August 2012 – “When I am healed I am not healed alone.”

“Today’s idea remains the central thought on which salvation rests. For healing is the opposite of all the world’s ideas which dwell on sickness and on separate states. Sickness is a retreat from others, and a shutting off of joining….” Workbook page 261, Lesson 137.

This is an important lesson, which reminds us that our minds are joined, so when my mind becomes healed the effect can spread to the minds of others; this astounding idea needs further investigation.

Firstly, what is healing? There are two parts to the healing process according to ACIM. We start the healing process by accepting that the separation from God never actually took place; this is the Atonement. Then, since we recognise that this world is just a dream, we forgive everyone and everything that happens in it, because we know nothing is real in a dream world.

Lesson 137 points out that we have got things back to front in our world. We believe that the world of the ego is real, whilst God and Heaven are not. “Yet think not healing is unworthy of your function here. For anti-Christ becomes more powerful than Christ to those who dream the world is real. The body seems to be more solid and more stable than the mind. And love becomes a dream, while fear remains the one reality that can be seen and justified and fully understood.” The term anti-Christ here refers to the ego. ACIM teaches us that the only part of us that is real is the mind yet, in this passage, it reminds us that the body seems to be more real to us than the mind. “And love becomes a dream,” implies that God (Love) and Heaven are unreal to those who believe that the physical world and the body are real.

It is easier to forgive others if we can develop the habit of living in the present. This means when we meet someone or think of someone who may have harmed us in some way before, we do not remember this as we have wiped the slate clean. If we do remember anything about them from the past, it should only be their positive words and deeds. “To forgive is merely to remember only the loving thoughts you gave in the past, and those that were given you. All the rest must be forgotten. Forgiveness is a selective remembering, based not on your selection. For the shadow figures you would make immortal are ‘enemies’ of reality. Be willing to forgive the Son of God (i.e., all others) for what he did not do.” Text, p. 354. This last sentence refers both to the process of projection and to the fact that the world of the ego is an illusion and, therefore, we need to forgive others for things we believe they did to us but, actually, didn’t occur. The “shadow figures” are the result of our negative projections, i.e. fear, guilt, etc. They are people we encounter in our lives who we have, in some way, put there due to the process of projection.

Lesson 137 points out how easy it is to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit and to replace our world of fear and sorrow with the “real world” through the healing power of forgiveness. “Healing, forgiveness, and the glad exchange of all the world of sorrow for a world where sadness cannot enter, are the means by which the Holy Spirit urges you to follow Him. His gentle lessons teach how easily salvation can be yours; how little practice you need undertake to let His laws replace the ones you made to hold yourself a prisoner to death…” Yet, we still cling on to the ego and the body, believing they are real. What should be a simple process is, actually, quite difficult because the body seems so real and tangible and we have been in the clutches of the ego for countless lives. The solution is to make a point of asking for guidance from Jesus or the Holy Spirit every day of our lives. We do, in fact, need a lot of practice.

To return to the point about how our minds are joined and, therefore, how one healed mind can help heal the minds of others, the following passage explains, “And as you let yourself be healed, you see all those around you, or who cross your mind, or whom you touch or those who seem to have no contact with you, healed along with you. Perhaps you will not recognize them all, nor realize how great your offering to all the world, when you let healing come to you. But you are never healed alone. And legions upon legions will receive the gift that you receive when you are healed.” W262. That is amazing! Do we realise that we can actually help people we have never met and don’t know, through the process of the one Mind, if we are able to heal our own minds?

The passage just quoted is, indeed, food for thought. It implies that the greatest service we can do for mankind is to heal our own minds through forgiveness. We may feel compelled to help mankind by going out into the world and demonstrating for a just and worthy cause, such as world peace, the fight against world poverty or global warming, standing up human rights and animal rights, etc. Yet, whilst those are really good causes to fight for in the dream, the most important thing we can ever do is to accept the Atonement, practice forgiveness and, thereby, rise above all the trials and tribulations of the world. This will eventually lead to the disappearance of our world and all its problems. “Just as forgiveness overlooks all sins that never were accomplished, healing but removes illusions that have not occurred. Just as the real world will arise to take the place of what has never been at all, healing but offers restitution for imagined states and false ideas which dreams embroider into pictures of the truth.” W262. In other words, all the sorrows and tragedies of our physical world are unreal, and healing will remove these illusions and replace the world of the ego with the real world—a forgiven world of peace and love, which leads us back to Heaven.

At the beginning of Lesson 137 we read, “It is impossible that anyone be healed alone. In sickness must he be apart and separate. But healing is his own decision to be one again, and to accept his Self with all Its parts intact and unassailed.” Sickness, referred to here, does not necessarily refer to sickness of the body. ACIM teaches us that we are all sick because we believe this world is real and that we are individual, separate beings, cut off from our true Source; we have sick minds because we have split minds. But, as this passage points out, when we take the decision to overcome the illusions of this world and accept the Atonement, we will heal our minds. In healing ourselves, we will heal others.

When I am healed, I am not healed alone. And I would bless my brothers, for I would be healed with them, as they are healed with me.”

 

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