II. SECTION 12. What is the Ego?
- The ego is idolatry; the sign of limited and separated self, born in a body, doomed to suffer and to end its life in death. It is the “will” that sees the Will of God as enemy and takes a form in which it is denied. The ego is the “proof” that strength is weak, and love is fearful, life is really death, and what opposes God alone is true.
- The ego is insane. In fear it stands beyond the Everywhere, apart from All, in separation from the Infinite. In its insanity it thinks it has become a victor over God Himself. And it its terrible autonomy it “sees” the Will of God has been destroyed. It dreams of punishment, and trembles at the figures in its dreams; its enemies, who seek to murder it before it can ensure its safety by attacking them.
- The Son of God is egoless. What can he know of madness and the death of God, when he abides in Him? What can he know of sorrow and of suffering, when he lives in eternal joy? What can he know of fear and punishment, of sin and guilt, of hatred and attack, when all there is surrounding him is everlasting peace, forever conflict-free and undisturbed, in deepest silence and tranquility?
- To know reality is not to see the ego and its thoughts, its works, its acts, its laws, and its beliefs, its dreams, its hopes, its plans for its salvation, and the cost belief in it entails. In suffering, the price for faith in it is so immense that crucifixion of the Son of God is offered daily at its darkened shrine, and blood must flow before the altar where its sickly followers prepare to die.
- Yet will one lily of forgiveness change the darkness into light; the altar to illusions to the shrine of Life Itself. And peace will be restored forever to the holy minds which God created as His Son, His dwelling place, His joy, His love, completely His, completely one with Him.
Idolatry is the worship of anything that is not God, not reality, not real and our lesson today tells us that the ego is idolatry, a sign of the separation from God, made of flesh and blood, doomed from the start to suffer and die. The ego sees God as the enemy and instead of the image of God, we are given, in separation, the image of the ego which seeks to prove that strength is weak and love is fearful, that life is death and what we see here in the flesh and in the world is true while God is not.
Being separated from our Father drives us out of our mind! We are afraid because our egos have left their Source to be apart and alone. We experience a bloated sense of self-importance and believe that we can move and operate outside the Will of God. In this nightmare of separation, our egos destroy families, friendships, communities, and our world. Our egos create dramas, attack enemies, seek vengeance, administer punishments, and lives in anticipation of the next crisis upon which to feed.
God did not create the ego; the Sons of God have no ego and abide safely in their Father. They have no insane dreams nor lift themselves against God. The Sons of God live in joy and bliss. They do not suffer or have any need of sorrow. There is no need to consider fear and punishment, sin and guilt, for they were created in love and peace and joy and God’s Will is for their eternal bliss.
When we become real, the ego will have no place in us! No more trembling at the thought of murder, rape, and plunder. No more dreams of war, destruction, or death. No more belief in ego’s magic substances or its sacrificial demands for salvation. No more tribute to the crucifixion on blood-soaked altars exalting sin. Death does not exist for the Son of God. What is created by our Eternal God cannot die, cannot perish, cannot sin.
Jesus refers to forgiveness as lilies. Lilies symbolize humility, devotion, and innocence. In our humility we lay down our egos in exchange for reality. We devote our minds and hearts and lives to this reality. We practice innocence through forgiveness, no longer confusing ego with the Sons of God. Darkness changes into light; peace is restored to our minds; Christ returns and sets up His Kingdom in each of us, filling us with joy, love, and unity.
Today let us offer the lilies of forgiveness. Today let us remember the reality of
 Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. 12. What is the ego…Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition, p. 467.