“The body’s cause is unforgiveness of the Son of God. It has not left its source, and in its pain and the mark of death upon it this is clearly shown. (Song of Prayer, S-3.I.2)”
1 – Song of Prayer
Now we return to the Song of Prayer, a tract scribed by Helen later than A Course in Miracles, also channeled by Jesus. This passage emphasizes the pivotal important of unforgiveness, in that it is seen to be the cause of the body. The body’s source is seen to be unforgiveness, and we experience pain and death as a result.
2 – A Course of Love
This emphasis is different from the later-channeled A Course of Love, in which we are bade to embody an elevated Self of form and the physical is not denigrated nearly so much.
3 – The Difference?
What is the difference here? I think that the first emphasis, that the body is to be lamented, is an ideal. This is one level of A Course in Miracles. But we are not living that ideal; we occupy a physical reality in which we all have bodies that do hurt when probed or struck, and which do die.
4 – Unforgiveness
We need a way to look at the unforgiveness, once unforgiveness has been replaced with forgiveness. This is when the elevated Self of form makes sense. We are living in a forgiven world at that point, and we are seeing the real world—the world of peace, harmony, joy, etc. We no longer hold the mistakes of our brothers and sisters against them. And we have forgiven ourselves as well. We are at home in God.
5 – Body
Then we can enjoy the body, when inside is the Self, the Christ Self that had only been covered up by the part of our belief about ourselves that is called the ego. We have elevated the physical, and we no longer need to lament that we have a physical body. We can merge the ideal with the practical, and we can live a good life, even though encased in matter.
6 – Healing as an Effect of Forgiveness
“The body can be healed as an effect of true forgiveness. Only that can give remembrance of immortality, which is the gift of holiness and love. Forgiveness must be given by a mind which understands that it must overlook all shadows on the holy face of Christ, among which sickness should be seen as one. (S-3.I.3)
7 – Healing
This passage, also from the Song of Prayer, emphasizes the central place of healing in Jesus’s message. If we truly forgive, we are placing ourselves under a higher law, one that embraces healing from sickness as an integral part of this world. Remember, though, that it is the mind that is healed always. This may or may not include the healing of the body. Physical symptoms of sickness may continue, even though the mind has been healed. (These tenets are from the Manual of ACIM.)
8 – The Mind
Note the emphasis in this passage on the mind: “a mind which understands that it must overlook all shadows.” Sickness is seen as one of these shadows, and we overlook that sickness. This is akin to the fact that we are encouraged, even taught, to overlook our brother’s mistakes, his attacks and anger directed at ourselves.
9 – Overlooking
This process of overlooking is crucial to living a peaceful life. We do not set ourselves up for more grief by overlooking. Indeed, we set ourselves up for more grief by refusing to overlook. We are encouraged to remember the good deeds of our brother, not to focus in our thoughts on his misdeeds. If we focus on his misdeeds, we have made them real to ourselves, and then how can we overlook what we have made real?
10 – The Secret
We cannot. That is the secret. Overlook and move on. Only if one’s own self is in danger should we consider some other course of action, for God’s way does in no way demand sacrifice of our own best interests.
11 – Judgment
“Nothing but that; the sign of judgment made by brother upon brother, and the Son of God upon himself. For he has damned his body as his prison, and forgot that it is he who gave this role to it. (S-3.I.3)
12 – Do Not Judge!
Do not judge! That is the idea behind this brief two-sentence passage. When we do not judge, we will awaken (from the ACIM Text). We do not have to damn the body as a prison. We can rejoice instead that we have been given a serviceable instrument in which to do God’s bidding, for His bidding is what we really, in our heart of hearts, want to do. The Holy Spirit will guide us very specifically. We will be told all that we need to know, all that we need to say and do.
13 – Body
We can give the role of prison to our bodies, but it does not have to be so. Even the weakest and sickest bodies in the world can find some meaning in living. The most infirm people, upon occasion, have done more for this world than those with robust health and robust bodies. Think of Stephen Hawking, the most famous physicist in the world, who suffers from disabilities that are in the extreme. Yet he accomplishes much. Think of Helen Keller, robbed of her hearing and sight at the age of two, who went on to be an inspiration to millions. With examples like this, how can we lament our small illnesses? They can be overcome, if we do not let our minds succumb to the illness as well as our bodies.
14 – Help in the Voice
“What he has done now must God’s Son undo. But not alone. For he has thrown away the prison’s key; his holy sinlessnes and the remembrance of his Father’s Love. Yet help is given to him in the Voice his Father placed in him. (S-3.I.4)”
15 – Holy Spirit
This passage emphasizes, once again, the powerful place of the Holy Spirit in taking us back home to God. We cannot heal ourselves; we have thrown away the prison’s key, the key to our bodies, and, indeed, our minds. The Holy Spirit is God’s Voice, placed in us to lead us home to Him. Listen today. Follow today. See if the day does not improve.
I would have a good day in Your love. I would remember that guidance will take me from any ruined day at any moment that I turn to the Holy Spirit within. He guides, he teaches me to love, he teaches me to forgive. The way is clear to a sunny day with such a Helper as this.
Be with my brothers and sisters as I seek to forgive them any mistakes that have included their actions toward me. May I love with a love greater today than anything I have known in the past. May I love with Your love, shown to me by Your Holy Spirit, my Guide, Your Voice.