You'll often hear talk of how "my ego this" and how "the ego" that. A lot of clout and blame is pinned on "the ego" now. It's used to describe all kinds of stuff in the world and in life.
People have even turned it into a kind of enemy that they fight with and blame and try to accuse for doing stuff. The label is thrown around like there actually is an ego, and then you'll hear explanations for why it doesn't "really" exist except in a dream.
There are widely common interpretations that Jesus is describing "the ego" in the course and therefore "the ego" is a thing or an entity or a something, that is responsible for some bad stuff. And this sets up a whole premise of being at war with it.
This is all confusion. Jesus is NOT trying to suggest that the ego exists AT ALL, not even fictionally in a dream. So let's put aside any belief that there is such a thing as "the ego", and we'll start from scratch.
God's world, heaven, reality, has various qualities, characteristics, properties etc. It has a nature. For example it's immortal, alive, permanent, perfect, whole, innocent, etc.
"Ego", is nothing more than, a CONCEPT OF, the "opposite to all that is".
Someone had a thought in their mind, like, "What if the opposite to God's Kingdom is true?" And so began the tiny mad idea.
This is ENTIRELY conceptual. It's someone sitting there just wondering, imagining, theorizing. Asking themselves, "what is the opposite of all this?" Or indeed, "what if I OPPOSE all of this?"
We simply tried to use our free will to oppose free will, or to "create" (will) that there be an outcome OPPOSITE to what God wills. A "mis-creation" or a "mis-use" of will. That is all.
This was a silly idea, ridiculous in fact. To try to use will, to make yourself NOT will, is obviously circular logic and makes no sense. It's impossible to will to be unwilling. But this is what you tried to do. You tried to put your will to sleep, to disempower your creative powers, and to strip yourself of what you are. To oppose yourself.
So ego is just this idea of opposition. What would it be like if there was an opposite to everything real? The opposite to life would be death. The opposite to permanence would be impermanence. The opposite to happiness would be unhappiness. The opposite to existence would be non-existence (death).
Now it's important to also put BELIEF on hold because I'm not even talking about BELIEVING IN this concept yet. At this point we're happily sitting in heaven just theorizing. Asking a question. "What?" Questioning everything, which is an attempt to oppose it.
What you come up with conceptually is, the idea of "non-existent impossibility." This non-existence, by definition, DOES NOT EXIST. It's not some real place you can go and visit. You can't live there. You cannot be its nature. It's ENTIRELY theoretical. Non-existence DOES NOT EXIST. It's the idea of being OUTSIDE of and completely SEPARATE from, existence. And existence is God.
So we started out with just a conceptual notion, an idea of an opposite to God's nature. An idea of NOT existing. And fundamentally we could never actually DO that. We could not LEAVE God and go where God is not. We couldn't get outside of God to go to that "non-existent" place. It's impossible. Literally totally impossible.
For example God is infinite and is everywhere. So you cannot go be somewhere and expect him not to be there also. Everywhere you go, God is there. He is omnipresent. So this idea is an idea of, what if you could go and be somewhere that God is not? Which is obviously a totally ridiculous idea, and no sane person would give two seconds of thought before laughing at being outside of infinite unlimited boundaryless reality.
So first we came up with this theoretical notion of "an opposite to what is". This was prior to believing in it. And at this point we were still sane. What made it a MAD idea, or turned us mad, was that we then attempted to CLAIM or assert, that you actually CAN go where God is not, you actually CAN be opposite to his nature, you actually CAN be unwilling.
You BELIEVED IN IT by denying its obvious impossibility, thus making you unable to RECOGNIZE it for what it is, and thus losing sight of the fact that it IS impossible. You became confused and lost.
This obviously was a form of denial and confusion and being totally mistaken. The logic shows that its impossible, but you insisted anyway. To insist that something is possible that is patently impossible, is essentially "nuts". BELIEVING IT in spite of its ridiculousness, became the only problem.
It was only when you forgot to laugh at the ridiculous notion of not existing, that you took it seriously. And you became deceived, tempted, and you "fell" into delusions, denial, hallucination, confusion, mistakenness, and all manner of fantasy nightmares. You lost track of WHAT IS TRUE AND REAL, and so went insane.
What were you trying to do? You were trying to MAKE non-existence be TRUE of you. Whatever you believe is true of you, you regard as your IDENTITY. Your truth describes you, defines you, establishes WHAT you are. And originally this was God's truth about you. But now you were attempting to assert that some OPPOSITE truth was true of you. And so your sense of WHAT I AM, your identity, became CONFUSED WITH, or caught up in, identified WITH or "matching" this notion of being opposite to what you are.
You did not actually make an ego as such. You did not accomplish the making of a non-existent self, because it is impossible. You did not ACTUALLY get outside of God's existence. You did not reach non-existence. You did not cease to exist. BUT, you BELIEVED YOU COULD. And so you DREAMED OF "the ego". A dream of the ego concept is NOT the same thing as ACTUALLY being it or bringing it into existence.
So when you believe that "the ego concept" (impossible non-existence) is POSSIBLE, your sense of IDENTITY shifts to align with it, to reflect it, to mirror it. You try to BE LIKE it. To be one with it. To merge with it and make it true of you, thus redefining your whole sense of what you are. And so by putting belief in "opposites to reality", your sense of WHAT IS TRUE changed, and thus your sense of WHO I AM changed.
Your sense of identity shifted from your soul, to an IMAGINED idea of what ego might be like. This did not actually make "the ego". You never created a "real ego". You just BELIEVE what is BEYOND your dream on the other side of oblivion. You believed in not existing. You believed in impossibilities. You believed in being opposite to what you are. That is all.
So there is no EGO doing anything whatsoever. There is no EGO taking responsibility for making ANYTHING happen. There is no ego to pin stuff on. There is no ego to say "the ego did this". There is no ego PERIOD. So every time there's someone teaching that "acim says" there is an ego, they are mistaken.
NON EXISTENCE DOES NOT EXIST. THE EGO DOES NOT EXIST.
Not even in dreaming do you go there. Not even in your wildest fantasies can you ever CREATE an ego. You never have. All you've done is TRIED to exchange God's reality for UNREALITY. Which means, taking everything true about God and trying to make it false. And taking everything untrue about God and trying to make it true. This results in CONFUSION (insanity) and that is all.
If you believe something is possible which isn't, you are not sane. If you believe you are IN the non-existent realm outside of God, you are insane. If you think you DID become separate and thus are OUTSIDE God, you are insane. But that IS what you believe, and that BELIEF is the tiny mad idea. The notion that the ego concept is OPPOSITE to what the ego concept IS.
Earth is just a neutral fantasy ABOUT non-existent realms, an attempt to REFLECT hell/ego/impossibility, as an "image" in the mind IMAGINING what having no imagination is like. Thinking about what having NO thought is like. Being unwilling to will anything real.
Let's put this another way. If the ego concept is non-existence, impossibility, death, nowhere-ness, lovelessness, emptiness, etc... in your BELIEF in it, you have tried to assign it the attributes of heaven, reality, truth, and God. You've tried to BRING IT TO LIFE. You've tried to turn hell into heaven, you've tried to claim that non-existence exists, you've tried to assert that immortality can be killed, etc. You've produced an entire hallucinated world based on this attempt to oppose life and make NOT LIFE appear to "live."
The body is nothing. The world is nothing. But in our BELIEVING (spacetime), we have TRIED to make it APPEAR AS IF bodies live, worlds evolve, there are "life forms" etc. it is NOT LIFE. It is an illusion. it is nothingness pretending to be something.
"There is no life outside of Heaven. Where God created life, there life must be. In any state apart from Heaven life is illusion. At best it seems like life; at worst, like death. Yet both are judgments on what is not life, equal in their inaccuracy and lack of meaning. Life not in Heaven is impossible, and what is not in Heaven is not anywhere. Outside of Heaven, only the conflict of illusion stands; senseless, impossible and beyond all reason, and yet perceived as an eternal barrier to Heaven. Illusions are but forms. Their content is never true."
So there literally is no ego. We need to stop blaming "the ego" for stuff. EGO IS NON-EXISTENCE. It does not exist even in dreaming. There is no ego anywhere. Evil is not real. An absolute opposite to everything does not exist.
"What seems to be the opposite of life is merely sleeping. When the mind elects to be what it is not, and to assume an alien power which it does not have, a foreign state it cannot enter, or a false condition not within its Source, it merely seems to go to sleep a while. It dreams of time; an interval in which what seems to happen never has occurred, the changes wrought are substance-less, and all events are nowhere. When the mind awakes, it but continues as it always was."
"By steadily and consistently cancelling out ALL its effects, EVERYWHERE AND IN ALL RESPECTS, He teaches that the ego does not exist, and PROVES IT."
So what does happen? What does happen is OUR MIND keeps on trying to turn itself into "the ego". It keeps trying to get CLOSER TO the CONCEPTUAL idea of "being ego", which is non-existence and impossibility and total limitation and death and a void and emptiness and lack and darkness and lovelessness. We keep trying to BECOME it, as if reaching through the outskirts of God's being to another world. But we can't. And we NEVER will. So it's all wasted effort. We might as well just accept the truth.
This is why the secret of salvation tells us that we MUST recognize that WE are doing this ALL to ourselves. Not the ego, not the world, it's us. We do the shit, we must undo it. It is NOT the ego, ever. It's part of our own mind running rogue and opposing the rest of our mind. It's us TRYING TO BE opposite. Working against ourselves. We are the dreamer. Miracles reflect the idea that it's this thing I have done and it is this I would undo. ME. My mind. Not "the ego".
You cannot give your power to the ego either. EVER. All you can do is BELIEVE that you are giving your power to "it". And thus YOUR MIND now goes into a distortion, against ITSELF, pretending to be opposed, pretending to BECOME an ego, and acts ego-LIKE, and now you blame "the ego" for stuff, but its PART OF YOU doing stuff to yourself. So now you are disassociated and projecting and trying to make your ideas leave your mind. That is all. Take responsibility for that. Never blame ego for anything. It does not exist whatsoever.
And when I say that I don't even mean, ok, this is a dream, so ego doesn't REALLY exist, cus none of this really happened, but it seems to, and so in the dream it does exist. IT DOES NOT. Ego doesn't even exist IN the dream. It's ENTIRELY just a theoretical concept and label for "absolute opposition". It's BEYOND God completely and even this dream is not THERE. It not here, it's not anywhere, and you can never make contact with it. This is why the Holy Spirit and "the ego" never communicate.
If you could actually leave God completely, and go to where existence is NOT, you've meet "the ego". But you can't and you never will. And all your dream life is about is imagining that you ARE or HAVE or CAN, when you AREN'T and HAVEN'T and CANNOT. It's wishful thinking at best. Ego is nothing but a theory. Which is why when it's gone, it's recognized as nothing.
Replace "the ego" with "I". Your mind is either whole or split. There is nothing else.
"The ego's opposite in every way, in origin, effect and consequence, we call a miracle. And here we find all that is not the ego in this world. Here is the ego's opposite and here alone we look on what the ego was, for here we see all that it seemed to do, and cause and its effects must still be one.
Where there was darkness now we see the light. What is the ego? What the darkness was. Where is the ego? Where the darkness was. What is it now and where can it be found? Nothing and nowhere. Now the light has come: Its opposite has gone without a trace. Where evil was there now is holiness. What is the ego? What the evil was. Where is the ego? In an evil dream that but seemed real while you were dreaming it. Where there was crucifixion stands God's Son. What is the ego? Who has need to ask? Where is the ego? Who has need to seek for an illusion now that dreams are gone?"