Chapter Twenty Seven: The Body and the Dream
III. The Fear of Healing
13 Is healing frightening? To many, yes. For accusation is a bar to love, and damaged bodies are accusers. They stand firmly in the way of trust and peace, proclaiming that the frail can have no trust and that the damaged have no grounds for peace. Who has been injured by his brother and could love and trust him still? He has attacked and will attack again. Protect him not, because your damaged body shows that you must be protected from him. To forgive may be an act of charity, but not his due. He may be pitied for his guilt, but not exonerated. And if you forgive him his transgressions, you but add to all the guilt that he has really earned.
14 The unhealed cannot pardon. For they are the witnesses that pardon is unfair. They would retain the consequences of the guilt they overlook. Yet no one can forgive a sin which he believes is real. And what has consequences must be real because what it has done is there to see. Forgiveness is not pity which but seeks to pardon what it knows to be the truth. Good cannot be returned for evil, for forgiveness does not first establish sin and then forgive it. Who can say and mean, "My brother, you have injured me, and yet because I am the better of the two, I pardon you my hurt." His pardon and your hurt cannot exist together. One denies the other and must make it false.
15 To witness sin and yet forgive it is a paradox which reason cannot see. For it maintains what has been done to you deserves no pardon. And by giving it, you grant your brother mercy but retain the proof he is not really innocent. The sick remain accusers. They cannot forgive their brothers and themselves as well. For no one in whom true forgiveness reigns can suffer. He holds not the proof of sin before his brother's eyes. And thus he must have overlooked it and removed it from his own. Forgiveness cannot be for one and not the other. Who forgives is healed. And in his healing lies the proof that he has truly pardoned and retains no trace of condemnation that he still would hold against himself or any living thing.
16 Forgiveness is not real unless it brings a healing to your brother and yourself. You must attest his sins had no effect on you to demonstrate they were not real. How else could he be guiltless? And how could his innocence be justified unless his sins have no effect to warrant guilt? Sins are beyond forgiveness just because they would entail effects which cannot be undone and overlooked entirely. In their undoing lies the proof that they were merely errors. Let yourself be healed that you may be forgiving, offering salvation to your brother and yourself. A broken body shows the mind has not been healed. A miracle of healing proves that separation is without effect. What you would prove to him, you will believe. The power of witness comes from your belief. And everything you say or do or think but testifies to what you teach to him.
17 Your body can be means to teach that it has never suffered pain because of him. And in its healing can it offer him mute testimony of his innocence. It is this testimony which can speak with power greater than a thousand tongues. For here is his forgiveness proved to him. A miracle can offer nothing less to him than it has given unto you. So does your healing show your mind is healed and has forgiven what he did not do. And so is he convinced his innocence was never lost and healed along with you.
18 Thus does the miracle undo all things the world attests can never be undone. And hopelessness and death must disappear before the ancient clarion call of life. This call has power far beyond the weak and miserable cry of death and guilt. The ancient calling of the Father to His Son, and of the Son unto his own, will yet be the last trumpet that the world will ever hear. Brother, there is no death. And this you learn when you but wish to show your brother that you had no hurt of him. He thinks your blood is on his hands, and so he stands condemned. Yet it is given you to show him by your healing that his guilt is but the fabric of a senseless dream.
19 How just are miracles! For they bestow an equal gift of full deliverance from guilt upon your brother and yourself. Your healing saves him pain as well as you, and you are healed because you wished him well. This is the law the miracle obeys; that healing sees no specialness at all. It does not come from pity but from love. And love would prove all suffering is but a vain imagining, a foolish wish with no effects. Your health is a result of your desire to see your brother with no blood upon his hands nor guilt upon his heart made heavy with the proof of sin. And what you wish is given you to see.
20 The "cost" of your serenity is his. This is the "price" the Holy Spirit and the world interpret differently. The world perceives it as a statement of the "fact" that your salvation sacrifices his. The Holy Spirit knows your healing is the witness unto his and cannot be apart from his at all. As long as he consents to suffer, you will be unhealed. Yet you can show him that his suffering is purposeless and wholly without cause. Show him your healing, and he will consent no more to suffer. For his innocence has been established in your sight and his. And laughter will replace your sighs because God's Son remembered that he is God's Son.
21 Who then fears healing? Only those to whom their brother's sacrifice and pain are seen to represent their own serenity. Their helplessness and weakness represent the grounds on which they justify his pain. The constant sting of guilt he suffers serves to prove that he is slave but they are free. The constant pain they suffer demonstrates that they are free because they hold him bound. And sickness is desired to prevent a shift of balance in the sacrifice. How could the Holy Spirit be deterred an instant, even less, to reason with an argument for sickness such as this? And need your healing be delayed because you pause to listen to insanity?
22 [Correction is not your function. It belongs to One Who knows of fairness, not of guilt. If you assume correction's role, you lose the function of forgiveness. No one can forgive until he learns correction is but to forgive and never to accuse. Alone, you cannot see they are the same, and therefore is correction not of you. Identity and function are the same, and by your function do you know yourself. And thus, if you confuse your function with the function of Another, you must be confused about yourself and who you are. What is the separation but a wish to take God's function from Him and deny that it is His? Yet if it is not His, it is not yours, for you must lose what you would take away.
23 [In a split mind, identity must seem to be divided. Nor can anyone perceive a function unified which has conflicting purposes and different ends. Correction, to a mind so split, must be a way to punish sins you think are yours in someone else. And thus does he become your victim, not your brother, different from you in that he is more guilty, thus in need of your correction as the one more innocent than he. This splits his function off from yours and gives you both a different role. And so you cannot be perceived as one, and with a single function that would mean a shared identity with but one end.
24 [Correction you would do must separate, because that is the function given it by you. When you perceive correction is the same as pardon, then you also know the Holy Spirit's Mind and yours are one. And so your own Identity is found. Yet must He work with what is given Him, and you allow Him only half your mind. And thus He represents the other half and seems to have a different purpose from the one you cherish and you think is yours. Thus does your function seem divided, with a half in opposition to a half. And these two halves appear to represent a split within a self perceived as two.]
25 Consider how this self perception must extend, and do not overlook the fact that every thought extends because that is its purpose, being what it really is. From an idea of self as two, there comes a necessary view of function split between the two. And what you would correct is only half the error, which you think is all of it. Your brother's sins become the central target for correction, lest your errors and his own be seen as one. Yours are mistakes, but his are sins and not the same as yours. His merit punishment, while yours in fairness should be overlooked.
26 In this interpretation of correction, your own mistakes you will not even see. The focus of correction has been placed outside yourself on one who cannot be a part of you while this perception lasts. What is condemned can never be returned to its accuser, who hated it and hates it still. This is your brother, focus of your hate, unworthy to be part of you and thus outside yourselfthe other half which is denied. And only what is left without his presence is perceived as all of you. To this remaining half the Holy Spirit must represent the other half until you recognize it is the other half. And this He does by giving both of you a function that is one, not different.
27 Correction is the function given both, but neither one alone. And when it is fulfilled as shared, it must correct mistakes in both of you. It cannot leave mistakes in one unhealed and set the other free. That is divided purpose which cannot be shared, and so it cannot be the function which the Holy Spirit sees as His. And you can rest assured that He will not fulfill a function that He cannot understand and recognize as His. For only thus can He keep yours preserved intact, despite your separate views of what your function is. If He upheld divided function, you were lost indeed. His inability to see His goal divided and distinct for each of you preserves your Self from being made aware of any function other than Its own. And thus is healing given both of you.
28 Correction must be left to One Who knows correction and forgiveness are the same. With half a mind, this is not understood. Leave then correction to the Mind that is united, functioning as one because It is not split in purpose, and conceives a single function as Its only one. Here is the function given It conceived to be Its own and not apart from that Its Giver keeps because it has been shared. In His acceptance of this function lies the means whereby your mind is unified. His single purpose unifies the halves of you which you perceive as separate. And each forgives the other, that he may accept his other half as part of him.