A brother asked: So my mother never got sick and died? So my house never burnt down? So my brother never died from alcoholism? This is just a story I made-up and asked for? Seems harsh.

You are the Son of God. You are invulnerable and all powerful. You are spirit. You are one mind united with your Source. So why did you as mind, not the little ego personality self you presently believe you are, make-up this particular story? The ego tells us that making up all these stories will protect us from a wrathful God. We, at a certain level of mind, believe it. So we, as mind, make-up stories to protect ourselves from God. And then we forget we made them up. Because all stories in the illusion are reflections of the original separation story, they all must follow that template. Stories leave not their source.

The stories all have one purpose as used by the ego. To have us react to them as if they were real. It is our acceptance of them as real, our belief in them, that makes them seem real. Why is that a problem? Because if we believe the stories are real, we are believing the separation was real and that we really did attack God and that we really are guilty, unworthy of love and deserving of punishment and that God wants to retaliate against us and abandon us. Further we have to believe that we are the body and the little character self, we as mind made-up. That self is vulnerable, powerless, a victim of the world and everyone in it, alone and separate from God. Sound familiar?

In order to make the illusion real we also have to agree that we are not the Son of God. Did you know you were agreeing to all that when you “make it real?” Our job, using the Course, is to let the Holy Spirit, using sense, understanding and reason persuade us that we were mistaken. That we are not the body. That we are not the little personality self, vulnerable, powerless, alone and separate from our Source. Once we make those corrections, what we really are will be revealed to us. Long story short. We are always only tempted by the ego to make the illusion real. If we choose to believe the illusion is real, we are choosing to believe the separation is real.

The ego arose from the separation, and its continued existence depends on your continuing belief in the separation. The ego must offer you some sort of reward for maintaining this belief. All it can offer is a sense of temporary existence, which begins with its own beginning and ends with its own ending. It tells you this life is your existence because it is its own. Against this sense of temporary existence spirit offers you the knowledge of permanence and unshakable being. No one who has experienced the revelation of this can ever fully believe in the ego again. How can its meager offering to you prevail against the glorious gift of God? (T-4.III.3:2-8)

Making the stories real. That is all the ego needs us to do to keep this whole nasty game going and keep it “alive.” So the process in the Course is not to change the stories, which we, AS MIND, made-up in the first place, but to withdraw our belief in them. And that takes much study and diligence. The ego is not going to go quietly into the night. It has many horror stories, in all sorts of shapes and sizes, it can tell that will tempt us to “make it real.” If we could view a replay of “history” on our televison, it would be the same content in different form. Do you think there has never been a story about a devastating plague or war? But we keep falling for the bait and “making them real.”

The ego is not adverse to making up “good” stories either, as long as it persuades us to make a judgment. Someone arrives at our door with a million dollars. Oh no. Make it stop. How can we fix this?  How did this happen? Who can we blame? How can we protect ourselves? We are doomed. Whoops. That doesn’t sound like a reaction to that scenario. But it could be. Reactions are completely subjective.  To some, such arrival of money could be the sign of the “devil.”

Another reaction to the million dollar arrival story might be…This is incredible. What a stroke of luck. Let’s throw a party. I guess I am not a complete loser after all. I am saved. It doesn’t matter to the ego what reaction we have. We judged and “made it and the separation real” either way. Just one of the many ego deceptions. In both cases we are a victim of the world we see. We are vulnerable and powerless. We are definitely not the teller of the story. We are definitely not eternal. And we are definitely, absolutely not the supernatural sinless Son of God, one with our brothers and our Source.

We can give every story in the illusion to the Holy Spirit and let Him use it to support us in getting home to God. We do not want to behavior modify our reactions, our judgments and our grievances. We absolutely do not want to use them to make ourselves guilty. But we cannot use them for awakening if we do not expose them. We need to look at them with our brothers and the Holy Spirit. By sharing them with our brothers we deny their reality. The ego wants us to shamefully hide them. They are gifts. They will show us where the unforgiving thoughts and beliefs are in our minds. Those hidden beliefs are in our minds warring in secret. If we bring them to the Holy Spirit, He will look upon them with us and expose them to reason. And in reason’s light we will look upon them and choose again. We will choose for God.

As we progress in our mind training, the stories may or may not change, but we will be less and less attached to them. We will be busy forgiving, “not making it real.” We will be busy fulfilling our Holy Spirit purpose. We will be using the stories to get home to God by remembering that we are the Son of God, safe at home in His Loving Arms.