Jesus gave us a nice analogy this evening for how we reverse cause and effect, how the ego functions, how we create scapegoats, and how we do stuff to ourselves.
The analogy is that of a hand puppet or glove puppet. The ego is like a puppet we use.
By itself, the puppet has no will, no life, no power to do anything. It lies motionless when you are not using it. It doesn't do anything to you or to anyone else. It's just a tool that goes unused and sits on a shelf.
At this point, you know that you are the one who has all the power to make stuff happen, and you know that you are the only one who can do stuff to yourself. All the puppets are dormant.
You decide to pick up the puppet and put your hand into it. You're now wearing it. And immediately, you start to move your arm around to move the puppet. And then you start to move your fingers to make its little arms and legs wiggle and maybe make its face move. Maybe you'll even give it a funny voice to add to the illusion that it is alive. You are trying to bring it to life, to "make it real", and to imbue it with the belief that can really do something.
At this point, you start to make believe. You start to weave a fantasy where the puppet is brought to life, where it animates, it moves and makes noises, and inevitably, you'll start to make it do things. Maybe its suddenly able to pick up objects. Maybe its able to poke people or tickle them. Maybe it can do stuff even to your own body.
The issue here is, once you start to pretend that the puppet is the one that is doing these things, you've introduced a major error in your mind. You've placed a separation between you - as the source of all power and life - and this puppet, even though your hand is still animating it - which makes it now seem that the puppet is not getting its power from you.
So now the puppet seems to have its own power, its own will, its own life. It has become the culprit. And now it is the one that gets blamed for doing stuff to yourself or others. You have turned it into a scapegoat. You can pretend to do stuff to yourself or others, through the puppet, pretending the puppet is the one doing it, so that the puppet is to blame and not you.
So let's invent a scenario. Let's say that this puppet, which symbolizes the ego, as a tool for you to use and give power to, isn't really able to do anything at all. But you decide to use the puppet to punch yourself in the face. So you do it. It hurts. You've attacked yourself. But because you believe responsibility for the puppets actions is no longer your responsibility, its obviously the puppets fault. It should be apparent how it is insanity to blame the puppet or to believe it has causal power over you.
In this there are two things happening. You are now a victim of the puppet and your disassociation from being the puppeteer makes it seem as though YOUR OWN ACTIONS against yourself are not coming from you. So not only can you blame the puppet for hurting you but you can claim that you had nothing to do with it, which justifies anger. So not only are you victimized by yourself but you cover it up by scapegoating, but you also now justify that scapegoating because it seems you didn't do it to yourself.
This is literally what happens in life whenever you believe that someone else or something else has power over you, is causing you, is affecting you, is changing you, influencing you, making you, forcing you, attacking you, victimizing you, whatever. If there is any ounce of this kind of perception or belief, you have disassociated from your own participation. You're actually attacking YOURSELF, through the puppet/ego/person/attacker, and pretending its not you. You do this in your mind. You attack yourself vicariously.
As we reveal the truth of this, you can see that as you slip your hand into the puppet and bring it to life and make it seem to have its own will, and then you punch yourself in the face, you will probably believe you are not the one punching yourself in the face. You blame the puppet, the person, the attacker. But if you don't take responsibility for it, you are stuck in the victim mentality.
So what you need to do is, stop pretending that your own puppets are doing stuff against you with their own willpower. It is YOUR OWN POWER that is attacking you THROUGH these externalized puppets. You send out your own self-attack, self-guilt, projecting it out into the puppets in the world (also your body), into things you eat, into things you see, into things you say you don't like, and you ANIMATE these things to seem to attack you. And you fear the power they seem to have. But here's the secret...
The power that you fear is attacking you against your will, by these puppets, IS YOUR OWN POWER. Its your arm, in the puppet, that's punching you in the face. It's your mind, that's extending out through other people and then turning on you. So the power you fear is your own power. And you see it in other things but its really yours. And there IS NO OTHER POWER acting against you other than your own. There is no other arm in the puppet. There is no other puppeteer out to get you or trying to work against you. It's you. You are doing this to yourself.
Owning up to being the puppeteer is the key to salvation. Taking responsibility for making stuff happen to you. Being the mind that is choosing to see situations in such a way that you perceive it as though the puppets in your life are doing this stuff of their own decision. They are nothing more than tools that your mind is using for self-attack. And here's the good news...
If everything that attacks you is YOUR OWN POWER being used against yourself, and if everything you are afraid of IS YOUR OWN POWER being used against yourself, and if you CHOOSE to stop condemning yourself.... who's going to do anything to you? Nobody. Nobody else is out there to do stuff to you. This is all an inside job. It's you as your own enemy. You need to forgive yourself for what you have not done and recognize your innocence. You need to own up to being the puppet master and take the gloves off! Stop hitting yourself. Stop punishing yourself. Stop judging and condemning yourself. Stop finding yourself guilty and stop proceeding to punish yourself for stuff you have not done.
Take the puppet off your hand and own your power. It has no power of its own. Take it back. Its yours. It was yours all along. And then you can recognize.. this is the key to the atonement...
The puppet is just a puppet. It cannot and does not do anything. It never has. It is not real. It is not alive. Nothing has ever happened to you. Job done. The ego is a puppet. It's your puppet. That's all it is. Once you take back your power and own up to who you are, you put down the ego and it is lifeless and powerless. Cause and effect have been placed back in their proper orientation and you are no longer a victim.