Oct 2, 2005
T10.5 The 'Dynamics' of the Ego

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

We’ll go right into the book.

The ego analyzes; the Holy Spirit ACCEPTS.

The reason the ego analyzes, in other words the reason each of you thinks things through, is because the ego has no source to go to in order to know anything. The ego, really being nonexistent, just an imagination, doesn’t have a capacity to know. And so it must gather data and analyze it so that it may come to what it calls an intelligent decision. And of course, what determines an intelligent decision as far as the ego is concerned is something that successfully covers up the fact that it doesn’t really exist. It’s something that protects it from discovery.

But …

… the Holy Spirit ACCEPTS.

The Holy Spirit has not denied its Source. The Holy Spirit, which is nothing more than your right Mind—you in your actuality—has never separated itself from its Source. And it knows that its Function is to reflect its Source. The Holy Spirit, claiming no separate actuality from its Source, yields to its Source. That is its Nature; that is its Function. That is your Nature; that is your Function.

Shifting from the ego perspective to the only True Perspective that you have available to you seems a frightening one because it means that you are giving up personal control, personal authority—the only thing that the ego sees can keep it intact; keep it safe from dissolving, from disappearing, from losing its validity. And because the ego is not an “it”—it’s just a way you’re using your minds—it seems to you that you will lose your identity. You will lose your actuality. You will lose that force of presence, or force of character, that makes you presentable and actual, which obviously means that you will disappear. But you are not what you imagine yourselves to be.

You are that which has imagined itself to be something different from What It Is. You are that which has the choice to imagine or not imagine. You are that which is present whether imagination is occurring or not, just as you are that which exists whether you’re thinking or not. You are that Pure Awareness, Conscious Being, the Being of Consciousness that exists immovably, infinitely, eternally, with or without thought.

And so …

… the Holy Spirit ACCEPTS.

This word “accepts” is important. It’s not important when you are awake, but it’s important when you’re not awake and in a process of waking up, because one who wants to be an author does not want to accept; one who claims authority that he does not have, wants others to accept him. And so to engage in acceptance, to consciously engage in yielding to something other than what you presently perceive yourself to be, is essential to waking up. It is essential to abandoning your habit of trying to be and thinking that you are successfully being a personal authority, which would cause you to be separate from everything else, and which is the whole problem that all of you are wanting to wake up from.

Continuing.

The appreciation of wholeness comes ONLY through acceptance, for to analyze means to separate out. The attempt to understand totality by breaking it up is clearly the characteristically contradictory approach of the ego to everything.

You’re not feeling well and somebody says, “Well, what were you thinking? What was your attitude before you started not feeling well? You’re responsible for what you are experiencing. What were you thinking? Well, what caused you to think that? Why were you thinking that?”—and getting all of the little details so as to have an understanding of the process by which this one arrived at a point of not feeling well. Why? So that a process of healing might be arrived at that can be used again in the future and thereby assure control so that one won’t have to go through the problem again.

But the Holy Spirit would say, “Aside from what you were thinking, aside from what events happened, are you not the Son of God? Are you not God’s Daughter? Aside from what you think has happened and what seems to justify your condition, are you not the manifestation, the visibility and tangibility of Love—God’s Love in His Self-Expressing right there where you are? Do you realize how loved you are? Will you open up to the experience of Love that not only surrounds you, but constitutes the essence of every little aspect of you. Every molecule, every atom, every movement of energy in what you would call your body, is the Presence and Movement of Love illuminating everything. You are the Energy of Love. The Energy of Love is all there of you. Will you take some time right now to let that experience in?” You see? “You don’t need to defend yourself against anything. You don’t need to defend yourself against your thoughts. You don’t need to defend yourself at all, because you are safely held in the arms of God because you are the embodiment of God Himself, and nothing else.” You see, the Holy Spirit accepts what’s true of you and reflects what’s true of you back to you so that you might consider what’s true of you without analysis, so that you might be able to quiet your fear enough to let the experience of Love that is you and is around you in. It invites you into a wholeness, not into bits and pieces and parts. It moves your mind into a Singularity which is perfectly in harmony with God. It invites you to accept, rather than analyze your best beliefs about yourself.

Continuing.

Never forget that the ego believes that power, understanding and TRUTH lie in separation, and to ESTABLISH this belief it MUST attack.

Why must it believe that power, understanding and truth lie in separation? Because it’s a state of mind in which it sees itself as independent and needs to confirm its independence in order to ensure its so-called existence and demonstrate it to be real.

And in order …

… to ESTABLISH this belief it MUST attack.

Well, what does that mean? It means that it must attack your capacity to remember What You Truly Are. It must cause you to become distracted from the Truth, the Real Truth that this so-called ego, this body of thoughts that you employ and concepts and mutual agreements, that they are …

(PAUL: I’m sorry. I lost it.)

It must demonstrate that they are truth because they are essential to its continuing its sense of existence.

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 up into small and disconnected parts, without meaningful relationships, and thus without meaning.

When you look at somebody who is distressing you, you never look at them in their totality. You look specifically at their bad habits, at their bad characteristics. You ignore the kindnesses that were expressed yesterday, or even this morning. You ignore, more than anything, the fact that because they exist, they are the effect of their Creator and therefore are holy. You pick them apart into little, disconnected pieces, and then you confront them with this sort of patchwork quilt of a characteristic, of a caricature of them. And you try to prove to them that they are what you are seeing, and that they should be ashamed of it, and that they should feel guilty for it, and that they owe you something for the distress it has caused you.

Always the correction of a problem with another involves first starting with the Ultimate Truth about them. For example: “This is God’s Beloved Son or Daughter in whom He is well pleased. This one is not who I conceive themselves to be at the moment while I’m in my emotional twit. If this one exists at all, good or bad, he or she exists because God is being them right there. And so I choose to approach them and consider them in my mind on the basis of that ultimate fact. And I will do that in order to get through and past the bits and pieces, the bad bits and pieces of them that I have collected together to characterize them in my mind, so that I might confirm to them the Truth about them, rather than the misperception I have created of them by tearing them into bits and pieces.”

The ego will ALWAYS substitute chaos for meaning, for if separation is salvation…

… in other words, if independence is so goddamned great, then …

… harmony …

… togetherness. Yielding. Acceptance …

… is threat.

Ah, to be the self-made man—and lately, recently, to be the self-made woman—that is the big goal.

But not one of you means anything all by yourself, because not any one of you exists all by yourself. And you certainly can’t exist at the expense of everyone else. And waking up is learning how you fit in with everything else and how everything else fits in with you, and how essential you are to them and how essential they are to you. But this is threatening to the ethic of being a self-made authorizer, a self-made person.

We’ve discussed it before: Love is the answer. And Love is embrace. Love is inclusion. Love is the willingness to acknowledge the best in each other, instead of confirming the worst. Waking up therefore means actually changing your behavior—your mental behavior first, and then your external behavior to be consistent with it.

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.

Which means, since it’s the opposite of the Holy Spirit’s, that the Holy Spirit focuses on Truth and overlooks error. But the arrogance of the ego insists upon looking at a Brother and pointing out their errors so that it might get a leg up on the situation and stand taller and gain some importance by virtue of having leverage, and thereby control over the one who’s been put in second place; the opposite of inclusion and the establishment of estrangement—separation.

It …

… the ego …

… 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 if truth …

… in its definition …

… has meaning.

Well, the statement is quite popular, “Well, everyone creates his own reality so truth is only consistent with the current definition of reality that anyone is using.”

And, of course, what is true will depend upon how much self-protection is needed at any given moment, because if one is vulnerable then what the other person doesn’t know won’t hurt him. And so one will refrain from being honest with his neighbor, or his friend, or his spouse, and so on. And so truth is inconsistent and it becomes that which serves the safety of one who consciously chooses to be in the world deceitfully. And if that can be practiced well and apparently successfully, it proves that inconsistency is a truth and is to be valued. It is an essential of life.

Now some practice this to the extreme, and others practice it more subtly. Most all of you practice it subtly. But you know what? As long as you have agendas of your own that you’re engaged in accomplishing without ever having asked the Father or the Holy Spirit whether this identifies fulfillment for you, you are creating your own reality, living in your own concepts of what is real, and thereby living in a made-up world and sense of self that causes you not to be honest with each other, with your fellowman. And you think you’re doing this for your survival, which justifies it.

Whether you are consciously aware of the subtleties of your valuing truth as that which is inconsistent, you can begin to move out of it by choosing to listen, by choosing to refer to the Holy Spirit or God, and ask, “Is this appropriate for me? Is this that I am thinking about doing in harmony with my true fulfillment? And if it isn’t, what is?” Well, I know some of you say, “Been there, done that. I didn’t get any answers. Doesn’t work for me; maybe it worked for you. But didn’t work for me. End of story.” I will tell you something. It will work for you if you will persist, if you will let your intent be singular—if you will do it not as a test of God, but as an opportunity, for once, to be consistent yourself in a continuing manner.

Now you don’t have to wait until the axe falls and you’re truly under the gun, and you have no choice but to reach out for God or to rely on God with persistence and with consistence and with commitment. You can do it under less stressful conditions, but it will seem to be harder in a way because you will seem to have the opportunity to continue to live without doing it and not suffer too much.

Continuing.

Holding error clearly in mind, and protecting what it has made real, the ego proceeds to the next step in its thought system; that error is real and TRUTH IS ERROR.

“Well, you know, God didn’t really mean for me to be constantly yielding to Him. God gave me free will. And He meant for me to practice free will, and to learn how to practice it well. God gave me the capacity to be independent from Him in order to learn how to be like Him on my own.” And so it makes something utterly insane a fundamental of sanity, and justifies it by saying that was what God intended.

But if you want to learn to be like God, you need to yield into God. Not so that you can by virtue of being an independent thing that yielded into your Father’s arms, learned to be like Him, but because you yielded into Him by abandoning a sense of separateness from Him, and let His Mind be in you. And the question comes up again, “How do I do that?” Well, you do it by desiring to have the experience and not abandoning the desire. Persisting in it. There’s no simpler way I can put it. And like I said, when it comes right down to a trial in your experience, you may finally find yourself willing to provide that kind of persistent, consistent intent with commitment.

And whenever anyone has done that, they have found themselves being transformed. They say, “I went through a catharsis. You would not believe what happened to me! I’ll be glad to tell you, though.” And you tell them, and everyone else catches the spirit of it and recognizes the truth of it and is inspired by it. But, oh, God, let’s hope you don’t have another catharsis. You see? “It was a wonderful experience, but I wouldn’t want to stay in the middle of it where I was constantly being transformed.” But that is what you want. And that is what you need.

Again.

Holding error clearly in mind, and protecting what it has made real, the ego proceeds to the next step in its thought system; that error is real and TRUTH IS ERROR.

Now continuing.

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.

You’ve seen people, they get their minds set on a thing—whether it makes sense or not, whether it’s intelligent or not—they know it’s true and they’re going to push through, come hell or high water. And no matter how much intelligent reasoning is shared with them, they will not abandon their focus on their goal. And they see all expressions of help as a lack of respect of them. And they will determine that all of these other things that are being said are just your opinion—“Well, that’s just your opinion”—completely overlooking the fact that they’re basing their actions on their opinion, and not their experience of Truth. And if you try to point that out to them, heaven help you!

Continuing.

Analyzing to attack meaning, the ego DOES succeed in overlooking it, and is left with a series of fragmented perceptions which it unifies on behalf of ITSELF.

Somebody says to them, “What you’re saying doesn’t make sense.”

“Oh! Well, it makes sense to me! And that’s all that matters. It’s my world. That it doesn’t make sense to you is, well, that’s your reality. So bug off!”

Now I’m speaking of those who are more aggressively into this, but you all do it in one way or another with little things, like how the office ought to be arranged, or how the files should be kept in the filing cabinet, when someone else is expressing a different idea.

“Well, that’s just your opinion. This works for me.”

“Well, but it doesn’t work for the whole office.”

“Well, nobody appreciates the filing system that I’m using. If everybody appreciated it, they would find that it really did work well for them. No one wants to understand the simplicity of the way I have it set up.” You see?

Again.

Analyzing to attack meaning, the ego DOES succeed in overlooking it, and is left with a series of fragmented perceptions which it unifies on behalf of ITSELF.

Of course, not on behalf of anyone else.

This, then, becomes …

… what?

… the universe it perceives.

“It’s my reality.”

And it is this universe which, in turn, becomes its demonstration of its own reality.

If you, or if an ego does not have its own unique thoughts which it can act out and demonstrate the so-called intelligence of, it has done nothing to make its mark in the world. It has done nothing to demonstrate its presence. And so it is essential for the ego to do something on its own and cause others to recognize it in order to secure its so-called existence as something actual.

Now mind you, this ego is just a picture you are employing about yourself. But the “you” that is employing it, is far greater than the concept of yourself. The “you” that is employing it, is the Ultimate, the Christ, having forgotten who he or she is because of the fun of trying to do the impossible—to demonstrate a self-made existence, you see, and to prove that you in your own right are something. And that’s how you are hooked. That’s how you become addicted to independence and illusion.

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.

… reasoning ends at its beginning, and no thought system transcends its source.

That’s rather like saying that if you are writing out an equation on the blackboard that takes up eight or ten rows, and in the first couple of sets of equations there’s an error, that error will be reflected in everything else that follows. And the equation will never be able to transcend the error. You see?

What’s the fundamental error? The fundamental error is that you’re something in your own right who, you say, God created that way for your own fulfillment and your own development and your own growth, and therefore … You see? And right now what has been said so far has an error in it—is erroneous—so whatever follows after “and therefore” will not be able to transcend that.

And of course, what follows is that you are going to devote your life to fulfilling the Father’s intent. You are going to be the best damned self-made person that ever existed, and you are going to make your parents proud. Because, of course, your parents taught you, “You don’t want to be dependent upon society. You don’t want to be on welfare. You want to be respectable, don’t you?”—which, of course, the child hears as, “You want me to see you as respectable, right?” You want to be respectable so, man, oh, man, you don’t waste a moment … you don’t waste a moment checking in with God anymore, because that’s not what God put you here for. God put you here for the purpose of ignoring Him and taking the tools that He gave you to be on your own and make something of yourself. That’s the fundamental mistake in the equation.

And you correct the fundamental mistake in the equation by approaching each event in your day, every conscious awareness of things with the Father, or with the Holy Spirit, or with your Guide—with one who is Awake and will not be fooled by all the tricky, little techniques you have for finagling jewels of wisdom that you can then use to be a better independent entity. You need to choose to be together with, not alone; joined, not isolated. And to the best of your ability, maintain this as you go through the day. It’s good to have a Friend. It’s good not to be alone. It’s good to be working with someone who constantly sees the excellence of you, and therefore is constantly confirming to you that which is in your best interest and that which, if you pay attention to it, moves you into your Sanity, which is always an impactful and awesome experience.

Again.

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 you experience truly when you’re looking at things without the perspective of a Companion who sees it as it truly is?

Can it …

… the ego …

… perceive what it has DENIED? Its witnesses DO attest to its denial, but hardly to what it has denied!

“Yeah, man, you’re on the right track. Yeah, man, go for it. Do it. I wanna do it, too, but you do it. You do it first. Do it! Do it! Do it!” You see? “Do it, and do it successfully”—so that I won’t have to look at the fact that my Good has already been done to me; my Good has already been given to me; my Good is already mine without my having to lift a finger in order to deserve it; fulfillment is the law of my Being.

“Yeah, man, but you’re just being a kept person. You’re not being anything yourself. How can you respect yourself?” You see the temptation? You are constantly tempted by the promise of worth that will become yours when you have done well. And if you accept that premise, whatever follows cannot transcend the flaw in that premise.

The ego looks straight at the Father and does not see Him, for it …

… the ego …

… has denied His Son.

Every practice of authority, every practice of independence is a denial of What You Are.

“No, I’m not the Son of God. I am a creation of God which God has set into place to become something. And He’s given me all the tools to do it, and I’m going to do the best job anyone’s ever done.”

You see? It overlooks the Son of God that you are. It distracts you from the Son of God that you are. And it appeals to a perverted sense of arrogance that makes you feel like going for it, instead of saying, “Wait a minute. There is another way to look at this that’s true. And I am going to choose to stay with what is true.” Or: “I am choosing to return to what is true. And I’m going to become still. And I’m going to turn within to that Place of Excellence in me. I’m going to turn within toward the Holy Spirit, my right Mind, so that I might be reminded of my true Sonship or Daughtership as the Direct Expression of God, so that I might experience God right here where I am and the fulfillment that I am told I will experience if I do that.”

Now mind you, we’ve been talking about the ego and the characteristics of the ego, the dynamics of the ego, and we’ve related it to stuff that goes on in your mind. And I’ve pointed out that it’s stuff that doesn’t need to go on in your mind, and it is stuff that it’s not your Birthright to be experiencing as the daily jumble of ideas that fill your mind. So it might sound as though I’m talking about you, you really messed-up people, and I’m not. It is important to know that you are not your ego, even though you may be playing with its dynamics. And because at this moment you are the Christ, having forgotten Who You Are, because you’ve been distracted by this mental strategy; this means of somehow creating for yourself an experience of independence. You can abandon that strategy because you are the Christ; you are not the ego.

And so, I am speaking to that in you which is Real; that in you which is True. I’m appealing to it so that you will, perhaps, choose to be out from that vantage point; a little more consistency consistently each day so as to break the habit of isolation. And the best way to do it is to just constantly be asking, “God, what’s going on right there with that lady? God, what’s going on right there with that man? God, what’s going on there with that child? God, what’s the divine Meaning of this tree or this plant?”—constantly expressing curiosity to understand (and I’m going to use that word carefully), to have an experience of the Meaning of those things that goes beyond my best imaginations, my best concepts, and my pet theories. I want to see more than I’m seeing. I want to see without the impediments of the flaws in the beginning of my equations.” You see? Because there is fulfillment in front of you that you’re not seeing. And there is no justifiable reason for you not to be seeing it. The Power of the Universe, the Power of the Authority of God stands behind your experiencing it.

So bring a little willingness, but bring it consistently. Bring it persistently, even if you do it with a light touch. You don’t have to do it with a vengeance. Just do it persistently, consistently, with the element of joyous curiosity.

I know this isn’t really the fun part of the Course, but it’s essential to look at the reality of the way the game works in order to be able to say, “I think I don’t want to persist in this game. I think I do not want to persist in this strategy. I think I would like to try something else.” Because the minute you begin to do that with some commitment, the Power of the Authority of God stands ready to reveal to you what you’ve been looking at and not seeing. God is on your side, truly. And you don’t have to earn the right to have His Gift. You only have to bring a little willingness, persistently, consistently, with commitment.

Okay. I look forward to being with you next week. Thank you.

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