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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 11 God or the Ego

V.  The “Dynamics” of the Ego 13-18

13. The ego analyzes; the Holy Spirit accepts.  The appreciation of wholeness comes only through acceptance, for to analyze means to break down or to separate out.  The attempt to understand totality by breaking it down is clearly the characteristically contradictory approach of the ego to everything.  The ego believes that power, understanding, and truth lie in separation, and to establish this belief it must attack.  Unaware that the belief cannot be established, and obsessed with the conviction that separation is salvation, the ego attacks everything it perceives by breaking it into small, disconnected parts, without meaningful relationships and therefore without meaning.  The ego will always substitute chaos for meaning, for if separation is salvation, harmony is threat.

14. The ego’s interpretation of the laws of perception are, and would have to be, the exact opposite of the Holy Spirit’s.  The ego focuses on error and overlooks truth.  It makes real every mistake it perceives, and with characteristically circular reasoning concludes that because of the mistake consistent truth must be meaningless.  The next step then, is obvious.  If consistent truth is meaningless, inconsistency must be true.  Holding error clearly in mind, and protecting what it has made real, the ego proceeds to the next step in its thought system: Error is real, and truth is error.

15. The ego makes no attempt to understand this, and it is clearly not understandable, but the ego does make every attempt to demonstrate it, and this it does constantly.  Analyzing to attack meaning the ego succeeds in overlooking it and is left with a series of fragmented perceptions which it unifies on behalf of itself.  This, then, becomes the universe it perceives.  And it is this universe which, in turn, becomes its demonstration of its own reality.

16. Do not underestimate the appeal of the ego’s demonstrations to those who would listen.  Selective perception chooses its witnesses carefully, and its witnesses are consistent.  The case for insanity is strong to the insane.  For reasoning ends at its beginning, and no thought system transcends its source.  Yet reasoning without meaning cannot demonstrate anything, and those who are convinced by it must be deluded.  Can the ego teach truly when it overlooks truth?  Can it perceive what it has denied?  Its witnesses do attest to its denial, but hardly to what it has denied.  The ego looks straight at the Father and does not see Him, for it has denied His Son. 

17. Would you remember the Father?  Accept His Son and you will remember Him.  Nothing can demonstrate that His Son is unworthy, for nothing can prove that a lie is true.  What you see of His Son through the eyes of the ego is a demonstration that His Son does not exist, yet where the Son is the Father must be.  Accept what God does not deny, and it will demonstrate its truth.  The witnesses for God stand in His Light and behold what He created.  Their silence is the sign that they have beheld God’s Son, and in the Presence of Christ they need demonstrate nothing, for Christ speaks to them of Himself and of His Father.  They are silent because Christ speaks to them, and it is His words they speak. 

18. Every brother you meet becomes a witness for Christ or for the ego, depending on what you perceive in him.  Everyone convinces you of what you want to perceive, and of the reality of the kingdom you have chosen for your vigilance.  Everything you perceive is a witness to the thought system you want to be true.  Every brother has the power to release you, if you choose to be free.  You cannot accept false witness of him unless you have evoked false witnesses against him.  If he speaks not of Christ to you, you spoke not of Christ to him.  You hear but your own voice, and if Christ speaks through you, you will hear Him. [1]

Today as we wrap us section five of Chapter 11 – the dynamics of the ego, Jesus teaches us that ego takes things apart while Holy Spirit accepts and appreciates wholeness.  There is no possible way to understand wholeness by breaking it down into separate little parts.  We cannot, for instance, accept and appreciate a cake for what it is, if we analyze it, pick it apart, and try to find each separate ingredient in it.  We may know that to make a cake, we need eggs, flour, sugar, milk, baking powder and other ingredients, but once we put those ingredients together and bake a cake, they become something different, forming a whole that transcends what each ingredient on its own could ever be. 

While the ego believes that power, understanding, and truth lie in each one of us being separate from God and unaware of our Sonship, this is impossible.  For we were created in Love and by Love and for Love.  Whether we believe in God or not, we are His Son.  Belief does not make this any more true than disbelief would make it untrue.  We recognize each other.  We love one another.  We are drawn to love, we write poems about it, we sing songs about it, we live for love!  And so what does the ego do?  It attacks. It puts barriers up between us and the ones we love; rather than accepting one another, overlooking the humanity in one another, and walking in forgiveness and love, we begin to pick each other apart. We find fault.  We carry grudges.  Instead of me coming to you and confessing to you how you hurt my feelings when I found out what you were saying behind my back, I decide to drop you and never speak to you again.  I take you apart in my mind.  I remind myself of all your faults and shortcomings and the ways in which you could have been a better friend.  When the ego can convince me to start taking you apart rather than accepting you, I can no longer have a relationship with you that has any meaning.  Because I only know you in separateness I will judge you according to my few associations with you. I will not see your wholeness which would help me understand you. I will only see the image I have made of you.  I will not see the hurt and the pain and the disappointment that you, too, carry around on the inside.  Nor will I see your courage, your inner beauty, the ray of light that is of God.

When I perceive you with ego, I am perceiving with the exact opposite of Holy Spirit’s perception of you.  Ego focuses on your mistakes, your social blunders, the way you ignored me or hurt my feelings that one time years ago when we were little more than kids.  Ego will tell me that your bad behavior on that particular occasion is the sum total of what you are.  Every mistake you ever made plus the ones I project upon you will become my idea about you.  I will not believe the truth about your love, your worth, your Sonship, I will believe the mistakes about you.  I will make all the things you did in error – who and what you are.  I will protect this image of you in my mind. When other people tell me about your goodness, I will say, “Oh no.  She was only pretending to be good on that occasion, she is actually a rotten, untrustworthy, irresponsible, and mean human being.” I will condemn you and tell them about all your mistakes that have become greatly exaggerated in my mind because I chose to take you apart instead of giving you to Holy Spirit in my mind.

My ego will not make any attempt to understand how my great and abiding love for you turned into something mean and spiteful and full of vengeance.  But my ego will make every attempt to keep taking you and everybody else I am called to love – apart.  In the ego, I will analyze the words people say to me, the way they look at me, the things they say and do and will insinuate my own take on their words, their looks, the appearance in every way I can.  When I choose the ego’s perception of the world, I will take all my fragmented perceptions and put them together and make a topsy-turvy universe which disallows me to have any meaningful connection with anyone or anything. 

The appeal of the ego’s way of perceiving one another is not to be taken lightly for we are all tempted to listen to it, to relish the mistakes and wrongdoing of others, to be titillated by the intrigue, betrayals, murders, and adulteries of our brothers.  Jesus says that selective perception chooses its witnesses carefully – and its witnesses are consistent.  We have all been guilty of being a witness for the ego – we have all been guilty of taking each other apart, of focusing on the wrongdoing instead of the right doing, of judging, condemning, and crucifying while having no way of knowing the whole story.  The separated world is an insane world.  For in a state of separation we have no meaning and no truth.  I can think I know you simply because we have been together since we were kids but in a realm of separateness I cannot know you in wholeness.  I cannot even know myself in a state of separation for just like you, I show up here and have no idea where I came from or what I am about.  Jesus tells us that the ego looks straight at the Father and does not see Him for it has denied His Son.  We must come from a Source of Love, for that is what we are and that is what we do and that is what all of us want, and yet when we go with ego, we deny this truth.  We deny who and what we really are for we have lost our way and believe ourselves to be miserable sinners – far less than God’s Son. 

In paragraph 17, Jesus tells us to accept God’s Son if we are to remember our Father.  When Jesus tells us to accept His Son, He is telling us to accept His love and devotion to the Sonship.  There is nothing we can do that would make us unworthy of God. There is no lie, no illusion, no wrongdoing, no mistake that could ever separate us from our Father’s Love. 

If we look through the eyes of the ego, the Sonship will seem like a joke.  But Jesus tells us, where we are, so must be our Father.  When we accept each other as Sons of God, we join our minds with the mind of Christ, we do not become God’s Son, for we are already God’s Son, but now we remember!  In this time-based state of consciousness, the ego has taken us apart – but in the everlasting realm of God, we remain His Son.  When we accept this, we will demonstrate this truth: We stand in the Light of God, we do not take Creation apart, we accept Creation as it was created. We are no longer willing to dissect it, to find faults and mistakes and reasons to deny our love and our oneness.  We behold the Son of God!  We do not have to prove anything.  We do not have to shout and scream and curse and threaten.   We behold the Son of God and the clamor of the ego is quieted.  We become quiet for Holy Spirit is quiet; we become calm and peaceful, for Holy Spirit is calm and peaceful.  All of the brashness, the chatterbox, the me-me-me of ego goes away because now we want to hear the voice for God, now we want the Vision of Christ, now it is His Words we want to speak. 

We find a witness for Christ in everyone we meet because we no longer analyze others, we accept them.  When we no longer accept the perceptions of the ego, we become vigilant for the kingdom of God and so we no longer behold others as apart from us, but as one with us.  As we free our brothers from the myths, the fables, the gossip and rumors and accusations we have made of them in our blighted minds, we are freed from the lies that were made of us in their minds.  Because when we choose to be free, we cannot accept the ego’s perceptions of ourselves any more or any less than what we offer to our brothers.  If I see and hear Christ in you, you will see and hear Christ in me.  If I don’t see and hear Christ in you, you will not see and hear Christ in me.  We will see and hear from one another, our own voice.  It is a choice we make.  If I look at you and refuse to see Christ, if I refuse you on the grounds that you do not believe like me, look like me, or behave the same way I do, you will not see Christ in me.  But when I look upon you with the eyes of Christ and see you as my brother and myself, you will see me as your brother and as yourself.  We will be joined with Christ.  Our words will be Christ’s words and when we talk to one another, we will hear Him.  

Today take time to reread or listen to all three segments of this section.  Ask Holy Spirit to open your eyes and make you wise to the ego dynamics which tempt us to look upon our brothers, not as God’s Son but as liars, thieves, killers, and the generally obnoxious.  Welcome the perception of Christ into your mind and practice seeing your family, friends, and coworkers in the light of Christ and His love and recognition of who and what we really are in the Kingdom of God.


[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 11 God or the ego V The dynamics of the ego 13-18. 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

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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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