Thursday, November 13, 2008

Lesson 199 I am not a body. I am free.

Lesson 199

I am not a body. I am free.

Freedom must be impossible as long as you perceive a body as yourself. The body is a limit. Who would seek for freedom in a body looks for it where it can not be found. The mind can be made free when it no longer sees itself as in a body, firmly tied to it and sheltered by its presence. If this were the truth, the mind were vulnerable indeed!

The mind that serves the Holy Spirit is unlimited forever, in all ways, beyond the laws of time and space, unbound by any preconceptions, and with strength and power to do whatever it is asked. Attack thoughts cannot enter such a mind, because it has been given to the Source of love, and fear can never enter in a mind that has attached itself to love. It rests in God. And who can be afraid who lives in Innocence, and only loves?

It is essential for your progress in this course that you accept today's idea, and hold it very dear. Be not concerned that to the ego it is quite insane. The ego holds the body dear because it dwells in it, and lives united with the home that it has made. It is a part of the illusion that has sheltered it from being found illusory itself.

Here does it hide, and here it can be seen as what it is. Declare your innocence and you are free. The body disappears, because you have no need of it except the need the Holy Spirit sees. For this, the body will appear as useful form for what the mind must do. It thus becomes a vehicle which helps forgiveness be extended to the all-inclusive goal that it must reach, according to God's plan.

Cherish today's idea, and practice it today and every day. Make it a part of every practice period you take. There is no thought that will not gain thereby in power to help the world, and none which will not gain in added gifts to you as well. We sound the call of freedom round the world with this idea. And would you be exempt from the acceptance of the gifts you give?

The Holy Spirit is the home of minds that seek for freedom. In Him they have found what they have sought. The body's purpose now is unambiguous. And it becomes perfect in the ability to serve an undivided goal. In conflict-free and unequivocal response to mind with but the thought of freedom as its goal, the body serves, and serves its purpose well. Without the power to enslave, it is a worthy servant of the freedom which the mind within the Holy Spirit seeks.

Be free today. And carry freedom as your gift to those who still believe they are enslaved within a body. Be you free, so that the Holy Spirit can make use of your escape from bondage, to set free the many who perceive themselves as bound and helpless and afraid. Let love replace their fears through you. Accept salvation now, and give your mind to Him Who calls to you to make this gift to Him. For He would give you perfect freedom, perfect joy, and hope that finds its full accomplishment in God.

You are God's Son. In immortality you live forever. Would you not return your mind to this? Then practice well the thought the Holy Spirit gives you for today. Your brothers stand released with you in it; the world is blessed along with you, God's Son will weep no more, and Heaven offers thanks for the increase of joy your practice brings even to it. And God Himself extends His Love and happiness each time you say:

I am not a body. I am free.
I hear the Voice that God has given me,
and it is only this my mind obeys.

The Following is Forwarded from


Lesson 199
"I am not a body. I am free."

The more I work with the Course, the more I realize how much of my time is focused on the body and its seeming needs. I see that in the ego's hands the body is a powerful distraction to divert my attention from focusing on what will truly bring me peace and happiness. The more I practice letting the Holy Spirit guide me through my day, the more I recognize the things that I thought I needed to make me happy or comfortable or safe are really unnecessary.

As I place my trust more and more in the Holy Spirit and in God's Love, I feel less and less need for outer forms. I still need to eat. I still need to have clothes to keep me warm in cold weather. I still think I need a house to shelter me from the weather. But the form these things take is less and less important. I am more free in each moment to receive the blessing of the moment without judgment.

There is a growing trust in my heart that I always have what I need when I need it; I always know what I need to know, when I need to know it. Life becomes increasingly simple and more and more of my time is focused on following Holy Spirit's lead. Practicing remembering "I am not a body. I am free" helps reinforce this focus, leading me onward toward greater and greater freedom. I will continue this practice today, for I know true and lasting happiness lies in it. I am grateful for this message from the Voice for God today.

In paragraph 6 of this lesson it says, "The Holy Spirit is the home of minds that seek for freedom." (6:1) Notice it doesn't say' bodies' or 'individuals' or 'persons.' It says minds. This reinforces the fact that I am not an individual person -- I am mind. I am thought. I am an idea in the Mind of God.

In paragraph 1 it says, "The mind can be made free when it no longer sees itself as in a body, firmly tied to it and sheltered by its presence." (1:4) This means that the sleeping Son of God, which is really mind, can be made free as it (mind) no longer sees itself (mind) as in a body.

It is being reinforced in this lesson that all the separate bodies found in this dream of separation are all really the same mind, all joined as one mind. We are learning that we are not tied to the body or made safe by its continuing presence in the dream. We are formless mind that is unbound by the laws (false ideas) the ego (belief in separation) made up.

The way we free ourselves from belief that we are tied to a body is to open our minds to the Holy Spirit to hear the truth about our real Identity. As we are ready to open to the truth, the Holy Spirit shows us that the body is illusion, just a made up fabrication... a dream. Under the Holy Spirit's guidance we use the body as a useful tool, a vehicle that is used only for God's plan of awakening from the dream.

I agree with the above about beginning to recognize the things that are unnecessary in my life. Naturally, because a part of me still believes I am a body, I still need to eat, stay warm, etc., but since I've started the Course, my priorities have changed and I think those unnecessary things that I'm beginning to recognize are the "barriers" the Course speaks of; those things that keep me from knowing the truth about myself and my brothers.

These barriers are the ego's way of attempting to distract me and keep me focused on things the body seems to need. And because those things change from day to day or are in constant need of being replaced, repaired, or whatever, my state of mind varies from day to day, depending on my seeming needs.

I try to think of the Holy Spirit sort of like a child would think of an imaginary friend. He goes where I go, and I try to remember to ask His opinion about any decisions I need to make, or I tell Him my deepest, darkest secrets so He can see what I see and correct my distorted perception. I realize I've only just begun the healing process, but it sure does feel good.

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