A Course in Miracles: Lesson 199

Lesson 199

I am not a body.  I am free.

Everything in the world points the realness of this body:  injury, illness, death, hunger, pain, etc.  The body can be the toughest concept to question on an inward journey.  Even thinking of the body as a mere concept can cause much alarm to one’s psyche.  We look in the mirror and see it.  People recognize our faces and call us by a name.  People look into our eyes and send a friendly smile because they “see” us.  If we are not a body, how could we do these things?  Great question.

Throughout our walk, we have challenged the concept of everything from inanimate objects to our thoughts.  We have gingerly questioned the idea of the body in various lessons but not as boldly as we do today, as we reflect, am I or am I not this body?

We are both.  Where we get caught up is in identifying with the body and believing it is our savior, much like when we give our power away to new cars, jobs, relationships, and other material items.  It is much easier to believe in the futility of inanimate objects but translating that to the body seems to be a bigger mental shift.  However, Principle #1 of Miracles states, “There is no order of difficulty in miracles” (ACIM Chapter 1 I:1).  Thus, this is not as big of a leap as the ego would have us believe, it is just a breath away.

“The body is a limit” (ACIM Lesson 199 1:2).

We have been unlocking the limitlessness of the mind since we started our journey together, where in Lesson 2, we recognized that we have given everything its meaning.  Can you see how you have given meaning to that which you see in the mirror?  The body is a concept that has been constructed by the mind.  What we truly are is that essence that contains the body, not that which is contained within a body.  The body is like a radio receiver, obtaining signals from our Higher Self.  Similar to forgiveness, the body is the bridge that helps us to become aware of our eternal presence on earth.

Just like a chair, or any other object, the body is made up of molecules that are bouncing around hitting one another, vibrating at a certain frequency, while forming a specific shape in which we in turn label with a name.  The body is a mass of small vibrating particles, each one containing a universe of its own but still part of the perfection of All.  That is how magnificent this structure is.  It functions without any of our effort or control.  We merely help maintain it.  For a moment, consider these questions,

Who breathes you?  

Who makes your heart beat?  

Who pumps the blood around the body?  

Who creates the nerve impulses that urge you make a movement?  

Who is it that enables the little hairs on your arms to grow?  

When we begin to open our minds to these questions, this dense structure we call the body becomes much lighter.  When we are in fear of our bodies either by harm, death, disease, or illness, our form contracts and we become this dense entity.  Just give it a try, think of something scary for a moment and watch how you are more aware of how heavy you are sitting or standing.  Notice how solid and separate your structure has become.  Now, imagine yourself floating effortlessly in an ocean where you become so fluid that you do not know where you end and where the water begins.  This is our true nature.  This is the beauty of our bodies as it flows freely with our surroundings knowing that is part of this beautiful melody of notes that invisibly dances around us.  It knows it is an instrument in this symphony.  It knows its purpose and its role in salvation.  It knows that it is part of the whole and without any effort of our own.

“Declare your innocence and you are free.  The body disappears, because you have no need of it except the need the Holy Spirit sees.  For this, the body will appear as useful form for what the mind must do.  It thus becomes a vehicle which helps forgiveness be extended to the all-inclusive goal that it must reach, according to God’s plan” (ACIM Lesson 199 4:2-5).

We give our body over, just like we have our minds, to that Force that breathes us, that Force that uses this vehicle for Its Will.  In doing so, does the body become our greatest teacher.  It alerts us to fear, joy, love, happiness, peace, danger, and the entire spectrum of feelings and emotions.  It is beautiful in that it let’s us know, “ah, I am feeling fear right now, what is that about?”  It lets us know when forgiveness is on the horizon, while also letting us know we are in the midst of heaven on earth.  This is not magic but our divine magnificence.  We disappear into God and let Her flow through our holy form.

A typical question to what has been discussed is, “But the body dies?”  It does.  The particles that make up the body, the ones that are bouncing around and hold within them tiny little universes, do die in each moment and somehow decide at a specific point in time to do it all at once.  Thus, the shell is returned to the earth but our God Self that used that particular vehicle to experience the world, continues on.  There are many religions and spiritual sects that have many thoughts as to what happens to our God Mind.  But let us just stick to the once central idea that unifies us all, we are eternal.  That which is our Essence never dies.  It continues on and on and on.  Maybe it picks up another body in another dimension?  Maybe it takes another form that we have yet to experience?  Or maybe this Essence communes with ascended masters and teachers?  Whatever the answer, the point is we are eternal beings and more powerful and limitless than any body structure would lead us to believe.  In those moments when you feel the denseness of the body, can you open up your mind to the idea that you are more than death and density?  Can you feel your eternal freedom beyond this structure, while at the same time incorporate it?

In order to become aware of our greatness and limitlessness, we must let go of that which has imprisoned us, the attachment to a body.  It is the final concept that holds us tightly to the illusion of separation.  We must look in the mirror and be grateful for what we see, honoring its role as teacher and facilitator, but know that what we truly are is what houses this structure, not the other way around.

“You are God’s Son.  In immortality you live forever.  Would you not return your mind to this?”  (ACIM Lesson 199 8:1-2).

Eternal Love is the only way Home, and this includes the love of the body, no longer holding on to the fear of death, disease, illness, injury, or harm.  Love is letting go, freeing the body from your own bondage of thoughts of what its purpose is.  Let God show you what it can be used for and how it can be your aid in realizing miracles.  Let God show you how Her Force moves through this vehicle and beyond.  Are you willing?  Even just a little?  That is all you need and you are free.

From beyond the body, I honor you and your journey.  I see you as more than form.  I see you as more than your thoughts.  I see You.  Namaste.

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