“The personal self exists as the self you present to others. This is the only way in which the personal self will continue to exist following the comple¬tion and the integration of this Course. Previously, the personal self that you presented to others represented an ego-self who you believed yourself to be. Now the ego has been separated from the personal self so that you may claim your personal self again and present to others a true representation of who you are.” (ACOL, T3:1.1)
A persona—but a true persona—is what the personal self will be from now on. Previously, we thought that our “self” was joined with the ego, and so it was. We thought this was a real self, but we were much mistaken. Now our personal self is a representation of the inner Christ-Self Who we are just coming to know. This personal self, or “little” self, as a persona, is not the whole truth of who we are, for the Christ-Self rules in truth. But our brothers and sisters, many of them, could not accept nor understand a Christ-Self, and so they see the personal self, a self that they imagine is much as it was previously. But they are wrong.
The personal self is now following the art of thought, miracle-mindedness, miracle-readiness, and as such our experiences are varying tremendously. We learned in A Course in Miracles that projection makes perception, and this is still true. But the projection is of a different personal self, a personal self no longer bound to the ego, and so our perception is miraculously changed. And life events will be changed as well, for what is within, projected outward, becomes quite different when the Christ-Self, within, is doing the projecting.
We are in reality now, not illusion, though we may or may not believe that the world we see is real. Our true reality may be what we think of as intangible—peace, joy, harmony, calm. The physical world does decay, which says that it is not permanent, and perhaps therefore not real. But genuine students of spiritualty from A Course of Love differ in their concepts of what true reality means. And there ought not to be a litmus test for the genuine among readers of ACOL.
Spend a while contemplating what the personal self without the ego will really mean. It is a whole new ball game. The blessings are great, and for this joy, we give up nothing—for the ego is nothing in a form that seems true. The ego is illusion, and therefore changes nothing in essence. We are well rid of a laborious and deadening illusion that pricked our conscience needlessly. We never did any harm in truth, only in illusion, and illusory deeds are ripe for forgiveness.
I would choose to be certain that my little or personal self today will exhibit calming emotions—peace, joy, harmony. It is still possible to let excitement, and therefore conflict, come into my world. But too much excitement is not good for me; it heralds a pattern of the ego, even if the ego is gone. I would not encounter any patterns of the ego today; help me with this.
I know when I need to get quiet and turn to You. And that is now. Getting news that is exciting and supportive of me does not necessarily mean that a given way is right. You know my limitations. Help me to retain my quietude today.