This post is part of a series of entitled: Reflections from A Course in Miracles. We are in Chapter 4 The Illusions of the Ego and this is section IV. This Need Not Be. You can find all of the previous posts here.
In chapter four, we have spent a lot of time reflecting on the ego. The ego can be thought of as the dark force, the devil on our shoulder, that which shall not be named, the dark side, the shadow side, the dark side of the moon, The Wizard behind the current in the Emerald City and a host of other names. The bottom line is that ego prevents us from hearing our intuition (Voice of God).
“If you cannot hear the Voice of God, it is because you do not choose to listen. That you do listen to the voice of your ego is demonstrated by your attitudes, your feelings and your behavior.”
We already know this, but it bears repeating, all attachment, anger and fear is coming from the ego. The spirit is perfect, it has no needs, no desire for anything because it is not lacking, it is not afraid because it is eternal. When we operate under the influence of our ego, we have feelings of lack, fear, anger, desire, attachment.
Sadness and depression come from a sense of lack, being deprived from something. Spirit does not lack anything.
“Remember, you are deprived of nothing, except by your own decisions.”
Anxiety comes from the ego. You have nothing to fear. Spirit is eternal, there is nothing to be afraid of. Anything you fear in this lifetime are fears of the ego.
Guilt also comes from the ego. God loves all of his creations and you are one of those creations. We already learned in the last post that this means by proxy, God Loves all of our creations so therefore, our egos are loved as well. While our egos may have broken the rules of God, our Spirits have not, they are eternal and perfect and have not made any mistakes. Forgiveness for all that can be done in the human body has already been granted by the sacrifice of Christ, this is why he tells us, we have nothing to be guilty of, there is no punishment coming, we are perfect as spirit and we came from spirit and we shall return to spirit after this lifetime in this human body ends.
We cannot fix the past by ruminating on it. The best way to change the past is to be present in the future and we do this by forgiving ourselves for our mistakes (Because we have already been forgiven on the universal level, as soon as we have shown remorse) but we must forgive ourselves. There is nothing for God to forgive, he forgave all sins of the ego and he showed us this when “Jesus died on the cross for our “sins”” Only the ego can feel guilt, so if you feel guilt after proper contrition, this too is a function of the ego.
Only the ego can become disheartened. When we become impatient or frustrated with progress, it is another sure sign we are functioning under the ego and not the spirit.
In paragraph 8, we learn a new function for judgment, which we have previously been taught not to do. This could be somewhat frustrating terminology, so I like to think of it as discernment in this case. Here we learn that judgment (discernment) of our thoughts is essential. I have said before that it takes great vigilance to mind the ego. We must closely monitor our thoughts. If we begin feeling that we are operating under the ego (once again, anytime we feel other than joy), we should closely monitor what thoughts are causing the problem, it will surely be the ego. Discerning (judging) whether our thoughts are causing us discord is the proper use of judgment.
“Judgment, like any other defense, can be used to attack or protect; to hurt or heal. The ego should be brought to judgment and found wanting there. Without your own allegiance, protection and love, the ego cannot exist. Let it be judged truly and you must withdraw your allegiance, protection and love from it.”
This is the final judgment. Once the ego death occurs there is no longer need for any judgment.
“The second coming of Christ means nothing more than the end of the ego’s rule and the healing of the mind.
Finally, we are to understand that we are all the chosen ones, any disbelief that we are the children of and part of creation itself or that we are perfection is another indication that we are operating under the ego and not spirit. We have all been called upon to heal, to shine and to be our very best. Each one of us is called in our own way, we need only answer the call.