When you are in the ego, you will experience various symptoms. You will:
* Feel afraid, confused, indecisive, uncertain, doubtful.
* Be in a state of questioning, trying to find answers.
* Believing there are multiple possible truths, explanations, diagnoses and possibilities outside of you in the world.
* Trying to find "the correct" possibility from all the possibilities, as if to do so will bring salvation and an answer.
* Feel like something in the world might actually be true, and therefore you are afraid, and can't quite trust the truth.
I often find myself in this state. Once I'm in this state, hallmarked by fear and questioning, I will BELIEVE that I am trying really hard to find an answer. BUT, I will be looking in all the wrong places, looking with the ego, using my separate "abilities" such as the intellect or past experiences, and I will just be going around and around frantic to find "the answer".
I will think that if I look hard enough I will find out what the truth is. But it's going to be one of many possible truths, which is confusing in its own right. So then I think that if I can just "figure out" on my own, know on my own, which one of them is the "real answer", then I will find it and can then get salvation. It never works, because the ego's rule is "seek and do not find", which means to seek passionately, to question everything, to reject all real answers, and to just stay in a state of fear.
When I get like this, there IS no truth out there. There IS no answer that I will find, from an "objective world", which will be "the" truth. But I will be perceiving not only that there IS an objective world, which is real, but that it therefore MUST contain the truth. If the world is real, it automatically has truth in it, so I just need to figure out where it is. Trouble is that NEVER works, because the world is NOT really real, it does NOT really contain any truth, and nothing I figure out about it will undo the FEAR.
Fear is produced BECAUSE I've made the world real. "I am upset because I see something which is not there", i.e. I've made an illusion real, am deluded, and MUST now experience fear because it seems like something UNTRUE has taken on a life of its own. Who wouldn't be afraid if imaginary monsters suddenly seemed real?
In this state of egotism, victimhood, fear, confusion and questioning, I am NOT really making any headway towards salvation. I'm not really getting closer to the answer. I'm actually doing the opposite. It is because I have moved AWAY from the answer, that I am even feeling this experience of "questioning" at all. The experience of questioning is really a state of being answerless, lacking in all certainty, knowing nothing, failing to be at peace, a complete loss of clarity, total victimhood, and is terrifying.
When I get like this, Jesus often now prompts me with a single wise word: "decide".
At first, I do not know what what this means or why the heck it is even relevant in the situation. If I'm stuck in the middle of trying to understand HOW or WHY "something has happened", or how or why "something really is this way", it seems to make no sense as to why deciding something would help, or what the decision even is.
But what I gradually come around to is this. The state that I'm in, as a state of victimhood and ego, is only happening BECAUSE I'm believing that stuff can happen to me against my will, that I have no choice, that I have to put up with whatever this external truth is, and that I need to find out what that "external law" is so that I can do something about it. It's not a decisive state at all. It's a loss of decisiveness. A loss of confidence. A loss of clarity and certainty. In other words, it is FEAR.
To get out of fear, and to get out of the entire game of "what if its this" "what if its that"..... which is all entirely terrifying, you have to SHIFT your perspective to something entirely different. A whole different model for what things are and how stuff happens. You've got to get out of victimhood into EMPOWERMENT. That means:
1) Owning up to you being totally responsible for everything
2) Reclaiming your power, in that whatever you choose will happen, nothing will happen unless you choose it, and therefore whatever you choose WILL BE your experience
3) Realize then that you do not need to defend yourself against illusory threats, because NOTHING IS HAPPENING TO YOU against your will
4) You are decisive, confident, powerful, certain and creative. You can CHOOSE AGAIN. And that means
5) You can choose to align yourself with God's truth, and to make a statement of what the truth IS, instead of attempting to "find out" what the truth is. Thus
6) If you choose NOT to create enemies, fears, disasters, problems, sickness, death, monsters, etc... THEY WILL NOT EXIST and will not be able to do anything to you.
*YOU* HAVE THAT POWER! You get what you ask for! There is no such thing as stuff happening that you did not ask for and do not want!!!!
BE THE TRUTH!
If you think that you will become free of a belief if you can figure out why stuff "really happens", or why someone "really does something", or "why evil is evil" or "why people are sick" etc.... you will not only fail to find a peaceful answer, you will also CREATE THOSE THINGS. This is why in your MASTERY of yourself, you have to come to realize that nothing can happen to you against your will, and that the only thing you've really been doing wrong is believing that something can be true WITHOUT YOU CHOOSING IT.
So when Jesus says decide, he means, flip into a state of confidence and DECIDE whether you believe the ego's truth or God's truth. Which one of these realities will you ALIGN yourself with. Which one of these two truths is going to be TRUE for you and are you going to believe in?
See, you think you have a choice beyond the ego and God. You think there is a third choice. You think that somehow there is 1) God, 2) Ego, 3) Your selective ability to pick and choose what the truth is. You do not have that ability really. You ONLY have the ability to decide which thought system you will BE a part of. If you choose to be part of the ego's thought system, you will choose to believe that everything about the ego is REAL for you. If you choose to be part of God's thought system, you will choose to believe that everything about GOD is REAL for you. And believing one, you will disbelieve in the other. And that IS your protection!
So recognize this. Fear that the ego is true, MUST disappear, IF you choose to believe in God's truth, BECAUSE they are opposite and mutually exclusive. They cannot coexist. If you want to be safe from evil, CHOOSE GOD, SO THAT *YOU* do not create your own evil. YOU are the one who empowers it. YOU are the one who give reality to it. YOU are the one who makes yourself vulnerable by trying to become at peace or saved from a "real threat".
If the ego's world of threats and dangers is real for you, there is NO WAY that you will ever find peace. You simply cannot find salvation, truth, a peaceful answer, a resolution, a cure, a magical description, a satisfactory diagnosis, or any kind of convincing TRUTH if you are CHOOSING to believe the ego is real. Because even if you think that you are in a state of questioning and NOT having a choice, you actually ARE choosing the ego. You are never not choosing.
Choose the ego and you'll believe you have no choice and that you don't want to choose what the ego is offering.
Choose God and you will believe you are free to choose but you only want to choose God after all.
So get out of your ego's attempt to intellectually discover the truth in the world, or explain sickness, or figure out why evil happens, or why someone did something. There is NO TRUTH there. Choose instead to reclaim your POWER OF DECISION, get out of the victimy complete lack of confidence, become decisive, be determined you will MAKE A DECISION about what you believe, and MAKE IT!
I CHOOSE THAT GOD'S TRUTH IS TRUE AND NOTHING ELSE IS TRUE!
THAT is your immortal protection against all illusions, all evil, all suffering, and all death. Going back into fear to "check" if evil is gone simply will make more evil. Going back into fear to "prove" that something is true, will just invalidate the truth again. This is why you must TRUST in God's truth, SURRENDER your belief that the ego's world is real, and become fully committed to the REALITY that God has already decided FOR you.
Choosing for yourself, versus accepting God's decision. That's all.