An Excerpt from the book “A Return to Love” by Marianne Williamson
“Let the body have healing as its purpose.”
In the world of bodies, we are all separate. In the world of spirit, we are all one. Citing the Course in Miracles, we heal the separation between the two by shifting our awareness from ‘body identification’ to ‘spirit identification.’ This heals the body as well as the mind.
We think we’re separate because we have bodies, when in truth, we have bodies because we think we’re separate. The Course says that the body is “a tiny fence around a little part of a glorious and complete idea.” But that doesn’t mean the body is bad. Like everything else within the world of form, the mind ascribes to it either fearful or loving purposes. The ego’s use of the body is to maintain the illusion of separation:’ The ego uses the body for attack, pleasure and pride.’ The Spirit’s use of the body is to heal the illusion: ” in this sense, the body does become a temple of God: his voice abides in it by directing the use to which it is put.”
To see the body as a means by which the world is transformed, and not an end to itself, is a healthy perception of the body. To see the body as an end instead of a means is to ascribe to it selfish or unloving purposes, is to put a burden on the body that the body was never meant to carry. This is sick thinking, which produces sickness in the body.
Living on this Earth, we learned to see ourselves as bodies. An individual body is physically small and vulnerable in relation to the rest of the Universe, and so, since we think we are bodies, we experience ourselves as small and vulnerable. Living within realization that we are much more than bodies, that we are spirits within the mind of God, expands the level of our awareness and places us outside the limitations of ordinary physical law. This correction of our perception, this Atonement, is our healing. It is not the body that gets sick, but the mind. As shown in the Course, health or sickness of the mind “depends entirely on how the mind perceives it, and the purpose that the mind would use it for.” It is not the body but the mind that is in need of healing, and the only healing is a return to love.
Our bodies are merely blank canvases onto which we project our thoughts. Disease is loveless thinking materialized. This doesn’t mean that people who have contracted a disease thought lovelessly, while the rest of us didn’t. Great saints have contracted terminal illnesses. The lovelessness that manufactures disease is systemic ; it is laced throughout racial consciousness. Which soul manifests illness is based on many factors.
Let’s say an innocent child dies of environmentally-based cancer. How was lovelessness the problem here? The lovelessness thinking was not necessarily in the child, but in many of us who, over the years, lived without reverence for the environment, allowing it to be polluted by toxic chemicals. The child’s physical sickness resulted, indirectly, from the sickness in someone else’s mind. Our loving thoughts affect people and situations we never dream of, and so do our mistakes. Since our minds do not stop at our brain casings – since there is no place where one mind stops and another starts- then our love touches everyone, and so does our fear.
A healthy perception of our bodies is one in which we surrender them to the Holy Spirit and ask that they be used as instruments through which love is expressed in the world.The Course states, “The body is merely part of our experience in the physical world…..[It] is nothing more than a framework for developing abilities, which is quite apart from what they are used for.” A Course in Miracles says that “health is the result of relinquishing all attempts to use the body lovelessly.” The use of the body for any other purpose than the extension of love is disease thinking. It is at odds with our natural knowingness and the conflict is engenders is reflected in our physical as well as our mental states.