22. How Are Healing and Atonement Related?
1. Healing and Atonement are not related; they are identical. There is no order of difficulty in miracles because there are no degrees of Atonement. It is the one complete concept possible in this world, because it is the source of a wholly unified perception. Partial Atonement is a meaningless idea, just as special areas of hell in Heaven are inconceivable. Accept Atonement and you are healed. Atonement is the Word of God. Accept His Word and what remains to make sickness possible? Accept His Word and every miracle has been accomplished. To forgive is to heal. The teacher of God has taken accepting the Atonement for himself as his only function. What is there, then, he cannot heal? What miracle can be withheld from him?
2. The progress of the teacher of God may be slow or rapid, depending on whether he recognizes the Atonement’s inclusiveness, or for a time excludes some problem areas from it. In some cases, there is a sudden and complete awareness of the perfect applicability of the lesson of the Atonement to all situations, but this is comparatively rare. The teacher of God may have accepted the function God has given him long before he has learned all that his acceptance holds out to him. It is only the end that is certain. Anywhere along the way, the necessary realization of inclusiveness may reach him. If the way seems long, let him be content. He has decided on the direction he wants to take. What more was asked of him? And having done what was required, would God withhold the rest?
3. That forgiveness is healing needs to be understood if the teacher of God is to make progress. The idea that a body can be sick is a central concept in the ego thought system. This thought gives the body autonomy, separates it from the mind, and keeps the idea of attack inviolate. If the body could be sick Atonement would be impossible. A body that can order a mind to do as it sees fit could merely take the place of God and prove salvation is impossible. What, then, is left to heal? The body has become lord of the mind. How could the mind be returned to the Holy Spirit unless the body is killed? And who would want salvation at such a price?
4. Certainly sickness does not appear to be a decision. Nor would anyone actually believe he wants to be sick. Perhaps he can accept the idea in theory, but it is rarely if ever consistently applied to all specific forms of sickness, both in the individual’s perception of himself and of all others as well. Nor is it at this level that the teacher of God calls forth the miracle of healing. He overlooks the mind and body, seeing only the face of Christ shining in front of him, correcting all mistakes and healing all perception. Healing is the result of the recognition, by God’s teacher, of who it is that is in need of healing. His recognition has no special reference. It is true of all things that God created. In it are all illusions healed.
5. When a teacher of God fails to heal, it is because he has forgotten who he is. Another’s sickness thus becomes his own. In allowing this to happen, he has identified with another’s ego, and has thus confused him with the body. In so doing, he has refused to accept the Atonement for himself, and can hardly offer it to his brother in Christ’s name. He will, in fact, be unable to recognize his brother at all, for his Father did not create bodies, and so he is seeing in his brother only the unreal. Mistakes do not correct mistakes, and distorted perception does not heal. Step back now, teacher of God. You have been wrong. Lead not the way, for you have lost it. Turn quickly to your Teacher and let yourself be healed.
6. The offer of Atonement is universal. It is equally applicable to all individuals in all circumstances. And in it is the power to heal all individuals of all forms of sickness. Not to believe this is to be unfair to God, and thus unfaithful to Him. A sick person perceives himself as separate from God. Would you see him as separate from you? It is your task to heal the sense of separation that has made him sick. It is your function to recognize for him that what he believes about himself is not the truth. It is your forgiveness that must show him this. Healing is very simple. Atonement is received and offered. Having been received, it must be accepted. It is in the receiving, then, the healing lies. All else must follow from the single purpose.
7. Who can limit the power of God himself? Who, then, can say that one can be healed of what, and what must remain beyond God’s power to forgive? This is insanity indeed. It is not up to God’s teachers to set limits upon Him, because it is not up to them to judge His Son. And to judge His Son is to limit his Father. Both are equally meaningless. Yet this will not be understood until God’s teacher recognizes that they are the same mistake. Herein does he receive Atonement, for he withdraws his judgment from the Son of God, accepting him as God created him. No longer does he stand apart from God, determining where healing should be given and where it should be withheld. Now can he say with God, “This is my beloved Son, created perfect and forever so.”
We accept Atonement when we no longer see ourselves as separate from God. This is our healing, for there can be no sickness in God. God takes no glory in suffering, pain, or sorrow of any kind. God is not the author of the idea of punishment or vengeance or spite. To believe that our bodies are a whipping post for God’s vengeance; that He desires our blood, and our mortification are the very ideas that promote the idea of separation and sickness in the first place. Let us come to the Father and give up all that would offend His eternal love and undying devotion to us, His Son.
Today ask Holy Spirit to illuminate your mind to the message of this passage. Healing and Atonement are identical. We offer healing and Atonement to others every time we see others as part of the Sonship; every time we refrain from judging others by their humanity rather than their divinity; every time we stand for God’s Love, His Mercy and Grace. If we fail to see others as we see Christ, we are unfaithful to God because we are choosing to see through the carnal eyes of judgment rather than the Vision of Christ which saves and heals all.
When we commit our lives to God, we are no longer ashamed to share what is written upon our hearts and minds because what is written upon my heart and mind is written upon yours as well. We no longer sit in judgment and condemnation of others because we know that the things that transpire in the world do not tell the real story. The deluded dream of the denuded son of man has been forgiven – already. It is a thing of the past – history. To join with others in a sense of alarm, worldly concern, or castigating and throwing darts at this poor “boy” is not worthy of a teacher of God. To try to “help” this symbol of separation in worldly measures only maintains cycles of ignorance and pain. We are called to accept Atonement for ourselves. When we accept Atonement for ourselves, we accept forgiveness and healing for everyone, for we are one.
Ours are the eyes through which Christ’s vision sees a world redeemed from every thought of sin. Ours are the ears that hear the Voice of God proclaim the world as sinless. Ours the minds which join together as we bless the world. And from the oneness that we have attained, we call to all our brothers, asking them to share our peace and consummate our joy.
 A Course in Miracles. Manual for Teachers. 22. How are healing and atonement related? Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).
 A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Part II 14 What am I? 4. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).
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