From the "What is the Body?" workbook special topic:
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 that he is safe from love. Identifying with his safety, he regards himself as what his safety is. How else could he be certain he remains within the body, keeping love outside?
And if you're anything like me, I know what you're thinking:
The first sentence about being a fence, I can wrap my head around. Given One Self that appears to be in separate parts, I can see visually and mentally how the form of bodies is the symbol of separation. It can be as if each body is a different fencing in and separating off.
In the illustration provided, there can be seen 3 separate red bodies brought into existence by shading over their connectedness with darkness.
The part that took (is taking) me longer to wrap my head around is what definition of love is being used here.
My first working definition is "Love is completion". Hence why the body decays and crumbles; it is the opposite of completion -- by definition incompletion, always incomplete. If the fence is maintained, a "part" of the Son of God will never be complete because it is by definition a part, "safe from completion".
Apparently, the purpose of "fencing" off into separate parts was to experience this incompletion, this separation.
"For within this fence he thinks that he is safe from love."
This sounds insane, but this is the point of the exercise. One separates to be separate; that's why. It is trying to avoid completion. In order to maintain this idea that instead of being one whole, it is many parts, this self must identify with each part individually. That's the only way the exercise works.
"How else could he be certain he remains within the body, keeping love outside?"
There are four more paragraphs in this special topic. I have been able to understand the passages with the following definitions of "love":
- Love is completion
- Love is unity
- Love is loving emotions (good feelings)
- Love is understanding (the essence of)
Can you read the passage with the different definitions and capture new understandings?
[Full Text] (link to acim.house)