IV. Error and the Ego, P 1
1 The abilities you now possess are only shadows of your real strength. All of your present functions are divided and open to question and doubt. This is because you are not certain how you will use them, and are therefore incapable of knowledge. You are also incapable of knowledge because you can still perceive lovelessly. Perception did not exist until the separation introduced degrees, aspects and intervals. Spirit has no levels, and all conflict arises from the concept of levels. Only the Levels of the Trinity are capable of Unity. The levels created by the separation cannot but conflict. This is because they are meaningless to each other.
I can really relate to what Jesus is saying in this paragraph. At those moments when my will is undivided I feel certain and have no doubts. I cannot imagine feeling any other way or believing differently. It is all so clear. At those moments I am joyful in a way that never happens otherwise, and joyful for no apparent reason. Nothing that is happening is the cause of this joy and so nothing that is happening can affect it. I feel like Wonder Woman of the spiritual world. Ego? What ego? I fear no ego. I laugh at the idea of ego.
In this state of certainty no matter what the body’s eyes show me I see with true Vision. I see the person in front of me through the eyes of love. I want to enfold that one before me in unquestioning love. Because in those moments there is no conflicting thought in my mind to project, I see nothing but love everywhere I look. What might have triggered fear in me at another time now only leaves me curious.
I cannot yet sustain this state. The reason is because I still choose between the two voices, and if I am choosing sometimes I choose ego. I remain unconvinced that I want only my true will, the will I share with God. As long as my will remains divided, the world I see remains divided and I experience the effects of separation. I see levels because where there is division there are degrees, aspects and intervals. And choices. And uncertainty and doubt. And fear.
I have already described what it feels like when I choose with God. The sense of certainty is Heaven. When I choose with ego I am filled with doubts, uncertainty, and fear. I look on the whole world as my enemy. I am in competition with everyone. I wonder what I should do in each circumstance and separation makes it impossible to choose with any degree of confidence. It all shifts and changes so inconsistently that I cannot possibly outguess it each time.
Because I see the world fragmented into separate parts I cannot choose with love because love is whole. I am always defending myself and so I look without love at my attackers. Does this seem extreme? Even those I love beyond reason, I see as different from me and so my love of that one is limited. I compete with that one and defend against that one even as I seek to defend her. I use justifications to further divide the relationship. If she behaves this way, I am justified in attacking her. But if she behaves in that way, I will offer her my love.
It is all too confusing and too impossible. There is nothing to depend on, no solid footing in this world of separation. There are too many choices and with each added division there is more conflict. It is like being at war every day, no, every minute of every day. Everyone is my enemy at some time, even my most beloved ones, and I never know when they will become enemy. Maybe they will make me mad; maybe I will make them mad. How do we live like this?
When I have sunk deeply into the ego mind, I forget how easy it is to choose differently. Late yesterday, I followed an ego thought into the maze and got lost there for awhile. Fortunately, I have left indicators behind from other forays into the jungle of the ego mind, signs to help me remember the way out, breadcrumbs, if you will.
The signs say, “Help is always available.” “You are not alone.” “You are loved, and you are loving.” “Ask Holy Spirit to help you” “You are as God created you.” “In your defenselessness your safety lies.” With each loveless thought, there is a sign to direct me to my right mind. The ego mind has its own depressing signs. They say things like, “You are trapped here with no way out.” “You are guilty.” “You are so guilty no one could love you, certainly not God.” “This is your refuge from God.” “Stay with me and you will win. You will be king of your mountain.” “There are just too many choices. Just give up.”
They are all lies, of course. It can cause temporary confusion in my mind, but the allure is gone now so eventually I always come out of it. You would think that the contrast between unquestioned love and the hateful, confusing option of ego would be enough to settle the issue for good. But the thing is, I don’t stay in either place too long, but in some muddled middle ground where I look first to God then to ego then back to God. It is not pleasant, but not exactly hell either. Sort of like purgatory, I think. Just shy of so bad I am driven to God.
I know, right? Insane. But the good news is that each time I sit in certainty, each time I feel that love (which I know is but a shadow of the real thing) I am more reluctant to return to egoland. It is beginning to lose its gloss. How many times can I choose between love and fear and still keep believing that I want fear more than I want love?
So I continue to notice the signs I have chosen ego again, and then I make a better choice. I ask the Holy Spirit to correct me and to purify my mind. Each time I do this I bring myself closer to full acceptance and to the day that I am done with choices. The ego is wrong. It is not impossible, not even hard. It is simple and I am learning to be patient with myself as I choose again and again until there is nothing to choose between.