Here is the distinction: We already know who we are. No one would deny that we are Divine children of God, that we are spiritual beings having a human experience,—yadda, yadda, yadda. BUT the knowing has not completely taken hold. We “Kinda, Sorta” believe it, and because that is were we perceive ourselves to be, then we “kinda, sorta” get some results.
I believe that every moment of practice, be it consciously exclaiming “Welcome;“ consciously claiming, “I know who I am; I know what I am; I know how I serve:” or bringing to mind a meaningful prayer or mantra, eg. “The Light of God surrounds us…:” “I love you; I am so sorry; please forgive me; Thank you,” not only raises our vibration and all that is around us, but ALSO allows the truth of who we are to take root more and more deeply within our conscious and unconscious. (Like having a perpetual tune you can’t get out of your head.)
We all realize we have the power of the divine within us, but how often do we use it; how often are w even aware of it. ACIM suggests that we are always creating; we are either creating from default (through our unconscious minds) which means all of our fears, worries, doubts, and another forms of negativity that we are holding onto are essentially in charge of our creative activity OR we are creating from our conscious awareness —-that awareness of the Truth of who we are.
“What was I thinking,” you might ask yourself after creating a mess—major or minor. The answer is, as Marian Williamson says, “You were not thinking.” You were on auto-pilot—reacting to external stimuli with preprogramed thoughts and behaviors.
And so that puts us right up against the question, “Why would we do that; what is our resistance to Truth?” To answer that we will examine again the seemingly classic conflict between ego and Spirit.
For most of us, we grew up identifying with the ego or personality side of our nature. Ego and personality was the primary definition of self, and most of us simply took that for granted. Even though there was spiritual teaching in our lives, it became primarily compartmentalized. It was expressed as a series of thoughts and ideas and maybe even beliefs, to a limited extent, but it was sort of a separate part of our lives, possibly reserved for Sundays. Unfortunately, what passed for spiritual teaching was often imbued with sensations of guilt, fear and shame. Please know we do not say the guilt, fear or shame are actually part of spirit, but it is a way that many of you erroneously learned.
There usually comes a time, often triggered by difficult life experiences, that we called into question our identity and definition of self in terms of ego or personality. We are challenged to know ourselves on a deeper level. It is then that spiritual teachings enter our lives, but we also realize that much of what we have learned under the heading “spirit” does not coincide with the yearnings of our soul.
So we are called more deeply as we are at this time, to open ourselves to a new way of knowing and a new way of knowing ourselves as well. As we have all experienced, the ego does not go down without a fight. Our ego or personality self has been king or queen of the hill for too long to allow that power or that identity to quickly disintegrate. It is, however, unnecessary and even counter-productive to get into a fight with our ego or personality cells. That just gives it more power.
What we are doing here is increasing our awareness of the Truth of who we are and to allowing that to take precedence in and our thoughts and actions. Fear, which is a primary emotion of the ego, will continually attempt to get in the way of our acknowledgment of who we truly are. Fear can take many forms. Most often it is subtly expressed by a sense of unworthiness or “not enoughness” or an inability to embrace ourselves we are we are. Embracing ourselves where we are is another way of saying accepting unconditional love.
As we have mentioned before, it is extremely important to be aware that what we call “where we are” is simply our perception of where we are, and our perception, by its very nature, is limited. So to release the struggle of our inner natures, we even embrace our imperfect perception of ourselves, knowing that it isn't perfect, but that also in the midst of our aligning with our divine selves, that perfection is embraced beyond our limited knowing.
I’d like to include this next paragraph from the book. It will be our starting point next week.
As always—DEEP GRATITUDE
“Now, the kingdom of God, we would say, is the manifestation of God as you, as out-pictured through you, through each of you, in your beneficence, in your kindness, in your love, in your willingness to serve. But the frightening thing about this for all of you is that you do not want it. You believe that it is a negative, that you will lose your self-worth that you have attained through structures that have been erected to give you an appearance of dominion when you, in fact, have been enslaved by them.”