II. The End of Doubt, P 3
3 How long can it take to be where God would have you? For you are where you have forever been and will forever be. All that you have, you have forever. The blessed instant reaches out to encompass time, as God extends Himself to encompass you. You who have spent days, hours and even years in chaining your brothers to your ego in an attempt to support it and uphold its weakness, do not perceive the Source of strength. In this holy instant, you will unchain all your brothers, and refuse to support either their weakness or your own.
I seem to be in this coma dreaming I am a body among other bodies, existing for a while, vacillating between pleasure and pain, and then dying. But really, I am in God this very moment. I am studying and practicing this Course because I want to be awakened from this dream. I want to return my mind to its natural state of blissful awareness. Just as the holy instant reaches out to encompass time and thus it undoes the illusion of time, God extends Himself to encompass me and thus undoes the illusion of separate individual selves. It takes no time at all to return to our God state of awareness because there is no time. The Course gives us many ways to ease us out of our present state of delusion. Here, Jesus talks about one of those ways.
Jesus says that I chained my brothers to my ego in an attempt to uphold its weakness. How do I do that? Here is one way I used to do that. When I was married, I used to show my husband how much he hurt me with his actions and words in an attempt to change him. This was a way that I chained him to my ego. I was teaching him that he was not enough as he was, that he had to be different to be ok. And at the same time, I was teaching myself that I needed him to uphold me, to do something to make me ok. I was making the ego stronger in my mind when I did this.
Another way I did this was to call attention to illness when it occurred in me. If I had a migraine, I would tell my kids so they could feel sorry for me and give me expressions of love. I used it in other ways as well, a way to get out of doing things I didn’t want to do, for instance. In using migraines this way, I was making the ego stronger in me and I was binding others with my ego needs and teaching them that sickness was real and could be used for the purpose of receiving love. When I recognized this behavior and stopped doing it, the migraines went away, as I had no use for them anymore.
Nowadays, I don’t do this very much, and when I do, it is subtler, and sometimes never leaves my mind. The last time I did this, I joined a support group and did the work required in that group. Then I told someone I love about what I had done. It was a way to manipulate him, to say, “Here, this is how it works, how you need to do it.” And maybe it was also to inflict a little guilt if he didn’t do it. Why did I do this? Was it for his own good? That would be the ego story, but really, it was to make my ego-self feel better about things, to stop the worry associated with ego fear. When I noticed what I was doing and saw my motive clearly, I confessed and we laughed about it. I don’t want to do anything to make the ego stronger or to bind someone to my ego. “In this holy instant you will unchain all your brothers, and refuse to support either their weakness or your own.”