A Different Approach to the Body

Last week I wrote about how I learned to put aside expectations that arose from spiritual study and to allow myself to be led from within. An example of this would be how I was led to an approach to the body that was different from what I read in A Course in Miracles.

When I first became a student of ACIM I was, like everyone, filled with guilt (but didn’t know it). So I read ACIM through a filter of guilt. I read a lot of love and release (forgiveness) in ACIM, too, but in many ways I felt condemnation when I was reading. I vaguely knew this was coming from me but my belief in guilt was so strong that I couldn’t look at this directly for many, many years. One of the topics over which I felt tremendous guilt while reading ACIM was the body, especially when it came to physical illness.

ACIM teaches that the universe of form, which of course includes bodies, was not made by God. Therefore, the body is not real. However, I experience a body and denying that I experience the body would denigrate the power of my mind. So I do not have to deny the experience until that happens naturally. The body is only an idea in the mind and everything that happens in the body, including reflexes, instincts, illness, etc. is actually a choice of the mind. The body is neutral and in its neutral state it manifests perfect health. Illness in the body is caused by the guilt and fear of God I experience in my identification with the body. So if I do not identify with the body it will manifest perfect health. (You can read in detail what ACIM teaches about the body and illness and physical healing at my website: www.acimmentor.com/acimandbodydisorders.html).

However, from the beginning I was often told something else by the Holy Spirit in my mind as I read ACIM. Sometimes I would think that I was only being given an interpretation. But later I’d discover that it was not only an interpretation. I was experiencing something very different from what ACIM said. For example I would read in ACIM that illness in the body is caused by my identification with the body. In my guilt I would feel fearful when I read this. But later when I would think of those passages the Holy Spirit in my mind would explain that I experienced illness because of my identification with the body. This, of course, makes perfect sense. I would not experience illness otherwise. The clarity with which I experienced this made me think that my original, fearful interpretation was being corrected. But later I’d come across the same passage or one like it and I’d see that I was given more than an interpretation. I was given a whole other approach. This happened often when I read about the body and illness. And it only happened when I read about the body and illness. No other topic in ACIM was changed for me.

ACIM says that using form (medicines, treatments, etc.) to heal the body is “magical thinking”. The body can only be healed by the mind. But the Holy Spirit told me that the remedies for form are at the level of form. Cause and effect applies at the level of form. Genes, environment, attitudes, behavior, choices, and energy all affect the body at the level of form. So at the level of form medicines and treatments are not “magic”. They are manifestations of the choice to be relieved of physical symptoms at the level of form. The Holy Spirit told me that I am mind and that “magical thinking” is not thinking that medicines can help the body. “Magical thinking” is the belief that healing the body would heal mind. You can see that there is a big difference here.

Once when I was thinking about sickness the Holy Spirit explained to me that when a lion takes down a gazelle it is not personal. The lion is only trying to survive. It’s the same with a virus, like a cancer or a ‘flu. The virus is only another organism in the world. It is not personal when it attacks a body. It’s only doing what viruses do to survive. So a virus is not “wrong” or “bad”. It’s neutral. It has no meaning in itself. It’s just part of the experience of the world.  The whole experience of the world is one of guilt and fear. Illness is not a special case of this. The body does not have a neutral state of perfection. The whole of the universe of form, as the opposite of Perfect Truth, is inherently dysfunctional. This dysfunction is not wrong or bad. It is just the way that the opposite-of-Truth is. Again, this is very different from what ACIM teaches.

What ACIM had to say about the body and illness always felt off to me. However, the Voice of ACIM was always consistent to me so I never felt that Helen had let in other voices or her own ego. So for a long while I assumed that the “off” feeling was just a projection of my own guilt. This other, clear approach that I have received from the Holy Spirit came over a very long time because in my guilt and fear my mind was closed. It also confused me. Was it different from ACIM? Fear made it hard for me to sort them out. I expected that when I was less fearful and therefore open what ACIM teaches would become clear to me. And it did (see link above) but it still felt “off” to me. I thought I must still be blocked. It took me a long time to see that I had actually been led to a different approach.

When I asked the Holy Spirit about the difference between ACIM and where I have been led I was told that Helen had a different goal from my goal. I cannot speak to her goal. But mine has always been to know Truth and be at peace. Helen was told that if she healed the body of illness by simply choosing against illness it would demonstrate the power of mind. She would learn that the mind decides how the body feels. She would learn that she is not the victim of the universe of form. Last year during a brief illness I caught a glimpse of the level of mind where the choice of illness is made. When I saw this I simultaneously saw that that level of the mind is not real, either. The body, illness in the body, the part of mind that causes responses in the body – all of that is not-Truth. I was not led to change that level of mind to heal the body. I was led to let it all go. All along I’ve been led to detach from the body – indeed, all of not-Truth - not to seek to change my mind to heal the body.

When I translated ACIM into plain, everyday language I kept its message about the body and illness the same though it conflicted in many ways with what I was learning directly from the Holy Spirit. In fact, that was when I began to enquire into the difference. But it was not my place to change ACIM’s message. What I teach now is what I have learned directly from the Holy Spirit. When students contact me to learn how to heal the body by changing their minds I direct them to other ACIM teachers whose interest seems to lie in that direction.


This approach to the body is still unfolding for me. I will continue to be led from within rather than from a book or another person in the world. Teachers and teachings are not ends in themselves. They are means to my goal of being aware of Truth but only when viewed through the Teacher of Truth (Holy Spirit) in my own mind.

>>>>>
Learn about the books The ACIM Mentor Articles, The Plain Language A Course in Miracles, 4 Habits for Inner Peace, and Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace at www.acimmentor.com.

Comments

Anonymous said…
So if a homeopath knows that he is not changing (healing) the mind of his patients, he can work to improve their form level without feeling guilt about doing "magic". During the homeopathic treatment patients usually feel better on the mental/emotional level also. Sometimes the changes on the mental/emotional level are quite extraordinary. Most probably homeopathic medicines (which function more on the energetic than on the purely material level - but still on the form level) can affect the functioning of the personal self (seemingly individual mind) which is closely correlated with the body. Certainly they cannot affect the One Mind which has nothing to do with the form level.
Michael
will said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
will said…
Michael, I misread your comment. Apologies.
Anonymous said…
hi Liz....this post feels so important for me...as always...thank you. My question is...the information you shared about Helen's guidance regarding illness of the body..

" Helen was told that if she healed the body of illness by simply choosing against illness it would demonstrate the power of mind. She would learn that the mind
decides how the body feels. She would learn that she is not the victim of the universe of form."

Can you tell me where that came from? Is it from the Urtext? I ask because it is so highlighted for me...I would like to read it firsthand. thanks so much, Deborah
ACIM Mentor said…
Deborah, it's all over the Course. (I use the first and second edition). I pulled quotes about the body and illness and discussed them extensively at a link on my website, www.acimmentor.com/acimandbodydisorders.com.
You have such an interesting blog. Thanks for sharing. Reading blogs is my hobby and I randomly found your blog. I enjoyed reading your posts. All the best for your future blogging journey. Please keep in touch with me in Twitter, @ipersuade.
You have such an interesting blog. Thanks for sharing. Reading blogs is my hobby and I randomly found your blog. I enjoyed reading your posts. All the best for your future blogging journey. Please keep in touch with me in Twitter, @ipersuade.
Anonymous said…
"If ever I am sad or hurt or ILL (my emphasis), I have forgotten what You think, and put my little, meaningless ideas in place of where Your Thoughts belong, and where They are. I can be hurt by nothing but my thoughts." (Lesson 281 of the Workbook).
Isn't it close to the idea of the current blog?
Michael
Christine said…
This entry needs to be read and re-read again and again. This is "odd" to me, Liz, but this past week, I had some of these same thoughts you wrote of here. The gazelle taking down the lion, I had the a similar experience while walking from my studio to the house...I must step on lots of ants (which I do try to avoid!)...then I thought that it wasn't murder, I don't hate the ants - it was impersonal and incidental. If I tried to avoid each and every ant - that's guilt...if I tried to squash every ant, that too is guilt.
I was contemplating sickness, viruses, etc....and how we are not separate from them, there is still a oneness there, so how can they attack? They are also neutral. And that when we choose to attack - or feel attacked - that's when stuff seems to happen. Then when I read your statement - "let it all go", I remembered years ago reading in Mary Baker Eddy's "Prose Works" (or some other book!) where she wrote about sickness, "Better to forget the whole thing!" I never forgot this statement...so many steps/lessons in between reading this and believing it.
Christine said…
Oh - the lion takes down the gazelle.
Laurie said…
Liz,

Could it be that because we are experiencing the dream from the point of it already being over but believe that we are reliving it once again, that if illness is in the script then it is in the script? Our only 'job' is to not let the illness (or any other thing) become the cause of our lack of peace. That's my take on it anyways.....
Laurie said…
Ooops! I posted my thought before finishing it. After all, lesson 34 says "I could see peace instead of this", not "I could have health instead of this".
hannahlily said…
Liz, could you explain the difference between these two cause-effect statements? because they seem to be saying the same thing to me.

"For example I would read in ACIM that illness in the body is caused by my identification with the body. In my guilt I would feel fearful when I read this. But later when I would think of those passages the Holy Spirit in my mind would explain that I experienced illness because of my identification with the body. This, of course, makes perfect sense. I would not experience illness otherwise. The clarity with which I experienced this made me think that my original, fearful interpretation was being corrected."

im also wondering if ive understood the rest! because as i understand the course, it DOES say exactly what you say here..

"When I saw this I simultaneously saw that that level of the mind is not real, either. The body, illness in the body, the part of mind that causes responses in the body – all of that is not-Truth. I was not led to change that level of mind to heal the body. I was led to let it all go. All along I’ve been led to detach from the body – indeed, all of not-Truth - not to seek to change my mind to heal the body. "

its just that it leads up to that understanding!?

the course (as i understand it) isnt actually a course in healing as such at all, (though it seems to be when we start reading it, due to what we think we are) but one in knowing true Self, in changing our identification from something thats not true to what is true, and it leads us to that knowledge by speaking on different levels.. its has something to say to ease the attachments of the strongly ego identified right, and continues to do this right up to the point where we are hardly identified with ego at all, even to the point where we dont even make the final choice, because truth is known so there is no more choice to make.

i thought it only spoke of body healing at all in the parts where it was speaking to the strongly separate-self-identified, but that it becomes clear as your own identity layers are let go of, that those parts of the course were talking of 'nothing' to 'nothing'.. meaningless but very needful as a starting place for those who think they are what they are not?

i thought ACIM says that if we are focusing on body healing at all, we are experiencing level confusion, trying to make the problem be where the problem isnt? (but to go right ahead and use any 'magic' that works for us; be kind and gentle, be loving, dont try and deny what we think we are at the level our thought seems to be 'manifesting' it). and that even, after we have dropped strong body identification, and we are focusing on mind healing, we are STILL just making our way 'back up the ladder' seeming to fix what doesnt exist, (a fearful, separate, decision making mind which is suffering because its torn between the guilt of having split oneness/Mind/love apart, destroyed peace, and so fearing punishment, and yet still really really wanting to keep existing), but that we are at least working at the non-existent problem at the level where waking up can occur. or seem to!

i guess im saying that as far as i understand, what you say is a whole other approach IS actually what acim is saying, but that it leads our minds to that understanding, as most people starting the course are pretty much, if not totally, identified as a separate self.

have i totally not understood you!?
Anonymous said…
I have to say that my perception of what ACIM and your comments about Helen are in complete conformance with what the (YOUR) Holy Spirit is "telling" you. I do not see at any point, having read the text many, many times, that it suggests you can heal the body by healing the mind. If anything,my healing the mind, the appearance of illness in a non-existent body is no longer perceived. Ramana Maharishi died of cancer and he said he experienced pain in fact but his mind was healed and so he was at peace. Jesus probably didn't suffer on the cross, yet I would because I am still identified with the body.
Healing the mind is the only meaningful practice and once I no longer choose the ego, my split mind is aligned with my will and God's ( the real world).
Unless it's the Urtext you are reading which has confusing text and why Helen was guided to edit it further, this level confusion is not ACIM but our own mis-creation ( mis-perception.
ACIM Mentor said…
Many of you are expressing what I experienced: That what I read and what ACIM said were not different. However, they are. It took me a long time to sort it out. It is a different approach.
Also, ACIM does not suggest a course of healing the mind to heal the body (though many read it that way). And I never said it said to do that. However, it states outright that the cause of illness in the body is one's identification with it. See the link in my article to the link at my website where I culled quotes from ACIM about the body and healing.
I also want to make clear that the point of my article was not so much what ACIM does or does not teach. It was to point out the importance of being led from the Holy Spirit within rather than from a book.
Frank C said…
Liz... WOW.. another timely (synchronous?) blog, just when i needed it... unfreakin' real!!

Anyway, despite having read the complete ACIM works many times, I somehoe missed this distinction, which was summed up in this: "For example I would read in ACIM that illness in the body is caused by my identification with the body. In my guilt I would feel fearful when I read this. But later when I would think of those passages the Holy Spirit in my mind would explain that I experienced illness because of my identification with the body"... the part that is so easy to miss (and misinterpret) is "illness in the body is caused by...", which means that my identification with the personal thought system/ego/body CAUSED the illness, rather than this statement " I experienced illness because of my identification", which means that I have the EXPERIENCE of illness because of the guilt I'm feeling from my erroneous perceptions... the first phrase makes the error the CAUSE of the ILLNESS... the second phrase makes error the source of the EXPERIENCE of illness... a very subtle yet powerful distinction (at least from my POV... LOL)

Anyway, it brought a lot of clarity to my illusory self... ;-)
Frank C said…
dang.. you posted your response while I was writing mine ;-) yep.. the important thing to "get" is the healing of guilt/fear/illusion of sin by inviting the HS to assist me in forgiving myself for what I thought was true (real)... AMEN!!
Anonymous said…
Empowering blog - a great example of open mindedness . . . "Forgiveness is the final goal of the curriculum. It paves the way for what goes far beyond all learning. The curriculum makes no effort to exceed its legitimate goal. Forgiveness is its single aim, at which all learning ultimately converges. It is indeed enough."

I understand the importance of not making an idol out of the Course or any teaching.
Anonymous said…
Teachers come in many forms. My happens to be in a form of an angel pup named Papo. A little story. When I was dealing with the pain of sciatica, it side lined me and I fell into a depressive state at which time a sheltie pup appeared in my life. As I laid on the floor night after night to get some relief from the pain, Papo would come up to me night after night and wearing his sheltie smile, he would push his stuffed sheltie toy at me. I would tell him, no Papo not now but he was relentless. He kept nudging and nudging and nudging until I finally got the message, quit feeling sorry for yourself, it is time to play. Needless to say I got nudged out of my depressive state. I witnessed in my mind that it was I who was doing this unto myself and by letting the light in, represented in form as love wrapped in fur, healing followed. That's my story and I am sticking to it.
Carl said…
The beautiful Discriminatory lessons sifting finer and finer till what is left is all that was here when we believed guilt had the answer. Thank you Liz
hannahlily said…
getting to Know our own inner teacher and not seeking healing from an idol outside ourselves (including a book) i can understand. even the book says that its a beginning not and ending, and that eventually you forget 'all this' and go with empty hands back to god! back to true identification no longer holding onto externals or self concepts as a way to keep the seeming split-mind identification place. but after reading the material in the link you provided (which i didnt do before)
im still confused as to there being any difference in what youre presenting. i know this confusion doesnt matter at all, clarity always arrives in some perfect way! and sometimes the questions just fall away anyway, other experiences make the question redundant. i am trusting my own inner teacher and seeking outside reassurance less often. i am still curious though, as to what the difference youre talking of is, as everything youve presented seems to me to be one coherent path. maybe trusting my own inner voice is the only way to understand what youre speaking of, and most certainly any differences in helpful approach the inner guide will lead me to!
Anonymous said…
Laurie said it very concisely using Lesson 34: I could have peace instead of this.
As long as we believe we are "here"; in form and separate, no matter what the "problem" is, we have mistaken the dream figure/ego for the dreamer/HS. Once we get back to our right mind we can find the peace of God and overcome whatever we think is "wrong". The body was made as an attack on God and so each breath we draw says Id rather be here than with Him. We now have the choice to heal that illusion;replaying what never happened and forgiving ourselves for that "mistake". As I listen to my ego less and let my script happen without judgement, I feel the peace of God in those moments between thoughts and know its all OK! except when I succumb to some very serious problem that sucks me back into the dream.
George
Frank C said…
"Physical healing is the result of your accepting correction of your perceived separation from God. Physical healing is not a miracle in itself, but the result of your accepting God’s Love. The form sickness takes is irrelevant because all forms of perceived separation from God are corrected by accepting your Oneness with God. All physical healing is really release from the fear brought about by perceiving yourself as separate from God. To heal you cannot be fearful because in fear you do not perceive yourself as One with God." Text translation Chap 2.4.1

It is always about inviting the HS (Voice for Truth) to heal the guilt/split mind... everything else is just "fluff'...
Christine said…
This post was so incredibly helpful for me. It brought a lot of clarity. Thank you!
hannahlily said…
Frank C.. brilliant, thank you very much! ok.. this brings the cause of pain back to where it is; not in the ego thought system, nor in any aspect of its world, but in the guilt that arises due to our belief in the ego and its world. right, i see the differences in the two sentences now, completely different meaning. joy! thank you both, and the holy spirit within!

Woah - "The Holy Spirit told me that I am mind and that "magical thinking" is not thinking that medicines can help the body. "Magical thinking" is the belief that healing the body would heal mind."
Margaret said…
A comment I saw recently not sure if its David Hoiffmeister quoting or from the book acim.I think it is very relevant to this discussion.
"True healing is the realization you were never sick*
Anonymous said…
Studying, reading, meditating, I share these bits and pieces - Ontological illusion – original lie, original belief in sin, sickness is sin, sin is a lie, sickness is a lie and we want to believe the lie because we value our specialness, our identity as a body. Sickness makes us mindless. Question the belief, go back to the mind. Ask for a different way of seeing. Forgive it brothers and with honesty ask what is it you want? Your special identity or the peace of God, but then you gotta laugh . . . how can that even be answered when in truth you have the peace of God, you are the peace of God. Maybe this is the question to ask . . . Do I really want to leave the thought system that made this world or do I want to become even more firmly rooted in it? Is not sickness dishonesty and isn't dishonesty self deception? Let us just be honest. Magical thinking is what this world exists on. It will be until we awaken so in the meantime, smile gently upon it and with trust, keep journeying friends.

So as I was about to post this comment, no kidding, I suddenly started to experience a kind of weird pain in my throat chest area. Ego feeling threatened you think? Do not fear, do not give it power. Went back within, looked at it with the Holy Spirit knowing not to judge and I ask for release. Pain gone.
Sage Starfield said…
We give the "body" (and "illness") all the meaning it has for us...
Jeremy said…
Liz,

I am so glad that you shared this. I have had misgivings about the Course teachings on healing the body, but, like you, had decided that Helen was asking for something different than what I was asking for. Like you, I wanted the direct experience of peace without concern for the level of form.

And like you, I accepted the teaching that form is untruth, so it seemed inconsistent to adopt a goal of healing the body as a goal consistent with peace, since it seemed to hold peace hostage to the belief that it is important to be concerned with the body. I do not need to have truth 'proved' to me by way of a demonstration that the body is subject to a part of the mind, despite the fact that I was raised in Christian Science.

However, more recently I have taken a slightly different take on form. The Course teaches or seems to imply that form represents a denial of truth. I think that is a distortion. Form itself is not a denial of truth but in our minds we have used it to be such. If form is 'neutral' then it cannot itself be a denial of truth. Form can also be a means of representing truth. In fact, to allow form to serve this purpose is very useful, given that all of us now perceive form. Therefore to allow form to represent truth is to give new purpose to form. In fact, we cannot say that the original purpose of form was to deny truth. The past is simply a perception in the present. We can more usefully say that the original purpose of form was to represent truth; not because it was needed, but simply as an act of love expressed.

In a sense the Course teaching of the creation of the Son of God is a teaching of loving, creative expression through form. Form is based on distinction. If God created the Son, this implies a distinction, some degree of individuation, however slight. The Son may be one with the Father, but a distinction is still implied in the teaching. Thus form is seen in this teaching as an expression of love and truth.

We too can see form differently. We can see that the ONLY loving purpose of form is to express or represent truth. This is the only interpretation of form consistent with peace. This does NOT mean that form IS truth! Certainly not. But what is represented by form when we are guided only by love and in devotion to truth and peace IS true.

So what the 'Holy Spirit' is guiding you to see is a very direct path to truth. I am much inclined to that path as well. But reinterpreting the meaning of form can be a very useful adjunct, given that we still perceive form anyway. Reinterpreting the meaning of form can be a very effective means of healing. But to do so we have keep in mind that we have given form the meaning of guilt. When we see some bodies attacking other bodies we simply have to see this as a reflection of the purpose we have given form thus far; and choose to no longer give form that purpose. Every little act of love in form speeds us along the way of the new purpose.

Jeremy
ACIM Mentor said…
Jeremy, what you wrote *is* what ACIM teaches. Yes, form is the denial of Truth. But being neutral its meaning can be transformed to remind you of Truth. That is what ACIM is all about!
Jeremy said…
All good. But... then I have to ask: how then can you (or ACIM) say that form is the denial of truth? And does ACIM ever actually say that form is the denial of truth? Maybe it does. I certainly have the impression that it does, but I am not going to spend hours searching for the citations.

Form is not a denial of anything. Form is simply form, of itself nothing. But nothing does not deny All.

The reason I bring this up is that it is often said that form is the denial of truth; then in our sense of guilt we use this statement to believe that in our perceiving form we are denying truth, redoubling our guilt. This is all non-sense, of course. Perceiving form is not a denial of truth unless it is our intention to deny truth. And, of course, it most likely IS our intention until we undo our guilt. But guilt NEED NOT BE and seeing untruth in form NEED NOT BE.

Instead of seeing form as truly being, we can see form simply as a medium of communication and representation, representation of truth.

I think we are in agreement, Liz. It is just that the way you (and ACIM?) words it creates a logical conundrum that can confuse.

Jeremy
ACIM Mentor said…
Again, Jeremy, what you say is exactly what ACIM teaches.
When ACIM says or implies that form is the denial of Truth (Formlessness) it is stating a fact, not making a judgment. If a reader feels guilt when they read that it is because they are projecting guilty meaning - judgment - onto the statement of fact. (As in: "It is *wrong* to deny Truth."). The guilt is not in the material but in the reader. As is *always* the case.
Jeremy said…
You say: "...it is stating a fact, not making a judgment."

Well, if that is the case, then I simply do not accept the teaching. Form is neutral. What does neutral mean? I think that the term neutral means that form is neither truth nor denial of truth. It falls in neither 'camp'.

Of course God is formless and God is truth. But God's expression is also truth. And God does express in form: in Its creation of the Son. And the Son is of form to some extent, even without ego. And it may well be true that there is much form that does not deny truth, whether or not we are aware of it. The world as we know it will disappear, but that does not mean that form will be no more in the awakened mind of the Son.

Ego is identification with form. This IS a denial of truth. But form does not necessarily imply identification with form. So form itself is not the denial of truth.

There. So you see? I am not in agreement with ACIM or you, I suppose. :-)

The real issue is the oneness of God and the fact that God is All THAT IS. Form does not imply the denial of the oneness of God. Identification as a _separate_ form does indeed imply the denial of the oneness of God.
will said…
Jeremy,
All of us on the blog are stuck with using the ego. You can't work out what Liz is saying here (in this case) with the ego. It's about this time when I'm wrestling with this stuff that I get pissed off. LOL
will said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeremy said…
Will, I understand your frustration. I have certainly experienced it.

However, if we are going to use words to have a discussion, we have to try to check to see if words are pointing to truth. As we know, words are twice removed from reality: they symbolize ideas or concepts that themselves are symbols, not meaning itself. Still, words can either point toward truth or away from it, according to the meaning that we give or receive through them.

To say that we are 'stuck' with ego implies a degree of ego-imprisonment that would seem to rule out all hope of seeing any meaning beyond fear and separation. I don't accept that, and I hope you will reconsider. Otherwise what is the point of participating here? Will, you not stuck with ego, nor is anyone else.
will said…
Stuck. As in, stuck in the mud.
Pete Pedulla said…
I really enjoyed and connected with Liz' post, though one can get derailed in the details. ("Words are just symbols of symbols of symbols...")

I sum it up this way:

Identifying with or experiencing a body, whether it's "healthy" or "ill" (and just think of the many ways people define those terms) is identifying with not-Truth, with not-Peace. This mis-identification is nothing to feel guilty about, though that is a tempting temptation I continue to experience.

Rather, we simply need to remain aware of what we're doing. That we're temporarily, mistakenly, "Looking for Love in all the Wrong Places." (Love being Peace being Truth – whatever your preferred term.)

Keeping this mis-identification in awareness will help to make room for Peace to come into awareness.

Thank you.
Anonymous said…
Checking in again for any new comments added because each one helps me question what needs questioning in this mind and thus turned over for healing.

One word that came through for me this Sunday morning is gentleness. I keep being led to the characteristics of a Teacher of God and remember an earlier post from Liz that said, do not forget the Manual For Teachers.

With that shared, today I will be vigilant to gentleness.

Much gratitude to all my brothers and sisters.
hannahlily said…
the different approach that liz shares here is how i see what the course teaches, hence my questioning earlier, though i do see it as leading up to that understanding.

maybe i see this 'different approach' as what the course is actually teaching because i found ken wapnicks online videos around the same time i found liz' mentor newsletters, and ken teaches the same approach that liz shares here, (for example i learned from ken (not in this form but the same content) "The Holy Spirit told me that I am mind and that “magical thinking” is not thinking that medicines can help the body. “Magical thinking” is the belief that healing the body would heal mind. You can see that there is a big difference here.
Once when I was thinking about sickness the Holy Spirit explained to me that when a lion takes down a gazelle it is not personal. The lion is only trying to survive. It’s the same with a virus, like a cancer or a ‘flu. The virus is only another organism in the world. It is not personal when it attacks a body. It’s only doing what viruses do to survive. So a virus is not “wrong” or “bad”. It’s neutral. It has no meaning in itself. It’s just part of the experience of the world. The whole experience of the world is one of guilt and fear. Illness is not a special case of this. The body does not have a neutral state of perfection. The whole of the universe of form, as the opposite of Perfect Truth, is inherently dysfunctional. This dysfunction is not wrong or bad. It is just the way that the opposite-of-Truth is.") but ken also teaches how acim leads to this understanding. who knows what my interpretations would have been of the course without ken and liz!
hannahlily said…
and in line with this blogs theme of trusting holy spirit and being led from within.. its awesome how even when i wasnt feeling i could trust any inner voice of my 'own', i did trust that i was drawn to the folk who were genuinely hearing truth speak to them ;) so still hearing holy spirit on some level! so funny!
Anonymous said…
Liz, I remember an old blog of yours where you stated there was a time in your life when you were experiencing back problems and you were led to weight training if I remember correctly which helped to strengthen your back (manifestation of healing at the level of form). So plain language, I can turn to the Holy Spirit and, say, ask for guidance in joining a gym to lose weight and where I am on my path, I may be led to do just that or to let go attachment to the body or even a whole different approach?
ACIM Mentor said…
Anonymous, just let the self (body/personality) do what it wants without judging it. If you find yourself concerned with it, then, yes, ask the HS what you need to do to take care of the body and keep your mind open. The answer will come in a form that will work for you.
will said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
hannahlily said…
laugh will! nice mud! i enjoy the humour and lightheartedness you bring to these discussions! only the ego takes any of this seriously! you know how we spoke of often learning beyond the bounds of the blogs topic here in the comments section!? ive been laughing at myself (in a joyful way!) at the realisation of feeling like the course had been attacked and needed my defence! just hilarious all round! must... save... stuff... defend... clarify... rescue... so important that all is clear NOW! thanks for the laugh once again will!
Anonymous said…
Thank you Liz. I've been dealing with a conflicting mind around this subject and your call to love is received with gratitude and now peace. Bless you.
Frank C said…
Only a personal thought system that felt attacked (and afraid)would spend so much time and energy trying to justify its position (called being "right")... I'd rather be happy ;-)
will said…
h.
I won't say when but a while ago I went into a defensive mode about the Course that in 20-20 hindsight left me just mystified on how insane my personal mind is. My forte when crazy is to bring as many people as I can with me so there is the maximum embarressment when it passes. Yes, you've got to roll with it:)
Anonymous said…
Right said Frank. I will not spend (waste) any more time and energy for this. Michael
will said…
lighten up guys.
hannahlily said…
yes, id rather be happy too! (toooo funny, i corrected that.. the first time i wrote 'id rather be right too'! sigh! ;) ) ive been getting to the bottom of why it felt so important.. working through those layers until i could find peace, rather than pretend to myself that i didnt care about it. im very greatful and much more peaceful than when this discussion started. and the main reason for this.. behind the veils of ego stories im finding a faith in holy spirit! hs is REAL, and everywhere.. i dont have to run around trying to fill in gaps, laugh, joy!

and you made me laugh again will, at mention of the embarrassment factor.. its been a big part of the extra layers of learning to just be honest here, even if it made me feel like a twonk! bless ya!
Anonymous said…
Oops - Correction I meant to write "your answer Liz to my call for love" and by the way, the Holy Spirit answered in the form that will work for me, led to Lesson 152 "The power of decision is my own" and not just once but twice and the second time through a video that was significant for me. Loved and blessed. Gracias!
will said…
*** As a HEADS UP, with the obvious interest in health, the body and ACIM Liz suggested reading "ACIM and Body Disorders" a 10 page piece she wrote that has a link to it on the face page of her web site. I can't do 10 pages on the computer so I printed it out (cost of getting well). FOR ME it is easy to talk, talk, talk and not follow directions. Just a heads up.
Anonymous said…
having obtained copies of various versions of the course, ...

it's surprising how much is removed from each version as it went through it's progression from the original notes helen wrote.

sometimes it felt like it was truly misc. stuff that was removed.
most of the time thought each editing removed insights that ... did lots to help students
-the course became harder as it lost much clarifying info
-the course became more strict, less personal
-sometimes personal, sometimes insightful, sometimes little things that gave one hope that we truly are wonderful and loved when we have forgotten

all these were removed, sometimes it felt the removal was because the notes were revealing things that were very personal to only helen and bill. but other times what was removed showed a biased view that information being talked about wasn't confortable to someone along the editing timeline.

talk of what to look for in a partner, that it shouldn't be based on something superficial, but to look for someone who is likewise focused on building a family
... which is a very polite way, as mentioned in the notes and urtext it was talking about what genders people limit themselves too.

"homosexuality is only a sin to the degree it emphasizes exclusion"
well something like that, ...

there were many small, sometimes large sections devoted to understanding acceptance and equality, these were removed into such a general focus it becomes hard to see how the course can relate to specific areas of our live. it makes it hard going forward to see it all, ... sure, once you get it you can see in hindsight how it applies to everything else, but for many, having a place to start is the best place to start instead of giving something that is very general that applies to a general view of ones life with nothing specific
Hi Liz -

"For example I would read in ACIM that illness in the body is caused by my identification with the body. In my guilt I would feel fearful when I read this. But later when I would think of those passages the Holy Spirit in my mind would explain that I experienced illness because of my identification with the body. This, of course, makes perfect sense. I would not experience illness otherwise."

I was reading this today and I can't see the difference in what you're saying here in the first sentence that reads "I would read in ACIM that illness in the body is caused by my identification with the body." and where you said "the Holy Spirit in my mind would explain that I experienced illness because of my identification with the body."

Both seem to say the same thing to me. Can you explain the difference which made the difference clear to you? Has it got to do with the idea of "experiencing"?

thanks Liz
ACIM Mentor said…
WTP, ACIM says that my identification with a body is what makes the body sick. The cause of illness in the body is a mind mis-identifying with it.

What I learned from the HS is that the body is inherently imperfect. Illness is just part of the experience of the body. I would not experience illness if I did not identify with a body. This does not get to the cause of the illness, but rather to why I experience illness.
hannah said…
liz. i thought i understood this for a minute there!

this is what i thought you meant.. so, bodies just DO experience pain and pleasure. health and sickness. you also wouldnt experience pleasure if you did not identify with a body? i thought you meant that the choice for illness and pleasure was the same choice.. the choice to identify with a body. and so, when you experienced illness was simply going to be down to environmental factors, same as with pleasure. only this makes it seem like illness is more.. well.. random than pleasure.

then i was confused again when i read this

'Last year during a brief illness I caught a glimpse of the level of mind where the choice of illness is made. When I saw this I simultaneously saw that that level of the mind is not real, either.'

what that last part sounds like to me is that the level of mind that chooses illness is NOT the same as the level that chooses to identify with a body?!

i do get that no level or aspect of mind that involves choice can be real, but other than that.. is it possible to clarify?
ACIM Mentor said…
Hannah, what happens in form is the result of cause and effect at the level of form. Sickness of the body is the result of cause and effect at the level of form - genetic, viruses, bacteria, worn out immune systems, etc. The pleasures of the body is usually something we choose and pursue. Sex, something we enjoy eating or drinking, a massage, etc.

The level of mind that chooses illness IS the level that chooses to identify with a body. How else would you experience illness? The choice to experience the body is the choice to experience it all - pain, illness, injury, pleasure, etc. But that level is nothing. Meaning, there's no reason to attend to that level. You don't have to worry about identifying with the body or not identifying with it. Identify with a body until you NATURALLY do not. Until then, just ask the HS to help you in caring for the body.
hannah said…
liz, right!! thanks, comprende. and i got you that i cant intellectualise my way to releasing my identification with the body. question though.. as someone who no longer identities with the body, (or would it be more accurate to say you no longer strongly or fully identify with the body? can you not identify with the body at all and seem to stay in the body?) do you still ask for help with caring for the body in the same way as you did? i mean.. that process wouldnt really change would it, only feeling guilty about it or that it was a big deal would change?
ACIM Mentor said…
Hannah, I don't know how much I still identify with a body. I don't think about it. I just keep bringing myself back to mind.

I don't "go to" the HS the way I used to with anything. The line between the HS and me has blurred. It's just here. It's just sort of a given with me that I will come from that place in my mind.
hannah said…
liz, thank you.. that answer just makes me very happy!

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