Saturday, March 21, 2015

My Body Is Not My Self

This has been a rough week for my little body. The weather in East Tennessee has been less than wonderful – cloudy, rainy, chilly, overcast. It’s a great time to catch up on pre-spring in-house honey-dos as well as outdoor yard and garden chores. So that’s what I was doing most of the week.  On Tuesday, while re-grouting some tile, I rolled on my side and heard one of my floating ribs crack and pop. It still hurts, but there’s no bruising or discoloration – so I know nothing is cracked or broken and no cartilage has been torn. It is just painful.
On Wednesday, I cleaned our wooden deck from accumulated mildew. The deck is in the shade virtually all winter. The mildew is as predictable as daffodils in the early spring. I use a hand brush and a bowl of ammonia or bleach (Clorox) water. It was very stubborn this year, so I decided to mix a little Clorox with the mostly ammonia water. I know that a Clorox/ammonia mixture will give off chlorine gas and is very dangerous in small, enclosed places – like showers and bathrooms. But I was outdoors, there was a light breeze and the deck is about 5 feet off the ground – chlorine gas is very heavy and sinks. It worked on the mildew like a champ – but the chlorine gas also worked on me – snorting, coughing, and making the skin on my hands become very sensitive. So much for being so very smart!
So, here I am – a sore rib and still dealing with the residue of chlorine gas inhalation.  After 48 hours my hands still smelled like a public swimming pool. But I’ve learned that it is difficult to think of my Self without my body. Afterall, I am not my body nor am I what I generally think. I am an already-loved eternal spirit that is a part of the Mind of God. That’s hard to keep in mind when my body is hurting and keeps itself front and center.
In ACIM’s Workbook for Students, the explanation for the body is clearly spelled out in Lesson 72, “Holding grievances is an attack on God’s plan for salvation.” As you read this please remember that “grievances” are having upsets, frustrations, being angry, condemning, having judgments/opinions, relishing self-pity, having expectations, trying to be in control, fighting to be right. In short, having a grievance is being angry at the reality I seem to see because it does not support my desire for separation and specialness.
From the initial paragraphs of Lesson 72 (bolding is my emphasis):
1 While we have recognized that the ego's plan for salvation is the opposite of God's, we have not yet emphasized that it is an active attack on His plan, and a deliberate attempt to destroy it. In the attack, God is assigned the attributes, which are actually associated with the ego, while the ego appears to take on the attributes of God.
2 The ego's fundamental wish is to replace God. In fact, the ego is the physical embodiment of that wish. For it is that wish that seems to surround the mind with a body, keeping it separate and alone, and unable to reach other minds except through the body that was made to imprison it. The limit on communication cannot be the best means to expand communication. Yet the ego would have you believe that it is.
3 Although the attempt to keep the limitations that a body would impose is obvious here, it is perhaps not so apparent why holding grievances is an attack on God's plan for salvation. But let us consider the kinds of things you are apt to hold grievances for. Are they not always associated with something a body does? A person says something you do not like. He does something that displeases you. He "betrays" his hostile thoughts in his behavior.
4 You are not dealing here with what the person is. On the contrary, you are exclusively concerned with what he does in a body. You are doing more than failing to help in freeing him from the body's limitations. You are actively trying to hold him to it by confusing it with him, and judging them as one. Herein is God attacked, for if His Son is only a body, so must He be as well. A creator wholly unlike his creation is inconceivable.
5 If God is a body, what must His plan for salvation be? What could it be but death? In trying to present Himself as the Author of life and not of death, He is a liar and a deceiver, full of false promises and offering illusions in place of truth. The body's apparent reality makes this view of God quite convincing. In fact, if the body were real, it would be difficult indeed to escape this conclusion. And every grievance that you hold insists that the body is real. It overlooks entirely what your brother is. It reinforces your belief that he is a body, and condemns him for it. And it asserts that his salvation must be death, projecting this attack onto God, and holding Him responsible for it….
7 This is the universal belief of the world you see. Some hate the body and try to hurt and humiliate it. Others love the body and try to glorify and exalt it. But while the body stands at the center of your concept of yourself, you are attacking God’s plan for salvation and holding your grievances against Him and His creation, that you may not hear the Voice of truth and welcome It as Friend….
9 The light of truth is in us, where it was placed by God. It is the body that is outside us and is not our concern. To be without a body is to be in our natural state. To recognize the light of truth in us is to recognize ourselves as we are…..
Although these messages are mostly for me, thanks for listening. As always – feel free to forward this message to your friends, family, and those accompanying you on your spiritual journey.
#4 March 2015

Copyright 2015

No comments:

Post a Comment