The new emphasis will now be on healing. The miracle is the means, the Atonement the principle, and the healing is the result. Those who speak of "the miracle OF healing" are combining two orders of reality inappropriately. Healing is NOT a miracle. The Atonement, or the final miracle, is a REMEDY. It is purely a means, while any type of healing is a result.
The order of error to which Atonement is applied is irrelevant. Essentially, ALL healing is the release from fear. But to undertake this you cannot be fearful yourself.
You do not understand healing because of your own fear. I have been hinting throughout (and once stated very directly, because you were unfearful at the time) that you MUST heal others. The reason is that their healing merely witnesses or attests to yours.
A major step in the Atonement plan is to undo error at ALL levels. Illness, which is really "not Right Mindedness", is the result of level confusion in the sense that it always entails the misbelief that what is amiss in one level can adversely affect another.
We have constantly referred to miracles as the means of correcting level confusion. In reality, all mistakes must be corrected at the level at which they occur. Only the mind is capable of error. The body can ACT erroneously, but this is only because it has responded to mis-Thought. The body cannot create, and the belief that it CAN, a fundamental error responsible for most of the fallacies already referred to, produces all physical symptoms.
All physical illness represents a belief in magic. The whole distortion which created magic rested on the belief that there is a creative ability in matter, which can control the mind. This fallacy can work either way; i.e., it can be misbelieved either that the mind can miscreate IN the body, or that the body can miscreate in the mind. If it can be made clear that the mind, which is the only level of creation, cannot create beyond itself, then neither confusion need occur.
The reason why only the mind can create is more obvious than may be immediately apparent. The Soul has been created. The body is a learning device FOR the mind. Learning devices are not lessons in themselves. Their purpose is merely to facilitate the THINKING of the learner. The most that a faulty use of a learning device can do is to fail to facilitate. It does not have the power in itself to introduce actual learning errors.
The body, if properly understood, shares the invulnerability of the Atonement to two-edged application. This is not because the body is a miracle, but because it is not inherently open to misinterpretation. The body is merely a fact. Its ABILITIES can be, and frequently are, over-evaluated. However, it is almost impossible to deny its existence. Those who do are engaging in a particularly unworthy form of denial. (The use of the word "unworthy" here implies simply that it is not necessary to protect the mind by denying the un-mindful. There is little doubt that the mind can miscreate. If one denies this unfortunate aspect of its power, one is also denying the power itself.)
All material means which man accepts as remedies for bodily ills are simply restatements of magic principles. It was the first level of the error to believe that the body created its own illness. Thereafter, it is a second mis-step to attempt to heal it through non-creative agents. It does not follow, however, that the application of these very weak corrective devices are evil. Sometimes the illness has sufficiently great a hold over an individual's mind to render him inaccessible to Atonement. In this case, one may be wise to utilize a compromise approach to mind and body, in which something from the OUTSIDE is temporarily given healing belief. This is because the last thing that can help the non-Right-Minded (or the sick) is an increase in fear. They are already in a fear-weakened state. If they are inappropriately exposed to a straight and undiluted miracle, they may be precipitated into panic. This is particularly likely to occur when upside down perception has induced the belief that miracles are frightening.
The value of the Atonement does not lie in the manner in which it is expressed. In fact, if it is truly used it will inevitably BE expressed in whatever way is most helpful to the receiver, not the giver. This means that a miracle, to attain its full efficacy, MUST be expressed in a language which the recipient can understand without fear. It does not follow by any means that this is the highest level of communication of which he is capable. But it DOES mean that it is the highest level of communication of which he is capable NOW.
The whole aim of the miracle is to RAISE the level of communication, not to impose regression (as improperly used) upon it. Before it is safe to let miracle workers loose in this world, it is essential that they understand fully the fear of release. Otherwise, they may unwittingly foster the misbelief that release is imprisonment, which is very prevalent. This misperception arose from the attempted protection device (or misdefense) that harm can be limited to the body. This was because of the much greater fear (which this one counteracts) that the mind can hurt itself. Neither error is really meaningful, because the miscreations of the mind do not really exist. That recognition is a far better protection device than any form of level confusion, because of the advantages of introducing correction at the level of the error.
It is essential that the remembrance of the fact that ONLY mind can create at all remain with you. Implicit in this is the corollary that correction belongs at the thought level, and NOT at either level to which creation is inapplicable. To repeat an earlier statement, and also to extend it somewhat, the Soul is already perfect, and therefore does not require correction. The body does not really exist, except as a learning device for the mind. This learning device is not subject to errors of its own, because it was created, but is NOT creating. It should be obvious, then, that correcting the creator (or inducing it to give up miscreation) is the only application of creation which is inherently meaningful at all.
We said before that magic is essentially mindless, or the destructive (miscreated) use of mind. Physical medicines are a form of "spells." In one way, they are a more benign form, in that they do not entail the possession fallacy which DOES enter when a mind believes that it can possess another. Since this is considerably less dangerous, though still incorrect, it has its advantages. It is particularly helpful to the therapist who really wants to heal, but is still fearful himself. By using physical means to do so, he is not engaging in any form of enslavement, even though he is not applying the Atonement. This means that his mind is dulled by fear, but is not actively engaged in distortion.
Those who are afraid of using the mind to heal are right in avoiding it, because the very fact that they are afraid HAS made them vulnerable to miscreation. They are therefore likely to misunderstand any healing they might induce, and, because egocentricity and fear usually occur together, may be unable to accept the real Source of the healing. Under these conditions, it is safer for them to rely TEMPORARILY on physical healing devices, because they cannot misperceive them as their own creations. As long as their own vulnerability persists, it is essential to preserve them from even attempting miracles.
We said in a previous section that the miracle is an expression of miracle-Mindedness. Miracle-Mindedness merely means Right-Mindedness in the sense that we are now using it. Right-Mindedness neither exalts nor depreciates the mind of the miracle worker nor of the miracle receiver. However, as a creative act, the miracle need not await the Right-Mindedness of the receiver. In fact, its purpose is to restore him TO his Right Mind. But it is essential that the miracle worker be in his Right Mind, or he will be unable to reestablish Right-Mindedness in someone else.
The healer who relies on his own readiness is endangering his understanding. He is perfectly safe as long as he is completely unconcerned about HIS readiness, but maintains a consistent trust in MINE. (Errors of this kind produce some very erratic behavior, which usually point up an underlying unwillingness to co-operate. Note that by inserting the carbon backwards, Bill created a situation in which two copies did not exist. This reflected two levels of confidence lack, one in My readiness to heal, and the other in his own willingness to give.) These errors inevitably introduce inefficiency into the miracle worker's behavior, and temporarily disrupt his miracle-mindedness. We might also make very similar comments about your own hesitation about dictating at all. This is a larger error only because it results in greater inefficiency. If you don't say anything, nobody can use it, including Me. We have established that for all corrective processes, the first step is know that this is fear. Unless fear had entered, the corrective procedure would never have become necessary. If your miracle working propensities are not working, it is always because fear has intruded on your Right-Mindedness, and has literally upset it (i.e. turned it upside down).
All forms of not-Right-Mindedness are the result of refusal to accept the Atonement FOR YOURSELF. If the miracle worker DOES accept it, he places himself in the position to recognize that those who need to be healed are simply those who have NOT done so. The reason why you felt the vast radiation range of your own inner illumination is because you were aware that your Right-Mindedness IS healing. The sole responsibility of the miracle worker is to accept Atonement himself. This means that he knows that mind is the only creative level, and that its errors ARE healed by the Atonement. Once he accepts this, HIS mind can only heal. By denying his mind any destructive potential, and reinstating its purely constructive powers, he has placed himself in a position where he can undo the level confusion of others. The message which he then gives to others is the truth that THEIR MINDS are really similarly constructive, and that their own miscreations cannot hurt them. By affirming this, the miracle worker releases the mind from over-evaluating its own learning device (the body), and restores the mind to its true position as the learner. It should be re-emphasized that the body does not learn, any more than it creates. As a learning device, it merely follows the learner, but if it is falsely endowed with self initiative, it becomes a serious obstruction to the learning it should facilitate.
ONLY the mind is capable of illumination. The Soul is already illuminated, and the body in itself is too dense. The mind, however, can BRING its own illumination TO the body by recognizing that density is the opposite of intelligence, and therefore unamenable to independent learning. It is, however, easily brought into alignment with a mind which has learned to look beyond density toward light.
Corrective learning always begins with awakening the spiritual eye, and turning away from belief in physical sight. The reason this entails fear is because man is afraid of what his spiritual eye will see, which was why he closed it in the first place. We said before that the spiritual eye cannot see error, and is capable only of looking beyond it to the defense of Atonement. There is no doubt that the spiritual eye does produce extreme discomfort by what it sees. The thing that man forgets is that the discomfort is not the final outcome of its perception. When the spiritual eye is permitted to look upon the defilement of the altar, it also looks immediately toward Atonement. Nothing which the spiritual eye perceives can induce fear. Everything that results from accurate spiritual awareness merely is channelized toward correction. Discomfort is aroused only to bring the need to correct forcibly into awareness.
What the physical eye sees is not corrective, nor can it be corrected by any device which can be physically seen. As long as a man believes in what his physical sight tells him, all his corrective behavior will be misdirected. The reason why the real vision is obscured is because man cannot endure to see his own defiled altar. But since the altar has BEEN defiled, this fact becomes doubly dangerous unless it IS perceived. This perception is totally non-threatening because of the Atonement. The fear of healing arises in the end from an unwillingness to accept the unequivocal fact that healing is necessary. The fear arises because of the necessary willingness to look at what man has done to himself.
Healing was an ability which was lent to man after the Separation, before which it was completely unnecessary. Like all aspects of the space-time belief, healing ability is temporary. However, as long as time persists, healing remains among the stronger human protections. This is because healing always rests on charity, and charity is a way of perceiving the true perfection of another, even if he cannot perceive it himself. Most of the loftier concepts of which man is capable now are time-dependent. Charity is really a weaker reflection of a much more powerful love-encompassment, which is far beyond any form of charity that man can conceive of as yet. Charity is essential to Right-Mindedness, in the limited sense to which Right-Mindedness can now be attained. Charity is a way of looking at another AS IF he had already gone far beyond his actual accomplishment in time. Since his own thinking is faulty, he cannot see the Atonement himself, or he would have no need for charity at all. The charity which is accorded him is both an acknowledgment that he IS weak, and a recognition that he COULD BE stronger. The way in which both of these beliefs are stated clearly implies their dependence on time, making it quite apparent that charity lies within the framework of human limitations, though toward the higher levels.
We said before, twice in fact, that only Revelation transcends time. The miracle, as an expression of true human charity, can only shorten it a best. It must be understood, however, that whenever a man offers a miracle to another, he IS shortening the suffering of both. This introduces a correction into the Record, which corrects retroactively as well as progressively.