The ten-lesson section (L. 261-270) that Lovely Lisa and I completed last week was titled: What Is The Body? This was not a new topic to us, as The Course has discussed our physical bodies many times in previous lessons, and as The Course is want to do, it revisits the lessons of previous lessons more and more in depth as it courses along.
In my post On Life, Death, and Original Sin I noted an early lesson, Lesson 72: It is the body that is outside us. This is something that is difficult for most to grasp because the body, including the individual ego mind in the physical brain, is how we mostly identify ourselves. The separation from God, Nature, and others that the individual mind believes, however, is just an illusion. In the introduction for What Is The Body? an analogy for this is given:
The body is a fence the Son of God imagines he has built, to separate parts of his Self from other parts. It is within this fence he thinks he lives, to die as it decays and crumbles. For within this fence he thinks he is safe from love…The body will not stay…The body is a dream.
The body is a dream. The body is impermanent, as all material/physical things are. The body is an illusion, here today, now, only. The body is our temporary vehicle, temple, and vessel of the Divine to be filled with the Holy Spirit, the Breath of Life, Prana, Chi – that which pervades all and is All.
Whatever moves in the universe, whether it is either seen or heard, whether it is within or without – it is pervaded by breath. – Mahanarayana Upanishad
From Lesson 267: Surrounding me is all the life that God created in His Love. It calls to me in every heartbeat and in every breath…Peace fills my heart, and floods my body with the purpose of forgiveness…Each heartbeat brings me peace; each breath infuses me with strength. I am a messenger of God.
This past weekend I went to an Easter Vigil Catholic Mass, during which a handful of adults converting to Catholicism were receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation, in which by confirming their faith they become infused with the Holy Spirit. This symbolic ritual is a reminder that we are one with God for the Holy Spirit is within, with-out, and permeated through and all around us always and infinitely for we are all the children of God.
The body, however, though able to breathe in and be inspired with the Holy Spirit, will not stay. Our bodies are the vessels of the Divine, of the Holy Spirit, and of our souls here to experience life on earth and as our awareness expands, to become empty vessels ready and willing to be filled with The Word and Voice of God as messengers of God. Like the Hierophant/Pope of the Tarot, who is the vessel of the Divine or the bridge between God and man, we are earthly angels (Greek ἄγγελος ángelos, angel, messenger of God), who when emptied of our illusions of separateness, can become filled with the messages, voice, word, and insights of God and deliver and share it with all others.
From Lesson 154: I Am Among The Ministers of God: An earthly messenger fulfills his role by giving all his messages away…He needs our voice that He may speak through us…And He needs our will united with His Own, that we may be the true receivers of the gifts He gives.
We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.
– Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Jesuit priest and philosopher