A Course in Miracles Text Made Simple

To gain the most from A Course in Miracles Text Made Simple, we recommend that
you read the corresponding chapter and section in the Text of the Second or
Third Edition of A Course in Miracles published by the Foundation for Inner Peace.

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Chapter 4: The Illusions of the Ego

Section V: The Ego-Body Illusion

Read ACIM Chapter 4, Section V (pages 65-67)

To maintain control, what does the ego do?

It’s helpful to remember that the ego is founded on the belief in separation. Without this belief, the ego would not seem to exist. Thus, out of self-preservation, the ego will not permit into awareness any thought that contradicts the belief in separation. Any Thought of God, which is a thought of unity, does contradict separation and thus is not acceptable to the ego. To maintain control, the ego banishes Thoughts of God, which it sees as threatening, from our awareness.

Wanting to be a separate identity, the ego needs a means to protect this identity. To provide this protection, the ego made the body to house a separate mind with private thoughts. Yet it also teaches us that the body is vulnerable and weak. So it is giving us mixed signals: This seeming protector of a private mind that we think is who we are is tenuous at best and cannot be relied upon to keep us safe. This leaves us in a constant state of uneasiness, ranging from seemingly mild discomfort to intense fear.

When we are in our right mind, what would we not tolerate?

In our right mind, we would not tolerate this lack of peace and would surely question the ego’s assertion that the body is our protector. The ego cannot allow us to ask this question because awareness that the body is not our protector and our home would mean the end of the ego. We would recognize that it offers us nothing we really want and simply lay it down. So in its own defense, the ego denies the doubt that the body could really be our protector and pushes it into unconsciousness.

Yet even though the ego denies this doubt, the gnawing sense of vulnerability remains. So we spend our days seeking in the world of form for ways to protect ourselves and our self-image, never feeling really satisfied or confident that any “solution” will last. This uncertainty is justified because nothing in the world can substitute for the certain Love of God, our real Home and protector.

Where is the only place we can go for sure protection?

When we follow the ego’s lead, we search where the real answers cannot be found. There is really only one place where we can go for protection and that is the thought system of the Holy Spirit. While we believe we are in the world, we open our minds to the Holy Spirit’s thought system by asking of everything, “What is its purpose?” With the Holy Spirit’s help, we can learn to recognize the ego’s purpose, which may bring us transient moments of pleasure but will never bring us eternal happiness. As we let the Holy Spirit replace it with His purpose, we are released from the world and return to our Home in Love.

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Reference Keys for
A Course in Miracles Quotes

How to Read References for Quotes from A Course in Miracles

Below are example references to specific sentences using the notation of the Second & Third Editions of A Course in Miracles published by the Foundation for Inner Peace:

T-26.IV.4:7 = Text, Chapt. 26, Section IV, paragraph 4, sentence 7.

W-pI.169.5:2 = Workbook, Part I, Lesson 169, paragraph 5, sentence 2.

M-13.3:2 = Manual for Teachers, Question 13, paragraph 3, sentence 2.

C-6.4:6 = Clarification of Terms, Term 6, paragraph 4, sentence 6

The above numbering system of the Second & Third Editions is © Copyright 1992, The Foundation for A Course in Miracles.

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