Jul 20, 2003
T4.2 The Ego and False Autonomy
Good afternoon. And again welcome to everyone who is joining us on the internet.
Once again, I will not be reading from either the first or second edition of the Course, but from the final transcript as it was typed by Bill Thetford. I’m doing this for a reason. And that is because I’m able to provide a constant reminder that the Course isn’t just a document transcribed by someone who was willing to transcribe it. It was a communion between Me and Helen and Bill. And it represents the nature of my relationship with every single one of you, a current relationship whether [laughing] … whether it’s been activated or not by virtue of your desiring to talk with me, commune with me, learn with me, and make the connection.
It’s important for you to understand that my speaking with Helen was not a special dispensation but the natural, normal way things work. When you’re aware of this, it makes it possible to experience the fact as you’re reading the Course that the sharing of the Course and the communion was an Act of Love—a Living Act of Love; not just a mechanical repeating of words that needed to be put in print, but an active Living Love that I’m engaged in always with all of you.
To read the Course, to study it, isn’t just about learning words and new meanings, and you diligently applying them to your mind and your lives. It’s about the fact that the Christ is the Living Christ, Living and Loving you today, caring enough about you to go to great lengths to help you remember Who You Are and to be unafraid to wake up, to be unafraid to abandon the practice of control that keeps you blinded to the Truth about You and Reality.
I know there will be many who will be angry at what I’m going to say, but if all you did was pick up this book and in the first chapter realize that I was available to Helen and that I’m available to you and you set the book down and devoted yourself to establishing your connection with me, that’s all you’d need.
In the meantime, this book is full of valuable information, which if you’re not reading it for the purpose of absorbing the information as information, but you are reading it with the awareness that you are reading a communication that was occurring, it will reinforce your desire to have the same experience. And the Truth that’s shared will help you to be less and less afraid of having that Experience of Communion with Me or the Holy Spirit or your Guide. That’s why I’m doing it.
So the subject of this section is:
The Ego and False Autonomy 1
And we’ve been talking in the last couple of weeks about the fact that you have in effect stolen authority from God so that you could pretend to exercise it yourself on your own. You have attempted to establish autonomy. Well, obviously the autonomy has to be false, purely imaginary. The ego is false autonomy. It’s a fantasy.
So, from the book, and you will find today that sometimes there are almost whole paragraphs that will not be found in the first and second editions. I encourage you not to say, “oh, I’ve lost my place,” and scramble through the pages and completely lose your place. Just wait until the next sentence comes up.
You have asked lately how the mind could ever have made the ego. This is a perfectly reasonable question; in fact, the best question you could ask. There is, however, no point in giving an historical answer because the past does not matter in human terms, and history would not exist if the same errors were not being repeated in the present.
There have been many occasions where in a Gathering someone would ask me about my childhood and I neglect to amplify on history. Why would you want to know about what my life was like 2,000 years ago when what my life is right now is available to you right now as an illustration of What You Truly Are right now? And it doesn’t really matter why it was that you decided to try to see things in your own way. It only matters that right now you’re insisting on seeing things in your own way and that “flaw,” if you will, in the now needs to be undone in the now.
If you realize this, it will help you to understand that it really doesn’t do much good to try to resolve past issues with each other, to go back and rehearse the past and try to figure out what went wrong. If you have a grievance with a brother now, handle the grievance now. Deal with what you are presently feeling. “Oh, well, I’m feeling something about the past.” But you’re feeling it now. What is the feeling now when you are with this Brother that you have a grievance about because of something that happened in the past? You will find resolution much swifter if you deal with what you are feeling now. This is important.
Abstract thought applies to knowledge because knowledge is completely impersonal, and examples are irrelevant to its understanding.
Now Knowledge is another word for Knowing, with a capital “K”. And Knowing is your perception … not perception but Experience of the Truth. And the Experience of Truth is a revelation from God. It’s what you experience when you turn toward the Altar to inquire as to what the Truth of a thing is. Knowing is different from thinking.
Perception, however, is always specific, and therefore quite concrete.
Each man makes one ego for himself, although it is subject to enormous variation because of its instability, and one for everyone he perceives, which is equally variable.
If you happen to run into someone you haven’t seen since you were teenagers, you have no means to connect with them except in terms of the way you last knew them. In fact you might remember quite well some unkind thing that was done, or a way of behavior that was peculiar to that person at that time, and your assumption will be that that is the way they are now, and you will relate to them first on the basis of how you last knew them.
Now, that is a perception that you have in your mind, a picture you have in your mind, and so in spite of the fact that over the years they may have grown and developed and be quite different, you will be relating to an ego you have made-up about that person. And you may have awkward moments as you are confronted with who that one is now and have to adjust your perception. You see. So, you have a picture of yourself, a concept of yourself, a definition of yourself, and you have a concept of everyone else. And then you deal with this someone else on the basis of your perception rather than a real connection with them. It’s that simple.
Continuing, or repeating …
Each man makes one ego for himself, although it is subject to enormous variation because of its instability, and one for everyone he perceives, which is equally variable. Their interaction is a process which literally alters both, because they were not made either BY or WITH the unalterable.
Meaning that they were not built upon a direct connection with the Excellence of the other person from the Excellence within you.
It is particularly important to realize that this alteration can and does occur as readily when the interaction takes place IN THE MIND as when it involves physical presence.
How many of you have been in a tense situation with someone and you happen to go to the store and you see them, and you decide you don’t want to run into them, but you’re pretty sure that they saw you? And because they are the ones who owe you the apology, or are responsible in your mind for correcting the inequity that exists, you know that in their seeing you and in their not coming up to you that they were avoiding you. And then you finish your shopping and get in the car and leave and you begin to smolder inside because of how uncaring they were when they had the opportunity to correct the situation and didn’t.
Now, let us say that that person didn’t see you at all. And you’re sitting there smoldering because, first of all, you have a concept of them that is upsetting to you, and then you have a concept about their behavior in this interaction that didn’t even occur, and you’re bouncing off your sense of yourself in this situation and your sense of them, and none of it touches Reality in any way. You are getting upset because you’re playing the part of your ego and the part of their ego in your mind. And then you wonder why they’re surprised when you do actually come face to face with them and you express your distress with them.
It’s rather like going to bed at night and your wife or your husband has a dream about the other and wakes up in the morning and says, “I had the most awful dream last night about you. You did such-and-such and such-and-such and you were very insulting. How could you do that? You know, I’m really upset with you and I can’t get it out of my mind.” There you are playing the part of your ego and playing the part of the other’s ego and upsetting yourself. And in expressing the upset as though it were based on something real, you put the other one at a loss to be able to respond because there’s nothing real about it to respond to. And that brings a stress, a misunderstanding, a lack of communication into your real relationship with your Brother or your mate, or whoever it is that had the dream about you. You see?
And this is pretty much an example of life, the way you go through your day everyday. Because very few of you consistently relate from the Excellence in you to the Excellence in your Brother. And if you are not relating from the Excellence in you to the Excellence in your Brother, all that’s going on is you bouncing off your concept of yourself and your Brother, and communication isn’t occurring at all.
THINKING about another ego is as effective in changing relative perception as is physical interaction. There could be no better example of the fact that the ego is an idea, though not a reality-based thought.
Now this is true of all of you, but I was talking to Helen and Bill when I said this.
Your own present state is a good example of how the mind made the ego. You DO have knowledge at times…
In other words, True Perception, an Experience of Truth.
You DO have knowledge at times, but when you throw it away it is as if you never had it. This willfulness is so apparent that one need only perceive it to see that it DOES happen. If it can occur that way in the present, why is it surprising that it occurred that way in the past?
And I would add, and why would you try to go back to the past to correct it? Correct it now where it’s currently happening. And how do you correct it? You correct it by not taking yourself seriously, this ego that you think you are, and not taking the picture you have of your Brother seriously as the ego you’ve created for them, and abandoning the court in which you bounce off of the two sides of the relationship all in your own head.
Psychology rests on the principle of the continuity of behavior. Surprise is a reasonable response to the unfamiliar, but hardly to something that has occurred with such persistence. I am using your present state of how the mind CAN work, provided you fully recognize that it NEED not work that way.
In other words, there’s another way to look at what you’re experiencing than through your definition of yourself and your definition of your Brother. Do you hear that? There’s another way to do this than to bounce off your definition of yourself and your definition of your Brother.
Many times you’re standing with a friend or a neighbor or an acquaintance, and you appear to be having a conversation and the whole time you are bouncing off your definition of yourself and your definition of them and you’re leaving them out entirely! And they are doing the same thing with you! And because there’s no actual connection with the real Ones who are standing there in front of each other, ultimately the apparent communication becomes obviously poor communication, becomes an argument, becomes a misunderstanding, becomes hurt feelings. And you say the other one is to blame. And yet one of you never managed to stand there and abandon the self-definition that was being employed, or the definition of the other one that was being employed, so that one of you could come from the Place of Excellence in you with the intent to connect with the Excellence in the other one, regardless of whether the other one was able to see it, or experience it, or not.
Why are you surprised that something happened in the dim past when it is so clearly happening right now?
You forget the love that animals have for their own offspring, and the need they feel to protect them. This is because they regard them as part of themselves. No-one disowns something he regards as a very real part of himself.
Interesting. No one disowns something he regards as a very real part of himself, and yet the fact is that you’ve all disowned your Father. In your attempt to be an independent authorizer, to have the thrill of making something that has never been made before and the thrill of making your mark in the world, which as I’ve said before is nothing more than the Kingdom of Heaven with your definitions applied to it and your conscious ignoring of What It Really Is, you have disowned what is part of you. And in actuality you have disowned what is the Totality of You.
And you’ve done it for so long that you don’t remember that you did it. And that’s why I’m talking to you to remind you that you have abandoned your Source. And now you don’t even think you have one other than your own capacity to define yourself to yourself, and even redefine yourself over and over into a better and better self.
And all the time that you are doing this having disowned your Source, you’re in a state of self-ignoration, of self-denial that is uncomfortable. And you recognize that you’re uncomfortable, but you think that’s just the way life is. And so you don’t challenge its legitimacy. And I’m here to express the Truth so that you realize there is a different way to look at this and you find a willingness in you to challenge the way you’re seeing everything, the definitions you’ve given everything, and ultimately to challenge your supposed capacity to authorize and create anything. Because in doing that, in challenging it successfully, the discomfort of existence will disappear, and the Peace and the Joy and the Happiness that you know it’s your Birthright to be experiencing without it costing you anything, will be your experience.
Now that’s a worthy reason for at least playing around with challenging the authority you think you have, to play around with the possibility that there’s meaning to everything other than that meaning which you have given it. Because in that way, you open yourself up to breakthrough, to insight, to inspiration that will provide you with evidence that, indeed, there is more to everything than you’re seeing. And whatever you’ve been doing to blind yourself to it is not worth continuing so that you have even more enthusiasm for playing with the possibility that you have no capacity whatsoever to be creative by yourself all alone.
Man reacts to his ego much as God does to His Souls;—with love, protection and great charity. The reaction of man to the self he made is not at all surprising. In fact it duplicates, in many ways, how he will one day react to his REAL creations, which are as timeless as he is. The question is not HOW man responds to his ego, but what he believes he IS.
Just let that sink in for a moment. The question is not HOW man responds to his ego, but what he believes he IS. Do you believe that you are an ego that you created, or do you believe that you are something far beyond anything you could imagine? Something you are not personally responsible for. Something that has been set in Its Place for Eternity, flawless, perfect, unchangeable, unthreatenable. Something that expresses the Glory of the Movement of Love that God Is.
Belief is an ego function, and as long as your origin is open to belief at all, you ARE regarding it from an ego viewpoint.
Somebody might say to you, “Well, who do you believe you are? Who do you believe you are?” And you tell them. Well, but then the question needs to be asked, “Okay, but who are you? Who is the one that is holding the belief?” And always the answer to that question is, as silly as it sounds, the you that you are that has a belief about who you are is the Christ, is the Ultimate right now, is the Presence of God Being All There Is To You right now.
But you prefer your belief. After all, you have taken many, many years to build that belief up and to impress everyone else with who you believe you are. And you have even succeeded in making other people believe what you believe you are. And if this someone that you believe you are is a person of high regard in the community, of great respect in the world, well, are you going to easily be willing to say, “I’m not at all who I believe I am. I’m going to be willing to abandon who I think I am and I’m going to be willing to abandon who everyone else thinks I am. And I’m going to stop caring about what everyone else thinks I am.” You’re not going to easily abandon all the hard work you put into convincing yourself and everyone else [who] you are because you’ve got pride.
And yet, who you think you are is an ego definition, is a definition of an ego. And who everyone else thinks you are is a definition of an ego. And everyone else that you look at to get confirmation about who you are is in your mind an ego as well.
Because you know what? You don’t have to convince the Excellence in Another of the Excellence in You. So it isn’t the Christ in them that’s confirming to you everything you’ve worked so hard to create as a definition of you. You only need that from other egos. And so, once again, all of your success in creating a self-definition that not only you believe, but you’ve gotten everyone else to believe, constitutes you bouncing off of your picture of yourself and your picture of everyone else. And you see that that’s the belief of having a relationship when you’re stuck in a little closet in your mind and you’re never going outside of it to connect with the Real One that’s there.
That’s insanity, because what’s insane about it is you think communication is actually going on. You think relationships are actually happening. You’re dinging around in your own little closet and they’re dinging around in their own little closet and as each… the two of you dings around privately together, it looks like there’s an interaction. And I’m telling you, there isn’t. You see? Most of you still haven’t met each other! Right now! And you know what? I’m here to introduce you to each other. [audience laughter] I’m here to say, “Stop dinging around in your mind. Forget about being an ego and remember that there’s a Place of Excellence in You—the Altar, the Presence of God, the Living Light of Love. It’s the Presence of God and it’s the Nature of You right now. And that’s the Truth about everyone else in this room.”
Connect with that. And let that be more important than the picture of yourself you’ve created. And then extend your attention to your Brother to that Place of Excellence in them.
Now you got the picture when I said, “You haven’t even met each other.” If all you’ve ever been relating to is a picture you have in your mind of your Brother and you haven’t met them, then if the only experience you’re allowing of yourself is the picture you have of yourself, you haven’t met yourself either.
And I’m telling you there is a Self there to meet! But you will not be able to meet it as long as you honor and revere and are committed to the picture of yourself that you’ve developed. Because as long as you’re committed to that, what are you doing? You are having your back turned toward the Altar. You are choosing to not have in your range of vision the You That You Are, the Divine One That You Are, the Christ That You Are.
And I’ll tell you something else. You can listen to what I’m saying. You can read the Course. You can read the Bible. It says, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” And you can say, “Okay, I am going to honor the Excellence in my Brother.” But you know what? You have a law that all of you practice and that law is this: I will not extend to my Brother what I will not extend to myself. I will not give to my Brother rights that I don’t have. Why? Because you refuse to make yourself jealous. And so you can’t just adopt a habit or a behavior of thoughtfulness for the Excellence that your Brother is because it’s gonna be a farce if you are not willing to acknowledge a Place of Excellence in You that you didn’t create. All you can make is a picture of excellence, a pretty picture, being a good boy, being a good girl, doing all the right things, being impeccable. Ah! It’s just a picture.
And as long as you’re engaged in reinforcing that picture, you are ignoring the Place of Excellence in Yourself that has this wonderful benefit. This wonderful benefit is that It doesn’t have to prove itself. It is Excellence by virtue of Its Existence.
Can you imagine the bliss of not having to prove yourself to anybody ever again? And to never have anyone doubt your Excellence? Think about it or feel what that would mean to you. And do you know what? When you finally give up making and reinforcing a picture of yourself in your mind and in everyone else’s mind, and when you no longer have to maintain that picture, or maintain everyone else’s allegiance to that picture, it feels like failure, collapse, death to the ego, because the whole effort is what has given you your feeling of worth.
When you arrive at the point where there’s no longer any energy to be found in you for keeping up the façade, something happens. You abandon defense. You no longer have to defend your picture of yourself in your Brother’s mind. And what begins to emerge from your mouth in this state of abject failure as an ego, is something called honesty. And it’s not an ego being honest. It’s something else being honest. It’s something else saying, “First of all, I can’t be something I’m not.” It sounds like a negative statement. “I can’t be something I’m not. I can no longer be something I’m not.” It doesn’t mean, “Now I’m free to be anything I want to be.” No. “I can’t be something I’m not.”
That first acknowledgement or statement of honesty expressed outwardly is recognizable to every single one of you as an expression of genuineness. And it doesn’t arouse defense in you. You know what it really does? It makes you want to be closer to this point of genuineness, more open to this point of genuineness. Others recognize it as a desirable state of mind. And I’ll tell you something. The more of you who are willing to let yourself get into that place and the more of you who are expressing what I’m going to call abject honesty, the more it will inspire others to want to find out how to be that too.
And you know what? In saying, “I cannot be what I’m not,” you’re being a Teacher of God. You are for the first time teaching something. And it will be met with reception. And that’s the beginning of transformation. Others will behave as though there’s something wonderful about you, and will even imply that you’re teaching them something wonderful. And you’ll say, “What? I’m not teaching anything. All I’m doing is realizing that I can’t any longer teach what I’m not.”
Ironic. A Teacher doesn’t try to teach something. A Real Teacher just Be’s Genuine.
When teaching is no longer necessary, you will merely KNOW God.
In other words, you won’t block the Presence of God in You. You will just let God be All There Is.
Belief that there IS another way is the loftiest idea of which ego thinking is capable. That is because it contains a hint of recognition that the ego is NOT the self.
Now this is something all of you need to know.
Undermining the ego’s thought system MUST be perceived as painful, even though this is anything but true.
It must be perceived by the ego as painful, even though this is anything but true.
Babies scream in rage if you take away a knife or a scissors, even though they may well harm themselves if you do not. The speed-up has placed you in the same position.
You are NOT prepared, and in this sense you ARE babies. You have no sense of real self-preservation, and are very likely to decide that you need precisely what would hurt you most.
Like more self-defense. Like more defense of the picture of you in your Brother’s eyes.
Whether you know it now or not, however, you HAVE willed to cooperate in a concerted and very commendable effort to become both harmLESS and helpFUL, two attributes which MUST go together.
Now I was saying this to Helen and Bill. But you know what? As awkwardly as all of you may be embarking on the real steps of awakening, and regardless of how little Love sometimes gets expressed by you even though you have embarked on a conscientious desire to awaken, these words apply to you.
… you HAVE willed to cooperate in a concerted and very commendable effort to become both harmLESS and helpFUL, two attributes which MUST go together. Your attitudes, even toward this, are necessarily conflicted because ALL attitudes are ego-based. This will not last.
I’m telling you just as I told them. This will not last. The conflict will not last.
Be patient awhile, and remember that the outcome is as certain as God.
Only those who have a real and lasting sense of abundance CAN be truly charitable.
If there isn’t a real and lasting sense of wholeness, completeness, it will always be this for that, tit for tat. If you want something, you give me something. I will give you something if you will give me something. It’s all getting. And at the bottom line, the process of getting has been established for self-protection so that you will not be vulnerable to abuse.
Again, charity is something that you find spontaneously arising out of you when you’re coming from the Place of Excellence in You and relating to the Excellence in Another, having abandoned dinging around in your mind between your concept of yourself and your concept of them. It’s when you’re dinging around in your own mind having your own fantasy and playing both the part of you and the other that you are incapable of being charitable.
This is quite obvious when you consider the concepts involved. To the ego, to give anything implies that you will do without it. When you associate giving with sacrifice, then, you give only because you believe that you are somehow getting something better, so that you can do without the thing you give. “Giving to get” is an inescapable law of the ego, which ALWAYS evaluates itself in relation to other egos…
In other words, it’s always dinging around between both roles. It’s your sense of yourself bouncing off your sense of someone else.
… and is therefore continually preoccupied with the scarcity principle which gave rise to it.
The scarcity principle that gave rise to it was the experience you were left with when you said, “Father, I’d rather see it my way. I want to define everything. I respectfully (which really means disrespectfully) no longer defer to the Meaning You are giving all of Creation. And I’m going to give the meaning to it. And I’m going to believe the meaning I give to it. And so, my experience of knowing what everything is, Father, because I’m letting You infill me with Its Meaning so that I miss nothing of what exists, instead of that, I’m going to give meaning to everything.”
And you lost the full Meaning. And you were left with whatever limited meaning you gave to it, and you’re left with whatever satisfaction you’re able to muster from this act of loss to feel pride in your very first act of independence.
This is the meaning of Freud’s “reality principle,” since Freud thought of the ego as very weak and deprived, capable of functioning ONLY as a thing in need.
The “reality principle” of the ego is not real at all.
It’s purely imagined.
The ego is forced to perceive the “reality” of other egos …
… because it cannot establish the reality of ITSELF. In fact, its whole perception of other egos AS real is only an attempt to convince itself that IT is real. “Self esteem,” in ego terms, means nothing more than that the ego has deluded itself into accepting its reality, and is therefore temporarily less predatory.
And I’m going to bring this home a little further once more. Self-esteem, in ego terms, means nothing more than that the ego … I’m going to change it here… means nothing more than that the Christ that you are has deluded itself into accepting the reality it made-up and is therefore temporarily less predatory.
Remember there’s no ego doing anything. There’s always a Christ behaving as though it’s not the Christ and denying its Christhood. The only reality that an ego presence seems to have is a reality that is borrowed from the Real One entertaining the belief, entertaining the picture, entertaining the concept. And so the Christ authorizes something, but says it isn’t. That’s all there is to the ego; the Christ behaving as though it’s not the Christ and believing its belief. You see?
When you realize that, you realize that the correction to the problem, the correction to the illusion has only to do with your re-embracing Who You Are and not denying Who You Are. And the only way that you can re-embrace being the Son of God is by acknowledging the Existence of God. The only way you can be the Son or Daughter is if you have a Father. And so you have to reach out to the Father and say, “Thy Will, not mine, be done.” That’s the step. That, then, causes a Revelation of your Sonship, your Daughtership, puts things back in proper relationship. And when that relationship no longer finds in you any objection, the sense of difference between Father and Son fades, Father and Daughter fades, and it becomes Father. Do you disappear? No. Now you are the Father in Expression with nothing blocking the Father’s Expression as Himself right where each one of you is.
And so the Experience of Being becomes more specific, more full. As I’ve said, everything that you’re already aware of becomes more meaningful because nothing of What It Is in Its Totality is escaping your attention any longer.
Continuing or repeating …
“Self esteem,” in ego terms, means nothing more than that the ego has deluded itself into accepting its reality, and is therefore temporarily less predatory. This …
… “self esteem” is ALWAYS vulnerable to stress, a term which actually refers to a condition in which the delusion of the ego’s reality is threatened.
It really is funny. The delusion of the ego’s reality is threatened.
This produces either ego deflation or ego inflation, resulting in either withdrawal or attack.
And you know what? Even withdrawal is an attack. When you withdraw into self-pity, you’re saying, “Look what you did to me. Look what you’re doing to me. The way you’re treating me is causing me to not want to be anything at all.” That’s attack. Even withdrawal is attack.
The ego …
In other words, this picture that you have of yourself that you believe and you govern yourself according to.
… literally lives by comparisons.
Why does it live by comparisons? It lives by comparisons because it has no stable, ever-present grounding to rely upon because it has disowned that which is stable, uninterruptible, eternal.
This means that equality is beyond its grasp, and charity becomes impossible. The ego NEVER gives out of abundance …
“I never do anything for nothing,” it says.
The ego NEVER gives out of abundance, because it was made as a SUBSTITUTE for it. That is why the concept of “getting” arose in the ego’s thought system. All appetites are “getting” mechanisms, representing the ego’s need to confirm itself.
Okay. Again, let’s bring it home. All appetites are getting mechanisms representing your need to confirm yourself when you are in a constant act of denying Who You Really Are—the Christ.
This is as true of bodily appetites as it is of the so-called “higher” ego needs. Bodily appetites are NOT physical in origin.
Why? Because nothing’s physical in origin.
The ego regards the body as its home and DOES try to satisfy itself through the body, but the IDEA that this is possible is a decision of the ego, which is completely confused about what is REALLY possible. This accounts for its erratic nature.
See, it’s the idea that this is possible that goes on when you’re dinging around in your own mind and never connecting with what a Thing Really Is or Who Another Really Is or Who You Really Are. It’s all happening in terms of ideas, fantastic ideas. And when I use the word “fantastic,” it’s always related to fantasy, never to awesome wonder.
The ego believes it is completely on its own…
This is me. It chooses to believe that. Its whole reason for creating itself was so that it could try to play with the experience of doing something on its own. The ego is a deluded state of independence.
Again, continuing …
The ego believes it is completely on its own, which is merely another way of describing how it originated.
It originated through an act of belief. You see? Can it be said any more clearly that the way you’re looking at yourself and your world at this point is nothing more than a set of beliefs built upon an initial belief that you could do something on your own.
Therefore, awakening, correction, is always a matter, and only a matter, of abandoning your commitment to a belief, to, let us say, a belief that you’re a body, to a belief that cancer can kill your body, to a belief that you are vulnerable to sickness and death. The belief that you are a mortal, a little physical body living on a physical planet in the middle of a physical universe that is nothing more than a process of physical evolution, and so on. But all of those beliefs are built upon one fundamental belief, and that is that you are capable of acting on your own. Therefore, the solution to every one of the problems you believe you have is in abandoning the primary belief that you have the capacity to be creative on your own.
And how do you do that? By saying not “uncle,” but “Father, I yield to you. Father, I want to Know the Truth as You Are Being It. Father, I want to understand how it is that I am your Son, or your Daughter, so that I might understand how it is that I am nothing otherwise. So that I will find no invitation, no temptation, to explore the possibility of being something without You.”
Continuing and repeating …
The ego believes it is completely on its own, which is merely another way of describing how it originated.
In other words, by believing that it’s completely on its own.
This is such a fearful state that it can only turn to other egos and try to unite with them in a feeble attempt at identification, or attack them in an equally feeble show of strength. It is NOT free, however, to consider the validity of the premise itself because this premise is its FOUNDATION.
Belief, that isn’t here, the word “belief.”
The ego IS the belief of the mind that it is completely on its own. Its ceaseless attempts to gain the Soul’s acknowledgment, and thus to establish its own existence, are utterly useless.
Another simple truth.
Its ceaseless attempts to gain the Soul’s acknowledgment, and thus to establish its own existence, are utterly useless.
And the wonderful news is that all that’s necessary to wake up, to come back into your Right Mind, is to stop doing what’s useless. You aren’t required to do more than you’re doing. You’re required to do less than you’re doing.
“BORRRRING. Doesn’t sound like much fun to me. Doesn’t sound very exciting to me. Sounds like too much damn peace to me. What am I gonna do? Float around on pick clouds strumming a harp?” No.
Doing less than you’re doing will first of all cause you to experience no more conflict, no more threat, no more fear. It will cause you to feel Peace. It will cause you to look at a thing without inserting your definition between you and that thing. And it means that all that you’re already aware of, as I’ve said before, will become illuminated with Its Divinity. And you will experience it. And the Fullness of Being will consume you and put you in a constant, conscious state of appreciation and gratitude so that everything that you do glorifies God.
“Oh, there you go again. I’m gonna be floatin’ in the clouds, strummin’ the harp and singing praises. Borrring.” No.
When you see a beautiful rose, when you see something that is especially exquisite, you almost gasp with acknowledgement of its beauty. It’s not boring. And because you recognize its beauty, you’re able to be present with it so much more than you’re willing to be present with something that doesn’t catch your attention and isn’t as beautiful.
To be constantly glorifying God is to constantly be in a state of awe, but not an awe that incapacitates you, not an awe that keeps you from engaging in communication, communion and being active together. To be constantly glorifying God means that you are no longer having to engage in defending your picture of yourself.
And it means no longer having to engage in teaching everyone else who you are so that they might believe it too, might believe it too and confirm your reality to yourself endlessly. Because this is an endless task you have taken on yourself because since this picture of you isn’t real, you are going to have to forever teach it. And you are going to have to forever reinforce it. And you’re going to have to forever defend it until you finally realize that you’re doing something absolutely useless. And it’s depriving you of the Joy of finding God in Everything and Experiencing Meaning that you cannot in any way comprehend from the standpoint of your even greatest imagination.
‘Nough said for today.
“Ain’t it wonderful?” are the words I will leave you with. I love you.
T4.2 The Ego and False Autonomy ↩︎