Reading A Course in Miracles: Error and the Ego

I think this is one of the most helpful early sections of A Course in Miracles, essentially detailing how both the ego and the body came to be and what their roles are in perpetuating the separation. It is also – to my mind anyway – relatively straightforward, free of a lot of the fractured narrative effects that characterize the early chaptres of the FIP edition. I want to focus on one particular idea that is tossed in almost as an afterthought, yet which I have turned and returned to over and over in my study: We did not create ourselves.

You have every reason to feel afraid as you perceive yourself. This is why you cannot escape from fear until you realize that you did not and could not create yourself. You can never make your misperceptions true, and your creation is beyond your own error. That is why you must eventually choose to heal the separation (T-3.IV.3:8-11).

We made the ego. It is our post-separation self, the ghost in the machine of the body. The ego wants to substitute for God while the body – which exists solely as a means of perception – substitutes for knowledge. Together, they comprise a frantic and doomed effort to keep us from Heaven.

Salvation requires that we remember – or at least consider the possibility – that what we are in truth was created by God. We are not who we believe we are. Who we really are has nothing to do with bodies, nothing to do with the history our bodies have written and continue to write upon the world. This is the crux of A Course in Miracles: this is the truth toward which all the lessons point. This is the fact upon which our sure relase is predicated: we did not create ourselves. God did.

A host of pleasing thoughts can flow from that fact. If God created us – and since God only creates perfectly – then we are perfect. If that’s true, then obviously these bodies, these stories and this world are all one big illusion because their mutual imperfection is obvious. If only what God created is true, then nothing can harm us. We aren’t capable of being killed, or being hungry, or being lonely. All conflict ceases when we accept ourselves as creations of God.

Our acceptance of this is probably a long way off. Even now it might not seem reasonable or possible. Or perhaps it’s an idea we can appreciate with the intellect but cannot allow into our right mind. It doesn’t matter. The fact is, we cannot undo what we really are – we can only resist awareness. And sooner or later – by virtue of what we are – our resistance is going to fade. Few sections make this so clear and sure to me.

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