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 Going Deeper part 13

Editor's note: This transcript has been lightly edited to bring clarification to certain points of the dialogue and for easier readability. For this reason, it does not match the corresponding audio mp3 word-for-word. However, the overall content and the expressed ideas remain unchanged.

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The Illusion of Sickness and Health

Participant: Good afternoon.

Speaker: Good afternoon.

Participant: With minds joined in that one clear intention to cut through deception, to uncover false beliefs, we come together again.

Speaker: Yes

Participant: Let’s begin by talking about the illusion of sickness.

Speaker: We can run through our metaphysics real quick so we can get our basis for our discussion about the illusion of sickness, because it really all comes back to the basic metaphysics. So let’s take it first from the tiny mad idea, that it is possible to be separate from God, and the mind, instead of remembering to laugh at such a silly idea, takes it serious and feels horrified that it has pulled off the impossible, that it’s actually separated from God. Then we go to a world being projected out to hide from God and, the world as a defence, as a screen. Yesterday we talked about how it was very important to see differences, to see a split out there on the screen as opposed to seeing a split in the mind. The perceived mind is terrified of the light. It wants to run so to speak onto the screen and be distracted. The ego would have the mind remain distracted with the screen and to see victims, victimisers, good guys, bad guys, fortunate and unfortunate. To see the split on the screen is very important. And part of the split that we really didn’t go into great depth about was sickness and health. Then, once again, we have a spectrum of what this world would call “sick”, certain symptoms in which the body seems to be breaking down or seems to be operating at less than what it would call the norm.

The other extreme is health which is once again an illusion in the sense that there are certain standards and norms of the physique, of the immune system, that are thought to be part of a healthy body. So we have a spectrum there, another split in duality, sickness and health. When in reality if we pull it back that, in a sense, the body is not sick and the body is not well. These are meanings that are read onto the screen and onto the body and the mind then determines what it thinks health is and what it thinks sickness is.

Participant: So it’s really just the mind’s interpretation of what is seen through the body’s eyes?

Speaker: Yes. The body’s eyes are continually bringing forth witnesses. They were made to call forth witnesses of separation. Basically it’s the separating out and the categorising activities of the mind where the judgement takes place. Basically the body’s senses just bring forth witnesses to fill in the categories and the splits and the judgements that have already been made in the mind. So, in other words, the deceived mind has a category of what it calls sickness and, it will call forth, it will look for witnesses to that category.

Oh, you’re looking a little tired today, you look a little run down, you’re a little bit pale, you don’t look very well. Obviously things such as blood, sores, scabs, coughs, sneezes, loss of limbs, injuries, and so forth, those are all in the sickness category.
Generally pain in one’s experience is categorised in the area of sickness as well so that this includes feelings in the body as well where the body may not look sick according to a certain category. If one is feeling pain there is usually an association with illness and sickness is once again a witness. This is a decision in mind that is being projected onto the body as a witness. The mind then has a quick forgetting. It forgets that it made the decision and it seems as if all things in the world, as if something in the world is the cause. It is germs or I burn myself on a stove as if the hot stove and the finger touching it has been the cause of the throbbing pain in the finger, or I sprain my ankle. There’s always a justification for the pain. It’s being seen as happening as something in the world. And, once again, what is forgotten, is that it is a decision in the mind. The mind is afraid of love. The mind is afraid of healing in that sense, because healing would in a sense prove to the deceived mind the fallacy of its guilt and the fallacy of its deception. The deceived mind is convinced that it’s guilty. So in a real twisted way it’s like healing would prove God right and me wrong and, in a sense, to the deceived mind or to the ego, it’s like God wins then. If I am healed then God wins. The mind is so convinced of its guilt. It’s so convinced that it has usurped the power of God that it recoils from love. It recoils from light. When light gets too close, when there is too close of an awareness of it then a defence such as sickness is a quick way of providing a witness, forgetting that the mind made the witness and justifying its unworthiness and guilt.

Participant: So another way of talking about that is just to put it in the framework of littleness and magnitude. The mind that believes it’s separated from God then believes that it’s guilty, that it’s going to be punished, believes in its littleness, and the sickness that it projects is its proof. That, it’s like saying to God, see I am little, I’m weak, I am nothing, I am puny, I am helpless, I am frail, I am not the magnitude that you think I am or that you created me to be. I’ve made myself something else other than that.

Speaker: Yes, and certainly sickness conflicts with the idea of magnitude. It’s impossible to hold the idea in mind that I am the holy Son of God himself, or that I am infinite, that I am Spirit, with the witness of pain, of deterioration, of sickness. Being identified with the body is being sick and so forth, so it definitely wipes out of awareness the thought of magnitude which is precisely why it’s used, to keep it at bay.

Participant: It’s the ego’s intention to keep that magnitude out of mind. And anything as limiting as sickness certainly does that.

Speaker: When we get back to the levels, the mind and the world body level, we once again have level confusion in the sense that sickness, as seen in the world, or health, as seen in the world, gets into defining the problem based on form. As we discussed yesterday, the problem is in the mind. When the problem is seen to be in the mind; when the problem is seen to be solely the belief in separation; then it’s answered because the solution or the Holy Spirit is in the mind. But when the problem is not seen where it is; when the problem is defined as being in the world; then of course the solution is obscure because the problem is still not defined correctly, and so the problem is obscure.

So with defining sickness as being out in the world and in the body, that once again conveniently serves the ego because it denies or covers over the fact that the mind is sick because the focus is on, ‘I’ve got a sick body, I’ve got the flu, I’ve got cancer, a sore throat’ or so forth…this is my problem, this is the way my problem has been defined. And the flip side of course is, I’m in great shape, I can bench press 400lbs and I can jog 20 miles and hardly break a sweat. I’ve got great stamina, my cholesterol count is way down. I’m a trim, lean fighting machine…the whole deal. This is the mind’s definition of health and there’s a great obsession to pursue that as well.

Participant: So you’re saying either one, both, are equally illusory?

Speaker: Yes, because there is no health in the world per se because health is a state of mind. It is peace of mind.

Participant: It’s not a state of body.

Speaker: Yes.

Participant: And of course, we associate health and sickness with a state of body and it’s really a state of mind.

Speaker: Yes.

Participant: But it’s because of the association with the body, that it is an effective decoy or delay manoeuvre by the ego to keep the mind from looking at the mind.

Speaker: Yes. Health is associated with nutrition as well, eating the right foods. The laws of nutrition, as we learn in Lesson 76 of ACIM, tells us that that’s a made up law. Obviously it has to do with the body and that’s just another one of those laws. There’s the law of economics and so on and so forth, that are made up laws that have nothing to do with peace of mind, that have nothing to do with the eternal laws.

Participant: It seems to have something to do with what’s defined by ego dictionary as health to the body because of the mind’s investment in it.

Speaker: Yes.

Participant: So you can believe that an exercise program and a very conscientious nutrition program can result in a healthy body. And it may result in a healthy body by that definition of a healthy body but even that is only a result of the exercise program and the nutrition program because of the mind’s belief and investment in it. Is that right?

Speaker: It can be an apparent change but the mind is judging health according to its standards.

Participant: So it’s still an interpretation.

Speaker: It’s still an interpretation. The deceived mind has a big investment in the body of course because, within the dream world, it has turned its back on the light, it has foregone and dissociated the Spirit that it truly is and it believes it is a body or at least in a body. And therefore, health is important. It now has chosen the body to focus on as its home and it focuses on it as if it’s born in a body and it lives a certain while and that it will die. But it wants to make the body the best home that it can make for it in a sense, despite the fact that the body will break down and degenerate and will never be immortal and is very temporal and transitory. It’s like everything else in the projected cosmos. The mind has a big investment in trying to make it a good home. Therefore, if it’s seen that if I can live longer by exercising and eating the right things, if I can make it more comfortable by doing these things then I will do it. But there’s still the flip side is that there is a strong identification and belief in the body. The body in this perspective is not seen as nothing, it is seen as something and that’s why the obsession, or the great search, for health is in the wrong place. Once again health can accurately be described as inner peace, as a mind that has let go of judgment, has let go of ordering thoughts that we talked about, a mind that reaches true perception or a more stabilised perception, is a mind at peace and a mind that truly is healed and truly, in that sense of the world is healthy.

Participant: So even to consider the body as an instrument that the Holy Spirit uses, I have to regard that body as nothing? I think there is that trap of thinking that, because it’s going to be used by the Holy Spirit, that somehow it’s something, so then I have to take care of it in a certain way, I have to be responsible for the kind of food I put in it and the exercise that I provide for it etc, etc. you know what I’m saying, it’s as if I’m saying that this is a temple of the Holy Spirit so I have to regard it with respect and that means this and that and the other but this, that and the other are just ways of the mind validating that the body is something but it’s nothing. It’s only when it can be seen as nothing that it can be turned over and really used by the Holy Spirit as an instrument.

Speaker: Yes. There is a subtle trap of course of denying the body which, when we talk about the body as nothing is a very deep, deep, deep ultimate sense of what it truly is. The Course does not ask us to deny the perception of the body, so once again, the most helpful thing to come at this would be to come at it from a sense of purpose or the “What for” question, what is it for? Which again brings us back to the mind level. Now, what’s very helpful in this is to really go into the Course and really look at the ego’s purposes of the body and the Holy spirit’s purpose of the body and, as that gets cleared out, as that gets sorted out in the mind and the mind starts to clearly discern the Holy Spirit’s purpose as opposed to the ego’s and voluntarily gives up the ego’s purposes, then the body becomes more and more peripheral in awareness, it approaches nothing.

Participant: So, there’s never a necessity of focusing on the body in a sense because the thing to do is to focus on the purpose and the let the rest fall into place accordingly. So the way to get to a point of regarding the body as nothing is by focusing on the purpose?

Speaker: Yes.

Continue to Part 14

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