I am acutely aware of my own resistance to write about this subject; our grandest of all illusions since time began. This is sure to rattle many people’s cages! Yet, until we’re at least willing to accept Jesus’ teaching on the body, unconsciously we will continue to attract suffering, conflict, illness, pain, and death. Ironically, these are the ego’s indispensable methods it uses to maintain the illusion of separation through body identification. Without the unconscious desire for separation, there would no point in projecting the body any longer.

While the body is neither good nor bad, it must be noted often that as an image in our mind, it is purely an illusion. As a neutral learning device, it has no needs or inherent ability to change either in its appearance or its seeming physical state. All changes are brought about by our mind that literally projects the body. This mind that believes it is both mind and body is completely divided.

While this split mind remains un-exhumed and un-forgiven, it will attack the body to enforce the illusion that we are victim of the illusory body. We will believe that the body is more powerful than the mind, thus increasing and prolonging the idea of separation.

In my long study and practice of the Course, the singular source of separation as the concept of the split mind (ego), has appeared to be very nebulous and abstract…until recently. Let me drop a God Bomb here; one that I have just freshly recognized through direct experience, at the time of writing this Volume Two of The End of Death:

The split mind, aka false-self, is the impossible belief that we are both the body and the mind. However, we cannot possibly be both. While we still maintain that we are, unconsciously we must identify exclusively as a body regardless of how much we may consciously believe otherwise.

We are mind exclusively!

The body is illusion. Our Holy Self is Truth. Identifying as a body is the split mind. This is the confused and dissociated belief that we are both in a body – and that we are also Spirit.  Believing that we are both body and Spirit involves trying to maintain an impossible and deep-seated mind-split. This is an allegiance to both fear and Love. Recall that only Love is real. Fear does not exist no matter how convincing it feels. There is no opposite of God as Love. Period.

When we misidentify as the body identity, then both Love and fear are valued erroneously as equally real. Yet these two are mutually exclusive! The presence of one in our mind absolutely denies the other. Identifying as a body (trusting its five senses, its sensual appetites and it’s seeming past) excludes Spirit. While identifying as Spirit excludes identity as a body. These two beliefs, the body, and Spirit, are underpinned and ruled by two radically opposite sets of “laws.” The illusory body identity is maintained by the painful laws of chaos. Spirit, as our Holy Self is sustained exclusively by the joyous Laws of God.

“The fact that truth and illusion cannot be reconciled… must be accepted if you would be saved.”… “The self you made can never be your Self, nor can your Self be split in two, and still be what It is and must forever be. 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.” W-96.2:1,3:3-7

When the Course was initially given to us by Jesus we were willing to see mere fragments of His teaching while only accepting the occasional morsel by direct experience. But the teaching itself is infinitely vast and completely holographic. Like a giant jigsaw puzzle, we were eager and willing to see only those pieces which we could identify with; those that would not threaten our value system, while absorbing these teachings through our split mind.

But here is the kicker. While we still believe – value that – our personal identity dwells in and as the body, we will block anything that may threaten its imagined authority in our experience. Belief in the body forms the central hub around which all the ego’s laws of sickness, pain, lack, loss, conflict, and death revolve. These laws could not exist if it were not for the mistaken belief we are a body.

This belief in the body is the seat of all the ego’s laws. While the value we place on the body eclipses our Holy Self which is purely Spirit, we must continue to unconsciously project the illusory laws of chaos, sickness, pain, and suffering to maintain a body identity. Without the laws of chaos and the body, it would be impossible to prolong the belief of a body and therefore, the idea of separation.

More specifically, while the body is valued for what it can give to us, we will block Spirit as Love because this is the only thing which could possibly threaten the body’s imagined authority in our awareness.

Therefore, we will not see, let alone “accept” the deeper teachings of the Course until our trust has largely transferred from fear to Love, from the body identity to the Holy Self.

The Body is the Split Mind – All of it

 If truth is total, the untrue cannot exist. Commitment to either must be total; they cannot coexist in your mind without splitting it. If they cannot coexist in peace, and if you want peace, you must give up the idea of conflict entirely and for all time. This requires vigilance only as long as you do not recognize what is true. While you believe that two totally contradictory thought systems share truth, your need for vigilance is apparent.” T-7.VI.8:7-11

Jesus says very strongly that the body and our Holy Self simply cannot be reconciled. We must make a heartfelt choice between the two, between Truth and illusion. If we try to give equal reality to the body and the Mind (Spirit) we will be immersed in an agonizing split. Relationship conflict, disease, scarcity, depression, aging and physical death are the certain outcome of this profound confusion.

When the Course was initially given to us by Jesus we were willing to see mere fragments of His teaching while only accepting the occasional morsel by direct experience. But the teaching itself is infinitely vast and completely holographic. Like a giant jigsaw puzzle, we were eager and willing to see only those pieces which we could identify with; those that would not threaten our value system, while absorbing these teachings through our split mind.

But here is the kicker. While we still believe – value that – our personal identity dwells in and as the body, we will block anything that may threaten its imagined authority in our experience. Belief in the body forms the central hub around which all the ego’s laws of sickness, pain, lack, loss, conflict, and death revolve. These laws could not exist if it were not for the mistaken belief we are a body.

This belief in the body is the seat of all the ego’s laws. While the value we place on the body eclipses our Holy Self which is purely Spirit, we must continue to unconsciously project the illusory laws of chaos, sickness, pain, and suffering to maintain a body identity. Without the laws of chaos and the body, it would be impossible to prolong the belief of a body and therefore, the idea of separation.

More specifically, while the body is valued for what it can give to us, we will block Spirit as Love because this is the only thing which could possibly threaten the body’s imagined authority in our awareness.

Therefore, we will not see, let alone “accept” the deeper teachings of the Course until our trust has largely transferred from fear to Love, from the body identity to the Holy Self.

The Body is the Split Mind – All of it

Jesus says very strongly that the body and our Holy Self cannot be reconciled. We must make a heartfelt choice between the two. Using my previous giant jigsaw puzzle analogy, we simply cannot see let alone accept His teachings while we’re still hell-bent on looking through the veil of body identification. I make this point because in my nearly thirty years with the Course, I see that almost everyone, students and teachers alike (including me) have approached the Course without really getting this, the nucleus, which Jesus states so emphatically.

Jesus tells us that the mind and body cannot both exist because one denies the other is real. Further, He warns us not to try to reconcile the two as they are irreconcilable because belief in one completely denies the other. In practical terms the implications of this is huge! To the degree we still identify as a body, while using it for pleasure or pain – apart from Spirit – is the same extent to which we are afraid of Love, as our Holy Self – the one shared Mind of Christ. This translates then to the degree that we still value being identified as a body we will continue to attract suffering, conflict, separation, and death.

The split mind is the belief in two mutually exclusive identities. One is the illusory body. The other is the Spirit or Mind. Yet we can only identify as one or the other because they cannot both be reconciled. In a nutshell, there is no way we can truly open to our Holy Self, the unified Mind, while we still believe we are the body.

The split mind consists of mutually exclusive beliefs, fear and Love, body and spirit/Mind. Yet of these only Love and spirit/Mind are real. Fear and the body do not exist no matter how convincing they appear.

Just to drive this point home, the body is the split mind. It is not merely “part” of the split mind, but all of it. Please allow this to sink in.

To the extent we still value the body through pleasure, pain and the seduction of specialness will be the degree that we remain invested in it as our identity. The pursuit of pleasure and defense from pain is a set-up to ensure body identity. Thus we resist recognition and acceptance of the all-inclusive healing power and dominion of our mind. In fact, while we are body identified, we will be afraid of our mind which equates to the deep unconscious fear of healing and union.

We are thoroughly transfixed and seduced by the illusion of the body. Everything we do or even think of involves the body. Let’s face it; we can hardly imagine what it would be like to dwell in an entirely bodiless state. Yet Jesus says the body is a limit. We don’t even know what a relationship is without a body. Have we ever thought about what it would be like to have a total relationship without the body?

Remember that we cannot transcend the body through death. Death is certainly not the way we overcome the body. To use the earlier puppet analogy, in death the illusory puppet (body) appears to die however the puppeteer is so invested as the puppet, he forgets that he has total dominion over the puppet. And so it appears to succumb to sickness, aging, and death.

Death, just like pain and disease, ensures we remain body identified to return again to the body-puppet’s relentless recycle program. Meanwhile, the puppeteer remains asleep and dreaming. The body and world are not left through death as the ego projects. They can only be left through Truth! (Life without opposite) “The world is not left by death but by truth…” T-3.VII.6:11

The body is never “laid aside” through pain, sickness, aging or death. These are expressions of self-attack, which are “body-identified” defenses against awakening to the incorruptible innocence of our Holy Self. The body can only be laid aside through transcending all self-attack. While we still believe that death is the certain, inevitable outcome of life then there persists strong body identification, as the split mind.

“And yet a neutral thing (the body) does not see death, for thoughts of fear are not invested there, nor is a mockery of love bestowed upon it. Its neutrality protects it while it has a use. And afterwards, without a purpose, it is laid aside. It (the body) is not sick nor old nor hurt. It is but functionless, unneeded and cast off.” W-294.1:5-8

The special relationship is the strongest means for keeping us body identified. There can be no special relationship without body identity. Two body-puppets agree to remain oblivious to the mind’s (puppeteers) choices for separation. And this is why it’s crucial to invite Holy Spirit into our relationships to make them conscious and Holy.

The special relationship employs the body for pride, pleasure, and attack. Unfortunately, in seeking specialness we have unwittingly confused fear with Love, and mistakenly appointed the body as our replacement for spirit/Mind. Therefore, we confuse pride, pleasure and many forms of attack as “love.” These are the essential components of special love, the world’s obsession.

“The body is the ego’s chosen weapon for seeking power [through] relationships.”… “The Holy Spirit’s temple is not a body, but a relationship. The body is an isolated speck of darkness; a hidden secret room, a tiny spot of senseless mystery, a meaningless enclosure carefully protected, yet hiding nothing. Here the unholy relationship escapes reality, and seeks for crumbs to keep itself alive. Here it would drag its brothers, holding them here in its idolatry. Here it is “safe,” for here love cannot enter.” T-20.VI.4:3,5:1-5

We don’t often recognize just how insidious the underlying intentions are concerning the body especially in special romantic relationships. Through the ego, we usually don’t have a clue as to how we use the body inappropriately. There is massive desensitization to conscious Love that occurs when we depend upon the body’s senses and appetites to lead and inform us in relationships. The ego will employ the body’s senses and appetites to report an outright lie – that both our self and others are bodies. So we judge them and our self based on what we seem to do, or not do as a body.

Seeking satisfaction or pleasure through our own or another’s body, apart from Spirit, amounts to self-attack. There is no guilt here.  However at some point during our evolution in the ego’s dream, we must yearn for divine union through Holy Relationship. And the essential requirement for this is our genuine desire to see and join with the Christ in another by overlooking the body altogether.

We either see the body or we see the Christ. Another way to explain this is we either want to see guilt or we desire to see complete innocence. The sight of one eclipses the other entirely. When we judge someone we conclude that they are the body and not the Holy Self. And we cannot see another as a body without also condemning our self.

“It [is] impossible to see your brother as sinless and yet to look upon him as a body.” … “Who sees a brother’s body has laid a judgment on him, and sees him not. He does not really see him as sinful; he does not see him at all.”  T-20.VII.4:1,6:1

Limit your sight of a brother to his body, which you will do as long as you would not release him from it, and you have denied his gift to you. His body cannot give it. And seek it not through yours. Yet your minds are already continuous, and their union need only be accepted and the loneliness in Heaven is gone.” T-15.IX.4:4-7

Jesus makes a bold statement in the preceding passage. He says clearly not to limit our sight of another to his or her body. Yet let’s be honest, just how often do we do exactly that; limit our partner, others or our self to the body? This point needs to be made over and over again and not to make guilty, but only so that we can join Holy Spirit to recognize just when we mistake the body as our brother’s central identity. Once this is seen it can then be healed. However, it will never be healed while we refuse to recognize and heal the grandest seduction of all time – the body.

Let me make the following point very clearly. Jesus does not demonize the body. To judge the body is to identify as the body. To judge, or to feel guilty by the body’s actions via its five senses or its seeming appetites, is to be lost in the illusory body.

He is pointing the way to healing our split mind. Remember our mistaken value in the body is the split mind. Not just part of the split mind, but all of it. Hence the body identity must be divinely re-purposed and released to return our awareness to the Unified Mind as our shared and Holy Self, the Christ. Any guilt, judgment, shame or blame in regards to what the body does or doesn’t do at the behavioral level, is all the same. It’s a smokescreen, a decoy made to deter us from truly and deeply giving the body’s purpose (ours and others) over completely to the Holy Spirit.

Healing the Split Mind through Holy Relationship                          

The split mind-body identification is healed by unifying the body’s singular purpose with our only function, forgiveness.

With the body-identity constituting the gap of separation between us, our brothers and our Holy Self, the means by which it is undone is through union by way of the Holy Relationship. The gap is dissolved as our special relationships are healed and made Holy. Recall that belief in the separation or body-identity requires two or more consenting individuals to agree together to imagine their possibility. This is how we maintain the illusion of the body and separation, and why the special relationship is the strongest witness to this madness.

The Holy Relationship, on the other hand, is the blessed union of two or more individuals who share just one common and divine purpose. Because their shared purpose is forgiveness, they commit to withdrawing their witness to the body and separation in whatever imaginary form it takes. They agree to witness only innocence, only the Holy Self (and not the body) for each other and consequently, for the world.

I harvested just a few of the many formidable quotes by Jesus which state the undeniable importance of learning not to see our partner, others or our self as a body. This involves giving to Holy Spirit our body’s purpose, including its five senses along with its appetites so they can be unified into one function and one purpose.

As you will see, any relationship where the body enters (particularly the romantic relationship) is in need of healing. I have bolded the sentences or pieces of the Course’s giant, holographic,  jigsaw-puzzle that are most apt to be ignored, twisted or outright rejected by the false-self and its body identification. These quotes, gathered here together in one place, present irrefutable evidence for our need to give the body to Spirit if we genuinely want to awaken from the dream of separation.

Nothing can show the contrast better than the experience of both a holy and an unholy relationship. The first is based on love, and rests on it serene and undisturbed. The body does not intrude upon it. Any relationship in which the body enters is based not on love, but on idolatry.” T-20.VI.2:1-4

 “In the holy instant, where the Great Rays replace the body in awareness, the recognition of relationships without limits is given you. But in order to see this, it is necessary to give up every use the ego has for the body, and to accept the fact that the ego has no purpose you would share with it.” T-15.IX.3:1-2

“The body cannot be looked upon except through judgment. To see the body is the sign that you lack vision, and have denied the means the Holy Spirit offers you to serve His purpose. How can a holy relationship achieve its purpose through the means of sin (body)?” T-20.VII.8:1-3

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. The mind can be made free when it no longer sees itself as in a body, firmly tied to it and sheltered by its presence. If this were the truth, the mind were vulnerable indeed!” … “The mind that serves the Holy Spirit is unlimited forever, in all ways, beyond the laws of time and space, unbound by any preconceptions, and with strength and power to do whatever it is asked.” W-199.1,2:1

“Look upon all the trinkets made to hang upon the body, or to cover it or for its use. See all the useless things made for its eyes to see. Think on the many offerings made for its pleasure, and remember all these were made to make seem lovely what you hate. Would you employ this hated thing to draw your brother to you, and to attract his body’s eyes? Learn you but offer him a crown of thorns, not recognizing it for what it is, and trying to justify your own interpretation of its value by his acceptance. 6 Yet still the gift proclaims his worthlessness to you, as his acceptance and delight acknowledges the lack of value he places on himself.”  T-20.II.1.

 “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 your brother thus, the means and end have not been brought in line.” T-20.V.5:1-5

“But when you look upon a brother as a physical entity, his power and glory are “lost” to you and so are yours. You have attacked him, but you must have attacked yourself first.” T-8.VII.5:3-5,               

 “The body is the ego’s chosen weapon for seeking power [through] relationships. And its relationships must be unholy, for what they are it does not even see.” T-20.VI.4:3-4

“The Holy Spirit’s purpose lies safe in your relationship, and not your body.” T-20.VI.7:8

“Do not overlook our earlier statement that faithlessness leads straight to illusions. For faithlessness is the perception of a brother as a body, and the body cannot be used for purposes of union. If, then, you see your brother as a body, you have established a condition in which uniting with him becomes impossible. Your faithlessness to him has separated you from him, and kept you both apart from being healed. Your faithlessness has thus opposed the Holy Spirit’s purpose, and brought illusions, centered on the body, to stand between you. And the body will seem to be sick, for you have made of it an “enemy” of healing and the opposite of truth.”  T-19.I.4.

“The central lesson is always this; that what you use the body for it will become to you. Use it for sin or for attack, which is the same as sin, and you will see it as sinful. Because it is sinful it is weak, and being weak, it suffers and it dies. Use it to bring the Word of God to those who have it not, and the body becomes holy. Because it is holy it cannot be sick, nor can it die. When its usefulness is done it is laid by, and that is all.” M-12.5:1-6

 

NOTE: My bestselling book, The End of Death, is available in AUDIO BOOK, PAPERBACK & KINDLE. To download a free Chapter of the audio book and for more valuable tools and meditations, go to:

www.EndOfDeath.com

Audioversion