“Against this sense of temporary existence, the spirit offers the knowledge of permanent and unshakable being. No one who has experienced the revelation of this can ever fully believe in the ego again. How can its meager offering to you prevail against the glorious gift of God?” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.V.8:1-3)
This “sense of temporary existence” travels with the ego. We know, somehow, that the ego is not real, that it is an illusory form of existence that has entrapped us. When we listen to our spirit (and we may here think of the Holy Spirit), we know that there is a “permanent and unshakable being” in the midst of our very soul. And this revelation will calm us and give us a new lease on life. This knowledge of what is really permanent saves us. The obvious next step is to cease listening to our ego—just drop it, gently.
If we resist the ego, it will become stronger, for resistance signals strife, and the ego is strong in strife. How do we just turn aside?
First, we drop the ego in little ways. We become attuned to understanding when we are acting egotistically. Often this comes when we are insensitive to the needs and desires of our fellow men and women. We behave with a “me first” compulsion. While thinking of our own needs can be and is, often, necessary, this sense can be taken to extremes.
We can be living within the ego even when the impulse is not strictly egotistical. We can simply be self-centered, and this is an egoic state of mind. If we find that we are putting #1 first in every situation, we can think again.
We can always turn to the heart, as A Course of Love encourages, to bypass the willful thinking that gets us into such trouble. As we turn to the heart, a place that has always been devoid of the ego, we discover anew how to live.
The heart informs the mind, and then we realize that both egotistical and egoic trains of thoughts consume us no longer.