Supplements – Psychotherapy – 2. The Process of Psychotherapy – IV. The Process of Illness
P-2.IV.1. As all therapy is psychotherapy, so all illness is mental illness. 2 It is a judgment on the Son of God, and judgment is a mental activity. 3 Judgment is a decision, made again and again, against creation and its Creator. 4 It is a decision to perceive the universe as you would have created it. 5 It is a decision that truth can lie and must be lies. 6 What, then, can illness be except an expression of sorrow and of guilt? 7 And who could weep but for his innocence?
P-2.IV.2. Once God's Son is seen as guilty, illness becomes inevitable. 2 It has been asked for and will be received. 3 And all who ask for illness have now condemned themselves to seek for remedies that cannot help, because their faith is in the illness and not in salvation. 4 There can be nothing that a change of mind cannot effect, for all external things are only shadows of a decision already made. 5 Change the decision, and how can its shadow be unchanged? 6 Illness can be but guilt's shadow, grotesque and ugly since it mimics deformity. 7 If a deformity is seen as real, what could its shadow be except deformed?
P-2.IV.3. The descent into hell follows step by step in an inevitable course, once the decision that guilt is real has been made. 2 Sickness and death and misery now stalk the earth in unrelenting waves, sometimes together and sometimes in grim succession. 3 Yet all these things, however real they seem, are but illusions. 4 Who could have faith in them once this is realized? 5 And who could not have faith in them until he realizes this? 6 Healing is therapy or correction, and we have said already and will say again, all therapy is psychotherapy. 7 To heal the sick is but to bring this realization to them.
P-2.IV.4. The word "cure" has come into disrepute among the more "respectable" therapists of the world, and justly so. 2 For not one of them can cure, and not one of them understands healing. 3 At worst, they but make the body real in their own minds, and having done so, seek for magic by which to heal the ills with which their minds endow it. 4 How could such a process cure? 5 It is ridiculous from start to finish. 6 Yet having started, it must finish thus. 7 It is as if God were the devil and must be found in evil. 8 How could love be there? 9 And how could sickness cure? 10 Are not these both one question?
P-2.IV.5. At best, and the word is perhaps questionable here, the "healers" of the world may recognize the mind as the source of illness. 2 But their error lies in the belief that it can cure itself. 3 This has some merit in a world where "degrees of error" is a meaningful concept. 4 Yet must their cures remain temporary, or another illness rise instead, for death has not been overcome until the meaning of love is understood. 5 And who can understand this without the Word of God, given by Him to the Holy Spirit as His gift to you?
P-2.IV.6. Illness of any kind may be defined as the result of a view of the self as weak, vulnerable, evil and endangered, and thus in need of constant defense. 2 Yet if such were really the self, defense would be impossible. 3 Therefore, the defenses sought for must be magical. 4 They must overcome all limits perceived in the self, at the same time making a new self-concept into which the old one cannot return. 5 In a word, error is accepted as real and dealt with by illusions. 6 Truth being brought to illusions, reality now becomes a threat and is perceived as evil. 7 Love becomes feared because reality is love. 8 Thus is the circle closed against the "inroads" of salvation.
P-2.IV.7. Illness is therefore a mistake and needs correction. 2 And as we have already emphasized, correction cannot be achieved by first establishing the "rightness" of the mistake and then overlooking it. 3 If illness is real it cannot be overlooked in truth, for to overlook reality is insanity. 4 Yet that is magic's purpose; to make illusions true through false perception. 5 This cannot heal, for it opposes truth. 6 Perhaps an illusion of health is substituted for a little while, but not for long. 7 Fear cannot long be hidden by illusions, for it is part of them. 8 It will escape and take another form, being the source of all illusions.
P-2.IV.8. Sickness is insanity because all sickness is mental illness, and in it there are no degrees. 2 One of the illusions by which sickness is perceived as real is the belief that illness varies in intensity; that the degree of threat differs according to the form it takes. 3 Herein lies the basis of all errors, for all of them are but attempts to compromise by seeing just a little bit of hell. 4 This is a mockery so alien to God that it must be forever inconceivable. 5 But the insane believe it because they are insane.
P-2.IV.9. A madman will defend his own illusions because in them he sees his own salvation. 2 Thus, he will attack the one who tries to save him from them, believing that he is attacking him. 3 This curious circle of attack-defense is one of the most difficult problems with which the psychotherapist must deal. 4 In fact, this is his central task; the core of psychotherapy. 5 The therapist is seen as one who is attacking the patient's most cherished possession; his picture of himself. 6 And since this picture has become the patient's security as he perceives it, the therapist cannot but be seen as a real source of danger, to be attacked and even killed.
P-2.IV.10. The psychotherapist, then, has a tremendous responsibility. 2 He must meet attack without attack, and therefore without defense. 3 It is his task to demonstrate that defenses are not necessary, and that defenselessness is strength. 4 This must be his teaching, if his lesson is to be that sanity is safe. 5 It cannot be too strongly emphasized that the insane believe that sanity is threat. 6 This is the corollary of the "original sin"; the belief that guilt is real and fully justified. 7 It is therefore the psychotherapist's function to teach that guilt, being unreal, cannot be justified. 8 But neither is it safe. 9 And thus it must remain unwanted as well as unreal.
P-2.IV.11. Salvation's single doctrine is the goal of all therapy. 2 Relieve the mind of the insane burden of guilt it carries so wearily, and healing is accomplished. 3 The body is not cured. 4 It is merely recognized as what it is. 5 Seen rightly, its purpose can be understood. 6 What is the need for sickness then? 7 Given this single shift, all else will follow. 8 There is no need for complicated change. 9 There is no need for long analyses and wearying discussion and pursuits. 10 The truth is simple, being one for all.