The Void


Last week I wrote about the void left when the ego (personal thought system) fell away. What I mean by “void” is that the structure around which my mind organized itself is gone. I grab for familiar handholds and find them missing. This leaves me with the sensation of free-falling through space. Sometimes, however, I experience this as liberation.
Obviously, since I can observe this and write about it, it indicates my whole mind is not a void. The ego only merely occupied a place in it after all. It really was only a thought system—an arrangement of ideas for looking at myself and my world as a person.
What disguised the void for a while, rather unsuccessfully, is the echo of the ego remaining in my mind. It is unsuccessful as a disguise because it, rather than the Awareness of Truth (Holy Spirit), is now the “other” in my mind. It feels as though it is floating in my mind, rather than that it is my mind. It yells into the void, trying to fill it with what used to be there. But it simply cannot. When it is triggered it feels familiar to me, but no longer like me. However, it’s still something I want to deal with because the thoughts and feelings persist beside my Peace, distracting me from It. The triggers are resolved quickly, though, as I put into practice my old tools (see my book, Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace). This takes just minutes, or at most, a few hours. And even as I’m doing it, I feel I’m dealing with a shell rather than something of substance—something I used to feel was me! I am aware of far more Me around the void and the echo of the ego in it.
            However, sometimes I’m aware of the void as a void. I habitually reach for those structures of the ego that used to hold self-identification in place and I find they are no longer here. These were things like self-concepts and values and thoughts of myself in time. I sometimes have the thought, “I don’t exist anymore!” There’s a big, gaping hole where I used to be, and when I grab for what I was I feel I’m falling into an abyss.
            Of course, what I mean is, I don’t exist as I used to. Or, really, as I used to think I existed, because I’ve always existed as I am and I always will. What I am has no beginning and no ending. And that’s why sometimes I experience the void—the lack of a structure for an identity—as liberation instead. This is something I can get used to!

>>>>            
Want the benefits of speaking to someone on the path who has been where you are now? You can email me at Liz@acimmentor.com to set up an appointment for mentoring. Learn more at www.acimmentor.com.

Comments

will said…

Just too abstract

On first reading of this weeks blog it can seem just too abstract, to far from our experience to have a meaningful understanding. But is it?

As students on a lower rung of the ladder we have all experienced this in a much-simplified form. We have times when the Course seems to have really kicked in. We think to ourselves “Man this is really falling together.” The ego is there but it is in the back ground and seems somehow powerless to invade our bliss. The Holy Spirit is close and we somehow feel we have stepped out of our normal day to day struggle.

These can be seen as needed miracles that give us the insight and experience to keep going, to know we are on the right track and all is well with the world. They are usually fleeting. A few seconds, a few minutes, maybe a few hours. But the void is there in this simplified form of Liz’s experience as we see the ego at a distance from us.
Atmos said…
Dear Liz!

I stopped reading your blog some weeks ago, because I had the impression that you are obsessing on the "ego dropping away" - just returned to see that this is still the case.
How can something that doesn't exist drop away? What I'm reading is, that previously you believed in the illusion of an ego (something we all share) and now you are believing in the illusion of the absence of an ego (void) - both are illusions and as we learned, there is no hierarchy among them.
In short: I think you should forgive your experience of the void and the ego dropping away instead of looking for ways to explain it.

On a side note on your other post: I also have read the Infinite Way, Bernadette Roberts and the other books you were mentioning many years ago - besides hundreds of books on Advaita Vedanta - and I never found it helpful to blend different traditions in teachings. The words have so many different meanings that all you get as a result in teaching them side by side is more confusion instead of more clarity. Your rhetorical questions about what is source and what effect and whether effects of experiences of Truth can also be a teaching aids by themselves, is answered in the course by "ideas leave not their source".
So whether you are looking for peace, stillness or Truth itself doesn't matter, since all these effects have never left Truth in the first place.

The reason why I'm writing you this is simply because I really loved the crystal clarity of your teachings in the past and now I have the feeling you got lost in the "ego dropping away"-illusion - something I can totally relate too, but I really loved your blog and writing and wished you would return to lending your voice to the HS instead of the same old story of the "non-ego" that has befallen the teachings of so many other nonduality teachers out there.

Love & Peace,

Atmos
will said…
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will said…
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will said…
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ACIM Mentor said…
Liz jumping in: In the absence of questions from readers I will write what I am moved to write without judging it. Of course, not everyone likes what I write and some are triggered by some of my articles. That is between them and the Holy Spirit.
will said…
School of hard knocks

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