A Course in Miracles Blog

The ego plays both sides of every war

  • By Paul West
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"Every symptom which the ego has made involves a contradiction in terms."

"How strange indeed becomes this war against yourself!"

The ego does not take one side. The ego takes all sides, and pits them all against each other. It pretends to be on one team, while simultaneously being on the other team. It plays the part of both victim and its own victimizer. It attacks itself.

The ego is the idea of self attack, self denial, inner conflict, a split-mindedness. It is a state of being "in two minds", undecided and certain of nothing. It is a state of disassociation, in which there literally seem to be two halves or selves, one against the other. It represents a divided will, where one part of mind wills against the other.

In all wars, all conflicts, all arguments, all political debates, all fights between teams and nations, every form of taking sides, and all the various ways that we buy into the illusion that one person is ego and another is not, the ego delights in playing both parties off against each other.

It does not care who wins anything. It does not care whether one side is victorious while the other suffers. All it cares about is that it is perpetuated and persists because it has attacked and destroyed part of self, leaving only part left as victor, who must therefore suffer being less than whole.

The ego will happily attack itself provided some portion of it remains. It will side with something which seems good, positive, uplifting and true, provided to side with it permits a sacrifice where the "rest" of what is denied, hated, repelled and rejected is regarded as not self.

The ego split mind is divided into persona and shadow. The person is the part that is kept in conscious awareness and seems to allow and accept only that which it thinks is good enough - and nothing is good enough. Systematically it strips away portions of your self, deeming them unworthy and imperfect, relegating them to the unconscious shadow portion of mind. It is never satisfied, prompting you to put on a facade of perfection in order to truly destroy everything about you that you cannot accept. That which seems so innocent and holy is murderous.

Self attack takes on many forms and all of them are deceptive. If you buy into one such appearance and think, this person is a hero or savior, while this other person is guilty and a sinner, you have fallen for the trick. The ego is BOTH OF THEM. And it has no problem attacking itself in order to perpetuate the illusion that there is a *separation* between the two. That they are not the same identity or the same self. That is its aim. To split the mind and emphasize the differences.

It does not want people forgiving each other and seeing each other as equals. It wants war not peace. It has no interest or care as to whether you win or someone else wins. It couldn't care less if you are right or someone else is. All it's interested in that that rift between the two is increased, differences are amplified, the gap increases, and equality is lost.

If you play the game, if you take sides, if you buy into the illusion that one is a sinner and another innocent, you have fallen for its tricks. You have bought into separation. Only when you can see you and your brother as being in the same boat, as both striving toward the same goal, and recognize that the EGO is the third party here, the enemy, who would come between you and drive you apart, then you can join forces to agree NOT to attack each other, so that the EGO will disappear and not each other.

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