C 8: II. The Difference Between Imprisonment and Freedom, P 1

II. The Difference Between Imprisonment and Freedom, P 1

1 There is a rationale for choice. Only one Teacher knows what your reality is. If learning to remove the obstacles to that knowledge is the purpose of the curriculum, you must learn it of Him. The ego does not know what it is trying to teach. It is trying to teach you what you are without knowing what you are. It is expert only in confusion. It does not understand anything else. As a teacher, then, the ego is totally confused and totally confusing. Even if you could disregard the Holy Spirit entirely, which is impossible, you could still learn nothing from the ego, because the ego knows nothing.


Every time I think that I know what to do and so don’t check in with my Inner Guide, I have chosen to ask ego. It took me awhile to figure that out. It was as if there was a third choice, as if there was the Holy Spirit, ego and me. That was a mistake. There is only ego and Spirit. Before ACIM, I was almost completely identified with ego. I did believe in my soul, but I believed that I (ego/body) had a soul, not that I was my soul. Now I am more identified with spirit and so listen more to Holy Spirit than to ego.

Holy Spirit is the Voice for God, the memory of all that is true. The ego is confused and confusing and knows nothing. When I ask ego I become confused as well, and the more I turn to ego the more I become identified with ego. In my confusion I think I am ego, or to put it more clearly, I think that I am the one who is this body and this personality, and that this is my life. I think I live and move and have my being in this body and this world.

Not only does this take me further away from my true self and my real life in God, it leaves me uncertain of everything and doubtful of my very existence. I cannot be happy if I choose to learn from the ego because the ego doesn’t know anything about happiness. It only knows to offer me endless choices without regard to the actual outcome.

The ego will say that I am unhappy because I am lonely. I make arrangements to be with people. Then the ego says I am unhappy because these are the wrong people. In the next breath it says I am unhappy because I am with people and I prefer to be alone. All its advice is like this. The more attention I pay to the ego chatter in my mind, the more obvious it becomes that there is nothing but contradictory and unhelpful information there.

If I am lonely and I ask Holy Spirit what He wants me to know about this, I will be given thoughts that are helpful. I will remember, or be directed to something that helps me to remember, that loneliness is impossible because I am part of everything. How could I be lonely? Remembering this, I ask Holy Spirit to correct my perception, because obviously I am thinking with the wrong mind.

As my perception is corrected, my mind is healed of the belief in loneliness and the feeling of loneliness is gone. There is no confusion in this, no contradiction. The truth of the matter is revealed and with my acceptance of it, the problem is resolved for me. This is a very different outcome. The ego wants me to try this and try that and it wants the trying to be endless so that I never get around to questioning the legitimacy of the ego as teacher. The Holy Spirit wants only to heal so that I will be happy.

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