Discover more from Sean Reagan / A Course in Miracles
Sitting Quietly Together in Love
. . . remembering that bodies are a limit on perception
A Course in Miracles teaches us that we are not bodies (W-pI.199.h), even as bodies are an aspect of our experience of the world (T-2.IV.3:8). Indeed, body and world arise together (they are in this sense one), but what that world means and what its value is are constructed at the level of mind.
In other words, A Course in Miracles emphasizes mind as the only level at which change (i.e., creation) is possible (T-2.V.5:2).
Imagine sitting with me at dusk: crickets sing in the tall grass, swallows loop through fading light above the gardens, horses graze between buttercups. The river is a faint murmur in the distance; the first faint stars glisten overhead.
. . . eyes and ears are senses without sense, and what they see and hear they but report. It is not they that hear and see, but you, who put together every jagged piece, each senseless scrap and shred of evidence, and make a witness to the world you want (T-28.V.5:6-7).
Bodies gather data from the cosmos - light and shadow, color and texture, flavor and smell. But bodies can only gather data in fragments - they never gather all the data, much less collate it accurately. They never percieve the whole.
In this way, bodies are a limit (e.g., T-18.VI.8:3).
Consider our sitting together. A dog would experience that scene differently - the buttercups would not be vivid yellow but gray, for example. A mouse would not perceive the stars at all; a tick would experience even less.
We think we see the whole world - or the correct world - and animals while other observers (like sunflowers or neutrinos, say) observer a lesser world.
It's true that our perception is quite vivid and rich compared to, say, a tick's. But it is an error to conclude that what we are seeing is the whole of the cosmos. We perceive only that fragmented portion that naturally appear to human bodies. No more and no less.
At the level of mind, I call that twilit field "beautiful." I am "grateful" for beauty. Beauty witnesses to "order," order to "lawfulness" and lawfulness to "God." God is "good" and "I" know this.
None of those judgments and conclusion are in the world - they are simply an intrpretation of data gathered by the body. Interpretation of the data occurs at the level of mind, and A Course in Miracles urges us to remember that it is interpretative, and based on partial information and so is at best a dim approximation of truth. "Let not the body's ears and eyes . . . persuade their maker his imaginings are real" (T-28.V.5:8).
You know the story of the three blindfolded men and the elephant? One touches the trunk and says an elephant is a thick snake. One touches the tail and says an elephant is a rope. One touches the elephant's side and says it's a big wall.
The suggestion the course makes is that right now - with all our senses intact and functioning - we are like those blindfolded men. None of them can reliably identify an elephant; none of us can reliably speak to reality, wholeness, truth, et cetera.
This is not the whole lesson the course teaches about bodies and the world. Indeed, if you look at the section in which I am mostly working - "The Alternate to Dreams of Fear" - you will see how the course develops this lesson in a way that leads to happiness and peace.
How holy is the smallest grain of sand, when it is recognized as being part of the completed picture of God's Son! The forms the broken pieces seem to take mean nothing. For the whole is in each one. And every aspect of the Son of God is just the same as every other part (T-28.IV.94-7).
Yet perceiving in this happy and peace-filled way begins with understanding that what our bodies perceive is fragmented and incomplete, and so our interpretation and understanding are also fragmented and incomplete. This is humbling and hard to remember, but also liberating. It clears the mind of egoic ranting, leaving only the clear lucidity of the Holy Spirit.
Your willingness to let illusions go is all the Healer of God's Son requires. He will place the miracle of healing where the seeds of sickness were. And there will be no loss, but only gain (T-28.IV.10:8-10).
Stop interpreting. Stop rushing to decide what is good and bad, right and wrong, helpful and unhelpful. Or at least notice when you are interpreting and judging, and then remind yourself that doing so can only bring conflict and pain, and that there is another way.
In another time and place, the psalmist wrote,"be still, and know that I am God" (46:10). This remains good advice. Sit quietly, let thought rest, and give attention to that which gently and wordlessly reminds you are not apart from love.