Do We Need the Ego?

WHAT IS THE EGO  is the section of the Workbook that we recently listened to in our weekly ACIM Study Group. It is read by Maz Weber-Caspers along with his own exquisite music.

Afterwards we had a discussion on the ‘Ego’ and the following question arose:


ANSWER:     This is a fantastic question because it most likely stems from our prior conditioning and training which has TAUGHT us that the ego is normal and natural and very much needed for us to exist in the world. And this is true if we believe that the world the ego has created is REAL. The ego makes the world and then dictates its own reality within that world.  And yet HE tells us in A Course in Miracles this is “too ridiculous for anything but to be laughed away”. ♥

How willing are you to escape effects of all the dreams the world has ever had? Is it your wish to let no dream appear to be the cause of what it is you do?

No one asleep and dreaming in the world remembers his attack upon himself. No one believes there really was a time when he knew nothing of a body and could never have conceived this world as real. He would have seen at once that these ideas are one illusion, too ridiculous for anything but to be laughed away. How serious they now appear to be. And no one can remember when they would have met with laughter and with disbelief.   ACIM OrEd.Tx.27. 78

‘WHO’ then is even asking this question? Most certainly it is the one who does not remember their initial attack upon themselves and does not remember that instant when time was carved from eternity and limitation placed upon wholeness. And since we don’t remember, we continue to ask a question, predicated on our separateness: “Do we need the ego?”

We have learned that the ego is defined as a sense of ‘self’ distinguished and separated from other selves and yet the entire study of A Course in Miracles is a process of bringing us back to the Knowledge that we are not our egos and back to the Knowledge that we are not separate from one another.

From loving minds there is no separation. And every thought in one brings gladness to the other because they are the same. ACIM OrEd.Tx.22.64

He tells us that the ego stems from a sense of division. Healing our sense of separation is actually the only goal we have while we still find ourselves in this ‘world’. HE tells us that there is only one problem and that there is only one solution. The ‘problem’ is our belief in separation and the solution is the REALITY of our Oneness.

The ego is the belief of the mind that it is completely on its own. Its ceaseless attempts to gain the Soul’s acknowledgment and thus to establish its own existence are utterly useless. ACIM OrEd.Tx.4.33

When I was 19 years old I tried to do just that. I read a book called Psycho-Cybernetics and was inspired to try to change my personality. I tried to re-create myself using the ego as guide. The only thing I succeeded in doing was to lose all sense of who I was and what the world was. At the time it was frightening and yet it was a kind of liberation. I was completely in the NOW. I lost a sense of my past and very little was defined for me. And yet there was a Core of Being within my heart that was at Peace and Knew that which was Real could not be threatened. In the following quote, HE tells us that we are part of reality and all we need do is “see it as it IS.” We don’t need to struggle with concepts or ideas. We can allow Reality to BE what it IS. This is one of the most beautiful parts of the Course and one of my favorites:

The ego tries to exploit all situations into forms of praise for itself in order to overcome its doubts. It will be doubtful forever, or rather as long as you believe in it. You who made it cannot trust it because you know it is not real. The only sane solution is not to try to change reality, which is indeed a fearful attempt, but to see it as it is. You are part of reality, which stands unchanged beyond the reach of your ego but within easy reach of your Soul. When you are afraid, be still and know that God is real and you are His beloved Son in whom He is well pleased. Do not let your ego dispute this because the ego cannot know what is as far beyond its reach as you are. ACIM OrEd.Tx.4.15

It’s so soothing to hear HIM say, “YOU are part of reality, which stands unchanged beyond the reach of your ego but within easy reach of your Soul”. Thank God my ego has no effect on Who I truly AM. We also learn that the ego cannot know us because our true Reality is Soul. The ego cannot know what Soul is:

8 Nothing can reach the Soul from the ego, and nothing from the Soul can strengthen the ego or reduce the conflict within it. The ego is a contradiction. Man’s self and God’s Self are in opposition. They are opposed in creation, in will, and in outcome. They are fundamentally irreconcilable because the Soul cannot perceive and the ego cannot know. They are therefore not in communication and can never be in communication. Nevertheless, the ego can learn because its maker can be misguided but cannot make the totally lifeless out of the life-given. The Soul need not be taught, but the ego must. ACIM OrEd.Tx.4.8

And that is why we study A Course in Miracles. It is teaching us [and we are re-membering] that we can misguide ourselves into thinking the ego is real until the pain of that decision becomes unbearable. And then we can CHOOSE AGAIN.

 Your mission is very simple. You have been chosen to live so as to demonstrate that you are not an ego. ACIM OrEd.Tx.4.89

HE tells us in the Course that the ego is quite literally a fearful thought. And so we can be certain that when we choose LOVE, the fear [and the ego] return to the nothingness from which they came. And with Love in us, we have no need but to extend it.
Reja Janaki Joy Green [Reja_CIMS] is one of the founding members of the Course in Miracles Society [CIMS]; She is the CIMS webmaster & social media manager, has facilitated Course in Miracles study groups since 1983, is in the 2nd year of the CMC Ministerial program  and currently resides with her husband Chris Green in Omaha, NE.

Course in Miracles Society (CIMS) is an international group of Course students and teachers organized to discover, authenticate and propagate the divine teachings of A Course in Miracles. As students, we seek to increase our knowledge of Jesus’ words and to deepen our experience of his teaching. As teachers, we work to circulate the message of A Course in Miracles throughout the world by our words, by our deeds and by the example of our lives. <- More information about A COURSE IN MIRACLES