III. The God of Sickness 7-11
7. When a brother is sick it is because he is not asking for peace, and therefore does not know he has it. The acceptance of peace is the denial of illusion, and sickness is an illusion. Yet every Son of God has the power to deny illusions anywhere in the Kingdom, merely by denying them completely in himself. I can heal you because I know you. I know your value for you, and it is this value that makes you whole. A whole mind is not idolatrous and does not know of conflicting laws. I will heal you merely because I have only one message, and it is true. Your faith in it will make you whole when you have faith in me.
8. I do not bring God’s message with deception, and you will learn this as you learn that you always receive as much as you accept. You could accept peace now for everyone and offer them perfect freedom from all illusions because you heard His Voice. But have no other gods before Him or you will not hear. God is not jealous of the gods you make, but you are. You would save them and serve them because you believe that they made you. You think they are your father, because you are projecting onto them the fearful fact that you made them to replace God. Yet when they seem to speak to you, remember that nothing can replace God, and whatever replacements you have attempted are nothing.
9. Very simply, then, you may believe you are afraid of nothingness, but you are really afraid of nothing. And in that awareness, you are healed. You will hear the god you listen to. You made the god of sickness, and by making him you made yourself able to hear him. Yet you did not create him, because he is not the Will of the Father. He is therefore not eternal and will be unmade for you the instant you signify your willingness to accept only the eternal.
10. If God has but one Son, there is but one God. You share reality with Him because reality is not divided. To accept other gods before Him is to place other images before yourself. You do not realize how much you listen to your gods, and how vigilant you are on their behalf. Yet they exist only because you honor them. Place honor where it is due, and peace will be yours. It is your inheritance from your real Father. You cannot make your Father, and the father you made did not make you. Honor is not due to illusions, for to honor them is to honor nothing. Yet fear is not due them either, for nothing cannot be fearful. You have chosen to fear love because of its perfect harmlessness, and because of this fear you have been willing to give up your own perfect helpfulness and your own perfect Help.
11. Only at the altar of God will you find peace. And this altar is in you because God put it there. His Voice still calls you to return, and He will be heard when you place no other gods before Him. You can give up the god of sickness for your brothers; in fact, you would have to do so if you give him up for yourself. For if you see the god of sickness anywhere, you have accepted him. And if you accept him you will bow down and worship him, because he was made as God’s replacement. He is the belief that you can choose which god is real. Although it is clear this has nothing to do with reality, it is equally clear that it has everything to do with reality as you perceive it.
Until we ask the Lord for peace, we accept the perceptual world as our reality. We identify with our flesh and blood. Identifying with our bodies instead of Holy Spirit makes us sick – in our minds, in our emotions, and in our bodies. Sickness is part of the illusion – it keeps us trapped in fear, uncertainty, and pain.
As God’s Son we have the power to bust up illusions wherever they are – when we accept only truth about ourselves, we can deny them for everybody else. Jesus heals because He recognizes His oneness with all. He recognizes the wholeness in everyone; He knows our worth. His mind is whole. He does not believe in the idolatries of the world; He sees past all the contradictions and conflicts. He does not judge our egos; he sees only our oneness as God’s Son. We are made whole when we put our faith in Christ, when we learn to trust completely in the law of receiving as much as we accept.
What does it mean to receive as much as we accept? Jesus tells us in paragraph eight, that technically we could accept peace right now for everyone who exists; we could offer them perfect freedom from all lies, temptations, and harmful practices – simply because we listened to the Voice for God within us. We responded to His Voice with love, with joyful recognition of the truth, with the peaceful reception of that which the world cannot give.
The problem arises when we try to believe in both the gods of this world, the idols of sickness made by humankind and the Voice for God. When we love God, we must love Him fully. It is not jealousy which demands wholly, it is truth. For it is impossible to have both love for God and fear of Him. It is impossible to reconcile opposites. Where there is light, there cannot be darkness. Where there is health, there cannot be sickness. When something is whole, it is not in part. The world is a tricky place for the Sons of God. It is not our home. We are not here to make a fortune for ourselves, to distinguish ourselves, to make for ourselves a kingdom. When we mistake our stint in time as anything but a means to return to God, we get sick, and we die – again and again. Instead of using time as a means to teach us about our need to return to Him, we use time as a means to replace Him. We think of time as our Father. We think of nature as our Mother. We revere the things of the perceptual world and confuse the nothingness of this realm, the meaningless, chaotic events of this world with God moving and working in our lives. Jesus tells us that when the gods of this world seem to talk to us, we are listening to meaningless chatter because there is nothing which can replace God. We have made the mistake common to all prodigals – that the love, peace, and joy of the Spirit are somehow boring and trite while the variances, uncertainty, and chaos offered by the ego entice and enchant us.
No matter how long we are the least bit deceived by this mistake, we have not replaced God. We have not taken anything away from God, nor have we lost anything for ourselves. We have just been mistaken, we have lost only time, which may be a commodity in this world but certainly not in the Kingdom of God.
There is absolutely no reason to be afraid for there is nothing to be afraid of, there is nothing to be ashamed of, there is nothing but the sweet awareness that this world and all that is in it is a fictional representation of what would be if we could be separated from God and His Love. When we accept this truth we are healed of everything that ails us; and we will be healed according to how much we accept this truth. We will hear the voice we listen to – God does not shout to get our attention; God does not come after us and force His Will upon us. The gods of sickness are the conceptions of God we made in the fictional kingdom, they are lies, they are illusions, they are nothing because they are not God, and they certainly are not God’s Will. The very instant we are willing to give up our belief in the crazy versions of the egotistical gods we made, we are set free of the ludicrous, the meanness, the punitive and angry.
There is only one God and one Son and in this we share our reality. God cannot be divided no more than can His Son. If we accept the gods of this world we accept the same dim view of ourselves for we are vigilant in our devotion to our gods, even though the only reason they seem to exist is because of our devotion to our false beliefs! When we devote ourselves to the God of Love, Joy, and Peace and all that is good, intelligent, and worthy of devotion, all the attributes that belong to Him are ours. For He made us to share all of Himself with us. This is our inheritance!
When we fear the Love of God, the Joy and Peace and Goodness of God, we are making the sad assumption that it is only fear, hatred, sorrow, and strife that are powerful. We make the mistake of believing that being helpful and harmless are weak, boring, and inadequate attributes. There is no honor in anything that is not love. There is no need to fear it either, for all that is not of God, all that is not of love, means nothing for it simply cannot prevail against that which is eternal.
On the inner altar of our mind is the Voice for God calling to each one of us to return to all which is Love. This alone is the place of peace. When our minds are freed from all attachment to the sick gods of this world, when we listen deeply to the quiet voice that calls to us to clear our altars of all the lies and delusions of this world, we hear God’s Voice. God’s Voice unites us. When we give up the gods of sickness for ourselves, we give up the sick gods for our brothers.
When we think we are something special to God and we can hear God’s Voice and be well while our brothers are lost in their sins and sick in their iniquities, we have mistaken the ego-chatter of this realm as our replacement for God. This is the belief that my god can be different than your god. This is the belief that my god is bigger and better than your god. This is the belief that you and I are not brothers and thus the one Son of God, but that you and I can decide reality for ourselves and be separate and at enmity one against the other.
Mistaking perception for reality is not going to change reality but accepting the ego’s perception of reality – we continue our stint in time, sick and diseased, believing that which separates us from God and from each other. Accept our reality in Christ, our minds are set free from the illusional, fictional, temporal realm and we can clearly see and receive the truth of God’s love and devotion.
 A Course in Miracles. Chapter 10 The Idols of sickness III The god of sickness. 7-11. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).
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