A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 4: The Illusions of the Ego

IV. This Need Not Be 7-11

7. The habit of engaging with God and His creations is easily made if you actively refuse to let your mind slip away.  The problem is not one of concentration; it is the belief that no one, including yourself, is worth consistent effort.  Side with me consistently against this deception, and do not permit this shabby belief to pull you back.  The disheartened are useless to themselves and to me, but only the ego can be disheartened. 

8. Have you really considered how many opportunities you have had to gladden yourself and how many of them you have refused?  There is no limit to the power of a Son of God, but he can limit the expression of his power as much as he chooses.  Your mind and mine can unite in shining your ego away, releasing the strength of God into everything you think and do.  Do not settle for anything less than this and refuse to accept anything but this as your goal.  Watch your mind carefully for any beliefs that hinder its accomplishment, and step away from them.  Judge how well you have done this by your own feelings, for this is the one right use of judgment.  Judgment, like any other defense, can be used to attack or protect; to hurt or to heal.  The ego should be brought to judgment and found wanting there.  Without your own allegiance, protection, and love, the ego cannot exist.  Let it be judged truly and you must withdraw allegiance, protection, and love from it. 

9. You are a mirror of truth, in which God Himself shines in perfect light.  To the ego’s dark glass you need but say, “I will not look there because I know these images are not true.”  Then let the Holy One shine on you in peace, knowing that this and only this must be.  His Mind shone on you in your creation and brought your mind into being.  His Mind still shines on you and must shine through you.  Your ego cannot prevent Him from shining on you, but it can prevent you from letting Him shine through you.

10. The first coming of Christ is merely another name for the creation, for Christ is the Son of God.  The Second Coming of Christ means nothing more than the end of the ego’s rule and the healing of the mind.  I was created like you in the first, and I have called you to join with me in the second.  I am in charge of the Second Coming, and my judgment, which is used only for protection, cannot be wrong because it never attacks.  Yours may be so distorted that you believe I was mistaken in choosing you.  I assure you this is a mistake of your ego.  Do not mistake it for humility.  Your ego is trying to convince you that it is real, and I am not, because if I am real, I am no more real than you are.  That knowledge, and I assure you that it is knowledge, means that Christ has come into your mind and healed it.

11. I do not attack your ego. I do work with your higher mind, the home of the Holy Spirit, whether you are asleep or awake, just as your ego does with your lower mind, which is its home.  I am your vigilance in this because you are too confused to recognize your own hope.  I am not mistaken.  Your mind will elect to join with mine, and together we are invincible.  You and your brother will yet come together in my name, and your sanity will be restored.  I raised the dead by knowing that life is an eternal attribute of everything that the living God created.  Why do you believe it is harder for me to inspire the dis-spirited or to stabilize the unstable?  I do not believe that there is an order of difficulty in miracles; you do.  I have called and you will answer.  I understand that miracles are natural because they are expressions of love.  My calling you is as natural as your answer, and as inevitable.[1] 

Holding fast to the worthiness of our goal, coming to understand and to see the apparent shabbiness of not putting forth consistent effort and therefore not forming habits of love and devotion, is critical to our spiritual journey.  Our consistent devotion to God draws us into a holy habit of making every effort we can to disengage our mind from the ego and invite the light of Holy Spirit to shine on every unworthy thought, enlightening the dark corners, and hidden corridors of our systems of belief.  We bring our minds to God and thus reflect His love and His devotion to Creation.  If we continue with a split mind, a sick mind, a mind that still finds value in darkness, fear, and lovelessness – we are useless to ourselves, to Creation, and to Christ.

Jesus asks us to recount the occasions in our lives where instead of reflecting love, compassion, helpfulness, and harmlessness, we chose to be spiteful, pitiless, and downright mean.  We have all made the mistake of holding a grudge against someone, barging in where we are not welcome, insisting on our own way, and burdening others because we lacked the courage to take a stand for what is right.  When we limit the expression of God’s Love and God’s Light in our life, we are denying truth, we are not fulfilling our function, we are aligning ourselves with the ego rather than completing our mind with Christ. 

In paragraph nine, Jesus again implores us to watch our minds carefully for any beliefs that hinder us from disengaging with the ego’s fear and lack of love.  Our salvation does not rest upon “giving one’s heart to the Lord.”  It is not going to prayer meetings and speaking in tongues and prophesying flattering forecasts for all your Christian friends.  Salvation does not express itself by our human impulses and egotistical fantasies about ourselves doing a great and mighty work for God, drawing multitudes of people around us, and showing people how special we are.  As much of a lark as all this can be, salvation is a quiet and private uniting of our mind with the mind of Christ, inviting the light of His holiness to shine upon our ego and remove its stain upon our minds, thus releasing the strength of God into everything we think, say, and do. 

We are to not to assess our progress by counting how many followers we have, or how many people were healed because we prayed for them, or how much time we spent speaking in tongues or how many prophecies about how special we are to God were spoken over us.  We are to assess our progress by own feelings of release, our own minds ability to rest from its case building and unending opinions, to have peace from its draining worries and fears, to calmly and quietly, without the need for approval, agreement, or adulation from others, its communion with God.  This is our salvation – our minds freedom from the ego, our minds saved from the decaying, disease-ridden despondency of darkness.

While we are never to judge Creation, we are to judge the ego and withdraw our allegiance to it, individually, collectively, universally.  When we no longer cherish its lie, when we no longer uphold it, when we no longer pledge allegiance to it and teach others to do the same, the ego simply goes away.  Unlike truth, the ego can only exist as long as we uphold it, worship it, and promote it. 

Our lives mirror the truth of God’s perfect light, Jesus says.  We never have to look through the dark glass of the ego for we know that the ego presents to us, not God’s perfect light but quite a different tale.  All around us we can see the havoc that the ego wreaks on people’s lives, the betrayals, the predatory nature that devours rather that sustains life, the greediness of our systems which promise health, wisdom, and security but promote an all-consuming, debt-ridden illness, stupidity, and insecurity!  God Who brought our minds into being shines upon us and remains shining upon us and nothing the ego does can prevent God’s light from shining on us, Jesus tells us.  However, if we choose to shun His light and choose the lower realm of ego’s flesh and blood – God’s light still shines, but we will not reflect it. 

While we are accustomed to thinking of the first coming of Christ as Jesus the babe in the manger, Jesus expands our consciousness by asking us to see the first coming of Christ as Creation, for Christ is the Son of God even as Creation is His Son.  The Second Coming of Christ is merely the end of ego’s tyranny and the healing of our mind.  Only our egos fear the Second Coming of Christ for when Christ heals our minds, the ego does not exist, the lie and all of the lies it has sired, goes away in the light of truth!  Jesus tells us that He was created like we were in the first Creation and He is calling us to join Him in the Second Coming. 

We are called to stand with Him in the Last Judgment because it is used only for protection and not punishment or condemnation.  His judgment can never be wrong because it has no need to attack, but only to correct.  If we think of the judgment of Christ as having any form of attack in it, any form of condemnation, any form of holding us responsible for our enchantment and entrancement with a lie, we will believe that Christ is mistaken in choosing us.  Our ego will cause us to squirm and feel mighty uncomfortable for it works double-time and triple-time to convince us to be accountable for what it tricks us into doing and being.  As long as the ego can convince us that our reality belongs to it and not to God, we will think we are too much of a bad-ass to be of any service to Jesus.  We will think we are too smart, or too fleshy, or too earthbound to be of any heavenly service.  We will think that the ego is right, and Jesus is not.  We will think that the ego is real, and Jesus is the fantasy.  Accepting the knowledge of Christ, we know better because our minds are healed.  

Jesus does not attack our ego because the ego is a lie, it is doomed, it is only a temporary trick trapped in time.  Jesus works with our higher mind, the home of Holy Spirit; the ego works with our lower, serpentine mind, which is its home.  The ego works day and night to keep us in its petty kingdom, battling for survival, driving us mad against one another, throwing us into tizzies and conniptions, keeping us unfit for any better use than to perpetuate its misperceptions.   The good news is that Christ does not abandon us, He does not get His feelings hurt and go into a tiff when we do not recognize Him as our only hope.  He knows, as our older, wiser, and most devoted older Brother that we will come around, that we will join with Him, that we will take His hand and that together we are invincible once our sanity is restored to us. 

Jesus raised the dead because He never forgot that what God created can never die.  We must never doubt His ability to heal, to correct, to make stable anything and anyone.  We may believe that something is too hard, too far gone, too lost or sick or sinful to be of any use to Him, but Jesus does not believe this – not about me, and not about you.  He simply does not care how much havoc the ego has wreaked in our lives – all He cares about is that He has called, and we have answered.  No matter how much we have expressed otherwise, all He asks of us is to do what comes naturally to a mind which is healed and corrected and made one with God – we are to receive, to be, and to give miracles, to receive and be and to give expressions of love.   

[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 4 The illusions of the ego IV This need not be. 7-11. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For 2021 daily Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

Published by eckief

My love for God, home and hearth, my husband and family fueled my decision to devote the rest of my life only to pursuits which brought love, joy, peace, and purpose. I am a writer, seeker, student, and teacher with experience professional and otherwise from waitressing to teaching the English language in China, Taiwan, and Singapore. I hold a BA in Psychology from Bloomsburg University, which took nearly 30 years to attain while I squeezed courses in between raising my children, journaling, relationships, work, and an assortment of escapades, some of which I would rather forget! An ongoing passion for reading, writing, adventure, food, and fun, eventually led me to the love of my life, James, whom I met in 1996 and married in 1997. Our life together has been an exciting journey of work and travel, spiritual awakening, and domestic bliss ever since. Although we have experienced the tragic loss of family members and friends through death and estrangement, we have managed to turn our special relationship into a holy one by the grace of God and an acute and growing awareness of “there must be a better way!” In 2006, I published my first novel, Luella’s Calling, and am currently working on my second, Grover Good and the Stone Chateau. From 2013 through 2018, I worked as a Prevention Education Specialist for Transitions, a local domestic violence sexual abuse victim’s service agency. My work there, fueled by a lifelong enthusiasm for teaching, led me to obtain an MS in Education from Scranton University. In 2018, I resigned to accompany James on his work travels while focusing on my calling to study and teach A Course in Miracles. To that end, I dedicate the rest of my days to writing, sharing, and teaching the message of salvation found within the Course pages. Thank you for your interest in this blog. As I do not respond to comments on the posts, if you care to contact me, please email me at eckief@yahoo.com.

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