Sunday, September 29, 2013

My Ego, Original Sin, and Me

I received the following message from a subscriber after last week’s post (Msg-3-Sep-2013, “My Sense of Attachment/Possessiveness Kills My Spiritual Growth”)
Good Morning Don! Good message! Something everyone can relate to - it is funny, when I read something like this, or feel the same, it seems my very unreligious mind … goes to ‘original sin?’  Is Original Sin really and very simply ‘Ego?’ We are all afflicted with it and it does seem to be very primeval…. We humans sure are a mess!”
These are very relevant questions for all of us. What is Original Sin? What is the Ego? Are the two one and the same? Why does “whatever-we-call-it” seem to afflict all of us – globally?
Before I make my comments I want to refresh some definitions. Each quote will be followed by an A, B, or DLO: A. From the Glossary of Path of Light by Robert Perry, Circle Publishing, 2004; B. From the Glossary of Terms from A Course in Miracles, Robert Perry, Circle Publishing, 2005; DLO. From my personal observations or formal theological training.
Ego – “The belief in being a separate self (‘I am me and you are not’) whose needs are met through attack (‘I am end and you are means’). This belief gives rise to our experience of being a separate entity bounded by a body. This experience is an illusion, since our true Identity is one with the All.” (A).
“The entire self you think you are, the ‘I’ you think you are. This self is false, was made by you, and is actually only a belief: The belief that you are a separate entity – a separate mind living within a separate body – that you have your own personal history and future, your own will and private thoughts, that you create yourself and sustain yourself. [Your ego sustains itself by convincing you to attack all other ‘egos’ to bring yourself pleasure, security and safety.] The ego, however, is merely an idea, and this has no effect on who you really are.” (B).
The Separation: “The event in which we apparently separated from God, which gave birth to …. form, time, space, and perception, and which the mind re-enacts in nearly every instant…. The separation began with the idea that we could make ourselves into separate beings who were both special in the eyes of their Creator and were [simultaneously] self-created. This produced what seemed to be a real event in which we tore ourselves out of God’s Mind, shattered Heaven into countless separate bodies and intervals of time, became isolated entities, and then made a world of separate individuals, forms, and moments. Yet the separation was merely a psychological event in which … we fell asleep to reality and dreamt of separation. In our dream this experience has lasted billions of years, but in reality it lasted only an instant…. The core message of the Course is that ‘the separation never occurred.’ T-6.II.10:7” (B)
Projection Makes Perception: “The Course’s theory of perception reverses the commonsense belief that our perception is caused [outside of us]. External objects seem to be sending information through our senses to our brains, seemingly causing our perception of them. Yet our perceptions are caused internally. Over time we build up beliefs about reality. These beliefs guide our attention, causing our eyes to search for those things that fit our pre-existing categories. Once we find these things, our beliefs guide our interpretation of them, and these interpretations are our perceptions. Our perceptions are thus projections of our beliefs, through the means of selective attention and subjective interpretation. As a result, what we see is simply a mirror or a reflection of our state of mind. “ (B)
[For example, fearful people see fearful things; loving people see acts of love; angry people see threats; accepting people see creative individuality, etc. We’ve all heard the old saw – change your thinking and what you’re thinking about changes.] (DLO)
This is why the whole world seems to reinforce our own perceptions of reality. For hundreds of thousands of years parents have taught us to be afraid of spiders, snakes, or people who look/act differently, to find rainbows beautiful and peaceful, to believe in Lack. We have all been conditioned to preconceived notions that guide our attention and, thus, our perceptions. Often this is referred to as “race consciousness” – “race” as in the human race: things all people of all cultures of virtually all historical eras seem to think. (DLO)
Mind and Split Mind: The mind is the aspect of the self that includes the faculties of awareness, volition, thought, and emotion. Mind is completely nonphysical and should not be confused with the physical brain. The Mind (capitalized) refers to The Mind of God or the Christ Mind.… In lowercase mind refers to the … split mind, the mind we currently use. This is the part of our total mind that has fallen asleep and dreams of a separate existence…. Yet its form – its appearance of being a separate mind with a separate will, private thoughts, and changing emotions – is the ego, an illusion that will disappear when we awaken. The Split Mind is a mind divided against itself, in which the more conscious half of the mind is walled off from its own true nature by denial, fear, and dissociation. This split, which is apparent but not real, is then projected outward and symbolized by a split between the mind and other minds…. The primary split is between the separated mind and its real identity as The Mind. The secondary split is within the separated mind – between the ego and the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the Guide out of the split.” (B)
Sin: “The violation of the laws of God or goodness. An attack that attempts to do harm for the sake of selfish gain and that succeeds and results in real harm. [I am end and you are means.] Sin is an illusion, for no one can truly be harmed, since in truth we are all God’s changeless Son. What appears to be a sin is merely a mistake, which calls for help rather than punishment.” (A)
Original Sin: An idea that is simply a theological extrapolation of human minds.  The term “original sin” does not appear in the Bible. It came into being during the development of the early Church and its formation of theological doctrine and dogma – 200-400 C.E. (DLO)
Comments: My initial thoughts are that you, by asking these questions or making these observations, are beginning to feel some sort of disconnect or discomfort – in the general world around you and sometimes within yourself. This process tells me you are beginning to feel a general sense of disillusionment from the “reality” your ego has been presenting to you. Although disconcerting, this is a good thing! All that needs to happen is to acknowledge your willingness to want to see things differently. That’s the only opening the Holy Spirit needs to begin changing your perception, which will change your world.
Be aware, however, that your ego will fight your willingness to see things differently.
Although these messages are mostly for me, thanks for listening. As always – feel free to forward this message to your friends, family, and those accompanying you on your spiritual journey.
#4 September, 2013
Copyright, 2013

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