VII. Creation and Communication, P 2
2 Everything the ego perceives is a separate whole, without the relationships that imply being. The ego is thus against communication, except insofar as it is utilized to establish separateness rather than to abolish it. The communication system of the ego is based on its own thought system, as is everything else it dictates. Its communication is controlled by its need to protect itself, and it will disrupt communication when it experiences threat. This disruption is a reaction to a specific person or persons. The specificity of the ego’s thinking, then, results in spurious generalization which is really not abstract at all. It merely responds in certain specific ways to everything it perceives as related.
The ego is only interested in protecting itself and that means to keep the idea of separation going. It will attack anything or anyone who threatens this idea. The separation idea includes many ideas such as specialness, guilt, fear, and rage. Thus the ego will protect against spirit when spirit moves away from these ideas. Also, the ego will judge each situation separately as if they are each discreet and have nothing to do with each other. That is part of the belief in separation. And further, in each case the ego establishes the truth according to its specific needs in that moment.
Knowing its goals and its means, it is easy to see that the ego is not interested in communication as a way of joining, but only as it can be used to separate and thus maintain the idea of ego. The moment we choose to communicate as love, the ego idea ceases to exist. So the ego discourages this kind of communication using fear tactics. It tells us that fear is our protection and that all safety lies in separateness. It encourages us to build defenses against others for our own good.
In order for this to work the ego must keep us deeply involved in the story. Take the situation with Syria. The ego says that we need defenses against this country. There are specific reasons and at first glance it could seem very reasonable. The Course says attack is never justified. But ego says it depends on the circumstances. It is easy to see how the ego works. It makes up the rules as it goes along so that its choices are always justified. It makes different rules for different situations and this keeps our minds so mired in the complexities of it that we cannot find our way out as long as we continue to listen to the ego.
What if in every situation we knew that attack, anger, fear and guilt are never justified? No matter what seems to be happening, no matter whose fault it seems to be, no matter what the circumstances seem to suggest, attack, anger, fear and guilt are never justified. If we knew that these reactions are out the door, what would we do? How would we think? What would we communicate if we had no interest in communicating hatred and fear? If we were not busy isolating through defense and attack, would we then join through love and acceptance?
The ego fights with every weapon at its disposal to keep these questions unanswered. It is not interested in union, only in separation. It uses its biggest guns which always involves fear. If we don’t stop them what comes next? What other horrible thing will they do? Will they do it to us? Ego uses righteousness as a defense. What if we hadn’t stepped in when the Nazis were destroying the Jews? What if we had stepped in sooner? Thinking about this the mind can easily move into fear and doubt. We might begin to think that maybe the ego is right in this case. And this is the way the ego keeps separation going.
Egos biggest deterrent is the belief that we are these bodies and this story we are living is actually our life. As long as it can keep this idea alive, it has us. This is the sticking point. If I am this body I must defend it. If this is my life then what happens in it is of the greatest concern to me. My purpose is to wake up from the dream of separation, to forgive all I have made to take the place of reality, and to return my mind to its rightful place with God. If I think I am a body and this life is real, that purpose makes no sense and I will throw it out the window the moment the body is threatened.