The Ego-identifier

From what I’ve read and heard, when the ego (personal thought system) falls from a mind, what follows is a unique experience. Some things seem universal, like emptiness and varying degrees of disorientation. Also, acclimating to the absence as well as the Peace that comes. But exactly what process a mind embarks on to recognize what happened and to adjust to it seems pretty idiosyncratic. So don’t expect that the particulars that I write about my experience will be your own.

I went into three and a half years of shock after the ego fell from this mind. Three years in, the emptiness, which I did not yet understand, became a delicious Spaciousness. This was filled with a Golden experience of Love. But I didn’t understand why this was happening. I didn’t dare think the ego had fallen. That seemed, well, egotistical! And, moreover, I was still having egoic responses. Only those had become very shallow.

The events I’ve written about lately that began four months ago, however, made it clear to me that the ego is gone and a new Life is beginning in this mind. I began to come out of shock. I had some very surreal experiences with this, sometimes falling back into shock, but it was clear the process of acceptance had begun.

Yet I continue to have egoic responses, shallow and quickly passing though they are. When you cut yourself and it scabs over, the last part of the scab to fall off is the thickest, where the cut was deepest. For me, it is as though, when the ego fell away, my mind scabbed over with shock to protect itself. And bits of the scab fell away over the years, until suddenly this spring a huge part of it fell off. Except for the last, deepest place the ego was attached. This is the part of my mind that overlearned the ego. I call this part the “ego-identifier”. It shares the not-Truth part of my split-mind with the observer (decision maker), the part that learned it could step back and merely observe the ego.

As the observer grew, and learned that it could detach from the ego so it couldn’t be the ego, the ego-identifier shrunk. But it held on tight to the ego to the end. It is the “echo” of the ego left in my mind, still habitually responding as the ego has taught it, but there is no substance behind its responses. They are shallow. They dissipate quickly as I unlearn these knee-jerk responses.

The ego-identifier is what stayed in denial longest and has mostly strongly resisted the transformation in this mind. Because, to it, which has always identified with the ego, the ego’s “death” seemed to mean its own “death”. Many times in those three and a half years of shock I’d have an insight or realization about a shift toward Truth that I felt, and I would think, stunned, “If this is true, then I’m already dead.”  The ego-identifier continued to say this even when the rest of my mind was coming to accept that, yes, as far as the ego went, I had “died”.

The question I’ve had is: Does the ego-identifier change and integrate with the observer and the Awareness of Truth? Or is it like the ego, unable to change, and therefore, do I need to release it? One day I turned to the ego-identifier and said, “You won’t cease to exist. You will just exist differently.” And its response was, “Different is death.” I realized that telling the ego-identifier that it would learn to identify with Spirit was like telling a person they could learn to identify with an ocean. The difference in experiences is so stark it is like ceasing to exist. So I concluded that the ego-identifier had to be released.

And I held this view for a few weeks because the ego-identifier seemed rock-solid in its denial and resistance. But something shifted recently. Beneath the grief I’ve felt for all of the people, things, values, and situations dropping in the self’s outer life, I’ve discovered a deeper grief for the loss of the ego. All of those griefs only signal that the ego has fallen. More powerfully, the Golden Love, the Holy relationship, and the Higher Awareness that have come to this mind also signal that the ego is gone. And what would resist these signs and mourn the loss of the ego but the ego-identifier? Grief means it is in a process. That means it can change. It can come to acceptance and catch up with the rest of my mind.

I didn’t expect this grief! I had the expectation, like many others, that when the ego fell it would just be happy happy joy joy as Spirit filled the void. But now I see it is just common sense that a mind used to a way of thinking, and thinking about itself, would have to adjust to that falling away. A Course in Miracles tells us that our minds cannot just return straight to Truth because the contrast would be too shocking. Well, I can understand that, as the ego falling is shocking enough!

Since I’ve recognized this grief, it’s been much easier. I had been flying into brief, but intense, rages, and they have ceased. The other day the ego-identifier said in a very small voice, “I have no purpose anymore. My only purpose was to identify with the self.” Insights into its thinking are openings. It is an odd position to be in, but I am mentoring my own mind! From Higher Awareness I am able to address the ego-identifier like I would a client or friend, helping it through its process. The past couple of days it has been expressing shock over the Holy relationship and my going to Australia! How did this happen? Who is this woman? What do you mean Australia? It’s all too strange! But, though still shocky, it sees these things now. It is catching up with the rest of my mind. In time, it will heal up, its resistance and grief will cease, and it will integrate.

A mentor is someone who walks the path ahead of you. If you want to benefit from my experience and perhaps lighten your process, email me at to set up an appointment. Learn more at

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Christine said…
My question is this: could this Undoing happen without your making a big move in your self's outer experience? I mean, there doesn't have to be a Huge change in addition to one's having a big inner shift? We can just remain the same in form and behavior yet our real inner life can make this profound shift?
Christine said…
Re reading the last paragraph, your Higher Awareness is the Christ Mind, or Christ Consciousness, which is our Real One Self!
Anonymous said…
From Ken W. The greatest Course Teacher( in this dream)
Run like hell, from Course students who believe they have a Holy Relationship with another person. They do not understand this Course. There are no Holy Relationships here. Only special relationships. The only Holy Relationship is with the Holy Spirit. When your decision making mind chooses the Holy Spirit as it’s Teacher, that is the Holy Relationship. The ego is very insidious, very sly, very subtle.
laurie said…

How do you know that Ken was the greatest Course teacher (in this dream)? You would have to know EVERY Course teacher personally to make that claim, wouldn't you. Even then, it would still be a subjective evaluation.

I'm just sayin'....

I know/knew Ken and he was a great teacher. I also agree with his statement about a Holy Relationship being the one we have with the Holy Spirit, but that is something I am choosing to take on faith, not something I KNOW. You present it like a FACT.

And do you really need to choose the anonymous moniker? And if so, can you please at least assign yourself a number (like Anonymous 1), so us readers and contributors can tell you shy ones apart?

will said…
This has been going on for a few weeks now, your attacks and then apologies followed by attacks.

"holy relationship: the Holy Spirit's means to undo the unholy or special relationship by shifting the goal of guilt to the goal of forgiveness or truth; the process of forgiveness by which one who had perceived another as separate joins with him in his mind through Christ's vision"
Glossary-Index for A Course in Miracles, Kenneth Wapnick, Ph.d
Fifth Edition-Revised.

In your thrashing about you are now attacking and lying about Wapnick whom you called the greatest course teacher. The people on this blog understand the ego attack you are under, God knows we have all gone through it, but you are setting yourself up for a lot of guilt. And I don't want to have to keep correcting you.
ACIM Mentor said…
Christine, I imagine so. I certainly tried hard to make it that way! But it was not meant to be for me. It will unfold differently for each, so I'm sure all ways are possible.
ACIM Mentor said…
Anonymous and Will, Ken was correct. I do not find a contradiction in what he said in either case. It was the lesson of my first Holy relationship that the actual Holy relationship is with the Holy Spirit. I've written about this many times. That awareness continues into this Holy relationship. It is something Hannah knows joyously as well. We join together in the Holy Spirit in our minds. Will's quote of Ken's captures the experience well.
ACIM Mentor said…
There's a lot of guilty, fearful projecting going on in here lately, dear readers. You know what you're feeling. Do you really want to reinforce that in your mind? Instead, you could ask for another way to look at what or whomever is bothering you and reinforce the Holy Spirit in your mind...
will said…
I had pictures the ego continuing to fade into the back ground as you described it with your family. To be replaced (somewhat like you are describing) with the Holy Spirit.
It sounds like you are seeing a new ego replacing the old? The person you were died and now there will be a new version?
I can't possibly explain this correctly you will have to read between the lines.
jontheartist said…
Liz, my back to ACIM Manual for Teachers Characteristics of God's Teachers 1.Trust, does that put you in Period of Unsettling prior to Achievement, which states 'And now he must attain a state that may remain impossible for a ling, long time." Just trying to understand your experiential travel as it relates to the Course. Many blessings and love.
ACIM Mentor said…
Will, yes, I was saying that Higher Awareness (Holy Spirit) is the new "Animator" that has come to replace the ego. What I described in the article is the part of my mind that overlearned the ego and now has to accept its gone and learn a new way.
ACIM Mentor said…
Yes, Jon, I'm in the period of unsettling. So aptly named!
Deb said…
A few summers ago curiosity around the idea of near death experiences arose and led to reading several accounts. Then the curiosity passed. Over the past several months, curiosity around transendence arose and I read accounts of this as well. One thing I can point out is I did not conclude but instead asked to be shown and I was. Similar to the curiosity of nde, I read some books about awakening experiences. The books I read helped me understand what Liz is experiencing. I read, The End Of Your World, The Path to No-self, The Experience of No-self, and just recently, The Leap which in one section mirrors much of what Liz had been sharing.

I am discovering curiosity supports open mindedness and replaces doubt quite nicely.
will said…
The critical part of describing the ego-identifier is "the part of my mind that overlearned the ego". I don't understand this, overlearned the ego.
ACIM Mentor said…
Will, the ego was a foreign thought system in my mind. It was not part of my mind. But I identified with it. And what I call the "ego-identifier" is that part of my mind that was so identified with the ego that it thinks letting it go is the same as its own death. But, of course, it wasn't. And that part is now learning that. It will, eventually, no longer be the "ego-identifier", my temporary name for it while it's in that process. It will re-integrate with the rest of this consciousness AS this consciousness.
will said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
will said…
Glossary starting from a few months ago.

Animator: The Self (body/personality) is an expression of our consciousness. The ‘animator of the self’ is that which expresses itself through this consciousness (what we see as personality). Either the ego or spirit.

A:Former animator told the mind to identify with the ego.

B: New animator ; With the fall of the ego the mind no longer has any sense of “ownership” of the self. Spirit is now living through the self (see Stranger Within).

Dying of the ego: Part of the mind that was identified with the self (body/personality) and ego (personal thought system).

Ego backlash: Mean ego. Lasts days or weeks.

“Ego falling away”: Guilt falls away, then self-concept falls away. Process of “unlearning” self-identification (lower relative mind).

Ego Identifier: The minds deepest and last attachment to the ego.

Golden Light: Same as the Vision of the Holy Relationship. Forgiveness through Christ’s vision. Only of the mind. Holy Spirit (?)

Higher Awareness: Higher Awareness is an individual expression of the Awareness of Truth. It is the awareness/consciousness/perception that replaces the ego in relation to the self. When I am in the Awareness of Truth I am looking inward at Love. When I am in Higher Awareness, I am looking outward from Love at the experience of the self.
“In It, I sometimes see things outside the bounds of spacetime. I can see how some things will unfold. I experience some things in the future as though they are happening now. The Higher Awareness view is detached and holistic. It sees the greater picture; the interconnectedness of people and events in the unfolding story.”

Holy Relationship: The process of forgiveness by which one who had perceived another as separate joins with her in her mind through Christ’s vision.
A: Mystical Holy Relationship- Bill and Helen. Brings the Reality of formless love within to conscious awareness. Experience of heaven of Oneness. (“The ark of peace is entered two by two, yet the beginning of a new world goes with them.” T.20.IV.6)
B: Practical Holy Relationship- Occurs at the level of form. Using relationships to learn that you are whole in the Truth within.

Holy Spirit: Awareness of Truth in your Mind.

Identifier/observer: Decision maker

Identifier: Is the part of the mind with the habits of thinking with (identifying with) the ego.

“Joining of Minds”: This is what a Holy relationship does when one mind joins with another. In that joining with just one other mind, you learn your mind is not limited to a self. Your mind is Limitless Being. The mystical Holy relationship saves time by taking your mind right to this truth, forcing you to confront your obstacles to Truth.

Reality Mind: Absolute, Eternal (Timeless), Infinite.

Relative mind: That which contains my beliefs and thoughts. Limited State.
A: Higher-Awareness of Truth, Holy Spirit, Christ Consciousness
B: Lower-Conscious, semi-conscious, unconscious, ego, personal thought system, self, body, personality

Riding the Slipstream: “In essence, you are experiencing the realization “oh my god, this is real!” in slow motion rather than with the immediacy of a higher miracle.” Can really piss off the ego.

Spiritual Growth: Development of Awareness of Truth (higher relative mind).

Stranger Within: The arrival of the Spirit replacing the ego. The experience is new so she calls it the Stranger Within.

Special Relationship: It is the obstacle to Truth and the Holy relationship, because the ego tells you if you lose the special relationship you lose Love and any chance at wholeness.

“unholy relationship”: Projecting the past on a present relationship.

will said…
Feel free to change, add whatever. It's not an ego thing it's just a learning tool.
Hi Liz - If I read you correctly, you said there had been some intense anger arising too with this new shift. Do you still find this is projected onto some figure or situation or is it fairly abstract?

Also thank you once again for being willing to post about your experience.
Deb said…
Reading your account again Liz, somehow I am seeing the grief you speak of so so loving. Thank you for opening my heart.

In loving appreciation, Deb
petraknits said…
Thank you Liz for chronicling your experience, to which I can relate to only too well, lol. I used to believe that my process of letting go and "instead" experiencing emptyness, rage, grief, etc, was an aberration in contrast with the constant bliss many so called enlightened beings describe. For a long "time" i felt like a failure in reaching this "ideal", despairing that this (bliss, joy, etc) happens for me someday too. In the meantime I an recognizing the incredible power of our minds and hearts, just by seeing one's believes projected. So, letting go of needing to have an "ideal" identity at some point, I have a great sense of freedom along with all the abysmal feelings which I now allow and accept.
CairnHummingbird said…
Deb Baczewski: Applaudes to you for mentioning other books on awakening. I read a shitload of them and found them helpful insofar as shattering the myths and expectations of Atonement. I am overjoyed for what is going on with Liz, and am so appreciative of her sharing too. Much love.
ACIM Mentor said…
Will, all I would change is to make "self" lower case, because upper case (Self) is often associated with Spirit for some. Also, I'm not sure about this: "The ‘animator of the self’ is that which expresses itself through this consciousness (what we see as personality)." Are you saying consciousness is what you see as personality? Because the self is the body/personality.
ACIM Mentor said…
W to P, the rage was directed toward any symbol that a new state of mind has come to replace the ego. So it was directed toward, alas, Hannah or the HR or any of the shifts going on in my outer life. I did not take it seriously, because I knew that was the ego-identifier's resistance. Since I've recognized it as grief, however, it has not happened again.
ACIM Mentor said…
Petraknits,you are welcome. Just know there is Joy, too! I used to fear grief and other negative emotions, but that was guilt. Now I see there's nothing wrong with them or with me for feeling them. They're just part of the process.
will said…
I was thinking the animator was animating the self outward as the person liz. I used personality knowing that might not make it.
ACIM Mentor said…
That is correct, Will
will said…
I'm beginning to suspect that there is no identifier and observer. Only the observer. The observer is our true identity where as the observer is simply the ego not a separate part from it.

I can only think and describe in three dimensions when I try to explain what I mean. Possibly the identifier is the just the part of the ego that has not "died" yet.
ACIM Mentor said…
Will, I have certainly considered that. But there is definitely something missing from this mind, the identifier's egoic responses are very shallow, and it is changing. It really feels to me as though it is simply the part of this mind that was most attached to and identified with the ego and so has the deepest habits of thinking like an ego.

Of course, I'm sharing my experience of this mind. It may be different for others. I have heard from others, though, who tell of teachers who had similar experiences of a shadow or echo or residue of the ego that is left when the ego falls and takes a little while to undo. It makes sense. Even when you've washed out the peanut butter jar you can still smell the peanut butter for a while.
will said…
Correction: the identifier is simply the ego...
hannah said…
haha, liz! i was just 1 minute ago having that experience with a jar ;)

also in jan fraziers book 'when fear falls away' she describes that recognition of habits of thought that stood out in sharp relief in the new conditions they arose in. one she didnt describe but was apparent was the new acceptance of where people were, she experienced total peace being with what they were experiencing, yet the desire to change/fix, to 'get them to hear, to know themselves as they are, free themselves from unnecessary pain' would rise up now and then quite loudly.
will said…
H. Which on of Jan Frasier's books do you recommend?
hannah said…
Will, 'when fear falls away'. i havent read the others.

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