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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 11 God or the Ego

V.  The “Dynamics” of the Ego 7-12

7.  The ego always attacks on behalf of separation.  Believing it has the power to do this it does nothing else, because its goal of autonomy is nothing else.  The ego is totally confused about reality, but it does not lose sight of its goal.  It is much more vigilant than you are because it is perfectly certain of its purpose.  You are confused because you do not recognize yours. 

8. You must recognize that the last thing the ego wishes you to realize is that you are afraid of it.  For if the ego could give rise to fear, it would diminish your independence and weaken your power.  Yet its one claim to your allegiance is that it can give power to you.  Without this belief you would not listen to it at all.  How, then, can its existence continue if you realize that, by accepting it, you are belittling yourself and depriving yourself of power. 

9. The ego can and does allow you to regard yourself as supercilious, unbelieving, “light-hearted,” distant, emotionally shallow, callous, uninvolved, and even desperate, but not really afraid.  Minimizing fear, but not its undoing, is the ego’s constant effort, and is indeed a skill at which it is very ingenious.  How can it preach separation without upholding it through fear, and would you listen to it if you recognized this is what it is doing? 

10. Your recognition that whatever seems to separate you from God is only fear, regardless of the form it takes and quite apart from how the ego wants you to experience it, is therefore the basic ego threat.  Its dream of autonomy is shaken to its foundation by this awareness.  For though you may countenance a false idea of independence, you will not accept the cost of fear if you recognize it.  Yet this is the cost, and the ego cannot minimize it.  If you overlook love you are overlooking yourself, and you must fear unreality because you have denied yourself.  By believing that you have successfully attacked truth, you are believing that attack has power.  Very simply, then, you have become afraid of yourself.  And no one wants to find what he believes would destroy him. 

11. If the ego’s autonomy could be accomplished God’s purpose could be defeated, and this is impossible.  Only by learning what fear is can you finally learn to distinguish the possible from the impossible and the false from the true.  According to the ego’s teaching, its goal can be accomplished, and God’s purpose can not.  According to the Holy Spirit’s teaching, only God’s purpose can be accomplished, and it is accomplished already. 

12. God is as dependent on you as you are on Him, because His Autonomy encompasses yours, and is therefore incomplete without it.  You can only establish your autonomy by identifying with Him and fulfilling your function as it exists in truth.  The ego believes that to accomplish its goal is happiness.  But it is given you to know that God’s function is yours, and happiness cannot be found apart from your joint Will.  Recognize only that the ego’s goal, which you have pursued so diligently, has merely brought you fear, and it becomes difficult to maintain that fear is happiness.  Upheld by fear, this is what the ego would have you believe.  Yet God’s Son is not insane and cannot believe it.  Let him but recognize it and he will not accept it.  For only the insane would choose fear in place of love, and only the insane could believe that love can be gained by attack.  But the sane realize that only attack could produce fear, from which the Love of God completely protects them. [1]

In yesterday’s Course text reading, we ended with paragraph six in which Jesus taught us that the ego’s goal of complete independence from God costs us the knowledge of our dependence upon God wherein we have freedom and liberty.  This morning a brother from our study group called and we discussed how the ego sees any stab at laying down our individuality, our specialness, our elitist status as the “born-again Christian” or a spiritual master of any kind as a threat to its separatist ideals.  The ego works hard to find a way in which to twist our most sincere seeking for God into a form of either the miserable-sinner-saved-by-grace illusion which keeps us trapped in a false sense of unworthiness or as one of God’s elect, a spiritual master, a guru, or the anointed one.  We are not to be deceived by the ego’s interpretation of the very basic conflict that we all must resolve – do we choose the ego’s version of salvation which puffs us up one day and deflates us the next according to the whims of a chancy, fear-fueled world – or do we choose the unwavering truth of the certainty and love of God for His Creation?

As long as we waver between the ego way and the Only way, we remain in a state of bewilderment, confusion, and uncertainty which is the ego’s way.  The ego’s aim for us is to be confused, to waffle back and forth, to not recognize that the fear it has established in our hearts toward the things of God is actually the fear we have toward the sense of separation and the lies in which the ego projects.  We can say that the ego is our god as long as we are filled with fear and sorrow and have not learned to put our trust completely in the Fatherhood of God, in His love and undying devotion toward His Creation. 

As long as the ego can project our fear we have for its lies and separation onto God, it weakens the power of Sonship in our life.  It tricks us into thinking that the “independence” from God that it offers is our power.  It would have us focus upon our own individuality as if any of us could survive and thrive without the help and sustenance of everyone else.  As long as we believe that we can have power outside of God, that there is something that is better than the oneness and wholeness of God, that there is anything at all that the world can offer us that would take place of the Brotherhood we find in Christ, the ego continues to rule us in the temporal world.  We give our eternity away to the ego until we come to know that its power is not power at all, but a worthless swagger that belittles the Sonship and leeches our power. 

The ego emphasizes our weariness of others, projecting our fear of its instability and meanness unto others.  It tells us that others intend to infringe upon us, to descend upon us draining us of our resources and leaving us with nothing.  Then when we fall for its lies about others, it accuses us of being selfish and uninvolved.   The ego will keep us vacillating between feeling mighty good about ourselves and awfully bad about ourselves.  It makes us suspicious of the motives of others and then accuses us of being suspicious and untrusting.  It drives us to work hard, gaining status and influence and bigger paychecks and then accuses us of ignoring our family and friends, not spiritual enough, and get this, egotistical!  When we listen to the ego we will be constantly building cases against others and letting their words and behaviors affect us in a negative way, searching for all manner of reasons why we should despise this one or turn our back upon that one.  For as long as it can keep us in a state of separation from God and the Sonship on any level at all, it can pretend to be our salvation, it can pretend to be for us and not against us. 

As long as we think of the ego’s chatter, its condemnations, its irksomeness toward others as our power and our protection, we are unaware how it is using us to lift itself up against the love, peace, and joy which is the only power there is because it is of God.  Mistake the lies of the ego for power, and we are left alone, empty, unhappy, and void of meaning. 

When we awaken to the fact that it is fear that separates us from God – that it is fear that fuels the ego’s power because it has no substance or power on its own – the ego’s dream of sovereignty is shaken to its foundation.  Some people awaken by a song in their heart, some people awaken when they watch a movie, read a certain book, or take a little stroll.  For me I was cleaning the kitchen sink watching the water go down the drain!   

We may accept the ego’s false idea of power that has curses, damnation, hell, and condemnation attached to it, but we will not accept the cost of fear that must come with it.  The ego cannot minimize the fact that if we overlook the truth of the loving Fatherhood of God, we are overlooking ourselves, and that without Love there can be no real power.  When we deny love, we deny ourselves.  By thinking that we can thrive and survive without His Absolute Love we believe that attack, violence, disregard for our brothers, and limitations upon love equals power. Only to find that what attacks and disregards any part of Creation, any part of the Sonship is an attack and disrespects us all.

In paragraph 11, Jesus plainly states that if we could maintain independence from God, Love’s purpose would be defeated.  This is impossible.  Because once we recognize the cost of independence from God, from Love, from Peace, and Joy, we simply would not and could not choose to live in fear.  According to every world system there is – we not only do live in fear but we should live in fear, for the world is always out to get us.  In the world, to live in love is for those who are so heavenly minded they prove to be worthless to the world.  Meanwhile, we do our best to maintain our independence from God in the temporal realm – we develop  new vaccines, we spend billions of dollars each year on the new cure for age spots, baldness, and hemorrhoids.  We develop new programs that address addictions, illiteracy, ignorance, homelessness, and grinding poverty.  We declare war on countries that oppose our way of thinking.  We live in a state of near constant outrage over the injustices that prevail.  Without God and without sun, we will get the harvest done is the battle cry of the those who would be godless.  But while this may seem a possibility in the temporal world it comes at a terrible cost – and the cost is fear, it is the nature of a world which consumes the weak and the old and the diseased thus eventually consuming all – spitting them back out in an ongoing cycle of fear, which keeps repeating itself but never advancing, never expanding, always reinventing itself and doing it all over again. 

The Holy Spirit teaches that there is only one purpose to be accomplished and that is God’s purpose – love and joy and peace.  There is no fight or attack because this purpose has already been accomplished and it is impervious to conflict – for this is what we truly want, it is what we created with and for, and there is no fear involved.  While fear can only contract and decay, love and peace and joy expand and create.

God’s Love compels Him to be as dependent upon us as we are upon Him because God’s Autonomy is Love, Peace, and Joy.  God’s Autonomy envelopes us and our autonomy can only be established by finding our identity in the Love, Peace, and Joy that is of Him and is Him.  Our very function is love and peace and joy – our happiness cannot be found without joining our wills with the Will of God. 

Fear is simply not love, it is not peace, it is not joy.  Fear will never make us happy.  Any concepts about God, about the way in which to navigate our way through the temporal world, about the path to our personal success and happiness that teaches fear is an ego fiction.  We will not be able to believe it, we will not be able to stand upon it, we will not be able to live it or teach it with integrity, wisdom, or peace.  Only the sick of mind, the insane, the wronged and the hurtful could believe that love can be gained by attack, would choose fear in place of love, would believe that God’s sense of justice must be appeased through cruel and everlasting punishment. 

Today in your personal devotional practice, ask Holy Spirit to illuminate the truth of the last sentence in today’s text.  We can thank Jesus for our sane minds, for the light of love shines upon my mind and shines upon yours, dispelling fear, all forms of attack, all forms of attachment we have to the “dynamics” of the ego.  The Mind of Christ sets us free of all that would obscure our acceptance of the love, undying devotion, and everlasting goodwill that God has for us, His Son. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 11 God or the ego. V The dynamics of the ego 7-12. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

Filed under: ACIM

About the Author

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Coming up on sixty, 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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