Misidentification as the body is the source of all fear and suffering. Identifying as the body-self, living out from this treacherous lie as our central identity, breeds the mistaken belief that we are a separate identity to God and all our brothers. The body-self and fear are one and the same. They cannot be experienced apart from each other.
The ego thought system is built entirely on just one central idol. Its perceptual lens including everything it seems to experience arises from this one illusory demigod – the body and its five physical senses. This is our choice to believe that we are the body-self as substitute for the immortal Son of God.
It’s been revealed to me that the ego – as sin, guilt and fear – condenses into one solitary antagonist, our misidentification as a body.
The fictitious body-self is not an entity or an identity. When we begin to view it from the lens of Holy Spirit, we will see that the body-self together with what appears to uphold it does not exist. The illusory body arises from the fundamental belief in conflict, namely a belief that both Love (as Spirit) and fear (as the body-self) exist. The insistence that both can be true necessarily results in a split-mind.
Only a split-mind could fantasize that we can choose between two equally real and powerful opposites. Yet only Love is real. The body-self is fear. And fear does not exist. Therefore, the body is nothing because it does not exist.
The body idea is the outcome of our own choice to believe that fear exists and is indeed a power equal to or mightier than God as Love. It is this primeval conflict which feeds our investment in the mistaken body-identity along with all illusory suffering that it projects.
Recall that we have complete authority over all that we experience. We are always experiencing our beliefs, and we believe what we value – seemingly good or bad. Belief in the body-self is valuing fear and not Love.
“Either God or the ego is insane.” … “Neither God nor the ego proposes a partial thought system. Each is internally consistent, but they are diametrically opposed in all respects so that partial allegiance is impossible. Remember, too, that their results are as different as their foundations, and their fundamentally irreconcilable natures cannot be reconciled by vacillations between them.” T-11.in.1:1,3-5
Fear and its “effects” as the body and world, are our own primary projections, our greatest idols. They have no power because they are nothing. But while we still confuse our identity with them, we will erroneously believe that we are at the mercy of these projections. Jesus says that by giving power to nothing – body and world –we forego the joyous recognition that “nothing” has zero power!
“By giving power to nothing, he throws away the joyous opportunity to learn that nothing has no power. And by not dispelling darkness, he became afraid of darkness and of light. The joy of learning that darkness has no power over the Son of God is the happy lesson the Holy Spirit teaches, and would have you teach with Him.” T-14.III.6:4-6
The body-self does not recognize or know of our true Identity – the Holy Self – as changeless Love. The only “love” it recognizes and craves is fearful love which is fear in disguise, termed by Jesus in the Course, as special love. The goal of special love is to maintain separation and it can change and end. Arising from the body-self’s fear, it is deeply rooted in the beliefs of sacrifice, suffering and loss, being fueled by guilt, blame and shame. Special love is not Love but fear.
We cannot value Love which is our true Identity until we learn to recognize all that Love is not. This translates to the necessity of learning to recognize all that we are not.
“The search for truth is but the honest searching out of everything that interferes with truth.” T-14.VII.2:1 “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all of the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. It is not necessary to seek for what is true, but it is necessary to seek for what is false. Every illusion is one of fear, whatever form it takes.” T-16.IV.6:1-3
We are God’s extensions. We share in all of God’s Love as His Love without opposite. God does not know of the body-self, or it’s fear, including its seeming effects such as conflict, deprivation, disease, pain and death. If our one, shared Holy Self is pure undivided and unopposed Love, then the body-self – as fear – believes that “it” is in opposition to God, a rival to Love itself. If God is Love and fear is the opposite of Love, then when we identify as a body-self we must believe that we are an alien “will” to God.
The “reality-reversal” imparted in the following paragraph is so crucial to awakening from the body identity, that it requires repeating:
Misidentification as the body-self is the source of all fear and suffering. Identifying as the body-self, living out from this treacherous lie as our central identity, breeds the mistaken belief that we are a separate identity to God and all our brothers. The body-self and fear are one and the same. They cannot be experienced apart from each other.
“Dissociation is a distorted process of thinking whereby two systems of belief (body-self and Holy Self) which cannot coexist are both maintained. If they are brought together, their joint acceptance becomes impossible. But if one is kept in darkness from the other, their separation seems to keep them both alive and equal in their reality. Their joining thus becomes the source of fear, for if they meet, acceptance must be withdrawn from one of them. You cannot have them both, for each denies the other. Apart, this fact is lost from sight, for each in a separate place can be endowed with firm belief. Bring them together, and the fact of their complete incompatibility is instantly apparent. One will go, because the other is seen in the same place.” … “Light cannot enter darkness when a mind believes in darkness, and will not let it go.” T-14.VII.4:3-10,5:1
Identity as a body-self is cause, and fear is its effect. Suddenly, as a body-self, we feel terribly alone, at the mercy of a persistent sense of threat which we, apart from God, attempt to remedy and control.
In this there is great terror because unconsciously we must believe we are enemy to God. This is to believe that Love will certainly annihilate us. If God is Love…then we, as a body, must be fear! This is the fear of God; fear of our most beloved and Holy Self.
“Nothing can reach spirit from the ego (body-self), and nothing can reach the ego (body-self) from spirit. Spirit can neither strengthen the ego (body-self) nor reduce the conflict within it. The ego (body-self) [is] a contradiction. Your self (as the body-identity) and God’s Self [are] in opposition. They are opposed in source, in direction and in outcome.” T-4.I.2:6-10
Thus every form of fear and suffering through the body-self, is always smoke and mirrors made to obscure our true Identity. These are disguised fears of our true Identity as the Holy Self and of the over-arching dominion it has over the body and all perceived suffering.
Every fear and each defense made from the body-self regardless of how cleverly disguised, is always the fear of Love. In other words, every belief in fear and each defense we attempt against it is really our unrecognized defense against God’s Love. In our countless attempts to “save our life,” we will not recognize that in its self-administered pain, the body-self tries repeatedly to save itself from being subsumed by God’s Love.
Love is all there is. Fear does not exist. If the body-self’s fear along with all its illusions does not exist, then what remains? Only Love. Yet in defending the body-self from its illusions of fear, we unwittingly reject Love.
Forgiveness undoes the body-self’s fears along with all its defenses against Love. We don’t make the fear real and then attempt to solve it. In forgiveness we choose with Holy Spirit to overlook the appearance of fear at the outset and prioritize God’s Love, His peace.
We enter a Holy Instant where we consciously choose to accept His correction of our perception. We may not yet know what the peace of God is, however all Holy Spirit requires is our willingness to accept the miracle that always dwells behind the fear. We must want the miracle more than we desire to believe the fear.
“Learning is ultimately perceived as frightening because it leads to the relinquishment, not the destruction, of the (body) ego to the light of spirit.” T-4.I.3:2
Fear and Love cannot coexist. They cannot be integrated. The presence of one in our belief denies the other totally in our awareness. We project and consequently see the body/world through the body-self (fear), or we behold them through Love as Christ Vision. There is no compromise here.
“It is impossible to see two worlds which have no overlap of any kind. Seek for the one; the other disappears. But one remains. They are the range of choice beyond which your decision cannot go. The real and the unreal are all there are to choose between, and nothing more than these.” W-130.5:1-3
“The world you see must be denied, for sight of it is costing you a different kind of vision. [You cannot see both worlds,] for each of them involves a different kind of seeing, and depends on what you cherish. The sight of one is possible because you have denied the other.” T-13.VII.2:1-3
There can be no relationship between a body-self as “me,” and God! God does not know of a separate body-self. I either rest in the certainty of my Holy Self as the peace of God – or – I will believe unwittingly that I am the body, enemy to God. When I feel threatened I always have this choice to make. Aligning with the peace of God ensures that all seeming problems are healed by my unequivocal choice for God.
We are not a body and the Holy Self. We are just one, not both. The value of the body in awareness obscures the Holy Self completely. The awareness of the Holy Self eclipses the body entirely. Contrary to what many may believe, the idea of the integration of body-self, mind and spirit is a massive contradiction. This is the belief that two mutually exclusive thought systems can coexist; that fear and Love can coexist. Identification as the body-self is the split mind. Spirit, as unopposed Love, is What we are in truth. The body-self is fear and is the product of the dreaming, split mind.
“If truth is total, the untrue (body-self) cannot exist. Commitment to either must be total; they cannot coexist in your mind without splitting it. If they cannot coexist in peace, and if you want peace, you must give up the idea of conflict entirely and for all time. This requires vigilance only as long as you do not recognize what is true. While you believe that two totally contradictory thought systems share truth, your need for vigilance is apparent.” T-7.VI.8:7-11
The transfer of trust is the gradual undoing or un-learning of the body-self’s fear of Love as the one, shared and Holy Self. But we, as the body-identified self, cannot undo our hidden attraction to the body – as fear –until we first learn to recognize the contrast between the body-self’s fear and Love. Otherwise, we continue to mistake fear for Love and pain for joy. We must learn to distinguish between the two, choosing only Love.
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