The solitude of the separate self

Tuesday, May 31, 2022 868 words 3 mins 51 secs1 comments
An A Course in Miracles Blog  © 2022 Paul West

We speak of the separation from God. But the separation is also a separation from the sonship, which means a separation not only from others, but also from the part of you which is shared with them.

Before the separation we were all one, joined together and sharing everything. We even shared our identity and our souls. We overlapped and everything belonged to everyone.

But then in the separation, we went into an isolation mode, where we saw our own self as not shared with others, as not extending to include them, and had a sense of a "gap" or rift of distance (space) form in-between us.

This then led to the production of bodies symbolizing this separateness, in which we enter a state of solitude. Or to put it another way, solitary confinement. By seeing that other people are not a part of myself, I saw myself as exclusively "only me", and therefore disconnected from everyone.

That's a very lonely state to be in, in which we see ourselves as the only inhabitant or our little prison body, and everyone else seems kept apart from us physically. Jesus refers to this state as one of solitude, in which we basically tried to stop sharing anything with anyone. We also can really think of this as the ego, because it's this way of changing your sense of identity to identify with a body and believe that you are a lonesome person.

The truth is then, that if your IDENTITY does not include others, you ARE alone. And since separation is selfish, you ARE being selfish if you think ONLY of what seems to be your own self. You must expand your sense of identity to encompass and include all others, recognizing them as PART OF YOU.

Only when you can experience that others ARE part of your own self can you have a vested interest in developing shared interests. If you ARE others, then what benefits you benefits them equally. This means opening up to being more than JUST you.

This isn't really an attempt to throw away your self. The sense of egocentricity only comes from having a sense of identity that doesn't share with anyone. It's a temporary side effect or symptom. I think we can say the ego is a symptom of the separation, and without separateness from others there is no egotism.

Instead we are to open up to join, to reunite, with others. To let them into us. To see our own self IN them. To recognize them AS ourselves. And to share everything with them equally. This doesn't mean getting rid of myself, it means ADDING ON all the other selves that I CUT OFF in the separation. It means GAINING a much more expanded sense of self, which INCLUDES everyone as part of you.

When you are more than just yourself, you have made room for the interests of others in your life. When your own separate self stops being "all important", when you stop depending on your own strength, when you put aside making all your own decisions, and when you let go of trying to be in control of everything, you make room for others, and for God.

I can only make room for God if I make room IN MY SELF to include others and to include God as part of me. I literally am you and you literally are me. ONLY when identity is SHARED, is there true holy relationship. Only when I am US, am I devoid of the selfishness of the ego.

"Lead not your little lives in solitude, with one illusion as your only friend."

"We do not go alone. And we give thanks that in our solitude a Friend has come to speak the saving Word of God to us. And thanks to you for listening to Him."

"In Heaven God's Son is NOT imprisoned in a body, nor is sacrificed in solitude to sin."

"To each who walks this earth in seeming solitude is a Savior given, whose special function here is to release him, and so to free himself."

"But those who KNOW that they are all the same, need not salvation. And each one FINDS his Savior, when he is ready to look upon the face of Christ, and see Him sinless."

"This is the lesson that His giving holds, for He has saved you from the solitude you sought to make, in which to hide from God."

"The body HAS no purpose of itself, and MUST be solitary."

"I made up the prison in which I see myself."

"Christ's hand has touched your shoulder, and you feel that you are not alone. You even think the miserable self you thought was you may not be your identity. Perhaps God's Word is truer than your own."

"It is impossible to remember God in secret and alone. For remembering Him means you are NOT alone, and willing to remember it. Take no thought FOR YOURSELF, for no thought you hold IS for yourself. "

"If I am with you in the loneliness of the world, THE LONELINESS IS GONE. You CANNOT maintain the illusion of loneliness if you are NOT alone."

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You are right, although it is quite difficult to continuously see yourself (God) in others. More practice I guess.

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