VI. From Vigilance to Peace, P 4
4 The ego cannot afford to know anything. Knowledge is total, and the ego does not believe in totality. This unbelief is its origin, and while the ego does not love you it is faithful to its own antecedents, begetting as it was begotten. Mind always reproduces as it was produced. Produced by fear, the ego reproduces fear. This is its allegiance, and this allegiance makes it treacherous to love because you are love. Love is your power, which the ego must deny. It must also deny everything this power gives you because it gives you everything. No one who has everything wants the ego. Its own maker, then, does not want it. Rejection is therefore the only decision the ego could possibly encounter, if the mind that made it knew itself. And if it recognized any part of the Sonship, it would know itself.
Some paragraphs have several ideas that I can look at with Holy Spirit. This is one of them. It begins by telling me that the ego cannot afford to know anything. This is because Knowledge is total and the ego doesn’t believe in totality. I suppose this should not be news to me, but I hadn’t thought of it that way. The whole point for the ego is to allow the idea of separation to be experienced, so if it cannot know wholeness or totality, or it could not be ego. The bottom line is, ego is not where I would want to go to for knowledge because it does not know anything.
The ego begets as it was begotten is another idea that I am seeing more clearly this morning. The ego was produced by fear so it reproduces fear. If I am feeling fearful about something, it will do me no good to check in with ego for a solution even though I do this sometimes, at least briefly until I catch myself. The ego will not give me comfort or a real solution because it was not created in love. It will only give me fearful thoughts and solutions that lead to more fear.
All of my life I have been a problem-solver. If something is going wrong, I look at the options and choose the one most likely to fix the problem, then I get busy. This process always made me feel like I was in control. I still solve my problems in the same way, but there is a difference now. Here is an example. If I am concerned about income, in the past I would look for ways to decrease expenses or increase income, or perhaps the problem calls for a defensive strategy. Then I would get busy making it happen.
Now if I am concerned about finances, I look at my thoughts about lack and loss and I ask Holy Spirit to heal my mind and show me how to see this problem differently. The difference is that I no longer ask the ego for help. First, it doesn’t know anything, and second, it only begets fear because that is how it was begotten. None of its solutions will fix the problem. Using the ego will sometimes change the form of the problem, but no healing has transpired so the problem will reoccur and I will be left with more fear than ever.
Another idea from this paragraph is that the ego is against me always because it cannot afford to be for me. The ego is made from fear and I am created in Love. There is no common ground between the two. Fear cannot act in love and love has no use for fear. As my Self, as Love, I have no use for the ego. Love is whole and complete and safe. What use would I have for ego if I remembered who I was? My very being is a threat to ego’s existence. For its own preservation it must always strive to keep me from knowing my Self.
The last sentence is the one that grabs my attention the most. Jesus is telling us that we would reject the ego if we knew who we are. Then he says this: “And if it recognized any part of the Sonship, it would know itself.” The mind that made the ego will know itself as soon as it recognizes any part of the Sonship. I don’t know what to say about that.
I understand it intellectually, of course, but I don’t know how that feels. I have no experience of it, so I don’t really understand it. It is my goal to recognize some part of the Sonship for what it is. I don’t care where that happens. I don’t care if I see Christ in my mirror or in my precious child, or in the homeless person on the street. I just want to know my self and I understand that my self can be known through knowing any part of it.
PS: Jesus is teaching us that true giving is the same as receiving. I’m going to stick with the idea of giving money. If I give you money as an expression of love, and if I know that money is just a thought made manifest and so cannot be limited, I can give truly. In fact, as I give without thought of loss and with a loving heart, I receive that lesson and it is strengthened in me. As I give I receive. This is the truth in every circumstance. If I give love I receive love, and love takes many forms. It might be my time or my understanding, or just my willingness to hear your story.
It works the other way, too. If I give through projecting my fear onto you, I receive that as well. Jesus says that giving is how we keep something. This is a hard lesson for us to learn because we setup this world just so that we could give away what we don’t want and convince ourselves that we no longer have it. Separation makes it easy to believe that I lose something when I give it away. But we must learn to undo what we did, and these lessons are helping us to do that. I may or may not believe that giving is gaining when I first do the lessons but Jesus told us we don’t have to believe, we only have to do them.
Having done so, I can testify that they work as he promised. I do understand that giving is how I keep something. I know this is true because I have allowed my mind to be healed to the point that I have been able to prove it to myself. I still forget this lesson and need to remind myself, but I always do so. Right now, today, I am going to remember all day long that I really want my brother to be happy. I want him to be peaceful and joyful and I want this to be my gift to him. All I need to do to make this happen is to not want anything else for him.
All weekend I teach A Course in Miracles. I am working with people who have a grasp on these principles and who truly want to learn this. It is very pleasant and uplifting. This morning I will go to work and the atmosphere is different. I have a choice. I can let the ego thinking that will be all around me pull me down. I can react to what goes on giving as I get and so teach myself loss, anger, fear, defensiveness. Or I can ask Holy Spirit to work through me to lift everyone else up. Whatever I teach I learn. What I give, I receive. How I feel at the end of the day will tell me which I chose to do.