The Ego

Listen to what the ego says, and see what it directs you see, and it is sure that you will see yourself as tiny, vulnerable and afraid. You will experience...

  • depression,
  • a sense of worthlessness, and
  • feelings of impermanence and unreality.
You will believe that you are helpless prey to forces far beyond your own control, and far more powerful than you. And you will think the world you made directs your destiny. For this will be your faith. But never believe, because it is your faith, it makes reality.

The Body

The body is the ego's home, by its own election. It is the only identification with which the ego feels safe, because the body's vulnerability is its own best argument that you cannot be of God.

This is the belief that the ego sponsors eagerly. Yet the ego hates the body, because it does not accept the idea that the body is good enough to be its home. Here is where the mind becomes actually dazed. Being told, by the ego, that it is really part of the body, and that the body is its protector, the mind is also constantly informed that the body can not protect it. This, of course, is not only accurate, but perfectly obvious. Therefore the mind asks,

"Where can I go for protection?" to which the ego replies, "Turn to me."

The mind, and not without cause, reminds the ego that it has itself insisted that it (ego) is identified with the body, so there is no point in turning to it for protection. The ego has no real answer to this, because there is none. But it does have a typical solution: It obliterates the question from the mind's awareness. Once unconscious, the question can and does produce uneasiness, but it cannot be answered, because it cannot be asked.

This is the question that must be asked: "Where am I to go for protection?"

Even the insane ask it unconsciously, but it requires real sanity to ask it consciously. When the Bible says, "Seek and ye shall find," it does not mean that you should seek blindly and desperately for something you would not recognize. Meaningful seeking is consciously undertaken, consciously organized and consciously directed. The goal must be formulated clearly and kept in mind.

As a teacher with some experience, let me remind you that learning and wanting to learn are inseparable. All learners learn best when they believe what they are trying to learn is of value to them. However, not everything you may want to learn has lasting value. Indeed, many of the things you want to learn are chosen because their value will not last. The ego thinks it is an advantage not to commit itself to anything that is eternal, because the eternal must come from God. The ego compromises with the issue of the eternal, just as it does with all issues that touch on the real question in any way. By compromising, it hopes to hide the real question and keep it out of mind.

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The ego is nothing more than a part of your belief about yourselves. Your other life has continued without interruption...

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A Delusional Thought System

Only your allegiance to it gives the ego any power over you. We have spoken of the ego as if it were a separate thing, acting on its own. This was necessary to persuade you that you cannot dismiss it lightly, and must realize how much of your thinking is ego directed. We cannot safely let it go at that, however, or you will regard yourselves as necessarily conflicted as long as you are here, or more properly, as long as you believe that you are here.

The ego is nothing more than a part of your belief about yourselves. Your other life has continued without interruption, and has been, and always will be, totally unaffected by your attempts to disassociate.

You cannot escape from the ego by humbling it, or controlling it, or punishing it. Remember that the ego and the Soul do not know each other. The separated mind cannot maintain the separation except by dissociating. Having done this, it utilizes repression against all truly natural impulses, not because the ego is a separate thing, but because you want to believe that you are. The ego is a device for maintaining this belief, but it is still only your willingness to use the device that enables it to endure.

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The ego's goal...is to be separate, sufficient unto itself, and independent of any power except its own. This is why it is the symbol of separation.

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Let 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. The ego is fearful to you because you believe this. Yet the truth is very simple: all power is of God. What is not of Him has no power to do anything.

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.

The ego's goal is, quite explicitly, ego autonomy. From the beginning, then, its purpose is to be separate, sufficient unto itself, and independent of any power except its own. This is why it is the symbol of separation.

Every 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 (goal of autonomy), 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.

Wishful Thinking vs Real Willing

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?

 
 
 

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