one can escape from illusions unless he looks at them,
for not looking is the way they are protected. There
is no need to shrink from illusions, for they cannot
be dangerous. We are ready to look more closely at the
ego’s thought system because, together, we have
the lamp that will dispel it. And since you realize
you do not want it, you must be ready.
us be very calm in doing this, for we are merely looking
honestly for truth. The “dynamics” of the
ego will be our lesson for a while, for we must look
first at this to look beyond it since you havemade it
real. We will undo this error quietly together, and
then look beyond it to truth.
is healing but the removal of all that stands in the
way of knowledge (of what you really are)? And how else
can one dispel illusions except by looking at them directly,
without protecting them? Be
not afraid, therefore, for what you will be looking
at is the source of fear. But you have surely learned
by now that fear is not real. We have accepted the fact
already that its effects can be dispelled merely by
denying their reality.
next step is obviously to recognize that what has no
effects does not exist. Laws do not operate in a vacuum,
and what leads to nothing has not happened. If reality
is recognized by its extension, what extends to nothing
cannot be real.
not be afraid, then, to look upon fear, for it cannot
Clarity undoes confusion by definition, and to look
upon darkness through light must dispel it.
us begin this lesson in “ego dynamics” by
understanding that the term itself does not mean anything.
In fact, it contains exactly the contradiction in terms
which makes it meaningless. “Dynamics” implies
the power to do something. And the whole separation
fallacy lies in the belief that the ego has the power
to do anything.
ego is fearful to you because you believe this. Yet
the truth is very simple;
Power is of God. What is not of Him has no power to
When we look at the ego, then, we are not considering
dynamics, but delusions. We can surely regard a delusional
system without fear, for it cannot have any effects
if its source is not true. Fear becomes more obviously
inappropriate if one recognizes the ego’s goal,
which is so clearly senseless that any effort exerted
on its behalf is necessarily expended on nothing.
ego’s goal is quite explicitly ego automomy. From
the beginning, then, its purpose is to be...
unto itself, and
of any power except its own.
why it is the symbol of separation.
idea has a purpose, and its purpose is always the natural
extension of what it is. Everything that stems from
the ego is the natural outcome of its central belief.
And the way to undo its results is merely to recognize
that their source is not natural, being out of accord
with your true nature. We once said that to will contrary
to God is wishful thinking, and not real willing. His
Will is One because the extension of His Will cannot
be unlike Itself. The real conflict you experience,
then, is between the ego’s idle wishes and the
Will of God, Which you share. Can
this be a real conflict?
Yours is the independence of creation, not of autonomy.
Your whole creative function lies in your complete dependence
on God, Whose function He shares with you. By His willingness
to share it, He became as dependent on you as you are
on Him. Do not ascribe the ego’s arrogance to
Him Who wills not to be independent of you. He has included
you in His Autonomy. Can
you believe that autonomy is meaningful apart from Him?
belief in ego autonomy is costing you the knowledge
of your dependence on God in which your freedom lies.
The ego sees all dependency as threatening, and has
twisted even your longing for God into a means of establishing
itself. But do not be deceived by its interpretation
of your conflict.
ego always attacks on behalf of separation.
it has the power to do this, it does nothing else, because
its goal of autonomy is nothing else. The ego is totally
confused about reality, but it does not lose sight of
its goal. It is much more vigilant than you are because
it is perfectly certain of its purpose. You are confused
because you do not know yours.
What you must learn to recognize is that the last thing
the ego wishes you to realize is that you are afraid
of it. For if the ego gives rise to fear, it is diminishing
your independence and weakening your power. Yet its
one claim to your allegiance is that it can give power
to you. Without this belief you would not listen to
it at all.How,
then, can its existence continue if you realize that,
by accepting it, you are belittling yourself and depriving
yourself of power?
ego can and does allow you to regard yourself as
not really afraid.
fear, but not its undoing, is the ego’s constant
effort, and is indeed the skill at which it is very
ingenious. How can it preach separation without upholding
it through fear? And would you listen to it if you recognized
this is what it is doing?
Your recognition that whatever seems to separate you
from God is only fear, regardless of the form it takes
and quite apart from how the ego wants you to experience
it, is therefore the basic ego threat. Its dream of
autonomy is shaken to its foundation by this awareness.
For though you may countenance a false idea of independence,
you will not accept the cost of fear if you recognize
this is the cost, and the ego cannot minimize it. For
if you overlook love you are overlooking yourself, and
you must fear unreality because you have denied yourself.
By believing that you have successfully attacked truth
(your oneness with God), you are believing that attack
simply, then, you have become afraid of yourself.
And no one wills to learn what he believes would
the ego’s goal of autonomy could be accomplished
God’s purpose could be defeated, and this IS impossible.
Only by learning what fear IS can you finally learn
to distinguish the possible from the impossible, and
the false from the true. According
to the ego’s teaching, its goal can be accomplished,
and God’s purpose can not. According
to the Holy Spirit’s teaching, only God’s
purpose is accomplishment, and it is already accomplished.
God is as dependent on you as you are on Him, because
His autonomy encompasses yours and is therefore incomplete
without it. You can only establish your autonomy by
identifying with Him, and fulfilling your function as
it exists in truth. The ego believes that to accomplish
its goal is happiness. But it is given you to know that
God’s function is yours, and happiness cannot
be found apart from your joint will. Recognize
only that the ego’s goal, which you have pursued
quite diligently, has merely brought you fear, and it
becomes difficult to maintain that fear IS happiness.
Upheld by fear, this is what the ego would have you
believe. Yet God’s Son is not insane, and cannot
believe it. Let him but recognize it, and he will not
accept it. For only the insane would choose fear in
place of love, and only the insane could believe that
love can be gained by attack. But
the sane know that only attack could produce fear, from
which the Love of God completely protects them.
analyzes; the Holy Spirit accepts.
appreciation of wholeness comes only through acceptance,
for to analyze means to separate out. The attempt to
understand totality by breaking it up is clearly the
characteristically contradictory approach of the ego
forget that the ego believes that power, understanding
and truth lie in separation. And to establish this belief
it must attack. Unaware that the belief cannot be established,
and obsessed with the conviction that separation is
salvation, the ego attacks everything it perceives by
breaking it up into small and disconnected parts, without
meaningful relationships, and thus without meaning.
ego will always substitute chaos for meaning, for if
separation is salvation, harmony is threat.
ego’s interpretation of the laws of perception
are, and would have to be, the exact opposite of the