Overcoming the physical life

Tuesday, Mar 08, 2022 1660 words 7 mins 22 secs
An A Course in Miracles Blog  © 2022 Paul West

I've recently been diving into doing more physical things than usual. Clearing out old junk. Reorganizing rooms. Throwing out old furniture. Buying and assembling and installing new furniture. Changing layouts. Cleaning. Just lots of physical stuff.

And while I do these things, on the one hand I feel more appreciative of some of the appeal of physical objects. Things look nice. The function better. They have flaws. But at the same time, I am seeing them more as all the same. Instead of seeing individual objects, I'm looking at the laws that drive them, and their sameness. The laws of physics which apply to them all.

Just about everything that happens in the world is more or less driven by physics. Snow melting. Ice forming. Objects falling over. Soup boiling over. Things not staying put. Stuff dropped on the floor from a pile of laundry. Bumping into things. Making food. Cleaning the house. It's all just basically physics interactions. Chemistry, forces and energies and forms and states and so on.

It's becoming part of my forgiveness practice to recognize that almost everything that happens physically is simply what was inevitable, given the states of the objects and the physics that's applying to them. The world is mindless and very automatic in its obedience to the laws of physics. Stuff just does what stuff does. It doesn't do it to specifically spite you, it just blindly follows the rules.

Objects falling off shelves, bumping into things, stuff dropping on the floor, pens rolling off desks, garbage cans getting full, water boiling, leaving the keys somewhere, changes in temperature, fingers trapped in a door, knees banging into table legs, hands cold in the winter, all the just normal everyday stuff. It's all just the laws of physics playing out. It's just part of the system.

It's almost like this whole world is just one big machine, sitting there poised to do what it was always set up to do from the beginning. Which makes everything that happens somewhat inevitable. If enough force is given to an object, it falls off its resting place. It has to because the laws say so. If enough wind blows, the branch will break. If enough impact is made, the window breaks.

In a sense then the world's laws are laws of inevitability, based on the idea of original sin demanding death as punishment. Kind of a system of logic, the laws of chaos are simply sitting there poised for action, waiting for something to trigger them. Then pretty much everything that occurs physically cannot be said to be "personal" as such, it's just stupid matter moving around and doing its thing based on its properties.

So if you slam your hand in the car door, you might swear at the door and kick it in a rage, but the stupid door was totally impersonal in its behavior. The amount of force on the hinges, the degree of rust, the tension in the springs, the amount of wind blowing, the position of the door relative to your body, all colludes to produce a corresponding change in state, and lo and behold your hand is impacted. It's just the system playing out.

If you can recognize then that the whole world is on a kind of autopilot, whenever anything physically happens it's really just yet another case of the world doing what it does. The laws are just governing the particles like they always do. Objects obey the laws so much that it's like they're dead, until the laws tell them to move, then they move, and then the laws tell them to stop and they stop. The world is like kind of a giant graveyard of trash that just sits there until something stirs it up. You can't really hold it against itself, it just follows the rules.

If this is all there is, if this is "life", where we plant certain objects in the garden, where we turn the dial to flip the radio station, where we cook foods and shove them in our bodies, where we walk to and fro mechanically and just about everything that occurs is one object doing something to another, that's not much of an existence. It's more like a lifeless prison.

It also means that death becomes inevitable, because it's basically built into the system. Death itself is part of the laws of the world. The laws of physics determine that there is going to be decay and separation and attack and damage and degradation and lack and sacrifice and suffering, eventually breaking things down until they are rotting in the ground. This isn't "personal", it's just the laws playing out. It's just the system. The machinery of death.

"The world you see is the delusional system of those made mad by guilt. Look carefully at this world, and you will realize that this is so. For this world is the symbol of punishment, and all the laws which seem to govern it are the laws of death."

If this is all there is, then life is meaningless and pointless and fundamentally cruel. It means life is not life, but a system of death pretending to be life for a while, all the while ensuring that death will eventually come. So then you seem to live a while and pretend you won't die, and then you die. Or as my wife likes to put it, "life sucks and then you die." That's all this world really has to offer, in the big picture.

"In ANY state apart from Heaven, life is illusion. At best, it SEEMS like life; at worst, like death. Yet both are judgments on what is NOT life, equal in their inaccuracy and lack of meaning. Life not in Heaven is impossible, and what is NOT in Heaven is not ANYWHERE. Outside of Heaven, only the conflict of illusions stands; senseless, impossible, and beyond ALL reason, and yet perceived as an eternal BARRIER to Heaven. Illusions ARE but forms. Their content is NEVER true."

There has to be a better way. There has to be something more sane and meaningful and lasting. There has to be a way to be free of all this, to break out of the laws of death. To break the laws of physics. To work miracles which raise you above and beyond the world, beyond the battlefield of attack, and into the celestial order. Only by moving beyond the laws of the world of inevitable death can you be free, and that means you have to surmount death and overcome the world, like Jesus did.

"Your holiness reverses all the laws of the world. It is beyond every restriction of time, space, distance, and limits of any kind. Your holiness is totally unlimited in its power because it establishes you as a Son of God, at one with the Mind of his Creator. Through your holiness the power of God is made manifest. Through your holiness the power of God is made available. And there is nothing the power of God cannot do."

"The Holy Spirit is invisible, but you CAN see the results of His Presence, and through them, you will learn that He is there. What He enables you to do is clearly NOT of this world, for miracles violate every law of reality, as this world judges it. Every law of time and space, of magnitude and mass, of prediction and control, is transcended, for what the Holy Spirit enables you to do is clearly beyond ALL of them. Perceiving His RESULTS, you will understand where He MUST be, and finally KNOW what He is."

"Very simply, the resurrection is the overcoming or surmounting of death."

"A body cannot stay without illusions, and the last one to be overcome is death."

""And the last to be overcome will be death." Of course! Without the idea of death there is no world. All dreams will end with this one. This is salvation's final goal; the end of all illusions. And in death are all illusions born. What can be born of death and still have life? But what is born of God and still can die? "

"We have repeatedly stated that one who has perfectly accepted the Atonement for himself can heal the world. Indeed, he has already done so. Temptation may recur to others, but never to this One. He has become the risen Son of God. He has overcome death because he has accepted Life."

"To overcome the world is no more difficult than to surmount your little wall. For in the miracle of YOUR relationship, WITHOUT this barrier, is EVERY miracle contained."

"God holds out His hand to His Son to help him rise and return to Him. I can help because the world is illusion, and I have overcome the world. Look past the tomb, the body, the illusion. Have faith in nothing but the spirit and the guidance God gives you. He could not have created the body because it is a limit. He must have created the spirit because it is immortal. Can those who are created like Him be limited? The body is the symbol of the world. Leave it behind. It cannot enter Heaven. But I can take you there anytime you choose. Together we can watch the world disappear and its symbol vanish as it does so. And then, and then... I cannot speak of that."

"The Biblical quotation should read "In this world you need NOT have tribulation BECAUSE I have overcome the world." THAT is why you should "be of good cheer."

"The body neither lives nor dies, because it cannot contain you who ARE life. If we share the same mind, YOU CAN OVERCOME DEATH BECAUSE I DID. "

"In me, you have ALREADY overcome EVERY temptation that would hold you back. We walk together on the way to quietness that is the gift of God. "

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