Faith and I Am Not A Body

The term faith is mostly associated with religion but also is used in secular matters.

OED offers these aspects ─
religious; believing in truths of religions, validity of revelations, accepting revealed doctrines, using special features of the soul to accept unseen spiritual events;
secular; power to produce belief, credit, convincing authority,

In the last 20 years or so many organizations and social programs managed by religious institutions began to employ the term “faith-based” to define their groups to insulate them from the separation of church and state. This, I believe, is a sad distortion of the spiritual meaning of the word.

A definition of faith which provides us with a spiritual framework is in Ken Wapnick’s Glossary/Index to ACIM, page 69.

The expression of where we chose to place our trust; we are free to have faith in the ego or the Holy Spirit; in the illusion of sin in others, or in the truth of their holiness as Sons of God

We know we are choosing the Holy Spirit when we see others as Sons of God. We are choosing the ego when we see them as sinners. If we feel peaceful we are listening to the Holy Spirit, if we feel angry we are listening to the ego.
This concept permeates A Course in Miracles.

This succinct Course sentence (the Voice for God is the Holy Spirit), is one of many Course passages which teach this.

    The Voice for God is always quiet, because It speaks of peace.  T-5.II.7 

A full statement regarding faith is in Paragraph 5 In Text Chapter 19, The Attainment of Peace, Section I, Healing and Faith. This excerpt contrasts faithlessness with faith.

Faithlessness would always limit and attack;
faith would remove all limitations and make whole.
Faithlessness would destroy and separate;
faith would unite and heal.
Faithlessness would interpose illusions between the Son of God and his Creator;
  faith would remove all obstacles that seem to rise between them.
Faithlessness is wholly dedicated to illusions;
    faith wholly to truth.

I urge readers to study all of Section I of Chapter 19. It’s a combined review and consolidation of many Course teachings: faith, grace, separation, forgiveness, guilt, fear, mind and body, the Holy Instant, and the meaning of freedom.

Mind, body and freedom concerned Pierre, a main character in Tolstoy’s War and Peace.  The French took him prisoner and forced him to join their retreat from Moscow.  Pierre endured, and realized that even though his body was detained, his captors could not confine his real self.  One night, looking up at the stars, he laughed, and said aloud to himself, “…they’re holding me prisoner. Who Me? ME? ──my immortal soul! Ha, ha, ha!   ” *      This Course passage expresses that concept.

You can enslave a body, but an idea is free, incapable of being kept in prison or limited in any way except by the mind that thought it. [T-19.I.16.4]

In his monumental novel Tolstoy dramatized how peace and war are different forms of human egocentric behavior. His stories of life in Russian upper-class homes before and during the 1812 war dramatize that they differ only in form from battlefield conflicts.

The review ending Part I of the Workbook build on the above. The review is a series of 20 brief lessons (201-220) which all begin and end with this phrase.

I am not a body I am free. For I am still as God created me.

As Pierre’s story shows, this refers to our reality as spirit, not our body. Following are Lessons 201 and 220.

                                        LESSON 201.
I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me.
I trust my brothers, who are one with me.

No one but is my brother. I am blessed with oneness with the universe and God, my Father, one Creator of the whole that is my Self, forever One with me.
I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me.

I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me.
There is no peace except the peace of God.

Let me not wander from the way of peace, for I am lost on other roads than this. But let me follow Him Who leads me home, and peace is certain as the Love of God.
I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me.

These two lessons, the first and last of the series, have content similar to all of the other lessons ─ follow the Holy Spirit on the road of peace to be joined in spirit with all of our sisters and brothers.

The Course helps us to cope with our ego-centered tendency to focus on our body by teaching us to have faith in the Holy Spirit’s presence in our mind. That faith helps to remember our true relationship with God in Heaven, “in which there are no illusions, and where none can ever enter.”       (from new Lord’s prayer T-16, VIII)

Focusing on our reality as Sons of God in Heaven is no excuse to blithely ignore the insanity of this world.  So what do we do?   Find ways to be kind to all of our fellow travelers here, and remember Greek philosopher Philo’s time-tested advice.
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is doing a hard battle.”

*Tolstoy, War and Peace, Translation Copyright, 2007 by R. Pevear and L.    Volokhonsky, Alfred A. Knopf, p.1020.

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