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Level Confusion - Sickness
Speaker: Level confusion. People like the idea that ‘I am responsible’ because it’s an empowering idea. That’s at the mind level. But, the mind is responsible at the thought level. Then take the example of sickness, and put ‘I am responsible’ together with an idea of sickness at form level; ‘for this cancer; for this sore throat.’ They’re two different levels, you see. One is I am responsible for my thoughts and the other one is I’m down here, I’m this little person in a body and I’m sick and then they try to hook these two together. Then guilt is what happens because people feel, oh my gosh, I created this cancer. I feel guiltier than ever. I attracted this terrible situation or terrible relationship to me and I feel guilty. The Course gives us the way to steer clear of this ego trap in that I am responsible for what I see. In other words, here is the script. Here is what’s happening perceptually in my life event which could be anything going on down here in the world. The Course asks what is the purpose that you’re going to give to that; are you going to look through the Holy Spirit’s lens or the ego’s lens; Are you going to hold onto the ego’s purpose for this or are you going to use it for the Holy Spirit’s purpose, which just sees it as another opportunity in a miraculous way to go above the battlefield. The right mind is completely up here at a mind level.
The Holy Spirit’s not down here at a form level. But as soon as the mind perceives itself as down here or perceives the form issues as being the main issues and forgets about the purpose, then there’s a level confusion. The identity confusion takes place. So, to give some examples of this would be the idea of medicine; the idea that you could take a pill that could bring healing or have an operation could bring healing, and even more subtle things like Reiki and different energies and chakras and so on. As long as they are body based in any way and there’s a belief that there are healing properties in them, then somehow the mind has forgotten that creativity is only at the mind level. Some kind of causation is given to the form level and that’s where the level confusion comes in the mind. As soon as the mind believes there is anything causative down here, like I got this cancer because I worked in a high radiation place and my body was exposed to high levels of radiation and therefore my body got this cancer. Well, that’s saying that the environment caused the cancer.
Participant: So hopefully you get it cured by exposing yourself to more radiation in the form of chemotherapy and hmmm…
Speaker: You can see where not only the medical model but basically we’re talking about the whole world is causative. Not only things that can heal you and make you well but obviously things that hurt you are in the world. This has been a really core teaching for me because the more I’ve gone into this the more I see that everything, like lesson 136 says, sickness is a decision. It really brings it back to I’m making a decision at the mind level because the mind feels like it’s guilty. It feels like it’s separated from God and therefore it doesn’t want to see the mind is sick so it projects the sickness onto the body and goes, ha!
Participant: The mind doesn’t want to believe that it’s sick so it uses the body.
Speaker: The mind doesn’t want to really look at the fact that it’s sick because it wants to be right about what it is. It wants to be right about separating from God and making up a kingdom. The key is to get really clear about these levels. The mind vs. the form levels because basically there’s a great fear of healing. In the back of the book Jesus talks about healing and how it’s accomplished, he says before you can heal you have to really look at the great fear of healing that you don’t really want to be healed and that’s why often it seems as if there’s too much fear for a miracle or a mind shift. Earlier in the text Jesus says, magic is not bad. He isn’t saying that magic, pills and operations are evil, but, he’s saying that as long as you’re too fearful you may want a mix of the magic and miracles. If you’re having a throbbing headache and you’re sitting there trying to have a change of mind and it’s not working and the headache is getting worse, it can be fearful to keep trying to do that. He’s kind of saying, take the Tylenol, take the Aspirin, reduce the fear level, and that the miracle can’t come until its welcome. If it’s too fearful for your mind to invite the Holy Spirit then you may need a mix of magic and miracles. You can see what we’re talking about is ultimate healing where you can just have a mind shift and stay on purpose and not even have the symptoms. That comes from not confusing the two levels.
It can get pretty metaphysical here but I can give you a pretty concrete example. One day I came home and I was going to cook the food in my microwave and so I put the food in the microwave, I turned it on for a couple minutes and was doing something else in the kitchen. All of the sudden, I started feeling really nauseous, sick to my stomach and then I started feeling a diarrhea the feeling came up really strong and quick. From studying the Course what I was good at, instead of just looking at the behavioral level I’m always watching my thoughts and just noticing what they are. The thoughts were Oh my gosh, I’m not going to be able to eat this food that I just put in the microwave because I feel sick and then I thought oh, I must be catching the flu. Catching the flu, which I grew up learning that I catch germs from out there; from unclean places; then the next one was I wonder if it’s going to be a 24 hr bug or a 48 hr bug. You can see how much you can go with the ego’s train of thinking. Then my lesson for the day was in my awareness; lesson 136 which is not coincidental, ‘Sickness is a defense against the truth.’ So, as soon as I had that thought, Sickness is a defense against the truth, all of a sudden all these related thoughts from the lesson came in, that sickness is a decision, that I was just afraid of God’s love and I was so afraid of the love in my mind and the Holy Spirit, that it was a quick defense mechanism to project the guilt down onto the body, to say to God like a witness “see! I’m right about myself. I am tiny and small and vulnerable. I’m not whole and infinite in magnitude like you say”. It’s a pretty strong witness. If you’re going to call a witness to the bar stand so to speak to speak for vulnerability and tininess it’s really strong. I was able to look at that though and I started thinking more about it. Then as I was sitting on the toilet I said wait a minute here, either what Jesus has been teaching me all along is true or this is true, that I could catch the flu. It was like I had the experience of going in my mind as I was sitting there and coming to the branching of the road where I could trace it back and just see that this is either true or it’s not. If you really bring it back down to the idea of if sickness is an idea then where did it come from? From God; did God create sickness? I kept tracing it back down and I started feeling the power well up in me and the joy of feeling the spirit and I remember going, This is impossible!; very emphatically. Just seeing the branching of the road and instantly the feeling of nausea and the diarrhea in an instant was just gone. It was a really powerful experience in an instant. People can talk about this and give theories. But, this really gave me that sense of just seeing clearly the impossibility of sickness. It also gave me that sense of I really have to watch my mind because here were all these thoughts that were going through my mind that I was believing in and investing in that were tiny thoughts. I call them backwards thoughts, that something can happen outside of me. So that’s a concrete example for us as to why it’s important for us to really watch our minds.
Participant: What about the guilt that happens? Say that it didn’t work that way. People do get sick.
Speaker: People bring that up in groups a lot. That’s where the
level confusion comes in, the form and content that we talk about all
the time is still confused. What happens is they may say the words,
‘Please Holy Spirit I want to see this differently.’ But,
there’s still that confusion that’s in the mind and really
the mind is still invested, still so afraid of love that it really wants
to be sick.
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