The Ego is Benign
One of the things I help my clients sort out is what is the neutral personality of the self and what is the ego (personal thought system). They are confused because the ego is the thought system in their mind that tells them that the self is their reality and that they need to measure themselves by the self. So it’s hard for them to see that the self – the body and personality – is neutral and that it is the ego that is not neutral.
For example, clients will say something like, “I know it’s ego but…”
“…I like mountain biking…”
“…I want to study medicine…”
“…I enjoy horror stories…”
“…I prefer to be alone…”
First, you can see by the “but” that what they mean is, “I want this even though I know it’s bad.” They judge the ego as “bad” so what they see as expressions of ego are therefore “bad”. But actually the ego is not wrong or bad. It is nothing. Second, all of those traits that come after the “but” are just neutral expressions of a neutral personality. They have no meaning in themselves. They are not expressions of ego, which is a judgmental, evaluative thought system of lack, guilt and fear. It is the ego that has determined, after you start reading A Course in Miracles, that the ego is bad. And it is the ego that judges neutral personality traits as bad.
I used to write about the ego attacking me to hold my attention but I have come to see that the ego is actually benign because it is nothing. It cannot change Truth so the ego has no real effects and I can see that now. When I listened to the ego I projected my belief in guilt, which I learned from it, onto it. I really believed I was guilty, but saw the guilt in the ego, just as I often saw guilt in others. But the ego does not attack. When your attention goes elsewhere it will do what it has to do to hold your attention once you turn its way again. It will pursue the thoughts, usually negative, in your mind that it knows work to hold your attention. But if you don’t believe in it, this will not work. Just as with others, you are only affected by what the ego says about you if you believe what it says about you.
The ego is really just the thought system of the human animal. And it functions like an animal, doing what it has to do to “survive”. In its case, “survival” means seeming to exist for you. Your belief in it is its sustenance. And when you withdraw your attention it seems to “attack” to get you to feed it again. But you won’t experience its attention-sustaining measures as an attack when you see that it is nothing.
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