A Course in Miracles Blog

The ego is not really a thing

  • By Paul West
  • In Ego, Illusion, Reality
  • 605 Words
  • 3 minutes 1 second
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It's quite common for us to say that the ego does this and it does that. The Course is filled with explanations about how the ego operates, and there is a lot of discussion outside the book about how the ego is responsible for stuff.

It gets to the point where you think of the ego like it is a 'thing' that has vicious vengeance in mind, and we refer to it in the third person. We make out indeed that the ego is like a separate entity almost, that it wants 'you' dead and it is sucking the life out of 'you' and all this.

We need to be clear that the ego is not only an illusion and doesn't exist, but also that YOU are the one who created it. It doesn't do anything on its own. It's not autonomous, it has no will, and it has no power. It's nothing more than a puff of smoke.

But we are the ones who invented this puff of smoke. We are the ones who USE it. We are the ones who choose it and choose to seem to be victims of it. We are the ones who go into it and make it seem real, and we also make it seem to do stuff to us against our will.

It's a major part of our role of pretending to be a victim, to have a sense of separation between us and other, and then because of this we section off a part of ourselves as this 'other' and call it the ego. We particularly like to project all the negative, wrong, bad stuff onto this ego, but in fact that's just one half of the ego. Who is it doing the projecting? It's also the ego. It's the ego trying to appear "good", making the other part of itself bad, because the ego is a state of inner conflict.

But even then it's not the ego doing this. It's you. You're the one choosing it, empowering it, putting 'life' into it, making it seem like it has a will of its own, and conveniently treating it like it's to blame for everything that's gone wrong, including death. A vast majority of the writing I've seen about the ego frames it like it's a separate thing. It is not ANYTHING, yet alone separate.

It is you who invented death. The ego didn't. You merely use what we call ego - a collection of illusions and deceptions - to try to pretend that death can happen and to act it out. All the while we pretend that we're not the one choosing this, and just as we make God a skapegoat we also make the ego the skapegoat like it did this to us. No it didn't. You will not experience any freedom or power while you continue to believe that the ego is responsible for anything that's happening "to you". It's all about you doing it to yourself.

"Ego" is nothing more than a label for all the ways that you deliberately and intentionally play with illusions. We talk about having a false self and about how the ego is trying to destroy you and all this - but it's you - you are trying to destroy you. Other words for ego are unconsciousness, sleep, dreaming, illusions, denial, self repression, separation etc. All the same thing. And it's all you that is choosing and making it. And you have the sole responsibility to stop making it. Just as Jesus says, "YOU made sickness and death and you can abolish both."

There is no ego really. It's just illusions. And there is no death.
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