A Course in Miracles Blog

The identity crisis - who are you?

  • By Paul West
  • 1359 Words
  • 6 minutes 47 seconds
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Who am I?

What you are, is immortal spirit. You are capable of experiencing, because you have awareness, and you perceive reality. You share the Will of God.

The ego is an illusion. It is not capable of experiencing, it has no awareness of its own, it does not perceive and has no will of its own.

The ego is nothing more than a device, a tool, a machine, which if you choose, you can pick up and USE.

Since the ego is the opposite of who you are, it is impossible for you to use it while you are being yourself. To use it, you must block awareness of your true self.

Once you decide to associate yourself with the ego, it's like picking up a pair of dark-tinted sunglasses. As you put them on and perceive through them, they show you a dark world.

Yet, there you are, as innocent, shining, immortal spirit, wearing a pair of shades. With the glasses on, you can no longer see your illuminating brilliance because the dark glasses seem to filter your perception.

While wearing the ego, you will contribute your experiential awareness, your will and your power, and "bring it to life". You will extend yourself through it.

However, because it is a mechanism for distortion, you will experience a shift in perception from truth to lies, a darkening of your awareness, a loss of your real identity, and a shutting out of God.

In this state it will seem as though the ego is now who you are. Seeing through it, whatever it is designed to see, will become your perception. If it believes in being sinful, you will see yourself as sinful. If it believes in a guilty self that must die, you will believe that about yourself.

Your sense of Self - identity - is brought with you as you wear the ego, and your USE of it appears to modify your sense of self. Your take on an identity unlike your real identity and believe it is you.

Your belief in what the ego shows you causes you to forget who you are, you no longer recognize yourself or the truth, and you now perceive the truth of your very own real self as your enemy.

When the truth comes along to remind you of the fact that you can just drop the ego glasses and return to full awareness, you will resist it. You have chosen to take on the ego's perceptive mechanism, and believe that what it perceives is true reality.

You will see darkness in the truth which is not there, because the ego glasses show you a dark version of the world. And you will reject it and want to get away from it, because it will look frightening.

You will see it as saying that the ego self does not really exist, and you - aligned with the ego - will interpret this to mean that YOU do not exist. And you will defend against that by producing sickness.

Being in the ego you will defend the ego because you think that the ego is your self. You will side with it, protect it, reinforce it, and not want to let it go. You think that doing so is letting your self go. You are not really interested in protecting the ego, only in protecting your SELF, but you think that you and it are the same.

If you are believing you are the ego self, you will believe you're a sinful guilty self. That this is true of you. It's not, but while you are identified with the ego you'll agree with it.

ALL you need to do is to learn what is the difference between your REAL identity and the identity you have when you're wearing the ego filter. This is the difference between God's truth and the ego's truth.

The ego isn't anything. If you were to realize you are not it, and accept what you really are, taking off those sunglasses, you would easily and instantly see yourself correctly and know it to be true. The ego would have no defense against this.

It has no will of its own, no power of its own, no purpose of its own and no life of its own. It is borrowing yours for as long as you choose to keep using it. As soon as you drop it, it is a lifeless machine that is not even functioning. It definitely is not experiencing anything, because the ability to experience is coming from your immortal spirit.

This is why you need to learn to withdraw belief that everything about the ego is TRUTH, or REAL, because while you believe that, you will see your sense of Self as being tied to it. You'll believe that its perception is your perception. You'll see how it sees, and your identity will be its identity. And that will produce tremendous resistance to awakening. Not because YOU are resistant, but because your USE of it makes you confused.

Also when you've tied yourself to the ego thought system, if you start to try to become spiritual WITHOUT letting go of the ego, and WITHOUT undoing the belief that what IT sees is reality, you will produce a "spiritual ego". You will spiritualize the illusions the ego sees, will give them special value, and will polarize your experience.

You'll then believe that you're becoming more yourself or more spiritual, but if you're not letting go of USING and identifying with the ego, all you're doing is changing the ego from one state to another, it is NOT really becoming spiritual, and you are just spinning your wheels.

The ego cannot EVER become spiritual because it doesn't even have a life of its own. It does not exist as anything other than an illusory device for changing perception. That's all it does, like a pair of sunglasses. It is lifeless. No will, no life, no power, nothing. 

YOU are the one who gives those properties TO it and tries to MAKE IT be your reality. Your MAKING of the ego is what seems to animate it and transform yourself into it. It has no power over what you are and is completely meaningless without you.

So you need to get past the spiritualization of the dream and the ego, which will show up ANYWHERE in your experience where you're both holding onto some ego and trying to be spiritual at the same time.

The ONLY true way to become spiritual is through the letting go, surrendering, relinquishing, and stoping using of the ego entirely. That is true awakening FROM it, not with it. It cannot awaken because it is not anything. A pair of sunglasses cannot wake up. But the person wearing the sunglasses can take them off and see the light of truth.

So really it all boils down to this. Just discerning who you are. Are you the real truth as God created it, OR, do you really believe that you ARE this ego identity which has no real life and is an idea of death? You cannot change your ego self into your spiritual self, but you can surrender your USE of the ego.

Using the ego is merely an act of not being true, not being honest, not being real, and not being who you are. It is dishonesty. It is denial. It is unconsciousness.

Nothing about the ego can STOP you from waking up. The sunglasses aren't glued to your head. YOU are entirely in the driver's seat, you are the one who is putting the filter over your vision, and you are the one who is trying to PUT power and will and life and reality INTO the ego. You are the one who is trying to MAKE IT your Self.

So you're doing it to yourself. And once you take the ego off your identity and stop BELIEVING that you are IT, by stopping believing that you are everything that is ITS truth (sinful, guilty, fearful, separate etc), that's all that's needed to return to the awareness of your true identity as God's Son.

What has happened to you while you wore sunglasses? Nothing. You just looked cool for a while. You take them off, you're still you. Nothing happened.
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