Another way to think about the ego is that it is a belief which attempts to usurp those functions that belong to God. We could say that the ego is a maker of illusions that aspires to be a Creator of reality or truth and it does so by trying to overthrow God.
The mind has a natural inclination to create, and the ego properly senses this. But this inclination cannot be wielded in attack, because attack is by definition divisive, and division denies the indivisible nature of what is eternally whole and perfect.
Attacks on God are insane, not because God is powerful enough to meet any assault with superior force, nor because God is vengeful and bent on retaliation. Attacks on God are insane because what is one cannot attack itself nor defend itself against such an attack.
When we perceive ourselves as responsible for solving anything – from a mini fashion crisis to the apparent finality of death – we are tacitly acknowledging that the ego, and not the Holy Spirit, is the architect of happiness and peace.
This does not mean much to us who still live and think in a primarily dualistic framework, but that’s okay. We are using words to gesture towards concepts that do not readily lend themselves to explication. Truth is abstract and utterly generalizable; at that level, we can say that Oneness cannot go to war with itself.
Clearly, however, the ego can – and does – think otherwise. And there is a very specific way to work its wrong-minded (or non-Christ-minded) thinking: in all things (here in bodies, here in the world of form), ask with deliberation and intent: what do I want?
You are answering it every minute and every second, and each moment of decision is a judgment that is anything but ineffectual. Its effects will follow automatically until the decision is changed. Remember, though, that the alternatives themselves are unalterable (T-5.V.6:3-5).
Few ideas are as helpful to those of us struggling with illusion as this one: there are only two possible answers to the question “what do we want.” One is the ego, which we made through our belief in separation and the Holy Spirit, which is God’s Answer to the dream of separation.
Love or fear? Peace or conflict?
We tend to approach our lives as if they contain a multitude of choices that literally shift and evolve from minute to minute. Some appear mundane – what do I wear to work – while others appear profound – how do I console a parent grieving their lost child. But all those questions emerge from (are symbols of) our answer to the only question that matters: ego or Holy Spirit? God or not God?
When we perceive ourselves as responsible for solving anything – from a mini fashion crisis to the apparent finality of death – we are tacitly acknowledging that the ego, and not the Holy Spirit, is the architect of happiness and peace. Only guilt and fear can follow from that premise.
A Course in Miracles might be understood as a simple means by which we restore to the mind its power of decision, by making clear to it how simple decision is.
Reality proceeds from its Creator as surely as a snowflake seeks a surface on which to rest, and just as peacefully, just as naturally. We are not responsible for it. I do not make the snow, nor the sun that plays across it, nor the prismatic light show that follows. I merely choose to give attention to it, and joy is the natural result.
So it is with God and Creation. We do not make it. We simply say yes to it and it is given to us, whole and sparkling and pure. We choose the Holy Spirit.