Lesson 140 • May 20


Lesson 140

Only salvation can be said to cure.

Practice Instructions

Purpose: To seek healing for the mind, not the body, by hearing the Voice of healing, which God placed inside you, so close that you cannot lose it.

Longer: Two times—at beginning and end of day—for five minutes.

  • Let all your interfering thoughts be laid aside as one, for there are all equally meaningless.
  • With empty hands, lifted heart and listening mind, pray, “Only salvation can be said to cure. Speak to us, Father, that we may be healed.” You are asking that the Voice of healing speak to you, to heal your mind, the source of all sickness.
  • Then, in the silence of all thought, listen for God’s Voice, Which will cure all ills, regardless of their size or shape. Feel His salvation blanket you with protection and deep peace, allowing no illusion to disturb your holy mind.

Remarks: You will succeed to the degree you realize there are no meaningful distinction among illusions. They are all unreal. That is why they can be cured.

Shorter: As the hour strikes, for a minute.

Do a short version of the longer practice period. Say, “Only salvation can be said to cure. Speak to us, Father, that we may be healed.” Then listen in joyous silence, and hear God’s answer.


The “cure” that the Course is talking about is a healing of the mind, not of the body.

The body needs no healing. But the mind that thinks it is a body is sick indeed! (T-25.I.3:1-2)

The lesson is the mind was sick that thought the body could be sick. (T-28.II.11:6)

To seek a cure in the physical realm, by any means (even New Age means) is what the Course would call “magic.” (Calling it “magic” doesn’t mean we can’t use it if our fear level requires it; the Course advocates a compromise approach in such circumstances. See T-2.VII.8-10 and 13-14, which I discuss a bit later.) The Atonement heals the mind that thinks the body can be sick. “This is no magic” (6:4).

This lesson applies to bodily sickness, but it applies equally to any apparent “problem” in this material world: financial lack, loneliness, and so on. These problems all occur within the dream, and finding “a magic formula” within the dream is never the solution (2:2). We are “curing” the symptom and not the disease. The root of the problem is within the mind. “Let us not try today to seek to cure what cannot suffer sickness” (7:1). Our problems are not physical in nature. “We will not be misled today by what appears to us as sick” (9:1). “So do we lay aside our amulets [crystals? religious medallions?], our charms and medicines, our chants and bits of magic in whatever form they take” (10:1).

Early in the Text, Jesus makes it clear that magic is not evil. It just doesn’t really work. It is only a stop-gap, an attempt to rid ourselves of symptoms without really curing the disease. Yet sometimes that is the best we can do. We have a headache, and with a splitting headache it is often difficult to quiet the mind and peacefully meditate ourselves well. So we use magic. We take the aspirin; there is no shame in this. Only let us not deceive ourselves that we have really done anything to cure the disease; we have simply masked the symptom. “Those who are afraid of using the mind to heal are right in avoiding it ” (T-2.VII.14:1).  If our fear level is high, a “compromise approach” may be necessary (T-2.VII.8:4-9:1).

“Only salvation can be said to cure.” The magic of this world can mask symptoms but not cure. “The mind that brings illusions to the truth is really changed. There is no change but this” (7:4-5). Today we are asked to practice just this: bringing our illusions to the truth, allowing our guilt to be removed from our minds. This cures, and nothing else. “There is no place where He [God] is not” (5:5), and this includes our minds. Sin would keep Him out, but since He is everywhere, sin cannot be anywhere (see 5:1-7); sin cannot be in our minds. “This is the thought that cures” (6:1). Sin, and therefore sickness, cannot be real because God is in us; He has not left us, and what we think is sin cannot be so. In our awareness of His presence, guilt disappears, and with it, the cause of sickness.