Because I Made It

A few weeks ago I wrote about the part of my mind that overlearned the ego (personal thought system), was the most attached to it, and was the last part to acknowledge that it was gone. (Click here to read the article). I called this part of my mind the ego-identifier.

The ego-identifier still holds the lessons from the ego dear. It thought the self and the ego were its identity; it thought its whole purpose was to identify with the self and ego. But it is really a part of my mind and so it is capable of unlearning those lessons and integrating with the rest of my mind, which is rising to a Higher Awareness. I’ve learned more about the ego watching the ego-identifier being undone than I could when the ego was still a part of my mind.

I refer to the time when the ego (personal thought system) dropped but I didn’t know it as the “Mansion and shack” time. The ego fell when I felt, truly, that I was done with pain. It was not a rancorous feeling; just a fact. But I went into shock and I did not know it had happened. It took me four years to acknowledge it.

At the time, what I felt was frustration that I could not let go of the ego. I felt close, but, I thought, unable. What I was really feeling was what I now label the ego-identifier part of my mind resisting and denying that I had let it go.

To understand what I felt, I saw the ego as a shabby shack on the same property as a Mansion, which represented Abundant Truth. I had come to understand that the Mansion was mine and always had been. I did not earn It and I would not have to pay for It. It was, and always had been, mine. But I also still held onto the shack, shabby and inadequate as it was. I went back and forth between the Mansion and the shack. I vacillated between Truth and ego.

Why, I wondered, did I cling to something I could clearly see had no value and that kept me from That which clearly did? I looked at this in every way and I was left with just one conclusion: I valued the shack (ego) because it was mine. There was no other reason. It might be small and painful and unworthy of me, but it was mine, dammit!

Recognizing that didn’t shift anything. I tried coming at it from all sorts of angles, but nothing moved. Now I realize nothing moved because it had already moved! I was holding onto a shadow of the ego. But, back then, all I felt was frustration. I concluded I wasn’t ready to resolve this issue and let it go.

Four years later, I have encountered this idea from another angle. One morning, in this time of transition, steeped in the ego-identifier, I found myself crying from the depths over the loss of my twenty four year marriage. I had already grieved the loss of my wife. This time I was grieving the loss of one of my highest personal desires and values: A lifelong marriage. There was only one thing I valued more, and that was Truth. And that meant allowing It to lead the way and that has led me to the Holy relationship. Why, I wondered, was I valuing the form of a relationship over its content? And then I realized I valued form simply because it is form. I value form because I make it. In ego-identification, I decided that a lifelong marriage was valuable and made one. I decided what I wanted in that marriage. I made a home with my wife filled with things that represented our values.

Then I realized that the most important thing I was seeing was that my values themselves were forms I made! I decided what was valuable.

“Now must the teacher of God understand that he did not really know what was valuable and what was valueless. All that he really learned so far was that he did not want the valueless, and that he did want the valuable. Yet his own sorting out was meaningless in teaching him the difference. The idea of sacrifice, so central to his own thought system, had made it impossible for him to judge. He thought he learned willingness, but now he sees that he does not know what the willingness is for.” (M-4.I.A.7) (My underline for emphasis.)

How many times have I read this in A Course in Miracles and never understood it this way! In identification with the ego, I valued my values because I made them. I valued what my values made because I made them. I felt giving them up was a sacrifice not because of what they were, but because I made them. In ego, it was all a power play for autonomy, or independence, from the rest of my mind. It was all about being a god in this little patch of mind I made my own. That’s why the shack I made was more valuable to me than the Mansion that was simply mine.

This grasp for small power isolated me from the rest of my mind and made it feel alien to me. I felt that dropping the boundaries of a personal identity and joining the rest of my mind was submitting to a greater Power. And the ego-identifier still had this idea. What I have had to teach it is that it will not be joining the rest of my mind. It will be my mind. Its small existence will not disappear into a larger one. Its existence will expand as it accepts What it really is.

None of this is new stuff, of course. It’s all there in ACIM where it talks about ego autonomy (T11.V) and littleness versus magnitude (T15.III). And I’ve seen it in many forms over the years. But now I am seeing these ideas where I accepted them at the most fundamental level of my mind. And I am watching them, finally, be undone.

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As requested by a few readers, Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace, is now available in paperback as well as in digital formats. You can order a paperback book here . To learn more about this book, click here.
Some of you may be interested in the book that came through me when the Golden Light came into my mind last summer (learn more here). It is not a spiritual book at all, just an ordinary lesbian love story, so it's not to everyone's taste! It is called A Good Woman and it is now available on Kindle. Paperback coming soon. Learn more at


laurie said…
Liz, in the second to last paragraph, in trying to sort out/understand the pronoun 'it', one of your sentences, if I understand what you are trying to say, would read like this -- "And the ego-identifier still had this idea. What I have had to teach it (the ego-identifier)is that it (the ego-identifier) will not be joining the rest of my mind. It (the ego-identifer) will be my mind. Its (the ego-identifier) small existence will not disappear into a larger one. Its (the ego-identifier) existence will expand as it (the ego-identifier) accepts What really is.

Sorry for the wordiness, but is that essentially what you are trying to say?
will said…
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jonart said…
Liz, maybe for myself, this is getting a bit too celebral. For my understanding, can I just say, the ego, is the ego, is the ego and it
will cling by its fingernails off a cliff to continue to exist in whatever form that may be? Again, maybe Im just getting lost in some of this. Thank you for all that you do.
ACIM Mentor said…
Laurie, yes.
ACIM Mentor said…
Jon, what I meant by the ego-identifier is not the ego. The ego was never a part of the mind, but the ego-identifier is. The ego-identifier is where the ego was last attached and where the mind over-learned from the ego. Think of it like a splinter in your finger. Even after you remove the splinter it still hurts a bit where it was. But, with it gone, now it can heal.
nicci said…
"... he thought he learned willingness, but now he sees he does not know what the willingness is for."

given your new understanding liz, do i have to know what my willingness is for? is it enough to be willing in advance of knowing?

the stronger my willingness grows, the more i feel how little i know what anything means. the ego feels like a mistaken thought that has been over-learned. when i redirect the mind into the Holy Instant, there is this experience of Awareness with a Presence of Love. i desire to over-learn This. the forgiveness practice continues.

thank you ever for your guidance and help. n
ACIM Mentor said…
Nicci, it's the same for everyone. This is not about shifts in the outer life of the self. It means you didn't really understand what you were willing to happen within. Intellectually you may think you know what it means. But that's very different from the experience. A higher consciousness "costs" you the whole world you knew. And that's something you only fully understand in the experience. It's quite shocking! But how that shows up in the world will be different for each.

You will be willing in advance of your knowing. That's what that is saying.

will said…
Laurie, I can understand your frustration. This is pretty heavy going right now. It takes some effort to stay with it. I was thinking this morning that this must be how Freud or Jung's minds worked, the way Liz can see the inner workings. It takes a very particular ability that we rarely if ever are given the chance to see. I'm working hard to keep up but it does take a lot of effort. It reminds me of an algebra course I once took. I was doing well and enjoying the process of learning. But with algebra everything is built on top of the previous lesson. If you miss one class, you automatically have lost two. Coming back to class you won't be able to keep up. I missed some classes and got lost. I made it through the course, but just barely. Now I'm getting wordy. Ha! Hang in there.
ACIM Mentor said…
Will, don't get too caught up in the ego-identifier. First, as I've said, at this stage you see how your own mind works. It may not be applicable to everyone. I didn't understand much of what Bernadette Roberts wrote of her experience (The Experience of No Self). It's very idiosyncratic at this stage. Second, I've already dropped this concept for myself. Its usefulness is over. This week's article and the next couple were written before that, however.
will said…
Wait. You have dropped the concept of looking at your own mind?
ACIM Mentor said…
Will, I dropped the concept of the ego-identifier. I learned what I needed from the concept and it is no longer useful to me.
will said…
There is a process you are going through that I have been trying to follow. I'm realizing this is not something I should be trying to do. It is idiosyncratic, I don't need to understand the stages, at least not to any great depth and things are changing at such a rapid pace that it isn't really possible to follow it. I had originally thought if I followed what was going on it would gel into a whole at some point, the pieces would all fit together. But that isn't going to happen. At least not at this point.
will said…

Let me process what has been going on with me. It will help me figure things out. The depth you are able to see what is happening in the mind is similar to Freud or Jung. Whether you drop it or not doesn't matter (to me). Freud went through a process that led to psychoanalysis. You are going through a process that we don't know the end result yet. I had thought, this is a chance to watch and understand what those two guys were doing. The "discovery" of the unconscious mind, how they came to realize there was an unconscious was very interesting to me. This kind of stuff always has been. That is for me not everyone else as I am being reminded. I wanted to follow you down the rabbit hole as best I could.
will said…
When I talk about the similarity of with Freud or Jung it is the process not the content I am referring to.
nicci said…
thank you Liz. this is increasingly my take away from your sharings ~ i cannot possibly imagine what this Higher Consciousness is going to be like.... thank you for the reminder. another lesson in learning to live more in faith. and increasingly, His instruction to "give up the world" keeps returning . . . n
will said…
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Francis said…
I have come to believe that if the Ego and Abundant Truth were boxers, and they were introduced into the ring it would sound like this: In this corner The reigning World Champion Ego 7.6 billion fights 7.599,999,997 Wins and 3 losses. In this corner Abundant Truth undefeated 3 wins no defeats 7.599,999,997 no decisions.

Seriously I know that for myself the transition phase has been period of calling out every ego form I laid my eyes on without realizing who was doing the calling out. I think there is a fine tuning phase, a sieve you begin to develop that keeps reducing in size that only smaller and smaller ego particles can escape through. The day comes when you turn that fixer upper into a mansion.
nicci said…
thank you francis. n
will said…


When I think of miracles I usually think of them as something that happens to me. Gives me insight or removes a block that sort of thing. In Chapter I Atonement and Miracles talks of miracles in a Joel Goldsmith sense. Working miracles. Could you comment on this?
ACIM Mentor said…
Will, I suspect it's the use of the word "perform" that throws you. Again, it's ACIM using the language we are used to in regard to these ideas ("performing" miracles). This is why it takes study and looking at each part in the context of the whole. A miracles is a shift in you, as it also makes clear in this part (It always blesses you and maybe others, too). But it does not mean performing miracles in the traditional sense of making something happen for others.
will said…
Again. Yes you have said that many times. It is enticing the way it is written. It is enticing where it is written. The Text starts out for the beginner immediately leading them down the wrong path. Unless a person takes it literally.
will said…
In the period of editing with quite a few people involved, including Jesus, this rather glaring error is left in. I'm not arguing the point, you have your beliefs, it is just a curious thing.
I really liked your article and the photo is super. Thanks you.
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