“Doing battle with the ego has become the preoccupation of many gifted and learned people. This is the classic battle revealed in all myths and tales of war and strife. It is the battle that in your imaginings has extended even to the angels. The ego is the dragon that must be slain, the evil of the despot to be toppled, the one-on-one conflict of all heroes who would take sides and do battle.” (ACOL, T2:11.3)
Those of us who grew up with emphasis upon the horrors of hell were actually doing battle with the ego, for the ego might be termed a hell of our own making. And many of us love the great myths from our past, all of which were characteristically good-and-evil in nature. Everything was seen in black and white, no shades of gray.
We need to move beyond these old ways of thinking. We need to recognize that we can avoid a hell of our own making; we can avoid the bipolar thinking of pure white and solid black. Life can give new meaning to these terms.
We need not to do battle with the ego, for the ego is strong in strife. It actually grows stronger when we are in attack and anger mode. But it doesn’t work, either, to resist the ego, for that just approves of its importance to us. What we need to do is turn aside gently, knowing that egotistical and egoic ways of thought are not the means to heaven. The means to heaven were spelled out to us; the revelation that comes from God came with means identified. These are allusions from A Course in Miracles, and the same emphasis on reaching heaven through turning aside from the ego and egoic thought are given in A Course of Love. We are taken just a step farther along, with more of the means to heaven being spelled out.
These means are the union of mind and heart into wholeheartedness, the recognition of the Christ-Self in us, and the realization that it is time to let this Self emerge in all its glory. How do we do this? Not by resisting the ego! That is for sure, for strife and defense make what they would defend against. We just choose another way, a better way, as Bill and Helen agreed in a such-quoted exchange prior to the channeling of A Course in Miracles. (Bill Thetford and Helen Schucman were the co-scribes of ACIM.)
We unite mind and heart through our own will to do so. We do have some say in the matter, though God takes the final step of metaphorically reaching down and lifting us up into Awakening, Christ-consciousness. When we pray for wholeheartedness and for Awakening, we are praying in God’s Will for us. Would He withhold any longer than is absolutely necessary? I think not.
When our wholeheartedness is true, true reality will dawn. We will be changed, indeed, when Christ-consciousness has descended upon us. Our egoic nonsense gone, we will walk with humble but sure steps through our world. And we will bring our brothers and sisters along with us.
Jesus tells us that many sincere, spiritual, people have been misled by this emphasis on a battle between good and evil. A battle between God and the devil. Battles have not set the world aright, and it is past time to set the world aright. Let’s try a different tactic. Let’s know that all of us are innocent, though we make many mistakes, and we do know the way back from separation from God. God doesn’t battle with true reality, and we don’t need to do so either. Illusion, which includes evil, is actually nothing, though it can seem to be very important in a world of tragic outcomes. When we get ourselves right with God, we are then in a position to fulfill the needs of the world, knowing that giving and receiving are one in truth. We will receive in like measure to what we give. To think that we have to give, and give, and give, is an old way of thinking—and it will not save the world. Ordinary people such as ourselves, living extraordinary lives, will save. The fact that we don’t need to do more is no failing on our part. We will affect millions just by being ourselves. The true spread of a good idea knows no limits.
I would be one ordinary person leading an extraordinary life, terms that are from A Course of Love. Help me to be such today. Today and every day. The means are given to all of us, thanks to You. We are living in a new era, and the myth of a battle between good and evil is surely behind us now.
Be with me throughout the day. Help me to have lighthearted moments, for seriousness is of the ego, and I have had enough of the ego. I would turn aside gently from the anger and attack, the turmoil and hostility. Let us occupy a new world filled with gentleness and kindness, a world in which happiness is finally at home.