The ego is always aware of the threat to its existence, that threat being God, or more specifically, the mind’s decision to remember God and to choose Him. So if I go to God with what I’m feeling – my low self-worth, feeling unloved, unwanted, not accepted or appreciated, feeling sick or in pain, afraid of financial loss, or whatever – the ego is going to fight back. Even if we’re feeling a sense of depression or despair, the ego will try to retaliate and attack. We’ll find ourselves critical and condemning. We’ll compare ourselves to others, and remember that to the ego “different” and “separate” are the same. Comparison is the thin edge of the wedge that the ego uses to insinuate itself into our thinking and lead us to attack our brother with the machete of judgment, anger, and hatred. We’ll think thoughts like these: “Well, would you just look at what she’s wearing,” or “I’m better than her. I know about computers,” or “I’m a better parent. At least my kids don’t yell and scream in public.” It’s always: “I’m a better this or that. I’m superior.” Or we can feel righteously superior because we suffer more. Either way, we’re superior. That’s the ego’s line, its theme song. It is grandiosity and it keeps us away from knowing the truth of who we are.
Remember always that you cannot be anywhere except in the Mind of God.
Yet, in the midst of all this, we need to remember that the ego has no reality. It’s only our belief in it that makes it seem real to us. But Jesus is meeting us where we think we are. He continues: “The ego is immobilized in the presence of God’s grandeur, because His grandeur establishes your freedom. Even the faintest hint of your reality literally drives the ego from your mind, because you will give up all investment in it. Grandeur is totally without illusions, and because it is real it is compellingly convincing. Yet the conviction of reality will not remain with you unless you do not allow the ego to attack it. The ego will make every effort to recover and mobilize its energies against your release. It will tell you that you are insane, and argue that grandeur cannot be a real part of you because of the littleness in which it believes” (T-9.VIII.4:1-6).
We’ve all experienced this. The ego attacks our conviction of our reality by trying to convince us that we are arrogant to believe that we are the Son of God, always and forever loved by God. It whispers to us: “Just look at what you’ve done. You’ve separated from God. You’ve destroyed the Oneness of Heaven just so you could have your separate, individual existence. After that, how could God love you?” And the ego will use the Course. Oh yes, don’t doubt that for a moment. The ego will take the Course words and terminology and what we’ve learned and use them against us to make us feel guilty. Because the ego’s intent is to keep us away from God, it’s going to mount every offensive it can to make that happen. It will try to undermine with stories from our past. Maybe you grew up in a dysfunctional family. Maybe you were abused. Maybe you’ve had multiple marriages. Rev. Paul is my fourth husband. The ego likes to use that against me. How could I ever think I could be a Teacher of God? Look at all the mistakes I’ve made! How can I accept that God loves me? But I can. We all can because it’s the Truth. We are His beloved Son, forever at One with Him.
Jesus says: “Yet your grandeur is not delusional because you did not make it. You made grandiosity and are afraid of it because it is a form of attack, but your grandeur is of God, Who created it out of His Love” (T-9.VIII.4:7-8). So yes, we are eligible for the grandeur of God because God created us like Himself. “From your grandeur you can only bless, because your grandeur is your abundance. By blessing you hold it in your mind, protecting it from illusions and keeping yourself in the Mind of God” (T-9.VIII.5:1-2). Yes, I am loved by God. This is who I am. I was created in Love. I am in the Mind of God, and I can allow myself to bless others and see the truth in them. In fact, I bless others by seeing Truth in them. I can choose to overlook their littleness and their grandiosity. I can choose to see them as the equal Sons of God that they are, loved by God as I am.
“Remember always that you cannot be anywhere except in the Mind of God. When you forget this, you will despair and you will attack” (T-9.VIII.5:3-4). Bingo! Bazinga! That’s exactly what we do! We forget; then we attack. We may be Course students, but we still do this. Once we forget the truth about ourselves, we become frightened, we despair, we attack. We project our guilt and self-hatred onto others. We criticize and find fault. These are the little ways we express our separation from each other and from God. They represent the thought of self-hate, which is our guilt over what we believe we did when we destroyed Heaven.
Reference: Text, Chapter 9, VIII. Grandeur vs. Grandiosity
An excerpt from our book, Change Your Mind! Talks on Living A Course in Miracles