II. The Invitation to Healing
- If sickness is separation, the decision to heal and to be healed is the first step toward recognizing what you truly want. Every attack is a step away from this, and every healing thought brings it closer. The Son of God has both Father and Son because he is both Father and Son. To unite having and being is to unite your will with His, for He wills you Himself. And you will yourself to Him because, in your perfect understanding of Him, you know there is, but one Will. Yet when you attack any part of God and His Kingdom your understanding is not perfect, and what you really want is therefore lost to you.
- Healing thus becomes a lesson in understanding, and the more you practice it the better teacher and learner you become. If you have denied truth, what better witnesses to its reality could you have than those who have been healed by it? But be sure to count yourself among them, for in your willingness to join them is your healing accomplished. Every miracle that you accomplish speaks to you of the Fatherhood of God. Every healing thought that you accept, either from your brother or in your own mind, teaches you that you are God’s Son. In every hurtful thought you hold, wherever you perceive it, lies the denial of God’s Fatherhood and of your Sonship.
- And denial is as total as love. You cannot deny part of yourself, because the rest will seem to be separate and therefore without meaning. And being without meaning to you, you will not understand it. To deny meaning is to fail to understand. You can heal only yourself, for only God’s Son needs healing. You need it because you do not understand yourself, and therefore know not what you do. Having forgotten your will, you do not know what you really want.
- Healing is a sign that you want to make whole. And this willingness opens your ears to the Voice of the Holy Spirit, Whose message is wholeness. He will enable you to go far beyond the healing you would undertake, for beside your small willingness to make whole He will lay His Own complete Will and make yours whole. What can the Son of God not accomplish with the Fatherhood of God in Him? And yet the invitation must come from you, for you have surely learned that whom you invite as your guest will abide with you.
- The Holy Spirit cannot speak to an unwelcoming host because He will not be heard. The Eternal Guest remains, but His Voice grows faint in alien company. He needs your protection, only because your care is a sign that you want Him. Think like Him ever so slightly, and the little spark becomes a blazing light that fills your mind so that He becomes your only Guest. Whenever you ask the ego to enter, you lesson His welcome. He will remain, but you have allied yourself against Him. Whatever journey you choose to take, He will go with you, waiting. You can safely trust His patience, for He cannot leave a part of God. Yet you need far more than patience.
- You will never rest until you know your function and fulfill it, for only in this can your will and your Father’s be wholly joined. To have Him is to be like Him, and He has given Himself to you. You who have God must be as God, for His function became yours with His gift. Invite this knowledge back into your mind and let nothing that obscures it enter. The Guest Whom God sent you will teach you how to do this, if you but recognize the little spark and are willing to let it grow. Your willingness need not be perfect, because His is. If you will merely offer Him a little place, He will lighten it so much that you will gladly let it be increased. And by this increase, you will begin to remember creation.
- Would you be hostage to the ego or host to God? You will accept only whom you invite. You are free to determine who shall be your guest, and how long he shall remain with you. Yet this is not real freedom, for it still depends on how you see it. The Holy Spirit is there, although He cannot help you without your invitation. And the ego is nothing, whether you invite it in or not. Real freedom depends on welcoming reality, and of your guests only the Holy Spirit is real. Know, then, Who abides with you merely by recognizing what is there already, and do not be satisfied with imaginary comforters, for the Comforter of God is in you.
When we come to the place in our journey where we no longer have any desire to harm others in any way, when we realize that the source of our angst, our sorrow, our sickness comes from our acceptance of the dog-eat-dog nature of the ego’s realm – we have made the first step in recognizing that God’s Will is our will. Those attack thoughts that the ego arouses in the dark part of our minds, the lower mind, the part that cannot stand the “other,” because they are dirty, they pick their nose, they scratch their crotches, they don’t love Jesus – must be recognized for what they are. They are attacks; they are not inspired of God and they are a denial of God and the Sonship.
Forgiving thoughts, overlooking thoughts, loving thoughts take us beyond our human perception. This kind of thinking helps us to recognize what we truly want. We must welcome this kind of thinking into our minds for the practice of the mind of Christ, while the only real choice we have, has become unnatural in the world of ego. Ego would make this practice one of weakness, sport, and ridicule. Ego sneers at goodness because goodness is free of ego, goodness offers ego nothing on which to grasp, to sustain itself. Ego would have us getting caught up in attack thoughts, mockery thoughts, condemning thoughts sinking our minds deeper into depression, sickness, and the black empty pit of despair rather than recognize our Sonship with God and our brotherhood in Christ.
Instead of seeing each other through the hard, cruel eyes of condemnation, humiliation and scorn, we begin to see past the human wreckage and recognize the spark of God within each one of us. We see past the bad manners, the gross behaviors, the uncouth words and deeds and we see God. We will know what we really want when we practice looking upon others only with the mutuality and goodwill of the Brotherhood of Christ.
Practicing the mutuality we share as Sons of God, heals us. It deepens our understanding of the conditions of God’s Kingdom. The more we practice seeing the spark of God in others, the better we get at it. Our healing is a witness to those who have denied the truth about God, the ones who have sickened themselves on false concepts of God. We are to count ourselves among the healed and the healers – for our will to join them is our healing. I take this to mean get over any false modesty that would dim your awareness and discount your place in God’s Kingdom. Be careful of idolizing the “masters.” There are no masters in God’s Kingdom – we are all called to bring our spark and join it with others. We are not to fall into the trap that we are just not spiritually advanced enough to teach God’s truth – we are to start where we are and not be afraid of our imperfect, awkward, limited understanding but trust in ourselves and in God to teach us as we teach others to be unafraid of their process.
There is no competition in God’s Kingdom. There are no pets, no elect, no argument about who gets to sit on the throne next to God’s. These are egotistical ideas that do not heal but sicken us and turn us against each other. We are not here to putdown others in order to make ourselves look better. During the past year when we were practicing social distancing, I had the great joy of being part of a few online ACIM groups from around the world. However, I was taken aback to find that the same patterns of behavior that come up in the more secular mindsets are also expressed in sincere students and devoted teachers of the Course. When we treat others as if they are less than us because we have had our nose in the Course for much longer than them, because we have a teaching degree, because we follow a particular ACIM “Master,” expressing shock and dismay that others have not been taught of this popular teacher or that one – we are denying God. We are denying the Sonship. We are not healing; we are hurting ourselves and others. We think that there is something valuable in separation. We fail to see what the spark in those who do not impress us has to teach us.
Jesus tells us in paragraph three that denial is as total as love. We cannot deny part of the Sonship without the Sonship losing its meaning to us. Once the Sonship loses its meaning to us, there will be no understanding of it. We are back to square one again, repeating the same old patterns of exclusiveness, perceiving through the eyes of flesh, getting caught up in the causes of the world that would get us to point fingers of blame and shame. We will sail along thinking we are spiritually advancing, only to find that our light is growing dimmer as our understanding weakens. Instead of healing others, we need healing, because we have forgotten what we really are and what we really want.
Healing signifies that we want to be whole and to make whole. We no longer want to lord it over our brothers, we want to be one with them. We are no longer willing to curse God’s Creation, accepting the ego’s bleak forecasts, accusations, and perversions as truth – we want only Creation as God created it. When we get to this point, we can hear the Voice for God – the still, quiet, calm Voice of Holy Spirit will teach us wholeness. We may be able to train our minds to reject attack thoughts; we may be able to train our minds to stay fixed upon the more positive things in the world; we may even be able to maintain peace of mind through meditation, through practicing good mental health habits; and avoiding those who would pull us down. But with Holy Spirit as our Guide we go far beyond the earthly rewards of a calm mind – we get the complete Will of God, we are made whole, we are given the Sonship of God and the love, the joy, the peace that lasts beyond this plane and encompasses everything.
Ask for Holy Spirit, dear brothers. Invite the Holy Guest to abide with you, for Holy Spirit does not boorishly butt in where He is not wanted. Holy Spirit is not clamorous, loud, or attention-seeking. It is very easy to overlook the attributes of Holy Spirit, for Holy Spirit has nothing that sustains the ego or satisfies its cravings. And yet the quiet attributes of love, joy, and peace, of meaning, purpose, and wholeness are what we really want – all we must do is ask!
Caring for Holy Spirit is a sign of our welcome. Just as we provide all the comforts of home to our guests when they come to visit, preparing delicious meals and drinks, planning fun activities, and providing clean sheets and towels – so must we care for Holy Spirit in our lives. Thinking with Holy Spirit, our mind fills with His Light, He becomes not our Holy Guest, but He becomes us as we become Him! The quiet Voice for God requires peace to be heard. We cannot hear Holy Spirit in the unbridled clamor of the ego. When ego enters our mind, we have allied against our Holy Guest – and while He never leaves us or forsakes us, we need far more than merely His patience to heal and be healed.
For we will simply never find peace until we realize our function – to heal and to be healed – this is the path that joins us wholly with God. To have God in us is to be like God – He has given Himself to us. We must be as God for His function became our function when He gave us His Voice, His Spirit, His Son. Let nothing keep you from acknowledging this truth! Let nothing that would deride, denigrate, or destroy this knowledge enter your thoughts for as we recognize the spark of God within us we will want to let it grow, and Holy Spirit will teach us how to do this when we ask. It may feel awkward at first to think of ourselves as more than a fruitcake taken out of the oven too soon, a miserable sinner saved by grace, but brothers, God has given us Himself. Do not let the ego tell you that you are less than what God created you to be. Offer your willingness to let this knowledge, this truth grow in you and Holy Spirit will reveal the memory of creation to you.
Hostage to the ego or host to God? We will accept whom we invite – it seems like freedom – this choice, but it is only freedom because in this realm the ego seems like a real choice. In the reality of God, the ego is nothing whether we invite it in or not – for the ego is that which opposes truth. Being the opposite of truth, ego is merely a bluff, a scam, a ruse, a lie.
Welcoming Holy Spirit, we find Holy Spirit is already there, waiting for our embrace, waiting for us to give up our fictional, perceptual, imaginary comforters. Real freedom comes from the real Comforter, Which being of God has never left us and never will.
 A Course in Miracles. Chapter 11 God or the ego. II The invitation to healing. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). pp. 197-198.
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