12. What Is the Ego?
This is a question that perplexes most spiritual students and scientists: What exactly is the ego? As with all esoteric terms, it is not something that can be quantified, accurately tested, or even physically held in one’s hand, although we tend to carry it around with us always. But to put the ego in your hand or to even put it in one single definition, is just not something we have at our disposal. Again, it is something that is privy to our personal experience and summation.
I once read a book, which the name of it escapes me at the moment, where the author described asking a psychologist, who was sitting next to him on a plane, the very question we are given today. In a round about way the psychologist replied that there are just as many definitions for the “ego” as there are psychologists. To me, that almost sounds like another trick of the ego, as many spiritual students could spend years trying to “pin down” what exactly is this elusive ego. And as you know, the ego does not like being “pinned down.” However, today and for the following lessons, we shall not fall for such tricks, rather we shall explore the ego from the loving perspective of the Course, which declares that the ego is the part of the mind that believes in separation, that which is the source of insane thoughts, and that which is really only asking for Love.
“The ego is insane. In fear it stands beyond the Everywhere, apart from All, in separation from the Infinite” (ACIM Part II, 12. What Is the Ego? 2:1-2).
When we are not abiding in our Identity and believe we are separate, that is when the ego is in control. Anything not like Love, ego is: death, fear, jealously, regret, guilt, anxiety, grudges, etc. It is that simple, for God’s Daughters and Sons know no shade of obscurity and see only Light, ever abiding in the eternal tranquility that is our birthright. We are as God IS, anything other, is a trick of the ego. And that is all it is, a trick, nothing damning or fatal or everlasting, as what We are is changeless. We merely recognize the illusion and choose again for Love. No harm done.
“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?” (ACIM Part II, 12. What Is the Ego? 3:1-4).
It is important to note that the ego has served a wonderful purpose on the journey and has been a great teacher. She has helped alert us of danger and has heightened our senses so that we can become more attune to what is Real. She has eagerly taught us what God IS, by showing us what God is NOT. Thus, the ego need not be feared or even ignored, as it too was birthed from the mind of Creation as we asked, “What if….” For that reason, the ego is to be embraced, even deserving of our gratitude.
The ego is like a small child merely asking for love, and of course, when love is not given during those moments of fear, she often acts out in what seems like has been a lifetime(s) of temper tantrums. And as we saw from our last section on Creation, the only one who knows best how to love your personal teacher, known as the ego, is You. Fear only begets more fear, so why not forgive this small innocent child within you and love all the shades she has shared with you over the years and lifetimes. You have both danced this dance in many ways and forms. Let us honor that.
“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” (ACIM Part II 12. What Is the Ego? 5:1-2).
As we walk forward, we review the mind for any lingering areas that are still in need of forgiveness and Light. We deepen the love and compassion we have for ourselves as we release any areas that are still in conflict and constriction. To claim our full limitless Christhood all chains must be undone, and this, brothers and sisters, is nothing to fear, only something to celebrate. Let us walk on in miracles as we embrace and love all the shades we have explored as human beings. Let us dare to love and integrate the ego into our Oneness. Namaste.