“The ego is as frail as Freud perceived it. The later theorists have tried to introduce a less pessimistic view, but they have looked in the wrong direction for their hope. Any attempt to endow the ego with the attributes of the spirit is merely confused thinking. Freud was more clear-sighted about this, because he knew a bad thing when he perceived it. But he failed to recognize that a bad thing cannot exist. It is therefore wholly unnecessary to try to get out of it. As I have said before, the thing to do with a desert is to leave.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.VI.10:1-7)
The ego does not really exist, though it seems mighty real to us most of our lives. The ego is part of the illusory world that we have made. We don’t need to struggle to get out of it. We just turn aside without giving it any emotion. If we resist the ego, we may find ourselves trapped by our own wrong notions. As Jesus says, “the thing to do with a desert is to leave.” So if we leave the ego, we do so without a fight on our hands. We just leave it. It withers away from disinterest.
The ego is a bad thing, and Freud knew this. But he didn’t know any way out. He thought that an ego was necessary as part of the persona of the developing child, the child growing into an adult. Many people still believe this. But ego, as defined by Jesus in his channeled writings, is a false notion of what we are; it is not a necessary part of who we are, even when we are maturing into grown-ups.
Most of us don’t make the decision to leave the ego behind until quite advanced in spiritual matters. Then we realize that egoic and egotistical attitudes get us into competition with each other. Many in our societies think that competition is a good thing. But it pits one person against another, one group of people against another. It is hardly harmless. If cut-throat, it is damaging in the extreme.
What about sports? We must realize that a game is a game, not a life-and-death matter. We can thrill to the excitement of the moment, and then we can go our own way when the game is over. We are not meant to have ego involvement as fans. The participants likely lack the wherewithal to keep ego out of their competition. But as time passes, they too will realize that this all happened a long time ago. They lose their ego involvement as well.
Egoless people are very ordinary people, viewed as such in our culture. They don’t try to impress, and so they are often overlooked. But egoless people don’t care about the opinions of other people. They are marching to the beat of a different drummer.