C 8: VIII. The Body as Means or End, P 9

VIII. The Body as Means or End, P 9

9 The Holy Spirit teaches you to use your body only to reach your brothers, so He can teach His message through you. This will heal them and therefore heal you. Everything used in accordance with its function as the Holy Spirit sees it cannot be sick. Everything used otherwise is. Do not allow the body to be a mirror of a split mind. Do not let it be an image of your own perception of littleness. Do not let it reflect your decision to attack. Health is seen as the natural state of everything when interpretation is left to the Holy Spirit, Who perceives no attack on anything. Health is the result of relinquishing all attempts to use the body lovelessly. Health is the beginning of the proper perspective on life under the guidance of the one Teacher Who knows what life is, being the Voice for Life Itself.


Jesus finishes this section by stating very clearly what the body is for, and what happens to the body when we use it lovelessly. The body is for reaching our brothers so that the Holy Spirit can teach his message through us. This message is always some form of love. When I am with my coworkers, for instance, I can use this body to express kindness and understanding. I can use it to be compassionate, to bring humor to the workplace and a general sense of well being. I can overlook their errors and dwell on their kindnesses. In other words, I can use the body to teach only love.

Wherever the Holy Spirit has me take this body, I can surrender to His use. I can use it to convey His message of love when I am with family or with a customer. It is the same if I am shopping at Walmart or checking into the hotel. Always, I am sending a message, either of love or fear, from Spirit or from ego. In the mornings I receive love as I sit here reading the Course and asking for clarity. I give love as I share what I get. The words are helpful to the degree I set aside ego and allow Spirit to speak, but the intent to be a channel for love is the function I am giving the body now, and that is not lost even if my words are not perfect.

When I use the body for that exalted purpose it is perfectly healthy. When used lovelessly it is sick. My goal is to choose love every time. Jesus asks us not to allow the body to mirror a split mind. Right now my body does mirror the split in my mind. I teach love more than I teach fear so the body reflects love in the form of health more than it does sickness. However, I still use the body for attack and so it is not perfectly healthy.

Since I have become aware of the connection and since I have set the intention to use the body for love only, I am very aware of the split and also very aware of the projection of my beliefs onto the body. Here is an example. Yesterday I felt very energetic and peaceful until I had been at work for awhile. We had a meeting and I began to feel anxious about some of the things being said. There was no actual problem, but I started interpreting my brothers through the ego mind, and felt attacked.

It was not something “big” and so I was able to push it away, which is not the same as letting it be healed. So the anxiety slowly built. What I noticed is that I became enervated. I felt so tired and lethargic and I wondered what was wrong with me. I had plenty of sleep and there was no reason to be tired. That thought stopped me because I know that how the body feels does not come from the body but from the mind. So I started watching my thoughts and I saw that I was using the body for attack and defense and it was wearing me out because it was in conflict with my function of allowing the Holy Spirit to use it for His message of love.

Having noticed this, I saw it happen a couple of other times during the day. I would get nervous about my trip, worrying I might not have enough money or trying to fit more into the day in preparation for being gone for several days, and I would start to feel drained again. Ha! I think I’m on to something, here. After watching and allowing correction during the day, by that evening I felt wonderful. I felt joyful and energetic. I got everything done that I wanted to do. I had some lovely thoughts to remind me of my purpose. My body reflected this change of mind as I allowed love to flow through it.

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