III. Love Without Conflict, P 3
3 It is surely apparent by now why the ego regards spirit as its “enemy.” The ego arose from the separation, and its continued existence depends on your continuing belief in the separation. The ego must offer you some sort of reward for maintaining this belief. All it can offer is a sense of temporary existence, which begins with its own beginning and ends with its own ending. It tells you this life is your existence because it is its own. Against this sense of temporary existence spirit offers you the knowledge of permanence and unshakeable being. No one who has experienced the revelation of this can ever fully believe in the ego again. How can its meager offering to you prevail against the glorious gift of God?
I am spirit. I know this is true because I am told this by Jesus in A Course in Miracles and I trust the source. I have had experiences that help me to believe this is true. But I don’t live that knowledge of permanence and unshakeable being that Jesus talks about. The experience I have had of it does keep me from fully believing in my other identity, the ego. So I live this shadow existence where I switch identities, sometimes knowing myself as spirit and sometimes mistaking myself for this body I call Myron.
My spirit identity is such a happy place to be. It is peaceful and loving and while I am there I cannot imagine being anywhere else. But then I become afraid of losing Myron and so I allow my mind to stray to guilt or fear and I am catapulted right back into that body/personality that is the ego. And what is the ego’s enticement? How does it lure me back? What could be more tantalizing than happiness, peace and love?
I’m thinking . . . ~smile~
Jesus says that the ego offers me temporary existence. That hardly seems enough. Well, I think it uses guilt and fear to convince me that this existence is the only thing that stands between me and annihilation. It offers me a place to hide from my Creator. It tells me that I made a really bad mistake and now I am in trouble, but not to worry, it has a place for me to hide. God would never recognize me in this disguise as a body living a temporary life in a world wrought with danger.
Well, the ego’s got that right! I don’t even recognize me. I really believe I am this frail and vulnerable creature, and I find the idea that I am holy, that I lack nothing, that I could never be sick, suffer or die, that I am part of God . . . well, just ludicrous. And yet, there is a little spark, a light that I cannot explain away. It burns in my mind and will not be extinguished. As I undo the ego beliefs, a little at a time, that light flares to life and I do dare to believe in the identity Jesus says is mine.
As I remember the truth I don’t turn from the ego identity, it just isn’t there anymore. I feel so happy to just be! I am so full of gratitude that it bursts from my heart and my lips in words and kindnesses and a joy I don’t know how to explain or what to do with. I want to share it and I long for everyone to have it. I write. I listen with compassion. I hug. I forgive unconditionally. I do what I can to give what I have. I must give it because that is the nature of love; it must flow.
And then just when I think I will burst from my ego existence forever, I scare myself back into the body story again. I’m small and safe from all this glory. I’m just little me and no one expects much so I can’t fail, at least no more than usual. I’m not good but I’m a lot better than others so I won’t be noticed. Jeez, it’s stifling in here.
How did I get back here? I was thinking about what I said to my sister in law and worrying that it was the wrong thing. I don’t think I was listening to guidance. I am so damned guilty! Guilty of not listening. Guilty for hurting her feelings. Guilty, guilty, guilty! No wonder I am hiding out in ego land. No wonder I am afraid to face God. I think it always happens like this. I think guilt is at the core of all things ego.
Here is the thing. I know the magic words to open the prison doors. Nope, its not abracadabra. It’s, “Reveal to me my innocence.” I know. It doesn’t seem like it could be so easy. But that’s it. That prayer, coupled with complete sincerity and willingness, dissolves ego doubts and uncertainties like sugar in water. Here I am, God, shower me with my innocence. Rain it down on me! I will soak it up and it will permeate my mind and bring me back to my senses. I am innocent. You are innocent. There is only innocence. All else is an ego illusion. “Reveal to me my innocence, God!”