19 - Beyond the Body
you, in whose special relationship the Holy Spirit entered,
it is given to release, and be released, from the dedication
to death, for it was offered you and you accepted.
you must learn still more about this strange devotion,
for it contains the third of the obstacles which peace
must flow across.
one can die unless he chooses death.
seems to be the fear of death is really its attraction.
too, is feared and fearful, yet it could have no hold
at all except on those who are attracted to it, and
seek it out. And so it is with death.
by the ego, its dark shadow falls across all living
things, because the ego is the “enemy” of
yet a shadow cannot kill.
is a shadow to the living?
but walk past and it is gone. But what of those whose
dedication it is not to live;
black-draped “sinners,” the ego’s
mournful chorus, plodding so heavily away from life,
dragging their chains and marching in the slow procession
which honors their grim master, lord of death?
any one of them with the gentle hands of forgiveness,
and watch the chains fall away, along with yours. See
him throw aside the black robe he was wearing to his
funeral, and hear him laugh at death.
sentence sin would lay upon him he can escape through
is no arrogance. It is the Will of God.
is impossible to you who chose His Will as yours?
is death to you?
dedication is not to death, nor to its master. When
you accepted the Holy Spirit’s purpose in place
of the ego’s, you renounced death, exchanging
it for life.
know that an idea leaves not its source, and death is
the result of the thought we call the ego, as surely
as life is the result of the Thought of God.
the ego came sin and guilt and death, in opposition
to life and innocence, and to the Will of God Himself.
can such opposition lie but in the sick minds of the
insane, dedicated to madness and set against the peace
thing is sure; God, Who created neither sin nor death,
wills not that you be bound by them. He knows of neither
sin nor its results. The shrouded figures in the funeral
procession march not in honor of their Creator, Whose
Will it is they live.
are not following It; they are opposing It.
what is the black-draped body they would bury?
body which they dedicated to death, a symbol of corruption,
a sacrifice to sin, offered to sin to feed upon and
keep itself alive; a thing condemned, damned by its
maker, and lamented by every mourner who looks upon
it as himself.
who believe you have condemned the Son of God to this
are arrogant; but you who would release him are but
honoring the Will of his Creator.
arrogance of sin, the pride of guilt, the sepulchre
of separation, all are part of your unrecognized dedication
glitter of guilt you laid upon the body, would kill
it, for what the ego loves it kills for its obedience.
But what obeys it not, it cannot kill.
have another dedication which would keep the body incorruptible
and perfect as long as it is useful for your holy purpose.
body no more dies than it can feel.
does nothing. Of itself, it is neither corruptible nor
incorruptible. It is nothing.
is the result of a tiny, mad idea of corruption which
can be corrected. For God has answered this insane idea
with His Own, an answer which left Him not and therefore
brings the Creator to the awareness of every mind which
heard His answer and accepted it.
who are dedicated to the incorruptible have been given,
through your acceptance, the power to release from corruption.
What better way to
teach the first and fundamental principle in a course
on miracles than by showing you the one which seems
to be the hardest can be accomplished first?
body can but serve your purpose. As you look upon it,
so will it seem to be.
were it true, would be the final and complete disruption
of communication which is the ego’s goal.
who fear death see not how often and how loudly they
call to it and bid it come to save them from communication.
For death is seen as safety, the great dark savior from
the light of truth; the answer to the Answer, the silencer
of the Voice that speaks for God.
the retreat to death is not the end of conflict. Only
God's answer is its end.
The obstacle of your seeming love for death that peace
must flow across seems to be very great., For in it
lies hidden all the ego’s secrets, all its strange
devices for deception, all its sick ideas and wierd
is the final end of union, the triumph of the ego’s
making over creation, the victory of lifelessness on
the dusty edge of its distorted world the ego would
the Son of God,
by its orders,
in his decay
God Himself is powerless before the ego’s might,
unable to protect the life that He created against the
ego’s savage wish to kill.
brothers, Children of our Father, this is a dream
is no funeral, no dark altars, no grim commandments,
nor twisted rituals of condemnation to which the body
not release of it, but free it from the merciless and
unrelenting orders you laid upon it. And forgive it
what you ordered it to do.
its (body's) exaltation you commanded it to die, for
only death could conquer life.
what but insanity could look upon the defeat of God
and think it real?
fear of death will go as its appeal is yielded to love’s
end of sin, which nestles quietly in the safety of your
relationship, protected by your union, ready to grow
into a mighty force for God, is very near.
infancy of salvation is carefully guarded by love, preserved
from every thought that would attack it, and quietly
made ready to fulfill the mighty task for which it was
newborn purpose is nursed by angels, cherished by the
Holy Spirit, and protected by God Himself.
needs not your protection; it is yours. For it is deathless,
and within it lies the end of death.
danger can assail the wholly innocent? What can
attack the guiltless? What
fear can enter and disturb the peace of sinlessness?
has been given you, even in its infancy, is in full
communication with God and you. In its tiny hands
it holds, in perfect safety, every miracle you will
perform, held out to you. The miracle of life is
ageless, born in time but nourished in eternity.
Behold this infant, to whom you gave a resting-place
by your forgiveness of each other, and see in it
the Will of God. Here is the babe of Bethlehem reborn.
everyone who gives him shelter will follow him,
not to the cross, but to the Resurrection and the
anything seems to you to be a source of fear, when
any situation strikes you with terror and makes
your body tremble and the cold sweat of fear comes
over it, remember it is always for one reason; the
ego has perceived it as a symbol of fear, a sign
of sin and death. Remember, then, that neither sign
nor symbol should be confused with source, for they
must stand for something other than themselves.
Their meaning cannot lie in them, but must be sought
in what they represent, and they may thus mean everything
or nothing, according to the truth or falsity of
the idea which they reflect. Confronted with such
seeming uncertainty of meaning, judge it not. Remember
the holy presence of the One given to you to be
the Source of judgment.
it to Him to judge for you, and say:
“Take this from me and look upon it, judging
it for me. Let
me not see it as a sign of sin and death, nor use it
for destruction. Teach
me how not to make of it an obstacle to peace, but let
You use it for me, to facilitate its coming.”