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Why is it frustrating when other people keep choosing the ego?

  • By Paul West
  • In Forgiveness, Guilt, Law
  • 3847 Words
  • 19 minutes 14 seconds
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Why is it frustrating when other people keep choosing the ego?

Eleonora asked:

"How to make peace with guiding others who seem to fall into ego traps all the time? I know I should not judge but it feels very frustrating."

It's funny because this reminds me of the many times that I became very frustrated and combative about the multitudes of "partial truths" which were being posted by people on facebook, in the form of ACIM picture quotes. One particular group that I was part of was rife with these, every day, and while they would hold some level of inspiration they would make so many mistakes and claims about what the Course was saying which were not true.

This made me quite angry, quite often, and I would then go and seek to "correct" them by spewing out some long commentary about what was "wrong" about what was said. I really thought that I was right, and that I was justified in defending that position. Yet no matter how much I attempted to "correct" these people, they would just not "get it" and would just keep on making the same mistakes and saying the same stuff. Eventually I had to leave the group completely to avoid the constant triggering of my upset - not really a solution of forgiveness, but a temporary fix. It was long slow lesson.

What happens in the mind is this. You have some stuff in your mind, some lies, which forms your own belief that you are sinful. From this sin comes an automatic assumption of guilt. This guilt is not at all pleasant, when you believe it is true of you. ie when you believe in real sin and real guilt. So what you do is, you make the guilt go unconscious by using denial to cover it up. You pretend you are not guilty. That pretense takes the form of a mask of fake innocence which portrays you as though you are not guilty at all. You even convince yourself of it, and to your conscious awareness, you are no longer aware of the presence of the guilt. It has been made unconscious in your mind.

The thing is, the guilt is still in your mind somewhere. And just as believing in sin causes guilt, believing in guilt causes a fear of punishment. That means that by believing in guilt, you believe that guilt has a causal power. The guilt causes fear and then, having denied the guilt, you are still left in a state of fear. The state of having a false mask of innocence is a state of seeing yourself as victimized, portraying yourself as though you were not the one who did the crime, you are merely innocent and vulnerable to attack, so it couldn't have been you. So you're in a state of being an innocent victim, using your victimhood to defend yourself against your guilt.

It then is convenient that other people come along to do stuff that you see your guilt projected onto. You deny that it is your guilt and you want to use them to get rid of it. You see them as the ones who are wrong and guilty and they are the ones who are not choosing to admit to the truth. But really it's your own denial, your own choosing not to admit to your own guilt.

Having made the cause of your victimhood unconscious, you will look around you for the cause of it, and since you will not find the real cause you will come to believe it must be someone else that is causing this upset in you. It seems as though other people then are causing you to feel upset, frustrated, angry, justified, judgemental etc. It's because you're trying to explain your own experience, your own state of mind, and it just seems plausible and understandable and sensible to say that it is being caused by other people. It "must be", or so it seems to you, because you did not do it. This insistence makes you righteous.

Having displaced responsibility for causing your problem onto others, other people will now start to show up to fulfill that "role", where they will roleplay being irresponsible, choosing ego, not getting the truth, not wanting to awaken, being asleep, being sick, etc. It will almost seem as if they are parading this display of rejection in front of your face on purpose, just to upset you.

You will then think that they, being the cause of the problem, need to change in order for you, being at their effect, to be set free of your upset. Your frustration and guilt and unhappiness seems to be in the hands of other people, who have power over you, to cause you to be that way. You perceive yourself as being directly affected by them, and now it becomes your vested interest to try to get them to change in order to get them to indirectly change what you are experiencing. You want them to "make you happy" through their choice, because you do not want to choose happiness directly.

That means that you now see salvation as only possible by having someone else do something preferable to you, for you, on your behalf, because you yourself do not see yourself as responsible. You are not owning up to what you yourself have chosen. You do not see that you are attacking yourself and that you are guilty. So then it all becomes about how they are wrong, how they do not want the truth, how they are not listening, how they won't take your ideas on board, how they are stubborn or keep making stupid mistakes. And it is very easy to judge these people as being wrong for doing this, because it seems very justified and actually makes sense to you, given your state of perception. You can't help it almost and it seems very real.

But while you keep trying to free yourself from your suffering by getting fictional people to "make you" well, through their compliance or their proper behavior or whatever, which is the ego's version of "forgiveness to destroy", you need to examine what is going on in your perception. You need to be willing to consider that it might not be them that is guilty, and it might not be them who are responsible for choosing whether you are guilty or not, and it might not be that you even need for them to believe what you believe. What if YOU are mistaken?

To do this, you will need to look at the fact that you see yourself as innocent and as having the truth, BUT, that you are still in denial. You are in denial of something which is currently UNCONSCIOUS to you, outside your awareness, and you do not even know it's there. You don't even suspect that you are mistaken or wrong, because you're not aware of it. You could be forgiven for your judgementalism because you weren't consciously aware of why you were doing it. This unawareness convinces you that it CAN'T be you that is guilty, it MUST be someone else.

If you did know the unconscious guilt was there and could experience it, you wouldn't be attempting to claim that it is outside of you, and you wouldn't be trying to pin responsibility for it onto someone else. But because you are not aware of it, you believe that you are right now "fully aware" of all that there is to be aware of in you, and you do not see any sign of this guilt in your awareness so "it must not be me". This makes you seem innocent, to yourself, and you are convinced of this, and then this justifies your judgement that someone else is the cause of all of this.

In your mind, prior to all this, you made your own self-attack unconscious. Instead of being so entirely fixated on the ways in which these people are guilty for not choosing the truth, you need to own up to something. YOU do not believe in the truth. You think you do, but you do not. If you did, you would not be scapegoating to get rid of guilt. If you have guilt to get rid of, you believe in guilt, whether you are conscious of it or not. So you still believe in guilt because you're seeing it in your brother. And yet, as you accuse him of this, you are claiming to believe in innocence. This the ego's split mind in contradiction to itself.

Somewhere in your mind there is guilt, which you believe is real and true, and it is actually YOUR guilt. It is a guilt which has been produced by YOUR belief that YOU have sinned. This guilt has absolutely nothing to do with those people. You have actually attacked yourself, have condemned yourself, have accused yourself, and have chosen to keep these beliefs intact. Deep down, behind your facade, you still believe these things are true of you. You do not feel good about it or happy about it. And you want to deny it to pretend to get rid of it. So you have this layer of denial blocking your awareness so that you are not aware that YOU yourself believe you are sinful and guilty. If you get really honest with yourself you will admit to it.

Now, if you can tap into this and go into it and take off the false belief that you're innocent, you'll start to become consciously aware of the guilt in your own mind again. It will start to come back into your awareness. What will occur to you, is that you actually believe YOU are guilty. YOU DO. You have this strong belief that you are guilty, you do not want to admit the truth, you do not want to wake up, you do not want to "get the Course", and you are rejecting the truth. What you were accusing or seeing your brother as doing, you are doing. What you thought they were believing about the truth, you are believing.

Underneath your denial, there is a real-seeming belief that you are the one who is guilty, because you have attacked yourself. Your belief that you really sinned was a self-condemnation. You attacked yourself with it. It produced your guilt. Then you tried to deny that you'd done this to yourself by making it go unconscious, and then sought to blame someone else for causing how you feel to explain what its new cause is.

When you can see once again, and experience, that you yourself actually believe that you are guilty, you will not be able to deny that what other people were claiming about you was "false" as such. It seemed like they were resisting you, not listening to you, not loving you, not wanting to be awake to the truth, opposing you, attacking you, etc... that they were being ego. Well... you were doing all of this unconsciously at the same time.

You were being ego to yourself. If you were believing in your own guilt, therefore, they can hardly be found "wrong" for also believing in your guilt. At least at this level, all they're doing is reflecting back to you, as though in a mirror, everything that you believe about yourself - everything that you are doing to yourself. So if they're not technically "wrong", given that your guilt is "true", they are actually not accusing you falsely and are not really doing anything to you at all. They were really just pointing out, showing you, what you believed about yourself. They were trying to HELP you to see what you were blind to in yourself by acting in role-play, pretending to be you.

The separation in your mind, from your denial, was making your denied self show up as "outside of you", in the form of other people who were displaying the guilt that you had denied. You were thus "projecting it" onto them, as them. Having taken back responsibility for being the one who says you are guilty, you can no longer project it. It is your own guilt based on your own belief in your own sinfulness. So they are innocent.

They are not the ones doing this belief to you - you are. And now, at this point, they're pretty much out of the picture. Seeing the fact that you are doing this TO YOURSELF, acknowledges that they are not doing it TO YOU, and therefore you've found the key to salvation. Admitting that you believe you are guilty lets them off the hook of being the one that is making you guilty. It's your own doing. You need to forgive yourself, not them.

What you then need to do is bring into question whether it is true that you are really guilty. Guilt comes from a belief in real sin. You are not really guilty. Guilt is not real. Guilt is not justified. Guilt is not a cause and it has no power over you. You do not deserve guilt. You are not worthy of guilt. You are not made of guilt. Guilt is not who you are. Guilt is really an effect. It is an effect of a belief in sin. It isn't a cause in its own right unless you fail to see that it is being caused by sin. And if it's coming from sin, with sin as its only cause, there is no external cause or justification for it. It is not real and it is nothing.

And this recognition that guilt is caused by sin does two things. It takes off of you the burden of believing that the guilt is happening to you, because guilt is not a cause it's just an effect that isn't coming from outside of you. And secondly, it helps you to identify that you had "unconscious sin" in your mind, hiding behind the guilt, which has been producing the guilt.

This makes the unconscious belief in sin come back into your conscious awareness because you've made the "connection" that guilt is only caused by your own belief in sin. You can now tackle this belief in real sin and undo it, cancel it, dis-believe it, affirm that it does not apply, that it is only an effect with no real consequences, etc, and it does not apply because... separation from God has not really happened. Sin is the effect of separation, and if sin isn't real, separation isn't real.

So then you get to the Atonement, you come to be able to see and accept that nothing real happened because YOUR sin was not real, and didn't happen in reality - only in an illusion. It happened in an illusory world that isn't real. You are therefore forgiven because you have not really sinned, and therefore you are STILL innocent and holy. That means you are still worthy of God's love, you deserve to receive His love, and you will now be able to ACCEPT it as the truth about you. You can only accept this truth because you have refused to accept any other truth that came from the belief in separation. You have denied the denial of truth.

Having done this, your mind should then be much weaker in its belief that you are sinful and guilty, in much less denial, and much more able to admit and recognize that your brother's alleged resistance to the truth has no bearing on you, does not affect your peace, isn't causing you to miss out on salvation, doesn't need to change in order for you to find healing, and it doesn't even matter. It had nothing to do with why you were upset at all.

They can even continue to make horrible ego mistakes and remain unconscious, if that's their choice. You will be much more detached from making efforts to, or the NEED to, convince them that your truth is true and their truth is sin. You will recognize them more as simply in need of love, and now you are in a position to provide it, having accepted it for yourself.

It may take some practice of this of course, and maybe many lessons in order to fully purify yourself of this belief in your own sin, but remember as Jesus tells us, "you but accuse your brother of your own sin". The accusing of your brother is just a temporary bandaid, an attempt to explain where your guilt and fear came from and why you are justified in judging (yourself indirectly). Once the accusing has stopped, because you've become conscious of what you believed about yourself, you will cease to project and can then work to undo your own self-attack.

All attack is self-attack. Nobody else ever really is attacking you or denying you. No-one else is ever responsible for what you are experiencing. No-one is in charge of deciding whether you are forgiven or not. No-one has the power to choose for you whether the truth is being accepted. And no-one has the power to deny you the freedom to choose the truth, which will set you free, regardless of what they are doing. The truth is your inheritance and it is freely given by God.

You won't have a need to judge your brothers for "not getting it" if you don't have a purpose for that judgement, ie to explain where your own guilt and fear came from. Remove your blocks to awareness, your defenses against guilt, and own up to what you've done to yourself, taking the responsibility to claim the atonement for yourself, and you will be set free from this frustration or trying to get someone else to wake you up for you. That's really what you've been trying to do, indirectly awaken yourself without taking full responsibility for choosing it, in order to maintain the separation.

I did this plenty of times myself, falling for the illusion that other people were not getting it, that they were blind or stupid or were spreading lies about the Course's truth - like it was some kind of sin to do so. But really I was not admitting to my own guilt and my own unwillingness to be responsibile for what I'd done to myself. I was unconscious, and kept seeing external causes for my guilt. I WANTED people to fuck up so that I would have a great opportunity to explain why I was not the guilty one. I needed them as scapegoats and that's why I kept attracting them and using them, and no matter how much I seemed to want to correct them, I secretly wanted to keep them guilty, to avoid my own guilt. I didn't REALLY want them to get it at all.

Having chosen away from this and having taken healing responsibility for what I am doing to myself, I pretty much transcended that "trap" of always reacting to those kind of publications, and have become much more "allowing" of letting people make their mistakes and be where they are at, rather than believing that they need to change to meet my secret agenda. Part of this is learning to let go, and part of it is learning to allow people to have their lessons and their curriculum on their own time, when they are ready, or even if they are completely unwilling right now. And maybe without my judgement laid on top of them, maybe they are actually closer to the truth than I wanted to let myself see. Maybe they were even "right".

It can be hard to accept that someone does not want to choose the truth and to be completely okay with them seeming not to do so, especially when you can see they are suffering needlessly. It makes you jump in as a fixer and helper and correcter, which basically is an attack, and it actually makes their situation worse. When you stop believing they are guilty and wrong and far astray from the truth, you will support them more, and this will actually make them more surprisingly willing to start to accept it. You did not realize that your attempts to get them to accept the truth was causing them to reject it. Help can make people helpless. This is a lesson.

Being a fixer means that you believe that other people need fixing. That belief is an attack. You think their faults are real and true. You accuse them of them. And then you come in to be the hero that saves them from the accusation that you made. And then they will resist your help because your help is actually an attack which is keeping them asleep. They will awaken faster and more easily without that kind of help, or in other words, you need to learn to be Truly Helpful.

That means, offering love and acceptance of the atonement and peace and innocence, rather than making their mistakes real, or using their mistakes as a way to hide from your own self-attack. Otherwise we have a secret agenda and need to see them as guilty or vulnerable or suffering, even if on the surface we seem like we are very caring and sympathetic, because "keeping them sick" is keeping you from admitting to your sin, which you believe you really committed and want to deny.

It's very convenient that scapegoats come along and present wonderful opportunities to project blame, because it allows us to stay asleep and avoid the truth and yet simultaneously accuse others of doing exactly that. It's a cover-up. We are two-faced (the ego is). We are saying one thing and doing another. We are split in our will and are at war with ourselves. We are the one that needs healing and correction, not them.

Learning to see yourself as innocent allows you to see them as innocent. And then you're not projecting all kinds of guilt onto them, which keeps them "imprisoned". You can set your brother free from that prison by not believing that their resistance to the truth is true or real.

You don't fight with it when you don't believe in it. What you were fighting with was your own guilt which you were trying to keep away from you. You wanted them to stay asleep and not wake up, but under the guise of it looking like you were trying to awaken them, so that you could keep your own guilt outside of your awareness. I'm sure you felt that you were doing the "right thing", but being right is not the same as being happy.

When you accept the Atonement for yourself you accept it also for your brother. In it, you both are recognized as forgiven and innocent. Your miraculous blessing of love then can be shared with them and offered to them, helping them to awaken from their denial of the truth, rather than keeping them enslaved to it. We are only truly helpful when we're coming from love, and to do that, we need to be willing to receive love for ourselves. And that means, accepting that we are forgiven and lovable - worthy of being loved by God all over again.



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