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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 18 The Passing of the Dream

VI. Beyond the Body

1. There is nothing outside you. That is what you must ultimately learn for it is the realization that the Kingdom of Heaven is restored to you for God created only this, and He did not depart from it nor leave it separate from Himself. The Kingdom of Heaven is the dwelling place of the Son of God, who left not his Father and dwells not apart from Him. Heaven is not a place nor a condition. It is merely an awareness of perfect oneness, and the knowledge that there is nothing else; nothing outside the oneness, and nothing else within.

2. What could God give but knowledge of Himself? What else is there to give? The belief that you could give and get something else, something outside yourself, has cost you the awareness of Heaven and of your Identity. And you have done a stranger thing than you yet realize. You have displaced your guilt to your body from your mind. Yet a body cannot be guilty, for it can do nothing of itself. You who think you hate your body deceive yourself. You hate your mind, for guilt has entered into it and it would remain separate from your brother’s which it cannot do.

3. Minds are joined; bodies are not. Only by assigning to the mind the properties of the body does separation seem to be possible. And it is mind that seems to be fragmented and private and alone. Its guilt, which keeps it separate, is projected to the body, which suffers and dies because it is attacked to hold the separation in the mind, and let it not know its Identity. Mind cannot attack, but it can make fantasies and direct the body to act them out. Yet it is never what the body does that seems to satisfy. Unless the mind believes the body is actually acting out its fantasies, it will attack the body by increasing the projection of its guilt upon it.

4. In this, the mind is clearly delusional. It cannot attack, but it maintains it can, and uses what it does to hurt the body to prove it can. The mind cannot attack, but it can deceive itself. And this is all it does when it believes it has attacked the body. It can project its guilt, but it will not lose it through projection. And though it clearly can misperceive the function of the body, it cannot change its function from what the Holy Spirit establishes it to be. The body was not made by love. Yet love does not condemn it and can use it lovingly, respecting what the Son of God has made and using it to save him from illusions.

5. Would you not have the instruments of separation reinterpreted as means for salvation, and used for purposes of love? Would you not welcome and support the shift from fantasies of vengeance to release from them? Your perception of the body can clearly be sick, but project not this upon the body. For your wish to make destructive what cannot destroy can have no real effect at all. What God created is only what He would have it be, being His Will. You cannot make His Will destructive. You can make fantasies in which your will conflicts with His, but that is all.

6. It is insane to use the body as the scapegoat for guilt, directing its attack and blaming it for what you wished it to do. It is impossible to act out fantasies. For it is still the fantasies you want, and they have nothing to do with what the body does. It does not dream of them, and they but make it a liability where it could be an asset. For fantasies have made your body your “enemy;” weak, vulnerable, and treacherous, worthy of the hate that you invest in it. How has this served you? You have identified with this thing you hate, the instrument of vengeance and the perceived source of your guilt. You have done this to a thing that has no meaning, proclaiming it to be the dwelling place of God’s Son, and turning it against him.

7. This is the host of God that you have made. And neither God nor His most holy Son can enter an abode that harbors hate, and where you have sown the seeds of vengeance, violence, and death. This thing you made to serve your guilt stands between you and other minds. The minds are joined, but you do not identify with them. You see yourself locked in a separate prison, removed and unreachable, incapable of reaching out as being reached. You hate this prison you have made and would destroy it. But you would not escape from it, leaving it unharmed, without your guilt upon it.

8. Yet only thus can you escape. The home of vengeance is not yours, the place you set aside to house your hate is not a prison, but an illusion of yourself. The body is a limit imposed on the universal communication that is an eternal property of mind. But the communication is internal. Mind reaches to itself. It is not made up of different parts, which reach each other.  It does not go out. Within itself it has no limits, and there is nothing outside it. It encompasses everything. It encompasses you entirely; you within it and it within you. There is nothing else, anywhere or ever.

9. The body is outside you, and but seems to surround you, shutting you off from others and keeping you apart from them, and them from you. It is not there. There is no barrier between God and His Son, nor can His Son be separated from Himself except in illusions. This is not his reality, though he believes it is. Yet this could only be if God were wrong. God would have had to create differently and to have separated Himself from His Son to make this possible. He would have had to create different things, and to establish different orders of reality, only some of which were love. Yet love must be forever like itself, changeless forever and forever without alternative. And so it is. You cannot put a barrier around yourself because God placed none between Himself and you.

10.  You can stretch out your hand and reach to Heaven. You whose hand is joined with your brother’s have begun to reach beyond the body, but not outside yourself, to reach your shared Identity together. Could This be outside you? Where God is not? Is He a body, and did He create you as He is not, and where He cannot be? You are surrounded only by Him. What limits can there be on you whom He encompasses?

11. Everyone has experienced what he would call a sense of being transported beyond himself. This feeling of liberation far exceeds the dream of freedom sometimes hoped for in special relationships. It is a sense of actual escape from limitations. If you will consider what this “transportation” really entails, you will realize that it is a sudden unawareness of the body, and a joining of yourself and something else in which your mind enlarges to

encompass it. It becomes part of you, as you unite with it. And both become whole, as neither is perceived as separate. What really happens is that you have given up the illusion of a limited awareness and lost your fear of union. The love that instantly replaces it extends to what has freed you and unites with it. And while this lasts you are certain of your Identity, and would not limit It. You have escaped from fear to peace, asking no questions of reality but merely accepting it. You have accepted this instead of the body and have let yourself be one with something beyond it, simply by not letting your mind be limited by it.

12. This can occur regardless of the physical distance that seems to be between you and what you join; of your respective positions in space; and of your differences in size and seeming quality. Time is not relevant; it can occur with something past, present, or anticipated. The “something” can be anything and anywhere, a sound, a sight, a thought, a memory, and even a general idea without specific reference. Yet in every case, you join it without reservation because you love it, and would be with it. And so you rush to meet it, letting your limits melt away, suspending all the “laws” our body obeys and gently setting them aside.

13. There is no violence at all in this escape. The body is not attacked, but simply properly perceived. It does not limit you, merely because you would not have it so. You are not really “lifted out” of it; it cannot contain you. You go where you would be, gaining, not losing, a sense of Self. In these instants of release from physical restrictions, you experience much of what happens in the holy instant; the lifting of the barriers of time and space, the sudden experience of peace and joy, and, above all, the lack of awareness of the body, and of the questioning whether or not all this is possible.

14. It is possible because you want it. The sudden expansion of awareness that takes place with your desire for it is the irresistible appeal the holy instant holds. It calls to you to be yourself, within its safe embrace. There are the laws of limit lifted for you, to welcome you to openness of mind and freedom. Come to this place of refuge, where you can be yourself in peace. Not through destruction, not through a breaking out, but merely by a quiet melting in. For peace will join you there, simply because you have been willing to let go the limits you have placed upon love and joined it where it is and where it led you, in answer to is gentle call to be at peace. [1]

When we accept that our true Identity is our Mind and not our body, we are freed from the limitations and bondage of the flesh. Identifying with the Mind of Christ we recognize that we communicate with one another only in the Spirit of oneness. Trying to convey the essence of our Being to one another in the flesh defeats us – for the flesh is a barrier to holiness, purposefully designed to keep us in a realm of separateness and unknowing.

Jesus takes this section to explain to us that there is no need at all to hate the body. As we offer our bodies to holiness, our body no longer stands in the way of freedom but becomes a means to freedom. Our body becomes a teaching aid, for in our bodies we have a stark contrast between the things of Spirit and the things of flesh. Our bodies are then used to motivate us to reach to Spirit; the special relationships we have in the flesh are motivations to bring them to the oneness and unity of perfect love, rather than the dog from hell that would take love’s place.

When we have a desire for oneness, our consciousness is expanded. The very desire for wholeness is the means to wholeness. With no violence, no argument, no fight we awaken when we are ready. We have no need to convince others of our expanded consciousness for like attracts like – we either share in this desire for God’s Kingdom or we do not. There are no worries for all will awaken in their own time and choosing.

In the holy instant all things are possible because we go beyond the flesh. We can communicate with everything, everywhere, and throughout all time. We can Be simply what we are and ever were and always will Be. In your personal devotional habit today practice this state of Being. Ask Holy Spirit to remove all the limits you have placed on love. Bring all the dark spots to the holy instant: the grudges we have toward those who are ungracious and disrespectful; the resentment toward those who have hurt those we love, who said mean things, who turned others against us through their lies and exaggerations. We bring all our sorrows and all our pain. We ask Holy Spirit to take it from us. We don’t want to play the guilt and shame game anymore. We want to love each other and if we love each other, we must be willing to forgive all the things we would otherwise guilt others for. In our willingness to go beyond the flesh is the means to God’s Kingdom – not a place, not a condition, but the awareness that we are the Mind of Christ, we are the Sonship of God. Peace calls to us gently and we respond quietly by taking these moments and removing all the limits we have placed on love.


[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 18 The passing of the dream. VI Beyond the body. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For 2021 daily Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

Filed under: ACIM, Teaching and Learning

About the Author

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Coming up on sixty, my love for God, home and hearth, my husband and family fueled my decision to devote the rest of my life only to pursuits which brought love, joy, peace, and purpose. I am a writer, seeker, student, and teacher with experience professional and otherwise from waitressing to teaching the English language in China, Taiwan, and Singapore. I hold a BA in Psychology from Bloomsburg University, which took nearly 30 years to attain while I squeezed courses in between raising my children, journaling, relationships, work, and an assortment of escapades, some of which I would rather forget! An ongoing passion for reading, writing, adventure, food, and fun, eventually led me to the love of my life, James, whom I met in 1996 and married in 1997. Our life together has been an exciting journey of work and travel, spiritual awakening, and domestic bliss ever since. Although we have experienced the tragic loss of family members and friends through death and estrangement, we have managed to turn our special relationship into a holy one by the grace of God and an acute and growing awareness of “there must be a better way!” In 2006, I published my first novel, Luella’s Calling, and am currently working on my second, Grover Good and the Stone Chateau. From 2013 through 2018, I worked as a Prevention Education Specialist for Transitions, a local domestic violence sexual abuse victim’s service agency. My work there, fueled by a lifelong enthusiasm for teaching, led me to obtain an MS in Education from Scranton University. In 2018, I resigned to accompany James on his work travels while focusing on my calling to study and teach A Course in Miracles. To that end, I dedicate the rest of my days to writing, sharing, and teaching the message of salvation found within the Course pages. Thank you for your interest in this blog. As I do not respond to comments on the posts, if you care to contact me, please email me at eckief@yahoo.com.

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