This post is part of a series entitled: Reflections from A Course in Miracles. We have just begun Chapter 4, this is part 2 of Section I. Right Teaching and Right Learning.
The second half of this section took me a few days for some reason, to digest and write about. Perhaps that is because it’s all about the ego.
“The ego is afraid of the spirit’s joy, because once you have experienced it you will withdraw all protection from the ego, and become totally without investment in fear”
Have you ever seen anyone willingly walk away from power? I love that about our democratic process here in the US because our elected official steps down at the end of the his term. Could you imagine how different life would be, if one of them decided not to? I prefer not to create that image, as we have learned we create our realities with our thoughts, intentions and beliefs. In truth, Few people willingly walk away from their power. I see it in the business world all of the time. Of course, ethics and decency and compromise usually prevail, but it is always a process of give and take, push and pull.
Think about the difficulty many of us have as parents as our children grow and begin taking more and more responsibility for their own choices, While this is the ultimate goal of parenting, few parents easily walk away from this. Many times we continue offering our opinions and advice, often unsolicited to our children when they make choices that are not the ones we would have made. This continues long into adulthood and maybe even as they become parents themselves. Few of us give up control easily. I like that word better than power. few of us give up control easily.
This, of course, is the EGO at work. The ego has a way of keeping us small, it is what ACIM calls the separation, Any time we use the word “I” we are separating ourselves from someone or something else. The Soul knows it is part of the Universe and that we are all connected, we are all the same. Therefor whenever we are not operating from the spirit or soul, which knows we are connected to everything and everyone else in the universe.
One of the primary ideas behind ACIM is atonement, which we learned is nothing more than a reconciliation with our soul, a return to our natural state of union with our souls within our body. The ego belongs to the body and is not interested in the atonement, it is afraid of losing its “I”dentity.
Once we begin to awaken and recognize just how much personal power we have in our reality, we begin to see the role of the ego in preventing our return. Once we awaken, we have already learned, we are no longer afraid, there is nothing to fear because we are one with spirit, spirit is perfect and eternal and has nothing to fear.
“The ego has built a shabby and unsheltering home for you because it cannot build otherwise”
I like to think of the big bad wolf here. What is your house made from? Are you grounded in the strength of the spirit? The spirit’s foundation is made of bricks, it is solid and impenetratable once erected. But, if we build our homes from the shabby materials of the EGO, they are easily blown down by the circumstances we have built them around. Our EGO needs to cite accomplishments and material things as its foundation while spirit is founded in love, gratitude and forgiveness.
When our house built from the straw and hay of the EGO, it scarcely can protect you, so your ability to protect and shelter anyone else, while in the house of the EGO is limited, only when you step into the brick house of Spirit (GOD) can you have the means to help protect and shelter anyone else. Many times though we try to help each other from a place that is unstable and that is always founded in the EGO.
What are you investing your time and money in? Do you invest in the solid foundation of family, friends, relationships or do you spend your time persuing ego derived activities? There is no judgment here, I have my own vices, but I do find it to be a valuable exercise to take a look at how we spend our time. Time on earth is precious and limited. Many of us claim to have no time to exercise our bodies, or to call our own mothers, yet when asked we claim Family and Health as two of our biggest priorities and then we can be found willing away hours and hours of our precious time in front of the computer or TV. What is the foundation of your house made of? What do you value most? Are these ego-driven values or values based on love, kindness, forgiveness and gratitude? Are you taking care of the body you came to earth to experience? Are you taking care of the relationships that are important to you?
It is important as you do this exercise that you don’t start lashing out at yourself over your answers. Remember each day, we way up with the personal power of choice and each day we have the ability to tear down those ego driven houses and build them anew with a solid foundation. Each day you have a choice to make today different and the day you wake up and make that choice is the first day of the rest of your life and is certainly the day your life is going to change!