ACIM’S COMPROMISE APPROACH: USE MAGIC THAT HELPS BUT KNOW THAT IS WAS THE MIND’S DECISION TO HEAL THAT REALLY HELPED
So what really matters is not so much the type of medicine/treatment you use, but whether it’s effective for you. And whether its effective is evidenced purely by whether it helps to improve or ease your condition. Whenever you find something in the world that helps or works for you, this always mirrors the fact that on the level of mind, you made a decision to release your unconscious guilt and thus your willingness to suffer. In other words, the external method or agent of healing was a way in which you could accept and receive this decision to heal the mind without fear.
“All material means that you accept as remedies for bodily ills are restatements of magic principles. This is the first step in believing that the body makes its own illness. It is a second misstep to attempt to heal it through non-creative agents. It does not follow, however, that the use of such (magical/ illusory) agents for corrective purposes is evil. Sometimes the illness has a sufficiently strong hold over the mind to render a person temporarily inaccessible to the Atonement (the awareness that the separation did not occur and therefore there is no illness). In this case it may be wise to utilize a compromise approach to mind and body, in which something from the outside (in the illusory world) is temporarily given healing belief.”
(T-2.IV.4:1-6. Italics in brackets mine.)
So find and use what helps to improve or resolve your condition, but just know that it is only your mind’s decision that really healed you. This is how you adopt ACIM’s compromise approach to healing. We are not asked to give-up our reliance on magic and illusions. We are merely asked to see world-based forms of healing correctly as they are: magic that operates within illusions while we are still too afraid to look at the power of our mind and release our secret and destructive ego-beliefs directly.
ARE YOU WILLING TO BE HEALED ON THE LEVEL OF THE MIND?
So the point is this: there is nothing inherently healing about any modality or medicine in the world. As illusions, they are and do nothing in truth even though they may appear very helpful in the world. All healing must be of the mind because only the mind is sick while it believes that the separation from God is real. It is never form (i.e. anything in the illusion) that truly heals because illusions are nothing. In that sense, it doesn’t matter what specific “help” you get. The more valuable question is: have you, on the subconscious level of mind, decided to be healed?
Or in other words, are you willing to be healed on the level of the mind? If you are, you might eventually find a means by which that decision can be expressed in form and in a way you can understand. However, it’s important to be clear that this is not always the case. We do not consciously control the effects of miracles (the opposite of magic), which is the true healing that occurs on the level of the mind.
“The acceptance of sickness as a decision of the mind, for a purpose for which it would use the body, is the basis of healing. And this is so for healing in all forms. A patient decides that this is so, and he recovers. If he decides against recovery, he will not be healed. Who is the physician? Only the mind of the patient himself. The outcome is what he decides that it is. Special agents seem to be ministering to him, yet they but give form to his own choice. He chooses them in order to bring tangible form to his desires. And it is this they do, and nothing else.”
FORGIVENESS: THE HOLY SPIRITS ONLY PRESCRIPTION
Due to our overwhelming and unconscious guilt and fear, we’ve repressed or dissociated the mind from awareness. So although we cannot directly access the mind, there is one thing we can do to change its choice from sickness, guilt and fear to the choice for healing, innocence and love. We can use the Holy Spirit’s prescribed remedy for the mind’s sickness: we can practice true forgiveness. This is the Holy Spirit’s only answer to our only problem on the level of the mind.
Forgiveness as taught by the Course is the one thing we can reliably do, and must do, to indirectly teach our mind that we are willing to choose again and be healed of our false egoic belief in separation, sin, guilt and fear. As students of the Course, this must be the focus of our practical efforts at applying the teaching. And it must remain our ongoing inner spiritual work whether we’re healthy or sick, enjoying life or struggling with it. It’s the one thing we mustn’t compromise on.
WHEN SICK, KEEP FORGIVING & LOOK AFTER YOURSELF
So what’s the takeaway from all of this? Two things. If you have an illness you want to be free of, or experience relief from:
- Keep doing your spiritual work no matter what’s happening with your body or condition. That is, keep forgiving! Keep doing the inner work of true forgiveness that allows you to choose to release guilt, fear, and the belief in sin/separation from God. Be diligent about it. Be persistent. Remember that you have the ability to help yourself because your mind is incredibly powerful. It is also only within your mind that the real problem and real solution rests. The problem or true illness is your belief in the separation from God. And the solution or real remedy is forgiveness; the awareness that the separation did not happen, meaning you are not a body or guilty sinner, but the innocent and beloved, holy Son of God Himself.
- While doing point one (forgiveness- your only real function), keep looking after yourself physically, psychologically, and emotionally in whatever way helps you. Do what makes sense: see a doctor, a naturopath, a therapist or take a prescribed medication. Stay open-minded and try whatever you think might work. There are well-established things you can do that are generally and consistently verified to be capable of promoting health on the level of the body, so try to include them in your daily routine. These include things like getting enough sleep, exercise and staying hydrated.