"But I am not a body. What am I?" W91
There are bacterias in your gut which process food and produce waste. Some of those bacterias leave the body within the waste. Every time you poop in the toilet billions of bacteria are being flushed. If you claim that you are your body, and you are all your body's cells, then you are also a bacteria cell, and each time that you poop you are flushing parts of yourself down the toilet. Can that even in any way whatsoever be remotely true of who and what you are?
If you are a body you are also your hair cells. When you cut your hair and throw the cut hair in the trash, you are literally throwing out parts of yourself if you are a body. When you cut your fingernails, you're clipping off parts of your extremity in self-mutilation. Over time your skin cells shed and turn into dust, effectively meaning parts of you are dying off and flaking off and scattering across the room, ready to be sucked up by a vacuum cleaner.
Can it in any way be possible that you are a physical organism that gets gradually thrown in the trash and sucked up by a vacuum cleaner?
How did the body go from being the size of a baby to the size of an adult? Where did all the extra cells come from? What are the building materials that were used to make them? They come from food. The body is nothing but an accumulation of food. You eat the food and the body turns the food into more body. Which means that "you are the food" or you are what you eat. Literally then if you claim you are a body, you're claiming that you are a burger and fries, you are ice cream, you are milk on cereal, you are a potato chip.
Can that be even slightly remotely true of what you are? The food came from the supermarket and entered the body and turned into more body. So are you now being sold by a food company? Are you sitting on the shelves at the store waiting to be consumed? What if someone else buys you instead of you?! It's ridiculous to think that you are a physical body in any way.
There are 75 trillion cells in the body. Many of those cells work independently. There are little immune systems cells wriggling around trying to track down toxins and invaders. There's bacteria cells independently multiplying and eating food and processing waste and so on in the gut. There's independent blood cells swirling around carrying oxygen to the organs, just free-falling through the blood supply.
Mind is not really 'controlling' all these things. It's like one big giant system or community, with all kinds of tiny little things happening as part of a kind of ecosystem. You can't really claim that you are an immune cell, or a blood cell, or a neuron in the brain trying to form branches. Nor can you really say you are a dead cell which the body - supposedly yourself - is getting rid of. It's a whole collection of tiny little parts working together. It's really quite an illusion that the whole thing adds up to "a body".
It's more of a city than an individual thing. And you're not one of those tiny little pieces, any more than you are all of the pieces. The more you think about it the more ridiculous it seems to suggest you can be a body, or even part of a body, at all. So then the question is, what are you if you are non-physical? And the only answer can be, that you are spirit.
"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."
Being in a body, even if you are a healthy person, involves a burden, a constant worrying about what to eat, doing gymnastics, sleeping well, maintaining good posture, showering, cleaning teeth, etc.
In an effort of reflection, we can realize that what really matters is the presence of the other, the communication, the relationship, the sharing.
For me, all this is much more “life” than the mere presence of a body. This is, as the course says, just a means of communication, not an end in itself.
We can think, for example, of a loved one having a twin brother or a clone, but having a completely different identity and personality, to the point that you don’t have as much affection (or none) for that person. And then, what good was the body?
The point is that if there is indeed another reality beyond this material world, we are blind to everything that our physical senses cannot detect.
And besides, I think that all the beliefs that were instilled in us since our earliest childhood, the values and prejudices that we cultivate, all of this would be something like an extra layer of limitation, which conditions our perception even more.
All egoic/mundane thinking leads us to believe that if we are not in a body, we’ll be vulnerable, separated and susceptible to being “crushed into nothingness”.
But, in fact, the course teaches us that this is nothing more than a mental illness, a mistaken thought, and believing in it is precisely what leads us to perceive ourselves as small and vulnerable.
So, this world, this reality as we perceive it, would be like a quicksand. Having an aggressive and reactive posture will only make it stronger and pull us deeper.
We need to recognize that we are stuck and accept help, without which we cannot get out.