The ultimate purpose of the body is to render itself unnecessary. Learning to do this is the only real reason for its creation.
The body is the symbol of the WHAT YOU THINK YOU ARE. It is clearly a separation device, and therefore does not exist. The body is the central figure in the dreaming of the world. There IS no dream without it, nor does it exist without the dream, in which it acts as if it were a person, to be seen and be believed. It takes the central place in every dream, which tells the story of how it was made by OTHER bodies, born into the world OUTSIDE the body, lives a little while, and dies, to be united in the dust with other bodies, dying like itself. In the brief time allotted it to live, it seeks for other bodies as its friends and enemies. Its safety is its main concern. Its comfort is its guiding rule. It tries to look for pleasure, and avoid the things that would be hurtful. Above all, it tries to teach itself its pains and joys are different, and CAN be told apart.
The dreaming of the world takes many forms, because the body seeks in many ways to PROVE it is autonomous and real. It puts things on itself that it has bought with little metal discs or paper strips the world proclaims as valuable and good.
It works to get them, doing senseless things, and tosses them away for senseless things it does not NEED, and does not even WANT. It hires OTHER bodies, that they may protect it, and collect more senseless things that it can call its own.
It looks about for special bodies which can SHARE its dream. Sometimes it dreams it is a conqueror of bodies weaker than itself. But in some phases of the dream, it is the slave of bodies which would hurt and torture it.
The body’s serial adventures, from the time of birth to dying is the theme of every dream the world has ever had. The “hero” of this dream will never change, nor will its purpose. Though the dream itself takes many forms, and SEEMS to show a great variety of places and events wherein its “hero” finds itself, the dream has but ONE purpose, taught in many ways. This single lesson does it try to teach again, and still again, and yet once more; – that it is CAUSE and NOT effect. And YOU are ITS effect, and CANNOT be its cause. Thus are you NOT the dreamer, but the DREAM. And so you wander idly in and out of places and events that IT contrives. That this is all the BODY does is true, for it IS but a figure in a dream.
But who REACTS to figures in a dream UNLESS he sees them as if they were real? The INSTANT that he sees them as they ARE, they HAVE no more effects on him BECAUSE he understands he GAVE them their effects BY CAUSING THEM, and MAKING them seem real. How willing are you to ESCAPE effects of all the dreams the world has ever had? Is it your wish to let NO dream appear to be the cause of what it is YOU do? Then let us merely look
upon the dream’s beginning, for the part you see is but the SECOND part, whose CAUSE lies in the first. No-one asleep and dreaming in the world remembers his attack upon himself. Noone believes there really was a time when he knew nothing of a body, and could never have conceived this world as real. He would have seen at once that these ideas are one illusion, too ridiculous for anything but to be laughed away. How serious they now appear to be! And no-one can remember when they would have met with laughter and with disbelief. We CAN remember this, if we but look directly at their CAUSE. And we will see the grounds for laughter, NOT a cause for fear. Let us return the dream he gave away unto the dreamer, who perceives the dream as SEPARATE from himself, and done to him.
The body is a limit imposed on the universal communication which is an eternal property of mind. But the communication is INTERNAL. Mind reaches to ITSELF. [It is NOT made up of different PARTS, which reach each other.] It does not go OUT. Within ITSELF, it HAS no limits, and there is nothing OUTSIDE it. It encompasses EVERYTHING. It encompasses you ENTIRELY; you within it, and it within you. There IS nothing else, anywhere or ever. The body is OUTSIDE you, and SEEMS to surround you, shutting you off from others, and keeping you APART from them, and them from you. IT IS NOT THERE. There IS no barrier between God and His Son, nor can His Son be separated from himself, except in illusion.