The suffering of the mortal body

Tuesday, Mar 28, 2023 1586 words 7 mins 2 secs1 comments
An A Course in Miracles Blog  © 2023 Paul West

The body is very much the opposite of your reality as an immortal being. Your real self can never be changed, attacked, hurt or destroyed. But the body is defenseless, exposed and vulnerable, capable of destruction and utterly unsafe in a dangerous world.

"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."

Having lived your life in a body, you've had to deal with all kinds of vulnerabilities. And this has taught you that you are a target for destruction. Weak, susceptible, fragile, attackable and unsafe. That you can be destroyed and should take great care to avoid all possible threats. Wary of every passing car, frightened of every stranger, upset by the mere presence of something moving.

The body has endured suffering, pain, breakage, malfunction and damage. It has been influenced by the weather and the environment. It has been attacked and hurt, bullied and hit, poked and prodded, maybe even assaulted surgically. Maybe the body has been mutilated, perhaps parts of it are missing, perhaps it is ugly and deformed and lacking, and maybe it was never whole to begin with.

Because of this, and because you believe you are your body, you must have thought this about yourself. You believed you'd lost parts of yourself, that you were under attack, that you have to be constantly vigilant when crossing roads and stepping on cracks and turning corners just in case it is your day to die - hoping to alert you early that you might avoid more suffering. You've put considerable effort into securing your body, making a home for it, protecting it with walls upon walls and layers upon layers, trying to shield it from your enemies.

All of this has told you that you are weak and fragile, vulnerable and attackable, defenseless and exposed. It has caused you to feel frightened and threatened all the time. It has given you constant anxiety and nervousness, constant stress and concern. You never feel fully safe anywhere, you are always on alert and wary of the next biting teeth or hammering nails or sharp pointy objects, trying constantly to avoid the body's death.

"In the brief time allotted it to live, it seeks for other bodies as its friends and enemies. Its safety is its main concern. Its comfort is its guiding rule. It tries to look for pleasure, and avoid the things that would be hurtful."

This can have done nothing but undermine your peace of mind, your sense of safety, your confidence and your happiness. Having to be constantly on the lookout for danger like some kind of animal in dangerous territory. You avoid the places you don't like to go, you avoid the people who bother you, you steer clear of the brand names you don't trust, and you only expose yourself with select few. And you reason that better the devil you know than the ones you don't.

This all comes about by confusing your identity with the body, believing you are a body, that you are body-like or of a physical nature. It comes with the territory. You cannot believe you are a physical body without being afraid of death, because you know the body can die. You cannot believe the body is your self, without being traumatized when you clip your nails or cut your hair. If you are a body, you are literally as susceptible and vulnerable as the body is, even if you take measures to defend yourself or ward off attackers.

It is not possible to believe you are a body and to feel confident. It is not possible to believe you are a body and be sane. It is not possible to believe you are a body and have real relationships with anyone, because the body literally cuts you off from them. It is not possible to believe you are a body and feel a sense of true safety and peace, or happiness and love. "the body CANNOT be used for purposes of union"

The body is separate in a separated world. It stands apart and alone. By the mere fact that it does not share with others, separate by space and time, it is lonely and isolated. Believing you are a body brings with it a fundamental loneliness and sense of exclusion, of conflict and disagreement, and even constant war. Bodies can never be equal because they rely on inequality and difference to make them distinct. And so there is no peace available when bodies are your truth.

Believing you are a body deceives you and sets you up for failure. It guarantees death and sickness and ensures a breakdown in communication. Being a body means putting a death sentence on your head and limiting yourself to a small span of time, riddled with obstacles and difficulties and suffering. If you are a body you cannot be a mind, or an idea, or a thought of God. You are parentless and orphaned and alone.

The body is essentially a blasphemy against God, because it suggests things about you which cannot be true in reality. You are actually an immortal, permanent, absolute, unchangeable, endless being, given eternal life and incapable of ever being hurt in any way. If you believe you are a body, you do not believe in yourself. If you believe you are a body, you are shutting yourself off from who you are in reality, and are guaranteeing suffering.

Your real self is immortal, it cannot be hurt or attacked, it cannot be affected or altered, it is utterly invulnerable, it is impervious and unassailable. It cannot be attacked or threatened, it cannot be hurt or made to be sick, it cannot be poisoned or traumatized, and it cannot die. Your real self is permanently happy, constantly joyful, and utterly at peace. Its peace can never be disturbed because nothing can ever threaten it, just as it is always free from all fear and anxiety because it knows that it is perfectly safe from all harm.

To identify with who you really are as God created you is to escape from the torment of being a body. It is to free you from all potential for suffering, attack, sickness and death. Identifying with your spirit/soul lifts you out of hell and into heaven. It lifts you away from danger and out of harm's way. It gives you real protection and permanent peace. It guarantees you are sinless and guiltless, incapable of being evil, unable to attack or be attacked, harmless and unharmed forever.

Only by not being a body can you be as God created you, because God did not create bodies. Only by not being a body can you laugh in the face of death and overcome the world. It is the body that becomes a target for attack and destruction, and not your real self. Your real self is beyond the world and beyond space and time and beyond the laws of physics. It is not of this world because you were created in another world, in the Kingdom of God, where everything is eternal.

"You can never suffer because the Source of all joy goes with you wherever you go."

Your eternal self can never suffer pain, can never be hurt by another, can never be upset or offended, can have no reason to ever be afraid, can never have its peace disturbed, can never become sick or suffer, can never experience pain, can never malfunction or break down or degrade, can never become old or tired, can never lose anything, and can never die. Surely you would rather identify with your real self and be free from hell forever, than to regard yourself as a lump of flesh and bones stalking the earth like a zombie waiting to finish dying.

Only by associating yourself with the properties of immortality can you be set free from the mortal body and all its limitations. Only by identifying as permanent and unchangeable can you have no grounds for upset. Only by recognizing you can never be changed can you free yourself from the blame and tyranny of other people's actions. Only by knowing yourself as the eternal life God gave you can you utterly disregard anything the world seems to do or cause.

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

"To be without a body is to be in your natural state."

"This is accomplished very simply, as you instruct yourself that you are not a body."

"But I am not a body. What am I?"

"The Christ in you inhabits NOT a body. Yet He IS in you. And thus MUST it be that YOU are not within a body."

"I am in the likeness of my Creator. I cannot suffer, I cannot experience loss, and I cannot die. I am not a body."

"But I am not a body. And my mind cannot attack. So I can not be sick."

"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."

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Very powerful message, another great post. Thanks Paul

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