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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 5 Introduction

Introduction

  1. To heal is to make happy.  I have told you to think how many opportunities you have had to gladden yourself, and how many you have refused.  This is the same as telling you that you have refused to heal yourself.  The light that belongs to you is the light of joy.  Radiance is not associated with sorrow.  Joy calls forth an integrated willingness to share it and promotes the mind’s natural impulse to respond as one.  Those who attempt to heal without being wholly joyous themselves call forth different kinds of responses at the same time, and thus deprive others of the joy of responding whole-heartedly.
  2. To be whole-hearted you must be happy.  If fear and love cannot coexist, and if it is impossible to be wholly fearful and remain alive, the only possible whole state is that of love.  There is no difference between love and joy.  Therefore, the only possible whole state is the wholly joyous.  To heal or to make joyous is therefore the same as to integrate and to make one.  That is why it makes no difference to what part or by what part of the Sonship the healing is offered.  Every part benefits and benefits equally. 
  3. You are being blessed by every beneficent thought of any of your brothers anywhere.  You should want to bless them in return, out of gratitude.  You need not know them individually, or they you.  The light is so strong that it radiates throughout the Sonship and returns thanks to the Father for radiating His joy upon it.  Only God’s holy children are worthy channels of His beautiful joy, because only they are beautiful enough to hold it by sharing it.  It is impossible for a child of God to love his neighbor except as himself.  That is why the healer’s prayer is:  Let me know this brother as I know myself.[1]

In today’s text reading, Jesus tells us that healing is making happy.  The way to healing is to gladden ourselves and yet we keep refusing to heal ourselves by making our paths to God ones of sorrow, drudgery, and sacrifice.  We have the wrong concept of God if we feel that it makes God happy to take away our sunshine, our joy, the things that make us happy.  Introducing the concepts of Healing and Wholeness in today’s devotional, we are reminded that it is JOY that unifies our wills with God, it is JOY – not suffering and sorrow – that motivates our minds to their natural, God-given desire to share without thinking of cost, without thinking of return, without grudge or resentment, without making others pay. 

Jesus tells us that when we try to heal without complete and utter joy, we deprive ourselves and others of the whole-hearted loving response that brings wholeness and healing.  There is a completely different response when someone helps us out of bind with a spirit of joy and happiness and the one who is grumpy, accusing, and makes us explain ourselves repeatedly of just exactly why we need their help!  We learn to trust, love, and appreciate those who respond to our needs with joy; we learn to be wary of those who respond to our needs with grouchiness and a grudging helpfulness.  Personally, I would rather not accept help or healing from someone who cannot be nice about it!  Jesus tells us that healing, that bringing happiness is best achieved by the completely joyous – otherwise the response to our acts of love will be mixed.  People may be grateful for your efforts to bring them healing; they may even be healed, but if the light of Joy has not been shared, both the healer and the healed are denied the wholeness necessary for true and lasting happiness vital to health and well-being.

In the second paragraph, Jesus tells us that whole-heartedness and happiness walk hand-in-hand and side-by-side.  The foundational concept which our Course rests upon is that fear and love cannot coexist.  The only state of being which is whole is of love; for it is impossible to love and fear at the same time, and a state of fear can never be anything but splintered, shattered, and incomplete. 

Jesus tells us that love and joy are the same thing.  To love is to be joyful.  To be joyful is to love.  Following this line of reasoning, it follows that joyousness brings healing which leads to uniting and making one.  We are made one with those who make us happy!  We are made one with those who bring us healing.  We are made one with those who make us laugh, who sing us lullabies, who tell us good stories, who give and live from a spirit of love and happiness.  We are blessed to even read about such people.  We are blessed to watch movies that have characters that are joyous.  We are blessed, Jesus says, by the joyousness of those we do not even know for they lift the spirit of Creation!

On the contrary, no matter how generous, helpful, or ambitious, those who are grumpy, who demand explanations, who do not communicate happiness or goodwill, who are quick to point out faults and remember mistakes, call people names and curse Creation bring separateness and divisiveness rather than wholeness. We naturally distance ourselves from them because they drain us of joy and leave us feeling bewildered and confused and resentful– yes, they may do nice things, but they do not make us feel good, they make us feel obligated, they make us feel low. We leave their home after what should have been a delicious meal with a bad taste in our mouth.  We feel insulted.  In other words, no matter what they may provide for us, they do not bring joy or true and lasting healing. 

No matter!  Jesus reminds us to bless those who think joyously.  Recognize their contribution with a deep sense of appreciation and acknowledgement.  Do not make fun of them.  Do not call them cutesy names and treat them as childish.  Do not begrudge their happiness, their bright smiles, their inner light.   For we are blessed by the joyous from across the stretch of time, space, and eternity.  We do not have to necessarily see them, be with them, name them, or number them.  We just know they are blessing us with the light of their joy, the radiance of their love, their wholehearted, whole-minded commitment to all that is true, and good, and holy.  Jesus tells us that the joyous shine throughout the Sonship and that their gratitude rises to God.  As we recognize ourselves as Children of God, Jesus tells us that it is impossible not to love our neighbor as much as we love ourselves!  For we are God’s children, holy because our Father is holy, joyous because we are so loved and so lovely.  We serve as a network of His beautiful Joy because in our holiness, in our God-likeness, we are beautiful enough to keep His Joy only because we share His Joy.  We are not here to hoard His joy and think of ourselves as one of God’s chosen, separate from the sinners and the lost.  We are here to heal the separation – and how we do that is to be one with our brothers, to know them and to love them even as we love ourselves.  Today meditate upon and let the healer’s prayer bring happiness to your every encounter: 

Let me know this brother as I know myself.


[1]A Course in Miracles. Chapter 5 Healing and wholeness. Introduction. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For 2021 daily Workbook lessons, visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

Filed under: ACIM, Gratitude

About the Author

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Coming up on sixty, my love for God, home and hearth, my husband and family fueled my decision to devote the rest of my life only to pursuits which brought love, joy, peace, and purpose. I am a writer, seeker, student, and teacher with experience professional and otherwise from waitressing to teaching the English language in China, Taiwan, and Singapore. I hold a BA in Psychology from Bloomsburg University, which took nearly 30 years to attain while I squeezed courses in between raising my children, journaling, relationships, work, and an assortment of escapades, some of which I would rather forget! An ongoing passion for reading, writing, adventure, food, and fun, eventually led me to the love of my life, James, whom I met in 1996 and married in 1997. Our life together has been an exciting journey of work and travel, spiritual awakening, and domestic bliss ever since. Although we have experienced the tragic loss of family members and friends through death and estrangement, we have managed to turn our special relationship into a holy one by the grace of God and an acute and growing awareness of “there must be a better way!” In 2006, I published my first novel, Luella’s Calling, and am currently working on my second, Grover Good and the Stone Chateau. From 2013 through 2018, I worked as a Prevention Education Specialist for Transitions, a local domestic violence sexual abuse victim’s service agency. My work there, fueled by a lifelong enthusiasm for teaching, led me to obtain an MS in Education from Scranton University. In 2018, I resigned to accompany James on his work travels while focusing on my calling to study and teach A Course in Miracles. To that end, I dedicate the rest of my days to writing, sharing, and teaching the message of salvation found within the Course pages. Thank you for your interest in this blog. As I do not respond to comments on the posts, if you care to contact me, please email me at eckief@yahoo.com.

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