II. The Ego and False Autonomy, P 4
4 Think of the love of animals for their offspring, and the need they feel to protect them. That is because they regard them as part of themselves. No one dismisses something he considers part of himself. You react to your ego much as God does to His creations,-with love, protection and charity. Your reactions to the self you made are not surprising. In fact, they resemble in many ways how you will one day react to your real creations, which are as timeless as you are. The question is not how you respond to the ego, but what you believe you are. Belief is an ego function, and as long as your origin is open to belief you are regarding it from an ego viewpoint. When teaching is no longer necessary you will merely know God. Belief that there is another way of perceiving is the loftiest idea of which ego thinking is capable. That is because it contains a hint of recognition that the ego is not the Self.
I think that the ego is part of me, just another facet of myself, and that is the reason I am so reluctant to let it go. As long as I regard the ego as a part of me I will love it and defend it. This explains why it is so difficult for me to see it as not real. Loving and defending the ego is a hard job though because it is so unlovable and is in need of constant defense. Looking at the ego in this way keeps me in conflict, which is a very painful way to live. I am conflicted as I ask the Holy Spirit to heal my mind of ego beliefs and at the same time I defend my ego against this healing.
Jesus said he would substitute for my ego and he said that I could entrust my ego and my body to him. When I do this I am so at peace, and so happy! But I notice that in spite of the joy this gives me, I return to listening to the ego instead. I do this over and over during the day. Jesus has told me that he teaches through contrast, and, oh my goodness, but this is very apparent as I see the difference in listening to the Holy Spirit as opposed to listening to the ego. I listen to the Holy Spirit as he interprets my world and I am peaceful and happy. I listen to the ego as it interprets the world and I am suspicious and defensive. Why on earth, would I continue to choose the ego as my guide?
Jesus says the reason I do this is because I think of the ego as part of me and so I am protective of it. This will continue as long as I think that what I am is open to belief. Jesus says that I am created by God as part of God and this cannot be altered. I believe I did alter myself when I made the ego to take the place of God’s creation. I think that believing this to be true, makes it true. Clearly, this is insane.
I know a little about insanity. I used to be married to a man who qualified. His ego was a paranoid schizophrenic. He heard voices no one else heard. His voices were as real to him as any voice you and I hear during the day. He was constantly defending his ego from everyone who wanted to give him medicine to make it go away. I saw him as suspicious to the point of paranoia. He saw himself as attacked on all sides. He believed in his “self” and so thought it was real.
It was clear to me that he was mistaken about who he thought he was and that his belief in this confused self did not make it real. I knew that if he would just give in and take the medicine he would see that what he believed was wrong. He would then know what I knew, that believing in his voices did not make them real. I wonder if Jesus sees me, in the same way, I saw my ex-husband.
I hear a voice in my head, too. It is the ego, which is just as made-up as are the voices my ex heard. I believe in my voice, too, because it seems so real to me. I think that because I believe in the self I made, that is enough to make it real. There is not so much difference between my ex and me as I used to think there was. I defend my made-up self just as fiercely as he did his self, and my defense does not make my ego self real any more than defending his ego self-made it real to him.
Jesus will substitute for that ego voice in my head if I will simply allow him to do so. I only need to stop defending against his help. My ex-husband could have made the voices go away with medicine if only he would have questioned his belief in them enough to allow himself to take the pills. I can stop listening to that voice in my head if I will question its reality enough to accept the Holy Spirit’s “medicine.” There is an alternative Voice in my mind that will heal the confusion I live with all the time. It will return me to sanity and to Reality.