Ask: Would you explain how you understand ego dynamics in an unholy relationship?

“…Would you explain your understanding of the ego dynamics of the unholy relationship from (T-17.III) ‘Shadows of the Past’.” – WW (May 25, 2018)

What A Course in Miracles refers to as an “unholy relationship” in that section is one where you see, usually unconsciously, someone from your past in another in the present, and you then play out your anger with the person in the past in the present relationship. For example, someone may unconsciously remind you of the uncle who abused you, or the fifth grade teacher who was unfair to you, or your mother who abandoned you, or your father who was emotionally absent, etc. The unconscious reminder may be triggered by appearance, personality, or behavior.

This projection of the past on present relationships is how all personal relationships begin. After all, all we know is the past. It is not always negative. Sometimes you may instantly like someone because they remind you of someone you liked in the past. This is why it is important to get to know people before you get too involved with them!

To see the present person as they are rather than through the filter of your own past, you must be willing to question your responses and to look at your projections of meaning onto the other’s words or actions. Sometimes you may be correct and they are behaving like the person from your past. You may be drawn to them because they seem familiar, even if dysfunctional. But, at other times, you may see something, like abandonment, for example, where there is none. This is why open, honest communication is important in relationships. You need to give the other the opportunity to explain themselves and their motives. For example, “When you say that, it makes me think of my mother just before she left us.” Of course, this means you must be willing to understand your own filters and projections.

Once you drop your projections of negative feelings from the past, you stop attacking the other for what they did not do, and you are able to see and love them as they are. Then you are free to see past the body to the Truth in their mind.

Do you need help finding obstacles to peace in your relationships? Relationships are our mirrors and classrooms. They are the number one topic with my clients. Email me at to set up a telephone appointment. Learn more at

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Anonymous said…
OMG, this is the best blog ever! I
ES said…
"Once you drop your projections of negative feelings from the past, you stop attacking the other for what they did not do, and you are able to see and love them as they are. Then you are free to see past the body to the Truth in their mind."

Good luck with that folks.

I've discussed this kind of issue with Liz many times and I know relationship issues form the lion's share of her work with others. Liz herself has mentioned to me privately and in her blog that sometimes people need to simply weigh whether they are getting more positive stuff from friends and acquaintances or more aggravation and once the scale settles make a decision whether to continue on or not. I don't mean to be flippant about this and I have agonized over these decisions myself but I now find my circle of friends and acquaintances growing smaller and smaller as I get healthier.

My own process for this began when I got divorced at which time I felt like the loneliest person on earth. (I have since learned that loneliness is just a feeling based on false learned notions and not a fact.) In any case I took the normal route to "correct" the loneliness - some dating, making new friends, attending social events. I found almost no one who wanted to engage in any kind of fluid spiritual way. Instead I found a pervasive lack of curiosity, stubbornness, fixed beliefs, unsolicited advise giving, trite sophomoric "philosophy" and psychological addiction. Even the spiritually inclined seemed to be mired in some form of ossified belief system. I've burned bridges with various people whose behavior and attitudes I found insufferable - a family member who liked to say that, "The only good Arab is a dead Arab."; an old friend who is adamant in his belief in wild conspiracy theories like the Sandy Hook Massacre of small children was a hoax; a jerky friend who refused to acknowledge some simple nuts and bolts type facts about a home improvement project about which she knows absolutely nothing; etc. Good riddance to them all.

I have no intention, at least at this time, to mull over why these people piss me off or arouse fear in me. I do take comfort in my quiet, simple lifestyle, my shrinking need for a social life, and my growing appreciation for meditation.
will said…
Hi All,

I have a blog going for those who are interested. It isn't working 100% yet as a lot of this blog stuff I am still learning. Anyway, will take you a Google link of Another Day In Sedona which was my original title but there is just too many links with this title so I changed it. I'm still working on getting rid of the Sedona Part. Below Another Day in Sedona is redterra. I live in a part of the country where the earth is red hence the name. Any advice or comments are readily welcome.

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