Thoughts on “What is the Ego?” in the ACIM Workbook
The ego is a misunderstanding about who you are. It is that part of you that is fully identified with form.
As source rolls forward into expression (creation) it flows into various changeable forms and configurations that are subject to time and place. Part of source flows through the organism of the human body, which we could call a feeler, whose senses enable source to meet itself-in-expression from a whole new vantage point. Because this is an exhilarating experience, there is always the chance (or trap) that the feeler focuses on certain forms and appearances in such a persistent way that part of its energy attaches to a given form and identifies with it.
Since the true nature of source and its feelers is boundless love, the feeler that is thus limiting parts of itself starts to feel unease. That unease is now part of the mind content of that feeler, and the mind uses it as a building block for projection onto reality. The confusing or disturbing image that now appears in the world is the way the mind alerts the feeler to its wayward focus and calls it to awaken it to its true nature.
But when the feeler does not make the connection between the limited identification, the feelings of unease, the projection that leads to a distorted image in the world that is interpreted as a disturbance “out there”, the feeler will not make an inward adjustment in focus. Instead, it will see in the image in the world a justification, or proof, for its feelings of unease. When that happens part of the energy of the feeler is caught in a loop.
The first step out of the loop is doubt – doubt that perhaps the image in the world that gives rise to the interpretation of a disturbance is not true. That doubt allows a ray of light and a sense of relief to enter the mind. They create a little space in which the mind is able to withdraw its focus from the identification with expressed form and return to a focus on the stream of creative qualities that well up within and that are innate to the feeler.
The ego is that part of you that is identified with form and that experiences feelings of unease – it is caught in a loop-to-loop pattern. The unease is suppressed and defenses are built to protect against the disturbing images. The ego is a misunderstanding about who you are.