It was a short comment on one of my articles. Saying thanks for some interesting posts..
And then – THE QUESTION.
How does A Course in Miracles help someone who has been told he has a terminal disease?
Although I have studied the Course, I decided to turn the question over to my close friend, Sheila Morrison. Sheila has been a facilitator for several study groups every week in Chicago for years and has studied with Dr. Kenneth Wapnick, the renowned interpreter of A Course in Miracles.
Here is her answer:
“When facing difficult, difficult events in our lives, the first thing we want to do is to be very honest with ourselves. We want to look at all the feelings and thoughts that we have – the anger, the injustice, and the sadness.
The Course tells us that there is no death; that it is a mistake to think that our life began when our body was born and that it will end when we let this body go.
We don’t want to spiritualize our way out of our feelings. This would only serve to skip the classroom that can ultimately bring us a greater peace than we have known in the past.
Our life exists outside of time and space and we project all of our experiences onto the body. We over identify with this body to the point that we believe we are a body. Just like when we go to the movies, we identify with the characters on the screen. When they are sad, we sit in our chair and we feel sad, we cry. When they are vindicated, we feel triumphant. If the character is treated unfairly, we are angry.
Nothing is really happening to us, yet we feel all these emotions as if they were really happening to us. This is the same thing we have done with the body. We are mind – over identified with the body to the point that we really think these things are happening to us. This is something that we can consider intellectually, but it is very hard to really grasp that I’m not a body – particularly when our body are failing us.
The course says that it is practically impossible to deny the body – and that it is a particularly unworthy use of denial.
If that is the case, what is it that I’m supposed to do?
I hold in my thoughts that I am something more than a body, but I don’t want to deny what I’m experiencing. This experience is my classroom. It is through looking at all the aspects of my experience that I will eventually learn that my peace is not dependent on my body.
I ask for help from my inner teacher (Jesus, Holy Spirit, Higher Self, whatever symbol works for you) and ask myself what is this for? If I am projecting this onto my body, what purpose does it serve?
So I don’t deny what I’m experiencing and I am as gentle with myself as I can be. I take comfort from family and friends. I avail myself to whatever help that’s available.
And as I go thru all the myriad of emotions and thoughts, I watch them and I learn from them and I don’t judge myself.”
A Course in Miracles is a spiritual thought system. Not a religion. It operates under the premise that there are thousands of ways to God – and they are all good.
The questioner in this article is obviously in pain. There are many like him. Maybe you. If not now, SOMEDAY. We are not going to get out of this world alive as we know it.
We welcome your viewpoint and your feedback. Please add your comments below. This subject is important to all of us. We need your advice and comfort.
We need to support each other.
Sheila Morrison, Ph.D, is licensed clinical psychologist who has a practice in Chicago. She has lead ACIM groups at two locations for many years. For further information on her practice or the study groups of A Course in Miracles, she can be contacted personally at silemo at aol.com. (This is spelled out to discourage spammers – add the usual @ to contact Sheila)