Self is not a new "me"

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Self is not a new "me"

Post by Sighclone » Tue Jan 28, 2014 8:13 pm

Many teachers suggest that you are not “little me,” but something else, something much bigger and inclusive. I think this is misleading. If you interpret these teachings as suggesting that the egoic self is replaced by another identity kinda like the “little me” self, except way bigger and more powerful, you might be in for a long inner hike. Nisargadatta bemoaned the title to his big book, “I Am That” because it suggested that there remained an identity, “I” to be “That.” What happens is that the egoic identity doesn’t really change much, but rather our need for an identity that is solid, inviolable, permanent and self-protective dissolves. This happens because Self/Brahmin/Pure Awareness/Being/Source is discovered, or realized. The recognition of Pure Awareness as the essence of all experience and life can come in fits and starts. Fred Davis in “The Book of Undoing” suggests that after this realization, “Fredness” remains. (He also offers Skype sessions which can provide a glimpse of Pure Awareness if not “more.”) I like that conceptual distinction; it allows our personality, our “stage identity” which can be fun to operate as, to remain, and ultimately not be threatened, but in fact be clarified as a “role” in a social play, with gobs of other players, and no more than that.
As an egoic self, we can look upon the concept of “no self” as very threatening; it’s complete depersonalization, utter existential anomie. Of course, the concept of “peace beyond understanding” (the other side of that conceptual coin) sounds pretty neat. Looking out from the seat of ego, using our mind to shuffle concepts, we are left with, at best, “maybe.” But the concept of not needing an identity at all is pretty bizarre. Awakening seems to be, as many have said, a recursive deconstruction, neti neti, etc. But the impact of awakening occurs when enough of the superstructure of ego is dismantled to reveal the simple source and substrate of all life. This primary event can be pretty shocking. Kiki speaks of letting go of the rope to discover that you were standing on the ground the whole time. The discovery that there is no need for even a “self-actualized” self is actually a moment of profound relief. Many people just laugh. Then comes decades of integration.
However, Divine Witnessing arrives. I guess it can feel like an expanded “little me.” But it isn’t. Just like “egoing” is a better term than “egoic self,” “witnessing” is a better description than “witness.” The first thing to be witnessed is the big parade of habits and beliefs and opinions and preferences which were “me.” And these arrive in a whirlwind…pretty much everything “we” do is a collection of conditioned behaviors, most of them running on autopilot. At first, the witnessing kind of seems to be physically “behind” all of this stuff. Ever listened to your recorded voice? Does it sound exactly like you imagined? Usually not. Well, there “you” are, bumping along like a big ol’ robot sort of. There is a change in perspective, for sure. And this changed perspective evolves also. In my case, all kinds of “subconscious” conditioning and beliefs started arising, and they still do! The Awareness into which they arise, however, is not a new “me.” It’s more like a big field…a field full of patience and love.

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce

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Re: Self is not a new "me"

Post by Webwanderer » Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:17 pm

Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys football team, once asked Deion Sanders (in a commercial), 'what will it take to sign you to a contract? 15? 20 million?' Sanders replied, 'both'.

So too is it (in my perspective) the way it is with individuality and oneness. The problem with individuality is not so much with its existence, but with its exclusiveness. Exclusivity begets separateness, and that seems to have too many problematic issues.

There is really no reason not to have it both ways however. The way i see it is that in the Greater Reality there is Oneness. But within this oneness there is countless ways, or perspectives, of perceiving the infinite possibilities of all that is. Infinite facets on an infinite holographic diamond. Each facet both contained within and containing the Whole.

The fact is that we are here engaged in unique, often egoic, perspectives. With rare exceptions, that includes all of us. I don't see that as an accident of being, but one of designed intent. We have these individualized persona's that are capable of, and engaged in, of all sorts of interesting exploratory experiences. To simply discount a persona's value by denying its reality from a Greater sense seems to defeat its purpose. Sure, getting lost in them can cause all manner of unpleasantries, but that doesn't mean those unpleasantries have no value to that Greater sense of being. Somehow that had to be taken into consideration in the design.

Waking up to the understanding that we are not what we 'think we are', and begin living from a greater understanding about our oneness, while yet exploring through our uniqueness, feels like appropriate use of the conditions in which we find our 'selves'. I, for one (or maybe as One), do not want to live completely lost in thought identification. But to a degree we seem to be limited to the consciousness capacity of the human vehicle. Even those who have ventured beyond it to experience a clear recognition of their true nature are unable to bring the fullness of it back to their human perspective. It's like living in a thumb drive after venturing into an infinite hard drive containing All knowledge and information - all of what is found there simply won't fit into the thumb.

To each his own, but I have little interest in abandoning a perspective that has value in the type of unique experience it is capable of. I know I won't keep it forever, but as it seems to be an intention to be in this form of experience, I plan to get the most out of it while it lasts.

WW

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Re: Self is not a new "me"

Post by rideforever » Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:19 pm

What happens is that the egoic identity doesn’t really change much
In my experience this is not correct, and actually is the foundation of many poor 'spiritual' understandings.

How can we be 'integrated' if the 'little me' - the one that has read TPON, the one that is meditating - is given such little respect, and is assumed to be un-integrateable.

What people call the ego is the foundation of your spiritual journey. If you die so does your spiritual journey. There would be nothing at all without this ego. No god realisation.

Furthermore the reason the ego feels threatened is because it is not respected. People talk about killing the ego, they laugh about it ... which creates deep resentment. It is like laughing at your legs.

And there is really no need, for the truth is that if you go through the gate then the 'ego' is purified. This is what I sense, that a harmonisation occurs within the human body mind so that it is all one ... one part of you in creation (which is full of drama) ... and other parts of you in other dimensions that have different characters ... you bridge different dimensions.

Mostly on this forum people talk of the joy of 'discovering' this universal awareness. But that is just the beginning of the journey. And if you remain just touching it ... then I think you have not gone so far. Yes, it is refreshing ... but going through the gate is the next step. And then the human form is purified.

Compared to the human form, the openness people feel when they touch the "universal" is quite dramatic. But on further investigation you can see that there is a character to it. It is not without ... a taste. And you are not God - something you can easily test yourself. What is that taste ? That is the next step, to continue exploring.
rather our need for an identity that is solid, inviolable, permanent and self-protective dissolves
This is also not correct in my understanding. Why is there relief at finding 'the self' ? ... precisely because it is solid, inviolable, and permanent. So you actually find the answer.

And who is relieved ? ... who ? Who is happy ? Without the human body-mind there is no happiness.

It is clear to me that many spiritual ideas that make the rounds have been surpassed. And that repeating 'ideas' that are milleniae old is very limited. There are winds of change afoot. A new world of spiritual exploration, deep and better than before.

In the USA there are great pioneers in many fields ... people of freedom and liberty. Now some spiritual people laugh at all this noise ... preferring to continue living in their 3rd world countries, in their poverty. Their understanding cannot cope with people who are exploring the boundaries. People want to hide, to be protected ... by mantras, by ideas, by a teacher, by history or great teachings. But this is not the way.

If you practice "neti, neti" (not this, not that) ... you have prejudiced your open enquiry into what is. In the same way as the Buddhists do by saying "the end of suffering". But ... of course, if you are open then you are just open.
In my case, all kinds of “subconscious” conditioning and beliefs started arising, and they still do
Yes, this is because you have not yet purified your body mind. For the objective to face the subconscious monkey within is a tremendous cataclysm, but it can be done.

WW ... just saw your post. Yes completely concur. Furthermore, through deep practice many things can change and be created. The purpose of the ego is like they say in Christianity ... you reap what you sow. Meaning you get what you deserve. If you really love God, you can create something incredible inside you. It is far more than just being in contact with "universal awareness". If you purify yourself you can create a tremendous "beingness" within that has character, it is not devoid of character. This is what a god is.
Last edited by rideforever on Wed Jan 29, 2014 7:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Self is not a new "me"

Post by Rob X » Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:14 am

Using the old ocean/ripple analogy we might sat that the ego is like a ripple on the ocean. When it is realised that the ripple is not other than the ocean - that the ripple is the ocean ripple-ing - the ripple still plays out its manifestation through the limitation of its particular expression. It does not become purified (apart from symbolically speaking) or become a super-sized ripple. An energetic shift of orientation occurs - but life goes on - wood to chop, water to carry etc.

"But the impact of awakening occurs when enough of the superstructure of ego is dismantled to reveal the simple source and substrate of all life." Nicely put.

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Re: Self is not a new "me"

Post by Sighclone » Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:32 am

"What happens is that the egoic identity doesn’t really change much"

In my experience this is not correct, and actually is the foundation of many poor 'spiritual' understandings.
Sorry if this was confusing. My point was that the need for identification with any "entity," be it ego, self, God or Santa ends at realization of the simple totality of Self. Self alone is. You do not become identified with it. Elsewhere I have defended the ego's place and purpose many times. But it does not become enlightened. It never had that capacity. It can, however, become "spiritualized." (Me = Guru; you, lovely as you are, something less.) One test is authentic, abiding humility.

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
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Re: Self is not a new "me"

Post by rideforever » Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:37 am

Yes that's the old ascetic idea ... that the ego is some kind of a mistake ... and once you discover the "universal consciousness" then the game is over.

This was Route 1 for mankind for thousands of years. But it is not a correct or intelligent view.

It is a tremendous arrogance of the ego to think that the Creator made a mistake that it is going to fix. Or to dismiss the ego when it is the soil of your growth.

Secondly if you actually investigate this inner space you will see that (a) you are not God (b) this inner space although of a different quality to the ego, actually has character.

Why did Buddha sit until the end of his life. Why did Bodhidharma cut his eyelids off so that his entire life could be spent in meditation.

(I guess they made a mistake as well.)

This ascetic view is just another spiritual materialism. You want to say "oh now I know" ... to relieve you of the responsibility to grow.

Buddha did not chop wood and carry water. He exited from the ordinary world to do 24-7 meditation. And after he reached a point where he could teach, he both taught and did meditation 24-7.

Chop wood and carry water ... present moment awareness ... all these spiritual ideas are just twisted by the ego so that it can remain in charge of a dull being that wants to feel satisfied.

"the impact of awakening" ... and who is feeling this impact ? The ego ? Is your entire view described from the point of view of the ego that you have dismantled ?!!!

Are people afraid of using intelligence ?
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Re: Self is not a new "me"

Post by rideforever » Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:01 am

You know what it is is this ... all those incredible HUMANS who are base-jumping off mountains, who are throwing themselves into wild and crazy relationships, who are doing so many impossible things ... it is this energy that needs to be directed to The Great Way. It is these people that really understand.

These people have more in common with Buddha, because they are Alive and willing to be courageous come what may. This is facing reality.
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Re: Self is not a new "me"

Post by Enlightened2B » Wed Jan 29, 2014 2:14 am

rideforever: Yes that's the old ascetic idea ... that the ego is some kind of a mistake ... and once you discover the "universal consciousness" then the game is over.

This was Route 1 for mankind for thousands of years. But it is not a correct or intelligent view.
I wasn't aware there was a 'correct' or 'incorrect' notion of 'enlightenment. But, I guess since you said it is 'not correct'....must mean just that.

Guess all those people getting involved in 'wild and crazy relationships' and risk taking events like 'mountain jumping' have really seen the light....better start getting my mountain gear ready with my copy of PON in the other arm :lol:

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Re: Self is not a new "me"

Post by Rob X » Wed Jan 29, 2014 4:48 pm

Interesting take on this, Rideforever. I agree with some of what you write.

The way of hardship or struggle (though there is never a good case for cutting off your eyelids) can, of course, be a valid approach. Heroic struggle, living on the edge, mystical epiphanies all have the same goal; to bring the mind to a halt (or more accurately, to cause the narrative/conceptualising circuitry of the mind to abate.) This is also the point of the koan, of meditation - and, since you mention him, Gurdjieff's method - they take us to a point where the intellect gives up - and the simple timeless truth shines through.

But there is a real danger here of buying into some romantic ideal of spiritualism - the purification of the human form, the requirement for heroic courage, man becoming a deity etc. Stimulating and entertaining though these ideas may be, they can amount to just another set of diversions and misdirections for the agitated mind which just cannot grasp the breathtaking simplicity of this.

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Re: Self is not a new "me"

Post by rideforever » Wed Jan 29, 2014 5:55 pm

Yes, well there are many people on the forum and they understand from many different levels.

As I see it bringing the mind to a halt is the beginning. But many talk as if it is the end. But it is just the end of the beginning. It is only then that the real prayer can begin ... and I don't mean some vague wishy washy good feeling. I mean ... taking instructions from the divine ... or surrender.

Growth is ... painful for want of a better word. It means discarding the old like a snake slips its skin. There is a pain involved. And as we are we seem to be able to grow without limit, but I believe that right now man is in quite a low state so people get excited about tasting "the timeless truth" ... which is actually just the beginning and is something we should have been taught from day 1 if we had been born in a sane world.

What is "just this" ? It is only breathtakingly simple if indeed you are blocking it out at a deeper level. If you feel you satisfied and bathe in your satisfaction ... then ... you have stopped growing. That is not my choice.

I seem to have already grown far beyond most people through the inner work ... so what shall I do now ? Shall I come to a stop ? Declare myself the winner as I have avoided the mechanical life as I watch my contemporaries become stiff and old and dull inside ? And a human life can be beautiful, but truly if you undertake this journey then you really do grow.

On this planet few take the journey and rapidly you become very different inside from everyone else here. It can feel lonely.

God is my friend. He is the truth inside me, if there was no such thing I would be insane. I am grateful for the beam of love he sends to me. And I shall grow towards him. What else can I do ?

I am watching this series on Gurdjieff today :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8ZDNZZWKv8
Last edited by rideforever on Wed Jan 29, 2014 7:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Self is not a new "me"

Post by KathleenBrugger » Wed Jan 29, 2014 7:03 pm

Webwanderer wrote: The way i see it is that in the Greater Reality there is Oneness. But within this oneness there is countless ways, or perspectives, of perceiving the infinite possibilities of all that is. Infinite facets on an infinite holographic diamond. Each facet both contained within and containing the Whole.

The fact is that we are here engaged in unique, often egoic, perspectives. With rare exceptions, that includes all of us. I don't see that as an accident of being, but one of designed intent. We have these individualized persona's that are capable of, and engaged in, of all sorts of interesting exploratory experiences. To simply discount a persona's value by denying its reality from a Greater sense seems to defeat its purpose. Sure, getting lost in them can cause all manner of unpleasantries, but that doesn't mean those unpleasantries have no value to that Greater sense of being. Somehow that had to be taken into consideration in the design.

Waking up to the understanding that we are not what we 'think we are', and begin living from a greater understanding about our oneness, while yet exploring through our uniqueness, feels like appropriate use of the conditions in which we find our 'selves'. I, for one (or maybe as One), do not want to live completely lost in thought identification. But to a degree we seem to be limited to the consciousness capacity of the human vehicle. Even those who have ventured beyond it to experience a clear recognition of their true nature are unable to bring the fullness of it back to their human perspective. It's like living in a thumb drive after venturing into an infinite hard drive containing All knowledge and information - all of what is found there simply won't fit into the thumb.

To each his own, but I have little interest in abandoning a perspective that has value in the type of unique experience it is capable of. I know I won't keep it forever, but as it seems to be an intention to be in this form of experience, I plan to get the most out of it while it lasts.

WW
I like what both WW and rideforever have said here. It seems to me also that the sense of egoic self exists for a purpose; it was not some mistake. Sometimes that's the sense I get from nondualists, that the separate self is a hell that needs to be escaped as soon as possible; that somehow human evolution went awry and we screwed up and developed egos. The only desire seems to be to merge back into the One.

I just saw a quote by G. Spencer Brown, a mathematician that sums up my perspective:
Thus we cannot escape the fact that the world we know is constructed in order to see itself. This is indeed amazing. Not so much in view of what it sees, although this may appear fantastic enough, but in respect of the fact that it can see at all. But in order to do so, evidently it must first cut itself up into a least one state which sees, and at least one other state which is seen.
The universe exists for the One to have the capability to look upon itself. This creates the multitude of perspectives that are like "infinite facets of the holographic diamond." In order for the One to have this self-awareness, creatures have to evolve with the ability to perceive self and other. In our development we've gotten confused about our perceptions, and taken the concept of self too seriously. I think we don't want to let go of the perception of self/other, we just need to realize/remember that it is just a perception and not the complete reality.
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Re: Self is not a new "me"

Post by coriolis » Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:11 pm

KathleenBrugger wrote:Sometimes that's the sense I get from nondualists, that the separate self is a hell that needs to be escaped as soon as possible; that somehow human evolution went awry and we screwed up and developed egos. The only desire seems to be to merge back into the One.
Perhaps the ego was the development that allowed us to evolve from animal to (quasi) rational human beings and it came at the price of a lost "sense of wholeness".

The next development will, hopefully, be a heal of the split between the "conceptual grasp" of things and the "felt sense" of them into a new whole -- human to transhuman.

We seem to be reaching the limits of what the human mind can represent accurately in it's conceptual maps.

The road ahead will require a context switch similar to the one that gave rise to the learned "me" developing after infancy that put us at the top of the food chain -- yet lacked the wisdom to stop there when enough was enough.

The ego will not die or be eliminated simply because, in the reality outside the human mind, it has never existed.

But in mindspace, which we so often confuse with what exists independently of it, the ego (as the agent of an imagined separation) must die -- but it is the death/depersonalization of a character being acted out -- not of an actual living being.

Those to whom it has happened still apparently function "normally" right along with all the rest of us.

But, beyond what we see and hear, they are very, very quiet and very, very empty.
Look deeply inside yourself and try to find yourself.
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Re: Self is not a new "me"

Post by rideforever » Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:29 pm

In the link I gave which is a 5 part talk on Gurdjieff ... in Parts 4 and 5 then purpose of the universe according to Gurdjieff is exposited : In order to counteract the force of time that destroys everything the Creator constructed a world with living entities that maintain the universe in order to counteract the force of time.

It's very interesting to listen to.

The origin of the ego and its fall from harmony are also discussed.
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Re: Self is not a new "me"

Post by KathleenBrugger » Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:36 pm

coriolis wrote: Perhaps the ego was the development that allowed us to evolve from animal to (quasi) rational human beings and it came at the price of a lost "sense of wholeness".

The next development will, hopefully, be a heal of the split between the "conceptual grasp" of things and the "felt sense" of them into a new whole -- human to transhuman.

We seem to be reaching the limits of what the human mind can represent accurately in it's conceptual maps.

The road ahead will require a context switch similar to the one that gave rise to the learned "me" developing after infancy that put us at the top of the food chain -- yet lacked the wisdom to stop there when enough was enough.

The ego will not die or be eliminated simply because, in the reality outside the human mind, it has never existed.
This is very well put coriolis. I just wrote about evolution of consciousness in another ET thread. I used Ken Wilber's terminology of pre and trans. Pre-egoic humans were more like animals in that they didn't have the conceptual, narrative mind. There was a sense of the wholeness of life, but that sensing was just that, sensing, on the perceptual level with no conscious awareness--it couldn't be talked about. How cool is the development of the ego--it allowed us to be able to have conversations about it in a virtual space like this forum! Humans had to go through the egoic stage to get to the trans-egoic where we can recognize the individual and the whole simultaneously.

And the ego never existed...I like that...it's just a case of mistaken identity. Humans developed the ability to think rationally and conceptually, and mistakenly came to believe that we were that voice in our heads, instead of seeing that that voice is just a tool to help us navigate life.
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Re: Self is not a new "me"

Post by kutto » Thu Jan 30, 2014 5:54 am

Hi All,

I have not posted for a while because I have been absorbing A Course In Miracles and it is changing my thinking quite a lot. Well not changing at such but putting 'old' concepts in different arrangements and at different 'levels', and very much making me aware of highly self defeating thought habits that had been pushed out of awareness and which frankly I just need to stop practicing and practice something else (which is really leading to inner peace instead of inner conflict) It is ultimately removing barriers 'between' myself and God which is much of what the course is about. (Arguing ultimately of course that there really is no barrier at all save for the ones the Ego puts there)

It is really about learning to hear the still quiet voice of God within. I would like to discuss a few points that have been raised in this thread some to specific practical points as well as the 'big picture' ones as almost all of the major points are dealt with in ACIM. I have read it and am 're-reading' it via the audio book as well as doing the daily workbook lessons. I have also started reading the 'urtext' or unedited original directly transcribed version which can be downloaded. It is very different in tone to the published work becuase it is a conversation between the 'author' and 'scribe/editor' - it feels much more personal than the sometimes 'high and mighty' tone of the published version. It also deals refers to sexuality which the published version does not touch on at all.

http://courseinmiracles.com/resources/d ... pdf-s.html

Anyway I wanted to put a block of text in from ACIM that deals with this issue of 'Fear of God' and 'what happens to me if my will becomes one with God' question which is sort of like - do I disappear - I think it is fair to say the 'Fredness' is still very much there argument is the answer it puts forward. I am struggling very much with this 'feeling' right now - I have championed 'attack' thinking for much of my life without realising that I was doing it - it is ultimately defense from fear but that is the point - You are what you extend - if you extend fearful thinking you will see it reflected in the world around you. The fact is though for most of us most thinking occurs out of awareness and we 'get the bit at the top'

ACIM is a big book but it basically says - it's big because the ego likes everthing complicated and it is essentially saying the same simple thing in different symbolic terms that can be recognisable in the varying constellation of images that we see reality as. (thanks to our little friend the ego) -

My constellations are jumping like a kaleidoscope at the moment as I deal with unearthing these thinking patterns. I can see how one mode of negative thinking reflects off another pattern of negative thinking and you can get essentially locked into some rigid patterns - Unfortunately patterns that get stronger when in distress and lead to isolation which leads to great distress and a loop that can get worse and worse. We are talking seriously since infancy patterns. Very very deeply embedded and of course reinforced in so many ways over many years which of course increases fear and so on... My own mind has indeed been profoundly split let alone the larger human consciousness.

Note ACIM defines the Ego as 'Literally a fearful thought' and my take on Holy Spirit is your 'personal' communication link from God. I would like to discuss more later on as I am on my lunch break now and have run out of time.

T-9. I. 1. Fear of the Will of God is one of the strangest beliefs the human mind has ever made. It could not possibly have occurred unless the mind were already profoundly split, making it possible for it to be afraid of what it really is. Reality cannot “threaten” anything except illusions, since reality can only uphold truth. The very fact that the Will of God, which is what you are, is perceived as fearful, demonstrates that you are afraid of what you are. It is not, then, the Will of God of which you are afraid, but yours.

T-9. I. 2. Your will is not the ego’s, and that is why the ego is against you. What seems to be the fear of God is really the fear of your own reality. It is impossible to learn anything consistently in a state of panic. If the purpose of this course is to help you remember what you are, and if you believe that what you are is fearful, then it must follow that you will not learn this course. Yet the reason for the course is that you do not know what you are.

T-9. I. 3. If you do not know what your reality is, why would you be so sure that it is fearful? The association of truth and fear, which would be highly artificial at most, is particularly inappropriate in the minds of those who do not know what truth is. All this could mean is that you are arbitrarily associating something beyond your awareness with something you do not want. It is evident, then, that you are judging something of which you are totally unaware. You have set up this strange situation so that it is impossible to escape from it without a Guide Who does know what your reality is. The purpose of this Guide is merely to remind you of what you want. He is not attempting to force an alien will upon you. He is merely making every possible effort, within the limits you impose on Him, to re-establish your own will in your awareness.

T-9. I. 4. You have imprisoned your will beyond your own awareness, where it remains, but cannot help you. When I said that the Holy Spirit’s function is to sort out the true from the false in your mind, I meant that He has the power to look into what you have hidden and recognize the Will of God there. His recognition of this Will can make it real to you because He is in your mind, and therefore He is your reality. If, then, His perception of your mind brings its reality to you, He is helping you to remember what you are. The only source of fear in this process is what you think you will lose. Yet it is only what the Holy Spirit sees that you can possibly have.

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