A Course in Miracles Text Made Simple

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Chapter 8: The Journey Back

Section VII: The Body as a Means of Communication

Read ACIM Chapter 8, Section VII (pages 151-154)

When we see our brother as a body, what are we believing about ourselves?

In this section we are brought to understand that believing in separation (believing in the physical world) is attack. We are reminded that when we see our brother as a physical entity, we are attacking him by perceiving him as separate. “When you see a brother as a body, you are condemning him because you have condemned yourself.” (15:7) We only see separation when we choose to give value to separation through belief. Because of the power of our minds, the truth is lost to us when we believe in the false ideas of the ego. That is why Jesus tells us we are attacking and belittling ourselves when we limit our identity to a body. “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. Do not see him this way for your own salvation, which must bring him his.” (5:3-5)

How does the Holy Spirit see the body?

We are also learning that there is a better way to look on ourselves and our brother. This way of perceiving comes from the Holy Spirit, which was established by God as part of us. The Holy Spirit is the part of our minds that remembers our unity with God. The Holy Spirit sees the body as a communication device to end separation and communicate our unity in the one Mind we all share. The Holy Spirit teaches us to “regard bodies solely as a means of joining minds and uniting them with yours and mine.” (2:5) The Holy Spirit uses the body only as a means to teach that we are not bodies. This is how we will recognize the truth that we are only mind and come to understand the power of our mind.

What happens when we see our brother’s holiness?

It is essential that we let the Holy Spirit interpret all our perceptions on our behalf. If we think we can interpret anything on our own, we have already made the mistake of believing we are separate and our interpretations will be wrong. The Holy Spirit helps us see past our brother’s limited image of himself to his true holiness and glory. As we learn to see this in our brothers, we learn to see it in ourselves.

“Thought cannot be made into flesh except by belief, since thought is not physical.” (7:4) Flesh is used here to represent any form. Thought is abstract and formless. To attempt to give form reality is to attempt to make illusion real. This interferes with our awareness of reality by substituting illusion for truth. A body, which is form, cannot be real. The only reality is God Who is Love and nothing else. His Thoughts must only be Love; thus only our Thoughts of unified Love are real.

Most of what we think of as thoughts in this world are in some way tied to body and form images. These are not real thoughts, but illusions that block our awareness of our real Thoughts, which extend God’s Love and nothing else. “The removal of blocks, then, is the only way to guarantee help and healing. Help and healing are the normal expressions of a mind that is working through the body, but not in it.” (11:1-2)

Under the Holy Spirit’s guidance, how is the body used?

While we believe we are separate, we need a means to let go of the belief in separation that blocks the extension of Love. The Holy Spirit can use the body for communication, which is the sharing of thought. Under the Holy Spirit’s guidance, the body is used to take us beyond identification with the body to the recognition that we are mind unified with all minds in the one Mind of God. As we replace our devotion to the ego with dedication to following only the Holy Spirit’s guidance, the body becomes the Holy Spirit’s temple. No longer used for attack, the body is now a means for help and healing. We are brought to the remembrance that we are mind with unlimited power to extend Love, which is our only purpose. “The power of wholeness is extension. Do not arrest your thought in this world, and you will open your mind to creation in God.” (16:7-8)

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Reference Keys for
A Course in Miracles Quotes

How to Read References for Quotes from A Course in Miracles

Below are example references to specific sentences using the notation of the Second & Third Editions of A Course in Miracles published by the Foundation for Inner Peace:

T-26.IV.4:7 = Text, Chapt. 26, Section IV, paragraph 4, sentence 7.

W-pI.169.5:2 = Workbook, Part I, Lesson 169, paragraph 5, sentence 2.

M-13.3:2 = Manual for Teachers, Question 13, paragraph 3, sentence 2.

C-6.4:6 = Clarification of Terms, Term 6, paragraph 4, sentence 6

The above numbering system of the Second & Third Editions is © Copyright 1992, The Foundation for A Course in Miracles.

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