The cost of being separate

Saturday, Jul 29, 2023 982 words 4 mins 21 secs
An A Course in Miracles Blog  © 2023 Paul West

Our egos counsel us to separate ourselves off from others. That means identifying solely with your own body, and not with or beyond the bodies of others. It also means seeing yourself as completely cut off from others. No-one else is allowed to occupy the same space as you. You share nothing with anyone. You are isolated, imprisoned and alone inside your body.

The ego the tells you that because you are separate, it makes total sense to suggest you can attack someone and remain separate from the attack. That anything you express, anything you do, will not hurt you but will hurt someone else. Anything you give, is not given to you. Anything you hurl at another, you do not share in. Any way that someone else is wrong, is in no way associated with you. And you are completely dis-associated from everyone.

In its rage and hatred, the ego has you trying to emphasize the separation between you and others as much as possible. To want nothing to do with another person is the ideal mechanism for increasing the separation. Wanting to be distanced from them, pushing them away, destroying them, and making sure all guilt and sin is loaded onto their plate alone, is its whole ambition. This increases the sense of being separate and guarantees that you escape all the consequences of their sinfulness.

As a strategy this seems to all make sense. On the fundamental premise that you are ONLY you and you share nothing with anyone else, it's obvious that you have a great opportunity. You can easily blame someone without being blamed, hurt someone without being hurt, shovel all your guilt into someone's hands and absolve yourself of it, and generally identify your "self" as "not them." This is the egos entire approach to everything. Separate and be saved.

But what the ego will also be careful not to tell you is that in order to be separate, you must also lose something. Having attacked everything other than separation, it hates all the things that you stand to lose by your attacks, and believes they are not worth having. But there is a long list of very worthwhile valuable things that you DO lose when you regard yourself as "not one with them."

You lose all sense of love, all relationship, all communication, all safety and trust, all peace of mind, all freedom, all sharing, all inheritance from God, all power, all life, all holiness and all happiness. It goes flying out the window as soon as you try to be special by making yourself separate from others.

As soon as you try to stop sharing, you become selfish. This selfishness is an attempt to gain something exclusively for yourself, but has the side effect of excluding you from what others have. You seem to gain, AND lose, at the same time. And everything you lose in your special separated state is everything worth having. You have to convince yourself that it's not even there, or valuable, or worth having at all, in order to justify being so separate, barren, bereft and empty.

In the effort to have everything exclusively for yourself, in your selfish egotism, all you end up doing is having nothing. In grasping to hold onto things they completely slip through your fingers. Possessiveness leads to lack and sacrifice. All efforts to make something yours alone makes it no-ones. This is the cost of being separate.

So when you are being separate and are scapegoating and projecting sin and guilt onto others, trying to have it not apply to you, to exclude yourself from, recall also what you are giving up. You lose whenever you think you win. You sacrifice whenever you think you gain an advantage. You become empty whenever you shut someone out. And you become not yourself, whenever your sense of identity is not shared with everyone.

The question then becomes, is it worth it? You have to first recognize that you are being separate. Secondly you have to recognize that this separation has a major cost. Thirdly you have to value the things that you've lost as a result of being separate. And fourth you have to want to regain them. Only in the awareness that separation brings with it a whole host of deprivation, suffering, unhappiness and lack of peace, will you have an incentive to turn away from it.

You are not solely gaining when you separate. You are not getting off scott free. You are not winning without losing. You are not acquiring everything and sacrificing nothing. You are not surviving while others are dying. You are not escaping consequences. You are not becoming more free or more happy or better off. And you certainly are not feeling good in any real way.

The ego doesn't want you looking at the COST of being separate because it doesn't want you being aware that you're missing out on anything. It doesn't want you thinking that there are any downsides to being separate. It doesn't want you being aware that when you project guilt in anger you are still attacking yourself. It doesn't want you to realize that by isolating yourself and being exclusive you are leaving yourself out of the greatest party that ever happened. Nor does it want you remembering that deep down inside you want to be reunited with everyone in love.

Your real identity is shared with everyone in and as christ. Your real experience is to have everything at the same time as everyone else has everything. God's generosity is the guarantee that everything belongs to everyone, and everyone IS everyone. You are literally one with and a part of and shared entirely with every other child of God. And accepting this is the acceptance of atonement. You are not just you. You are all of us. And you are never alone.

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