A Course in Miracles Blog

The ego demands you have reactions

  • By Paul West
  • In Ego, Mind, Suffering
  • 502 Words
  • 2 minutes 30 seconds
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The ego loves to tell you that when such-and-such happens, you MUST have a reaction.

It acts like it's a given. This is because it believes that a 'cause' outside of you has the power to affect you. This so-called cause DEMANDS that you be affected by it.

This is also to do with the hierarchy of illusions, which means that apparently different severities of problems seem to demand different kinds of reactions.

The ego had this set up so that, for example, when you blow your nose you don't have a significant reaction, but when someone tells you you have a disease, you freak out. Or when someone stubs their toe you have a slight response but when they fall on their face and hurt themselves you have a much bigger response.

We've become conditioned by what seems to be 'called for' in different situations, largely based on how things *appear* physically, causing us to develop a conditional response. Situation A calls for response A. Situation B calls for response B. This way we have learned to be conditional and to be reactive and affected by what happens.

We need to BREAK this connection between external causes and given levels of reaction, if we are to become unconditional.

I was talking to Jesus last night and was imagining this scenario where a person might die and how I would feel, and already just with the imagining of it I noticed I felt upset, and Jesus stopped me. I looked at it and realized, I am actually giving energy to this idea and I'm the one who is imagining it. So really, it's nothing to do with the situation happening, I am literally doing it to myself right now. So I stopped, I stopped buying into my own prediction, and laughed.

What this showed me is that we do not HAVE to suffer. Just because something supposedly 'bad' might happen around us, it doesn't HAVE to mean that we have a given reaction. We don't HAVE to have a meltdown. We don't HAVE to completely lose it and become seriously upset.

What we have to learn to see is that it is our own perception that shows us a belief in external causes being real, in being powerless, threatened or victimized. It's our own mind that is CHOOSING to suffer. Suffering is a choice, brought on by a perceptual mistake. We can choose not to have this reaction by choosing not to to see the situation this way.

So this breaks the ego's strangle-hold and the hierarchy of illusions, by breaking the connection between external causes and internal reactions. We do not have to suffer. We do not have to be upset. We do not have to have reactions. We are literally choosing to suffer on our own by how we're using our mind and perception. If something 'bad' happens, if something 'serious' happens, those are judgements by ego, that seem to demand serious reactions. We don't have to play that game. We don't have to lose our peace.

All is choice.
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