There is wonderful clarification in this section about what is going on in our minds. Whatever we do – wherever we are – whomever we are with – the ego speaks first in judgment. A split second later, the Holy Spirit speaks. We hear only the ego, accepting its judgment as right and just. Yet A Course in Miracles aims to open our “ears” enough to allow the voice of the spirit to be heard. We fear that voice – because we associate all such voices with judgment – but that’s not what’s coming. That’s just not how the Holy Spirit adjudicates.
Before the separation, there were no voices – how can there be in Oneness? But the separation – a thought in which part of God wondered if could actually be part of God – gave rise to the ego. And the ego – which is not God, merely the voice for the possibility that we can be apart from God – prompted God to place another voice in our minds – the Holy Spirit. As the ego speaks for separation, the Holy Spirit speaks for – because it is – unity. It undoes our association with the ego – which is our disassociation from God. It heals that confused divide.
That, of course, is a metaphor. God is not an actor “out there” who installed a new program in our mental computer once we’d downloaded a crazy virus. God is our minds. The ego believes if it is loud enough and anxious enough and cunning enough it can be our “whole” mind. The Holy Spirit is the part of our mind that knows it is God. You contain both the noxious ego and the Holy Spirit because both are in your mind. Your mind – healed and whole – is God.
In my notes on Lesson 44, I mentioned a recent walk with my dog. A neighbor let her dog out and there were a few moments of intense canine energy. Loud barks, pulls on leashes, human shouts to dissuade the dogs from their attack. My ego loved it! I hadn’t walked fifty yards from that neighbor’s house before the ego was judging her: careless about her neighbors, raising a violent untrained dog, recklessly allowing the dog to wander unrestrained. It went on and on. By the time I’d covered a quarter mile I hated everyone within a thousand mile radius. I hated the government. It was so crazy!
Yet it was also painful – and somewhere where the road was most quiet and dark, I felt that pain. And it made me sad, because I knew it was a choice I’d made. For a long time, that sadness would have been my best alternative. I would have dwelt in it for a long time – how caught up I am in the ego . . . how unable to practice the principles of A Course in Miracles . . . I’m doomed! Doomed!
Yet – in that moment – I heard not only the ego (which was only too happy to turn its attack from the neighbors to me) but the Holy Spirit. And all the Holy Spirit said was, there’s another way. Knowing that was true, I took that other way. In a few moments, there was only peace and happiness. I’m not kidding. I’m not being hyperbolic. The Holy Spirit didn’t debate the ego, didn’t reason with it, didn’t try to drown it out. It dismissed the case entirely. No harm, no foul. Pick your metaphor. But there was no doubt which voice was the stronger, the saner and the kinder.
That’s what this section is getting at: our ability to hear the two voices and opt for the one that is sane. We don’t have to enter into a cage match with the ego. Only the ego thinks we’re in a fight to the death. The Holy Spirit knows it can all be undone as easily as a breeze ruffles a daisy. There is great relief in that. And there is also great peace. Resolve to know it, to experience it. Resolve to be who and what you really are.