Will I Ever Stop Hearing the Ego?

The title of this article is a question that I hear often from students of A Course in Miracles. Obviously, it implies that they are still tormented by the personal self, so it is still very real to them.

You have two thought systems in your mind: Your Real Thought System, called Christ, or Holy Spirit; and the personal mind, which is an erroneous concept of yourself. You cannot fix or change the personal mind; you can only let it go, so that all that remains in your mind is your Real Thought System. Remember, you do not have to seek for Love; you only need to remove your obstacles to Love, and you will find that Love is here. By degrees, you will learn to not listen to the personal mind, but you will still hear it as long as the personal mind is in your mind. You will stop hearing the personal mind altogether only when you have wholly let it go.

For myself, the process has been like this: I began by listening to the personal mind almost exclusively. This took the form of endless judgments, as well as in blaming ‘others’ and ‘the world’ for what I was experiencing. Then, as I studied the Course, I learned to identify the personal mind, but I also turned on myself. I saw the personal mind as ‘bad’, rather than as meaningless, and I blamed myself for the personal mind’s perceptions. At this stage, the only value in what I was doing was identifying the personal mind as what it was, but my guilt was not helpful. In fact, my feeling guilty for the personal mind’s thoughts meant that I thought that the personal mind was real; my guilt was actually a way of holding onto it. In time, however, I began to get that the Course teaches that the personal mind’s thoughts and perceptions are neither ‘good’ nor ‘bad’, but wholly meaningless. They do not justify guilt, but only indicate my need for correction. And correction means for me to recognize that they are meaningless, and to let them go. This is when I started to detach from the personal mind, because I realized that what it said was not what I wanted to learn. I let it have its say, I let what it says go, then I come from Spirit, Which is What I want to reinforce in my mind.

So, I still hear the personal mind, but I do not always listen to it. In many situations, I’m hardly aware that the personal mind had its say, because I’ve gotten so used to disregarding it. But, there are times when it still pushes my buttons. This can be caused by something wholly internal, or by something ‘out there’ that sets me off. I’ve learned that there is no difference. If I perceive it, it’s in my mind. If I cannot easily dismiss the personal mind’s judgments about it, I step back and look at what false beliefs my reaction represents so that I can release them. As long as I hold onto any aspect of the personal mind, I will still hear it, but that doesn’t mean that I have to listen to it! When I no longer want any of the personal self, it will no longer be in my mind for me to hear. It is only my desire for the personal self that makes the personal self.

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Read The Message of A Course in Miracles: A translation of the Text in plain language at www.themessageofacim.com.

Comments

will said…
Over the past year or so as I have become more consistent in forgiveness and my meditation has gained more depth there are a few things I thought I would comment on. In the past month or so I have been reading and re-reading chapter 12 and 28. Both give great insight into the importance of the dream. To me, Jesus makes it clear that forgiveness is an interactive process, mentally, spiritually and physically. He repeatedly cautions that in doing forgiveness we do not abandon our brother in the physical dream. Forgiveness is not just an intellectual exercise. It took some time for me to understand that detaching from the personal mind is not something I do, that I cause to happen from my will. It is this very slow (to me) gentle clearing by the Holy Spirit in response to seeing my brother as an interior Christ and an exterior physical self that cries for help. Everything in the dream is a cry for help. To me, Jesus is saying we must see the cry for help to receive it. Everything we work for can only take place in response to how we perceive our brother.

I use the term brother loosely and everyone understands the Course in their own way.

Happy Thanksgiving!
jandvig said…
For the first time, really, today, after 1-1/2 years of studying the Course, I feel so deep inside what you've expressed about not hearing the personal mind. I felt it so deeply today, in the supermarket shopping for Thanksgiving dinner and in looking at all the (hideous) dream figures - yet feeling this amazing sense of love for all these (ugly) people. I even chuckled out loud at the feeling of freedom this gave me.
And now reading will's words, gentle and slow, I realize that's exactly what I'm experiencing. Gently and slowly. I'm letting the HS in .....
we really do have so much to be thankful for - to begin to realize we have Everything, Always.
Namste,
Janet

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