The Ego and the Holy Spirit


I’m reading Marianne Williamson’s book, A Return to Love: Reflections on A Course in Miracles. Today, she’s talking about how the ego within us is always seeking separation while the Holy Spirit within seeks oneness, the healing of our separateness from others.

I look out into my backyard and Nature reminds me of my ego. There it is – hanging right out there in plain sight. There’s no way to hide it. It’s a blemish on the terrain.

Ms. Williamson talks about the ego and its need to separate itself from others. It’s always making comparisons, making judgments, pointing out errors in others for its own uplifting, except that what it sees in others reveals the error within itself. The ego chooses to see fault, while the Holy Spirit chooses to find beauty inherent in the other. The driving energy behind the ego is fear, while the energy behind the Holy Spirit is love. And only love is real. Fear is imagined, defending the ego. There is so much fear in our world.

Look at this dead tree, think of it as the ego, and then look all around it. Nothing but beauty. Yet the ego within you will worry if the neighbor is crossing the “property line” when he cuts his lawn. What does it mean if he does that? Does he think that’s his property now? Is he trying to claim what’s mine for himself? Should we get a surveyor out here to clarify the boundaries, maybe build a fence to make sure he doesn’t cut too much grass? Fear. Imagined—not real.

Is my neighbor parking too close to my space? Is my coworker crossing the line and getting into my stuff to make me look bad? Am I not getting a raise because they don’t like me and want me to leave? Do all Muslims really want to force me to bow down to Allah in the same way all Christians want them to get on their knees and say, “Jesus is Lord”? Fear is a choice, just like love is a choice. Ego seeks to create separation. Love seeks to heal and bring peace.

In my next book, In Living Color: The Beatitudes, that I hope to have ready by ____, you will meet Pharaoh, my nevergreen tree. He stands tall. He has little flexibility. He gives life to no one and produces no fruit. He’s found in every one of us.

Why have I let this deadwood stand for so long in my yard? It’s time to get to work so the Holy Spirit can be a stronger influence in showing me the beauty and oneness of all things.

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