To Deny the Body is "Unworthy" of Your Mind

To Deny the Body is “Unworthy” of Your Mind (March 10, 2017)

All students come to A Course in Miracles identified with the ego (personal thought system), which is another way of saying that they come with their mind steeped in guilt. So when they read that the body is not real they think that they are guilty for identifying with it. Actually, they do feel, unconsciously or consciously, guilty for identifying with it, but that does not mean that they are guilty for identifying with it. However, reading that the body is not real only increases their guilt at first and they attempt to deal with this guilt by pretending that they do not identify with it (“I know I’m not a body, but…”) or by denying or repressing their body’s feelings or desires.

Denial is never the way to deal with guilt. It suppresses the source of guilt (the belief that the body is real) instead of undoing it. And denying your experience also denigrates the power of your mind, which leads to feeling powerless.

“The body is merely part of your experience in the physical world. Its abilities can be and frequently are overevaluated. However, it is almost impossible to deny its existence in this world. Those who do so are engaging in a particularly unworthy form of denial. The term "unworthy" here implies only that it is not necessary to protect the mind by denying the unmindful. If one denies this unfortunate aspect of the mind's power, one is also denying the power itself.” (T-2.IV.3)

This is one of the most important quotes in ACIM because it means to prevent the very common mistake of dealing with guilt through denial. As it says, the body is only a part of your experience of the physical world. It is not wrong. You over-evaluate the body’s ability to make you feel whole, which is a mistake, not a “sin”. If you deny the experience of the body you deny the power of your mind, the source of your experience of it. And then you cannot move past the experience.

To move past your identification with a body you need to first acknowledge that you are the source of this identification. If you don’t you will feel some other power is the source of your identification and that you are powerless to change your mind. But once you acknowledge the power of your mind and the power of its choice to identify with the body you can use this identification to grow your awareness of Truth. Invite the Holy Spirit (the Awareness of Truth in your mind) to be your partner in everything to do with the body: Its health, its diet, its relationships, its work, its interests – everything. In time, as the Holy Spirit becomes real to you and you learn to trust It, It will lead you past your identification with the body and into the Awareness of Truth. This, not denial, is what ACIM teaches you to do with the body.

Do you have questions about or blocks to making the Holy Spirit your partner in everything? My job as a mentor is to help you hear the Holy Spirit within your own mind. Learn more about what I offer at


hannah said…
liz, this is what im afraid of, my understanding of this..

The term "unworthy" here implies only that it is not necessary to protect the mind by denying the unmindful. If one denies this unfortunate aspect of the mind's power, one is also denying the power itself.

i believe my mind is powerful and doesnt exist in a bubble. if i can sometimes hear others thoughts and feel what they are feeling, then others cannot be immune to my thoughts.


Denial is never the way to deal with guilt. It suppresses the source of guilt (the belief that the body is real) instead of undoing it.

well, i can understand that intellectually. i can see how my thinking that the body is real is the only reason i could feel guilty about my thoughts and feelings. and because i think the body is real i think it can be effected by outer causes. but liz.. thats so damn hard! how do i not repress this self, when it has thoughts that would/could make others i believe in feel uncomfortable or afraid without knowing why they are feeling it? it seems so unkind, and yet i CAN see how that belief is just a trap. i feel trapped, by myself, by my thoughts, and by caring for how others feel and wanting them to feel safe and un-threatened. and i feel angry. cos it FEELS like the only way out is to .. well.. be harmful without holding back. oh, thank god for bridges.. HS and you.
ACIM Mentor said…
Hannah, do you know what others feel or are you projecting or simply intuiting? Just because sometimes you intuit their thoughts does not mean it is reciprocal. And, in any case, you are not responsible for their thoughts and feelings. If they choose to take your thoughts and feelings personally that is their responsibility, not yours.

Do you think you are the only one going around having negative thoughts about others? Everyone has them. It's how we know what others think! You are claiming too much power! You are no different from anyone else. Why are you the only one responsible?

And do you think that repressing those thoughts mean that they are not there? Repression does not get rid of them. It's the way you hold onto them. Let them come up and then let them pass and choose to come from the other place.

You are giving these thoughts and feelings way too much power. They are just thoughts and feelings!
will said…
Hannah, Are you psychic? You said you could hear other people's thoughts?
hannah said…
liz. thats what scares me. if i thought it WAS different from everyone else then i wouldnt worry about affecting them. but mind is mind, right? it works the same way for everyone? you say it might not be reciprocal, and that would be generally incredibly relieving. hmm.. if that was how id felt, i might not have followed acim in an attempt to get past guilt. i very much like that you say im claiming too much power.. as ive studied acim and read passages about the power of mind, and how minds are joined and not private i have become more and more afraid of my mind, at the same time as becoming more and more.. well, respectful of it? maybe thats not the right word, i mean knowing that it isnt weak and ineffectual.

i had to look up intuit, and it said 'understand or work out by instinct'. and that is how i understand humans to work, how we read others, including body language etc. but sometimes something happens that is different than that. (will, id not say psychic, because its rare, random, not something i can choose and so far has never been useful.)(except.. maybe right now, laugh!) i'll give a quick example, to show how its not intuition, liz, or at least not as the definition that i just read.. maybe you mean something different?
my friend ness and i went to visit another friend, elf, and as i walked through the front door i heard the words, very loud and clear, 'i shat myself' and my reaction to that was 'woah hannah, boy you think some random s***" and i dropped it, which in itself was odd for me, id normally go into self analysis, but i was busy socialising. half an hour later i could see elf (who is in her late 70's) was working up to telling us something, and she told how the week before she had been out with a friend and had an 'big accident' while on a long drive, and how she dealt with the extreme embarrassment, guilt for making a mess, and how she was struggling to cope with a body that was no longer functioning as it was 'supposed' to. it was obviously on her mind to talk about it with people she trusted, and that was basically what i heard walking through the door. and thats what scares me, liz. im not different, mind is just mind. i know i was just talking with nikki about different ways to look at others responses to ourselves if they feel hurt or something, then feeling guilty .. and its obviously something im only barely learning myself.

i think im edging toward being able to let go of projecting responsibility for feelings where responsibility isnt. inner and outer, all the same. i guess.. i basically always feel responsible for how everyone is feeling. whether ive felt that ive caused their feelings or not, ive felt deeply that it was my job to alleviate others pain. even as i kid if i didnt like someone, or was scared of someone, if they were angry or hurting i couldnt bear it. im finding that idea/feeling, so far, the very hardest one to drop, and its the biggest whip. my biggest special relationship self image. ah, liz. i just got another part of the higher miracle dream. golly, thank you. i guess i always felt, i was the only one responsible, because very often it seemed that no one else was interested in helping the person in pain, and if id didnt try and alleviate the pain, no one else did. so i felt i had to try and protect everyone.

hannah said…
its not necessary to try and protect the mind by denying the unmindful. oh i think im getting it. im just desperately trying to alleviate THE guilt.

bloody hell. ive used moths as a symbol for 'allies, friends' after reading carlos castaneda. one just flew under my thumb as i was typing and i killed it. this is part of the higher miracle dream too liz. i feel so damn guilty. meaning to or not, i killed it. i feel no desire to go into drama right now liz, or beat myself up.. but i KNOW this is the heart of the big block. i believe that moth was innocent and i killed it. its like.. i chose that, IT chose that, and that insanity is unbearable. except its not now. that other place is real, not this madness. but i believe in death still.
ACIM Mentor said…
Hannah, you have aptly described co-dependency - you are responsible for everyone else. You have to fix or save the world. This is your identity and it is multi-layered and it will take time to work out.

Keep in mind that your one responsibility is to accept the Atonement (correction of your perception that you are separate from God) FOR YOURSELF.
Anonymous said…
Write less, listen more.
hannah said…
oh, that is so awesome. thats awesome! its like ive been looking for so long at this.. fuzzy thing. 'my biggest special relationship self image' and you have just 'nutshelled' it into a clear picture. so, its a multi layered image, thats cool. (right now at least, patience is growing) the relief feels immense, and every layer of that image peeled away will bring more relief.. until i no longer believe i need relief. happy dance! for myself, not my's elfs ;) (groan)
hannah said…
anonymous, its only since ive really joined the conversation openly and authentically despite any shame doing this brings up, that ive started to get through the fuzziness of it all. like what just happened above. i do listen to liz, she always rings true, and my ability to hear her would seem to be growing! ah laugh.. am i trying to 'save or fix' you right now? maybe.. apologies.. i do that ;)
will said…
My mind raced for years. My sponsor who was a nurse put her foot down and said I had to see a psychiatrist (can prescribe meds) and he put me on Buspar. This is 25 years ago. I don't remember any over night miracles but it worked over time. My sponsor told me I was being held hostage. Over the years I have heard so much negativity about meds. A lot of the people in AA would get crazy if they found out you were taking "pills." But when the brain gets sick it's a real bear cat to live with.
will said…
Reading over my last post I hope I didn't offend anyone. I've been dealing with mental health issues with myself and helping others with theirs a good part of my life so it is second nature to talk about it. Oh Well.
This comment has been removed by the author.
I've become so guilty and terrified and suffered from distorting the teachings so much I don't seem to be able to open my mind TO correct my perception of separation and I DO feel powerless.
hannah said…
that old bear cat hey will! you know i understand the urge to talk about it, laugh ;) ive been doing the helping/fixing thing so long too, im finding it hard to figure out where it ends and i start. as in.. whats my intuition, whats habit.
LVO said…
Is it not just ego that needs to figure it all out? ...that must try to understand that we are actually led away from our part... "willingness"?
Is it not just "willingness" that is required to see things differently? ... a surrender to be open to receive through HS rather then trying to do it for ourselves? Me thinks me thinks too much. Lol
Keren said…
Thank you for this, what perfect timing for me. I have been dealing with chronic illness and am currently home very sick. Everything you wrote about is EXACTLY what I've been experiencing. I've been feeling tremendous guilt and shame for experiencing serious illness because I feel it means I am over-identifying with my body and creating disease. I struggle with this because I feel am "doing" everything I need to do to correct my misconceptions but continue to experience bodily illness. This post has given me the insight I need to work through these areas. Thank you!
ES said…
As I read the various postings containing talk of shame and guilt I reflect on the theme of choice which is one of the pillars of the Course. We are bombarded by choices every day in our worldly lives through which we have to navigate, young children are taught about making good and bad choices both at school and at home. Yet when it comes to our spiritual/emotional lives we find ourselves seemingly trapped and up against a wall by the messages our egos send us. Years ago I thought of this issue of having a choice - as far as what we do with our minds - as corny at best and a crock of bs at worst. Now however, when my ego starts to lay some guilt trip on me I think that my ego is having a party and is sending me an invitation. How many of us would walk into a biker bar looking for a good time? Most of us would seek another venue or simply go home. The bikers will do what they do but we are somewhere else.

I ask myself, "Can we really cause our own illnesses with our our thoughts? Is there some boogeyman around every bush ready to judge and criticize and punish?" You can't make this stuff up, as the saying goes. But that's the point - we do, and suffer for it. Time to choose.
hannah said…
ES thanks a billion xx this is what i was listening to last night

'the ego thought system is 100% hate. 100% self hate, which is guilt. it never changes, or diminishes. it will only disappear in that instant we choose to accept the atonement for ourselves. and then, its just gone. until then it remains what 100% hate.

the holy spirits right minded thought system is 100% forgiveness, love, peace. this difference in the thought systems is the only difference that is 'allowable' in terms of making sense to us in the world of illusion.

both thought systems are illusory, but the egos roots us in the illusion. the holy spirits corrects what never happened, so it is also illusory, but it leads us out of perceiving illusion as truth.

it shines a light on the thought system of sin, guilt and attack. and then the darkness just dissolves back into the nothingness from which it came. it doesnt diminish - what diminishes is the amount of time we spend with what causes us pain.

it sounds easy when you read it like this.. but letting go of attachment to the ideas of what will make the self happy? letting go the self we know? it feels like committing suicide. like self harm! ah, time to choose. now i have the simpsons in my head.. a valentines card with 'i choo choose you' make that a capital Y and abstract and see where the train goes?
ACIM Mentor said…
Hannah, you do not have to work at letting go of the ego's attachments. You are in that process. You did your part. You let Truth in. Now the letting go is unfolding. Whenever you feel like working at it remind yourself that you are in that process and it will happen organically.

Yes, the ego will tell you that you are "killing yourself" by letting it go. But of course it always speaks for itself. You are "killing" it, not yourself. It's just a thought system with which you mistakenly identify. And you don't have to worry about it falling away before you are ready. It will be natural when it happens.
hannah said…
liz, right, right. OH! another layer removed.. the letting go IS unfolding! double oh! sorting out self from existence. liz, your 'gentle reminders to the self' are so very kind, and effective. thank you x
will said…
You are a wild woman Hannah:) You are one hard working student of the Course.
hannah said…
ah will, i laughed out loud.. even laugh-snorted a bit ;) thank you!! i really do enjoy a good synchronicity.. i discovered a new (to me) song this morning by lindsey stirling and andrew mcmahon. heres the lyrics..

'something wild'

You had your maps drawn
You had other plans
To hang your hopes on
Every road they led you down felt so wrong
So you found another way

You've got a big heart
The way you see the world
It got you this far
You might have some bruises
And a few scars
But you know you're gonna be okay

Even though you're scared
You're stronger than you know

If you're lost out where the lights are blinding
Caught in all the stars are hiding
That's when something wild calls you home, home
If you face the fear that keeps you frozen
Chase the sky into the ocean
That's when something wild calls you home, home

Sometimes the past can
Make the ground beneath you feel like quicksand
You don't have to worry
You reach for my hand
And I know you're gonna be okay
You're gonna be okay

Even if you're scared
You're stronger than you know

but.. i think am slowly learning that as liz says.. its time to stop working so damn hard. continuing to work so hard would be.. holding peace at arms length. i mean.. i am who i am, im interested in what i am.. but that part, that focus, the interest and magnetic pull of this path, that in itself doesnt feel like work. i cant imagine really focusing on anything else like this. but .. oh! as liz wrote, as far as the part that DOES still feel like hard work, (ie. when guilt is present as real and i feel i need to solve a problem)

"Whenever you feel like working at it remind yourself that you are in that process and it will happen organically."

isnt organically a great word will!? i mean.. when i feel super low, i could poke the word in the eyeball, but otherwise.. so very relaxing!
will said…
Time to stop working so damn hard Wild Woman.
will said…
But not to worry, trying to stop working so hard may be the hardest work you have ever done, so you get the best of both worlds:)
hannah said…
ah, hahahahahahaha! i am STILL laughing out loud. aw, you little ripper, now thats a relief will.. how could i be wonder woman with out my whip, hahahahaha.
hannah said…
(jokes liz, jokes.. but that was bloody funny)

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