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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
CH 8 "THE JOURNEY BACK"
VII. COMMUNICATION AND THE EGO-BODY EQUATION
66 You are not limited by the body, and thought cannot be made flesh. Yet mind can be manifested through the body if it goes beyond it and does not interpret it as limitation. Whenever you see another as limited to or by the body, you are imposing this limit on yourself. Are you willing to accept this, when your whole purpose for learning should be to escape from limitations? To conceive of the body as a means of attack of any kind and to entertain even the possibility that joy could possibly result is a clear-cut indication of a poor learner. He has accepted a learning goal in obvious contradiction to the unified purpose of the curriculum and is interfering with his ability to accept its purpose as his own.
A COURSE IN MIRACLES
L e s s o n 92
Miracles are seen in light, and light and strength are one.
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio
~ Original Hand Script of ACIM
ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections
Miracles are seen in light,
and light and strength are one.
The cost of our independence, which we call our free will, is that we have cut ourselves off from the source of real power and strength. We now feel small, weak, sickly, needy, helpless, afraid, sad, poor, joyless, ultimately lacking, vulnerable, and deprived. We see ourselves in a world of suffering that we made, ending in our death, which we see as our release. This is insanity according to Jesus. He says this insanity comes from our belief that we are bodies, different and separate from each other. Feeling our weakness, we puff ourselves up into a show of ego strength, but all the time it is just an attempt to hide our underlying weakness. When we feel weak, we are fearful, but we try to hide our fear and weakness. This makes us feel even more vulnerable and concerned that our weakness will be seen, so we create defenses and now fear attack. Attack comes out of weakness. "Strength comes from truth, and shines with light its Source has given it; weakness reflects the darkness of its maker." (W.92.5.1) Strength sees no need to attack, for "Strength overlooks these things by seeing past appearances." (W.92.4.1)
"His strength denies your weakness."
(W.92.3.2) Jesus says, "You always choose between your weakness and the strength of Christ in you." (T.31.VIII.2.3) (ACIM OE T.31.VIII.86) When we think we are a separate, individual self, what keeps us feeling strong is our specialness. If we were to let our specialness go and experience the light, it would render the ego identity weak. That is the reason for our fear of the light while we identify with the body and personality. When we rely on our eyes and our brains and focus on our uniqueness and individuality, we will be threatened by the light. Light is where our true strength is. The ego's strength is built only on the illusion of strength.
Jesus makes it clear that our version of seeing is tied in with the body's eyes, and our version of thinking is about the body's brain. Clearly, this is what we think, but Jesus makes it sound like such a ridiculous idea that we should simply laugh at it. This puts everything we think we know in question. Who is it that is thinking and reading the words on this page? We must join with Jesus so he can help us to awaken to the truth of our reality, which is why he came.
Only when we plug into the Source of our real strength, God, can we know the Christ Self. Strength looks past appearances. With strength, we think with God's mind and call upon His strength. When we do, we question the beliefs we hold, the thoughts we think with our brain, and the images we see with our eyes. This is terrifying if we really accept it since it means we don't know what and who we are. "I do not know the thing I am, and therefore do not know what I am doing, where I am, or how to look upon the world or on myself." (T.31.V.17.7) (ACIM OE T.31.V.60) When we recognize and are willing to admit this, we become willing to be taught. When we think that we know and have everything figured out, our arrogance and our investment in our identity as separate individuals will not allow for this questioning.
Jesus even looks with amusement at our belief that wearing glasses helps us to see. We are learning that true vision is not of the eyes and only when we think with the Mind of God do we have true perception. With true perception, we see with vision, while with the ego, we see only the separate and the different. With separation comes judgment and attack. "Truth is a savior and can only will for happiness and peace for everyone. It gives its strength to everyone who asks, in limitless supply." (W.92.5.3-4)
When we look, "It is your weakness that sees through the body's eyes, peering out in darkness to behold the likeness of itself; the small, the weak, the sickly and the dying, those in need, the helpless and afraid, the sad, the poor, the starving and the joyless." (W.92.3.3) This is not seeing because these observations are what actually stop seeing. If we could see truly, we would see beyond these appearances. Real sight would keep "its steady gaze upon the light that lies beyond them." (W.92.4.1) Instead of seeing differences among us, we would be joined in the one light where there are no differences. This does not mean we don't see what the body's eyes report, but we realize our perceptions need not block our vision. When we ask for help to see beyond appearances, we will be helped to release our judgments and interpretations and see the truth of our brothers' reality. It is not about what our eyes show us in form (behavior) but about the content of love beyond the form that we all share.
The ego thought system is kept intact as a result of seeing differences. It judges others as guilty while seeing ourselves as special and better than those we see as sinners. When we look with vision on our brothers, we recognize the One Self we truly are. The ego identity is not the truth about us. It is just an "idol falsely worshipped and adored that strength may be dispelled, and darkness rule where God appointed that there should be light." (W.92.4.7) Why would we want that? We want it because we are attached to our bodies and personalities. We accept weakness and darkness because we still value this separate self. We choose the separate self instead of vision as a way to keep our special identity. We value our specialness, separateness, and uniqueness and thus stay invested in this illusion. From this perspective, we can only judge and condemn, but we cannot truly love. Even under the guise of thinking that we are loving beings, there is the underlying judgment where we see others not as loving as ourselves.
Every day, as we focus on the Lessons, we change our thoughts bit by bit until we take in a whole new thought system. Increasingly, as we build this thought system, we connect with the truth of who we are. Today is a big step in undoing our belief in the self we have made. It is encouraging to know, "Strength is the truth about you; weakness is an idol falsely worshipped and adored that strength may be dispelled, and darkness rule where God appointed there should be light." (W.92.4.7) We will experience anxiety at the thought of releasing our identity and our investment in the world, but we are not asked to give up anything. We are only asked to question who we think we are and join with the Holy Spirit with a willingness to look at what we have made of ourselves. When we take that step, we can't fail. "No one can fail who seeks to reach the truth, and it is truth we seek to reach today." (W.131.10.2) Jesus won't do it for us. We must be in agreement with him and ask for his help. We must join with him so he can help us to awaken to the truth of our reality which is why he came. Why would we not want to avail ourselves of his help?
"The light of strength is not the light you see. It does not change and flicker and go out. It does not shift from night to day, and back to darkness till the morning comes again."
(W.92.7.4-6) Jesus is challenging the way we see light, which is constantly changing and shifting, whether it be candlelight, incandescent bulbs, firelight, or sunlight. "The light of strength is constant, sure as love, forever glad to give itself away, because it cannot give but to itself." (W.92.8.1) This light is available to anyone who asks for it with sincerity. Once it is experienced, everything changes. It is the light of forgiveness, which brings the miracle and changes us. We now see the impermanent world of darkness as valueless.
Today, we spend a longer time in quiet meditation in the morning and evening. What we are doing is asking for help to bring our little self to the Self we are. We are bringing our darkness to the light. We are bringing our weakness to His strength. We are watching our thoughts and placing them on the altar within. We are bringing the match we think that lights the sun to the Sun. In this, we recognize our Source. We affirm our true power as a channel for miracles.
Without this sincere desire of the heart, we can't be helped. In the process, we leave the darkness for a while and question our investment in what our uniqueness and our specialness have brought us. We are not asked to go there permanently. Jesus is encouraging us to "Leave then, the dark a little while today, and we will practice seeing in the light, closing the body's eyes and asking truth to show us how to find the meeting place of self and Self, where light and strength are one." (W.92.10.4) As we do, we can see more clearly that the body will never protect us. Our only protection is in the truth of who we are.
"Morning and evening we will practice thus. After the morning meeting, we will use the day in preparation for the time at night when we will meet again in trust. Let us repeat as often as we can the idea for today, and recognize that we are being introduced to sight, and led away from darkness to the light where only miracles can be perceived."
For the shorter practice periods throughout the day, repeat the idea for the day as often as you can with the reminder to yourself that you "are being introduced to sight, and led away from darkness to the light where only miracles can be perceived." (W.92.11.3) Thus, we welcome every opportunity throughout the day to choose the miracle that leads us from darkness to the light.
Love and blessings, Sarah
PAUSED FOR WEEKEND
A Course in Miracles
The Journey Back
Voice and Music by Martin Weber, CIMS SonShip Radio
VII. Communication and the Ego-Body Equation
53 Attack is
always physical. When attack in any form enters your mind, you are
equating yourself with a body. This is the ego's
interpretation of the body. You do not have to attack physically to accept this interpretation. You are accepting it simply by the belief that attack can
get you something you want. If you did not believe this, the idea of attack would have no appeal for you. When you equate yourself with a body, you will
always experience depression. When a Child of God thinks of himself in this way, he is belittling himself and seeing his brothers as similarly belittled. Since he can find himself
only in them, he has cut himself off from salvation.
54 Remember that the Holy Spirit interprets the body only as a means of communication. Being the communication link between God and His separated Sons, the Holy Spirit interprets everything
you have made in the light of what
He is. The ego
separates through the body. The Holy Spirit
reaches through it to others. You do not perceive your brothers as the Holy Spirit does because you do not interpret their bodies and yours solely as a means of joining their
minds and uniting them with yours and mine. This interpretation of the body will change your mind entirely about its value. Of itself it has
55 If you use the body for attack, it
is harmful to you. If you use it only to reach the minds of those who believe they are bodies and teach them
through the body that this is not so, you will begin to understand the power of the mind that is in both of you. If you use the body for this and
only for this, you
cannot use it for attack. In the service of uniting, it becomes a beautiful lesson in communion, which has value until communion
is. This is God's way of making unlimited what you have limited. The Holy Spirit does not see the body as you do because He knows the
only reality anything can have is the service it can render God on behalf of the function He has given it.
ends separation. Attack
promotes it. The body is beautiful or ugly, holy or savage, helpful or harmful, according to the use to which it is put. And in the body of another you will see the use to which you have put yours. If the body becomes for you a means which you give to the Holy Spirit to use on behalf of union of the Sonship, you will not see anything physical except as what it is. Use it for truth, and you will see it truly.
Misuse it, and you
will misunderstand it because you have already done so
by misusing it. Interpret
anything apart from the Holy Spirit, and you will mistrust it. This will lead you to hatred and attack
and loss of peace.
57 Yet all loss comes only from your own misunderstanding. Loss of
any kind is impossible. When you look upon a brother as a physical entity,
his power and glory are lost
to you, and so are
have attacked him, but you
must have attacked yourself first. Do not see him this way for your
own salvation, which must bring him
his. Do not allow him to belittle himself in
your mind, but give him freedom from his belief in littleness and thus escape from
yours. As part of you,
he is holy. As part of me,
you are. To communicate with part of God Himself is to reach beyond the Kingdom to its Creator through His Voice, which He has established as part of
58 Rejoice, then, that of yourselves you can do nothing. You are not
of yourselves. He of Whom you
are has willed your power and glory
for you, with which you can perfectly accomplish His holy Will for you when you so will it yourself. He has not withdrawn His gifts from you, but
you have withdrawn them from Him. Let no Son of God remain hidden for His name's sake because His name is
59 Remember that the Bible says, "The Word (or thought) was made flesh." Strictly speaking this is impossible, since it seems to involve the translation of one order of reality into another. Different orders of reality merely
appear to exist, just as different orders of miracles do. Thought cannot be made into flesh except by belief, since thought is
not physical. Yet thought
is communication, for which the body
can be used. This is the only
natural use to which it
can be put. To use the body unnaturally is to lose sight of the Holy Spirit's purpose and thus to confuse the goal of His curriculum.
60 There is nothing so frustrating to a learner as to be placed in a curriculum which he cannot learn. His sense of adequacy suffers, and he
must become depressed. Being faced with an impossible learning situation, regardless of why it is impossible, is the most depressing thing in the world. In fact, it is ultimately
why the world is depressing. The Holy Spirit's curriculum is
never depressing because it is a curriculum of joy. Whenever the reaction to learning is depression, it is only because the goal of the curriculum has been lost sight of.
61 In the world, not even the body is perceived as whole. Its purpose is seen as fragmented into many functions which bear little or no relationship to each other, so that it appears to be ruled by chaos. Guided by the ego, it
is. Guided by the Holy Spirit, it is
not. It becomes only a means by which the part of the mind you have separated from your Soul can reach beyond its distortions and
return to the Soul. The ego's temple thus becomes the temple of the Holy Spirit, where devotion to Him replaces devotion to the ego. In this sense, the body
does become a temple to God because His Voice abides in it by directing the use to which it is put.
62 Healing is the result of using the body
solely for communication. Since this is natural, it heals by making whole, which is
also natural. All mind is whole, and the belief that part of it is physical, or
not mind, is a fragmented (or sick) interpretation. Mind
cannot be made physical, but it
can be made manifest through the physical if it uses the body to go
beyond itself. By reaching
out, the mind extends itself. It does not
stop at the body, for if it does, it is blocked in its purpose. A mind which has been blocked has allowed itself to be vulnerable to attack because it has
turned against itself.
63 The removal of the blocks, then, is the
only way to guarantee help and healing. Help and healing are the normal expressions of a mind which is working
through the body but not
in it. If the mind believes the body is its
will distort its perception of the body and, by blocking its own extension beyond it, will induce illness by fostering
separation. Perceiving the body as a
separate entity cannot
but foster illness because it is not true. A medium of communication will
lose its usefulness if it is used for anything else. To use a medium of communication as a medium of
attack is an obvious confusion in purpose.
64 To communicate is to join and to attack is to separate. How can you do both simultaneously with the
same thing and
not suffer? Perception of the body can be unified only by
one purpose. This releases the mind from the temptation to see the body in many lights and gives it over
entirely to the One Light in Which it can be really understood at all. To confuse a learning device with a curriculum
goal is a fundamental confusion. Learning can hardly be arrested at its own aids with hope of understanding either the aids
or the learning's real purpose. Learning must lead
beyond the body to the reestablishment of the power of the mind in it. This can be accomplished
only if the mind extends to other minds and does not
arrest itself in its extension.
65 The arrest of the mind's extension is the cause of
all illness because only extension is the mind's function. The opposite of joy is depression. When your learning promotes depression instead of joy, you cannot be listening to God's joyous Teacher, and you must be learning amiss. To see a body as anything except a means of pure extension is to limit your mind and
hurt yourself. Health is therefore nothing more than united purpose. If the body is brought under the purpose of the mind, the body becomes whole because the
is one. Attack can only be an
assumed purpose of the body because
apart from the mind the body
has no purpose at all.
66 You are
not limited by the body, and thought
cannot be made flesh. Yet mind can be manifested through the body if it goes beyond it and
does not interpret it as limitation. Whenever you see another as limited
by the body, you are imposing this limit
on yourself. Are you willing to
accept this, when your whole purpose for learning should be to
escape from limitations? To conceive of the body as a means of attack of any kind and to entertain even the possibility that joy could
possibly result is a clear-cut indication of a poor learner. He has accepted a learning goal in obvious contradiction to the unified purpose of the curriculum and is interfering with his ability to accept its purpose as his
67 Joy is unified purpose, and unified purpose is
only God's. When yours is unified, it
is His. Interfere with His purpose, and you
need salvation. You have condemned yourself, but condemnation is
not of God. Therefore, it is not true. No more are any of the
results of your condemnation. When you see a brother as a body, you are condemning him
because you have condemned yourself. Yet if all condemnation is unreal, and it
must be unreal since it is a form of attack, then it can
have no results.
68 Do not allow yourselves to suffer from the results of what is not true. Free your minds from the belief that this is
possible. In its complete impossibility and your full awareness
of its complete impossibility lie your only hope for release. But what other hope would you want? Freedom from illusions lies only in not
believing them. There
is no attack, but there
is unlimited communication and therefore unlimited power and wholeness. The power of wholeness is extension. Do not arrest your thought in this world, and you will open your mind to creation in God.
~ Original Hand Script of ACIM
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