Fleeing Into Guilt

Some students are confused by seeing others who seem to have true spiritual experiences but who then go into exclusive and restrictive religions that emphasize sin and guilt. They want to know why the Holy Spirit would lead them into these religions.

Ego and Spirit cannot know each other because they are mutually exclusive. Ego is the denial of Spirit and its existence is wholly dependent on you. When you listen to Spirit all the ego knows is that your attention went someplace else and it is threatened. It has two means of getting your attention back: Exalting itself; or direct attack on you. When you are still very much identified with ego it will usually try the former, reassuring you that you are “special”. As you begin to detach from ego, exalting your specialness doesn’t work because you recognize it is ego exalting itself and not you, so ego resorts to a more direct attack.

Your will is not the ego's, and that is why the ego is against you. (T-9.I.2)

When someone who is very identified with ego has a true spiritual experience one of the ways the ego gets their attention back is to tell them that the spiritual experience makes them special. It may tell them they are so special that they declare themselves prophets or saviors and they begin religions or cults with their specialness at its center. More often, however, the ego tells them they now belong to a special group, that they are one of God’s chosen people. This pacifies their egos, and since the are still identified with ego, this makes them more comfortable.

Ego needs you to feel guilty so you will fear God and stay away from God. Oneness threatens the ego. It allows you to be special because specialness is separation. But the ego isn’t satisfied with just the guilt and fear of specialness. It sets up restrictions that it is almost impossible to keep so that you will slip and your guilt will increase. In the ego’s religions, guilt is always kept in your mind. Sometimes it is you who are guilty; sometimes it is others who are guilty. In any case, guilt is made real to you.

So it is clear that the Holy Spirit does not lead anyone into these religions. A person identified with ego has a spiritual experience which terrifies their ego – and therefore, them – so they flee to a compromise where they can be spiritual and comfort their ego at the same time. They simply accept the “payment” the ego requires every time they have a true spiritual experience – guilt. The Holy Spirit still reaches them, but in their guilt and fear of punishment (the ego’s punishment, which they project onto God) they put limits on how much.

Sometimes I hear from students who have belonged to the ego’s religions and who began to feel a conflict between their true spiritual experiences and the religions they joined. They began to search again to make sense of their experiences and they found A Course in Miracles. Everyone has the choice to learn from either the ego or the Holy Spirit. Some choose to learn from both and accept the conflict they feel as “life”. Many, however, move on from the conflict sensing that God is not conflict but peace.

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Comments

Marina said…
Aren't we all saviors though?

"Choose once again if you would take your place among the saviors of the world, or would remain in hell, and hold your brothers there.

For He has come, and He is asking this."

I consider everyone my savior for they mirror who I think I am in the world. When I can see past that to our Oneness, they have saved me and visa versa.

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