VIII. The Body as Means or End, P 7
7 A learning device is not a teacher. It cannot tell you how you feel. You do not know how you feel because you have accepted the ego’s confusion, and you therefore believe that a learning device can tell you how you feel. Sickness is merely another example of your insistence on asking guidance of a teacher who does not know the answer. The ego is incapable of knowing how you feel. When I said that the ego does not know anything, I said the one thing about the ego that is wholly true. But there is a corollary; if only knowledge has being and the ego has no knowledge, then the ego has no being.
Oh my! I never thought of sickness and the ego like this before. When my body is sick it is like I asked the body how I feel. The body can’t tell me how I feel because it is a simple learning device. It is like asking my pencil what I feel like writing, or asking my car where I feel like driving. I used to say things like, “I check in with my body to see what it needs.” That’s just funny, really. This is just more ego confusion. Whatever my body “tells” me is just a message from me to me through this device I call my body. Why not just skip the middle man?
Sickness is not something that just happens to the body and the body doesn’t decide if it is sick or not. Sickness is a deliberate choice to use the body as a defense against God. I make the choice to use the body as a symbol of my defense against God. I choose sickness and use the body to express that sickness. Then I pretend to myself that it just happened to me, and I use it to convince myself that I am weak, fragile and the furthest thing from the divine being the Course talks about.
So this morning I woke up feeling stiff and achy. What could be the cause? I worked extra hard both during the week and on the weekend and I haven’t been taking my body for its daily walks with the regularity it needs. This is the way I used to interpret the sensations in the body. Now I am willing to withdraw my projections and own my decision to pretend I am a victim of my work schedule and time constraints.
I don’t need to project onto this body the fears, guilt, and resentments of life in my story. I can stop asking the ego, which doesn’t know anything, what is going on. I can stop using the body to defend against love and give my willingness to know what I am, and to express that instead. I am not forced by circumstances into any amount of work, or bound by the laws of the world in any way. I am the one who decided on the circumstances and made the laws of the world.
As Jesus says, the ego has no knowledge so the ego has no being. This morning, at least, I am sane enough to stop taking advice from imaginary sources, and to ask Reality how I feel. I do this as I ask the Holy Spirit to decide for me how I feel, to decide for me what I think about this, to decide for me what I am to do, to say, where I am to go. I am not surrendering anything of value when I do this, because the ego is nothing and nothing is not valuable. I can let go of any remaining resistance to full surrender because I remember now that this is my true will. I am not giving anything up; I am embracing what I really am.
Jesus, this all seems so clear and even self-evident as I sit here with you. Please help me to remember it as the day goes on and the distractions of life attract my attention. Please help me to remember what I am when the ego mind vies for my attention. When I project onto the body and experience discomfort, remind me that this comes not from the world, but from the confused mind, and help me remember that the body is not me, but only a useful tool. Help me remember that I don’t need or want to defend against my loving Father and I don’t want to use sickness to hide from my holy Self. Thank you.