Ask: Can you clarify the term "magic thoughts"?

“….  Could you please clarify the use of the term 'magic thoughts'?...” – TB (November 13, 2015)

A Course in Miracles uses the concept of “magical thinking” in two ways. One form of magical thinking is the belief that anything outside of you can make you whole and at peace. For example, the belief that if you just had perfect health or the right partner or enough money or if that person would change or if everyone just believed as you do, etc. then you would be at peace. ACIM includes in this form of magical thinking the idea that sickness is a form of problem solving. For example, using illness as a way to get attention, to be a victim, to avoid a situation, or as self-punishment to mitigate God’s punishment of you, etc. The belief that the things that illness would get you “saves” you is a form of magical thinking.

The other form of magical thinking in ACIM is the belief that change at the level of form is caused at the level of form. For example, the use of medications or other treatments to reduce the symptoms of or to cure an illness in the body. ACIM says that this is magical thinking because only changing your thinking can change the body.


For those readers who have followed my teaching in one form or another for a while I will head off some inevitable questions by clarifying that yes, I teach only the former not the latter, despite what ACIM teaches. What I have been taught by the Holy Spirit is that thinking that healing the body is any true healing of me (mind) is magical thinking. Physical healing does not heal the mind of the perception that it is a body – the fundamental error of mind that needs to be corrected or “healed”. This is in line with what ACIM teaches in part. But the Holy Spirit has taught me that remedies at the level of form are at the level of form. Medications and treatments are how solutions to bodily ailments show up when one is ready for physical healing. Just as, if my house has plumbing problems I need to call the plumber or if my car isn’t running properly I need to take it to a mechanic. The body is not a “special case” of form that is fixed somehow by a change of mind where other forms of disorder in the universe of form are fixed at the level of form. This is where I have been led away from what ACIM teaches.

>>>>>
Learn about the books The ACIM Mentor Articles, The Plain Language A Course in Miracles, 4 Habits for Inner Peace, and Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace at www.acimmentor.com.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Can healing the mind heal the body or are we making the dream real when we think in those terms?
ACIM Mentor said…
There are some ACIM teachers out there who teach healing the body with the mind. It has never been my interest nor the way I have been led. It does seem to me that concern with the condition of the body does keep one focused on what is not real. However, again, I think other teachers have another experience in this regard.
Anonymous said…
When I said mind I was referring to the decision maker making the choice for God. I guess at that point if the perception of a healed body is going to happen it does and if not well there is a reason for it. Once again I am stuck in duality in my thinking. This is the best I can do with a personal mind so these questions I'm mulling over probably don't mean much. Words.
Anonymous said…
It's a funny thing Liz, it's almost like as you become spiritual the body becomes special. That they go hand in hand.
ACIM Mentor said…
Anonymous, my experience has been the opposite. The body has become irrelevant.
Anonymous said…
Yes of course, I was thinking in terms of when we first start our spiritual journey, whatever it is, that it is an almost 100% ego based thing and with that comes baggage. I won't get specific but if you stay at that level there are some predictable paths people follow. Anyway it was just something that came to mind this morning. Stuff.
ACIM Mentor said…
Ah, yes, when one first becomes aware of the ego one becomes obsessed with it. Which the ego doesn't mind! It doesn't care if you love it or hate, just as long as you believe in it.
Anonymous said…
And I was being a smart aleck. There is no 'predictable pattern'.
Frank C said…
Hey, Liz... I`m not looking to open a can of worms here, but my experience is that all healing of the body is actually done at the level of mind. Although I agree that the body is illusory (and therefore `unreal`) I beleive it is an error to put it in the same category as a machine when discussing fixing or repairing it. Almost any honest doctor will agree that the `medicine` they prescribe does not really heal the body, and they are mostly designed to cover up the symptoms or reduce pain... this is also verified by the placebo effect.

While there is definitely room for a discussion about what part of the brain, or which `mind` is doing the healing, and I think it can be another ego trap to get stuck in making a big deal of practicing this kind of `healing`, I`m just going to end this with the assertion that it is really not a matter of who is right or wrong about this topic... we each need to follow our own guidance as we ask the Holy Spirit to assist us in forgiving ourselves for what we thought was `real`.

PEACE, LOVE and LIGHT..

In Oneness..

Frank
Anonymous said…
An illusion is an illusion is an illusion.
ACIM Mentor said…
Frank, I agree with you. That's manifestly apparent. But that's not the type of healing with the mind that ACIM talks about. (I went into all of this in more detail in earlier articles. I was just responding to this particular questioner here).
Anonymous said…
FYI There is more than one anonymous posting
Anonymous said…
Another anonymous:)

What you said was well written Frank. When I read Liz's piece it helped with understanding the hierarchy of illusions and just the illusion thing in general. I think the ego would have us get 'cocky' about understanding the principles. When we get that way it's a pretty good bet we have only scratched the surfaced of what it means. No reference to you Frank, just thinking out loud.
ACIM Mentor said…
Yes, Anonymous, I've discerned that there are at least 3 different Anonymous' posting lately. One of them is a regular contributor who didn't used to post as "Anonymous" ;-).
Anonymous said…
I didn't figure the cover would last too long:)
Frank C said…
As in life, the only person we fool, when we try to deceive, is ourselves... LOL!
waltmitty said…
Frank, It didn't sound like anonymous was trying to deceive. Maybe low self esteem?
Frank C said…
wait... don't get me wrong here... I'm in no way way making any kind of judgement here... just a little tongue-in-cheek humor ;-)

but just for the sake of clarity, maybe each Anonymous could end their post with an initial or even a number would be helpful...
waltmitty said…
If we catch him doing it again there would be a stronger case for deception. I'll keep an eye out.
patricia said…
The body is an eloquent communication device. Illness indicates we are holding a thought or attitude that is not aligned with Love. If we are willing, our Inner Wisdom / Holy Spirit will tell us exactly what we need to know to return to our proper place, where we are in tune with Life, with Spirit, with Love. Remember, this course is simple. "All healing is essentially the release from fear. Let it be simple.
Elizabeth said…
I have always thought through my studies of ACIM, that the only way to permanently "fix" anything, is to change my mind about it or "to look at things differently, in other words using forgiveness ACIM style and "seeing" with my God Mind, as opposed to my ego mind. I have never seen any differentiation between illusional form, which of course it all is, including the body. I wrote once to you, concerning forgiving my "broken cruise control", which I kept forgiving and forgiving. Then one day it started working and stayed that way, until I sold my car. You told me at that time, that everything that showed up as form, needed to be Forgiven, which included any inanimate form also. My email address to be used is, yellowjaguar2004@msn.com and not the gmail address.
DJ said…
It is significant and instructive that the Course and supplements use some form of the word “dream” over 800 times and on several pages over 30 times. The Course as a symbol of right mindedness is masterfully composed to meet the dreamer of a split mind at its many apparent levels of split awareness. In its pedagogy it aims to transfer meaning much more in a poetic way, as a recognition of what already is, than in an intellectual way, where it first would seem to meet us to begin our conscious journey home. There is a song within we would remember, we all know it deeply though have forgotten, it is this song the Course points us to—rather than to tread a logical ladder we must then learn to climb by mastering and defining its words and concepts.

The gift the Course would offer is singular and always given and received in the space between the notes, awaiting one who must inevitably find its stillness within. As this one who listens, found is this quiet center, and thus within is this one joined with heaven’s help to begin this seeming journey to our Self in earnest—the journey in truth finds us, and is unavoidable as simply a return to the essence of who we are! This attractive essence, like a fragrance, is awakened within the Course’s reader; this timeless, wordless memory, deeply felt is irreversibly received; apparently reflected from within the Course’s pages—often its student is drawn to it as if being given a gift from the symbol itself—at first, not to really understand this attraction, the gift, or its Source.

We begin on this journey seeing as a body, complicated, specific, serious, and are guided to see we are not mindless identities, but a dreaming mind. From this perspective, as a mind, simplicity of vision increases and the Course is seen to have a single message, of the heart; for one who once was lost and now can see, seeing ever clearer as a mind, as the knowing dreamer of the dream!

As with all such symbols, such gifts, seemingly having appeared by some method or person to come into this world, its gift can quickly devolve into the fearful opposite of what it was pointing to. All it asks is that we look to the dream to see who the dreamer is. Nothing more—but also nothing less. Many times and in a multitude of ways, the Course simply says, “nothing is true within a dream, see this and be the lucid dreamer, just before you gladly waken from it! All concepts used have no meaning within their tiny tethered bounds, only one purpose each would serve for one who sees, to see this choice is mine, the choice of which purpose it will fulfill: either to deepen this sleep of mindlessness, or to gently and mindfully wake up!”

Forgiveness is the Course’s key to leave the dream, and is the willing dreamer’s only purpose. Forgiveness is always first approached to be understood as a concept, though it’s goal is the absence of every concept. Beyond any acquired concept of what forgiveness is, there is an experience which leads to waking up, always to show its willing witness absolutely nothing in a dream is true or valuable. Lastly, and chief among the dreams illusions, is the self that continually binds and builds itself of concepts, as a hiding place for guilt.

It is this one the dreamer must be willing to see “as it is,” to then release it with the guilt it serves as slave, eventually given back to the dream, to be seen as wholly unreal just as all the rest. From here the total freedom of the Atonement forgiveness is leading toward is close—as a telling smile it bends across the dreamers face to wordlessly say: “absolutely known, is that nothing ever truly happens in a dream.” Onward this happy dreamer travels, unabated, and so it is, the “Real World” thus appears. This salvation, the “escape from concepts,” cannot be learned, only Known when all other knowing, all else, has dropped away! Here, revealed beyond this nothing of a dream, is the Awareness of Wholeness, the Everything Reality Is… eternally as it always Is!
DJ said…
I wanted to include these with the post above but ran out of space! :)

T-31.V.14. “The concept of the self has always been the great preoccupation of the world. And everyone believes that he must find the answer to the riddle of himself. Salvation can be seen as nothing more than the escape from concepts.” (A revealing read: Self Concept Versus Self (T-31.V.)


T-31.V.17. “The world can teach no images of you unless you want to learn them. There will come a time when images have all gone by, and you will see you know not what you are. It is to this unsealed and open mind that truth returns, unhindered and unbound. Where concepts of the self have been laid by is truth revealed exactly as it is. When every concept has been raised to doubt and question, and been recognized as made on no assumptions that would stand the light, then is the truth left free to enter in its sanctuary, clean and free of guilt.”

T-27.VII.8-9. “No one can waken from a dream the world is dreaming for him. He becomes a part of someone else’s dream. He cannot choose to waken from a dream he did not make. Helpless he stands, a victim to a dream conceived and cherished by a separate mind. Careless indeed of him this mind must be, as thoughtless of his peace and happiness as is the weather or the time of day. It loves him not, but casts him as it will in any role that satisfies its dream. So little is his worth that he is but a dancing shadow, leaping up and down according to a senseless plot conceived within the idle dreaming of the world.

This is the only picture you can see; the one alternative that you can choose, the other possibility of cause, if you be not the dreamer of your dreams. And this is what you choose if you deny the cause of suffering is in your mind. Be glad indeed it is, for thus are you the one decider of your destiny in time. The choice is yours to make between a sleeping death and dreams of evil or a happy wakening and joy of life.”
Sherry Lynn said…
Hi Liz,
I have Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Pan-uveitis which has caused permanent blindness. I've been on some form of chemotherapy for 30 years, and I'm only 48! So, needless to say, the healing of the body with the mind has been a big part of my spiritual journey. These illnesses are what brought me to my knees nine years ago and I begged for help from Jesus and I'd never talked to Jesus in my life! haha That must have been the moment I was willing because less than a week later ACIM dropped into my life. Fortunately, I found your teachings shortly after I started so I'm grateful for that.

I was experiencing a severe relapse of all three of my illnesses in May and I went into a place of extreme fear. I know enough now to go to Holy Spirit and ask for help. I was in such a state of confusion and guilt surrounding illness of my body. I was talking to Holy Spirit about this when I opened my email and there was your post about "A Different Approach to the Body". As I read it I felt this wave of relief, peace and joy wash over me liked I'd never experienced before. I knew at that moment it was the Holy Spirit answering me. That peace and trust in the Holy Spirit has not left me since that experience.

Nothing has changed with my illnesses, in fact, they are progressing. But I just talk to the Holy Spirit and I'm reminded of this line in your article: "The whole of the universe of form, as the opposite of Perfect Truth, is inherently dysfunctional".

It's about letting go of everything. I can't pick and choose what's good/bad or right/wrong because it's ALL insane. It's not personal. It just is.

Much love,
Sherry
ACIM Mentor said…
Glad you found the articles useful, Sherry.
laurie said…
Wow DJ, I am seriously glad you took the time to write what you wrote!! It reached me at a 'moment in time' when I was sorely in need of a reminder of what's what.

I am once again watching myself scramble and scurry about, generally looking into any escape that will let me off the hook of recognizing where the problem really lies.

I've told myself too many times that the Course is not for me, as I went in search of other non-dual teachings that offered any/some kind of relief, and perhaps they helped, perhaps not. Regardless, I feel I couldn't have done otherwise, as fear manifesting as 'searching' is often hard to identify, at least for me.

Anyway, thanks again, for some reason your post really spoke to me. Especially the words about looking at the ego "as it is". I don't know what to make of much anymore, but because of your comments, I found myself coming back to His message and it has brought a modicum of relief.....

Laurie
DJ said…
Glad it was helpful. Thanks for taking the time to write your post. Your journey is my journey and mine is yours!
Susan Huculak said…
In this YouTube, David Hoffmeister describes magic as taught in A Course in Miracles, when it's helpful and when it no longer serves. Enjoy!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVxErAFPg_U
Open said…
Thank you for explaining the magic thoughts. Thank you also for clarifying where u diverge from ACIM. I am wondering if the title "ACIM Mentor" is properly fitting. The dilution of ACIM teaching in ur post detracts from ACIM's message. You may well be turning people away from God, which can't be good for anyone. Something to consider.

Popular posts from this blog

Ask: Can you comment on the satisfaction of accomplishment as a trap?

The Two Spiritual Goals

An Example of Misusing the Specificity of ACIM