Contrary to the beliefs of most if not all spiritual pathways, the physical body must eventually be seen as set “apart” from the Holy Self, if we genuinely want to end conflict and suffering once and for all.
This does not mean that we deny the body, as only the ego would do this, but it does require that we invite Holy Spirit to divinely reinterpret and re-purpose the body concept and its use, entirely. The body-self must be relinquished to Spirit otherwise it will continue to block awareness of the perfect Love we are.
If we genuinely desire to awaken from the body-dream, conflict, pain and death, then at some point we will need to make an unequivocal, positive separation between the body and our one, shared Identity as the Holy Self.
“You see the flesh or recognize the spirit. There is no compromise between the two. If one is real the other must be false, for what is real denies its opposite. There is no choice in vision but this one. What you decide in this determines all you see and think is real and hold as true. On this one choice does all your world depend, for here have you established what you are, as flesh or spirit in your own belief. If you choose flesh, you never will escape the body as your own reality, for you have chosen that you want it so. But choose the spirit, and all Heaven bends to touch your eyes and bless your holy sight, that you may see the world of flesh no more except to heal and comfort and to bless.” T-31.VI.1.
Until we do make this positive separation between body and spirit, our divided perception will continue to interpret incorrectly through the body lens. And we will perceive attack, conflict, loss, pain, and disease, believing them to be real. In addition, our decisions and actions will stem from this warped and untrue interpretation which only serves to reinforce the body-identity along with the guilt (self-attack) it seeks. And more than that, we will respond to what is not really there! We cannot afford to trust what we see and hear. The body’s eyes and senses were made specifically to report the illusion of separation. And this is why this cycle must be broken.
“The body cannot heal, because it cannot make itself sick. It [needs] no healing. Its health or sickness depends entirely on how the mind perceives it, and the purpose that the mind would use it for. It is obvious that a segment of the mind can see itself as separated from the Universal Purpose. When this occurs the body becomes its weapon, used against this Purpose, to demonstrate the “fact” that separation has occurred. The body thus becomes the instrument of illusion, acting accordingly; seeing what is not there, hearing what truth has never said and behaving insanely, being imprisoned [by] insanity.” T-19.I.3 .
We suffer from massive identity confusion, aka the split mind. In fact, while we still believe that the body-self with all its appetites dictates “who” we are, we deny the incorruptible innocence (Love) we are.
We are not the vessel. We are the light behind it. We cannot be both! In any one moment either Love or fear is being valued in our awareness. The presence of one of these completely excludes the other.They simply cannot coexist. While we believe that we are the body-self we will follow the ego’s programming convinced that its five senses and its appetites for pleasure and pain actually constitute reality.
“Christ’s vision has one law. It does not look upon a body, and mistake it for the Son whom God created. It beholds a light beyond the body; an idea beyond what can be touched, a purity undimmed by errors, pitiful mistakes, and fearful thoughts of guilt from dreams of sin. It sees no separation. And it looks on everyone, on every circumstance, all happenings and all events, without the slightest fading of the light it sees.”W-158.7.
The body-self’s obsession with pursuing pleasure, safety and security, together with its avoidance of pain, exact the same goal it has planned for us – physical death. Both negative and positive aspects of body identification all have the same goal – death. Note: Please see the “Six Stages Diagram” here.
We are not the body. Nor can it be integrated with the light we are. While we believe in the reality of what we are seeing, hearing and feeling through the body, we are denying the light. This means we cannot access the light we are, nor can we access its Loving guidance.
The Body as the Idea of Sin
“While you believe that your reality or your brother’s is bounded by a body, you will believe in sin. While you believe that bodies can unite, you will find guilt attractive and believe that sin is precious.” T-19.III.7:1-2
Our false belief that we are the body is the gap of separation (see Gap Diagram) until we are willing for it to be divinely reinterpreted and repurposed by Holy Spirit. Until then the body is our belief in sin. The false-self’s entire foundation which rests on its illusory body is centered on its conviction in the reality of “sin.” What does this mean? When we believe we are victim to anyone or anything, this is our belief in sin. Belief in sin cannot be forgiven, hence the seeming impossibility of genuine forgiveness while we believe we are the body .
Do we realize just why it seems so terribly difficult to forgive everyone and everything? The answer is because in our ego attempt to forgive, we remain convinced that we’re actually trying to forgive something that is real. It really did happen! The same goes for self-judgments that we cannot seem to forgive.
In these instances, the ego refuses to recognize that it did not happen. If I am triggered at all then that trigger along with its subsequent “effects” (conflict, pain, illness, etc.) is caused by and remains bundled together in just one illusion – that unconsciously I believe I am sin, and that this illusion of attack is punishment for my belief.
“The major difficulty that you find in genuine forgiveness on your part is that you still believe you must forgive the truth, and not illusions. You conceive of pardon as a vain attempt to look past what is there; to overlook the truth, in an unfounded effort to deceive yourself by making an illusion true. This twisted viewpoint but reflects the hold that the idea of sin retains as yet upon your mind, as you regard yourself.” …“Because you think your sins are real, you look on pardon as deception.” W-134.3,4:1
Remember that if I have trouble forgiving someone then it’s because I cling to the belief that it was indeed a sin, and not merely an error which can be corrected. In this case I would rather keep the sin along with all the judgment and certain self-punishment that the ego is hoarding for me. Resistance to forgiveness is the belief in sin, and an overwhelming attraction to pain.
When we have resistance to forgive it’s because the ego possesses a non-negotiable judgment. The error has been classified not merely as a mistake which can be corrected, but as a sin – punishable by death. A sin in the ego’s belief is an irrevocable error; a sin must be punished.
Resistance to forgiveness is resistance to accepting that no sin exists! It is resistance to accepting that we are sinless along with everyone else. We cannot be triggered and see sin at all unless we believe that we are sin incarnate; in other words, that we are the body. While we mistake our identity as the body we will believe that God as Love, is our enemy.
We always have the option to confer with Holy Spirit to learn the truth of our identity. But, when we operate with ego as our chosen guide and master, we believe we are the body (sin). Having made it our idol, every decision and every goal in life revolves around the body. The more we’re concerned for it, plan for it, and defend it, the more guilt (self-attack) we accumulate.
Attack from external sources such as others, the past and the body, is not possible in reality. There is no cause of attack in others, the body or the world that can have an effect on us because all cause is in our own split mind, regardless of where the body’s senses seem to attribute it.
All attack we perceive could only ever take place within the illusory “body lens,” the one we choose to peer through. Attack does not occur in reality. There is no sin. Ever. In addition, the one who believes they witnessed or experienced “sin,” the one who feels victimized, or guilty, does not exist.
“Forgiveness recognizes what you thought your brother did to you has not occurred. It does not pardon sins and make them real. It sees there was no sin. And in that view are all your sins forgiven.” W-pll.1:1-4
If evidence of attack triggers us it’s because the ego’s “guilt lens” has projected its own self-directed belief in sin through the body. However, the ego along with all the sin it perceives does not exist. There is literally no other reason that we could possibly perceive attack in another, the body or the world. And this is why it’s crucial that we learn to forgive our self for believing all appearances of attack. In this, we undo our unconscious obsession with sin and the self-punishment it must deliver.
If we genuinely desire to heal then we must forgive our self for having believed that attack (sin) is real. The distinction here is that we did not use something real to seemingly separate from God. If it were real then it could not be forgiven! We are unable to forgive something we believe to be a reality, and belief in its reality completely rejects healing. God is Love and healing without opposite. If we make the error real, then we’re denying our Holy Self. No healing occurs while we try to forgive what we still believe is real or did happen.
If we genuinely want to heal then the most reliable strategy is to wholeheartedly give Holy Spirit permission to undo our belief in sin, regardless of the different forms it appears to take. Only our belief that there is indeed an opposite of God requires healing. While we believe in an opposite to God, we will secretly believe that we are God’s opposite, and therefore His enemy. Here is the ego’s attraction to death. We always identify with what we believe in.
Attack has never happened in God’s reality, otherwise the “sin” we believed did in fact occur would prove that God – as Love – does not exist. If it did not happen in God’s reality which is our True reality then it must be illusion, unless we still want to remain separate, and perceive illusions to be true. Sinlessness is fearlessness. It is the restoration to our awareness of the perfect and incorruptible innocence that we are. Knowing this, communication is restored because fear (sin) is erased.
The belief in attack arises exclusively from the ego’s desire for attack. This well-disguised desire must be recognized and given to Holy Spirit in exchange for healing. This is the reason why all forgiveness is always self-forgiveness.
To forgive our self, we need to return to the point where the error was made in our mind, giving it over to the Atonement for healing. For instance, if I’ve tried to forgive something I believe someone really did, or if I’m trying to forgive a sickness or pain that I still believe is real, then my choice to “believe in its reality” must be healed. In contrast, if I try to forgive the illness, pain, or perhaps a person, I’ve made the sin – as an opposite of God – real in my mind. And because of this it cannot be forgiven (healed).
My decision to believe in sin is a death wish. If I desire True healing, this wrong-minded choice of mine must first be acknowledged and then given sincerely to Spirit. Once we surrender our error to Spirit, there is no more guilt. Furthermore, we give Holy Spirit permission to undo all the consequences of our wrong decision. This is where miraculous healing follows through from our mind to the body and our relationships as well. Jesus gives us the following tool:
“Your part is merely to return your thinking to the point at which the error was made, and give it over to the Atonement in peace. Say this to yourself as sincerely as you can, remembering that the Holy Spirit will respond fully to your slightest invitation:
I must have decided wrongly, because I am not at peace.
I made the decision myself, but I can also decide otherwise.
I want to decide otherwise, because I want to be at peace.
I do not feel guilty, because the Holy Spirit will undo all the consequences of my wrong decision if I will let Him.
I choose to let Him, by allowing Him to decide for God for me.” T-5.VII.6:5-11
Also, following is a short forgiveness prayer which helps us first to acknowledge that “we” must have chosen wrongly through the ego, to use someone or something to attack our self. And secondly, we acknowledge that the attack is not real; it is an illusion. Therefore, we ask Holy Spirit to help us to forgive our belief that sin as attack, is real.
“Holy Spirit, please help me to forgive myself for having unknowingly used ___(someone, the body, the past, the world, etc.)___to attack myself. Please also help me to forgive (undo) my belief in attack as real. Amen.”
“Salvation is a paradox indeed! What could it be except a happy dream? It asks you but that you forgive all things that no one ever did; to overlook what is not there, and not to look upon the unreal as reality.” T-30.IV.7:1-3
Exposing and Healing Hidden Self Sabotage
Everything we appear to see and experience which triggers us is a direct representation of what the ego wants.
“To see a guilty world is but the sign your learning has been guided by the world, and you behold it as you see yourself. The concept of the self embraces all you look upon, and nothing is outside of this perception. If you can be hurt by anything, you see a picture of your secret wishes.” T-31.V.15:6-8
Everything that seems to happen to us both seemingly good and bad always arises from our desire for it. But until the false, body-self is largely recognized and genuinely surrendered to Spirit, the single source of our unconscious desire for self-attack will not be recognized as within our own mind. It will be wrongly attributed to others, the body, the past and the world. Because of this universal blind spot and our denial of it, our self-attack will continue since its “source” has not been seen and forgiven.
“If you will recognize that all the attack you perceive is in your own mind and nowhere else, you will at last have placed its source, and where it begins it must end. For in this same place also lies salvation.” T-12.III.10:1-2
Remember this. The body-self is the sole repository for guilt as self-attack. While the body is neutral, we cannot experience this neutrality, this immunity to attack, while we continue to use it for self-seeking agendas apart from Spirit.
When it is used inappropriately – as a goal in itself – instead of being used purely as a communication device to demonstrate the innocence of everyone, it acts as a serious obstruction to Love, peace and health.
Communication remains unbroken exclusively in Love, in innocence. However communication is severed when we act from fear, anger, or deprivation, etc. So when we try to gain something for our self alone – special love, sex, gifts, money, guilt-tripping, withholding forgiveness, etc. – we literally break communication with others, our Self, and God. Hence, through the ego the body-self is employed as a “getting machine,” made to blind us to the ever present sanctity of our one, shared and Holy Self.
“When the body ceases to attract you and when you place no value on it as a means for getting anything, then there will be no interference in communication, and your thoughts will be as free as God’s. As you let the Holy Spirit teach you how to use the body only for purposes of communication and renounce its use for separation and attack which the ego sees in it, you will learn you have no need of a body at all .”T-15.IX.7:1-2
Body, Mind and Spirit – Can they be Reconciled?
Many spiritual teachings encourage the idea of integrating the body with the Holy Self. The aim here is to reconcile body, mind and spirit. Yet while we still value using the body for pride, pleasure and attack, and for special relationships, we will unconsciously also use it to demonstrate separation as sin, and not oneness, through conflict, sickness, pain, aging and finally death.
Many spiritual paths are predicated on the lie that there is “life in matter.” For instance, that the body is an intelligent organism which functions independently of our mind and our wishes, as it can be hurt, become diseased, age and die, all without our consent. There is a belief that we can be victimized by the body.
The spiritual ego will often want to spiritualize the body, believing that by using a number of spiritual practices, i.e. changing diet, nutrition, yoga, etc., the body will harmonize with the mind and spirit. While these practices may be helpful temporarily, they address only the consequences of our wrong mind while leaving their cause uncorrected within the mind to strike again, albeit possibly in another form of attack. In effect, this is like trying to build a beautiful home on a bed of straw floating on the ocean. The foundation will sink the home no matter how much we invest in making the home itself secure. It will not work.
There is only one cause, not many, of all suffering we perceive. And that is un-forgiveness. All perception of attack or deprivation stems from our erroneous belief that we’re separate from our Source as Love without opposite. Unless the mind is wholeheartedly engaged in forgiving everyone and everything each day, the singular cause of all self-attack remains unhealed. As we forgive, the blocks to our awareness of Love’s presence are erased, and we extend the Love we are to other minds. We also become more aware of our ability to receive this Love which streams through when unblocked by fear. This is the healing cure for all imagined conflict and illness.
“Learning must lead beyond the body to the re-establishment of the power of the mind in it. This can be accomplished only if the mind extends to other minds, and does not arrest itself in its extension. This arrest is the cause of all illness, because only extension is the mind’s function.” T-8.VII.12:6-8
The body, mind and spirit cannot be integrated. Attempts at integration must arise from the body-self. We cannot truly integrate the body, demonstrating that it is indeed neutral (immune to signs of separation), while we still believe erroneously that the body is an independent cause of its own apart from our mind. If the vessel remains as a sign of sin/attack and separation by aging, getting sick and dying, then the mind has not been fully healed.
“The idea that a body can be sick is a central concept in the ego’s thought system. This thought gives the body autonomy, separates it from the mind, and keeps the idea of attack inviolate. If the body could be sick Atonement would be impossible. A body that can order a mind to do as it sees fit could merely take the place of God and prove salvation is impossible. What, then, is left to heal? The body has become lord of the mind.” M-22.3:2-7
“A broken body shows the mind has not been healed.” T-27.II.5:1
The body is an image which dwells in our mind, having been projected by it. It is 100% neutral until our mind decides to superimpose its purpose on it. Everything that appears to happen to the body must be directed by our wish in the mind. We either “wish with the ego” to use the body for conflict, attack, or we “will with God” to use it for uninterrupted communication of innocence as Love, only. These are the only two choices to choose between.
All the external phenomena – magic – that we mistakenly believe have power to change the body are completely neutral as well. They have no power to harm or heal the body independent of the desire for attack or healing in our mind. These phenomena (magic) have no harmful or healing properties at all. All harm or healing is a direct result of the intent in our mind.
Who is seeing? Who is feeling? Who is judging? Who perceives injustice? Who feels victimized? Who is angry? Who feels guilty? Who is in pain? Who is sick? Who feels abandoned or betrayed? The “who” that perceives separation is always the body-self and never the Holy Self. This is why we need to learn to make a fundamental distinction between the false and isolated body-self, and our shared identity as the Holy Self. Without the fear driven attachment to a body-self there could never be a perception of attack or defense.
Our investment in the body, its five senses and its sensual appetites, is an allegiance to the denied belief in sin and the subsequent punishment that it insists we deserve.
“In the holy instant, where the Great Rays replace the body in awareness, the recognition of relationships without limits is given you. But in order to see this, it is necessary to give up every use the ego has for the body, and to accept the fact that the ego has no purpose you would share with it. For the ego would limit everyone to a body for its own purposes, and while you think it has a purpose, you will choose to utilize the means by which it tries to turn its purpose into accomplishment.” T-15.IX.3.1-3
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