Friday, August 15, 2008

Lesson 136 Sickness is a defense against the truth.

LESSON 136


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 forgot can be remembered, given willingness to reconsider the decision which is doubly shielded by oblivion. Your 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 is 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 all the 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, nor 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. 8 And what is wholly sinless cannot sin.

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 can not be sick.




The Following is Forwarded from Pathwaysoflight.org


-Lesson 136
"Sickness is a defense against the truth."

Today's lesson makes it clear the extreme length we are willing to go to deceive ourselves into believing that we are a body in a world of separation where pain and loss and death are real. All this comes from valuing specialness over oneness and God's gift of all of His Love given to all.

Maintaining a separate identity is the means by which we keep our specialness and the body is the chief mechanism for making individuality (specialness) real. Because the body is so central to maintaining the sense of the reality of individuality, defending this image and our identification with it is top priority. The ego does not hesitate to use sickness as a means of reinforcing this identification. When the body is in pain, it seems to command our full attention. It's difficult to feel peaceful when the pain seems to have all of our attention. This lesson points out that this is a choice, but we deceive ourselves into forgetting that we made the choice so that it seems to happen to us.

It surely doesn't seem that we make the choice to get the flu. But this lesson goes to a much deeper level than the surface symptoms. They are just the effect of the decision to value separation (specialness) over the Love of God. Sickness is just a means of defending our specialness. We made our specialness and will defend it "at all cost." Pretty extreme!

Here Jesus is showing the game for what it really is. We now have the opportunity to end the self deception. We will end it the instant we cease to value specialness more than the Love of God. This single change in values will completely reverse our perception of reality. As we value God's Love over specialness, a body no longer is the means to make separation real. It becomes a useful instrument which serves as a means to extend Love to all our brothers, no longer used for attack and defense, the body is healthy, because it serves a healthy mind that values Love and offers It to all.

Holy Spirit, guide my thoughts today, that I might see beyond form to the Light of Love that is everywhere. Help me to recognize false values and let them go so that I can make room for the one magnificent gift that outshines all others -- the Love of God.


To me this is one of the most helpful lessons of the Course. Here Jesus describes what I call "the quick forgetting." In paragraphs 3-5 he explains just how we make the choice to maintain the illusion of separate bodies and then forget that we made this decision so that it looks like something happens to us and that we had nothing to do with it.

In paragraph 6 he gets to the core of why we made the decision to create the illusion of separate bodies. "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." (6:3)

During the 15 minute meditation when I asked to receive the truth, I received the following: There is nothing that your holiness cannot do. You can open to your Self and be led, minute by minute to remember What is real. You can reflect Heaven here. It takes a commitment to be consistent in your practice of being open to the truth.

In truth, there is no world of separate bodies. It could never be so in God, and you are part of God. You are eternal Spirit. You are still as God created you. You have not changed. Not one part of the Sonship has changed. All your brother's and sisters are the Light of God and nothing else.

What you believe in order to have the effect of seeing bodies is not the truth. Practice today seeing past bodies. Practice today being aware of the Light of God that is the truth about everyone. Practice remembering that you have never changed in Reality. You are limitless Love and nothing else. Practice letting your mind be open to the truth as often as you are willing. Let Love lead you Home to where you never left. You have all the help you need. You just need to be receptive to that help.

If ever you feel weak or limited in any way, return to remembering that God is your Source. You have not left God and God has not left you. You are one. All is one in God. This is the truth. Dwell on this thought. Let it take you to the stillness and peace of God. Let yourself feel God's peace and God's Love. Let yourself feel your oneness with all that Is. Let yourself be led in how to be truly helpful as you continue your process of awakening to the Truth. All is whole, perfect and complete, now. Let us hold this truth together and celebrate this one Reality.


When I did yesterday's lesson I thought that we should do it for about a year before we went on. Today's lesson is the same. How can I give up sickness by practicing this lesson in my spare moments just this one day?

As I read the lesson and got to the part that said that the body should not feel at all, not pain or pleasure, I felt a surge of resistance. I guess I could give up pain, but pleasure? I have learned not to try to reason with my ego. I just gave my resistance to Holy Spirit and asked for another way to see this. I await enlightenment.


I discovered ACIM last fall and immediately started the lessons. I had been a spiritual searcher for many years and had a strong sense that there was something I needed to teach, something I could give to others. I was 10 pages into ACIM and I knew I had finally found it. I have been gobbling up everything I could since then and feeling like I am making tremendous spiritual progress.

Then I had the most unhealthy worst winter of my life. I live in the North woods of Michigan and winters can be pretty rough and this one was. Every ache or ailment I ever had resurfaced and agitated me. I read this lesson several times trying to understand. I think paragraph 7, lines 3 and 4 may explain what happened. I was making progress, I was glimpsing the truth and the ego countered attacked with extreme viciousness. I pray to the Holy Spirit for all those who struggle today to accept the truth of who they are.


This lesson would almost be funny if it wasn't so sad. The ego has various ways of distracting our attention from our true selves, sickness being one of them. And the sad thing is that this is a decision we make, a choice, a plan.

At one time I was losing a lot of hair from the top of my head and my hairdresser told me that what was causing me to lose my hair was worrying about losing my hair. Deep inside I knew that was true but maybe it would help if I bought certain hair products or possibly hair implants or a number of other remedies for this problem, when in truth my "problem" is an illusion in the first place.

I also quit trying to understand my ego self a long time ago, but I'm grateful for knowing there is another way and I'm open and willing to learn it through the power of my Divine Guidance.

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