Holding grievances is an attacking on God’s plan for salvation.
In today’s lesson, we step another foot into the ego’s underground lair. We have been getting intimate with this place, looking around corners and under rocks for how the ego plays out its demise upon our goal of salvation. It does not behoove the ego for us to fully awaken. This we know. The ego stands to gain nothing and with each step towards the Light, the ego is fearful of its death. Thus, we are often left confused between the illusory death the ego wants us to believe versus the eternal life we are promised with the Voice of God. In this confusion, we become dazed puppets to the demands of the ego with its compelling case for separation.
The ego would even has us believe that it, too, is spiritual, giving birth to the “spiritual ego” which can be very cunning and sound very familiar to the Voice of God. In our experience, we have already witnessed how clever the ego can be. It plays a ruthless game and it is only natural that the more aware we become, the ego, too, evolves to become more clever in how it can keep its sovereignty.
The ego pleads its case with the allure of the body. Unless we fully abide in Sacred Sight, our vision is compromised by the ego, witnessing these bodies around us, including ours, as separate beings. As the body is a beautiful tool to help in our awakening, it can also just as simply serve as the veil over humanity. Since birth, our eyes have been accustomed to seeing that this body is separate from that body over there. We all have different colors, shapes, sizes, functions, movements, etc. It is rather easy to believe in the illusory world when the body becomes the fulcrum of our journey.
Many teachers of the Course state, “We are not this body.” This is one of my favorite fundamentals of the Course and one we will be introduced to in later lessons. For now, let’s introduce ourselves to this concept as it pertains to today’s lesson. “We are not this body,” we are so much more. We have been trained to believe that the mind is contained in the body but truly it is body that is contain in the Mind. And this confusion is what we want to correct.
When you see your bother and sister on this journey, do you see them as Light? Or do you see them as a body that did this right and that wrong? When you see someone who “appears” to be less fortunate, do you see her or him as Light? Or do you identify them as less fortunate and make certain judgements? When you see a “wrong doing,” do you see it as the Light exploring all possibilities in human form? Or do you believe this being should be punished and condemned? When experience your body or someone else’s as sick with an illness or disease, do you see the Light that is given in said healing experiences? Or do you immediately see death at the door?
“You are not dealing here with what the person is. On the contrary, you are exclusively concerned with what he does in a body. You are doing more than failing to help in freeing him from the body’s limitations. You are actively trying to hold him to it by confusing it with him, and judging them as one. Herein is God attacked, for if His Son is only a body, so must He be as well. A creator wholly unlike his creation is inconceivable” (ACIM Lesson 72 4:1-6).
We have confused God with death and believe that God can be attacked. The ego is very intelligent in how it has made us believe that the ego is God and God the ego. It is the biggest mix-up of all time, literally. Our body is a temple but it is not God. It is place where God can flow through but it is not God. It is a place where God can dwell but it is not God. The body is perishable. How could that which is Eternal and create in Its likeness be perishable? Yet this is what the ego would have us believe, and until today we have believed it hook, line, and sinker:
“If God is a body, what must His plan for salvation be? What could it be but death? In trying to present Himself as the Author of life and to of death, He is a liar and a deceiver, full of false promises and offering illusions in place of truth. The body’s apparent reality makes this view of God quite convincing. In fact, if the body were real, it would be difficult indeed to escape this conclusion. And every grievance that you hold insist that the body is real” (ACIM Lesson 72 5:1-6).
If the body is real, then we see the actions of the body as real too: hurt, crime, glorification, harm, specialness, lack, abundance, etc. However, recall we have been granted Sacred Sight and with Sacred Sight we see our brothers and sisters as they are, not as bodies but beings of Light. We look past the shapes and sizes, colors and dimensions, and see the essence of each being. This can also be likened to seeing auras. If the body is contained in the Mind, can you see the glow of said Mind? Can you look upon a body and see what is real? Can you see God?
In recent years, I have gotten on various bus lines just to get on a bus for the heck of it. Some days I have been guided by Spirit to just get on a bus and see where it takes me. As I would sit on the bus, I would journal and observe people. I wondered about someone’s back-story. Where they had been, where they were headed and why. Often I was guided to just look at them wondering if they knew how wonderful they are. I would literally sit on the bus and just practice seeing the wonder and beauty in all beings. I would soften my eyes and ask the Spirit to let me see the Light around this or that person. I have also done this in Wal-Mart and at the mall. Two places I personally do not enjoy going but they are great places to experience seeing the Light in all sorts of Godly bodies.
The body is a beautiful tool when used correctly. Its structure is the epitome of representing the dichotomy of our experience here. It can be as fragile as the human experience itself, ever-changing and fleeting. Yet it can also be as resilient as our Eternal Spirit. In creating the play called AWAKENING, we were genius to create such a protagonist as the body that can often be portrayed as the heroine or the villain.
The ego would have us believe in the vulnerability and weakness of our body. A structure in need of protection. In the Workbook part of the Course it is stated,
“The body is the ego’s home by its own election. It is the only identification with which the ego feels safe, since the body’s vulnerability is its own best argument that you cannot be of God. This is the belief that the ego sponsors eagerly. Yet the ego hates the body, because it cannot accept it as good enough to be its home” (ACIM Workbook Chapter 4 V, 4:1-4).
With the ego as our God, using the body as its home, we are damned in all situations. We are damned in glorification and we are damned in its vulnerability. How fleeting is the ego’s love of the body. Does this coincide with the eternalness from which we were created? Would God create such frailty and wishy-washiness?
As the body has been used to lull us to sleep by the ego’s song, once put back in the hands of God, can now be used by the guidance of the Holy Spirit for our awakening. That is the magnificence of the body. We have now been given the true gift of learning how to correct our mistaken identity.
“You have seen yourself in a body and the truth outside you, locked away from your awareness by the body’s limitations. Now we are going to try to see this differently” (ACIM Lesson 72 8:4-5).
You are not the vulnerability of the body but rather the intrepid, impenetrable Spirit that is within. Thus, can the body serve in the remembrance once God is restored to its right place as God, rather than a confusing spiritual ego.
“The light of truth is in us, where it was placed by God. It is the body that is outside us, and is not our concern. To be without a body is to be in our natural state. To recognize the light of truth in us is to recognize ourselves as we are” (ACIM Lesson 72 9:1-1-4).
Notice how in this lesson we are not the ones who correct our mistaken notions but we hand it over to God with the statement,
“What is salvation, Father? I do not know. Tell me, that I may understand (ACIM Lesson 72 10:6-8).
We are only asked for a little willingness, which is really just our choice to awaken. We have been ignorantly searching for God in all the wrong places using our will. Today, we let go and ask that God light the way. Thus, we find our promise fulfilled and in our willingness we find our acceptance of the Truth.
“And wherever His plan is accepted, it is accomplished already” (ACIM Lesson 72 9:6).
Once our decision for Truth is made, our being and the world around us are changed in order to serve the atonement. God orchestrates Her Divine power to ensure the success of our journey. All we need do is ask and it is already accomplished.
Today, recognize the subtlest ways in which the spiritual ego may still be driving your car in this experience. Politely thank it for its navigation to this point, however from this moment Love is taking the lead. Happy journey. Happy exploration.