The body does not really do a whole lot. It is an instrument. It cannot really live without you as a host. It doesn't really have a mind of its own, or a will, or power, or causality. It cannot really create anything or make anything happen. It's a medium, a tool, a device, which is to be used. You can pick it up and put it down. Without you it would do nothing.
"A body cannot stay without illusions"
"The body cannot heal, because it cannot MAKE ITSELF SICK."
"the body CANNOT be used for purposes of union"
"The body cannot KNOW. And while you limit your awareness to its tiny senses, you will not see the grandeur that surrounds you."
"Yet a body CANNOT be guilty, for it can do nothing of itself. You who think you hate your bodies, deceive yourselves."
"The body cannot create, and the belief that it CAN, a fundamental error responsible for most of the fallacies already referred to, produces all physical symptoms." "the body cannot be healed by itself."
The eyes are neutral. As you look around the room the body just reports what's there. It is like you have a video feed coming into you through your face. The eyes just pick up the light signals and pass them on. The eyes themselves are not aware of what they are looking at. They don't judge or decide anything about what they detect, and they don't even "see" what they are picking up because they have no awareness - making them blind. They just faithfully report on what's outside. They are sensors, like a detector, or a scanner.
As you look at different things, or rather, use the body's sensors to detect what is supposedly out there, there is no judgement, there is no meaning, there is no partitioning, there is no accusation, there is only a completely neutral feed of images being transferred. Your eyes are like a camera. They just bring in the data, they don't have any opinion about it at all. It isn't until the mind looks at the data that we start to enter into deciding what something means, our attitude about it and our relationship to it.
It's the mind that "looks at" what the body "looks at". There are therefore two steps in seeing the world. The body sees it first and passes on what it sees. Then the mind looks at the "printout" of what the body has seen. The mind isn't actually looking directly at the world out there. It's looking at the recorded images which have come in through the video stream, through the pipeline of the optic nerves, and which have travelled to the place in the brain where the mind is "attached". And as though on a kind of internal screen, the mind is now looking at the screen on which these images are reconstructed.
This all happens quite effortlessly so it is very easy to be deceived. The body is so non-interfering with sight, unless perhaps the eyeballs or vision apparatus is damaged, that you easily forget that the eyes are even there. This sets up a kind of deception, in which it's very easy to just think that you are looking directly and personally at the physical world. But you in fact are not. You are looking at images which are sent in to you via external sensors on the body's surface, and you are sitting there in the mind, beyond the brain, reading the transmitted images. But you think hey, I am looking at the actual world. No, you're looking at images once removed.
The same happens with sound. The ears do not discriminate as to what they hear. They just hear everything they can. They are like microphones. They pick up and sense the sound vibrations and translate it into a signal, which is sent to the brain, and then it is reconstructed into "sound". And then, the mind listens to the reconstruction, and thinks that it now hears the world. It's almost like the body is a long distance telephone, and it's picking up audio from a world far away, sending the sound along a wire, and now you're at the other end listening in. You're not really out there, in the environment where the sound is picked up, you are removed from it.
All the other body senses have the same properties. They just detect changes and differences and report them to you. You then get to interpret or give meaning to them. Upon receiving the signals your mind could have decided that all the things experienced are absolutely real. That they really exist. As though, because your body sees a car, that there really is a car there. Or because your hands touch the car, that there really is a car there. Or that because you hear the car, the car really must exist. But it's not the body that decides this, nor the brain. It's your mind, on the receiving end of transmissions. It is the mind that decided what it is FOR, or how it USES it.
It is optional, whether you believe in what the body is telling you. It is just a sensory device. In fact, Jesus says in ACIM that the body is not really there to know anything, it is only there to sense. "To sense is not to know." Which means that sensing the world or using physical perception to look at it, is not an act of knowing. It doesn't mean that you know the thing is really out there. It means that your sensors are detecting something and telling you something. And they might be lying.
The problem is, is that the body can lie. Because here you have a physical instrument for detecting things, which can report back that something exists, within the same realm that the body itself inhabits. Which means that the body can also sense itself, can look at and hear and smell and touch itself, and can report back that the body "is really there". But this cannot in any way be reliable. The body is now justifying its own existence and trying to prove itself.
The body can easily lie to you. To rely on an instrument to tell you what really exists, given that the very same instrument is reporting upon its own existence, completely invalidates everything it tells you. It is no longer impartial or neutral, if it is telling you that its own existence has been detected by its own sensors. It is completely biased, then, because it is ALWAYS telling you that physicality is true and real, even if it is not. It is ALWAYS reporting that things exist even if they don't. And if it is going to tell you to trust it when it tells you that its own existence is real, based on its own senses, this is heavily tainted information.
"Only the body makes the world seem real."
"Yet a body cannot evaluate. By seeking after such things the mind associates itself with the body, obscuring its identity and losing sight of what it really is."
What it comes down to is that your mind is sensing a world using an instrument, whereby the signals you receive and are aware of are once removed from the thing you are sensing. But if you buy into them and forget you are using an instrument, you will act as if it is YOU who is doing the sensing, and thus confuse yourself with the body. This is body identification. It's the failure to recognize that the body is a device for sensing, and is not your self. Since the senses themselves seem "transparent" and have no opinion, and since they report what's there all the time, it's easy to forget that you are even using sensory equipment, and instead believe that you ARE the senses. That the body is YOU who is picking up on the world, and YOU who sees it and hears it. It seems so effortless that you forget you even are using senses, which is extremely deceptive.
The mind is not required to believe anything that the body tells it. When it receives neutral images of a world, it can decide what to do with that image. It can dissect it, it can give meaning to it, it can believe in it, it can choose to react to it, it can remain detached from it, it can judge and condemn and attack it, it can love it, it can ignore it, whatever. But we have to realize that since the senses themselves are effectively neutral, it is US who is giving everything we sense all the meaning that it has. It is US who decides whether you believe what we see, whether it is real, and what truth it holds.
"You have given everything all the meaning it has for you." "The body's eyes will continue to see differences, but the mind which has let itself be healed will no longer acknowledge them. There will be those who seem to be "sicker" than others, and the body's eyes will report their changed appearances as before. But the mind will put them all in one category - they are unreal."
"This is the gift of its Teacher; the understanding that only two categories are meaningful in sorting out the messages the mind receives from what appears to be the outside world. And of these two but one is real. Just as reality is wholly real, apart from size and shape and time and place, for differences cannot exist within it, so too are illusions without distinctions."
So the mind is receiving signals from the outside world, through the body sensors, and gets to decide what to make of them. What meaning they have. All such images are illusions because the world itself is an illusion, and all sensory inputs are actually false, because the world they are reporting on isn't real. The eyes are in fact unable to really see actual reality. They are strapped into a virtual reality headset and are blinded to see only the inside of a tiny box. The body is in fact an interpreter, a translator, and it is fixated on an illusory world which isn't reality in order NOT to see reality. And so everything that it faithfully and neutrally reports, is a lie. What it sees is not really there to see, what it hears makes no real sound. And the sensations it sends to your mind for evaluation are all false.
"These eyes made not to see will never see."
"The body is not the means by which the real world can be seen."
It is up to your mind to decide what to make of the signals it is receiving through the body. It is up to your mind to recognize the body cannot really see or hear reality. It is up to your mind to discern that everything the body tells you is happening, is not really happening. It is up to your mind to withdraw all of its dark and twisted and confused meanings, which it projects onto the body's signals, and to instead categorize all body signals as FALSE. It is up to your mind to overlook and not see what the body is telling you is there. And it is up to your mind to recognize the world is nothing but an unreal dream, something to overlook through forgiveness and NOT see, and that BEYOND it is heaven.
"The world was made as an attack on God. It symbolizes fear. And what is fear except love's absence? Thus the world was meant to be a place where God could enter not, and where His Son could be apart from Him. Here was perception born, for knowledge could not cause such insane thoughts. But eyes deceive, and ears hear falsely. Now mistakes become quite possible, for certainty has gone."
"Let not your eyes behold a dream; your ears bear witness to illusion. They were made to look upon a world that is not there; to hear the voices that can make no sounds. Yet are there other sounds and other sights which can be seen and heard and UNDERSTOOD. For eyes and ears are senses without sense, and what they see and hear they but report. It is not THEY that hear and see, but YOU, who PUT TOGETHER every jagged piece, each senseless scrap and shred of evidence, and MAKE a witness to the world you want."
"Let not our sight be blasphemous today, nor let our ears attend to lying tongues."
"Anger but screeches, "Guilt is real!" Reality is blotted out as this insane belief is taken as replacement for God's Word. The body's eyes now "see"; its ears alone are thought to hear. Its little space and tiny breath become the measure of reality. And truth becomes diminutive and meaningless."
"Rejoice you HAVE no eyes with which to see; no ears to listen, and no hands to hold nor feet to guide. Be glad that ONLY Christ can lend you His, while you have need of them."
"How can you judge? Your judgment rests upon the witness that your senses offer you. Yet witness never falser was than this. But how else do you judge the world you see? You place pathetic faith in what your eyes and ears report. You think your fingers touch reality and close upon the truth."
"The body cannot see this, for the body AROSE from this for its protection, which must ALWAYS depend on keeping it NOT seen. The body's eyes will NEVER look on it. Yet they will SEE what it dictates. The body will remain guilt's messenger, and will act as it directs, as long as YOU believe that guilt is real. For the REALITY of guilt is the illusion which seems to make it heavy and opaque, impenetrable, and a REAL foundation for the ego's thought system. Its thinness and transparency are not apparent, until you see the light BEHIND it. And then you see it as a fragile veil, before the light."
"He will not tell you that your brother should be judged by what your eyes behold in him, nor what his body's mouth says to your ears, nor what your fingers' touch reports of him. He passes by such idle witnesses, which merely bear false witness to God's Son."
"You do not seem to doubt the world you see. You do not really question what is shown you through the body's eyes. Nor do you ask why you believe it, even though you learned a long while since your senses do deceive. That you believe them to the last detail which they report is even stranger when you pause to recollect how frequently they have been faulty witnesses indeed! Why would you trust them so implicitly? Why but because of underlying doubt which you would hide with show of certainty?"
"These testimonies which the senses bring have but one purpose; to justify attack and thus keep unforgiveness unrecognized for what it is."
"Everything these messages relay to you is quite external. There are NO messages that speak of what lies underneath, for it is NOT the body that could speak of this. Its eyes perceive it not, its senses remain quite UNAWARE of it, its tongue can not relay ITS messages."
"You strain your ears to hear ITS soundless voice, and yet the Call of God Himself is soundless to you."
"This body, purposeless within itself, holds all your memories and all your hopes. You use its eyes to see, its ears to hear, and let it TELL you what it is it feels. IT DOES NOT KNOW. It tells you but the NAMES you gave it to use, when YOU call forth the witnesses to its reality."
"You who would make a sacrifice of life, and make your eyes and ears bear witness to the death of God and of His holy Son, think not that you have power to make of them what God willed not they be."
"Here is an image that you WANT to be yourself. It is the means to make your wish come true. It GIVES the eyes with which you look on it, the hands that feel it, and the ears with which you listened to the sounds it makes. IT PROVES ITS OWN REALITY TO YOU. Thus is the body made a THEORY of yourself, with NO provisions made for evidence BEYOND itself, and NO escape within its sight. Its course is sure, when seen through its own eyes. It grows and withers, flourishes and dies. And you cannot conceive of you APART from it."
"The mind without the body cannot make mistakes. It cannot think that it will die, nor be the prey of merciless attack. Anger becomes impossible, and where is terror then? What fears could still assail those who have lost the source of all attack; the core of anguish and the seat of fear? Only forgiveness can relieve the mind of thinking that the body is its home. Only forgiveness can restore the peace that God intended for His holy Son. Only forgiveness can persuade the Son to look again upon his holiness."
"A mind and body cannot both exist. Make no attempt to reconcile the two, for one denies the other can be real. If you are physical your mind is gone from your self-concept, for it has no place in which it could be really part of you. If you are Spirit, then the body must be meaningless to your reality."