“This is why the ego is insane; it teaches that you are not what you are. This is so contradictory that it is clearly impossible.” …A Course in Miracles
The above quote introduces us to the cause of all of humanity’s problems. Oh, I realize that’s a bold claim – but nevertheless, I’m going to stick with it. I can hear all the sighs of disappointment and grumblings of frustration from those who cannot accept the simplicity of such a statement. Most people can’t accept simple solutions for they’re caught up in the complexity and confusion of this world.
As always, this is my perception of the way I see it. You’re free to take it or leave it; it’s all up to you. Albert Einstein once said; “If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.” There you have it; that’s why I’m sticking to the simple solutions. I need to be able to explain my ideas to, at least, a six year old.
Before I say anymore I’d like to let the Course explain just what the ego is: “The ego is idolatry— the sign of limited and separated self, born in a body, doomed to suffer and to end its life in death… The ego is the ‘proof’ that strength is weak and love is fearful, life is really death, and what opposes God alone is true.”
Wow! That description seems to fit perfectly into the vision we hold of ourselves. Most of us see ourselves as being limited and living our own separated lives. And we know it’s certain that we’re born in a body, mostly to suffer, and in the end to die. And whether we feel like admitting it, or not, most of us are afraid of Love. It seems to me like a perfect description of of those who have chosen to see the flesh and not recognize the Spirit.
The ego is idolatry
Well now, that’s a bold claim too. But then again, anything that doesn’t fit into the box we’ve built around our beliefs, seems to us to be bold, and more often than not, “out of left field,” as they say. The meaning of idolatry seems to be the worship of something other than God. Now before you get your knickers all in a knot let me say that I’m not turning religious on you. That’s not what this is about. The last thing I am is religious. I’m all for what Life is – Love, Joy & Happiness.
The Course tells us that the ego is idolatry, and I believe the reason why this is so is found in the opening quote I used: “It teaches that you are not what you are.” The French Jesuit priest and philosopher, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin taught, “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” The Course teaches pretty well the same thing. And I’ve decided to accept this, because it’s the only thing that makes sense in this world. The ego, however, teaches that nothing could be further from the truth than that. It teaches that what I can see in a mirror is all there is to me – that’s it. Therefore, it tries to teach me that I’m something other that what I believe I am, and that is idolatry.
You have no problems, though you think you have
The above heading is a quote from A Course in Miracles, and it’s another pretty bold claim; don’t you think? Some people may see it as even beyond bold; they may find it so far-fetched that it borders on ridiculous. I mean, who in this world doesn’t have problems? The answer to that is, no one – if you’re in this world then you have problems. But that’s exactly the point, you can only be in this world if you’re a physical being – and even that is an illusion.
Every entity that’s born into this world is, as the Course points out, doomed to suffer and to end its life in death. There are no exceptions to this, for even though some suffer a lot less than others the ending in death is certain for all. That’s why it’s important to choose to recognize the Spirit. For if you choose to see yourself as Pierre Teilhard de Chardin taught, a Spiritual being having a human experience, then you begin to understand that this experience is no more than a dream.
Even though Spiritual teachers refer to physical experiences as dreams, they’re not exactly the same as the literal dreams we all have every night. That being said, they are the same in one important respect; they’re not real – that’s why they’re dreams. The Course points out that they “are woven out of thoughts that rest on false perception.” Which explains the idea of having no problems, though we think we have. All our problems exist only in our minds and are based on false perception.
All Problems Are One
I said that my opening quote introduces us to the cause of all of humanity’s problems. And I’d like to shine a bit of light on what I meant. The quote informs us that the ego teaches that you are not what you are. Now I ask you; how could that be; how could you not be what you are? Obviously it’s an impossibility, but nevertheless, most people believe it.
Most people listen to the ego’s teaching that they are a limited and separated self, in other words, they believe they are separated from their Source. And right here in this one false belief lie all problems – every single one of them. For even though it is, in reality, impossible to be separated from our Source, think what happens when we believe it to be the case. In our minds we find ourselves alone, vulnerable and powerless against the universe. In a setting such as this the world becomes an unforgiving and harsh environment where fear and negativity rule.
Just One Need
Because we humans have but one problem even though it’s perceived in many different forms, we have but one need. That one problem, as stated above, is the belief in separation – in being separated from the Source of all Creation. Therefore, the one and only need is to find a way to change this false belief, and reconnect with our Source.
“How much do you desire peace instead of endless strife and misery and pain…?Forgiveness is your peace, for herein lies the END OF SEPARATION...” …ACIM.
Well it seems that finding a way to change it may not be that mysterious after all. According to the above bit of information from The Course, forgiveness seems to be the solution. And now a question seems to present itself; who or what are we to forgive? The answer to that is, everything and everyone, but most of all ourselves. And now another question may rear its head; what am I to forgive myself for? The answer to that is, for dreaming dreams of endless strife and misery and pain. Forgiveness in this context means to let go of all those negative ego thoughts of sickness, pain, sorrow and suffering, and to allow Spiritual thoughts based on Love to take their place.
I’m going to close this post with another quote from The Course: “Forgiveness cannot be for one and not the other. Who forgives is healed. And in his healing lies the proof that he has truly pardoned and retains no trace of condemnation that he still would hold against himself or any living thing.”