Ch. 2. IV. 3 – 5. Jesus: “The body, if properly understood as but a learning device, shares the invulnerability of the Atonement to two-edged application. This is not because the body is a miracle of any sort, but because it is not inherently open to misinterpretation. The body is merely part of your experience in this physical world. Yet the body’s abilities can be and frequently are over-evaluated.
It is almost impossible to deny the body’s existence as long as you are in this world, grand illusion though it is. Those who attempt to do so are engaging in a particularly unworthy form of denial. The term ‘unworthy’ here implies only that it is not necessary to protect the mind by denying something so ‘unmindful’ as the body. But if one denies this result of misusing the mind’s power, one is also denying the power of the mind itself!
Belief in the magic principle, that something ‘outside the mind’ is real and can affect it, is the first step in believing that the body, somehow apart from the mind, makes its own illness. All material means that you then accept as remedies for bodily ills are but restatements and reinforcements of the same magic principle. To ‘heal the body’ through non-creative physical agents is then a second misstep into delusional thinking concerning the relationship between body and mind.
It does not follow, however, that the use of such agents for corrective purposes is evil! Sometimes the illness has been given a sufficiently strong hold over the mind to render a person temporarily inaccessible to the Atonement. In this case, wisdom may entail using a compromise approach to mind and body, one in which something from ‘the outside’ is temporarily given healing belief. This is because the last thing that can help the non-right-minded, i.e. ‘the sick,’ is an increase in fear. They are already in a fear-weakened state or they would not be perceiving themselves as sick. If they are prematurely exposed to what they see as a miracle, they may be precipitated into panic. This is likely to occur when upside-down ego perception has induced the belief that miracles are frightening.
The value of the Atonement does not lie in the manner in which it is expressed to the recipient of the miracle! In fact, if the Atonement is accepted truly by the one electing the miracle, it will inevitably be expressed in whatever way is most helpful to the other person in their present state of mind. This means that the miracle, to be fully effective, will be expressed only in ‘such a language’ as the recipient can understand without fear!
Though not necessarily the highest level of communication of which the recipient is ultimately capable, it is the highest level of communication of which he is capable just now! The whole aim of the miracle is to raise the level of communication to that of spirit, not to lower it by increasing fear.”