"There is no conflict, for my will is Yours."
(See Part II Practice Summary, and also Part II Introduction)
I was saying in a study group recently that our fundamental problem is that we really believe we are, deep down in our hearts, terrible people. We don't trust our own love. A fellow was expressing some concerns about how the material of the course could be used to justify just about any behavior. "I could go out and rob a liquor store because the world is just illusion and nobody would really be hurt except in the illusion. Nothing I do affects my relationship to God negatively. Or I could just take my money out of the bank and go live in St. John for a year, leaving my family despite their protests."
I pointed out how that belies a belief that he would misuse the truth. The Course was saying we don't believe that what we truly want is good. We can trust ourselves. Even if we are still confused and bemused by illusion, we are not going to make terrible mistakes. It is safe to let go of the constraints of guilt because we truly are extensions of God. We think we need the guilt to restrain the monster within us; ACIM is saying guilt serves no useful function (T-14.III.1:4) and in fact keeps us locked into the illusion of our sinfulness. That illusion about ourselves is the fundamental error. And it goes on to say that thinking the self has usurped the throne of God is nothing to be guilty about:
"Seek not to appraise the worth of God's Son whom He created holy, for to do so is to evaluate his Father and judge against Him. And you will feel guilty for this imagined crime, which no one in this world or Heaven could possibly commit. The Holy Spirit teaches only that the 'sin' of self-replacement on the throne of God is not a source of guilt" (T-14.III.15:1-3).
It is just a "trivial mistake" (W-pI.138.11:5). Love has not left Itself; I, sharing God's nature as Love, could not possibly leave Him, nor He me (1:5).
It is "foolish" (1:1) to believe that I could in reality oppose the Will of God, and corrupt myself. Any apparent corruption or conflict between me and God must be an illusion, evidence of nothing except that I am asleep and dreaming of the impossible (1:7-8).
"To know reality is not to see the ego" (W-pII.12.4:1). Yet paradoxically we must see the ego first in order to overlook it. It operates in a hidden fashion, secretly, stealthily. It hides behind all kinds of cover. We must unmask it, see it for what it is, and then overlook it, ignore it. As long as we don't know what our imagined enemy is we will be run by fear. We have to get to the place where we can see clearly, "Oh! It's just the ego, it's just me thinking I'm separate." Then we can let it go. "When you have at last looked at the ego's foundation without shrinking, you will have also looked upon ours (T, 179)."
Let us look at our ego, then, without shrinking, without being afraid of it, able to see that it is just a "trivial mistake."
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