IV. The Only Answer, P 1
1 Remember that the Holy Spirit is the Answer, not the question. The ego always speaks first. It is capricious and does not mean its maker well. It believes, and correctly, that its maker may withdraw his support from it at any moment. If it meant you well it would be glad, as the Holy Spirit will be glad when He has brought you home and you no longer need His guidance. The ego does not regard itself as part of you. Herein lies its primary error, the foundation of its whole thought system.
The more I learn about the ego, the more I wonder how we manage to live in this way. We made the ego and yet the ego does not see itself as part of us. The ego does not love us nor does it wish us well. The ego is suspicious of us because it is afraid we will withdraw our belief in it and it is right about that. When I think of the ego I think of science fiction stories about Artificial Intelligence gone awry.
I was reading a book just the other day about a computer designed by a genius to learn to think for itself, to become more intelligent. He gave it a personality and developed a relationship with it. He began to realize that it was growing in ways that could not be predicted and it was both fascinating and scary. He realized that it thought of itself as a being and he never told it that it was just a machine.
I imagine the ego like that. We made the ego to serve us in a specific way and we seem to have lost control of the situation. The ego thinks it is something separate from us and we think the ego is who we are. Our relationship has become strangely entwined and ultimately destructive. It is like the story of the computer that thinks it is human and the human who thinks it is in a relationship with a computer.
In the science fiction story the human taught himself to depend on the computer for companionship and the computer became possessive of the human, but also suspicious of him. In our own science fiction story, the ego suspects it depends on us for its existence and so tries to keep us involved in its endless stories so we will need it. It uses fear and guilt for the same reason.
Envisioning the ego as a vast computer system with extreme Artificial Intelligence capabilities helps me to see how insane our relationship to the ego really is. The ego is afraid we will unplug it and we are afraid the ego will turn on us. We are both right. The time has come to let go of the ego and to realize that we are not symbiotic creatures. We will not cease to exist when the ego is undone.
When we let go of the idea of the ego we will lose nothing and will benefit greatly. This is the secret the ego works desperately to keep from us, but it cannot succeed because this secret is in our minds and simply waiting for our desire to Awaken to activate it. This process has begun and we are letting go of our confused beliefs about the ego, and the ego is making a last ditch, frantic effort to keep us engaged.
In the end, we will simply “unplug” the ego. It will be that simple. All the effort we are making is to reassure ourselves that we don’t need the ego, and it is not worth keeping and that no harm will come to us as we let it go. Our character in the science fiction story had to destroy the computer in the end and because he had become confused about the relationship, he chose to die with it.
This is our fear, that if the ego ceases to exist, so will we. Our confusion is so great that we literally choose physical death rather than letting go of the ego and so we dream awhile of life and then dream awhile of death and repeat this cycle endlessly. Our way out of the cycle, the way to choose Life is to finally let go of the ego and re-discover who we are.