The ego’s fake spirituality - seek and do not find

Wednesday, Dec 13, 2017 3281 words 14 mins 34 secs
An A Course in Miracles Blog  © 2017 Paul West

"The ego is certain that love is dangerous, and this is always its central teaching. 2 It never puts it this way; on the contrary, everyone who believes that the ego is salvation seems to be intensely engaged in the search for love. 3 Yet the ego, though encouraging the search for love very actively, makes one proviso; do not find it. 4 Its dictates, then, can be summed up simply as: "Seek and do not find." 5 This is the one promise the ego holds out to you, and the one promise it will keep"

The ego is simply an attempt to deny the existence of love. Using it, you deny the existence of love within you. This means you put in place a belief, that you do not have love in you. That you are not made of love or are inherently love.

Since love is the absolute core essence of what you are, your soul, to suggest there is no love in you is an attempt to say "love is not your identity." Your very "self" is brought into question.

This creates the belief in a LACK of love within you, and also the belief you are NOT love and cannot BE loved. This is brought about by the idea of sin, which suggests you are separate from Love - from yourself, and from God.

Since you believe it’s not in you, and you feel empty and lacking, you have now become "needy". You’ve invented a fake need - an absence of love. This compels you to SEEK FOR LOVE. You reason it is not in you, so it must be ANYWHERE else other than in you.

The problem is, it is not ANYWHERE ELSE other than in you, shared with God. So as soon as you start to seek for it, you move AWAY from where it is, and TOWARDS where it is not. It is not "out there", outside of you.

This compulsion to address the "hole" in your heart by finding what’s "missing", sends you on an extraordinary journey away from yourself. You are literally trying to "find yourself" anywhere other than where you are, within. You are also therefore trying to find love, anywhere other than where it is, within.

This then means you don’t believe the love is going to come from yourself. Someone or something OTHER than you has to provide it. So now, whether or not you have love, or even your self, depends on someone or something outside of you providing it. If they fail to provide it, it’s their fault. I they provide it, you worship them. Anything other than seeing it in yourself.

This also means therefore, you now believe that someone else has taken posession or responsibility for your love, and your self, as if having stolen it from you. You now see your self and your love, in other people, locked up inside them, as though it’s stuck in them. And now it’s your job to steal it back from them. You believe it belongs to you, and that you’ve lost it.

What you are looking for in them, however, is not real love. You already believed that there is no real love in you. You already chose not to have real love. You saw yourself as unworthy of it when you believed in sin (separation from love). This made you perceive that there is no love outside you either, because you will perceive externally what is within your beliefs. A lack of love in you will show you its absence outside of you. So real love is nowhere to be found.

Instead, what you seek for is a replacement for love, a substitute for love, and for yourself. You are seeking for specialness, some sense of "value" that you want and think is worth having - or which will save you from your emptiness. And you are also trying to find a substitute identity, something which can stand in for who you really are. Something which seems special and can somehow be similar to the love you lost sight of. You want to become spiritual and special and the best you can be.

This is all described in the laws of chaos.

Law #1) The truth is different for everyone - this results from everyone failing to see an equivalent love in themselves. What they see themselves as they believe is truth. If they are not all the same love, their own selves are different and conflicting, so now the truth is different because identities are different.

Law #2) Everyone must sin and deserves attack and death - comes about from having attacked yourself and believing that someone else did it to you. Disowning your own love and your own self was an act of becoming irresponsible, through disassociation, and therefore someone else is responsible for what you are. That means it seems like they took this love from you, so you are justified in attacking back to re-acquire what they stole, or to force them to give it to you.

3) God is believed to agree with your lack of love - since you yourself believe it is true, see love/God as separate, and as having attacked, you believe the truth is that love is no longer love. That means God is not love, so God agrees you are not love, which means God cannot help you to get your love or self back. If neither of you are love, you have to get it somewhere else.

4) You can get from others what you lack - since they stole it you feel justified in getting it from them. In the least, to have them willingly shower you with specialness. In the worst, to rip it from their dying limbs in a murderous attack. What is it that you are trying to get from them? A replacement for the love you lost - specialness and a replacement identity.

In addition to this process, the absence of love compels you to find a substitute in specialness. A lack of love makes the illusory world seem real to you. You are blind to its fantasy because your lack of love makes you feel imprisoned by it, like a needy inmate. Your mind now is in a split state, because you’ve introduced a separation between you and love. Between you and yourself. This has split your mind and you are now split minded, in two minds.

When the mind is split, it sees one half of the split as different to the other in some way. Typically this skews the mind‘s associations where one part of the mind seems to contain illusions of innocence, and the other part illusions of attack/guilt. One part is thought to be your self, the other not yourself. This is disassociation.

The mind associates more with the part which seems innocent as a way to avoid the pain of "no love", ie sin, and relegates the rest of the belief in sin to unconsciousness. This later is projected out and is not associated with as "my self". It is considered "other than me", even though it is inside the same mind. "Ideas leave not their source", so your "enemy" is now inside your own mind, making it able to attack you. It is you attacking you. All attack is self attack. (The secret to salvation is that you are doing this to yourself).

The part of mind that tries to focus only on an ILLUSION of love, an illusion of innocence, an illusion of spirituality, an illusion of peace and happiness, remains in conscious awareness. It is what has been "permitted" into awareness. "You" then think that this self is ALL of yourself. You do not see the rest, yet alone see it as yourself. You think it is "outside you", because it is external to your persona, but is not outside your mind.

This special part of the mind, the persona, makes the world seem real and then attempts to section it off into "good and bad", "right and wrong", "spiritual and ego". This is because the mind has done the same thing to itself, labeling some parts as innocent and some as guilty. It separates the world and labels some parts or behaviors or diets or clothes or actions as "spiritual" and some parts as "evil". Then it pits them against each other.

The shift towards trying to include and accept only the parts which seem spiritual, and to reject the parts which seem evil, reinforces the artificial sense of sef which your mind is trying to build. It is trying to assemble a fake self, a replacement self, to replace the one you hid from yourself.

Since this all takes place within one "realm", whether your mind or in the world, it means you’ll create an ILLUSION of spirituality, and will try to change the ego into a "more spiritual" self. You’ll surround it with all kinds of things which look and sound spiritual, based on judgement and selecting between illusions.

The problem is that this fake self which is trying to only accept the most spiritual illusions as a sign of awakening, is also attacking the rest of the world, and yourself, to try to get rid of any trace of evil/sin.

In the name of "perfecting your self" - your fake self - you’ll attack your real self constantly to pick it apart and find any little thing wrong with it (which you judged/condemned as true of you), to get rid of that and keep only the best parts. This gradually rips you apart piece by piece. It is actually an act of self destruction, because eventually there will be nothing less. It is self attack in the name of self improvement or "self help".

The more that you try to develop a replacement self, and to make it spiritual, the less there will be of you. It will create a facade of niceness, seeming spiritual, trying to love everyone, being positive, people pleasing, idol worship, wearing the right clothes, saying the right words, getting dressed up for the lord on sundays to asuage guilt, having all the special books and charms and magical things. All to create an illusion of spirituality.

The problem is this spirituality is constantly under attack by the very parts of Self which that same fake self has judged as evil. Having made sin real, the "sinful others" - your own unconscious self, is now your constant enemy. You’ll try to hide from it and avoid it. You’ll try to keep it "in others" or "other than yourself". You’ll see it outside of you and attack it and condemn it to disassociate from it. And yet it will haunt you and keep coming back into your awareness, back into your life, to remind you of what you think of yourself. Because it is in your mind and you can’t make it go away without healing the split.

This fake spirituality takes constant defense. It is exhausting. It also does not work - to undo sin or guilt. Yet it is filled with promise and hope and yearning and striving and trying and being passionate about all these magical illusions of wonderfulness. And it still leads to death, be sure of that.

The more you seek for love the less love you have, the less life you have, the more you will become sick and die. "All sickness is a form of seeking outside of yourself." When this fakeness is pointed out, it is taken as a terrible attack. A horrifying truth. In particular when the special relationship is undermined, or shown to be fake, it can be very upsetting. And so wages the supposed spiritual war between good an evil. Between yourself and yourself.

The ego is simply a device you made to show you a distorted version of the truth. It only has one function, to block love. To shut out spirit. It will never have another function. But a person with fake spirituality will try to change the ego into something spiritual. To take it into the light. To make it be closer to God. This will threaten its destruction, and the "you" who is identified with it, will take this as an attack. This is the source of all ego rebounds, and much sickness, which implements defenses against truth to "protect" the ego.

The problem here is, your sense of identity has become associated with the ego. You are then trying to convert yourself from emptiness into "having love" or "being spiritual", but while still holding onto the ego. This makes you try to change the ego into something spiritual. It cannot change. It cannot become spiritual. It has a fixed function and a one-track mind focused on death. You’ll have a constant bouncing back and forth between fictional spirituality and despair and fear. Identifying with it automatically keeps it. Keeping it and trying to change it into the truth does not work. Ever. It has to be dis-identified from, to reclaim who you are.

But because we have identified with the ego, and we’re tired of suffering, and want to become more spiritual, we try to change "our self", which now is the ego. All this will do is transform the form that the ego is showing up as. It means changing up your life to "look" more spiritual. To do the spiritual things and not the non-spiritual things. To emphasize how evil the evil stuff is, and how spiritual the spiritual stuff is. To create a special little corner of the world safe from the bad stuff. For a while.

You can see many Christians doing this. Not all, but many. Some, in fundamentalist extremes of ego, heavily believe in "good and evil" and will do anything they can in a war against evil to judge it and make it very wrong, while also trying to cultivate an "image" of being more spiritual. This then entails wearing the "Sunday best", being "good", condemning "evil", adjusting behavior, avoiding sinful behavior, and generally creating an illusion of spirituality. It is very judgemental because there is so much separation in it.

You can also see this in most of the world’s religions. People with their false Gods, their idols, their shrines, their special songs, their statues, their rituals and traditions, their special clothing, daily behaviors, sacred images, holy locations, and various other magical things. You also see this in all super-positive approaches (magical unicorns) and all super-negative approaches (witchcraft etc). Both, being a belief in a special external power, or external love, are beliefs in magic. Just different sides of it.

These are all ego distractions of false spirituality. Also the new-age movement with its positive thinking, magical charms and paraphenalia, law of attraction, yoga, special kinds of body activities, etc is all part and parcel of an illusion of spirituality. Things which seem like they will achieve something, but achieve the opposite, is the hallmark of the ego. The test of any genuine spirituality is whether it "really works" to bring about more awareness of love.

All of this is an attempt to "find yourself". It’s the same thing as trying to find love. Believing that it is OUT THERE, and that if you just try hard enough you will find it. The ego has a response for you. It will tell you that you need to make a lot of passionate effort to become spiritual. It will encourage you to do lots and lots of "spiritual practice". Even if it overwhelms you. Why?

Because it denies that you are already very spiritual. It takes you away from the love that is already in you. Having a really strong passion for "finding the truth" and "finding love" and "becoming spiritual" actually makes you feel hopeless and worthless and unloved. It takes you away from the love that you are already. Appreciating what you already have (gratitude for what God has given) is a better strategy.

The more the ego can emphasize how much love you lack, the more it can compel you to seek for it. The more estranged your are from your own self, the more you think you will find it outside you or in someone else. The more you disown your own love, the more you will blame others for making it go away. And the more you try to find it, the LESS you will find it.

You already had it! Seeking for it makes it seem like it’s not here. Seek, and you will not find it. And you will not find love or truth, or health, or happiness, or wholeness, or peace, or willingness, or power, or unity, or joy, "in" the world outside of you. If you are doing that, prepare to be disappointed. This is the ego’s guarantee.

After you have recognized these illusions and have stopped trying to pretend to be loving or spiritual, through radical honesty and authenticity and responsibility, sorting out what is really true and what is really false, and have surrendered the seeking, and have seen through the TRAP of believing that you are not ALREADY love, you will return back to where you started from. This is the "journey without distance". Your destination, the love within you, where God put it, required no real distance at all. To find it, you didn’t need to travel in dreams at all.

Love is already in you. God put it there.

Your SELF, your real identity, is already in you. God put it there. No-one can give it you you and you can’t find it anywhere. Because you have not lost it.

The only problem you have are the blocks to the *awareness* of love’s presence WITHIN YOU. It’s already there!

It’s just covered up. It’s hidden. Love being hidden makes it seem like love has "gone away". This suggests that you really did become sinful, as if you sin made innocence become corrupted. You never did. You just *covered up* your innocence with a cloud of images of sin, and then tried to cover that up with illusions of innocence. Sin did not corrupt your innocence, or make you unworthy of love. It just temporarily blocked your awareness of it being PRESENT, right here, in you, as you, right now.

You have no needs. You need do nothing. You need not seek for love. "You are the love you’ve been looking for." All that is needed for enlightenment is the recognition of this truth. "Enlightenment is a recognition and not a change at all." It means recognizing where love IS, that you ARE IT, accepting that it is COMPLETELY TRUE OF YOU, your willingness to receive it from God, and your willingness to accept it is IN YOURSELF ALREADY! Accepting the atonement is accepting that you never did lose the love that you are.

You already have the light in you. You already have the truth in you. You just don’t believe it’s there or that you’re worthy of it, or that you want it, or that you need it, or that you can have it, or that it hasn’t gone way. Love didn’t leave you. Love didn’t reject you. You left love. This is the inheritance that we threw away. And which is waiting for us to reclaim. God has kept our love safe for us, forever.

We ALREADY HAD EVERYTHING we needed. God already gave it fully and shared it with us. It was after having it that we tried to throw it away. But we could not get rid of it. You can’t make love go away. You can’t get rid of God. But you can deny it is there by blocking awareness of it. Remove the blocts, and hey presto, OH LOOK, I AM ALREADY LOVE!!!! I’ve been the love that I‘ve been trying to find, all along! Surprise!

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