A COURSE IN MIRACLES

T-2.IV Healing as Release from Fear

1. Our emphasis is now on healing. ²The miracle is the means, the Atonement is the principle, and healing is the result. ³To speak of “a miracle of healing” is to combine two orders of reality inappropriately. ⁴Healing is not a miracle. ⁵The Atonement, or the final miracle, is a remedy and any type of healing is a result. ⁶The kind of error to which Atonement is applied is irrelevant. ⁷All healing is essentially the release from fear. ⁸To undertake this you cannot be fearful yourself. ⁹You do not understand healing because of your own fear.

Expanded

Our emphasis is now on healing. ²The miracle is the means, the Atonement is the principle, and healing is the result. ³To speak of “a miracle of healing” is to combine two orders of reality inappropriately. ⁴Healing is not a miracle. ⁵The Atonement, or the final miracle, is a remedy and any type of healing is a result. ⁶The kind of error to which Atonement is applied is irrelevant. ⁷All healing is essentially the release from fear. ⁸To undertake this [healing] you cannot be fearful yourself. ⁹You do not understand healing because of your own fear.

Substituted

Our emphasis is now on healing. ²The miracle is the means, the Atonement is the principle, and healing is the result. ³To speak of “a miracle of healing” is to combine two orders of reality inappropriately. ⁴Healing is not a miracle. ⁵The Atonement, or the final miracle, is a remedy and any type of healing is a result. ⁶The kind of error to which Atonement is applied is irrelevant. ⁷All healing is essentially the release from fear. ⁸To undertake healing you cannot be fearful yourself. ⁹You do not understand healing because of your own fear.

Simplified

Healing is the release from fear. Healing is the result of miracles. The Atonement makes miracles possible.

Commentary

(3–4) And yet Chapter 27 speaks of “a miracle of healing” (T-27.II.5:2). The apparent inconsistency is resloved by recognising that in the first reference [i.e. this paragraph] Jesus is emphasising that the miracle is a means, while healing is the result. This teaching purpose was not present later in the text, and so the more poetic expression, “a miracle of healing” could be used. (Wapnick, L.D.N.C., p.609.)

2. A major step in the Atonement plan is to undo error at all levels. ²Sickness or ‘not-right-mindedness’ is the result of level confusion, because it always entails the belief that what is amiss on one level can adversely affect another. ³We have referred to miracles as the means of correcting level confusion, for all mistakes must be corrected at the level on which they occur. ⁴Only the mind is capable of error. ⁵The body can act wrongly only when it is responding to misthought. ⁶The body cannot create, and the belief that it can, a fundamental error, produces all physical symptoms. ⁷Physical illness represents a belief in magic. ⁸The whole distortion that made magic rests on the belief that there is a creative ability in matter which the mind cannot control. ⁹This error can take two forms: it can be believed that the mind can miscreate in the body, or that the body can miscreate in the mind. ¹⁰When it is understood that the mind, the only level of creation, cannot create beyond itself, neither type of confusion need occur.

Expanded

A major step in the Atonement plan is to undo error at all levels. ²Sickness or ‘not-right-mindedness’ is the result of level confusion, because it [sickness] always entails the belief that what is amiss on one level can adversely affect another. ³We have referred to miracles as the means of correcting level confusion, for all mistakes must be corrected at the level on which they [mistakes] occur. ⁴Only the mind is capable of error. ⁵The body can act wrongly only when it [the body] is responding to misthought. ⁶The body cannot create, and the belief that it [the body] can [create], a fundamental error, produces all physical symptoms. ⁷Physical illness represents a belief in magic. ⁸The whole distortion that made magic rests on the belief that there is a creative ability in matter which the mind cannot control. ⁹This error can take two forms: it can be believed that the mind can miscreate in the body, or that the body can miscreate in the mind. ¹⁰When it is understood that the mind, the only level of creation, cannot create beyond itself [mind’s self], neither type of confusion need occur.

Substituted

A major step in the Atonement plan is to undo error at all levels. ²Sickness or ‘not-right-mindedness’ is the result of level confusion, because sickness always entails the belief that what is amiss on one level can adversely affect another. ³We have referred to miracles as the means of correcting level confusion, for all mistakes must be corrected at the level on which mistakes occur. ⁴Only the mind is capable of error. ⁵The body can act wrongly only when the body is responding to misthought. ⁶The body cannot create, and the belief that the body can create, a fundamental error, produces all physical symptoms. ⁷Physical illness represents a belief in magic. ⁸The whole distortion that made magic rests on the belief that there is a creative ability in matter which the mind cannot control. ⁹This error can take two forms: it can be believed that the mind can miscreate in the body, or that the body can miscreate in the mind. ¹⁰When it is understood that the mind, the only level of creation, cannot create beyond mind’s self, neither type of confusion need occur.

Simplified

Only the mind can make an error. The body responds to errors in the mind.

Commentary

Sickness is no different from any other form in the world that reflects the ego’s purpose. … The physical world is nothing but the projection of the underlying thought of separation. Thus, the body merely carries out the wishes of the mind, having no power within itself. (Wapnick, F.A.J., p.76.)

…the Son’s mistake of confusing the levels of the mind and body, and his believing that the body can cause pain, indeed, that the body can do anything at all. It is the belief that it can that Jesus equates with magic, the ego’s tactic to confuse the Son as to where the problem and solution truly are. … it is not only the body that does nothing, but the separated mind as well; it has not really created “beyond itself”, as the ego has claimed. (Wapnick, A.A.C., p. 231, 232.)

3. Only the mind can create because spirit has already been created, and the body is a learning device for the mind. ²Learning devices are not lessons in themselves. ³Their purpose is merely to facilitate learning. ⁴The worst a faulty use of a learning device can do is to fail to facilitate learning. ⁵It has no power in itself to introduce actual learning errors. ⁶The body, if properly understood, shares the invulnerability of the Atonement to two-edged application. ⁷This is not because the body is a miracle, but because it is not inherently open to misinterpretation. ⁸The body is merely part of your experience in the physical world. ⁹Its abilities can be and frequently are overevaluated. ¹⁰However, it is almost impossible to deny its existence in this world. ¹¹Those who do so are engaging in a particularly unworthy form of denial. ¹²The term ‘unworthy’ here implies only that it is not necessary to protect the mind by denying the unmindful. ¹³If one denies this unfortunate aspect of the mind’s power, one is also denying the power itself.

Expanded

Only the mind can create because spirit has already been created, and the body is a learning device for the mind. ²Learning devices are not lessons in themselves [learning-devices’ selves]. ³Their [learning-devices’] purpose is merely to facilitate learning. ⁴The worst a faulty use of a learning device can do is to fail to facilitate learning. ⁵It [a learning device] has no power in itself [a learning-device’s self] to introduce actual learning errors. ⁶The body, if properly understood, shares the invulnerability of the Atonement to two-edged application. ⁷This [the body shares with the Atonement invulnerability to two-edged application] is not because the body is a miracle, but because it [the body] is not inherently open to misinterpretation. ⁸The body is merely part of your experience in the physical world. ⁹Its [the body’s] abilities can be and frequently are overevaluated. ¹⁰However, it is almost impossible to deny its [the body’s] existence in this world. ¹¹Those who do so [deny the body’s existence in the world] are engaging in a particularly unworthy form of denial. ¹²The term ‘unworthy’ here implies only that it is not necessary to protect the mind by denying the unmindful. ¹³If one denies this unfortunate aspect [to miscreate] of the mind’s power [to create], one is also denying the power [to create] itself.

Substituted

Only the mind can create because spirit has already been created, and the body is a learning device for the mind. ²Learning devices are not lessons in learning-devices’ selves. ³Learning-devices’ purpose is merely to facilitate learning. ⁴The worst a faulty use of a learning device can do is to fail to facilitate learning. ⁵A learning device has no power in a learning-device’s self to introduce actual learning errors. ⁶The body, if properly understood, shares the invulnerability of the Atonement to two-edged application. ⁷The body shares with the Atonement invulnerability to two-edged application, is not because the body is a miracle, but because the body is not inherently open to misinterpretation. ⁸The body is merely part of your experience in the physical world. ⁹The body’s abilities can be and frequently are overevaluated. ¹⁰However, it is almost impossible to deny the body’s existence in this world. ¹¹Those who deny the body’s existence in the world are engaging in a particularly unworthy form of denial. ¹²The term ‘unworthy’ here implies only that it is not necessary to protect the mind by denying the unmindful. ¹³If one denies the unfortunate power of the mind to miscreate, one is also denying the mind’s power to create.

Simplified

The ability to miscreate is part of the ability to create. The mind’s miscreations can used as learning devices. Do not deny the body. The body is a learning device you should use.

Comments

A sentence in the ur-text has been deleted from between 12 and 13. The sentence is essential to understanding 13. “There is little doubt that the mind can miscreate”. I.e. the body has been (mis)-created by the mind, but the ability to miscreate is an unfortunate side-effect of the mind having the ability to create. So don’t deny the body, but use the body as a learning device. —Ed.

Commentary

(8–12) When we fall into this ego trap of denial we are forgetting that one cannot leave this world of illusion without first correcting these illuusions on the level where our belief is placed. The goal of A Course in Miracles is to transform the world not to transcend it, which is the step belonging to God when He lifts us back to Himself after all our misperceptions have been corrected by the Holy Spirit. While the Course places great emphasis on saving time, time is not saved through denial , but through undoing our guilt in our relationships where it is the most pwerfully projected. (Wapnick, F.A.J., p. 111.)

(8–12) Once deluded into believing the phenomenal world is real, one must inevitably make physical and/or psychological suffering real as well. However, because we believe our bodies are the locus of our experience, A Course in Miracles does not ask us to deny our bodiy experiences in this world, or the experiences of others. Such denial merely serves the ego by having made something terrible appear to be real and external to our minds, thereby protecting the thought of guilt that is the only problem. … [this] passage … highlights its gentle practicality, even within the context of an uncompromising non-dualism. (Wapnick, L.D.N.C., p. 561–562.)

(8–13) …highlights his gentle practicality, even within the context of an uncompromising non-dualism… (Wapnick, A.A.C., p. 290.)

(8–13) Thus we are asked to respect the power of our minds to make illusions more powerful than truth, so that over time we can use this power to change our minds about truth and illusion. (Wapnick, A.A.C., p. 290.)

(10–11) Jesus of A Course in Miracles speaks of living and teaching in the world, in the world’s terms, a world that he never denigrates nor dismisses, though he clearly insists to us is illusory. (Wapnick, FCTL, p. 40.)

…differences do exist in the world that we believe is real and is our home, and so it would be “a particularly unworthy form of denial” for Course students to deny any experience in the world of form. (Wapnick, FCTL, p. 148–149.)

(12) …to practice any form of asceticism, believing that it is rooting out “the world, the flesh and the devil”, merely reïnforces the body’s reality, thus fulfilling the ego’s plan for its salvation. (Wapnick, L.D.N.C., p. 56³.)

(12) The more ascetically successful aspirants are, the more they are deluded into believing that they have actually accomplished something (by “denying the unmindful”), while all the time their unconscious guilt remains safe and secure in their minds, behind the body’ armour and therefore requiring still greater effort to undo. (Wapnick, A.A.C., p. 29³.)

4. All material means that you accept as remedies for bodily ills are restatements of magic principles. ²This is the first step in believing that the body makes its own illness. ³It is a second misstep to attempt to heal it through non-creative agents. ⁴It does not follow, however, that the use of such agents for corrective purposes is evil. ⁵Sometimes the illness has a sufficiently strong hold over the mind to render a person temporarily inaccessible to the Atonement. ⁶In this case it may be wise to utilise a compromise approach to mind and body, in which something from the outside is temporarily given healing belief. ⁷This is because the last thing that can help the non-right-minded, or the sick, is an increase in fear. ⁸They are already in a fear-weakened state. ⁹If they are prematurely exposed to a miracle, they may be precipitated into panic. ¹⁰This is likely to occur when upside-down perception has induced the belief that miracles are frightening.

Expanded

All material means that you accept as remedies for bodily ills are restatements of magic principles. ²This [accepting material means as remedies for bodily ills] is the first step in believing that the body makes its [the body’s] own illness. ³It is a second misstep to attempt to heal it [the body] through non-creative agents. ⁴It does not follow, however, that the use of such agents for corrective purposes is evil. ⁵Sometimes the illness has a sufficiently strong hold over the mind to render a person temporarily inaccessible to the Atonement. ⁶In this case [a person is temporarily inaccessible to the Atonement] it may be wise to utilise a compromise approach to mind and body, in which [approach] something from the outside is temporarily given healing belief. ⁷This [being wise to utilise a compromise approach] is because the last thing that can help the non-right-minded, or the sick, is an increase in fear. ⁸They [the non-right-minded] are already in a fear-weakened state. ⁹If they [the non-right-minded] are prematurely exposed to a miracle, they [the non-right-minded] may be precipitated into panic. ¹⁰This [panic] is likely to occur when upside-down perception has induced the belief that miracles are frightening.

Substituted

All material means that you accept as remedies for bodily ills are restatements of magic principles. ²Accepting material means as remedies for bodily ills is the first step in believing that the body makes the body’s own illness. ³It is a second misstep to attempt to heal the body through non-creative agents. ⁴It does not follow, however, that the use of such agents for corrective purposes is evil. ⁵Sometimes the illness has a sufficiently strong hold over the mind to render a person temporarily inaccessible to the Atonement. ⁶In the case of a person being temporarily inaccessible to the Atonement it may be wise to utilise a compromise approach to mind and body; in compromise approach something from the outside is temporarily given healing belief. ⁷Being wise to utilise a compromise approach is because the last thing that can help the non-right-minded, or the sick, is an increase in fear. ⁸The non-right-minded are already in a fear-weakened state. ⁹If the non-right-minded are prematurely exposed to a miracle, the non-right-minded may be precipitated into panic. ¹⁰Panic is likely to occur when upside-down perception has induced the belief that miracles are frightening.

Simplified

The belief in illness can take hold of the mind. In this state, a miracle can cause fear or panic. If so, it might be better to use material means. Using material means in this case is not a bad thing.

Commentary

Believing that magic has healing properties falls nicely into the ego’s trap of having us first seek solutions where they cannot be found, and then having us believe we have indeed found them. (Wapnick, F.A.J., p.78.)

(1) [Magic principles] would include not only traditional forms of medical treatment such as drugs, surgery, and rest, but also many of the new Age techniques of acupuncture, massage, special diets, vitamins, exercise, aura manupulation, laying on of hands, repetition of certan prayers or rituals, forms of breathing, and meditations etc. (Wapnick, F.A.J., p.78.)

(4) If a person’s fear level is too great to abandon the ego’s investment in guilt, seeking healing through the love of the Holy Spirit would merely re-inforece the underlying fear of this love. (Wapnick, F.A.J., p.78.)

(6) As we all have experienced, magic does work at its own level. … Although it is not a mistake to use such agents [ie medicine or surgery], it is a mistake to ascribe healing properties to them, for they do not remove the causes that brought on the symptom. To believe that magic heals closes off the power of the miracle to undo the guilt that is the cause of sickness, “protecting” the guilt from healing by refusing to recognise its existence. (Wapnick, F.A.J., p.78–79.) see T-2.V.2:2.

5. The value of the Atonement does not lie in the manner in which it is expressed. ²In fact, if it is used truly, it will inevitably be expressed in whatever way is most helpful to the receiver. ³This means that a miracle, to attain its full efficacy, must be expressed in a language that the recipient can understand without fear. ⁴This does not necessarily mean that this is the highest level of communication of which he is capable. ⁵It does mean, however, that it is the highest level of communication of which he is capable now. ⁶The whole aim of the miracle is to raise the level of communication, not to lower it by increasing fear.

Expanded

The value of the Atonement does not lie in the manner in which it [the Atonement] is expressed. ²In fact, if it [the Atonement] is used truly, it [the Atonement] will inevitably be expressed in whatever way is most helpful to the receiver. ³This [the Atonement expressed in whatever way is most helpful] means that a miracle, to attain its [the miracle’s] full efficacy, must be expressed in a language that the recipient can understand without fear. ⁴This [a miracle must be understood without fear] does not necessarily mean that this [being understood without fear] is the highest level of communication of which he [the recipient of the miracle] is capable. ⁵It [a miracle must be understood without fear] does mean, however, that it [being understood without fear] is the highest level of communication of which he [the recipient of the miracle] is capable now. ⁶The whole aim of the miracle is to raise the level of communication, not to lower it [the level of communication] by increasing fear.

Substituted

The value of the Atonement does not lie in the manner in which the Atonement is expressed. ²In fact, if the Atonement is used truly, the Atonement will inevitably be expressed in whatever way is most helpful to the receiver. ³The Atonement expressed in whatever way is most helpful, means that a miracle, to attain the miracle’s full efficacy, must be expressed in a language that the recipient can understand without fear. ⁴A miracle must be understood without fear does not necessarily mean that being understood without fear is the highest level of communication of which the recipient of the miracle is capable. ⁵A miracle must be understood without fear, does mean, however, that being understood without fear is the highest level of communication of which the recipient of the miracle is capable now. ⁶The whole aim of the miracle is to raise the level of communication, not to lower the level of communication by increasing fear.

Simplified

Miracles express the Atonement in whatever way is most helpful to the receiver.

Commentary

(2–3, 6) What our Father knows we need is the healing of our mind, for which purpose He gave us His Holy Spirit, now made manifest through Jesus. When it appears as if God is delayed in His response of help, it is because we have asked for the wrong things, and God does not answer with illusions which would only exacerbate the fear underlying the request. (Wapnick, F.A.J., p.218.)

(4–6) A Course in Miracles has been written at a level we can understand and use. (Wapnick, L.D.N.C., p.512.)

The importance of the form of help lies in the purpose for which it is used. …the Course is coming to meet a specific need that we have now, but it is not the highest level of communication of which we are capable. … it is the highest level that we can accept at this point in human history, when we are still so pre-occupied with fundamental ego self-centredness, greed, attainment of pleasure and rampant specialness. Jesus very specifically meets us where we are, and provides us with his gentle coprrection of forgiveness to help us along our journey home. (Wapnick, A.V.I., p.124.)

Jesus’ own Course [is] the perfect example of the principles he was teaching his students; his words not being “the highest level of communication” of which his students are capable of understanding, but certainly the highest level that they can tolerate in their fearful state. (Wapnick, FCTL, p. 94.)


T-2.III The Altar of GodT-2.V The Function of the Miracle Worker