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If the body is symbol of the ego, what happens to the ego when we are no longer in a body?
The body is a symbol of the ego. When the body is no longer necessary and we are out of the body, what happens to the ego?
One assumption in your question is that the mind could even come into a body. You must believe this before you believe you can leave the body. I once went to a Course group, and they said, “David, be practical. We are all in bodies.” I said, “We must look at those assumptions. Who is the we?” Jesus asks this in "A Course in Miracles": Who is the you who believes he is in a body?
So we might say that it is impossible to lay aside a body and leave a world still going. When you ascend, as Jesus did, you lay aside the body and the cosmos; it is all the same hallucination. Many times people will ask, “Where did Jesus go?” But there is no "place" in Heaven. Jesus says in the workbook,”We say God is and cease to speak." God does not know of time and space. The world is the sleep of amnesia.
Even quantum physics now is coming to this same conclusion. One quantum physicist in Australia came to the same conclusion as Jesus. He used the exact words that Jesus uses in Lesson 132: "There is no world!" When Jesus adds an exclamation point, he is making an emphatic statement. As we give up all judgments of specifics, the mind remembers its abstract state that has no limits or barriers.
The ideas of incarnation and reincarnation still imply soul or spirit coming into form or the body. The experience of healing sees that the mind or soul never enters the body. Jesus taught in the Bible: "That which is born of the flesh is flesh. That which is born of the spirit is spirit." Never the two shall meet!. Spirit is eternal and the world of flesh is temporary. When you bring darkness to the light, only the light remains. The light does not battle the darkness. Just like when you walk into a room at night and turn on the light switch, there is no battle. The darkness is gone.
Can you talk about true joining with a brother and true healing?
Yes. Joining together often implies bodies coming together, like with "A Course in Miracles" groups or Course conferences. But the joining is never in form. You can only join in purpose; joined in one purpose to heal what never was. Peace is our purpose, forgiving and living in love. Until you are aware of the purpose, you may seem to join with your brothers and sisters and feel sad when the bodies go apart, just like in relationships when there seems to be a parting. But what could come apart was never truly joined.
It is the same with healing. Healing is associated with the body, yet in "A Course in Miracles," Jesus tells us not to ask the Holy Spirit to heal the body. That can seem like a striking statement, but it points to a deeper understanding of healing. The Holy Spirit sees the body as neutral. It is just a neutral device. It cannot be endowed with the attributes of spirit or ego. It cannot be sick or healthy. It is not really born and does not really die. You can think of it like an object such as a pen. It would seem ridiculous to say, “Your pen is looking well today,” or,”Your pen is looking pale today." or, ”I think your pen is dead. No, it's still alive! It was dead, but I brought it back to life."
This is as ridiculous as thinking of a body in the same way. As long as you attempt to heal the body, you are attempting to heal something that cannot be healed. All healing is of the mind, and you will know that you are healed by the peace and joy and happiness you feel. There is no sense of pain. There is no sense of conflict. You will even lose a sense of fatigue in listening with the Holy Spirit. You will feel a sense of vitality, a sense of alertness, and this is healing.
It is fragmented perception that is the sickness. The entire cosmos is one beautiful tapestry to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit does not pull one thread out and say, ”This one I like the best." The Holy Spirit does not compare one thread to another thread. The Holy Spirit sees the tapestry as whole. If you read Lesson 136 closely, which says: "Sickness is a defense against the truth", you will see that the sickness is an attempt to pull apart from the whole. The ego attempts to do this and, for example, pulls a body out of the cosmos, gives it a name, puts all kinds of characteristics on it: male or female, young or old, tall or short, and sick or well.
Pulling the part out from the whole is the sickness. Therefore, what is projected onto the part is just a further error. That is why the most important realization in awakening to Heaven is that the problem is a perceptual problem, looking through a darkened glass, as it says in Corinthians. You cannot see with the vision of Christ if you keep looking through the ego lens. So "A Course in Miracles" is simply a way of clearing the glass and learning to see the whole as whole.