MONDAY APRIL 4, 2016
See the Body Truly
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
CH 8 "THE JOURNEY BACK
VII. COMMUNICATION AND THE EGO-BODY EQUATION  

Communication 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.            
 
DAILY LESSON
SonShip Workbook 
 L e s s o n 94
I am as God created me.  
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio 
  
1 Today we continue with the one idea which brings complete salvation; the one statement which makes all forms of temptation powerless; the one thought which renders the ego silent and entirely undone. You are as God created you. The sounds of this world are still, the sights of this world disappear, and all the thoughts that this world ever held are wiped away forever by this one idea. Here is salvation accomplished. Here is sanity restored. 
 
2 True light is strength, and strength is sinlessness. If you remain as God created you, you must be strong and light must be in you. He Who ensured your sinlessness must be the guarantee of strength and light as well. You are as God created you. Darkness cannot obscure the glory of the Son of God. You stand in light, strong in the sinlessness in which you were created and in which you will remain throughout eternity. 
 
3 Today we will again devote the first five minutes of each waking hour to the attempt to feel the truth in you. Begin these times of searching with these words: 
 
4 I am as God created me
  I am His Son eternally.
 
5 Now try to reach the Son of God in you. This is the Self that never sinned nor made an image to replace reality. This is the Self which never left its home in God to walk the world uncertainly. This is the Self which knows no fear nor could conceive of loss or suffering or death. 
 
6 Nothing is required of you to reach this goal except to lay all idols and self-images aside, go past the long list of attributes, both "good" and "bad," you have ascribed to yourself and wait in silent expectancy for the truth. God has Himself promised that it will be revealed to all who ask for it. You are asking now. You cannot fail because He cannot fail. 
 
7 If you do not meet the requirement of practicing for the first five minutes of every hour, at least remind yourself hourly: 
 
8 I am as God created me. 
  I am His Son eternally.
 
9 Tell yourself frequently today that you are as God created you. And be sure to respond to anyone who seems to irritate you with these words: 
 
10 You are as God created you. 
    You are His Son eternally.
 
11 Make every effort to do the hourly exercises today. Each one you do will be a giant stride toward your release and a milestone in learning the thought system which this course sets forth. 
  
 
          ~ Original Hand Script of ACIM  

  
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 
ACIM Edmonton, CA
Lesson 94
I am as God created me.

Sarah's Commentary: 
 
This is a very significant idea in the workbook and so is repeated many times. "I am as God created me." What that really means is the image I have made of myself and the way I have defined myself, both good and bad, cannot be the truth. It seems to me the behaviors I exhibit define me. It seems to me when I get angry, say nasty things, gossip, and do things I know are not well intentioned, I build a record for myself that is less than honorable. As I look at this record, I judge myself as guilty and sinful, which is not the truth. The truth is I have not changed myself from how I have been created by God, but I have made my judgments about myself real in my mind. Now I think this self is what I am and judge myself as guilty and deserving of punishment. In fact, the truth is I have simply made a mistake. I am mistaken in who I think I am. In my choice for the ego thought system, I have chosen to believe I have separated myself from love. As such, I value my individual self, which is made of the very idea of attack.
 
Oh yes, there are behaviors I see as good, loving and even spiritual about myself as well, but when I look more deeply, they too are based on false perceptions of who I am as special and unique. Who I am in truth is still untouched by all the thoughts I hold, which are connected to the body and personality. "Littleness is the offering you give yourself. You offer this in place of magnitude, and you accept it." (T.15.III.1.3-4)(ACIM OE T.15.IV.22) In other words, let us not be content with the self we made, but instead allow the Holy Spirit to reinterpret our misperceptions of ourselves and others.

If we did not accept our littleness and instead connected with the magnificence of our true Self, as created by God, we would know the truth about ourselves. Through striving in this world for those things we believe will bring us joy, satisfaction and peace, "you are belittling yourself and blinding yourself to glory." (T.15.III.1.6)(ACIM OE T.15.IV.22) We always choose one at the expense of the other. We always have this choice of littleness or glory. "There is no form of littleness that can ever content you. You are free to try as many as you wish, but all you will be doing is to delay your homecoming. For you will be content only in magnitude, which is your home." (T.15.III.2.4-6)(ACIM OE T.15.IV.23)
 
Thus, we are tempted to define ourselves based on attributes we see in ourselves. Of course, our identity as a separate, individual self living in a body has a very strong hold on us. "Temptation has one lesson it would teach, in all its forms, wherever it occurs. It would persuade the holy Son of God he is a body, born in what must die, unable to escape its frailty, and bound by what it orders him to feel." (T.31.VIII.1.1-2)(ACIM OE T.31.VIII.83) Yet if the separation never happened, everything the ego tells us we are must be false. If I truly am as God created me, everything I have made of myself is not true. None of my actions have altered who I really am. This brings fear because we identify ourselves with what we have made of ourselves, and thus it leaves us not knowing who we are.
 
The moment we were born into these bodies, everybody treated us as a body and a personality, and it became all we know of ourselves. It would be nice if we were treated as a soul, because that is what we are. We get into routines in our lives, and the routines are the melodramas that captivate our consciousness, but we can free ourselves from the box of our personality and our physical self with which we identify. This is what the practice is about. We are now much more aware of this limited self, so our focus in our healing is to try to get in touch with the Christ Self. What this requires is that we watch our thoughts and keep bringing them to the inner altar of light. "Healing occurs as a patient begins to hear the dirge he sings, and questions its validity." (P.2.VI.1.5) Until we hear it we "cannot understand that it is he [we] who sings it to himself [ourselves]." (P.VI.1.6)
 
This dirge is based on the guilt we hold, but Jesus goes on to say, we hang onto this guilt and hug it close, sheltering it and turning to it for its loving protection. That is quite a statement about our investment in guilt and the thoughts we hold close and even defend. We think there is safety in the controls and defenses we have set up. Jesus tells us the ugliness of our thoughts has so deceived us, we have covered it over with sounds that seem beautiful to us. (P.VI.2) This is how we defend against the love we are. Now we must "lay all idols and self-images aside; go past the list of attributes, both good and bad, you have ascribed to yourself; and wait in silent expectancy for the truth." (W.94.4.1)
 
We have not screwed up the Self created by God. We can't corrupt ourselves. It is arrogance to think we can do anything to change this Self we are as created by God. Whatever we have done in this world, in this illusion, has no effect on who we really are. We can forgive it all by no longer protecting this image and defending against the truth. "You stand in light, strong in the sinlessness in which you were created, and in which you will remain throughout eternity." (W.94.2.6) When we choose to see sin in others and see ourselves as innocent, we deny our responsibility for making this body and this world and we deny our responsibility in separating from God.
 
Connecting with the truth of who we truly are invalidates everything we think we are. The truth is we are the Son of God, who has never left His home in God. "This is the Self that never sinned, nor made an image to replace reality." (W.94.3.6) While we think we are in this world and walking around uncertainly, our true reality, who we really are, has never left our home in God, knows no fear, and can't even conceive of loss, suffering or death. Every time we connect with the truth, "I am as God created me," (W.94) we accept the Atonement for ourselves. In other words, we accept the healing or correction for ourselves. The Atonement makes it impossible to be anything except what God created, even though we can stay unaware of this truth.
 
How can we know any of this is true? We can only know it when we "lay all idols and self-images aside; go past the list of attributes, both good and bad, you have ascribed to yourself; and wait in silent expectancy for the truth." (W.94.4.1) Without the experience of corrected perception of ourselves, we have no reason to believe what Jesus is telling us. That is why we are urged to enter the place where we can have some experience of the truth. What is required for this to happen? All we need to do is recognize how we worship the idol of the self we think we are and bring these thoughts of specialness to the Holy Spirit, Who will reinterpret them for us. Don't we take great pride in our thoughts, ideas, opinions, independence, and beliefs about ourselves, whether good or bad? We hold them in place saying, "That is just the way I am," as if it were an immutable fact.
 
What we need to understand is that we don't have to strive for our magnitude because we already have it. It is just that we don't know it. Striving is of the ego. We think we can add something to God's creation through our own efforts, and can make ourselves better or more spiritual. Our part is only to bring our attributes to light, nothing else. We can't add anything of value to the truth.
 
The Lesson today is repeated seventeen more times in the Course and said in many ways throughout the text. Jesus keeps reminding us over and over of this truth about ourselves. Again, it is something we need to "attempt to feel" (W.94.3.1) rather than just to verbalize. It is important to realize there is nothing we need to strive for. Our reality belongs to us, but to know it we need the Holy Spirit's help. Our part is to look at our illusions of ourselves and the thoughts we hold and bring them to the light of the Atonement. We must do our part. It will not be done for us, but when we bring our perceptions to the truth, the Holy Spirit does the rest. The truth can only be revealed through our willingness as we "wait in silent expectancy for the truth. God has Himself promised that it will be revealed to all who ask for it. You are asking now. You cannot fail because He cannot fail." (W.94.4.1-4)
 
Clearly, if we want to know the truth about ourselves, we have to go through the darkness of the ego thought system. We can't just do a spiritual bypass by affirming truth. He makes it clear here. We must take responsibility for our thoughts, attachments, all our self-concepts, belief in the body and all our attributes. All have to be laid aside. They have all been held in place by our decision to separate from the truth. This is the part we must do if we want to experience the peace of God. It will never be imposed on us.
 
Today, we meditate on this idea for the first five minutes of every hour. That is quite a commitment! Are we willing to make this commitment? He asks that we make every effort to do so and calls this a giant stride toward our release. How motivated are you to arrange your schedule today to attempt this holy mission? I have to be honest and admit I have never been totally diligent in following these requirements in the years I have studied this Course. Although, I am struck today by the impact of being told this is another giant-stride Lesson following up on the two previous giant-stride Lessons 61 and 66. I am compelled to give it my best today. We are simply asked to do our best, and, if we fail at any point, we forgive ourselves and pick it up again as soon as we realize our failure. Forgetting is another opportunity to look at our resistance without bringing more guilt into our minds.
 
We start the practice today by laying aside all idols and self-images. We review how we think of ourselves in terms of our attributes, both good and bad, our roles, the images we hold of ourselves and then "wait in silent expectancy" (W.94.4.1) for our true Self to be revealed. We wait in confidence and stillness. We watch our thoughts go by and let the truth dawn upon our minds. Throughout the hour, we remind ourselves as frequently as possible, we are as God created us.
 
Also, remember when someone irritates or upsets you, this is another opportunity for you to look at the upset in your own mind and bring it to the truth. You can make the choice not to throw your peace away by what others do. Apply the Lesson very specifically if you feel discouraged, angry, or distressed in any way. The upset may be a thought in your mind about someone, or it may be someone you have in your life who irritates you. Do not succumb to the temptation to blame, or judge, but rather take responsibility for the thoughts in your mind and ask for help to release them. Remember, what you are seeing outside yourself is just a split-off part of your own mind, an outside picture of your own inner condition. "And be sure to respond to anyone who seems to irritate you with these words: You are as God created you. You are His Son eternally." (W.94.5.5-7) We apply the Lesson throughout the day, whenever we see ourselves unfairly treated or victimized, recognizing this is not the truth. We are one Self. Our interests are the same.

Love and blessings, Sarah
 
 
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 none.
 
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.
 
56 Communication 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 yours. You 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 you.
 
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 yours.
 
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 goal, it 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 mind's purpose 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 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.
 
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.

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