In A Course in Miracles, students are encouraged to honestly look at the darkness they’ve put in their special relationships (be they with people, possessions or values, or whatever). The Course’s central message is that all specialness is illusion, and only loving thoughts are true. We are then invited to choose to change our mind to think with God (=Love; Oneness), by bringing our illusions to the light of truth (again: Love; Oneness), cleaning up yet another dark spot in our unforgiving conflicted mind. Moreover, Jesus emphasizes that our only part in this mind-healing process is to nurture our own willingness to align our will with Love, which, through the miracle of forgiveness, operates perfectly through time and space wherever it is needed.
Since we are cautioned not to try to change the external world, but solely the inner world of our own mind, we usually do not think we can influence the mind of those around us. After all, since bodies are clearly separated, it seems highly unlikely that my change of mind about you can directly influence your state of mind, especially if you’re not around. We do know that if someone in a meeting emanates a particularly negative energy, this influences the mood of all participants in the meeting, but we attribute that effect to a choice of our interpretation of the situation at hand: should I choose to be happily at peace, no negativity would be able to disturb that inner peace. Conversely, if someone in a group meeting is extremely joyful, chances are that this ‘contagious’ effect brightens the mood of everyone who’s involved.
However, aside from these obvious examples when people are in each other’s vicinity, we usually do not think that we can lighten up the mind of those who are far away. And yet, in my own Course workshops I increasingly hear reports of participants who experience the healing of a strained relationship merely by actively choosing to place the other person in the light of Love in their mind. People who almost constantly bicker at work; family members who refuse to speak to each other for years on end; neighbors whose minds are unceasingly filled with hate about each other. These are just a few examples of real-life cases in which the relationship was completely transformed to love without any mutual conversation between them whatsoever. The relationship visibly improved merely because one of them found sanity and actively chose to place the other in the light of Love. The results are often truly astounding. How could this be?
The Course teaches us (1) that minds are joined (T-18.VI.3:1), and (2) that everyone who still walks this earth has a conflicted mind (cf. W-pII.257.1:1): on the one hand, we often like to choose the ego as our mind’s guide, indulging in specialness and differences; on the other hand, sometimes we choose the Holy Spirit — the Voice for Love — as our mind’s guide, focusing on our inherent sameness and our shared purpose of living a life of Love. Of all these thoughts, we are taught that only the loving ones are true (T-12.I.8:7). Thoughts about any aspect of negativity (guilt; fear; separation; attack; hate; depression, you name it) are illusory and therefore not true. Note, by the way, that the term ‘thoughts’ refers to our mind’s impulses rather than to our verbal thought stream, which is only a representation of these impulses. Our only real thoughts, then, may be aptly summarized as our impulses of Love, in as far as that Love refers to you and me being the same in spirit, which is our essence.
The apparent fact that we can heal a strained relationship just by placing the other — in the mind! — in the light of Love, is explained in the Course by the simple statement that light is always shared (W-pI.R4.In.6:1), whereas darkness cannot be shared, since it is illusory. Darkness is a feeble wish of the ego, with the sole aim of keeping the separation ongoing. However, since the entire ‘tiny, mad idea’ of separation is illusory, darkness cannot have a real effect anywhere. As darkness in a room immediately dissipates when the light switch is turned on, so the illusory darkness in the mind dissolves whenever a mind decides to turn on the ‘inner light’ of love. The apparent healing of my previously strained relationship of course merely reflects the healing of my own mind, since in reality there is only one mind. An illusion has been brought to truth, and is thereby healed.
That’s why Jesus says that he and you and I have “all power in Heaven and on earth” (W-pI.20.3:7): by choosing to clean up the ‘dark spots’ in the mind that appear to block the flow of oneness love and therefore perpetuate my apparent unique individuality, I turn on the light switch that immediately dissipates the darkness which was illusory anyway. The ‘price’ I pay for this is that my unique individual self becomes a little less unique. This unconsciously frightens me because I do not know what I would be without a unique individual body and personality. Our unconscious fear of being annihilated into oblivion by a wrathful Creator leads us to keep the dark illusion of separated individuality alive. Jesus’ task in A Course in Miracles is to get us to accept the truth of statements such as: “You believe that without the ego, all would be chaos. Yet I assure you that without the ego, all would be love.” (T-15.V.1:7).
So yes, you and I really can actively heal our conflicted special relationships, and you don’t even need the other’s conscious consent! Why not try it now. After reading this, close your eyes and picture someone whom you seem to have trouble with. The form of the conflict or situation doesn’t matter. What matters is your intention to bring that particular illusion of darkness to the light of truth through forgiveness, thereby allowing the Holy Spirit — again, the Voice for Love — to bring the miracle to its full efficacy. First and foremost, we should realize that I cannot heal if I do not love myself, that is, my essence as spirit. Since in truth there are no “others”, any grudge or grievance I seem to hold merely mirrors a dark conviction about some aspect of myself. Therefore, begin the healing process by immersing yourself in the light of love.
There are many ways to experience this, and you should follow your own preferred method. Paradoxically, your body may be of great help to experience that light. Try to immerse every single vein in your body in light; feel it tickle across your skin; try to become consciously aware of as many body parts at once as you can. See your body as a body of light. Say silently to yourself, then: “I will there be light. There is no will but God’s; therefore, any conflict in my mind, including my conflict with you, cannot be real. I am Light. You are the same Light. We are the same Light. I want to see us as that Light above all else, that we may both be healed of all darkness.” Be assured that the Holy Spirit wastes no time in following up on this invitation, and casually notice what happens to your relationship in the time that follows. You might just be astounded. Happy practicing!
See also my “Miracles or Murder: a guide to concepts of A Course in Miracles“. This guidebook, endorsed by Gary and Cindy Renard, was published in March 2016 by Outskirts Press and is available at Amazon.com:
See also my Feb. 2019 Course workshop at www.youtube.com called “Farewell to your self, to find your true Self”. (English captions/subtitles available)
Dutch visitors may also be interested in this Dutch page: ikzoekvrede.nl.