1. Illusions will not last. Their death is sure, and this alone is certain in their world. It is the ego’s world because of this. What is the ego? But a dream of what you really are. A thought you are apart from your Creator and a wish to be what He created not. It is a thing of madness, not reality at all. A name for namelessness is all it is. A symbol of impossibility, a choice for options that do not exist. We name it but to help us understand that it is nothing but an ancient thought that what is made has immortality. But what could come of this except a dream which, like all dreams, can only end in death?
2. What is the ego? Nothingness, but in a form that seems like something. In a world of form the ego cannot be denied for it alone seems real. Yet could God’s Son as He created him abide in form or in a world of form? Who asks you to define the ego and explain how it arose can be but he who thinks it real and seeks by definition to ensure that its elusive nature is concealed behind the words that seem to make it so.
3. There is no definition for a lie that serves to make it true. Nor can there be a truth that lies conceal effectively. The ego’s unreality is not denied by words nor is its meaning clear because its nature seems to have a form. Who can define the undefinable? And yet there is an answer even here.
4. We cannot really make a definition for what the ego is, but we can say what it is not. And this is shown to us with perfect clarity. It is from this that we deduce all that the ego is. Look at its opposite and you can see the only answer that is meaningful.
5. The ego’s opposite in every way – in origin, effect and consequence – we call a miracle. And here we find all that is not the ego in this world. Here is the ego’s opposite and here alone we look on what the ego was, for here we see all that it seemed to do, and cause and its effects must still be one.
6. Where there was darkness now we see the light. What is the ego? What the darkness was. Where is the ego? Where the darkness was. What is it now and where can it be found? Nothing and nowhere. Now the light has come; its opposite has gone without a trace. Where evil was there now is holiness. What is the ego? What the evil was. Where is the ego? In an evil dream that but seemed real while you were dreaming it. Where there was crucifixion stands God’s Son. What is the ego? Who has need to ask? Where is the ego? Who has need to seek for an illusion now that dreams are gone?
7. What is a miracle? A dream as well. But look at all the aspects of this dream and you will never question any more. Look at the kindly world you see extend before you as you walk in gentleness. Look at the helpers all along the way you travel, happy in the certainty of Heaven and the surety of peace. And look an instant, too, on what you left behind at last and finally passed by.
8. This was the ego – all the cruel hate, the need for vengeance and the cries of pain, the fear of dying and the urge to kill, the brotherless illusion and the self that seemed alone in all the universe. This terrible mistake about yourself the miracle corrects as gently as a loving mother sings her child to rest. Is not a song like this what you would hear? Would it not answer all you thought to ask, and even make the question meaningless?
9. Your questions have no answer, being made to still God’s voice, which asks of everyone one question only: “Are you ready yet to help Me save the world?” Ask this instead of what the ego is, and you will see a sudden brightness cover up the world the ego made. No miracle is now withheld from anyone. The world is saved from what you thought it was. And what it is, is wholly uncondemned and wholly pure.
10. The miracle forgives; the ego damns. Neither need be defined except by this. Yet could a definition be more sure, or more in line with what salvation is? Problem and answer lie together here and having met at last the choice is clear. Who chooses hell when it is recognized? And who would not go on a little while when it is given him to understand the way is short and Heaven as his goal?
When I first “found” the section of Clarification of Terms I was rather astonished that I had held this particular copy of A Course in Miracles for over 30 years and yet had skipped over this section completely. Linda, over at www.i-choose-love.com and I read this section together and discussed how meaningful and beautifully this section describes the miracle that saves the world.
When we bless instead of curse others, good things come to us. When we reach for what is beyond humanity for ourselves and dare to believe this same reality is there for everybody else no matter how nasty or annoying the appearance, we are reaching for God, and this is His Will. When we reach for God, we reach for reality, and when we reach for reality – a sudden brightness lights up the shadowy world that the ego would make, and no miracle is withheld from any one for any reason.
This is all we need to know. Curse others, shower others with damnation and withhold your love, affection, and goodwill, refuse to see beyond the perception of evil – and you invite not miracles, but disaster. Identify with ego – withhold the blessing for yourself and for everybody else. The problem and the answer meet – and it is clearly and simply a choice. Who would choose damnation when it is recognized? And who would not align with God and choose to stay and save the world?
Today in your personal devotional practice, commit yourself to going beyond the clamor of the ego which will take you in every direction that leads nowhere. Put aside your fascination with violence, greed, vengeance, pain, murder, loneliness and despair and begin to offer miracles – bless and practice God’s Will of mercy and grace with your family, friends, coworkers, pets, and neighbors. Instead of blasting the government, bless the government. When things do not go your way, instead of murmuring and complaining and believing that God has turned His back upon you, trust in His goodwill and devotion. Ask Holy Spirit to give you the Vision of Christ so that you can see beyond your diminutive, self-centered, blighted opinions of this one and that, to the world that is wholly uncondemned and wholly pure. Demonstrate this miracle in your life, quietly, devotedly, faithfully, and experience healing for yourself and others. We are not here to put on shows to wow each other with our miracles, we are here to awaken and return the world to the oneness of God. We are here to reverse our exodus from Heaven, to reunite the Sonship, to establish the Brotherhood of Christ. God bless and keep you, in the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.
 A Course in Miracles. Clarification of terms. 2. The ego-the miracle. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).
Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com