A Course in Miracles Blog

Seeing through the hierarchy of illusions and the ego's automatic reactions of severity

  • By Paul West
  • In Ego, Illusion, Perception
  • 502 Words
  • 2 minutes 30 seconds
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Seeing through the hierarchy of illusions and the ego's automatic reactions of severity

A few years ago, my wife was diagnosed with cancer and had to have surgery.

At the time, this seemed like a big threat. This is because I believed in the hierarchy of illusions, and so it seems like a big dangerous threatening problem.

My initial reaction to the news was actually that I almost fainted and had a panic attack. The perception that this was a serious external threat produced a lot of fear.

During the time at the hospital when she was having surgery, I felt very afraid. It took longer than expected which didn't help, and I felt very nervous about whether she was even going to make it through the surgery in one piece.

My mind started to become flooded with ego fear thoughts. I of course tried to "battle" with these and convince myself that they weren't true or that something else was true, like that she was going to be ok. But it was hard. I prayed fervently and raged at God demanding that He make sure she was ok.

The problem was, I couldn't stop having these fearful thoughts, which were coming in thick and fast. I tried to not think them but couldn't. But then something suddenly occurred to me.

In the midst of the ego "revealing" itself in the open, and showing its viciousness, it inadvertently exposed itself a bit too much. It seemed like it was trying to make me upset on purpose, and some part of me saw this as unnecessary. I realized that the hierarchy of illusions was dictating to me "how much reaction" I should have.

Given the cancer seemed like a big serious external threat, it appeared to correspond that I would have a "big reaction" to that perception. The two went hand in hand. Big problem, big reaction. The moment I saw this, it suddenly dawned on me that I was ONLY having this big insurmountable reaction because the problem seemed so big. And moreso, that I was the one perceiving it to be a big serious problem, causing this fear to erupt.

What this taught me is that I don't HAVE to have the level of reaction that the hierarchy of illusions dictates. I don't HAVE to be severely affected by a severe cause. And that really put my mind into a different perspective, above the battlefield as it were. I had an increase in awareness and started to take steps of forgiveness to see through or not believe that this was a big problem, or that its appearance was the truth. This quickly diminished the presence of the fear thoughts/fear-attack, and the ego quieted down a lot.

She made it through the surgery ok and that was the end of that drama. It was an important lesson. Sometimes you need to be shown the full-on rage of the ego's thought system in order to expose it enough to realize how it is self-defeating. We don't HAVE to have big reactions to ILLUSIONS of big problems. And this is a step towards becoming miracle minded.

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