It is fundamental in the Course that God is Pure Oneness and God is Mind and only Mind. Any thoughts of duality or of any kind of reality outside of God is an illusion, a wayward thought. It is through the idea of separation that we have become enmeshed in what seems to be a haphazard, sometimes insane reality. And it is the ego that keeps the separation illusion going.
The One and Only Ego
In the Course, the phrase ‘the ego’ appears more than 400 times. The word ‘egos’ appears only 7 times, mostly in Chapter 4, ‘The Illusions of the Ego’. Clearly the focus of the Course is on seeing the ego as a whole, as one complete entity, and not as billions of individual egos. My ego and your ego are simply the ego, not a collection of separate egos having separate thoughts.
It all starts with the idea of separation and the group of thoughts that a part of God can actually separate from God. This leads to the separated self, the feeling of being a self separate from God, what the Course tells us is the fundamental illusion. The part of the separated self that focuses solely on maintaining that illusion is the ego, the one and only ego. This ego uses whatever means it can to keep us focused on all the pain and anger and guilt in the world, so we will believe we are truly separate.
In order to further distance itself from the True Self, the separated self created the illusion of the great split, the one ego becoming billions of individuals. These individuals see themselves living in a world with other individuals. We appear to be isolated, separated personalities, but this is just another illusion created by the one ego. No matter how obvious it appears, all of those individuals in the world are part of a whole.
If another person gets angry with you, you may feel anger or fear or guilt as a response. You feel this person is someone separate from you, with separate thoughts and feelings. Even as you view this situation from the point of view of the Course, you see this as one ego attacking another. But there truly is only one ego, and when we perceive someone attacking us, it is simply a part of the ego attacking itself.
The Consequences of One Ego
There are many ramifications to this. For instance, if there is only one ego, then those billions of egos are part of one entity. This means that every thought that you have is known by every part of the ego, and likewise you, as part of the ego, know every thought of every other part of the ego. You may try to hide this knowledge from yourself, but those thoughts are there nonetheless.
This then is a simple explanation for intuition, for clairvoyance, for any mental phenomenon where knowledge of the thoughts and feelings of others is concerned. The fact that some people feel greater intuition about others, or are more aware of events that are perceived beyond the normal five senses, is simply that some individuals have fewer mental barriers preventing them from seeing the totality of the ego.
Another is the idea of reality creation, that we fundamentally create our own personal experience. This idea is in complete agreement with the Course, in that the Course says that what we perceive is what we project. We first have the idea, and then we experience that reality. By realizing there is only one ego, then whenever we are expressing ego-like behavior or we see this behavior in others, what we express and what we observe comes from the same place.
One problem with the concept of reality creation has always been – How do I create my reality with you in it, and you create your reality with me in it, and somehow it all agrees? With the idea of only one ego, then reality creation becomes the one and only ego creating one and only one reality. There is no possibility of conflicting realities, so when I create what appears to be my reality, it is simply part of the one ego creating its one reality.
Of course, ultimately what this leads to is the realization that we are not individual personalities, that when we think and act and perceive, we are simply part of the one ego mind that is thinking and acting and perceiving through all these illusory individuals. This idea can be scary at first, since we fear the loss of our individual selves with the ability to make our own personal individual decisions. The reality is that it is the one ego that is making all of these decisions, and as long as we give that ego the power to make those decisions, we will feel trapped in this illusory reality.
Freeing Ourselves from the One Ego
So how do we break free of all of this? We first must realize that the ego is only part of the separated self. There is another part of the mind that has never lost the awareness that the separation idea is an illusion. This is the one and only Holy Spirit, our connection to God that can lead us on the path back to our True Self, the Self that knows only the Oneness of God.
Ultimately we do have one choice in this life, to choose to let the ego make our decisions for us, or to choose the Holy Spirit. When we choose the Holy Spirit, we can finally be led away from the ego’s illusory world. That world is the source for all the pain we experience in this life, and it is our connection to the Holy Spirit that can release that pain.
It is all those non-loving thoughts the ego presents to us, all the thoughts of fear, anger, attack, and guilt, that we can be free of through our connection to the Holy Spirit. It is through the act of forgiveness, of realizing these thoughts truly are illusions, that we begin to choose another way, the way of God and the Holy Spirit.
By following the step by step process in my blog post below, The Practice of Forgiveness, you can change your life, away from one of conflict, fear, and guilt to one of love and peace and connection to God. These are not fairytale ideas, but real, practical ideas that will lead to real change. The one and only ego can maintain itself only if we choose to focus on the non-loving part of our lives. Choose for God and the Holy Spirit, and the Love and Peace of the True God can be yours.