A Course in Miracles Blog

The ego mind is a split mind

  • By Paul West
  • In Awakening, Ego, Mind
  • 1569 Words
  • 7 minutes 50 seconds
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The ego mind is a mind of separation and conflict.

The ego mind always has two faces - a persona and a shadow.

Within the ego mind itself, one part of itself is against the other part. The ego mind attacks itself, being an idea of self attack.

The persona portion of the ego mind is what most people most often identify with, thinking that this is their entire 'self'.

The shadow portion of the ego mind is the part most people disassociate from, project onto others, and hide unconsciously. This part of the mind we do not identify with, and believe it is not even a part of ourself. Therefore we scapegoat it onto others and accuse other people of being it.

But at all times, both the positive and negative are within the confines of our ego mind. Both the stuff we think is good and the stuff we think is bad are within our mind. And the stuff we think is our 'self' and the stuff we think is 'not self' (i.e. 'others) is still within our own mind.

Both the enemies that we perceive as 'not me', or 'out there', and the innocent victim that we try to position ourselves as 'in here', are both a part of a single mind which is at war with itself.

This war is taking place between your mind and your mind. It is a war of self-attack. Within the arena of your mind, you have these two sides, comprising the persona judger and the shadow retaliator. Or, the persona victim and the shadow victimizer.

Most of the time the shadow is projected and disassociated from, meaning we see it outside of 'our self' (the persona self) and disconnected from it. We literally believe through disassociation that it is not our own self, we want nothing to do with it, we try to get rid of it, and we use the persona part of our mind to attack it. Even though it's a part of (not apart from) this one mind.

We become so deceived by this 'split' in consciousness, this mental delusion of two selves, that the persona part of us, which we most typically believe is the whole ego, does everything it can to disassociate itself from the projected sin/guilt/fear/wrongness. It wants nothing to do with it, entirely because this attitude increases the sense of *separation*, or the severity of the 'split' within the mind, between the good-favoring and bad-favoring parts.

We need to learn the secret to salvation, according to Jesus, which is that "you are doing this to yourself".

What this means is, our whole mind is a container in which there is both the ego persona and the ego shadow. The stuff we deny, reject, judge, project, and attack is the shadow part, but it's still a part of our own mind. And the persona part which tries to reject that part is also in our own mind. It is not that the good parts are good or that it is being attacked by the bad parts that's the issue. That's not the problem. The problem is the sense of *separation* between these two parts.

The sense that the 'bad stuff in me' is 'someone else', is our major error. The accusation of sin onto someone else, which is really our own sin, is a mistake. The belief that someone is not One with us, is a mistake. The projection of our darkness outward, and our cutting it off from ourselves to create an enemy, is a mistake.

The darkness of the shadow ONLY appears to be dark and unwanted because of how intensely the 'good-seeking' persona part of us, that we retain identification with, tries to increase the 'contrast' between the two. The darkness would not appear AS dark if this separation or rift or split were not as pronounced. But this would also have to mean that the good-focused part of the mind be diminished in its exclusivity, its favor and its judgement.

See it is not just the bad icky shadow stuff that we need to 'get rid of'. In fact it is the ego persona that tries to get rid of that stuff, which means the ego persona is kept, and therefore the ego is kept, making this a trap. The more you try to get rid of stuff the more you manufacture a story about how dark that stuff is, and it will grow stronger as an enemy of the persona. All enemies are pretty much tied into the persona's idea of what it does not want, in order to make itself look better. But if the persona is going to attack the shadow, then the mind is going to become more split, and both parts are still going to stay within the confines of the single mind. So you will suffer.

Enemies are not the problem. Separation between good and bad is the problem. Separation between good-loving persona and good-hating shadow is the problem. And not realizing that both of these parts of your experience are entirely WITHIN your own mind, and has NOTHING to do with anyone else, is the big realization here.

You need to come to a perspective, an awareness, where you are looking at the contents of your mind, and realize that both the persona part of your mind is within you, AND the shadow part - the enemy, the attacker, the things you don't want, the parts you think are 'other people', that is ALSO in your mind. And you need to get to where you can see BOTH at the same time as being part of YOU. It is that awareness, where a sense of Self 'spans' and INCLUDES both parts, that you are in the kind of space where you can see that you are, literally, doing this to yourself. You are the victim and the victimizer. You are the persona and the shadow. You are both parts of this separated ego.

When you see this, and hold this perspective for a moment, where you can see both 'characters' if you will, both parts of you at once, you will see in that light how ridiculous it is that you are against yourself. The awareness that who you thought was an enemy, is YOU, will wake you up. The awareness that you thought you were against some other person but were in fact against YOU, will wake you up. The awareness that the behavior of the enemy, which you thought you had nothing to do with, is actually just another puppet - another part of YOU, that YOU are using against yourself... seeing that will wake you up.

You have to get to where you can see and accept that both sides of the split-mind war are WITHIN your mind and are both parts of what's going on inside yourself. This awareness will show you the utter ridiculousness of the war that you are waging against yourself, the roles that you are playing in your mind which you thought were distinct, the Self that you are - the awareness which encompasses the persona and the shadow, which is your real PERSONALITY. You are the awareness in which you see the war that you are waging, and the fact that you are playing BOTH SIDES, that you are literally against yourself with two artificial personalities.

You have to see that you are BEING both of those fake personalities (persona and shadow, victim and victimizer), and that it makes absolutely no SENSE that you can possibly be truly both at once unless you lose sight of this awareness. And since you are in this awareness, the 'illusion' that you are only one of these two parts cannot be maintained. It's like realizing that two characters in a play - enemies - are both being played by the same actor. And that awareness will set you free from the illusion of a separation.

This awareness is the key to salvation, because in this awareness and in the admitting that you are both the victim and victimizer, you will see how utterly futile and ridiculous that is, as well as owning up to the awareness that you are the one doing this... nobody else is involved, because the 'other person' was actually your own shadow, which is part of your own mind, part of your split identity - one of two parts of you. This UNIFIES your awareness, because you are likely willing to drop this stupid activity as soon as you see it, because it is so obviously insane and self-defeating.

When you see this... just wait to see how long you need to have this awareness before the entire thing just disappears ... it only takes a moment. It only takes for you to glimpse this, and both the persona and the shadow will cancel each other out. As soon as you see that you've been doing this all to yourself, both sides will collapse. The awareness that saw both these parts as parts of itself, is the light which will dispel this darkness. The darkness was the *illusion* of a separation between these two parts - the idea that one of these parts was 'not you'. But it is you. And that undoes the separation, so both sides have to now cease to be separate. They come together, unify, all contrast disappears, and ONENESS is restored. And it will be like nothing even happened.

The secret to salvation... you are doing this to yourself.
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