Body comparisons - you are not a body

Sunday, Mar 13, 2022 2473 words 10 mins 59 secs
An A Course in Miracles Blog  © 2022 Paul West

"I am not a body I am free, for I am still as God created me."

All bodies are different. Even the bodies of identical twins. No two are alike. No two share the same molecules. They can be similar, but more often than not they'll be different in a multitude of ways.

The whole world seems to thrive on the differences between bodies. And then we all tend to compare our body to the bodies of others. As if we are our bodies, and as if having certain body attributes defines whether we're good enough or lovable or correct or fit in.

But all bodies were fundamentally born from the idea of inequality, difference and conflict. They might appear to be of the same species, as if sharing common characteristics, but within that framework there is great variety. Even the wings of butterflies are not all identical. Not every fish has quite the same scales. And no two voices are quite the same.

Sometimes, those who are body-identitied then try to adjust to this fact by making out that the body is special for being different. It's unique and unalike, standing out from the crowd. And then we exalt them for certain noticeable abilities and features.

But the fact is that in order to have something in this world, you have to lack something else. In order to define yourself as one thing, you have to exlude other things. You can't have or be everything on a physical level. You must be deprived in order to gain. You must lose in order to win. And you must sacrifice in order to measure up.

There are great movements towards trying to get bodies to be considered equal. Equal rights for each gender. Equal rights or sexual persuasions. Equal rights for ethnicity or skin color. As if to say, everyone who is a body is the same. But bodies are never the same. No two are exactly the same, and never will be. They can't be. To be what they are they have to lack what the others have.

This means that no-one can ever be in a position to have everything as a body. No body can be perfect. No body has it all. Some might seem to turn out more lucky or favorable than others. Some are uglier, some more aesthetic. Some are larger, smaller, taller, thinner. Some may be fundamentally more artistic, more athletic, quicker to move, clumsier, better shaped, more manly or womanly, better able to think or analyze, more emotional etc.

So then it comes down to the fact that all bodies are really just pieces of equipment. Because people are not bodies and minds are not bodies. So each of us has this chunk of equipment strapped onto us which we express through and use. But the particular configuration or "features" of the equipment will determine what the body can seem to do.

I will not ever have the low bassy voice of Barry White. I will not ever have female parts. I will not ever have the genetically blessed muscle definitions of Arnold. I will not ever have Betty Davis's eyes. My legs won't look like that of an olympic runner. My fingers aren't ever going to be nimble enough to play Spanish guitar music. My face isn't ever going to look like a rugged lumberjack. And there is just no way my bum is ever going to look big in this.

These are just simply the facts of what kind of equipment I am using. And for some people there are significant defects. People with disabilities, limbs missing, motor control problems, defects of skin, wonky eyes, a propensity for deadly farts, and hopelessly crooked teeth. That's just what the body has, and shows us what the body also does not have.

Both of which go to defining what it seems to be capable of. If you identify with your body you are doomed to enter into a realm of comparison and low self esteem and dissatisfaction and dysmorphia and food disorders and judgement and all manner of concern. Jealousy and envy and hatred and anger and sadness and all sorts of stuff can arise from this. Because if the body's limitations are considered the truth of you, then the fact is that EVERYONE is limited in one way or another, and no-one in the whole world will ever have physical perfection.

"Freedom must be impossible as long as you perceive a body as yourself. The body is a limit. Who would seek for freedom in a body looks for it where it can not be found."

"It is only the awareness of the body that makes love seem limited. For the body IS a limit on love. The belief in limited love was its origin, and it was MADE to limit the UNlimited. Think not that this is merely allegorical; for it was made to limit YOU. Can you who see yourselves WITHIN a body, know yourself AS AN IDEA? Everything you recognize you identify by EXTERNALS, something OUTSIDE itself. You cannot even think of GOD without a body, or some form you think you recognize. The body cannot KNOW. And while you limit your awareness to its tiny senses, you will not see the grandeur that surrounds you."

"The body is a limit imposed on the universal communication which is an eternal property of mind."

ALL bodies are lacking and all bodies are defective and all bodies are limited and all bodies are special. They're supposed to be. They were made in an effort to limit you and act as a decoy and disguise for your inner perfection. They were meant to separate you off and confine you and act like a prison wall. And they were designed to be a representation of what you are NOT like.

"God did not make the body, because it is destructible, and therefore not of the Kingdom. The body is the symbol of WHAT YOU THINK YOU ARE. It is clearly a separation device, and therefore does not exist."

Some bodies thus seem to have talents or abilities that others do not, or aptitudes or intelligences or particular quirks that others lack. Some seem to be born blessed and others cursed. Some have wonderful voices and others sound like a freight train. Some are beautifully symmetrical and others are like a lopsided lump of lard. These are just the way bodies are. They are greatly varied and unalike and unfamiliar and unequal and unnatural.

Some will take advantage of the particular traits of their particular body to try to maximize its capabilities. And this usually means certain aptitudes in certain areas. Some become brain surgeons while totally sucking at singing. Others become pop stars but completely suck at relationships. Some become athletes but can't dance to save their lives. And others just get dealt a bad hand of shit and crap and deformity and bullshit. Then we have to sort of make the best of it, or just hate ourselves.

We can't look to the body for perfection because perfection means wholeness. Bodies are limited and varied and none of them have everything, so none of them are whole. They are fundamentally lacking. Not one of them can fully or accurately represent who and what you are. None of them look like you. And none of them can picture what you really look like.

"For what you are cannot be seen nor pictured."

If you identify with or AS your body, or your body's attributes or abilities, or the roles you assign it or the labels you give it, you are mis-identifying yourself and do not know who and what you are. This narrows you and confines you and shuts you in a prison and places major limitations on you. It distorts and shuts down your awareness, diminishes your mind, and deranges your mind.

In fact, Jesus tells us that if we conceive of ourselves as a body in any way, even slightly, we are in fact attacking what we are. Given that we are perfect whole spirit lacking nothing and sharing everything, when we identify with or as a body we are literally putting limits on ourselves. And this is an attack on ourselves, which produces symptoms of sickness, which then manifest in the body. So now the body becomes sick if you believe you are your body, because you're shutting down your unlimited life.

"If you let your mind harbor attack thoughts, yield to judgment or make plans against uncertainties to come, you have again misplaced yourself, and made a bodily identity which will attack the body, for the mind is sick."

"Any relationship in which the body enters is based, NOT on love, but on idolatry."

"The ego is idolatry; the sign of limited and separated self, born in a body, doomed to suffer and to end its life in death. It is the will that sees the Will of God as enemy, and takes a form in which It is denied. The ego is the "proof" that strength is weak and love is fearful, life is really death, and what opposes God alone is true."

"God created love, NOT idolatry. ALL forms of idolatry are caricatures of creation, taught by sick minds, who are too divided to know that Creation SHARES power, and NEVER usurps it."

"The power to heal is now his Father's gift, for through His Voice He still can reach His Son, reminding him the body may become his chosen home, but it will never be his home in truth."

"You CANNOT make the body the Holy Spirit's temple, and it will NEVER be the seat of love. It is the home of the idolater, and of love's CONDEMNATION. For here is love made fearful, and hope abandoned. Even the idols that are worshipped here are shrouded deep in mystery, and kept APART from those who worship them. This is the temple dedicated to no relationships, and no return."

Jesus in fact is saying here that the body, designed to be a device for separation, becomes a way to NOT RELATE TO ANYONE, by being cut off and limited physically behind a wall of flesh. If you identify with it, make it your self, see it as defining you, accept its limitations as true of you, associate or align with it, dwell on it, focus on it, make it an obstacle, or in any way allow it to come between you and others to any degree, then you are entering into the separation and into death.

"The body is the ego's idol; the belief in sin made flesh, and then projected outward. This produces what SEEMS to be a wall of flesh AROUND the mind, keeping it prisoner in a tiny spot of space and time, beholden unto death, and given but an instant in which to sigh and grieve and die in honor of its master. And this unholy instant SEEMS to be life. An instant of despair, a tiny island of dry sand, bereft of water, and set uncertainly upon oblivion. Here does the Son of God stop briefly by, to offer his devotion to death's idols, and then pass on."

"The removal of blocks, then, is the ONLY way to guarantee help and healing. Help and healing are the normal expressions of a mind which is working THROUGH the body but not IN it. If the mind believes the body is its GOAL, it WILL distort its perception OF the body, and by blocking its own extension BEYOND it will INDUCE illness by FOSTERING SEPARATION. Perceiving the body AS A SEPARATE ENTITY cannot BUT foster illness, because it is not true. A medium of communication WILL lose its usefulness if it is used for anything else." There is a way to work through the body and to use it for a higher purpose, but this doesn't change what the body IS. It doesn't make it become whole or holy. It doesn't lift away its nature or stop it from being a confining limited mechanism. In truth, the Holy Spirit's repurposing of the body in fact renders the body FUNCTIONLESS and MEANINGLESS.

"Yet freedom of the body HAS no meaning."

"Your brother's body is as little use to you as it is to him. When it is used ONLY as the Holy Spirit teaches, ***it has no function***. For minds NEED not the body to communicate. The sight that SEES the body, has no use which serves the purpose of a holy relationship. And while you look upon each other thus, the means and end have NOT been brought in line."

"It is still true that the body has no function of itself. This is because it is NOT an end."

"The love of God, for a little while, must still be expressed through one body to another. That is because the real vision is still so dim. Everyone can use his body best by enlarging man's perception, so he can see the real VISION. THIS VISION is invisible to the physical eye. The ultimate purpose of the body is to ***render itself unnecessary.*** Learning to do this is the only real reason for its creation."

The body is supposed to become UNNECESSARY to you. Un-needed, and cast off. Adding nothing to you. Giving you no abilities. Not defining you or limiting you or getting in your way. Nor does it remain and succeed in doing this, because the body has to go in order for you to experience unlimitedness. "To be without a body is to be in your natural state."

"For the body IS a limit on love. The belief in limited love was its origin, and it was MADE to limit the UNlimited. Think not that this is merely allegorical; for it was made to limit YOU."

"God cannot come into a body, nor can you join Him there. ****Limits on love will ALWAYS seem to shut Him out, and to keep you APART from Him.**** The body is a tiny fence around a little part of a glorious and completely limitless idea. It draws a circle, infinitely small, around a very little segment of Heaven, splintered from the whole, proclaiming that, within it, is YOUR Kingdom, where God can enter not. Within this kingdom the ego rules, and cruelly. And, to defend this little speck of dust, it bids you fight against the universe."

The body must be transcended, then let go completely. You must surmount it and go beyond it.

"To roll the stone away is to see beyond the tomb, beyond death, and to understand the body's nothingness. What is understood as nothing must disappear."

"The death of an illusion means nothing. It disappears when you awaken and decide to dream no more."

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