A Will-Apart is Only an Idea
Since I have become aware that what I thought of as “me” is a character in a story of Undoing (the “Atonement” in A Course in Miracles), and that in fact I am the Undoing (Holy Spirit/Awareness of Truth) expressed as that character, I have become aware that what I thought was me did nothing. I never had a will apart from the Undoing. Everything I felt, thought, and did was the story of Undoing. This has made it clear to me what the ego (personal thought system) was.
First, to recap the ontology (theory of existence) that I culled from ACIM and that the Awareness of Truth (Holy Spirit) and my experiences helped me hone: Truth (God), being All, must contain the idea of Its Own opposite. But, being All, It cannot have an opposite. The moment the idea arises it is undone by Truth’s All-encompassing nature. However, as Truth is timeless, limitless, and formless, not-Truth is time-bound limited form (the universe). Time is the illusion (not-Truth) on which all other illusions rest. In time, the idea of not-Truth, which was undone in Truth the moment it arose, seems to have begun long ago and it as though it will be undone in some indefinite future. Time, existence, consciousness—whatever you want to call it—is a story of Undoing, the outcome inevitable as it is a story of the impossible. So everything that happens, no matter how it appears at the moment, and everyone, no matter how unaware of Truth they seem, is the Undoing.
My identification with the self (body/personality) and the ego was the idea of not-Truth in the story of Undoing. The moment I became aware of Truth I became what I call a manifest-undoer, or what ACIM calls a teacher of God. From then on, my life manifested the undoing. (Of course, even those who do not become aware of Truth are part of the Undoing, because nothing can be apart from the story. Their lives just do not express the Undoing directly). My recent transcending of the ego is another step in the Undoing playing out through this mind and the self it projects.
Everything that happens is going to happen, so the ego was only ever an idea of a will-apart. My identification with it only determined if I struggled against the unfolding story or lived at peace with it. As an idea of a will-apart, which really means as its own god, the ego had its own goals for the self and when they lined up with what was going to happen I was happy and when they did not I was unhappy.
But at no time did my identification with the ego make something happen that was not going to happen. What it did was often make me unhappy. Since the ego has no power to make things happen that were not going to happen or to make things not happen that were going to happen, it can only weave a story of a will-apart. For example, it would tell me I made certain things happen through my motivations and efforts and that I didn’t make other things happen through my good judgment or failure. In other words, it weaves stories about me to make it seem that I am apart from the greater unfolding story. But, in fact, any motivation I felt to act was the Undoing playing out through what I thought of as me and any choice to not act was also the Undoing playing out through what I thought of as me. Nothing I did or didn’t do was independent from the whole. I have always been the Undoing.
The ego, I have learned, is not at all concerned with outcomes, although it would have me focus on them. Identifying with the ego seemed to be about me getting my way, but really it was only about exerting a will-apart. The ego opposed, period. Even when I was happy with how things unfolded or turned out, that was for the ego’s own reasons, not for the reasons that the situation actually occurred. For example, although initially resistant to me being on a spiritual path, the ego eventually simply devised its own goals for me on the path. I remember one day realizing I still had the goal of being a “spiritual person”. This came to light when that goal became an obstacle to peace. Only when I discovered this and sought to let it go did the ego become resistant to the path again.
Last week I wrote about grief, which begins in resistance, but, if allowed to run its course, is the process of coming to acceptance. My grief is about losing what I felt was me, an existence defined by boundaries and limitations and a will-apart. It was an illusion, but I experience this awareness as a death. That’s how powerful my mind is! An idea of me that was so real to me that its loss is a dying.
When a drop of water discovers it is an ocean it is no longer a drop of water. For a long while I was only looking into the gaping loss. Now, more and more I feel What is here, yet It still signals to me what has gone; the huge change of mind that has occurred. I still must unlearn the idea I overlearned: that exerting a will-apart is in my best interest. How can it be, when that is not what I am? When I say that the structure of the ego is gone and only its echoes and shadows remain, I mean I no longer believe in it. It was my belief that held it up. I see it is gone not just in how quickly my egoic responses evaporate now, but also in my very real grief. If I still believed in it, I wouldn’t grieve its loss.
Some have expressed concern to me that they will go through what I am going through when the ego falls from their mind. First, I have not experienced anything I could not handle. I have been uncomfortable for over five years, but it has not been unmitigated discomfort and nowhere near intolerable. I accepted the discomfort early on, and later, when I knew I was going to be even more uncomfortable for a while, I accepted that, too. But, also, it obviously does not unfold this way for everyone. Jan Frazier went right into joy; Bernadette Roberts into a dark night of the spirit. Every mind is different, and you will handle however it happens for you, willingly, as I have, because you want the Goal. I have seen glimpses of a peace with myself I have not experienced in a long while—if ever.