I. Right Teaching and Right Learning, P 13 Cont.
13 I will substitute for your ego if you wish, but never for your spirit. A father can safely leave a child with an elder brother who has shown himself responsible, but this involves no confusion about the child’s origin. The brother can protect the child’s body and his ego, but he does not confuse himself with the father because he does this. I can be entrusted with your body and your ego only because this enables you not to be concerned with them, and lets me teach you their unimportance. I could not understand their importance to you if I had not once been tempted to believe in them myself. Let us undertake to learn this lesson together so we can be free of them together. I need devoted teachers who share my aim of healing the mind. Remember this:
In this world you need not have tribulation because I have overcome the world. That is why you should be of good cheer.
I want to talk about this paragraph a little more before we move on. I feel like Jesus placed a diamond in this field of words and I am just now discovering it. I am amazed that in the past I have just casually read through this paragraph and never noticed how important it was. Of course that is because I did not want to notice it. Jesus says that he can substitute for my ego. He says that he can be entrusted with my body and my ego only because this enables me not to be concerned with them, and lets him teach me their unimportance.
Has anyone reading this ever tried this? I mean, have you ever read this as if it were true and decided to let Jesus replace your ego? I know we do this in many little ways as we practice the Course. Every time I am mindful of my thoughts and ask that a dark thought be healed, I am entrusting my ego to Jesus. Every time I surrender my own plans and my own decisions I am entrusting my ego to Jesus.
When I experience sickness or some other body thing and I become willing to see it differently I am entrusting my body to Jesus. When I choose to let him guide me through a body situation instead of resorting to magical remedies I am entrusting my body to him. But have you ever made a decision to simply allow Jesus to replace the ego, to fully entrust your body and ego to him? When I think of this I am . . . I don’t know what I am. I feel light. I feel like crying in relief. I feel something I have trouble putting into words. Not exactly excitement, but happy anticipation, maybe. I feel a shift coming on!
I think the reason this is different is that ever since I started this study of the Text with Jesus I have been acting like I don’t know anything about it, at least as much as I can. I am reading it with new eyes, and with his help. I am taking him at his word, as if he means everything he says. So when he says that he can take the place of the ego for me, I believe this is true. I am committed to letting him do this, and there is more conviction in my commitment than before.
On the other hand, the ego is still in the game. It keeps making objections and I am aware of them. Sometimes it is little stuff, like this. When I got into my car yesterday evening I automatically turned on a novel I am listening to. It is at an exciting part and even though I was not going to drive too far, I really wanted to listen to it.
The ego says, “What if hanging with Jesus means you can’t listen to your trashy novels anymore? No more vampire stories. You should turn this off right now if you are serious about this whole thing.” The ego likes to cause trouble and stir things up. But what I noticed in my mind was a flinching from the idea of giving up my novels. I thought, “Are my novels more important to me than the peace of God?”
This caused doubt and fear in me and I knew that it was not the Holy Spirit speaking to me. I set aside the whole issue and rested my mind in God. Then from that more peaceful place I asked for guidance and clarity. Jesus told me that the ego wants me to think salvation is the sacrifice and that is not true. He is leading me away from sacrifice and that my confusion comes from the fact that I have no way to judge what sacrifice really is.
Jesus asked me to trust him on this. That is why I am letting him take the place of my ego. He knows and he is trustworthy. He said that what he chooses for me will feel right and good to me so not to worry about it. He reminded me that this has happened before when we collaborated and I do remember how easy and seamless it was. There really was not a sense of sacrifice. It simply became what I wanted.
I am ready to see what today brings. Yesterday was 90% peaceful, with only a few ego waves to disturb my calm. It was effortless, as I just went along for the ride. I could get used to this!