You're not remembering is but the sign that this decision still remains in force, as far as your desires are concerned. Mistake not this for fact. Defenses must make facts unrecognizable. They aim at doing this, and it is this they do.
Every defense takes fragments of the whole, assembles them without regard to all their true relationships, and thus constructs illusions of a whole that is not there. It is this process that imposes threat, and not whatever outcome may result. When parts are wrested from the whole and seen as separate and wholes within themselves, they become symbols standing for attack upon the whole; successful in effect, and never to be seen as whole again. And yet you have forgotten that they stand but for your own decision of what should be real, to take the place of what is real.
Sickness is a decision. It is not a thing that happens to you, quite unsought, which makes you weak and brings you suffering. It is a choice you make, a plan you lay, when for an instant truth arises in your own deluded mind, and all your world appears to totter and prepare to fall. Now are you sick, that truth may go away and threaten your establishments no more.
How do you think that sickness can succeed in shielding you from truth? Because it proves the body is not separate from you, and so you must be separate from the truth. You suffer pain because the body does, and in this pain are you made one with it. Thus are your "true" identity preserved, and the strange, haunting thought that you might be something beyond this little pile of dust silenced and stilled. For see, this dust can make you suffer, twist your limbs and stop your heart, commanding you to die and cease to be.
Thus is the body stronger than the truth, which asks you live, but cannot overcome your choice to die. And so the body is more powerful than everlasting life, Heaven more frail than hell, and God's design for the salvation of His Son opposed by a decision stronger than His Will. His Son is dust, the Father incomplete, and chaos sits in triumph on His throne.
Such is your planning for your own defense. And you believe that Heaven quails before such mad attacks as these, with God made blind by your illusions, truth turned into lies, and the entire universe made slave to laws which your defenses would impose on it. Yet who believes illusions but the one who made them up? Who else can see them and react to them as if they were the truth?
God knows not of your plans to change His Will. The universe remains unheeding of the laws by which you thought to govern it. And Heaven has not bowed to hell, or life to death. You can but choose to think you die, or suffer sickness or distort the truth in any way. What is created is apart from all of this. Defenses are plans to defeat what cannot be attacked. What is unalterable cannot change. And what is wholly sinless cannot sin.
Such is the simple truth. It does not make appeal to might nor triumph. It does not command obedience, nor seek to prove how pitiful and futile your attempts to plan defenses that would alter it. Truth merely wants to give you happiness, for such its purpose is. Perhaps it sighs a little when you throw away its gifts, and yet it knows, with perfect certainty, that what God wills for you must be received.
It is this fact that demonstrates that time is an illusion. For time lets you think what God has given you is not the truth right now, as it must be. The Thoughts of God are quite apart from time. For time is but another meaningless defense you made against the truth. Yet what He wills is here, and you remain as He created you.
Truth has a power far beyond defense, for no illusions can remain where truth has been allowed to enter. And it comes to any mind that would lay down its arms, and cease to play with folly. It is found at any time; today, if you will choose to practice giving welcome to the truth.
This is our aim today. And we will give a quarter of an hour twice to ask the truth to come to us and set us free. And truth will come, for it has never been apart from us. It merely waits for just this invitation which we give today. We introduce it with a healing prayer, to help us rise above defensiveness, and let truth be as it has always been:
Sickness is a defense against the truth.
I will accept the truth of what I am,
and let my mind be wholly healed today.
Healing will flash across your open mind, as peace and truth arise to take the place of war and vain imaginings. There will be no dark corners sickness can conceal, and keep defended from the light of truth. There will be no dim figures from your dreams, nor their obscure and meaningless pursuits with double purposes insanely sought, remaining in your mind. It will be healed of all the sickly wishes that it tried to authorize the body to obey.
Now is the body healed, because the source of sickness has been opened to relief? And you will recognize you practiced well by this: The body should not feel at all. If you have been successful, there will be no sense of feeling ill or feeling well, of pain or pleasure. No response at all is in the mind to what the body does. Its usefulness remains and nothing more.
Perhaps you do not realize that this removes the limits you had placed upon the body by the purposes you gave to it. As these are laid aside, the strength the body has will always be enough to serve all truly useful purposes. The body's health is fully guaranteed, because it is not limited by time, by weather or fatigue, by food and drink, or any laws you made it serve before. You need do nothing now to make it well, for sickness has become impossible.
Yet this protection needs to be preserved by careful watching. If you let your mind harbor attack thoughts, yield to judgment or make plans against uncertainties to come, you have again misplaced yourself, and made a bodily identity which will attack the body, for the mind is sick.
Give instant remedy, should this occur, by not allowing your defensiveness to hurt you longer. Do not be confused about what must be healed, but tell yourself:
I have forgotten what I really am, for I mistook my body for myself.
Sickness is a defense against the truth. But I am not a body.
And my mind cannot attack. So I cannot be sick.
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