Course in Miracles
27 - Body and the Dream
"Hero" of the Dream
The body is the central figure in the dreaming
of the world.
is no dream without it, nor does it exist without the dream in which
it acts as if it were a person, to be seen and be believed.
(the body) takes the central place in every dream, which tells the
story of how it was...
made by other bodies,
into the world outside the body,
a little while, and
to be united in the dust with other bodies dying like itself.
brief time alotted it to live, it seeks for other bodies as its
friends and enemies. Its safety is its main concern. Its comfort
is its guiding rule. It tries to look for pleasure, and avoid the
things that would be hurtful. Above all, it tries to teach itself
its pains and joys are different, and can be told apart.
of the world takes many forms, because the body seeks in many ways
to prove it is autonomous and real.
puts things on itself which it has bought with little metal discs
or paper strips the world proclaims as valuable and good. It works
to get them, doing senseless things, and tosses them away for senseless
things it does not need, and does not even want. It hires other
bodies, that they may protect it, and collect more senseless things
that it can call its own.
about for special bodies which can share its dream. Sometimes it
dreams it is a conqueror of bodies weaker than itself. But in some
phases of the dream, it is the slave of bodies that would hurt and
serial adventures, from the time of birth to dying is the theme
of every dream the world has ever had. The “hero” of
this dream will never change, nor will its purpose.
the dream itself takes many forms, and seems to show a great variety
of places and events wherein its “hero” finds itself,
the dream has but one purpose, taught in many ways.
lesson does it (the dream) try to teach again, and still again,
and yet once more
it (dream) is cause and not effect, And you are its (dream's)
effect and cannot be its cause.
are you not the dreamer but the dream. And so you wander idly in
and out of places and events which it contrives. That this is all
the body does is true, for it is but a figure in a dream. But who
reacts to figures in a dream unless he sees them as if they were
real? The instant that he sees them as they are, they have no more
effects on him because he understands he gave them their effects
by causing them and making them seem real.
are you to escape effects of all the dreams the world has ever
Is it your wish to let
no dream appear to be the cause of what it is you do?
let us merely look upon the dream's beginning, for the part you
see is but the second part, whose cause lies in the first. No one
asleep and dreaming in the world remembers his attack upon himself.
No one believes there really was a time when he knew nothing of
a body and could never have conceived this world as real. He would
have seen at once that these ideas are one illusion, too ridiculous
for anything but to be laughed away. How serious they now appear
to be! And no one can remember when they would have met with laughter
and with disbelief.
remember this if we but look directly at their cause. And we will
see the grounds for laughter, not a cause for fear. Let us return
the dream he gave away unto the dreamer who perceives the dream
as separate from himself and done to him.
eternity, where all is one, there crept a tiny mad idea at which
the Son of God remembered not to laugh.
forgetting did the thought become a serious idea and possible of
both accomplishment and real effects.
we can laugh them both away and understand that time cannot intrude
upon eternity. It is a joke to think that time can come to circumvent
eternity, which means there is no time.
A timelessness in which is time made real;
part of God which can attack itself;
separate brother as an enemy; a mind within a body
are forms of circularity, whose ending starts at its beginning,
ending at its cause.
world you see depicts exactly what you thought you did. Except
that now you think that what you did is being done to you.
guilt for what you thought is being placed outside yourself and
on a guilty world which dreams your dreams and thinks your thoughts
instead of you. It brings its vengeance, not your own. It keeps
you narrowly confined within a body, which it punishes because of
all the sinful things the body does within its dream. You have no
power to make the body stop its evil deeds because you did not make
it and cannot control its actions or its purpose or its fate.
but demonstrates an ancient truth; you will believe that others
do to you exactly what you think you did to them.
once deluded into blaming them, you will not see the cause of what
they do because you want the guilt to rest on them. How childish
is this petulant device to keep your innocence by pushing guilt
outside yourself but never letting go! It is not easy to perceive
the jest when all around you do your eyes behold its heavy consequences,
but without their trifling cause. Without the cause do its effects
seem serious and sad indeed. Yet they but follow. And it is their
cause which follows nothing and is but a jest.
gentle laughter does the Holy Spirit perceive the cause and looks
not to effects. How else could He correct your error, who have overlooked
the cause entirely? He bids you bring each terrible effect to Him
that you may look together on its foolish cause and laugh with Him
a while. You judge effects, but He has judged their cause. And by
His judgment are effects removed.
you come in tears, but hear Him say,
brother, Holy Son of God, behold your idle dream, in which this
you will leave the holy instant with your laughter and your brother’s
joined with His.
secret of salvation is but this: t
you are doing this unto yourself.
matter what the form of the attack, this still is true. Whoever
takes the role of enemy and of attacker, still is this the truth.
Whatever seems to be the cause of any pain and suffering you feel,
this is still true. For you would not react at all to figures in
a dream you knew that you were dreaming. Let them be as hateful
and as vicious as they may, they could have no effect on you unless
you failed to recognize it is your dream. This single lesson learned
will set you free from suffering, whatever form it takes.
Holy Spirit will repeat this one inclusive lesson of deliverance
until it has been learned, regardless of the form of suffering that
brings you pain. Whatever hurt you bring to Him He will make answer
with this very simple truth. For this one answer takes away the
cause of every form of sorrow and of pain. The form affects His
answer not at all, for He would teach you but the single cause of
all of them, no matter what their form. And you will understand
that miracles reflect the simple statement,
have done this thing, and it is this I would undo.”
then, all forms of suffering to Him Who knows that every one is
like the rest. He sees no differences where none exist, and He will
teach you how each one is caused. None has a different cause from
all the rest, and all of them are easily undone by but a single
lesson truly learned.
is a secret you have kept but from yourself.
proclaims it so. Yet to its witnesses you pay no heed at all. For
they attest the thing you do not want to know. They seem to keep
it secret from you. Yet you need but learn you choose but not to
listen, not to see. How differently will you perceive the world
when this is recognized! When you forgive the world your guilt,
you will be free of it. Its innocence does not demand your guilt,
nor does your guiltlessness rest on its sins.
This is the obvious--a secret
kept from no one but yourself. And it is this that has maintained
you separate from the world and kept your brother separate from
you. Now need you but to learn that both of you are innocent or
guilty. The one thing that is impossible is that you be unlike each
other; that they both be true. This is the only secret yet to learn.
And it will be no secret you are healed.