Ask: Why does the ego always speak first and how do I counter it?

A Course in Miracles says that the ego speaks first, is always wrong, and the Holy Spirit is the Answer (see T-6.IV.1:1-2) Why does it speak first? How to counter it? Rule no. 7 for me is the last & easiest of the Rules for Decision and seems like a good antidote for the ego speaking first.” – ES

The ego (personal thought system) always speaks first because it wants you to listen only to it. It is defensive, so it is reactionary and emotional, and this grabs and holds your attention, pushing out all reason and any other Voice.

You don’t need to counter the ego. In fact, trying to do so will only give it more power over you. Instead, you want to allow its response to come up and go past. Then you can turn to the Holy Spirit (Awareness of Truth in your mind). Sometimes you can do this quickly; other times, when you are more emotionally charged, you may have to take some time to let the charge pass.

The Rules for Decision (Chapter 30, Part I) provide an excellent process for getting past the ego when you are locked in its response. Rule #7 is:

“Perhaps there is another way to look at this. What can I lose by asking?” (T-30.I.12)

Sometimes you may be able to go to just this rule. But the rules before this one can be helpful because they get to motivation when you are really stuck: You don’t like how you feel. This is what motivates you to open your mind to another way of looking at a situation.

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Comments

Anonymous said…
Years ago Liz introduced me to the "Rules for Decision", found in chapter 30 of the Text of ACIM and suggested I try applying them to the pre-dawn anxiety I was experiencing on a regular basis - namely fears associated with the future as well those related to regrets about the past. I read Liz's translated version which she laid out as 7 easy-to-read steps that to me are more like a continuum of goals for daily life rather than a set of rules. The first is the most ambitious and optimistically grand: "Today I will make no decisions with the personal mind." They continue on with an increasing ease of attainability almost in a humorous way (but laced with the accommodating and kindly tone of the Course) implying that things may start to break down over the course of the day eg. one's commitment wavers; stressful thoughts and situations become overwhelming; etc. leading finally to No. 7: "Perhaps there is another way to look at this situation. I can not lose anything by asking." I copied the 7 "rules" onto an index card which I keep in my wallet and typed them onto a piece of paper which I posted on my refrigerator.

Despite reading them over and over and thinking about them, I never seemed to be able to apply them successfully until the other night when I awoke to a terrible fright thinking about some imaginary scenario that might take place in the future. This hypothetical scenario was predicated on another event which also hadn't happened. (Double craziness, no?) Just as I was about to slide into a black hole of overwhelming fear and dread, the following inner dialogue took place: "Just hold on a second. You have been studying the core principles of the Course through the 4HIP and Releasing Guilt for years. You think about these things every day. What part of what you have been studying supports these fears?" The answer of course was none of it. Although I saw no specific way out at that moment, I felt as though I had applied the brakes to a runaway train. Better yet, it was like a small force applied to an object hurtling through space with no gravity to impede its speed or direction - the object moves off in an alternate direction. Without really thinking about it, I used the essence of No.7 to give me a breather.
Susan Foletta said…
Thank you 'Anonymous'...that post is very helpful...It is a reminder of how being 'in the present' and constantly attuned to the HS is a najor challenge in this illusory world in which we exist!
will said…
I was surfing YouTube and ran across a site 'A Course in Miracles Audio Book.' I randomly clicked on one of the videos and of course it starts out on Chapter 30. I thought Anonymous might enjoy that. This site has a voice reading (computer?) without music or pictures flashing across the screen. Just a picture of the text. I like it because it is not distracting.
You have solved many peoples problem by explaining the myth of ego and how it encounters and how it overcome you. Surely, a recommended blog for everyone.

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