When ACIM talks about the secret of salvation, it goes on to talk about how there is a singular lesson the Holy Spirit teaches, transcendent of all forms of suffering:
"The Holy Spirit will repeat this ONE inclusive lesson of deliverance, until it has been learned, REGARDLESS of the form of suffering that brings you pain. Whatever hurt you bring to Him, He will make answer with this very simple truth ("That YOU are doing this UNTO YOURSELF"). For this one answer TAKES AWAY the cause of every form of sorrow and of pain. The form affects His answer not at all, for He would teach you but the SINGLE cause of all of them, no matter WHAT their form. And you will understand that miracles reflect the simple statement, "I have done this thing, and it is this I would undo."
So what he's saying here is, YOU CAUSE all of your own suffering and pain and sickness and death. YOU are the SINGLE CAUSE of all suffering.
So if we are then to approach healing something that you are seeming to suffer from, even a physical sickness, we need to be at least acknowledging this fact that you have to ADMIT... that you DID THIS, and you now become willing to UNDO it.
"miracles reflect the simple statement, "I have done this thing, and it is this I would undo." "
This means there has to be a willingness to admit and accept that if there is any suffering of any kind, it is because YOU CHOSE IT. This has nothing at all to do with inducing guilt either.
"I must have made a wrong decision because I am not at peace" "I made the decision myself..."
This tells you the same thing. You can't get anywhere so long as you are tangled up in beliefs about someone OTHER THAN yourself, or some EXTERNAL CAUSE, being responsible for putting this suffering in place.
You have to be willing to look at the fact that you PUT IT IN PLACE, through a decision you made, a deliberate choice, FOR a reason to fulfill a PURPOSE, to achieve a GOAL, based on a perceived NEED to do so.
"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."
Jesus again confirms that without a PURPOSE, or a NEED FOR the suffering, due to some belief that you WANT IT in order to accomplish something, there would be no way for the sickness to remain.
"Special agents seem to be ministering to him, yet they but give form to his own choice. He chooses them in order to bring tangible form to his desires. And it is this they do, and nothing else. They are not actually needed at all. The patient could merely rise up without their aid and say, ***"I have no use for this."*** There is no form of sickness that would not be cured at once."
You can see that Jesus is being very clear about the RESPONSIBILITY and the POWER that you have, the FREE WILL which you are at all times exercising, which results in either supportive or destructive effects. If anything is happening, it is ONLY because you have chosen it. And therefore you have every power NOT TO. To reverse and undo whatever it is that YOU put into place.
""My Self is ruler of the universe." "***It is impossible that anything should come to me unbidden by myself***. Even in this world, it is I who rule my destiny. What happens is what I desire. What does not occur is what I do not want to happen."
So nothing AT ALL, no sickness, suffering, experiences, effects, reactions, perceptions, NOTHING can come to you unbidden (un-chosen) by yourself. YOU CHOOSE whether or not you suffer. Which exactly ties into "no one dies without their own consent."
We are free willed beings, which means that absolutely NOTHING happens against your will. You yourself have to ELECT to experience whatever it is you experience. EVERYTHING you experience is chosen freely and willingly. NOTHING happens without YOU willing it to happen. This is responsibility.
This also means there are NO VICTIMS. There is no-one else to blame. No-one else is responsible for changing you or fixing you. No-one is the CAUSE of anything you experience. You are NEVER trapped and stuck in any situation regardless of the symptoms or severity. EVERYTHING can be reversed if you TRULY, genuinely, honestly choose it.
"It is your thoughts alone that cause you pain. ***Nothing external to your mind can hurt or injure you in any way.*** There is no cause beyond yourself that can reach down and bring oppression. ***No-one but yourself affects you.*** There is nothing in the world which has the power to make you ill or sad, or weak or frail."
Read it again. "No-one but yourself affects you."
NOTHING in the world has any power to make you ill or sad or weak or frail. NOTHING in the world causes you to be sick. NOTHING in the world can make you die.
If you are suffering, and without adding any guilt or BLAME, which is an ego interpretation of responsibility, YOU HAVE THE POWER to choose again and be free from it. Because you have GIVEN IT to yourself, and you can take it away.
"I have done this thing, and it is this I would undo."
So at the very least, as we're looking at the "consequences of our wrong decision", which "The holy spirit will undo" ... "if I will LET Him". .... we need to at least be willing to accept the BASIC rule, that whatever it is... WE MUST HAVE CHOSEN IT.
So you admit to yourself, I chose this. I wanted this. I put this in place. I made this happen. I put it there. I did this on purpose. I did it intentionally. I was trying to ACHIEVE something. I had a PURPOSE for it. I NEEDED to do it.
As you think along these lines, you might be surprised that the RATIONALE for WHY you did this, what you were TRYING TO DO, is much more likely to come to mind. I did this with a physical problem for example and quickly what shows up in my mind was a feeling of hate and anger and a desire to attack, and this hate was clearly directed towards myself. And it was coupled with a desire to position myself as suffering so that I could try to blame someone for something. That's why I induced sickness. And sickness is ALWAYS CHOSEN CONSCIOUSLY.
"***Sickness is not an accident.*** Like all defenses, it is an insane device for self-deception."
"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."
There is also a whole "piece" to the course's metaphysics to do with projection and accusation. That is, when you use the body for attack, which attacks the body, such as when you are trying to project your sin and guilt onto your brother, you DELIBERATELY make your body sick in order to PORTRAY "your self" as suffering, SO THAT you can create EFFECTS in the body, which act as PROOF. And these physical effects, which form as part of PROJECTION OF SIN, act as ACCUSATIONS.
"Sick bodies remain accusers"
And once the body is showing as sick, tied into the projection of RESPONSIBILITY and CAUSE onto another person, in which you see yourself as NOT RESPONSIBLE and NOT THE CAUSE and NOT THE CHOOSER, you are accusing your brother of being these things. And your effects seem to correlate to HIS causing you. And now he stands accused, by your suffering, of being the REASON FOR your suffering. And you will now happily have the body suffer and die if it means you can be exonerated from sin by finding your brother to be the RESPONSIBLE party. And now "brother by your hand I die."
So what's happening here is we try to DISOWN the fact that we ALWAYS CHOOSE THE SUFFERING, and that WE PUT IT IN PLACE, and we try to FRAME someone else as the cause of it, by externalizing the choice and try to pin it on someone else. And we use this as a DEVICE, to try to escape RESPONSIBILITY. Because in our mind in which are know we ARE responsible for everything we experience, we also experience GUILT for sins we believe in, and to the ego that makes us feel like we are responsible for being guilty sinners. And we can't stand that so we try to DISSOCIATE from it.
To do that, we have to reverse perception and project causation and make it seem like someone else or something external is the cause of it, we materialize the effects in the body through SELF ATTACK, and then blame our brother for it. So now sickness has a PURPOSE of trying to disown your responsibility and GET RID OF the guilt out of your mind (and of course ideas do not leave their source). And the NEED for the sickness is to escape from RESPONSIBILITY for the guilt. So we try to throw the responsibility out with the guilt.
So while you have a NEED to escape from sin and guilt in your own mind, which YOU CHOSE TO BELIEVE WERE TRUE OF YOU, you have all kinds of reasons why you can BENEFIT from sickness and from portraying yourself as suffering. So that you can DEFEND against the truth. So that you can INDUCE illness. And so that you can try to render yourself SAFER and more INNOCENT. By finding someone else to blame for the beliefs YOU are responsible for, you create a false sense of security. Which at the same time undermines your security.
This is still stuff that we are RESPONSIBLE for doing. But the ego has a really tough time accepting any kind of responsibility because it believes sin and guilt are real. So whenever we're asked to be responsible for choice, for power, for SELF INDUCED SUFFERING, the ego recoils at it, interpreting it as meaning WE REALLY ARE GUILTY if we "own up to having sinned." To admit to "being the sinner" in an effort to be more HONEST, is interpreted through ego as confessing to a crime, and you avoid this at all costs because it induces guilt.
This is why RESPONSIBILITY has to be separated out from ego, sin and guilt, and recognized as SALVATION, rather than as a guarantee of condemnation. Being fully responsible for CHOOSING everything is not in any way an indication of being guilty, or to compound it, or make you feel bad about yourself. It's not a way of pointing a finger of blame or shifting blame to yourself. You are supposed to ADMIT that you did this to yourself, SO THAT you can tap back into the POWER you have to DO THIS, so that you can UNDO IT.
"When you are willing to accept ***sole responsibility*** for the ego's existence YOURSELF, you will have laid aside all anger and all attack""Anger ALWAYS involves PROJECTION OF SEPARATION, which must ultimately be accepted as entirely one's own responsibility."
In general, you will make far more progress towards healing if you are willing to look at your suffering from a vantage point of being its SOURCE. Consider yourself as PRE-SUFFERING, and in a position of being PRIOR to having CHOSEN it. And now recognize from this perspective that you MUST HAVE CHOSEN IT, wanted it, put it there, USED it, desired it, had a purpose for it, needed it, for a reason. And ADMITTING this, will prevent your mind from making up projections and disowning the causation of it. And this will very quickly bring to mind WHAT you did to yourself, and WHY.
You can't become aware of the PURPOSE of your suffering if you are not willing to be responsible for causing or needing it. And only when to recognize what it was FOR, can you see what USE or need you had for it, and may still have for it. But once you can see WHY you did this to yourself, you are then in a far better position to CHANGE YOUR MIND, and therefore UNDO what you have done.
When sickness is correctly recognized as NO LONGER NEEDED, BY YOU, for any reason, and you clearly now have no use for it, having addressed the source underlying reasons why you put it there in the first place, you will LET IT GO. And it will simply disappear automatically because your MIND no longer supports it. And then there is healing.
You can set yourself free. You can find salvation. The secret of salvation is that you are doing it to yourself.