“Only by becoming sick of sickness can we be without sickness.” …Lao Tzu
According to Ecclesiastes 1:9 in the King James Version of the Bible, “There is no new thing under the sun.” That information was given, supposedly, by King Solomon somewhere around twenty-four hundred years ago.
Lao Tzu, the reputed author of the Tao Te Ching wrote the quote I used as my opening at least a hundred years prior to that. It seems that in his time sickness was a problem for most, as it is today, which reinforces what Solomon said, there’s nothing new under the sun.
I’m having a difficult time beginning this post, for I don’t like writing about sickness any more than necessary. My purpose in writing it is an attempt to answer a question that keeps gnawing at me. The question is a very simple one, which is this: Why is there so much sickness in this world?
I ask this question because I believe we’re creations of a loving Creator, and I cannot believe He created anything to be sick. In fact, I believe He created everything to be nothing but Love, Joy, Peace and Happiness. Everything He created He made Part of Him, which causes me to ask; how could a Part of God be sick?
“The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.” …Joseph Campbell
Joseph Campbell was an American Professor of Literature, but he was also a philosopher whose philosophy concerning the human experience was, and still is, followed by millions of people. His ideas concerning life can be summed up in his famous phrase: “Follow your bliss.” He went on to add: “I say, follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.”
The thing about us humans is, we read or hear a phrase or a quote that contains the most important information available to help us find joy in our lives, and we either pass over it lightly, or ignore it completely. But we become nearly infatuated with negative phrases or comments that inform us about some disease or sickness we should be afraid of.
“I am as God created me.” …ACIM
The above quote is the title of Lesson 162 in the Course. In the first paragraph of that lesson Jesus says: “These words are sacred, for they are the words God gave in answer to the world you made.” In the last paragraph of the same lesson he says: “You are as God created you. These words dispel the night, and darkness is no more.”
Many spiritual Teachers teach that words don’t matter a whole lot, but the Course teaches that they are very important, especially in the early stages of learning. For example in Lesson 95, the instructions contain the following: “Tell yourself again, slowly and thoughtfully, attempting to allow the meaning of the words to sink into your mind, replacing false ideas.”
Becoming sick of sickness
What if we were to use the same criterion with Lao Tzu’s words; Only by becoming sick of sickness can we be without sickness? What if we were to tell ourselves this slowly and thoughtfully, and attempt to allow the meaning of the words to sink into our minds?
If we did, there’s not that many that wouldn’t understand what he meant. I think we’d realize that to become sick of something is a metaphor meaning we’ve had enough of it; we’re fed up with it; we want something different.
And he implied that when we reach this understanding we can be without sickness. Wow! How many can believe that? I would venture to answer, not that many. But the few that can believe and accept it, are amoung the very, very fortunate, for they have found the road to health.
Being who you are
Once we’ve become sick of being sick, then, and only then, will we look for another way. If we’ve gone this far, then we might as well continue and apply the same criterion to Joseph Campbell’s words: The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are. Again, we should tell ourselves this slowly and thoughtfully, and attempt to allow the meaning of the words to sink into our minds.
First of all, in order to be who we are, we have to understand who we are. And now the question is; who are we? Lesson 95 in the Course tells us who we think we are: “You see yourself as a ridiculous parody on God’s creation—weak, vicious, ugly and sinful, miserable and beset with pain. Such is your version of yourself”
If we were to look at this slowly and thoughtfully we’d conclude very quickly that this version of ourselves is not the Self God created and made Part of Him. It is a false idea promoted by the ego, which has convinced us we have separated ourselves from our Source. But it’s not true! Our Source is the Source of all Life. Therefore, nothing can be separate from Him and live.
“The images you make can NOT prevail against what God Himself would have you be”
The above quote is from Chapter 31 of the Course, and it’s an assurance that the version of ourselves the ego has made can not prevail. Verse 89 of the same Chapter tells us to: “Learn then the happy habit of response to all temptation to perceive yourself as weak and miserable with these words: I am as God created me. His Son can suffer nothing. And I AM His Son.
If, whenever we feel weak, miserable, or some other negative emotion, we would take a moment and repeat these words slowly and thoughtfully, we would soon be enjoying the privilege of a lifetime, Joseph Campbell mentioned. We would soon become aware of who we are.
And, as the above header quote informs us, God Himself would have us be as He created us, which is our true Selves. therefore, nothing in the universe could prevent it from being so, except one thing. This one thing is nothing other than our decision to listen to the ego in its determination to convince us we’re something other than we really are.
“Sickness is a defense against the truth”
The above quote is the title of Lesson 136 in the Course. In Verse eight of the same lesson it says: “Sickness is a decision. It is not a thing that happens to you quite unsought, which makes you weak and brings you suffering. It is a choice you make.”
Wow! The acceptance of that information will require a large amount of faith in the authenticity of the Course’s authorship. And about itself, the Course says: “This course will be believed entirely or not at all. For it is wholly true or wholly false and cannot be but partially believed.” As I mentioned in an earlier post, I find the Course to be the ultimate. Therefore, I have to believe what it says, or get rid of it entirely.
Making the choice
The decision to accept sickness into our lives hinges on that same one I’ve been mentioning throughout these posts. It’s found in Chapter 31 of the Course: “You see the flesh or recognize the Spirit.” In the same chapter we’re told:“What you decide in this determines all you see and think is real and hold as true.”
It stands to reason that if you decide you’re simply a body of flesh, you have no other option than to accept sickness as real and true. Because of your decision, it becomes a normal part of your physical experience.
On the other hand, if you can go as far as simply accepting the possibility that you’re a Spiritual being, a creation of a loving Father, then you can also accept the idea that it would be impossible for anything He created to be sick.
And now I think I have found the answer to my question, Why is there so much sickness in this world? The answer lies in the fact that words are very powerful. In Lesson 162 in the Course, Jesus is talking about the title of the Lesson, which is, “I am as God created me.” In verse 4 of that Lesson, he says, “For the words we use are mighty”
From birth, as soon as we’re able to understand the language, we’re taught by well-meaning people, that we’re physical beings susceptible to sickness and disease. We live in a world where we are listening to words that promote this false idea continuously. And because we don’t know who we are, these words fill us with fear, especially of diseases that can cause our demise.
There is a law in the universe that Abraham named, The Law of Attraction, which says, that which is like unto itself is drawn. If we go through life afraid of sickness and disease we will attract the very same sickness and disease we are afraid of into our experience. But as the Course repeats several times concerning negative conditions of this physical experience: This need not be.
I’m going to close this post with the following quote from the Course: “You are as God created you, not what you made of yourself. Whatever mistakes you made, the truth about you is unchanged. Creation is eternal and unalterable. You are and will forever be exactly as you were created. Light and joy and peace abide in you because God put them there.”
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Remember This: You will always be as God created you.
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