This post is part of a series entitled: Reflections from A Course in Miracles. We are in Chapter 4 Illusions of the Ego, Part II The Ego and False Autonomy.
“It is reasonable to ask how the mind could ever have made the ego. In fact, it is the best question you could ask”. There is, however, no point in giving an answer in terms of the past because the past does not matter, and history would not exist if the same errors were not being repeated in the present.”
Wow! We have all heard that history repeats itself but I had never actually put it into that context before. I have always understood the concept of a lesson repeating itself over and over in my personal life, until I learn the lesson, but I did not think about it on such a global scale like history repeating itself until we all collectively learn the lessons from them. This first paragraph is so telling, because now we know that we not only have individual lessons to learn, but it is essential that we share what we learn with others and build global awareness so that some of the horrors of history do not repeat themselves.
We are all born tabula rasa – these Latin words convey a powerful idea of the blank slate, without preconceived ideas. Each of us is born with a blank slate, no ideas formed, no opinions, no judgments.
“Everyone makes an ego or a self for himself, which is subject to enormous variation because of its instability,”
Of course, from the moment we are born we begin the process of building our ego and what it means to be, “I.” It’s one of our first traumas, the early recognition that we are not the same person as our mother, it is the root of separation anxiety. So, from that moment forward, from the moment we recognize that we are not one with our mothers, we begin formulating an opinion about everyone and everything and most importantly ourselves. We begin developing our ego identity.
The ego is shaped by our experiences because we form opinions or judgments about everything and we start becoming selfish as we start making opinions about things from our own perspectives which are based on our own experiences and opinions. In this manner we each are the authors of the ego.
“He also makes an ego for everyone he perceives, which is equally variable.”
We each have a formed opinion about everyone we interact with and this opinion is formed by our experiences with them and every previous experience we have.
“Their interaction is a process that alters both, because they were not made by or with the Unalterable.”
Each interaction we have with another individual alters our perception of them for the future. It does not matter if the interaction was in person or if we are just ruminating over something in our minds about them, each interaction we have with them alters our perception of them.
“Thinking about another ego is as effective in changing relative perception as is physical interaction. “
Could this mean we have the personal power to simply change our minds about someone?
“No one dismisses something he considers part of himself.”
When you define yourself, you are defining yourself from the perspective of the ego. Everything that is “I” Is ego and there for learning to dissolve this idea of “I” in order to substitute it for spirit which is everything and all inclusive is the ultimate task of being a human being. It is what we have defined as the reconciliation, it is the garden of Eden. It is where we remember that we are all part of spirit, and spirit is perfect and eternal and has nothing to fear.
Going from our Ego desires to what I describe above as spirit is a long road, it is The Hero’s Journey, it is the Stairway to Heaven, The Road less travelled and the Yellow Brick Road.
“The question is not how you respond to the ego, but what you believe you are. Belief is an ego function, and as long as your origin is open to belief you are regarding it from an ego viewpoint”
I have described my own glimpses into reality as beyond words. There is no way to describe the experience because it transcends the words we use to describe the experiences of our traditional five human senses are not adequate to describe it. One description I have conjured however, is a sense of deep knowing that the experience is real and truth, even though there is nothing for the eyes to see, nothing for the hands to touch, the ears to hear and so forth. As they say in Game of Thrones, “It is known.” I don’t believe that I am one with everything around me, that I breathe the same air as you, that I am creating my own reality each day, I know it, it is a deep inner sense of knowing, that came to me almost like an “AHA! Moment” it was a return to something, it was a reunion with my soul, however brief.
Once I had the initial reunion with my soul, I was able to recognize it in other places, and see it every where and in those moments, where I recognize the truth in my every day reality, these synchronicities serve to strengthen my conviction.
It is this inner knowing that helps lead you down the path to making different choices. Each time you see the truth reflected in your history, you recognize the power to change the future.
How many lessons have you had to learn the hard way? I have had some whoppers to learn the hard way, but in looking back at them, I can see three things consistently:
1. The lessons get progressively harder to swallow if you do not learn them the easy way.
2. The outcome is always positive, no matter how difficult the journey, it is always headed somewhere better, I see this consistently in my own lessons, sometimes you just have to hold out for the long game, only those who finish the journey are rewarded with the prize.
3. No matter what the prize is enjoy it while it is in your life, whatever it is and then when it is time to let it go… let it go, because at the end of every journey is another road to travel. Death becomes birth and birth becomes death it is the circle of life.
4. Enjoying every moment when it is happening means you have to be present and show up for your own life. If you are fretting over anything in the past, you are missing what is happening right now. If you are suffering anxiety over some future event, again you are missing right now.
5. Anything in your mind that keeps you from showing up for your own life right now has a lesson for you. If you are ruminating over anything at all, past or future or right now for that matter, it means you have something to learn. The obstacle is always the way.
Are you willing to share any of your lessons?