Today’s lesson begins by telling us we will take a break from the theoretical and come back now to practical concerns. If we will see today’s lesson as practical and not theoretical, we will shed the ego thought system.
Let me start by saying that the ego is inherently selfish.The ego always thinks of ‘me’ and ‘mine.’ It has no other point of view. Spirit, on the other hand, thinks only of purpose and wholeness. It has a broad perspective, and ‘me’ is completely unimportant. That doesn’t mean that the individual is sacrificed. The individual is loved as part of the whole, which is completely different than the selfishness of the ego.
I will also say that one of the most challenging things to teach is dropping selfishness. The ego is extremely protective of it. Yet, if you are to know the heart of truth, selfishness must be let go.
Today’s workbook lesson is excellent in its practicality, if you will use it that way. I did. The effect for me was that I saw my own selfishness in a way I had not seen it before, and this generated a change in me from a selfish perspective to a perspective of service.
When I first used this was during that period of time when Ron and I had agreed to marry, and then I began to sense that he was going to back out. I told that story in last Sunday’s service. (I will provide the link to the audio in the comments section below.)
At first my response to realizing he would back out was a lot of ego chatter. That chatter was focused on ideas about how I could still get what I wanted. It looked at the situation from many different angles, like it was working on a puzzle, and it tried to figure out the exact strategy that would get what I wanted. And yet, somehow I was blind to the selfishness in that until I tested what I wanted against the criteria in today’s workbook lesson. The test looked something like this:
1. I want to convince Ron to marry me. I remember there are only two alternatives, and in every choice I make I choose either ego or heaven. I accept that as true. I also accept there is no compromise, no ‘in-between’ option. This wanting is either ego or heaven, and I am here to discover which it is. If I convince Ron to marry me, will that marriage last forever? No. At best, “death do us part.” It could end in divorce before that. If I convince Ron to marry me, am I taking something from someone else? Cleary the answer is ‘yes.’ If he does not want to marry me, and I somehow convince him to marry me, I am taking his freedom to follow his own will from him. Is it possible that if I convince Ron to marry me, I will later feel guilty? Yes, I can see how that might occur. Therefore, my desire to convince Ron to marry me is ego and must be let go.
2. What if I do nothing? What if I simply let this unfold without grievance and let everything be? Will that last forever? Yes! I see how simply letting everything unfold and be as it is, is a non-ending state of being. If I make this choice, am I taking something from someone else? No, not at all ever. Will I feel guilty for this choice? No, it seems that I would only feel curious. And if I am completely genuine in letting everything unfold without putting my desires upon it, I would be happy.
And so, I made the second choice. That is how this lesson works in a practical way. Also, from looking at this and other choices this clearly, I could instantly see what was selfish and what was not. I learned to drop the selfishness, and live in a state of service, which is ‘letting it all unfold and be as it is’ while intuiting my little part in it, but never seeking for what ‘I can get out of it.’ Except for awakening, of course.