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22.3. The Ego and your true self

I have mentioned the Ego many times already, but only in passing. Now the Ego will play the leading role for a while because that is precisely what the Ego is, a leading role that is played for a time.

Your true self is something other than the Ego.

Let's say you still believe that the world is made of matter with standalone existence, atoms and particles etc., i.e. physical things. Most people share this belief, probably you too, at least until you read this book.

In a materialistic world, you're a collection of trillions upon trillions of tiny «things» joined together in a hugely complex lump, which is ... you: your body, your brain, the whole shebang.

In some mysterious way, consciousness arises from this, and that consciousness gathers – also in an incomprehensible way – in an integrated experience of being you.

But you are not this experience; you are these trillions of tiny things that come together to form bigger things!

Things are the «reality» of your material worldview.

Your experience of all this blood, mucus, bones, brain cells, etc., is something «more», something metaphysical, i.e. something higher than the physical, something emergent. That is how materialists use the word emergent, as opposed to how I use it.

Those who believe that the world is material are thus the greatest mystics of us all. They firmly believe in something metaphysical that they cannot explain because they have nothing to say about the transition from matter to consciousness.

The Ego, in this worldview, is thus something else and more than fluids, body tissue, bones and chemical signals in the brain. It is an experience, an illusion that arises from matter but is not in itself matter.

Idealistic emergence
Now take my worldview instead, what I call «idealistic emergence».

Even then, the Ego is an experience. We do not get away from that because you experience being you, and this experience includes arms and legs, mucus and brain cells. The experience is all you have.

But we have no problem explaining where the experience comes from because everything in the universe is experience. There are experiences of something material, but also experiences of fun and hustle, mathematics and morality.

The elegant thing is that we can now explain how the experience of matter emerges in consciousness, but also subjective emotions and experiences, plus everything abstract, i.e. pure ideas (1 + 1 = 2) – in the same way.


I have to put an exclamation mark here because I think this is sensational.

We collect clues, right?

In an idealistic worldview, your Ego is only an experience in a world where everything is experiences – of something that is essentially abstract, what we call ideas. Hence the concept of idealism.

Everything in the whole universe, whether it appears as material, subjective or abstract – belongs to this same category, as they say in philosophy.

I have already given this «category» a name, namely knowledge.

The world, and also the perception of the Ego, «you», originate in knowledge. Knowledge is thus our flesh, slime, atoms and nuclear particles. They are all experiences of ... information, I could also say.

And who has this knowledge and information?

The one who experiences. The Experiencer.

And how did the information come about?

Well, as I've explained repeatedly, the Experiencer first got an idea of something that was interpreted as a ... point! And one more! And another one! Fun! Wow, what is that over there? I have no idea. I call it a distance. Why did it actually occur? I'm getting insecure; I need an answer. I imagine something new, my explanation, I call it time! Fun! I can feel time! Exciting, I want more! What is it there!? A lump?

And so it goes on until there is nothing more to experience.

That could be a summary of your private, primitive thoughts. The Experiencer is equally primitive. Precisely as primitive, in fact, for you and the Experiencer are identical.

The thought of the Experiencer is the Thought itself.

I finally found you/me/us.

You and I and everything and everyone in the whole universe at all times have and are the same Thought. We just think different content, have different perceptions, different experiences, different lives, different existences of all degrees.

The Ego is your experience of yourself right now, right here, but you are not your experience.

You are the one who has the experience, namely the Experiencer.

You are a micro-tiny experience in a cosmic myriad of experiences, and the one who «sits there» and enjoys all this, is the Experiencer. The unmentionable. You, in essence.

Can I take this in myself? Do I understand what I just said? Can I feel that this is how it is?

In glimpses, yes. Constantly, no, I still do not. Not fully. I do not experience it as qualia, other than occasionally. From our limited, dissociated perspective, it is impossible to always be in it. If that were possible, the Ego would have to go.

But I feel I am so close, so close.

And I know that this is correct.

The abstract insight is received, understood, and can not be forgotten.

But I'm just a cormorant journalist wandering around on a paradisiacal, abused planet. I see what is in front of my eyes and let myself be dazzled, deceived, convinced. What I see, I have created in my head. The notion of the head is also created – by the Experiencer. I'm just experiencing it.

Sometimes I turn around the other way, and then I see all this I'm talking about. Hold on to the next subtitle, and I'll explain a little more.

So what does this Ego do?

It hangs around thinking it's you.

You experience that you are a human being. This experience has arisen through dissociation, that is, that your authentic non-Ego, who you really are, went deep into a notion in the collective, mental reality – the experience of the Pattern – to such an extent that you think you are this human being.

You are in a permanent «flow» your whole life. You experience the intensity of being you at the same time as the world is doing its thing around you – and you, most of the time, experience it a little lethargically.

You can, of course, spot a cat on the road and choose to pat it long and thoroughly so that it takes all your focus. But for the most part, you are more concerned with caring for yourself and making sure you have what you need from your perspective within yourself. You are primarily aware of you.

We all live in an intensely private, inner world, while the outer, collective world is also there.

We do not understand how different our private perspectives are, how different lives we live – because we are all completely engrossed in our private notions, which are not true!

Our private notions are not true because they are not in accordance with the knowledge of the Collective.

«Du spinnst!» they say in German when you discover that a person is insisting on the correctness of their own fantasies against all common sense.

We all spin, spin, spin our inner web of notions. One thread binds to the other, forming patterns, logic, explanations. We have memories, stories, plans and ideas about ourselves. We interpret everything in the context of whatever is occupying our minds – all the time, almost.

Only when we forget ourselves, are we our authentic, genuine, true self.

The Ego keeps us in focus forward in a continuous notion of being something and doing something. We are nothing of what we think we are. We are a flick of the one spirit, the Experiencer, who thinks and experiences.

We actually live somewhere else: in nowhere and notime.

We torment ourselves because we do not see what is. The problem with living in one's head is that it is poor, confused, leads nowhere, holds us, binds us to analyse what is in focus. The Ego is always occupied with either pondering the past or planning the future. It's never in the unanalysed now.

It also distorts the view of what is. We interpret the present in the light of our private thoughts. We do not see the people, the possibilities, the beauty. We see a continuation of a past that no longer exists. We do not live; we deny ourselves joy and love.

Incidentally, this is the exact mechanism as with traumas. Trauma is a sick filter we put on everything possible. We interpret all we experience through the trauma.

I know, because I've been doing it for sixty years. Now that I see it clearly, I can avoid it. I can shake it off, let go of the thoughts of danger, leave them, turn around and look – at what actually is, and face it, accept life.

This is awakening.
Unless the past is over in my mind, the real world must escape my sight. For I am really looking nowhere; seeing but what is not there. How can I then perceive the world forgiveness offers? This the past was made to hide, for this the world that can be looked on only now. It has no past. For what can be forgiven but the past, and if it is forgiven it is gone.
ACIM lesson 289Alma, again. This is what she knows and what she does, I guess. The problem is that she's pretty much alone doing it. It's lonely to be like that in a sick world. It's lonely to be me, too. But knowing what's going on makes it easier.
The real world holds a counterpart for each unhappy thought reflected in your world; a sure correction for the sights of fear and sounds of battle which your world contains. The real world shows a world seen differently, through quiet eyes and with a mind at peace. Nothing but rest is there. There are no cries of pain and sorrow heard, for nothing there remains outside forgiveness. And the sights are gentle. Only happy sights and sounds can reach the mind that has forgiven itself.
A Course in Miracles