Everything in the world is an illusion. Everything. And this includes the bodies which are seemingly healthy, the bodies which are seemingly sick, and the bodies that seem dead. This also means that trees which have fresh green leaves are as much an illusion as trees whose leaves have fallen and are decaying. Images of a lovely sunset are just as much an illusion as stormy skies. Animals leaping around happily is just as much illusion as carcasses on the side of the road.
In the ego world, there are symbols, because it is a dream. And sometimes these symbols seem to imply that some parts of the world are different to others, or mean something that other parts do not mean. So we are used to the idea that a dead body is the idea of death. But bodies that are walking around are also not really alive either. We can think that when the leaves are falling from the trees, it's death happening, but perhaps we didn't realize when the leaves were on the trees that it was still a dream of death.
So in this world, there is deception all over the place. Things appear to be something they are not. The symbols that look like life only seem to be life, while the ones that look like death are only different in their forms. And it is us who have given meaning to them and decided "this one means death and that one means life". All of the forms, in whatever condition they are, are forms of death. As Jesus tells us:
"There IS no life outside of Heaven. Where God created life, there life must be. *****In any state apart from Heaven, life is illusion. At best, it seems like life; at worst, like death.***** Yet both are judgments on ****what is not life****, equal in their inaccuracy and lack of meaning. Life not in Heaven is impossible, and what is not in Heaven is not anywhere. Outside of Heaven (e.g. on Earth), only the conflict of illusions stands; senseless, impossible and beyond all reason, and yet perceived as an eternal barrier to Heaven. Illusions ARE but forms. Their content is NEVER true. "
So because illusions are forms (objects, shapes, materials, bodies, planets etc), their content is not true. They are illusions of life and death. An illusion of life is not really life. Life actually means ETERNAL LIFE, that which can never perish, that which is not born and does not grow and does not die and has no sickness or transformation. Life means that which never changes because it is permanent. Only in Heaven's reality is there eternal life, and that is the only REAL life there is. The rest of what we call life, the "life forms" of this world, are an illusion of life AT BEST.
"Either all things die, or else they live and cannot die. No compromise is possible."
Here Jesus is contrasting vertically the two states or levels. In Heaven all things live and cannot die. In illusions, all things die and cannot really live. The world we see is an illusion of a world that God did not create.
"The world you see is an illusion of a world. God did not create it, for what He creates must be eternal as Himself. Yet there is nothing in the world you see that will endure forever. Some things will last in time a little while longer than others. But the time will come when all things visible will have an end."
So having been in this world a long time, we are likely very used to the deception that some things in the world are more alive than others. Some people seem to have more health than others. Some bodies seem more dead than others. This is an illusion. All bodies are illusions, and their condition or state does not make them more or less real. One is not really more or less dead than another. Even a dead body in the ground is, in terms of miracle mindedness, no more dead than a living body. This is why for a miracle worker "dead-seeming" bodies can be converted or resurrected into living-seeming bodies as a kind of "translation of form".
"EVERYTHING is accomplished through life, and life is of the mind and in the Mind. The body neither lives nor dies, because it cannot contain you who ARE life."
Again Jesus is telling us life is to do with mind and heaven, not to do with bodies. And it's reinforced by this idea.
""And the last to be overcome will be death." Of course! ***Without the idea of death there is no world.*** All dreams will end with this one. This is salvation's final goal; the end of all illusions. And in death are all illusions born. What can be born of death and still have life? But what is born of God and still can die? "
"Death is the central dream from which all illusions stem."
So every illusion, every part of the dream, all objects, all bodies, in all states and configurations, are all made of illusions, and ALL illusions are made of death. We have to therefore realize that death does not mean HORIZONTAL death, as in, at the end of the road of time for a given object. Or a state that follows on after another. Rather, the ENTIRE world we made, the universe, is all a dream of death. This whole planet is an idea of death.
VERTICALLY, anything on this level physically is an attempt to remove ourselves away from where eternal life is, away from Heaven. To move down a level. To drop into illusions, to sink into a dream world. And that world is based entirely on the idea that reality, Heaven, is not real. It's the idea of separation or opposition to Eternal Life, that you are exiled and outside of the Kingdom where eternal life is. And so it's the idea of NOT being alive. It's an idea of the opposite to life and permanence. And everything in it, no matter its form or appearance, is an illusion of death or partial life at best.
Even the most vibrant bunch of flowers is actually an illusion of not life. Even a newborn baby, of any species, is not a "new life" but rather a new form of death. Even as the season of spring seems to give life to new fresh growth, it is only later to transition into the season of "dying" and decay simply because both the birthing and dying are built into the system. Anything made of illusions has the mark of death upon it, meaning it already is formed from ideas of death and separation at the moment it is made. Every particle of matter is a separation idea and therefore an idea of opposition or attack upon God.
"You do not really want the world you see, for it has disappointed you since time began. The homes you built have never sheltered you. The roads you made have led you nowhere, and no city that you built has withstood the crumbling assault of time. ****Nothing you made but has the mark of death upon it.*** Hold it not dear, for it is old and tired, and ready to return to dust ****even as you made it.****"
So even at the instant that illusory things are first formed, they are formed FROM the idea of death and separation and limitation. They have it built in. If they are born at all, death is guaranteed and "happening" already. Because all forms are lacking in some way, they are all lacking what the other forms seem to have, and all of them are inherently limited and limiting. None of them are whole, none are complete, and not have eternal life. And every single body is an idea of being little and lacking and less than everywhere.
"This aching world (Earth) has not the power to touch the living world (Heaven) at all. You could not give it that, and so, although you turn in sadness from it, you cannot find in it the road that leads AWAY from it, into another world."
So this world is not the living world. The Kingdom of God is the living world, because life means permanent life, not some temporary mockery of life. It is insane to think that real life is a matter of existing a little while and then dying at a bodily level. Life perpetuates and sustains and continues forever and cannot be destroyed. God creates ONLY the eternal.
"Is it not madness to think of life as being born, aging, losing vitality, and dying in the end?"
"What God creates is eternal."
A big part of awakening then must entail the re-framing or re-evaluating of everything you see here. We need to realize the dream entails a hierarchy of illusions, and this hierarchy is entirely fictional. And everything it suggest through different FORMS is a deception and a temptation to believe something that isn't true.
Big bodies, small bodies, healthy bodies, dead bodies, are all the same illusion. None of them are more real than another. None of them are really closer to God. Big sickness, small sickness, tiny headache, massive tumor, none of them are any different. The only reason you would believe they are different, or more or less serious, is by looking to the appearance of their form and taking it as evidence or MEANING as to what the thing is. Every single illusion is deceptive. Every appearance is a lie.
"God's teachers choose to look on dreams a while. It is a conscious choice. For they have learned that all choices are made consciously, with full awareness of their consequences. The dream says otherwise, but who would put his faith in dreams once they are recognized for what they are? Awareness of dreaming is the real function of God's teachers. ***They watch the dream figures come and go, shift and change, suffer and die. Yet they are not deceived by what they see.*** ***They recognize that to behold a dream figure as sick and separate is no more real than to regard it as healthy and beautiful.*** Unity alone is not a thing of dreams. And it is this God's teachers acknowledge as behind the dream, beyond all seeming and yet surely theirs."
When we reach a state of not being deceived by ANY appearance, we are in miracle mindedness. Which is right mindedness. Here the hierarchy of illusions is completely flattened and meaningless. There is no difference between a form in one configuration or another. We are not deceived by physical form, shape or appearance. One type of appearance does not trigger worse reactions than another, or any reactions, nor means something different to the rest. A "dead" appearing body is not regarded as any more dead than a living one. As such raising the dead is seen as NO MORE DIFFICULT than curing a headache, because all illusions are the same and you are not deceived by them. You can raise the dead as easily as heal an upset feeling.
"You who are dedicated to the incorruptible have been given through your acceptance, the power to release from corruption. What better way to teach the first and fundamental principle in a course on miracles than by showing you the one that seems to be the hardest can be accomplished first?"
When you are not deceived by illusions of life and death, forms of sickness, appearances of severity, you cannot be afraid, you can only be miraculous. Miracle mindedness transcends the world of illusions because The Miracle IS the state of Christ Vision which overlooks all forms. There is, from that position, nothing that your holiness cannot do. And it is from this state that you are a miracle worker. Here you are using miracles as demonstrations to PROVE that what appears to be death is not death, and you are under no laws but God's, where miracles break all the illusory laws of the world of appearances.
"Miracles do not obey the laws of this world."
"Miracles reflect the laws of eternity, not of time."
"The Holy Spirit is invisible, but you can see the results of His Presence, and through them, you will learn that He is there. What He enables you to do is clearly NOT of this world, for ****miracles violate every law of reality, as this world judges it.**** Every law of time and space, of magnitude and mass, of prediction and control, is transcended, for what the Holy Spirit enables you to do is clearly beyond ALL of them. Perceiving His results, you will understand where He must be, and finally KNOW what He is."