We are addicts, addicted to the ego thought system of fear. An addict feels emotional pain and uses something to make himself feel better, to cover or mask the pain. It is used to deny the pain. It seems to work for the moment. In our mind, at the separation, we experienced excruciating fear and guilt. We needed to relieve the pain of seeming separation from our Source, so we made a world and a separate self and believed in it. We made up a magical solution. Magic, or self-reliance, is believed because it seems to work. And our drug seemed to work.
The cover for our agony, a self-reliant self we made real, living in a separate world we made real, was not perfect, but was 1000% better than the alternative. We are addicts and like addicts we will use every form of twisted logic to access and maintain our supply. We have all sorts of defenses to protect the ego thought system we made. We will use denial, self-deception, obfuscation, projection, attack and even murder to keep the whole separation thing going. We must keep believing that we are a separate self, living in a separate world. Or, the alternative, face the pain.
In the addiction recovery process an addict learns to deal with their guilt by learning they are not alone, that they made mistakes, that “atonement” is possible and that they are possibly not the heinous creature they thought they were. The guilt is lessened, but not removed. They open themselves up to a relationship with a higher power. And with all that, eventually, if they stick with it, they feel better. Most stop there. But a few travel on to examine and confront the original pain. That is what the Course readies us to do. To examine, confront and walk through the original pain of the separation. When we have examined the whole ego thought system and brought it to the light of reason, with the Holy Spirit, we will be free.
What does that look like? Jesus is our model. What did he do? He turned over everything he had made, his world, his body and his personality self (his miscreations) to be undone that he might be a tool of the Holy Spirit. He emptied his mind of all ego/separation thoughts and learned to think only with the Holy Spirit. He let the Holy Spirit speak through him. He let his body be used only as a communication tool. In order to get home to God, that is our path too. Only the Holy Spirit knows the way.
The following might be called the Course’s !2 steps to recovery from addiction to ego thinking. We might be called egoholics. Enjoy!
The ego thought system is a drug. We are addicts. We will each choose to continue using or we will each choose to go through withdrawal and work a program. But ultimately, our collective journey to sobriety is nonnegotiable. The only question is, how long will it take us? The duration of the journey is up to us. The destination, however, is written in the stars, unchangeable and unchanging, guaranteed by God.
THE TWELVE STEPS
Father, this is Your day. It is a day in which I would do nothing by myself, but hear Your Voice in everything I do; requesting only what You offer me, accepting only Thoughts You share with me. (W339.2:1)
We admitted that we made the ego and came to believe that we were the ego. Lost in the delusion of our own thinking, we became powerless to control what we had made and were trapped in a hell of our own making, asleep to any escape.
Whatever hurt you bring to Him He will make answer with this very simple truth. For this one answer takes away the cause of every form of sorrow and of pain. The form affects His answer not at all, for He would teach you but the single cause of all of them, no matter what their form. And you will understand that miracles reflect the simple statement, “I have done this thing, and it is this I would undo.” (T27.VIII.11:3)
We came to believe that the Holy Spirit could guide us home to sanity, home to God.
It is God’s Will your mind be one with His. It is God’s Will that He has but one Son. It is God’s Will that His one Son is you. Think of these things in practicing today, and start the lesson that we learn today with this instruction in the way of truth:
Salvation is my only function here.
Salvation and forgiveness are the same.
Then turn to Him Who shares your function here, and let Him teach you what you need to learn to lay all fear aside, and know your Self as Love which has no opposite in you. (W99.9:2)
We made a decision to relinquish all of our decision making to the Holy Spirit.
The imagined usurping of functions not your own is the basis of fear. The whole world you see reflects the illusion that you have done so, making fear inevitable. To return the function to the One to Whom it belongs is thus the escape from fear. And it is this that lets the memory of love return to you. Do not, then, think that following the Holy Spirit’s guidance is necessary merely because of your own inadequacies. It is the way out of hell for you. (M29.3:6)
We fearlessly examined the ego and its thought system.
The body is released because the mind acknowledges ‘this is not done to me, but I am doing this’. And thus the mind is free to make another choice instead. Beginning here, salvation will proceed to change the course of every step in the descent to separation, until all the steps have been retraced, the ladder gone, and all the dreaming of the world undone. (T28.II.12:5)
We brought all of our ego thinking to the light.
Under each cornerstone of fear on which you have erected your insane system of belief, the truth lies hidden. Yet you cannot know this, for by hiding truth in fear, you see no reason to believe that the more you look at fear the less you see it, and the clearer what it conceals becomes. (T14.VII.2:7)
We came to realize that the ego’s thinking was blocking our true nature and we became entirely ready to allow all of the blocks to love’s presence to be removed.
Your brother has a changelessness in him beyond appearance and deception, both. It is obscured by changing views of him that you perceive as his reality. The happy dream about him takes the form of the appearance of his perfect health, his perfect freedom from all forms of lack, and safety from disaster of all kinds. (T30.VIII.2:3)
We asked the Holy Spirit to remove the blocks.
By reaching out, the mind extends itself. It does not stop at the body, for if it does it is blocked in its purpose. A mind that has been blocked has allowed itself to be vulnerable to attack, because it has turned against itself. The removal of blocks, then, is the only way to guarantee help and healing. (T8.VII.10:5)
We took responsibility for the fact that our thoughts were making everything in our lives and the world.
There is no world! This is the central thought the course attempts to teach. Not everyone is ready to accept it, and each one must go as far as he can let himself be led along the road to truth. He will return and go still farther, or perhaps step back a while and then return again. (W132.6:2)
We undertook a rigorous program of mind training.
The world began with one strange lesson, powerful enough to render God forgotten, and His Son an alien to himself, in exile from the home where God Himself established him. You who have taught yourself the Son of God is guilty, say not that you cannot learn the simple things salvation teaches you! (T31.I.4:5)
We continued to examine the ego’s thinking and listen to the Holy Spirit that He might continue to remove the blocks.
No more specific lessons are assigned, for there is no more need of them. Henceforth, hear but the Voice for God and for your Self when you retire from the world, to seek reality instead. He will direct your efforts, telling you exactly what to do, how to direct your mind, and when to come to Him in silence, asking for His sure direction and His certain Word. His is the Word that God has given you. His is the Word you chose to be your own. (WEp.3:1)
We did whatever the Holy Spirit told us to do such that we might carry out God’s Will and ours.
Have faith in only this one thing, and it will be sufficient: God wills you be in Heaven, and nothing can keep you from it, or it from you. Your wildest misperceptions, your weird imaginings, your blackest nightmares all mean nothing. They will not prevail against the peace God wills for you. The Holy Spirit will restore your sanity because insanity is not the Will of God. (T13.XI.7:1)
Having realized that we were not guilty, we simply fell asleep, forgot who we were and engaged in a savage dream which did not exist, we spread the good news to all of our brothers who hungered for the truth.
Peace fills my heart, and floods my body with the purpose of forgiveness. Now my mind is healed, and all I need to save the world is given me. Each heartbeat brings me peace; each breath infuses me with strength. I am a messenger of God, directed by His Voice, sustained by Him in love, and held forever quiet and at peace within His loving Arms. (W267.1:3)
Father, I thank You for today, and for the freedom I am certain it will bring. This day is holy, for today Your Son will be redeemed. His suffering is done. For he will hear Your Voice directing him to find Christ’s vision through forgiveness, and be free forever from all suffering. Thanks for today, my Father. I was born into this world but to achieve this day, and what it holds in joy and freedom for Your holy Son and for the world he made, which is released along with him today. (W340.1:1)