ACIM 5. What Is the Body
5. What Is the Body?
1. The body is a fence the Son of God imagines he has built, to separate parts of his Self from other parts. ²It is within this fence he thinks he lives, to die as it decays and crumbles. ³For within this fence he thinks that he is safe from love. ⁴Identifying with his safety, he regards himself as what his safety is. ⁵How else could he be certain he remains within the body, keeping love outside?
2. The body will not stay. ²Yet this he sees as double safety. ³For the Son of God’s impermanence is “proof” his fences work, and do the task his mind assigns to them. ⁴For if his oneness still remained untouched, who could attack and who could be attacked? ⁵Who could be victor? ⁶Who could be his prey? ⁷Who could be victim? ⁸Who the murderer? ⁹And if he did not die, what “proof” is there that God’s eternal Son can be destroyed?
3. The body is a dream. ²Like other dreams it sometimes seems to picture happiness, but can quite suddenly revert to fear, where every dream is born. ³For only love creates in truth, and truth can never fear. ⁴Made to be fearful, must the body serve the purpose given it. ⁵But we can change the purpose that the body will obey by changing what we think that it is for.
This is a good view of the body as the ego’s intended use. It is what keeps us separate and separation is why we suffer. It keeps us safe from love and safe from God and this is why we suffer. Because we seem to live in it and because it seems to meet our purpose, we think, “This is me.” It gets sick and it dies and thus it seems we have further proof that we overcame the Will of God Who thought He created me to be eternal and unchanging. Clearly, that is not the case. Just look at the body to see that we are right. And how could we be one? Look how we attack each other, look at what victims we are. Could that happen without bodies? The body is a loyal servant to the ego.
4. The body is the means by which God’s Son returns to sanity. ²Though it was made to fence him into hell without escape, yet has the goal of Heaven been exchanged for the pursuit of hell. ³The Son of God extends his hand to reach his brother, and to help him walk along the road with him. ⁴Now is the body holy. ⁵Now it serves to heal the mind that it was made to kill.
5. You will identify with what you think will make you safe. ²Whatever it may be, you will believe that it is one with you. ³Your safety lies in truth, and not in lies. ⁴Love is your safety. ⁵Fear does not exist. ⁶Identify with love, and you are safe. ⁷Identify with love, and you are home. ⁸Identify with love, and find your Self.
Give it a New Purpose
The body is a dream and that is why it can go from pleasure to pain at the drop of a hat. But like any dream it but serves a purpose and we can give it a different purpose when we give it to the Holy Spirit for His use. We can use it to awaken the Sonship. Jesus says we can extend a hand to a brother and that is a good visual to express the desire to love one another rather than to be at war with each other. It is a good symbol of forgiveness.
As we release the desire to judge each other and we forgive instead of project guilt, we extend love. We do this when we help someone who is in trouble or when we smile at the waitress waiting on us at our favorite restaurant. We do this when someone attacks us and we do not react. Now he sees he didn’t hurt us and so he knows that he is not guilty. We do this when we accept everyone where they are without needing them to be different.
We use the body for the Holy Spirit’s purposes through our words, our actions and our thoughts. We identify with what makes us feel safe. We have thought that being separate was safety and we were wrong. It only makes us lonely and afraid. When we use the body on behalf of everyone, it becomes a symbol of love and love is what makes us safe. It is through love that we find our Self and return to God.
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