Egoic “Devil” Is a Mirage

One point in the deluded sufferer’s mind of attack needs to be addressed. Not only will we have trouble believing in the essential innocence of our brother, but we will believe that A Course in Miracles is deluding us as the tool of the “devil” as well. The Holy Spirit will therefore not be seen as God’s emissary, but as the voice of evil, cloaked in “good.” This is the essential aspect of the Course that Jesus says will cause us trouble; we will believe that he is misleading us. But is he really? Isn’t it our own projections that are the culprit here? We think the “sin” within is actually perpetrated by following an external demon, when in truth the demons are all within–products of our deluded mind. This is all that we are really dealing with. The devil is a myth, a projection from within of the “evil” we have seen there. And it was all a mirage–nothing more. A mirage that we can discard as invalid as soon as we accept the truth that we are dreaming in chaos, living with a diseased mind that in truth wants fervently to be sane again.

Jesus explains this dilemma in two succinct sentences. Referring to the Holy Spirit, he says, “What could He be to them except a devil, dressed to deceive within an angel’s cloak. And what escape has He for them except a door to hell that seems to look like Heaven’s gate?” (T-25.VIII.7:3-4) Words like these are the reason that the early portion of the Course must be carefully studied, because without this preparation, the ego will react with such fear that the experience will be more traumatic than beatific.” (T-1.VII.5:8) Trauma we can leave behind if we only trust Jesus and the Course a little longer. Suspend egoistic judgment of the parts that frighten, and patiently study the whole.

Jesus and the Holy Spirit will bring us out of the tunnel into the light, and into a world of Reality that sparkles and shines unlike anything seen since we fell asleep. And the Awakening will be gentle, once all the steps on the ladder have been retraced. Before the steps have been taken, there indeed may be a revelation of some startling proportions, a revelation revealing the end. But to get there the means are needed, and Jesus in the Course carefully explains those means. (T-1.VII.5:11)

Advertisements

The Ego as Satan

A Course in Miracles says, “Sin is not error, for it goes beyond correction to impossibility. Yet the belief that it is real has made some errors seem forever past the hope of healing, and the lasting grounds for hell.” (T-26.VII.7:1-2) This passage points to the old idea of a duel between God and the fallen angel Lucifer (Satan), in which the two battle it out for control of men’s and women’s minds.

We must realize that this myth is a projection of the ego, which is the “Satan” in all of us. But as part of God, as an extension of God, our Will and His have not truly been out of sync. It is only in our mad and unnatural way to operate independently of God that the trouble began–the trouble that is an illusion of reality, but an illusion in which, nevertheless, we still believe.

God does not attack our ego (our “Satan”), knowing that it is only a dream and without substance at all. He waits for us to understand that the way of the ego does not work; He waits for our reestablishment of communing with the Holy Spirit, the only natural way to live. As finite minds, we cannot succeed if we try to live separately from our Source.

So we must give up our inferior judgments to the Holy Spirit, who sees the whole picture. This is natural; this is the way life should be experienced, and we learn this as our bad dreams turn to happy ones under the tutelage of the Holy Spirit.

When Will We Ever Learn?

“The mind can make the belief in separation very real and very fearful. And this belief is the devil. It is powerful, active, destructive, and clearly in opposition to God, because it literally denies His fatherhood. Never underestimate the power of this denial. Look at your life and see what the devil has made. But know that this making will surely dissolve in the light of truth, because its foundation is a lie.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.XI.9:1-6)

Now we know what the devil concept was all about. We know that it is really the egoic notion of things, lived out in separation from God. We could not truly separate from Him, because we are part of Him, but we could live, with the ego, as though we are separate. And therefore alone. And the ego is the symbol, as well as the essence, of fear. Thinking we are all alone in the universe will frighten the most courageous.

In the egoic world, we thought that if there were good, there had to be a counterbalancing of evil. Contrasts were the way that the drama proceeded. And there were so many dramas! We felt the height of joy, but just for a moment, before we were dashed down and in misery, despair. Is this any way to live?

We can’t live in this illusion any longer, because we know better now. As children of God, individuals within whom He dwells, our real will for ourselves is not a contradiction from His will for us. This truth can be hard to accept, for the separation has been long and cruel. The Holy Spirit will guide us gently to the truth that the wills are the same. How could they not be, when God is living through us?
God’s way is true reality; our parody of His creation has been and will always remain, illusion. Not being real, our illusion weaves fanciful imaginings that bring us down, and down, and down, repeatedly?

When will we ever learn?

Transformation

Paul-Cezanne-Painting-012

“Your experience here is but an extension of mind into a realm in which experience can occur.  Your ego has made of this something different than it is.  Rather than extension of mind your experience has become a projection of ego.  This can change.  (A Course of Love, 31.35)”

Affirmation:  “I would withdraw from the projections of my ego.”

Reflections:

1 – ACOL vs. ACIM

A Course of Love is more welcoming to experience in this world, in my opinion, than is A Course in MiraclesACOL sees real benefits to an experience in this world, provided that we are moving toward the elevated Self of form.  This elevated Self of form is the sustained awareness of the inner Self/Christ which we will know when we have walked the whole pathway, the pathway to Christ-consciousness, or Awakening.

2 – The Insane Ego

Our experience here is of the physical.  In ACOL, such an experience is not denigrated.  But our problem is that our minds have dipped into insanity by way of the creation of an insane part, the ego.  And the ego does not love us or wish us well.  We can frequently see in the ego the old devil, or enemy, concept of traditional Christianity.

3 – The “Devil”

Just what was the devil, or enemy, in traditional Christianity?  It was a fallen angel who took on God as its rival, at times (as in Job) causing God to engage in contests that sought to prove that the devil knew better.  And there is in many of us this dualistic nature of thought still raging.  We have not left behind this egoic interpretation, for that is exactly what the devil really is, an invention of the ego.

4 – Battle with God?

We are not in a battle with God, and neither is our ego.  The ego just thinks that it is battling God.  God doesn’t respond.  He knows that eventually all of us will choose to eliminate the pain from our lives and choose again His way.  We, unfortunately, do not always understand the truth that His will and our will are actually identical.  We want what He wants for us, but we are just unsure about this.  We think that it is an infringement on the free will that he gave us.

5 – An Imprisoned Will

Actually this is a misnomer.  Our will is actually imprisoned when we choose against God (an ACIM tenet).  And we would not choose to live a life that is, essentially, a loveless and painful experience.  We find joy in turning to the God within.  There is no greater joy than communion with Him or with His Universal Inspiration, the Holy Spirit.  Once we realize that truly His will for us is the same as our true inner will, we will no longer be in conflict.  We will no longer be Jonahs, railing against His will for us.  We did not create ourselves, though an agnostic or atheist might have trouble with this assertion.  We need to set to one side our intellectual doubts, and just allow the experience of God to infiltrate our minds.

6 – Agnostic or Atheistic?

We will then not long remain agnostics or atheists.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would transform my experience in this world from a battleground for the ego to an experience of a transformed Self for whom God is very real.  I would see that my ego’s idea that I am battling God is not true.  I would seek to know only the true.  

May all of us walk together toward an experience in this world that is the best that this world can offer, the best that life on the earth can offer.  We will be surprised at the transformation that can occur.  And we need to take steps toward that transformation today.  Thank You for guiding us.  Thank You for Jesus’s inspired words in A Course of Love.

Amen.

We Are One with All

“This one brother can unite you with all whom you perceive as others, for all others are one with him as well as you.  This is the one joining that needs to occur to bring about all the rest.  (A Course of Love, 12.9)”

Fishing in Spring - van gogh
Affirmation:  “I love all my brothers and sisters.”

Reflections:

1 – Join with One = Join with All

When we come to truly join with one brother or sister, we have joined with all, for all are one.  We have learned how to love that special one (in a special relationship now turned holy–a concept from A Course in Miracles), and we can easily see the value and the way of transforming that love of one to all others.

2 – Love

It is not an ACIM or ACOL tenet, but we are actually loving another with the love that is inside of us.  The fact that the Self/Christ is within makes this so.  We love to the degree that the shades of illusion have been removed from our eyes.  We love to the degree that is not covered over by the insanity of our minds, the strong presence of the ego.

3 – The Ego

If the ego seems to be a devil figure, this is not an ACIM or ACOL tenet, but the concept to my own mind does follow logically.  But there is a difference.  Because the ego is a part of our belief about ourselves, it will be transformed but not extinguished when we come into our own, when the Self/Christ has been recognized and sustained as a way to live.

4 – All Unique

So loving one brother or sister can teach us to love all.  But this does not mean that we can substitute one individual for another.  We are all unique, and we elicit love of different sorts, depending on the facets of our personality that are reflected, as in a mirror.  (These are interpretations, not stated in ACIM or ACOL.)  Just as we recognize that we love our children, for example, differently but equally, we can transfer this knowledge to all others, for, as stated in the passage, we are all one.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for this good day.  At times I have truly felt myself to be One with the people whom I have met, especially those whom I already know.  But I have also felt a warmth toward all others I have encountered in my travels about.  Thank You for this blessing.

May I remember to express gratitude for the good things that happen, as soon as they happen as possible.  May my remembrance be keen in this regard.

We are all One, and when we realize this, the whole world seems to open up.  Thank You for the clarity of my world today.

Amen.

Living with Happiness and Love and Miracles

“Without your vigilance it [the ego] may even seem to have become stronger than before and fiercer in its criticism.  It pretends to hold you to new standards, only to use what you have learned to increase your guilt.  Thus it wins in daily battles and works for your final abdication, the day that you give up and admit defeat.  It challenges your right to happiness and love and miracles, and seeks only to have you claim that living with such fantasies does not work and will not ever be possible here.  (A Course of Love, 2.19)”

Affirmation:  “happiness and love and miracles”

Reflections:

1 – Reminiscent of ACIM

This passage reflects the attitude of A Course of Love in regard to the ego, an attitude that is in agreement with A Course in Miracles.  The ego was dislodged by our study of ACIM, and this previous reading was necessary as a precursor to A Course of Love.  (Mari Perron herself, the scribe, read A Course in Miracles seven times prior to channeling ACOL.)  But we need to go beyond just dislodging the ego, and that is, I believe, why Jesus channeled the later work, A Course of Love.  We need his definition fo “wholeheartedness” to replace the void that perhaps we have felt with no dependence on the ego.  We have to step forward and let the heart take over a bit from the mind.  We do not ignore the mind, but we combine the heart and the mind into what Jesus calls “wholeheartedness.”  So mind and heart work in conjunction with each other.

2 – Mind & Heart = Wholeheartedness

The paragraph above is a paraphrase of a good bit of what is told us in the opening pages of ACOL.  If we can keep these distinctions between mind and heart and wholeheartedness close to ourselves, we will come a long way toward understanding the new way of learning, dubbed “observation.”  But in this first volume of ACOL we are still learning in a somewhat anomalous way.

3 – The Ego = the Nemesis

As Jesus describes the ego, a part of our belief about ourselves, the ego sounds a lot like previous conceptions of the “devil.”  Yet all of this idea is internal.  There is not outer devil, in the understanding of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.  We do it all to ourselves (though we do not blame the victim, as the Self makes decisions that the personal self knows not of).  We would recognize that in an egoic world, we cannot conceive of the good without the bad, God without the devil.  And this is also madness.  But it is the way that our minds work.  We need to better than this, and we can when we study ACIM and ACOL.

4 – Into the Time of Christ

We do have a right to happiness, love, and miracles.  And we would do well to step forward to claim that right.  The Christ within us, the Self, will guide us as we move beyond the time of the Holy Spirit, into the time of Christ.

5 – Move Forward

And may we move willingly, not clinging to the past because it is all that we have known.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would spend today being sweeter, and this means that I look aside from the ego.  I don’t resist the ego, for that would increase its power in my life–but I just turn away, focusing on the love that is at the center of my being.  I focus on the Self/Christ that is internal to me.  I focus on the happiness and love and miracles that are mine to choose.  And they are mine to choose.  We do not have to live a paltry life.  Glorious blessings are our birthright.

Be with me today as I seek to be a sweeter person.  That is all that one member of my family ever asked of me, and I have remembered his blessing fondly.  His desire was in stark contrast to the push to “succeed” and to “achieve” that everyone else in my family wanted.

But You want us only to follow Your pathway, and Your pathway is a way of ease and the cessation of difficulty.  You will lead us to every miracle that You have saved for us.  Our health can improve daily, our dispositions as well.  And we can be the sweet creatures that You, too, want us to be.

Amen.