Seeing Beyond the Body

The body is the ego’s idol; the belief in sin made flesh and then projected outward.
~ A Course in Miracles

A theme that is discussed very often in A Course in Miracles is that of the body – ours and everyone else’s. We learn that the body is nothing – it is a neutral thing onto which we project all the meaning it has for us.

But when we look about the world, and especially when we contemplate our emotional state, we think in terms of the body. How does my body feel? How are the bodies of people I care about?

When we are unhappy, it is often because certain bodily needs are not being met – either physical or psychological. So how in the world can we see beyond the body – and what does that even mean?

It helps to understand that the body (ours and everyone else’s) doesn’t “act” on its own. It is directed by the mind, either the ego mind or the mind of spirit. When we choose the ego, then our body is used to reinforce and perpetuate the belief that we are all separate entities struggling to get our needs met – oftentimes at the expense of someone or something else. This line from the Course makes it so clear: “The body is the ego’s idol; the belief in sin made flesh and then projected outward.” (T-20.VI.11).

On the other hand, when we choose the mind of spirit, our body becomes an instrument of peace. And while our physical eyes still see other bodies, we understand that beyond the form is the love and common purpose that unites everyone.

So our practice for today is to watch how often our vision stops at the level of the body, and remind ourselves that we can see beyond the body by choosing the mind of spirit.