Lesson 114 • April 24


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Lesson 114

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“No body can contain my spirit” (1:3) or limit it. So often, even when we connect with spiritual reality in some way, we think of ourselves (as someone has said) as human beings having a spiritual experience; it would be more accurate to conceive of ourselves as spiritual beings having a human experience. The first way of looking at it makes our humanness the basic reality, with the spiritual something that comes and goes within that reality. The second way of looking at it realizes that the spiritual is our basic reality, and the “human” experience is something that comes and goes within that reality. “I am spirit” (1:1). That is what I am. The experience of being a human being in a body is a temporary, passing thing. It does not alter what I am, and it cannot limit what I truly am, although it seems to do so because I believe in limitation.

The value of such things as psychic or paranormal experiences lies in the degree to which they help us realize that the limits under which we habitually operate are not firm and fixed. Minds really are joined, space and time are not absolute limits, and so on. We all have many abilities of which we are not aware (see M-25.1:3), because we are not bodies but spirit. The transcendence of these limits, while appearing “supernatural” from the bodily perspective, is really completely natural; it is the limits that are unnatural (see M-25.2:7-8). Anything that breaks our illusion of being limited to the body and makes that illusion less solid in our perception is useful, to the degree that we use these experiences or powers under the direction of the Holy Spirit. The experiences and powers are not ends in themselves.

Our primary purpose is not to develop paranormal abilities, but to fulfill our part in God’s plan for salvation, which is simply to accept His Word about “what I am and will forever be” (2:2). In other words, spirit, complete and holy and everlasting. Notice that: my function, my part in the plan, is to accept the truth about what I am. It may seem as though that has nothing to do with anyone else, but it has everything to do with everyone else, because what I am is a part of everyone and everyone is a part of me. My illusion is that I am separate; the truth is that we all are one. To accept the truth about myself is to accept you as part of me, and us together as part of God. That involves forgiving you, forgiving the world, and forgiving God. To accept the Atonement for myself means to extend the Atonement to everyone around me; I cannot find my Self if I exclude you. To accept the fullness of my Self and my own creative power, I must cease to see myself as the victim of anyone or anything—because that is not the truth about what I am. To accept my unsullied integrity of being, I must cease to blame you for anything and realize that I am affected only by my own thoughts.

Today, I will relax and let go of bodily limits. I will look at the limits I believe in and remind myself they are unreal. I will cease to “value what is valueless” (W-133.Heading) and let go of my investment in my body. I will care for it as I would any useful possession, but I will try to undo, at least a little, my attachment to it and my feeling of identity with it. It will die. It will cease to be, but I will not, for I am spirit. I will accept this reality about myself because this is my part in God’s plan for salvation.