II. SECTION 12. What is the Ego?
Lesson 333 Forgiveness ends the dream of conflict here.
- Conflict must be resolved. It cannot be evaded, set aside, denied, disguised, seen somewhere else, called by another name, or hidden by deceit of any kind, if it would be escaped. It must be seen exactly as it is, where it is thought to be, in the reality which has been given it, and with the purpose that the mind accorded it. For only then are its defenses lifted, and the truth can shine upon it as it disappears.
- Father, forgiveness is the light You chose to shine away all conflict and all doubt, and light the way for our return to You. No light but this can end our evil dream. No light but this can save the world. For this alone will never fail in anything, being Your gift to Your beloved Son.
In Section 12, we learn what the ego is, what it stands for, and how to escape the ego and its conflict with our Father. The ego’s desire to remove itself from God, to take the Sons of God, the creation of God and do something else with it, make another purpose with what belonged to God and will always belong to God is the conflict that must be resolved. All other conflicts – in the microcosms of our daily lives or in the macrocosms of world affairs – stem from this desire to take what belonged to God and make something separate from it. This is why we cannot be free unless we face this truth about ourselves. We cannot blame it on each other. We cannot blame it on the devil or any source outside of ourselves alone. We must face our own darkness – the darkness of separation and of according ourselves to be the center of the universe, the master of our own destiny, the guardians of the galaxy, so to speak. We must face the fact that what we made to take the place of Creation’s glory has been to wreak havoc upon the earth, with vain imaginings of blasting our rocket ship egos throughout space.
Separated from God, we are tiny, solitary specks trapped by time, caught up in a whirlwind of temporality, bloated with a misdirected sense of importance. We make up stories, we fill our minds with myths of bloodthirsty gods who get caught up in trite battles over souls which have never belonged to anything or anybody but Him Who created them. We lose our minds to ego, practicing empty rituals and sacrificing our time, money, effort, and blood for meaningless loyalties. We put faith in our churches, our education, our political systems. We die for causes that mean nothing outside the hellish realm we have accepted in place of our home with God. Prodigals all, we left God on our own accord to set up our own kingdom – doomed to madness and failure, folly and ruin.
This is the conflict at the core of all conflict. This is the only way to lift the defenses and let the truth shine through – to expose the conflict of conflicts. To forgive it all – to forgive the rising up, the rebellion against God, the separateness, loneliness, and despair. This is the light that saves the world. It is God’s gift to us – the light of forgiveness. We can forgive all conflict when we understand and forgive the core conflict – we are separated from our Father, our Maker, our Love, and our Bliss. All relationships outside of holy relationships are doomed. All civilizations, alliances, institutions, traditions and rituals are meaningless dreams, and they come to an end. To hold a grudge, to hold accountable, to judge and condemn, to seek vengeance or comeuppance, indeed, the Course teaches, to even rise up in defense, is to make the separation real in our minds and thus obscure the truth, trapping our mind in the ego’s nightmare.
Resolving this conflict by seeing our darkness and confusion for what it is, by accepting our Father’s gift of forgiveness to shine away all confusion and doubt, our return to God is made clear to us. Finally, we can accept our Father’s Love and take joy in the adventure of salvation. The outcome is as certain as God. The world is saved. Creation is and always was the effect of Love. Time and all that it seems to hold is only a dream. Let our awakening be sweet; let our journey be pleasant as we practice forgiveness and devote ourselves to Him.
A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 333 Forgiveness ends the dream…Foundation of Inner Peace, Second Edition, p. 469.