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 in 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.
Today we are introduced to a new ten lesson theme: What is the ego? The key note to remember is that bottom line, the ego is idolatry. It is the worship of all that is not God. The ego is the lie of separation, the offer of bodies rather than spirit, the promise of suffering, disease, and death. The ego makes an enemy of God and of all creation. While Jesus teaches that the things that cannot be seen are eternal, everlasting, and true; the ego demonstrates that dominance and fear are stronger than Creation which is made for and by Love.
Upon close examination, we learn that parts apart from the whole are driven insane with deception. We, who were created in oneness fell for the temptation of leaving the Whole and maintaining our independence from Creation rather than our interdependence. We chose death instead of life everlasting. We chose to prey upon Creation rather than love Creation. We chose to make up our own fearful, violent, bloodthirsty gods in place of our loving, tender, Father God. In this weird imitation of Creation, we experience a nightmare of misunderstanding. Apart from oneness, we make up and enact all kinds of fearful stories about the separate parts. We are constantly making pawns of others, choosing sides, pronouncing condemnations. Without oneness, we cannot know one another, we cannot develop empathy or understanding; without oneness we call life death and death life.
For Jesus informs us today that the Son of God is egoless. In reality, there is no ego. In reality, we have no body, no gender, no identity with physicality. In reality there is no war between the sexes because it does not exist. When I look at you and you look at me, we do not see male and female or any of the other genders that ego makes up in the maddening world – I see you as me and you see me as you, for we are one. There is only love. The same goes for the color of our skin, our ancestry in the separated world, the meaningless wars and stupid battles over ideals that could mean nothing to a God of Spirit and Life everlasting.
As Sons of God who abide safely in Him, there is no death, no sin, no suffering, no need of any kind for sorrow. In the Spirit we can never yearn for that which does not satisfy, for we have everything. In the Spirit we do not seek out bloodshed and violence as a means to entertain ourselves, for we are creative and share only that which brings life everlasting. We have surpassed the egos cravings for drama, attack, vengeance, and punishment. We no longer live in anticipation of the next crisis upon which to party, for we celebrate only love. To know you is to love you and to know me is to love me, even as we love the Creator and all of Creation.
As we identify with our Sonship, the ego finds not so much as a toehold in our consciousness. We forgive it because the illusion of murder, rape, and plunder has cured us from our thoughts of sin. Dreams of war, destruction, and death have taught us to lay down our arms. Our addictions to ego’s magic substances have taught us all we need to know of ego’s false promises and exacting costs for its every passing pleasure. No more tribute to the crucifixion on blood-soaked altars exalting sin and glorifying that which has no glory. Created by our Eternal God, that which is Spirit cannot die, cannot perish, cannot be tempted by a lie.
How do we get past the ego? We offer lilies of forgiveness. Lilies symbolize humility, devotion, and innocence. In humility we lay down that which is false in exchange for truth. With devotion, we train our minds and give our hearts to seek only truth. In humility and through devotion, our innocence is made known to us. We lay down our condemnation and offer healing to the insane world – this is forgiveness. And when we do that, the dark paths are filled with light. When reality comes, illusions flee. The Prince of Peace is restored to His throne, welcomed to set up His Kingdom in one and all and all in one. In Love, in joy, and unity our minds are one with God.
Dear Father, Illuminate our lessons to our minds. Teach us about the lie, so that we may know Truth. Let us walk through darkness, to learn of Your light. Expose our egos, so we may turn from it and know You. Teach us devotion, dear Father. Teach us the lessons of humility, of admitting that we do not know. Teach us to come to You instead of plotting our own blighted plans. Show us our innocence even while we dream of shame and sin. Teach us to give lilies of forgiveness instead of condemnation and attack. Today let us remember we are Your Creation, Your Son, the light of Your Love, the apple of Your eye. In the name of Jesus, with Whom we are one. Amen.
A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Part II:12. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). p. 467.
Audio credit: the friar patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com