Ego's Substitute Emotions

I have said you have but two emotions, love and fear. One is changeless but continually exchanged, being offered by the eternal to the eternal. In this exchange it is extended, for it increases as it is given. The other has many forms, for the content of individual illusions differs greatly. Yet they have one thing in common; they are all insane. (T-13.V.1)

A Course in Miracles tells us that there are two emotions: Love and fear. Love is the emotion of God; fear is the emotion of ego. Love can also be called joy and peace because love, peace and joy are always experienced together. The experience of love, peace and joy – God -- is boundless.

Fear is any experience other than God. Any experience other than God is an experience of lack, which is naturally a fearful state. The obvious manifestations of fear are anxiety, worry, tension, anger and irritation. The not so obvious ways in which fear is manifested are in emotions that seem to mimic love, peace and joy. Lets look at how they differ:

God’s Love vs. ego’s love
God’s Love is an experience of endless oneness, wholeness and completion. God’s Love is experienced within and you hold its boundlessness in your awareness by extending it everywhere.
Ego teaches that love is wholeness too, but that you do not have it and must get it from others. Ego’s love is attachment-to-feel-whole. It is idolatry. The ego’s version of love is: You have something that will make me whole. If you supply it, I love you. If you don’t supply it, I don’t love you.

True peace vs. the ego’s peace
True peace is a state of boundless wholeness, rest and complete security.
The ego’s peace is temporary satisfaction or contentment, usually because something has gone its way or because its appetites are temporarily sated.

Joy vs. Happiness, Passion and Euphoria
True joy is boundless happiness that springs from within. It is very hard to contain. It is accompanied by deep peace and infinite love. Though you may allow yourself to feel joy only temporarily, while experiencing it you recognize it is infinite and eternal. Joy has no energy charge in itself, though you may experience a positive-energy charge as an after-effect when you return to an awareness of the body.
Happiness is temporary and limited. Its source is something outside of you. In ego-identity, you are happy when things have gone the way the ego has decided they should go.
Passion is intense interest in something that you find rewarding in your ego-identification. There is a lot of energy around passion and it is actually quite painful in comparison to true joy and peace.
Euphoria is a temporary feeling of extreme happiness and well-being. It is a state of being “high”. There is a lot of agitated energy around euphoria and it is often followed by a “crash” after it has spiked.

It is not wrong to feel ego’s substitute emotions. In fact, like anything to do with ego, it is nothing. Ego’s emotions come and go and you must let them do so, otherwise your attachment to them will distract you from God. The ego knows you cannot tolerate unmitigated emptiness and fear and so it baits you with the occasional temporary “positive” emotion to hold your allegiance. In fact, it has you seek these emotions as a way to distract you from real love, peace and joy. But once you have sufficient experience of God you are no longer deceived. What God offers is eternal.


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