Oct 24, 2004
T8.6 Communication and the Ego-Body Equation

Good evening. And welcome to everyone who’s joining us on the Internet.

For those of you who may be joining us for the first time tonight, I am reading from the Course as it was completed by Bill Thetford before any major changes were made. And as a result, if you’re reading from the First or Second Edition of the Course, you will notice differences. If you find that I am reading something that is not in the book you’re reading from, just stay in the same place and it will pick up. Don’t begin flipping pages or you’ll lose the place.

Okay …

In the world, not even the body is perceived as whole. Its purpose is seen as fragmented into many functions which bear little or no relationship to each other, so that it appears to be ruled by chaos.1

Well, in the world. In the world. In other words, when you’re not experiencing the Kingdom of Heaven as the Kingdom of Heaven but as the world, you are experiencing everything from a place within yourself that experiences no union with God. In other words, from an independent, autonomous place. This causes the absolute Harmony and Unity of Reality, the Kingdom of Heaven that’s the only thing confronting you to appear to be fragmented. Your experience is fragmented into you and not you—everything else. And it causes your body to be experienced by you as made up of fragmented parts, so that the growing of your toenail seems to have nothing to do with the skin on your elbow, or your kidneys can seem to decide to function at odds with the rest of the body because it has its own capacity to cooperate or not cooperate. And so on.

So …

In the world…

In other words, in the frame of mind in which you’re not seeing the Kingdom of Heaven and you’re not experiencing your Real Identity.

… not even the body is perceived as whole. Its purpose is seen as fragmented into many functions …

… digestion, breathing, elimination, assimilation, and so on.

Its purpose is seen as fragmented into many functions which bear little or no relationship to each other, so that it appears to be ruled by chaos. Guided by the ego, it IS. Guided by the Holy Spirit, it is NOT.

As I said earlier, there’s only one thing for you to be experiencing and it’s Reality. Depending upon the teacher you are listening to, it will either appear to be a material world or the Kingdom of Heaven. Well, likewise, guided by the ego, the other teacher, the body appears to be ruled by chaos, but guided by the Holy Spirit, it is not. One and the same thing. Just like the only thing there is for you to experience is Reality, the Kingdom of Heaven. There’s just one thing experienced in two contradictory ways depending upon what is providing you with the perception of that thing. If it is the ego, it appears to be chaotic. If it is the Holy Spirit, it is seen and experienced … it is seen for and experienced as What It Is, a communication device, the means to extend your Function.

Again …

Guided by the Holy Spirit, it is NOT.

Ruled by chaos.

It becomes only a means by which the part of the mind you have separated from your Soul can reach beyond its distortions, and RETURN to the Soul.

We have discussed at some length the fact that your present sense of yourself is a small circumscribed part of What You Infinitely Are, a small part which you’re saying is you, separated and bounded off from All The Rest Of What You Infinitely Are. And All The Rest Of What You Are that you no longer experience as you is called the Holy Spirit.

Now, it’s important to understand this because when your body is guided by the Holy Spirit …

It becomes only a means by which the part of the mind you have separated from your Soul …

… from the rest of what you Are.

… can reach beyond its distortions, and RETURN to the Soul.

In other words, become reunited.

Now, if the Purpose of the body is to be the Means of Communication of Truth, who is it going to be communicated to? What is it going to be communicated to? Your Brothers and Sisters and your world. So the means by which you come back into your Sanity, into your Whole-mindedness is through the extension of Truth as you’re letting it be revealed to yourself, to your Brother, and to All of Creation—the world.

Again, you are not going to wake up by going on an individual journey Home to God, a journey that has nothing to do with your Brothers and Sisters. There is no private means of waking up through a private connection and devotion to God. Your devotion to God will only be genuine and real when it’s a devotion to extending the acknowledgement of What Is True About Your Brother to your Brother publicly, not secretly in your mind, but in your words and your acts and your deeds, the conscious expression of affection to each other and your world.

Now …

The ego’s temple …

… the material body.

… thus becomes the temple of the Holy Spirit, where devotion to Him replaces devotion to the ego.

Now remember again, the Holy Spirit is not some infinite entity side by side with God, separate from you, that you are subserviently reaching out to from your humble smallness. The Holy Spirit is nothing more than your Right Mind. When devotion to your Right Mind replaces devotion to the ego, what had been seen as the ego’s temple becomes the temple of the Holy Spirit. Your body becomes the illumination of, the manifestation of, the Visibility and Tangibility of your Divine Presence. And that Function of your body was set into place by God when He, for lack of better words, thought you. Because everything that God creates is experienceable, and therefore, to the Mind that formed it, it is Visible, Tangible and Experienceable.

Continuing …

In this sense the body DOES become a temple to God, because His Voice abides in it by directing the use to which it is put.

Healing …

… whole-izing.

Healing is the result of using the body SOLELY for communication.

Well, what do you mean? Instead of what? Well, instead of defense. Instead of as a means of building yourself up. Instead of as a means of exercising authority and control over other parts of the Infinitude of your Being that’s called Creation.

Healing is the result of using the body SOLELY for communication. Since this is natural, it heals by making whole, which is ALSO natural. ALL mind is whole, and the belief that part of it is physical, or NOT mind, is a fragmented (or sick) interpretation.

Interpretation. Your body is constituted of Ideas. They are not matter. And the Energy of those Ideas is Spirit, which means the Energy of any part of your body is Spirit. It therefore is not physical. But it does exist as an Idea, or as a collection of Ideas which are Real and Tangible to the Mind that formed them. And they are therefore Eternal, as Eternal as the Mind that formed them. To see it otherwise is to be indulging in an interpretation that is being overlaid upon Something That Is Real. And if you insist upon your interpretation, you block the experience of What It Really Is.

Continuing …

Mind CANNOT be made physical, but it CAN be made manifest THROUGH the physical if it uses the body to go BEYOND itself.

To go beyond the body.

By reaching OUT, the mind extends itself. It does not STOP at the body, for if it does, it is blocked in its purpose.

Now think about it for a moment. If you are feeling threatened, if you are feeling vulnerable, you’re always feeling vulnerable as a body. And so you spontaneously withdraw your natural inclination to extend and you shield yourself. You let your body be the boundary that you protect, because you think that the boundary of the body is the boundary of you. When that happens, the mind does not reach out. It reinforces itself in a picture it has of what it believes it is, which is a body, and extension stops and your Natural Function is blocked.

Continuing …

A mind which has been blocked has allowed itself to be vulnerable to attack because it has TURNED AGAINST ITSELF.

How has it turned against itself? It has refused to perform its Function. It’s refusing to be What It Is, which is communication.

Continuing …

The removal of the blocks, then, is the ONLY way to guarantee help and healing. Help and healing are the normal expressions of a mind which is working THROUGH the body, but not IN it.

The fact is if you will, any of you will sit there for a moment, the fact is that you will realize that your body is an experience you’re having in your mind. Not one of you has had the sensation or any approximation of an experience of your mind being in your body. You can create a picture of that in your mind, thinking that your mind is in your brain within your skull, but not one of you have had such an experience. Everything that is going on in your life is going on in your mind. It’s going on in the Experience of Consciousness, of being conscious.

Continuing …

If the mind believes the body is its GOAL, it WILL distort its perception of the body, and by blocking its own extension beyond it, will induce illness by fostering SEPARATION.

And I would go further than that and say it’s not just by fostering separation, but by confirming it to you in your mind. So when you get in the state of defense where you’re unwilling to extend Love, when you’re unwilling to embrace and include your Brother with the goal of, to the best of your ability, recognizing What Is Divinely True About Them in them, you’re in a state of blocked Function. And when that happens, it’s not comfortable. And that act of self-protection and self-defense reinforced by an armor that you pretend is there at the boundary of your body, you begin to experience a body that is chaotic. Why? Because you’re standing opposed to its Function. Because you’re standing opposed to your Function.

You turn the water on in your hose and then run over the end of it with your car and stop so that the passage of the water can’t continue, and what happens? Why it begins to back up, and it begins to stretch, and obvious tension is observed until you can tell that it’s almost at the point of blowing, exploding. When you block your Function, you create dissonance, tension, chaos, and suffering in the form of all … in the form of illness.

Continuing …

Perceiving the body as a SEPARATE entity cannot BUT foster illness, because it is not true.

When you make commitment to what isn’t true, you are engaging in embodying or attempting to embody what isn’t true. And you cannot do that comfortably.

A medium of communication …

… your body or any medium of communication …

… will LOSE its usefulness if it is used for anything else.

If you take a woofer from your speaker and try to use it as a dish to serve potato salad in, it will lose its function, won’t it? Because it has only one function. That one function isn’t a limitation. When that one function is what it’s used for, it can reproduce any kind of music, any kind of sound, infinite expressions of harmony without limit.

A medium of communication will LOSE its usefulness if it is used for anything else. To use a medium of communication as a medium of ATTACK is an obvious confusion in purpose.

And in the attempt to use it that way, you will create dissonance for yourself. It fosters illness.

To communicate is to join, and to attack is to separate. How can you do both simultaneously with the SAME THING, and NOT suffer?

Can you imagine what Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony sounds like when it tries to come through a mound of potato salad?

How can you do both simultaneously with the SAME THING, and NOT suffer? Perception of the body can be unified only by ONE purpose.

You see, it’s part of the simplicity of Singularity. A newcomer says, “Oh, you mean the only thing there is for me to do is glorify God? That’s the only thing there is for me to do? It sounds like a limitation.” It would be like the speaker saying, “Oh, you mean the only thing I can do is give evidence to music? I can’t be a bowl and hold potato salad? What a limitation!” But its function isn’t to hold potato salad. It isn’t to serve as a bowl of water for the family pet. And if those things are put in it, the speaker will lose its capacity to perform its function.

Yes. You have only one Purpose and that is to glorify God. And what did we say last week? Glorifying God means seeing the Truth About Your Brother so that your behavior, your acts, your words embody the acknowledgement of the fact that you’re experiencing a Divine Event where your Brother is. And it’s a Holy Experience, meaning that it fulfills … it fulfills your Reason for Being because it is your Function to see and recognize God, that which is Real, with a capital “R”, in each and every thing. In that Singularity of Purpose, as I’ve said before, the Conscious Experience of Everything as the Kingdom of Heaven opens up to you. It’s no longer hidden from view, covered over by the definitions you have overlaid upon the Kingdom of Heaven.

So it’s not a limitation to only do what it’s your Function to do. And it’s not a limitation to use your body for only one Purpose. When you open up to letting the only Purpose you have and the only Purpose your body has be the only thing it’s employed for, you will experience the Revelation of Reality. You will get it all! Not in fragmented parts, but unified. And in that Experience, you are part of that Unity.

Again …

Perception of the body can be unified only by ONE purpose. This releases the mind from the temptation to see the body in many lights, and gives it over ENTIRELY to the One Light in which it can be really understood at all. To confuse a learning device with a curriculum GOAL is a fundamental confusion.

Remember that I told you that any Aspect of Creation upon which you overlay a definition and you give preference to that definition causes What It Really Is to be obscured to you. And because it is not possible for you to be in conscious denial of What A Thing Divinely Is successfully, What It Is will pressure against your definition in order to break through it and reunite you with What It Really Is. And thus the definition that you are currently giving to Something That Is Real becomes a learning device. Whatever The Thing Really Is becomes a learning device because its intent is to get your attention, redirect it, clarify it, and reconnect you to some Aspect of your Wholeness that you are in a state of denying.

So …

To confuse a learning device …

… meaning the body …

… with a curriculum GOAL is a fundamental confusion.

Your body and its defense is not your goal. Your body and its safety is not your goal, is not your purpose. Your body is a means of communicating beyond it to your Brothers and Sisters and your world an acknowledgement of What They Truly Are. It’s the communication that is the goal, not the preservation of the body, and not the preservation of a self you think you are that is bound by the outlines of the body.

Again …

To confuse a learning device with a curriculum GOAL is a fundamental confusion. Learning can hardly be arrested at its own aids with hope of understanding either the aids OR the learning’s real purpose.

Now the meaning of that might escape you.

Learning can hardly be arrested …

… halted …

… at …

… or by …

… its …

… learning … …

aids …

… as long as you are defining your body as different from What It Truly Is, your body becomes a learning tool, a learning aid.

Learning can hardly be stifled by the learning aid itself …

… with hope of understanding either the aids …

… what the aids are.

… OR the learning’s real purpose.

But when you are engaged in your daily life in protecting yourself against disease, the flu that there aren’t enough shots for, the weather, your Brother, you are caught up with a preoccupation with that which is only a learning aid, the protection of your body. And it’s only a learning aid because you have not remembered What It’s For. When you remember What It’s For, a Means of Communication through, you will stop trying to protect it and it will no longer be for you a learning aid. It will be the Means of Communication. The Communication of what? Of whatever Truth you are aware of about those things in your experience, so that your body becomes the Means through which the Acknowledgement of What A Thing Truly Is occurs.

Learning can hardly be arrested at its own aids …

… by trying to protect those aids, or understand them, or make them what they’re not …

… with …

… and I’m going to add the word “any.” … with any …

… hope of understanding either the aids OR the learning’s real purpose.

And the learning’s real purpose has nothing to do with the body. It has to do with your making the shift from self-protection to the Extension of Love through the body. That’s the learning. The learning is consummated when you actually love your Brother and your Sister in thought, word and deed.

Learning must lead BEYOND the body to the re-establishment of the power of the mind in it. This can be accomplished ONLY if the mind extends to other minds, and does not ARREST itself in its extension.

“Oh, well. Okay, so my body is supposed to be the Means of Extension. Well, I better be sure and take a shower today. And I better be sure and shave. And I better dress it well so that I make a good presentation while I am being the Extension of Love.” Well, you’re arrested at the aid. You’re caught up with your attention focused on the means of communing, of communicating, and you’re not engaged in communication. And I’ll tell you something. When you’re not caught up with (in preoccupation with) the aid, the Extension of Love that you actually engage in will cause you to be beautiful to whoever stands in receipt of it, whether you shaved or not.

The arrest of the mind’s extension …

Listen to this …

… is the cause of ALL illness …

Again …

The arrest of the mind’s extension is the cause of ALL illness because ONLY extension is the mind’s function.

Body-identification indulged in causes you to forget that you are Mind. And indeed, I keep reminding you that you are not a body with a mind in it. You are not even … you do not even have a mind which is in the body. You are Consciousness, not a body. I am encouraging you all to persistently remind yourselves that you are that Conscious Awareness of Being in which everything you are aware of is embraced. You are big. You are as Infinite as Creation is Infinite for you to be aware of.

If you were to get into a space vehicle and go to the end of the universe, where would you be? You would be nowhere. You would be the place, the Conscious Awareness, in which that part of the universe was being experienced. It isn’t as though you would have gone somewhere in the universe, but as though you shifted your attention from one part of your Conscious Awareness to another part of it.

When you get up and go to work every morning or when you take a trip, you get in the car and your attention shifts from where you were to where you’re going, always as a gradually changing awareness of where you are. Are you taking your mind from one place to another in a skull in a body in a car on a highway? No. You are Mind with its attention shifting. That’s the fact. That is the actual experience. But if you are insistent upon a body-identification, that will escape you. And the Sanity that results from proper identification as Mind will also elude you.

Again …

The arrest of the mind’s extension is the cause of ALL illness because ONLY extension is the mind’s function. The opposite of joy is depression. When your learning promotes depression INSTEAD of joy, you CANNOT be listening to God’s joyous Teacher, and you MUST be learning amiss.

Who is God’s Joyous Teacher? The Holy Spirit. What is the Holy Spirit? Nothing more than your Right Mind. Your Right Mind is the Joyous Teacher that will uncover to you your Joy by breaking down the barrier that you have erected imaginatively that seems to cause the Majority Of You to be outside and different from you who’s in this nice little tiny cocoon experiencing misery.

To see a body as anything except a means of pure extension is to limit your mind and HURT YOURSELF.

Not permanently, of course. But a … you know, as long as you are squelching your Divine Nature, which is an impossible thing to do, you will feel like the garden hose that’s filling up with water that’s blocked from coming out the end of the hose.

Health is therefore nothing more than united purpose. If the body is brought under the purpose of the mind, the body becomes whole …

… now did it say the body disappears because it’s not real? The body vanishes because you’ll experience it for the illusion it is and you won’t be fooled by it anymore? No.

If the body is brought under the purpose of the mind, the body becomes whole because the MIND’S purpose IS one.

The opposite of Whole is fragmented.

Attack can only be an ASSUMED purpose of the body, because APART from the mind the body HAS NO PURPOSE AT ALL.

Does that mean the body doesn’t exist? No. It just means that apart from the Mind, the body has no purpose. It has no self-existent, independent purpose. That which identifies God, called Creation, has as Its Purpose the Identification of God. But by itself it has no Purpose at all.

You are NOT limited by the body…

… why? Because you’re not in it; it’s in you. As a material form? No. As a Conscious Experience of Tangibility and Experience-ability and Visibility. And I’ve said before, when you feel your body, it’s Mind feeling the Tangibility of the Idea in It, in the Mind that is experiencing it. And the Substance is Spirit. It is not matter. And it has Substance because every single Thought in the Mind of God is substantial.

You are NOT limited by the body, and thought CANNOT be made flesh. Yet mind can be manifested through the body if it goes beyond it, and DOES NOT …

… what?

… INTERPRET IT AS LIMITATION.

What isn’t real about your bodies is the interpretation you apply to it, the definition you’ve given to it that didn’t arise out of a clear Experience of What It Divinely Is, and therefore obscures to you What It Divinely Is. These are very important points because of All of Creation must be brought back under the jurisdiction of God as a recognition of God Manifest if you are going to wake up.

And as I’ve said before, if you think your Brother is just a physical organism, just an ego, just what the current definition of your Brother is, you will not see your Brother as the means of coming Home. And you will walk by your Brother or Sister every day and not avail yourself of the means of coming Home because you’re looking for another avenue. And that is exactly the way the ego distracts you from Awakening.

And the misinterpretation of what the Course is saying about the body that allows it to remain conceived as an illusion and something that is nonexistent, will not allow you to bring it back under the jurisdiction of God in your mind so that you provide the environment in which the Revelation of Truth can occur and you can wake up. And so I’m spending time here making very clear what is being said, because it is not my wish and it’s not the intent of the Course to in any way delay your Homecoming by means of your misunderstanding what the Course is saying.

Continuing …

You are NOT limited by the body, and thought CANNOT be made flesh. Yet mind can be manifested through the body if it goes beyond it, and DOES NOT INTERPRET IT AS LIMITATION. Whenever you see another as limited TO or BY the body, you are imposing this limit ON YOURSELF.

If you knew better about yourself, you wouldn’t make that presumption about your Brother, or Sister.

So …

Whenever you see another as limited TO or BY the body…

… as though he or she was a body with a mind in it …

… you are imposing this limit ON YOURSELF. Are you willing to ACCEPT this, when your whole purpose for learning should be to ESCAPE from limitations? To conceive of the body as a means of attack of any kind, and to entertain even the possibility that joy could POSSIBLY result, is a clear-cut indication of a poor learner.

Well, shall we talk about what poor learners you are? Shall you get arrested in your learning by becoming focused on that? Or shall you ask, regardless of whether you’re a poor learner, what teacher you’re listening to and whether that’s the teacher you want to listen to? Because the ego as a teacher gives you an impossible learning task which inevitably is going to make you look like a poor learner. Isn’t it? Because the more you try to accomplish an impossible task, the more obvious to you it will become that you’re failing. Why? Because you’re really failing? No. Because the teacher you listened to has told you to do something you can’t do. And so you could say you’re succeeding as What You Truly Are, because as What You Truly Are, you can’t accomplish what’s impossible.

So, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a poor learner. What matters is that you ask, “Who’s the teacher I’m listening to?” Who’s the teacher you want to listen to? Now that you know that the Holy Spirit is nothing but your Right Mind, that it’s the Rest Of You that you’ve blocked off in preference to the definition you’ve given of yourself, you can willingly change teachers, because it’s obvious to you that for you to reunite with your Teacher, the Holy Spirit, means you are reuniting with your Self in your Totality, in your Wholeness. And you can all recognize logically that that is a constructive and good thing to engage in. One that will not take your dignity away, but will reestablish it.

To conceive of the body as a means of attack of any kind, and to entertain even the possibility that joy could POSSIBLY result, is a clear-cut indication of a poor learner. He has accepted a learning goal in obvious contradiction to the unified purpose of the curriculum, and is interfering with his ability to accept its purpose as his OWN.

No curriculum. The curriculum in this book? No. The book simply helps you provide the conditions under which the Revelation of Truth can occur. The Revelation of Truth that occurs will be the undoing of the steps away from Home that you took. The curriculum is constituted of the specific undoing of the steps you took away from Home. It’s the unlearning of what you chose to learn that was at odds with the Truth.

So a poor learner …

… has accepted a learning goal in obvious contradiction to the unified purpose of the curriculum…

… your path back Home …

… and is interfering with his ability to accept its purpose as his OWN.

You see, the purpose of this curriculum, which is the undoing of the steps you took away from Home, is your purpose. Retracing those steps is your purpose. Not a purpose assigned to you by anyone else. It’s your purpose to be Whole. It’s your purpose not to be insane. It’s your purpose not to be fragmented and suffering. It is your purpose to be in Joy, in Peace, Whole and Healthy.

Joy is unified purpose, and unified purpose is ONLY God’s. When yours is unified, it IS His.

When you stop claiming the right to have a little private place in which you are your own little private self with power to do exactly what you choose to do without consideration for anything else, you are not in a position to experience What You Truly Are. And you are not in a position to experience Joy because you don’t have any Joy all by yourself. If there is Joy in you as an inherent part of your Being, it’s because Joy is in God and God is All There Is Of You. God is All There Is To You. God is the Wholeness of You.

Joy is unified purpose, and unified purpose is ONLY God’s. When yours is unified, it IS His.

But you know what? When your Joy is experienced as His, when His Joy is experienced as yours, the Awakened Experience of Creation is suddenly available to you. And you get the Whole of What You Are by neglecting to ever again claim a right to a private perspective on it all. And so, it is no loss. The only loss there is, is that of a tiny, distorted perspective of everything that caused you grief and suffering—unnecessary grief and suffering.

We will stop here for tonight. But I want you to keep in mind these points. You are not a body. You are Conscious Awareness in which the Experience of All Creation Is, including body. The function of this body that is going on within the Conscious Awareness That You Are is communication of what? Of the Truth you become aware of because you care enough about your Brother or Sister to want to know What God’s Truth Is About Them. And when you don’t get arrested by the body, by the learning aid, when you don’t become preoccupied with it, but simply let it serve its function of your extending the Acknowledgement of Truth, you engage in the one act of glorifying God that will bring you back into your Right Mind. That’s the lesson for tonight.

I love you all. And it is a source of Joy that you are hearing/comprehending what I’m saying. Don’t sit there and say, “Well, I’m not really getting it.” Don’t get hung up on a you that’s not really getting it or partly getting it. I am telling you that you are hearing and comprehending what I’m saying. And whether you’re doing it well or not, gracefully or not, is irrelevant.

Okay. I look forward to being with you next week.

  1. T8.6 Communication and the Ego-Body Equation ↩︎

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