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Topic: The Illusions of the Ego
Teaching: Awakenings – Chapter 4
Host: Larry Seyer
Class: http://www.acimgather.org
Copyright: © A Course in Miracles
Workbook Topics Discussed:No workbook lesson was discussed today.

From Cheri Huber: “Kill the ego” is a phrase that is easily misinterpreted. Who is identifying “ego”? Who is killing whom? Who is seeing whom as the problem? Who is right and who is wrong? Who is making these decisions? There are two things we can count on where egocentricity is concerned-One: It is very clever; Two: Its only job is survival. Ego will take anything-ANYTHING-and use it for its purposes, even the notion of killing/dissolving/transcending/accepting itself. You can see the danger, spiritually speaking, of misinterpreting “kill the ego.”

These words are interchangeable: I ego, egocentricity, conditioning, karma, suffering. The definition they share is that they are the illusion of a self that is separate.

I offer this as a working definition of self-acceptance: The realization that there is nothing separate-from All That Is, from “God,” from Essence. It is the moment-by-moment living awareness that the self who struggles is not who we are but is, instead, karmic conditioning, a learned response to life, a survival system that served us as children but has lost its efficacy for us as adults and now needs to be appreciated, embraced and relived of its job.

The desire to get rid of ego is very different from ceasing to identify with a karmically driven, egocentric, socially conditioned illusion of a separate self. The first implies a contest: Ego is charged with killing ego; ego battles with ego; ego wins! The second implies letting go of the illusion of control; it is the end of struggle, and the means to that end is awareness.

The processes that I teach for ceasing to identify with conditioning are threefold: pay attention, believe nothing, take nothing personally. I don’t actually teach self-acceptance. I encourage people to see that the things they believe about themselves are not true. When you see through all that you have been taught to believe, when you realize who you are, self-acceptance becomes irrelevant.

All suffering is held in place by false beliefs. All beliefs are false. What is, is. Believing it is not helpful. Believing is what the illusory separate self does to maintain an existence outside the present moment. The process of not taking any of this personally allows us to see that we are all in the same boat. We can take responsibility for ending suffering, but we don’t have to blame ourselves for being born into it.

Text Topics Discussed:The Bible says that you should go with a brother twice as far as he asks. It certainly does not suggest that you set him back on his journey. Devotion to a brother cannot set you back either. It can lead only to mutual progress. The result of genuine devotion is inspiration, a word which properly understood is the opposite of fatigue. To be fatigued is to be dis-spirited, but to be inspired is to be in the spirit. To be egocentric is to be dis-spirited, but to be self-centered in the right sense is to be inspired or in spirit. The truly inspired are enlightened and cannot abide in darkness.

You can speak from the spirit or from the ego, as you choose. If you speak from spirit you have chosen to “Be still and know that I am God.” These words are inspired because they reflect knowledge. If you speak from the ego you are disclaiming knowledge instead of affirming it, and are thus dis-spiriting yourself. Do not embark on useless journeys, because they are indeed in vain. The ego may desire them, but spirit cannot embark on them because it is forever unwilling to depart from its foundation.

The journey to the cross should be the last “useless journey.” Do not dwell upon it, but dismiss it as accomplished. If you can accept it as your own last useless journey, you are also free to join my resurrection. Until you do so your life is indeed wasted. It merely re-enacts the separation, the loss of power, the futile attempts of the ego at reparation, and finally the crucifixion of the body, or death. Such repetitions are endless until they are voluntarily given up. Do not make the pathetic error of “clinging to the old rugged cross.” The only message of the crucifixion is that you can overcome the cross. Until then you are free to crucify yourself as often as you choose. This is not the gospel I intended to offer you. We have another journey to undertake, and if you will read these lessons carefully they will help prepare you to undertake it.

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File Type: mp3
Sample Rate: 44100
Stereo/Mono: stereo
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Length: (mm:ss) 26:25