ACIM Lesson 294 My body is a wholly neutral thing.
My body is a wholly neutral thing.
1. I am a Son of God. ²And can I be another thing as well? ³Did God create the mortal and corruptible? ⁴What use has God’s beloved Son for what must die? ⁵And yet a neutral thing does not see death, for thoughts of fear are not invested there, nor is a mockery of love bestowed upon it. ⁶Its neutrality protects it while it has a use. ⁷And afterwards, without a purpose, it is laid aside. ⁸It is not sick nor old nor hurt. ⁹It is but functionless, unneeded and cast off. ¹⁰Let me not see it more than this today; of service for a while and fit to serve, to keep its usefulness while it can serve, and then to be replaced for greater good.
2. My body, Father, cannot be Your Son. ²And what is not created cannot be sinful nor sinless; neither good nor bad. ³Let me, then, use this dream to help Your plan that we awaken from all dreams we made.
The Body’s Purposes
Jesus tells us many times in the Course that we are not these bodies, nor are we in these bodies. These bodies are not real, they are just images we have made. They are neutral in that not being real they cannot be good or bad. It is how we use them that determines what they are to us. If I use this body to use others or to hurt others, it becomes a way to reinforce separation. It keeps the illusion going. If I use it to extend love and kindness, it is helpful in awakening us.
The main purpose the ego has for the body is to prove that we are not the Son of God. After all, how could we be all that the Course promises if we are these frail and weak bodies, made to die? If we further believe that God created us as bodies, we can hardly see God as loving us. Another way we use the body for the ego’s purposes is to punish ourselves. We think our errors are sins, and so try to atone by projecting pain and sickness onto the body.
The Misuse of the Body
Once we accept that the body is a neutral event and not anything of itself, it is interesting to see how we misuse it. We tend to either glorify or vilify the body. We glorify it as we strive relentlessly to keep it young and beautiful even though this is doomed to fail. Another way we do this is to adorn it with beautiful things. Even in death, we worship the body, spending absurd amounts of money to make it look good. We then bury it in expensive boxes and continue to visit the body, bringing it flowers.
The True Use of the Body
With all this attention placed on the body, we distract ourselves from the mind. But once we accept the truth about the body, we can use it in a different way. In fact, the body can now be used to bring us back to the mind, the only thing that can be healed. When my body is sick or suffering, I look to the mind to see what belief needs to be corrected. When I notice that I am placing undue emphasis on the body, how it looks, if it is the right size, what others think of it, I know that my mind needs correction.
The body, like all other images we have made, can serve the purpose of bringing us back to reality if that is how I would use it. Whatever I seem to be experiencing in the body is actually what I am choosing with the mind. Bodies cannot on their own sin, cannot suffer, cannot attack. It is our desire for these things that is the cause of what the body seems to do, what it seems to be.
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