Sep 18, 2005
T10.5 The 'Dynamics' of the Ego

Good evening. And welcome to everyone who is joining us on the Internet.

Well, I hope you all had an interesting week in the sense of looking at needs as though they are a threshold of discovery, rather than some absolute statement of lack that you have to suffer from. And I also hope that you allowed for the fact that needs have a bad habit of showing up at the most inopportune times. In other words, they always interrupt your schedule. They have no sense of respect for the orderliness you would like to interpose upon your days—order that you think allows you to accomplish things in an orderly manner, and therefore, thereby, to be successful by whatever definition of success you’re using. I hope that you enjoyed allowing interruptions to your schedule to occur so that you might have had the experience of flexibility that allowed the unexpected to happen, and thereby enriched you.

To interpose order, no matter how righteously you do it, to interpose order on the flow of life is always as ridiculous as, well let me ask you, how many of you have seen square watermelons in the store? If you haven’t, it was thought that square watermelons would make an interesting marketing device and so watermelons as they grew were placed in a square container so that as they got larger, they ran into resistance and would grow where there was space, enlarge where there was room, and stop enlarging where it ran into order. [laughing] Now how ridiculous is that?

Now when I say that I hope that you allowed the order that you superimpose upon your day to be violated as though it were a good thing, I’m not suggesting that you’re to embrace chaos. But I will tell you this: the automatic assumption is that if order is not applied to life, life will be chaotic. And that is not true. The suggestion is that life is chaos unless somebody brings intelligence to bear upon it.

How many neatniks do we have in the room? And don’t raise your hand. How many of you have a place for everything, and everything in its place, and heaven help the one who moves something a half an inch? How many don’t feel comfortable without having everything exactly where you want it?

Let me say this. If the way you arrange things neatly is attractive, you’re happy, but what you don’t realize is that the obsession with orderliness and having everything exactly where you want it, is as much an aberration of the mind as the person who never throws anything away and who keeps everything. Over here are all the daily papers for the last ten years. And over here are other knickknacks, bottle caps, whatever, that they might have a use for. And it looks like chaos, because the order and the obsession with having a place for everything and keeping it, is not pretty.

Everyone needs to loosen up. Everyone needs to become like the willow tree. Everyone needs to let the unexpected happen. And everyone needs to invite the unexpected, because as long as you approach your day allowing only for the expected, you will only have what you’re already familiar with; unless, of course, you’re expecting the unexpected. But none of you do that, as a general rule.

A miracle, a sudden shift of perception, goes outside the box; doesn’t fit into the existing order; won’t meet your expectations. If you want to wake up, if you want to experience enlightenment, if you want to experience the fulfillment of your Being, you are going to have to let something else in, other than what you’re already familiar with and what you’re only willing to accept. If the borders of your tent are going to be enlarged, your life is going to have to be shaken up. The boundaries are going to have to be redrawn. And hopefully you will arrive at a point where you will let your Being be boundaryless, because that’s where the Reality of you will be able to register with you, and where you will not maintain a distance from yourself and your brothers, or yourself and the world. And you will cease to maintain separation.

You must understand that if you are going to allow needs to register with you, which are weaknesses in your ego structures where the pressure of your divinity has a chance to break through, that you are going to be confronted with Order, with a capital “O”. If you will allow the breakthrough to occur, chaos will not be the result. I could say that if you let the breakthrough occur, a higher order of things will register with you, but it would be just as well to say a deeper order of things. A better way of saying it would be a more fundamental order of things; something utterly at one with your nature; something exhibiting the characteristics of God, which you don’t have to be afraid of, but which your ego will be. Your tendency to want to hold on to the order you have established because it makes you feel safe, that will be violated. And it will be unsettling.

The word “disillusioned” is, in most people’s eyes, a rather negative word. “Well, I was disillusioned about so-and-so.” Or, “I was disillusioned about the government. Tsk, tsk, tsk.” What it means is that you have become free of illusion. To become disillusioned is an excellent thing. To become free of artificial structures and order that you are applying to life so as to make you feel safe while you’re still insane, is not intelligent and it won’t be healing. And it will keep you locked in to the status quo.

Want to be disillusioned. Want to be put in the position of having false, binding structures broken down, freeing you up so that you might have the wonderful opportunity to feel the divine Order of things that’s already in place and never stopped being.

Now, in experiential terms, throughout your days you are busy, as a general rule, thinking and reasoning and calculating and planning. You’re very, very busy in your mind bringing things into whatever you call orderliness. Why do you do this? Because you’re afraid of disorder. But there is something else you can do.

And the something else you can do is to become still. The something else you can do is to stop thinking. Abandon the reasoning. Abandon the calculating. Abandon the prognosticating. Abandon psyching out your neighbor, or your brother, or your friend, or your business partner, and what he or she is likely to do based on past experience and what effect that’s going to have on you, and therefore what you had better do so as not to have any more upset than is already going on in your life occurring. You see, you do all of this to protect yourself. But there is something else you can do; you can abandon that.

“Well, no, I can’t. I can’t. I’m too nervous about what might happen and I’ve got to attend to that.”

Every meditator will tell you that no matter what is occupying their mind before they meditate, no matter what is going on in their life before they sit down to take time to be still even if it’s only for twenty minutes out of their day, that no matter what is going on, when they sit down giving themselves the kindness of becoming still, they move into an experience of peace.

I’ve said before, as it says in the Course in so many words, there is a Place of Excellence in you. Well, you know what? These are not the best words, but there is a Place of Peace in you. And it always accompanies you, no matter what is going on. It is ever present. It’s not just a place in you; it is the context of your Being, of your Real Being, of the Christ That You Are.

Again, no matter what is going on, whether you seem to be dying of cancer, whether or not someone else you know is injured and needs immediate attention and you’re the only one there to deal with it, no matter whether the baby is crying because he’s hungry, no matter what, your peace is available to you. You do not have to cope with the events in your life from the frightened busyness of your mind where you are constantly calculating everything so as to bring about the best result—meaning your safety.

You can choose for your peace. But you know what? You have to break a habit in order to do that. You have to break the habit of obsessively thinking. You have to break the habit of obsessively worrying. You have to be willing to say, “I’m going to sit down for twenty minutes, and I’ll pick up and worry after the twenty minutes is over. I’ll think after the twenty minutes is over. I’ll be upset after the twenty minutes is over. But for these twenty minutes, I’m going to shut up. I’m going to become still. I’m going to give my attention to the sensation of the air as it moves through my nose as I’m breathing. And if I find myself thinking, I will gently bring my attention back to the sensation of the air moving through my nostrils while I’m breathing, and nothing else. Or I’m going to use a mantra, and when I find myself distracted by fear, or a thought, or whatever, I’m going to bring my attention back to the mantra for twenty minutes, and afterwards I’ll worry about things.”

Now, many people meditate but they think that what they’re doing is bringing their body into a state of relaxation. They think that the quietness is a body not being tense, and that it is temporary unless they maintain it by meditating frequently. But I am telling you that the peace that you arrive at isn’t a body that’s relaxed. It’s you experiencing the context of your Being. It is you experiencing the fundamental Nature of You. It’s you experiencing an utterly divine dynamic: Peace.

And you all have the choice to be conscious of everything there is for you to be conscious of from that peace. And it is equally possible for you to engage in watering your garden, or conversing with a friend, or driving to the store and being active in that peace. Peace is not immobilization. Peace is not inactivity. Peace is your Birthright from which to be.

Now the interesting thing is that when you do this and you move into your peace—fear, anxiety, anger, jealousy are nowhere to be found. If you stay in your peace and consider the circumstances that seemed to arouse those emotions, those emotions are nowhere to be found, because you are able as Mind, as Awareness, to consider all things from your peace in which there is clarity available to you with which to deal with those circumstances in a non-reactive way, in a non-defensive way, in a non-self-protective way that embraces everyone and everything involved so that, as the saying goes, the result is a win-win situation.

None of you are handicapped with a horrible life. The only thing you’re handicapped by is an intention that you have to cope with it from a context of reaction. And you have another choice.

Now we talked last week about the fact that needs are messy because they are a threshold or a process of change, and that the need is to be willing to address those needs by being present with them and being open to the miracle that they are the threshold for. Well, how do you be open to the miracle? You be open to the miracle by being present with the need from your peace; by choosing not to try to handle it all by yourself and not to try to be the authorizer of a resolution or a solution, but instead to recognize that this dynamic is a call for greater clarity which is on your immediate horizon, or on the immediate horizon of a friend who is experiencing a need, sees it as a lack, sees no other way to look at it, and finds the experience distressing. Someone who needs a mentor; someone who needs you to be willing to stand with them. How? Reacting as they are? No, but choosing instead to listen. How do you listen? You shut up. You be still. And you invite the clarity that the need is the threshold of. And you stand quietly making room for it—something you cannot do when you are being defensive, when you are being reactive.

And I’ve talked before about the difference between emotions and feelings. Feelings, properly identified, relate to Soul—your capacity to feel the divinity of everything. Emotions are reactions experienced by you when you are attempting to be unjoined with your Father, to be independent and autonomous, to be actively separate from everyone and everything. And emotions are the way the ego interprets the, I’m going to say, dynamic invitation of your divinity to let yourself into the larger perspective of Truth than the ego is allowing.

Harmony is the divine equivalent of order; the kind of order that you would individually like to apply to and coerce things into being. Harmony just is. It isn’t applied to anything. It’s the nature of everything just as peace is the nature of your Being. It already is.

All of your self-righteous, emotional reactions to situations and people and things are another way in which you practice separation. Feelings, on the other hand, are not a defense against anything. They embrace all things. They are your capacity as Soul to recognize and acknowledge and feel and experience what everything divinely is. And that capacity is ever-present with you.

So when somebody says, “How are you?”, don’t say, “Well, I’m not feeling too well.” Instead be honest and say, “Well, to tell you the truth, I’m in a bit of a state of self-righteous reaction. I’m in an emotional twit because I’m unwilling to look at the larger picture and I’m insisting on determining what all of this means all by myself.”

Emotions are of the ego. Feelings are of the Soul. It’s important to make the distinction. Emotions are reactionary, always in the name of self-protection. And self-protection is the means by which you keep a boundary around yourself and between you and everything else.

And one of the fundamental reasons for this is that you’ve forgotten that there’s another way to look at things. There is peace in you forever with you, being the constituting nature of you that you can be from if you make the choice to give your attention there by silencing the incessant ego chatter, which you conveniently call thinking because it’s not as offensive a word.

Paul is not sitting here thinking about what he is going to say. You don’t have to think in order to be intelligent. You don’t have to think in order to be meaningful. You don’t have to think in order to do things. It’s not necessary unless you think you are independent and on your own, and that it’s your job to be the authorizer of things and to make things happen because if you don’t, nothing will happen, or if you don’t establish order, chaos will reign, just because. You don’t have to think that way. You don’t have to think at all in order to be meaningful, in order to be an agent for change, in order to be a presence that triggers sudden shifts of perception in others.

Let’s go to the book.

Can you imagine this?

God is as dependent on you as you are on Him …

… dependency, you know, is one of those dirty words. You know, you want to be independent. You want to be self-sufficient. You do not want to have to lean on anyone. And above all, you don’t want anyone to lean on you.

But:

God is as dependent on you as you are on Him …

… well, God is absolute. Therefore, if God is dependent, His dependency, His state of dependency must also be absolute. It’s not variable. It’s not temporary. It’s just the Way things Are—the capital “W” Way things capital “A” Are.

God is as dependent on you as you are on Him because His autonomy ENCOMPASSES yours, and is therefore incomplete WITHOUT it.

Well, we’ve been using the word “autonomy.” What does it mean? That which is autonomous is something which is not affected by anything outside itself. It is something which is not subject to anything outside itself. Well, I think that’s what omnipotence means. And I think that’s what omnipresence means. That which has no outside to it is infinite and is all; and is therefore a singularity; is therefore pure without a single element of anything unlike itself and therefore incapable of embodying polarities; something which is therefore eternal.

God is autonomous and …

… His autonomy ENCOMPASSES yours…

… God has autonomy and you have autonomy? No. There’s only one thing going on. There simply is only one thing going on: God. And it looks like this. [gesturing around the room] It looks like this. It looks like this. It looks like this. It looks like this. And it looks like the flower.

The daisy will always be the daisy. It won’t be the daisy one moment and a chrysanthemum the next moment. It’s purely what it is forever.

Now listen to this.

You can only establish your autonomy by identifying WITH Him…

… God …

… and fulfilling your function AS IT EXISTS IN TRUTH.

In other words, you cannot establish your autonomy by acting at odds with God, by making up your own rules, by saying this is what a thing is instead of what it really is, and forcing everybody else to look at it and agree with you that it is what you say it is. Autonomy isn’t gained by you or embodied by you by your exertion of force to make people and watermelons be the way you want them to be. You gain your autonomy, you establish your autonomy by letting the watermelon be the way God made it, and bringing curiosity into play so that you’re willing to sit down and be intimate with that watermelon the way God is being it, and inviting the clear, uncluttered, undistorted conscious experience of what it divinely is in the absence of all the definitions you have made up about it. You can only establish your autonomy by ceasing to try to independently be creative. In other words, by dis-identifying from your concept of yourself, and identifying with Him—God.

“God, what am I? God, I’m sick and tired of the struggle of trying to be something on my own. It isn’t working. And no matter how hard I’ve tried, it never has worked. What am I as Your Self-Expression? Please illuminate me with the clear experience of You being All There Is to me. I’ve heard about that, but I need … I need the experience. And I’m willing, to the best of my ability, not to defend myself against the experience.” And then be willing to stand at the edge of the void because you don’t know what the experience is going to be like, or what it is. And persist in standing there with a constant invitation; not a constant coercion, but a constant willingness to let it register with you, knowing that it is bound to register with you because you, unconscious of Who You Are, is not what you were created to be.

You can only establish your autonomy by identifying WITH Him…

… the Father …

… and fulfilling your function AS IT EXISTS IN TRUTH.

What is your function? To not inhibit or distort or alter in any way by a personal act of will What God Is Being right there where you are. It’s called glorifying God. You see? We’ve talked about it before—glorifying God. It isn’t singing hosannas to God. What it is, is you not objecting to and not inhibiting the Presence of God in you as you from being all there is where you are, because you have abandoned your personal, private attempts to introduce something new into the picture. That’s what glorifying God is.

And in letting that happen, well, does it just mean God is the great one and that you’ll disappear? No. But you know what? You’ll know what being the Presence of God presencing Himself means. And you will feel your divinity and your wholeness and your fulfillment because, for lack of better words, you’re letting what God is be reflected in you as you. And you will find that you have become part of the Conscious Movement of Creation; not alongside the Father, but with and as the Father. That is the best way I can put it into words at the moment. Your fulfillment comes from letting what you were created to be, be what is right there where you are, instead of your trying to create what you are all by your little, orphaned lonesome.

Now:

The ego …

… this neat, little, self-sufficient, separate bugger that you all think you are …

… believes that to accomplish ITS goal is happiness.

You know. “Man, I’m gonna make something out of myself. And it’s gonna make me happy. And I’m gonna show everybody else. And you know what? When I’m somebody, I may even help other people become somebodies.”

The ego believes that to accomplish ITS goal is happiness.

And what is its goal? Autonomy. In the ego’s case, autonomy means uniquely and specifically different from everything else. That isn’t the definition of autonomy that I just described a few minutes ago. And it thinks that accomplishing that is happiness.

But …

… in spite of that and aside from that …

… it is given YOU to know that God’s function IS yours, and happiness cannot be found apart from your JOINT will.

“Oh! Oh, you mean I get to … God’s Will and my will, the two of us get to merge our wills and do something jointly willfully, but jointly in cooperation?” No. Your happiness cannot be found apart from your—I’m going to put it this way—joined will. Meaning not independent any longer; where you’re not holding yourself apart, but you’re letting God in and you’re letting yourself into God, and you’re saying, “I do not want to maintain the boundary anymore. I do not want to maintain my divorce from my Father, my Source, any longer. I wish to not hold myself aloof. I wish to not hold myself separate. I want, I long, I desire to experience togetherness. I wish not be alone.” Your happiness cannot be found apart from your willingness to let something else in and to let yourself into something else.

Recognize only that the ego’s goal, which you have pursued quite diligently, has merely brought you FEAR, and it becomes difficult to maintain that fear IS happiness.

Again.

Recognize only that the ego’s goal, which you have pursued quite diligently, has merely brought you FEAR…

… recognize that …

… and it becomes difficult …

… as a result of the recognition of that …

… to maintain that fear IS happiness.

Now the simple fact is that as long as you have divorced yourself, separated yourself from God—your Father, your Source, the Ground of your Being—you will be uncomfortable. You will be ill at ease, because you are attempting to be at odds with What You Are, and that constitutes a dissonance; an uncomfortable dissonance. A dissonance that constitutes a warning; something a little bit more intense than a highway sign that gives you a little bit of information. It’s something that lets you know that what you’re attempting to do, you can’t accomplish. And attempting to accomplish it, because it constitutes a state of self-denial, is not sane, is not wise; can only be fraught with confusion and dynamics that it’s not your Nature or your Birthright to be experiencing. And it will be uncomfortable enough that you will not be able to deny it completely.

And so, although you minimize it, you don’t deny it, and this little quirky, trippy, sleight-of-hand comes into play that says, “Ah, my purpose is to overcome this fear, and I have the capacity to do it.” But the dissonance that you’re experiencing is saying, “Don’t try to overcome the dissonance. Stop doing what is causing it.”

You may do it as long as you wish, but it will be constantly uncomfortable. And the more intently you engage in doing it, the more uncomfortable it will become, because the harder you push against your divine Self, the more profoundly your divine Self, which can’t successfully be denied, lets Its presence be known. Its unyieldingness presents itself.

And so the harder you hit the immovable object, the more uncomfortable your fist is going to be. Your ego state of mind says, “There must be a way for me to develop my hand so that it will become like a jackhammer and be able to make its way through this immovable object.” You see? And so you devote yourself to that which will not correct the problem.

What will correct the problem is neglecting to any further employ your will to accomplish something that can’t be done, and return to the willingness to embrace yourself as What You Are, which is the Son of God, the Offspring of God, the Manifestation of God. And mind you, the Manifestation of God is not something different from God. The Manifestation of God is God. Which means that as you all sit here in your varying degrees of, let’s say, a physical definition of yourself, you are the Ultimate—not being any form of a physicalness of self; not any form of the definition, the faulty definitions that you’ve made up because you’ve had lack of real information about What You Are. And everything you see that you’ve been called [calling] physicalness is Spirit recognizably being in a manner that identifies God’s Creative Self-Expression. And there isn’t any matter to it. But there is the Manifestation of God.

Again.

Recognize only that the ego’s goal, which you have pursued quite diligently, has merely brought you FEAR, and it becomes difficult to maintain that fear IS happiness.

You’re not so insane that you would continue to maintain that fear is happiness once you see what it is.

UPHELD by fear, this IS what the ego would have you believe. Yet God’s Son …

… You …

… is not insane, and CANNOT believe it.

And you want to know something? None of you do believe it. But you’re playing with imagining it. And you’re playing with the fun of imagination. You’re employing it for all its worth, or have been. You’re exploring it to its depths. But you wouldn’t be here and you wouldn’t be listening to me if somewhere along the line you hadn’t gotten tired of it and wanted to find your way back Home, wanted to find your way back into your right Mind.

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.

Okay, well, let’s use some other words. [small laugh] Only the insane could believe that love can be gained by enforcing orderliness on your world. You see? That sounds pretty nice, doesn’t it? Sounds constructive. But it is attack, because you are attempting to bring order where the Harmony of Being preexisted this imaginative project of yours to bring order by your own hand and by your own will.

But the sane know that only attack could produce FEAR, from which the Love of God completely protects them.

All of you to one degree or another, or another, are beginning to recognize that only attack could produce fear. And as a result of that, you are being able to look at yourselves and begin to notice where you’re employing separation, divisiveness, self-protection, at the cost of your peace and joy, and at the cost of the peace and joy of everyone and everything around you. And so you’re in a position to begin to change your behavior with what can only seem like a promise to you at the moment that the Love of God completely protects you from.

produce FEAR, from which the Love of God completely protects you.

I’ve changed the words a bit.

So, you have a promise presented to you, because you don’t see it fully yet. And the promise is that when you abandon self-protection, the Love of God will uncover to you the fact that you don’t need protection because you are not separate from your Father. And you and your Father, not willing in a proactive way to be separate in any way, constitute a Singularity—autonomy itself—which is utterly pure, omnipresent, eternal, unfragmented, and without opposition in any part of It. That’s the promise that you are given when you are encouraged to return to your right Mind and abandon this great ethic you have engaged in to prove your independent existence.

The Love of God does protect you similarly to the fact that your peace protects you from jealousy, anger, fear; all of the emotions that debilitate you. Your peace is ever-present with you because it is the context of your very Being. And when you move into it, you find anything opposite to you to be nowhere to be found. You’re protected, you could say. But you’re protected because in the unity, the indivisibility of your very Being right here today, you are not vulnerable because there is nothing unlike you present. And when you move into your peace, when you truly become still and move into your peace, you can sit in your chair fully conscious of everything that’s going on, and even what the world seems to be claiming about you, and fear is not present and the feeling of threat is not present. And your ability to see clearly is not thwarted by negative energies. Your peace protects you from all threat. God’s Love protects you from fear because it is the absence of fear.

As you go through the coming week, pay attention and notice when fear begins to creep in. Notice when you feel a call for defense. You will say that some person or some circumstance or some event has occasioned it, and they are justifiable reasons for the fear. But the only reason you will be experiencing fear is not because of the persons or the circumstance or the event, but the fact that you have abandoned your peace before you looked at them. Now that’s a very powerful tool, you might say, that you have available to you. That awareness is very practical. Whether you employ it or not remains to be seen.

But remember, if you lose your cool, it’s because you abandoned your peace before you looked at the thing that you say causes you, caused you to lose your cool. And therefore, you don’t have to wait for the person, circumstance or situation to change. You can immediately make a different choice and shut up and sit down and become quiet, and find your peace before you look once again at the situation, and before you act. And the result will not be chaos if your intent is true. What you will open yourself up for is the Love of God that will demonstrate to you there is nothing to be afraid of because Love is the absence of fear. God’s Love is the absence of fear. And in the absence of fear, and the clarity that there’s nothing to be afraid of, you will move in your world in a way that brings forth benign-ness, not only for you, but for everyone.

Now them there’s powerful words; valuable, usable. Not so that you can gain control or better order, but so that you can abandon the place where you feel like control and better order is called for in order for you to feel safe and come into your inheritance, come into the experience of your Birthright, which simply is what is and can’t be changed, and therefore never was changed. And you never lost it. And you don’t have to regain it and you don’t have to defend it. It’s immovably the Truth about you, which you’re in the process of rediscovering—that’s all.

But it’s going to mean that the border of your tent is going to enlarge, and change will happen—a sudden shift of perception—a sudden glorious shift of perception. Don’t worry about having shifts of perception that are worse than you’ve had before, of things that are worse. [laughing] You’re pretty much at the bottom of the barrel. Miracles are sudden shifts of perception for the better; for the correction of your suffering.

And I will be with you all week. I’ve always been with you, but I want to say it. I will be with you, all of you, all week. I’m never absent. You’re never alone.

And I’m always present to help illuminate what will cause you to let go of your compulsive attempts to control. Sometimes you don’t want that kind of help. But I’m still there. And when you don’t want the help, you won’t get the help. Not because I’m not willing, but because you’ve said, “No.” And I’ll tell you something, your word means something. You need to know your word means something so that when you say “Yes,” you can have confidence in that and the result.

I love you all. And I look forward to being with you next week.

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