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.

Chapter 4: The Illusions of the Ego

Section IV: This Need Not Be

Read ACIM Chapter 4, Section IV (pages 62-65)

What symptoms show up when we are joining with the ego?

This section may be called a declaration of our independence from the ego. It gives us several symptoms to help us recognize when we have chosen to join with the ego — lack of joy, sadness, depression, anxiety and guilt. It tells us that we need not experience this. It is because of choosing the ego that we cannot hear the Voice for God because we have chosen not to listen.

Our mood will tell us when we have chosen the ego as our guide. We become dis-spirited when we choose the ego. By paying attention to our mood, we can know whether we have chosen the ego or the Holy Spirit. As we learn to recognize the ego thoughts that fill our mind, we can choose to withdraw our allegiance to the ego rather than protect it.

What helps when we find ourselves in a dis-spirited mood?

The way out of the dis-spirited moods of the ego is to watch our minds and judge against the ego. “To the ego’s dark glass you need but say, ‘I will not look there because I know these images are not true.’ Then let the Holy One shine on you in peace, knowing that this and only this must be.” (9:2-3) This is an example of the mind training the Course offers to help us realign our minds with the Holy Spirit instead of the ego.

What guage does Jesus give us to recognize the thoughts of the ego mind?

We are given a clear gauge to help us recognize the thoughts of the ego mind so we can change our minds. It tells us, “Think honestly what you have thought that God would not have thought, and what you have not thought that God would have you think.” (2:4) The truth is that we are one in the Mind of God. Making other thoughts real that are not God’s Thoughts has split our minds and made a lower mind that denies God’s Thoughts and tries to be the opposite.

By asking ourselves honestly, “Would God think this?” we are learning to question the reality of the ego thought system. Questioning is the first step in breaking away from the ego. Joining with the Holy Spirit allows the undoing of the ego thought system. Jesus will help us watch our minds and judge the ego truly. We need his help because our minds are still too confused to recognize our own release from fear. “Your mind will elect to join with mine, and together we are invincible. You and your brother will yet come together in my name, and your sanity will be restored.” (11:5-6)

What does Jesus urge us to do to see ourselves as he sees us?

Jesus sees us as glorious creations of a glorious Father. He urges us to follow his example and look at our brothers in the same way. He tells us that we and our brothers are worth the consistent effort. We are worthy and deserving of identifying with the Love we are and feeling this Love by giving the Love we are. This is how God’s Love shines through us.

But in order to do this, we must not accept the ego’s dark thoughts and make them real in our minds. We must choose to end the ego’s rule over our mind and open to healing. By uniting our mind with Jesus, we are able to shine the ego away and experience the strength of God in everything we do. He tells us, “Watch your mind carefully for any beliefs that hinder its accomplishment [shining your ego away], and step away from them [these beliefs]. Judge how well you have done this by your own feelings, for this is the one right use of judgment.” (8:5-6)

We are not stuck with the ego. We are being encouraged again and again to divorce the ego by joining with the mind of Jesus. He is the example of the truth in all our brothers. As we learn to join with him, we are learning to recognize our unity with the one Self that we share with all our brothers.

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