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The Extinction of the Ego

Posted by Roberta Grimes • December 15, 2018 • 56 Comments
Human Nature, The Source, Understanding Reality

I am coming to see that until we each can find a way to vanquish our ego, achieving very much spiritual growth may be difficult or impossible for us. And our inability to grow spiritually would be calamitous for all the world! Growing spiritually is the reason why we even come to earth at all, so this may be the most important message that I ever will share with you.

For most of my life I thought my ego was me. I would be flooded often with fear and rage over trivial things that on a different day might not bother me so much; but I never for a moment in nearly six decades thought that being that way was a problem. Everyone I knew was plagued just as much by all the same petty fears and rages! So it must be normal, right? Then about thirteen years ago I joined an A Course in Miracles study group, and I pursued the Course for more than a year before I reached what my study group called “the extinction of the ego.”

As an aside, I should note that A Course in Miracles was channeled in the 1960s by a group that Jesus led, and effectively it is His Gospel teachings delivered at the Ph.D. level. My study group helped me fight what for all of us is an essential battle, and the death of whatever that nasty thing was has been such an amazing improvement in my life that I want now to share it with you! And in order to do that, I thought I should first do a bit of background research. What is the ego? Do we even need it? Might it be a part of our eternal minds?

What I have found has been just a mess of confusing interpretations of what the word “ego” means, and a hot insistence by various experts that either the ego is good or the ego is bad, or perhaps the ego simply is who you are. Sigmund Freud used the term in constructing his model of the human personality, and in my younger life we used to say that someone who had “a big ego” was too proud, and someone who needed “an ego boost” had been beaten down by life. The rather fanciful definition of the ego used in A Course in Miracles comes down to this: The ego is idolatry; the sign of a limited and separated self, born in a body, doomed to suffer and to end its life in death. It is the ‘will’ that sees the Will of God as enemy, and takes a form in which it is denied.” (Do you see why you will need a study group?)

While the ACIM definition comes closest, no definition I have found can entirely match my understanding of the ego. Perhaps we have been using the word “ego” to cover a number of unrelated things? But in the area of achieving spiritual growth, the word “ego” has a specific meaning, and unless you learn how to spot your ego and eventually learn how to take it down, that pesky nonentity will forever keep you from becoming the perfect being based in love that you already are! So let’s begin by stating our best definition of the word “ego”:

The ego is a limited and separated entity that pretends to be a part of yourself. It was born as an accessory to your body, and it will die when your body dies. The ego is a guardian of the body and of its own survival, focused on making you fear and fight every threat to itself that it perceives. To operate successfully, it tricks you into believing it is a part of your own mind. It is what you perceive as your personal ‘will,’ and it makes you distrust and fear God and also fear whatever might help you grow spiritually because your ego knows that your spiritual growth will eventually bring about the death of itself.”

That is a working definition for now, but as I read it again I think it works fairly well. And you can right away see our problem! The ego has priorities of its own that are contrary to the very reason why you chose to live a life on earth. It is your enemy, but it pretends to be a crucial part of who you are.

I have tried to understand why we even are born into a body that comes with an active ego, since we live much better lives without it! I can think of only two reasons why having an ego might be necessary, neither of which is relevant to our own lives now:

  • The earliest human beings must have needed the ego’s vigilant help. When we had to fight and dominate others in order to survive and mate, and when a moment’s carelessness easily could have transformed us into what’s for lunch, having a paranoid guardian repeatedly alarming us into fight-or-flight probably was an essential element to our remaining alive for one more day.
  • Young children still retain some attraction to and memories of our eternal home. Without this paranoid entity sharing the body of a young child and instilling grabby selfishness and bodily fears, perhaps many more little ones would better recall and yearn for home, and more of them might choose to boogie right on back there.

For whatever reasons the ego ever might have been of use to us, it is of no value to modern adults. Submitting to it after the age of three is like having a nuisance vestigial limb, or perhaps a very cranky appendix that repeatedly becomes enflamed. The extent to which your ego has plagued and diminished your life until now will not be apparent to you until you have managed to free yourself from it, but suffice it to say that its entire purpose has been to make you feel and act crazy. At least, that was all that mine did for me!

Then in one night a little over a decade ago my life was altogether transformed. I had begun via the Course to learn to love and forgive more perfectly, which apparently had threatened my ego sufficiently for it to do what I am told that everyone’s ego does when we begin to grow spiritually: it summoned up my deepest fear. That fear was of what we used to call “the second death,” where we become spiritually advanced enough to merge with God. My ego made me focus on and fear the horror of believing that my merging with God would be the extinction of my individual awareness. I cannot sufficiently express to you how scared I was. And it went on for weeks! Why try to grow spiritually, if all it will get you is an ultimate fall into black oblivion? After more than a month during which my study group supported me but I was in terror, I woke up one morning feeling calm. Then I heard the voice of my treasured spirit guide say, “You will never lose awareness. You will have God’s awareness.” And that was good enough for me! From that moment on, my ego was squashed and silent. I never again feared anything.

Being without a robust ego has felt so natural to me, so healthy and joyous, that it is only in the past few weeks as my guide has been nagging me to talk about the ego that I have come to see how important that fifteen months or so spent steeping myself in ACIM has been to my better living my life. It was only when my nuisance ego was gone that I began my closer walk with God and my deeper study of the teachings of Jesus, until ten years ago this coming April I felt moved to give my life to God. And that was when my deeper and richer life in Spirit really began!  

My first Fun book came out a year later, and in 2016 the third in this series was The Fun of Growing Forever – We Can’t Transform the World Until We Transform Ourselves. It’s a book about using the Gospel teachings to help you to better grow spiritually, and I am realizing only now that those teachings likely worked so well for me precisely because I had already given my ego its big kick in the head. For a few days I was muddled by this, wondering whether my easy success in applying the Gospel teachings might have been just the result of my prior extinguishment of my ego. And that was an advantage you likely won’t have! So, was it the prior banishment of my ego that had made the Gospel teachings work? Had my book been steering you wrong?

I am just now realizing that my extinction-of-the-ego experience made it easier for me a few years later to use the Gospel teachings to elevate my spiritual vibration, but in fact it did no more than that. It was those precious Gospel teachings that did all my spiritual heavy lifting! My dear friend and primary guide now asks me to warn you that if your ego is robust, you are going to find it harder to grow spiritually because your early growth will make your ego feel the need to scare you half to death. But forewarned is forearmed. Here are three of the biggest fears that a desperate ego will inspire:

  • Fear of God. If you are a traditional Christian who is coming to question that dying religion, all the worst fears are right there in your mind! So all your ego has to do is inspire you with a panic over judgment and hellfire, or whatever might be your own worst religious fear, and unless you have made yourself entirely certain that God is only perfect love, soon you will be scurrying back to those pews in terror.
  • Fear of Death. Your ego’s death is its own core fear, so this is an easy one for it to inspire. But fortunately, if you will learn enough to share my excitement about what death really is, you can make yourself proof against ever fearing it. Your death day will be the greatest day of your life! Trust yourself to know and live the truth, and soon the thought of death just will make you smile.
  • Fear of Personal Disaster. Each of us has a few fears so basic that we may not even really know what they are, but they are there. And your ego knows every one of them. All you can do when any such fear attacks you is to be prepared to know that nothing about whatever you are being made to fear is real.

The only way to vanquish your ego is to stand strong in the face of all fear. If you will stare it down as I stared mine down, your ego soon will cease to be. Immerse yourself in eternal truth until that nasty gremlin shrivels and dies! All that exists is one perfect and all-powerful eternal God, and you in particular are God’s best-beloved child. As A Course in Miracles gently assures us, “Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God” (T-In.2:4).

 

Thai baby photo credit: Alessandro Colalongo <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/59086578@N04/36688007435″>#BeautifulThaiBaby</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>
Man with waterfall photo credit: Navaneeth Kishor <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/31798490@N08/42031636474″>Monsoon</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>

Roberta Grimes

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56 thoughts on “The Extinction of the Ego

  1. Finally an article about ego. I am from Russia, I have a Course of Miracles In Russian, but even if it is dictated by Jesus, I can not use it because of too much complexity. There is no group with which to use it to destroy the ego. I believe this is the situation for many. I’m not afraid of God and death, but I’m afraid of all the bad things that can happen in life. A person can not fully control life, and this is a great platform for feeding fears. If I can add information about the ego, then on the Internet I found people who saw a special vision of the ego in the form of a devil sitting on the neck. It is combined with other people’s egos into one network. For this reason, it is dangerous to be in the same group with people with bad habits, because the ego can cooperate to instill a bad habit and get more control.

  2. Oh Dmitriy, thank you for giving us some great examples of what the ego can do to scare us! Apparently you are sufficiently advanced spiritually that your ego-inspired fears are of neither God nor death, but instead they are of the third kind listed above; and all I can tell you is that those fears, too, will die with your ego once you stare them down! You will then have a “So what?” attitude toward everything bad that might happen during your lifetime, and that seems surprising to me now that I think about it but nevertheless it’s what happens. You see a lack of money as nothing much, a possible war as kind of shrug-worthy, just nothing that might happen on earth as much to worry about. I can’t explain it, but nevertheless that is how it all feels to me. I am in charge of nothing, and the all-powerful One in charge of everything loves me perfectly. So what can there be to fear?

    This notion of someone’s ego appearing as a devil sitting on someone’s neck, and the notion of a network of egos, both are new to me and I am pretty sure they are just more bogus scary nonsense from someone’s individual ego. The ego seems not to be an entity, but rather it is more like a parasite: it’s a living aspect of your living body, but it does not survive your body’s death. It might conceivably be possible to communicate with it, but it is not a full personality and anything you got out of it could be assumed to be a fear-based lie. Bad habits are not like germs in the air, easy to “catch” if you are in the same room with them; but the ego of someone who was worried about catching bad habits found a handy-dandy way to scare that person.

    Thank you for sharing these great examples, dear Dmitriy!

  3. Hi Roberta – In yet another example of synchronicity at work, I read your post this morning. I’ve also been reading August Goforth’s and Tim Gray’s “The Risen” which does a VERY deep dive into ego, or as they describe it “the simulated self.” I must admit, grasping what their spirit guides teach about ego is “leaving me in the dust,” but I persevere. Your brief piece defining it was much easier to grasp, so thanks. However, I think the subject needs more than just a book. So what about hosting an online weekly group to address the subject? Just asking. 😉 Thanks again. -Tim

    1. Hello Tim! August Goforth is a wonderful young man, really brilliant, and his book is a very deep dive indeed! He is one of a number of very advanced teachers who are coming along now, while I am kind of kindergarten and through the primary grades. Both levels of teaching surely are needed, since unless people can get through the basics well, the more elevated levels of learning tend to be not even possible for them. So I’m glad that you found what I’ve written here much easier to understand than August’s work. I work hard to try to make it easy!

      And yes, we do intend to do an online ACIM study group (or a few of them) – give us a year or two to get going?

  4. There is no doubt that the ego is our worst enemy for growing spiritually. If you look at the lives of saints, you will find that they all have one thing in common – a nearly non-existent ego. Unless we learn to extinguish our egos, any studies of spirituality we undertake will be useless. I do agree that this is a great subject to do further studies in. In retrospect, it isn’t easy to ignore our ego, as our society is truly ego related. It will take some hard work and perserverance,

    1. Dear Lola, you are right: the ego truly is the problem. I think, though, that beginning to grow spiritually may be the secret to extinguishing the ego, since it tends to react the worst by far when it is directly threatened by our spiritual growth. Then it creates those panicky fears, and when we stand strong in the face of those fears, the ego loses. And that loss is permanent, I am amazed to stay! I hadn’t thought much about the ego until now, but I do agree that attaining very much spiritual growth is a lot harder if we don’t face the ego down head-on!

    1. Chantal, meditation can be helpful in quieting your mind but it is not an essential step and if your ego is resisting it that hard, then you might decide to begin your spiritual practice at a different spot! Doing the forgiveness lessons, for example, in The Fun of Growing Forever, might help. But whatever you are doing, you should greet stress and fears as actually good news that your spiritual practice is working! Just push through it and do it – refuse to give up – and put up with the fear. In the end the ego will yield. And what a glorious moment that will be!!

  5. Great post! I have just begun listening to A Course in Miracles on you tube. Beautifully read by a guy named Barry Peterson. Anyone can find it by going to his youtube channel called “Giving Voice to the Wisdom of Ages”, then click on playlists and you should see it listed there.

    1. I have known people who did it on their own, without a study group, but I found having the support of those eight or ten people to be immensely helpful when the fear hit! I hope it all goes wonderfully for you, Martha – please let us know!

  6. Hi Roberta,
    Whenever one undertakes a task involving addressing subjective experience, it is good to have as many other points of view as possible as crosschecks, so a group study would be helpful. I am not familiar with ACIM so I did a (very) little research. I would hope that the first subjective experience to address would be what the term “ego” means to each ego. I don’t know that everyone means the same thing when they use or hear the word.

    Also, I wonder if what I am calling my “ego” isn’t my constant reminder of what I am pushing against in order to learn via my awareness in this realm. In other words, we each have a different ego because we each have a different lesson to learn at this point. Just a thought. I don’t think it’s completely baked yet.

    1. It is indeed troubling that we seem to have so many meanings for the word “ego,” but in fact there is a spiritual definition of the word that is real, and I have experienced life both with it and without it. That ego – the one that ACIM seeks to extinguish in us – is both real and highly detrimental to our spiritual growth! As you point out, some definitions of the word may be benign, but this one definitely is not. For me, this is all part of battling the negative aspects of Christianity in an effort to assist the Lord in bringing at last the kingdom of God on earth.

    1. Wow, dear Ramonia, thank you so much! All really is good, we are safe in everlasting arms,and it is my greatest joy to be able to share that truth with you ;-).

  7. Thank you for being so brave and sharing your words, they really resonate with me. I think I have experienced brief moments without my ego and felt great Peace, I am defiently working on getting rid of my ego, Thank You!

    1. Dear April, just remember that fear is the ego’s stock in trade, so as you concentrate on growing spiritually you can greet spiritual fears as a product of the ego and a sign that you are indeed growing! Know that as you continue to work on raising your personal spiritual vibration, despite the fears – pushing right through the fears – your ego accordingly will weaken more and more. You can win this! And when you do, your ego will die and never bother you again.

  8. Thank you, Martha for the info on A Course in Miracles by Barry Peterson on YouTube – I never knew this existed and can’t wait to hear it.

  9. Hi Roberta! Thank you so much for your work (writings, speakings, research) in the realm of our spiritual reality (origin, destiny, reason for being here). I have read Fun of Dying and Fun of Growing Forever. You are the first person I have encountered to put spiritual reality together in a Christian context recognizing the primacy of Jesus. It is so exciting to hear your connections to a guide and spiritually transformative experiences, to read your devotion to research and education. Howard Storm is coming to speak next month – he is a UCC Pastor who integrated Christ with a near death experience. I learned of ACIM recently (from your Book) and have listened to it on Audio books and attended a study group. Your post speaks to where I am in my spiritual journey (retired academic internist, hospice, geriatrics -> seminary M Div -> trying to integrate NDE, STE, biblical teachings, quantum enigma, intuition with Jesus’ teachings). My question is this: Our world seems to be moving away from the spiritual reality of all life – God seems to have trouble understanding and accepting the limitations of us humans – and we risk destroying ourselves as a species because of egos. I would love to find some way to communicate the nature of reality to a secular world to move skeptics forward in their search for divinity. Any ideas? How does quenching the ego jive with the desire to move our world toward God and Jesus? With the workings of the Holy Spirit?

    1. Hello Chuck! It’s good to meet another fellow seeker who is giving his all to this work; and wow, you have led an interesting life! I don’t agree with you, though, that the world is moving away from spirituality. On the contrary! It seems to me that humankind is moving INTO spirituality for the very first time. All the great religions are anti-spiritual because they are based in fear, so it is only as we are at last moving beyond and becoming free of those old human-made religions that we even can begin to understand what spirituality is, what Spirit is, and what can make a closer walk with Spirit even possible for us all. I spend a good part of most days answering emails received through this website and responding to questions on afterlifeforums.com as well as comments on these blog posts; and I have been doing that for most of a decade so I have watched the change begin to happen. The level of sophistication in the people I hear from now, and their sheer hunger for a closer walk with Spirit, have advanced by literal light-years in that time!

      Jesus told us that when things got worse – as they are getting worse now – that would actually be a good sign! Put “tribulation” into the search bar on this website and you’ll find three blog posts done early this fall on the Tribulation that Jesus predicted and that may well be happening now. So take heart, Chuck! God remains in charge.

      And I don’t think that God has much trouble understanding us, because God IS us! All of our minds are part of the infinitely powerful and infinitely loving eternal Mind that continuously manifests this universe. There is no Trinity, but rather God is Spirit and we are part of that Spirit. All is One. But this planet has sunk so deep into negativity that we are getting additional spiritual help now – I’ve talked about this elsewhere – and that help is working well.

      How does quenching the ego live with our desire to move our world toward Spirit? Perfectly! The ego is the very seat of negativity and fear in each of us, and until we can squelch it we are deeply weighed down by it. Kill the ego, and you begin to rise naturally toward perfect love just as a bubble in water will rise toward the light.

      It really is all good! We cannot with our limited earth-minds understand much, but one thing we know. God is in perfect charge!

  10. Dear Roberta – would it be possible please, for you to share your ‘take’ on Jesus’s famous words that he has not come to bring peace, but rather a divide – setting families of 5, 3 against 2 and 2 against 3. Are these hard-to-understand words expanded upon in A Course of Miracles?

    1. This was more of His warnings about the Tribulation, for a larger explanation of which please see my posts of 8/31, 9/6, and 9/12. Jesus came to teach us how to raise our spiritual vibrations sufficiently to bring the kingdom of God on earth, and He knew that threat would be a horror for many low-level entities and pseudo-entities, including human egos (the topic of this post). So he knew that in order for us to truly raise this planet’s spiritual vibration we were going to have to fight through and vanquish all these forces of negativity (including our egos), and meanwhile they would do whatever they could to sow discord and terror upon the earth because they would know that the arrival of the kingdom of God will bring their utter extinction. In other words, He was warning us about a side-effect of the start of the kingdom of God on earth, and assuring us that He will see us through it. I am coming to believe that the Tribulation that Jesus warned us about is now beginning, which means that for each of us to now fight down and master our egos will be especially important!

      1. Roberta, I know you have written about the tribulation aplenty, but for the record here, would you clarify that we are not talking about a traditional Christian “endtimes” complete with rapture and a 1,000 year fight with Satan. Or a rising of the Catholic souls who are expecting judgment and hell. Please elaborate?

        1. Of course!

          Jesus tells us plainly in the Gospels that He came to teach us how to forgive and love sufficiently that we would raise the consciousness vibration of this planet and thereby bring the kingdom of God on earth. He warned us that the process of beginning to make this happen would be attended by tremendous tribulation, as the negative entities who feed on fear and the egos fearful of their own extinction all combined to create havoc on earth! He said it would be a terrible time, but He would bring us through it safely and we should stay steadfast.

          The church-builders at Nicaea in 325 and others who added the horrors of the Book of Revelation, a bit of end-times literature that was currently in vogue, then appropriated some of what Jesus had said about the Tribulation and tried to say the Lord had been talking about an end-times war, but for a variety of reasons that plain cannot happen. A war like that would sow rampant negativity on earth and destroy the whole reason why Jesus came to earth. It can’t happen, and the dead tell us that consistently. So, no worries!

      2. Thank you so much for your, as ever, prompt and clear reply! After writing yesterday, I chanced upon Marianne Williamson’s ‘take’ on the same ‘words’ – less literal, but strong imagery:

        “When you ask God into your life, you think God is going to come into your psychic house, look around, and see that you just need a new floor or better furniture, and that everything needs just a little cleaning — and so you go along for the first six months thinking how nice life is now that God is there. Then you look out the window one day and you see that there’s a wrecking ball outside. It turns out that God actually thinks your whole foundation is shot and you’re going to have to start over from scratch. Jesus and his wrecking ball. Suddenly the image of Jesus standing at the door and knocking is transformed. “Hey, anybody home? I want to knock this sucker down so we can totally rebuild it. You ready for that?” It’s what Jesus and his wrecking ball is set to do. Knock it all down to its very foundation. Rip out the foundation if necessary. Jesus wants to make room for something new. Jesus wants to knock down every part of you that doesn’t reflect God’s realm.”

        1. Dear Alexandra, I don’t share her view at all! OMG, a wrecking ball? That is not the Jesus of the Gospels! There is nothing about His words that suggests you’ve got to do anything so drastic. No, your natural state already is perfection, your foundation is strong, and all is well with you! The only problem with your house is that there are lots of mice running around, squirrels in the attic, even squatters that you have allowed to move right in and make you share the kitchen because they said they were some kind of distant relative and you were too busy and distracted to keep them out even though they are a nuisance to you now and you have come to hate them.

          So you follow Jesus’s suggestions about how to remove what isn’t you from the house and reclaim it entirely, so there is nothing in it of man or of earthly imperfections but it is again at last all of God. And how beautiful it is now! It doesn’t even need much paint, it turns out, once you and He have scrubbed the walls clean. And with all the little creatures gone and the squatters decamped, the Lord helps you even to do the painting.

          The more time you spend in His company in your beautifully restored home, the more perfect your entire life becomes. So then you are so happy in the Lord that you say, “You know, Jesus, maybe we should put a new wing on the house? We will keep this peaceful and beautiful center as our own, but I’m thinking about those homeless people who used to be here because they said they were my third cousins. The people who were only a nuisance to me before. If we build a wing on, we can invite them in and even have them bring their friends because I have just realized they are all my cousins! And they will then have their own space right here in my heart? Because it turns out that now I realize that I love each of them so much, now that I have reclaimed my eternal home with You and come to realize that it is built on and made of and filled with only love.”

          Eventually you and Jesus might build that wing, or you might even build a whole city around your house so you can better love and care for the world because it turns out they are all your cousins! But all this powerful love is nothing new. It always was your true nature! It is all just the fruit of your having been encouraged by the Lord of the Gospels to reclaim who you always were and truly are.

          I haven’t read Marianne Williamson. But if that is an example of what she teaches, then I’ll pass. Your foundation IS God. That is Who you truly already are! All you need to do is remember that fact and get rid of everything else that you have allowed to distract you. The Gospel teachings are meant to help us get back to our own pure foundation, not to make us start over and become someone else!!

  11. Oh my! Sorry about the crying part, but I had tears in my eyes as well ;-).

    Marianne Williamson is a famous and very well-respected expert on A Course in Miracles, and I’m sure she does a wonderful job of teaching the Course! But the Course clearly is meant to rescue people who have been damaged by Christianity; it is not the Lord’s pure teachings, and I didn’t realize that until now.

    Actually, this little exchange has made me think about a lot of things a bit differently! I am thinking differently, too, because of my next book, now in editing: it’s called The Fun of Loving Jesus – Embracing the Christianity That Jesus Taught. Can we go back and sit at the Lord’s feet when He was still on earth? Can we then live the Lord’s pure teachings, as if the Christian religion that is not based in His teachings never had happened at all? Let’s give it a go! I’ll have more to say shortly….

  12. There is zero evidence that “all is one”.

    Evidence gained from psychical research clearly suggests that the self is retained after death.

    According to http://www.thefreedictionary.com ego is ” The self, especially as distinct from the world and other selves.” Only a mentally ill person would want to lose his/her ego.

    Merging with god = annihilation. Only a suicidal person would want that.

    1. Yes, the self is retained after death, But… then what? It’s that “then what” that we are discussing here, and that is a much more complicated question than it seems at first blush. And we are not talking about our personal beliefs or preferences here, but rather we are talking about trying to understand how reality actually works! And unless we are willing to find evidence-based truths and fearlessly look then in the eye, then what we might individually think means nothing.

      Back thirty or forty years ago, researchers knew there would be a time when we could elect to rejoin the Source once we were sufficiently advanced spiritually, and for reasons that I cannot explain because all of this happened before my time, it was assumed that rejoining the Source would be personal extinction. “The second death.” It was really only in the past decade or so that sufficient upper-level people who had died sufficiently recently to know how to talk to us – Mikey Morgan first among them! – were able to tell us more about what is far above us vibrationally. We now know from a number of sources, including my wonderful primary guide, that merger happens differently than earlier researchers had thought it did, and in fact our awareness is eternal. But it did not have to be that way! And I don’t want to just believe anything. I want to KNOW!

      And where the word “ego” is concerned, I said in my post above that the word has such a range of definitions that we should come up with several different words with different definitions. If your favorite dictionary’s definition were the real and only definition, Jorma, then you would be right: no one would want to lose that! But we are not talking about that definition of the word “ego,” and to make that clear I have given you the definition of the word “ego” as it is used when discussion spiritual growth and the development of consciousness.

      And indeed, there is one Consciousness that continuously manifests everything that we consider to be real, and all our minds are inextricably part of that one Consciousness. The evidence for this is so abundant and so consistent that I have to assume this blog post is the first thing you ever have read on the topic of consciousness and the greater reality. I urge you to educate yourself, because the truth is far more wonderful than even our most optimistic imaginings!

      1. Wow, I am in way over my head here because, I admit, I am just barely beginning to grasp what it means to be “part of God” rather than a “product of God.” As I have mentioned, I am not a Buddhist or Shintoist and I have only read ABOUT both perspectives, not participated in any of their rituals or traditions or direct teachings, but I do remember encountering the idea of freeing oneself ultimately of “existence” and thinking that it sounds like annihilation, as Jorma notes, and recoiling at the idea. Now, years later, I have a better grasp on the eastern philosophies of beingness and what they regard as God (my understanding is that there isn’t a word in those traditions for what we in the west would call God), and I have come to realize, as Roberta states, that realizing spiritual fulfillment (nirvana?) and the end of “existence” doesn’t equal loss of consciousness at all. A very elementary comparision is when my wife and I look at each other and say the same thing at the same time, and realizing we have come to “think alike.” We’re two people, but we’re one. Now take that to the ultimate level. And imagine saying to God, “Hey, I was just thinking the same thing!” 🙂

        As for Mac and your reference to “alternative” views, please elaborate.

        1. Actually, dear Mike, none of this comes from Buddhism, Shintoism, or any other religious system! It comes from the Gospel teachings of Jesus as they are edited and expanded upon by those that we used to think were dead. Jesus told us all of this 2000 years ago! Sadly, not all that He said survived, and Nicaea both added things and took things out, but enough remains for us to begin to understand what Jesus actually meant. For those steeped in Christian dogmas, coming to grasp the truth is simply a matter of un-learning what is not true. We are sitting at the feet of Jesus now, and we can give Him at last the movement that He came to earth to begin!

          1. Thanks, Roberta! I need to clarify what I meant. After taking up a study of Buddhist and Shintoist philosophy, and spending actual time living with some Native American indigenous tribes (whose religion is more like what we call “eastern”), I found myself thinking that in many ways their philosophies sound more like what Jesus was teaching us than the traditional Christianity I grew up with. I thought it remarkable that these traditions were more Christian than Christianity. Not that Jesus “learned from them,” as some people like to say, but that the basis of reality is drifted away from what we now call “Christian” thought but can be found in many cultures still, some of whom Christianity goes out of its way to marginalize. I find it interesting that the truth is at least hinted at in so many places. But we in our materialist culture deny it.

            Remember, I am only observing a comparison. I am not advocating for eastern philosophies — especially because the western materialist culture is taking everything from those and twisting to fit their justifications of the worldview that I regard as dangerous.

      2. Actually, the first thing I ever read on this topic was an article about NDEs in 1992.

        The meaning of the word ego can be confusing. Therefore I used that specific definition. We seem to agree that no one would want to lose their self.

        I don’t find channeled information credible. I prefer traditional mental mediumship, cases of the reincarnation type, apparitions, NDEs and deathbed visions etc.

        “We now know from a number of sources, including my wonderful primary guide, that merger happens differently than earlier researchers had thought it did, and in fact our awareness is eternal.”

        I still don’t find the idea of merging desirable. On the contrary, I find that idea repulsive. I don’t want to merge with anything. Instead, I want to become more individual. Nevertheless, thanks for the polite reply to my post.

        1. I am always polite when people are polite to me, as you have been. But you may lose your temper with me here!

          First, of course, I should remind you and everyone that NDEs, while wonderful, have nothing whatsoever to do with death. In fact, an actual death is nearly always planned, and the process is remarkably consistent across cultures and over the two centuries that we have been receiving good information via various sources. The natural death process NEVER includes a tunnel, a light, religious references, a physical judge, judgement, a hell, or the option of returning to the body. NEVER. And reincarnation is complex and actually has little to do with the period following death. Deathbed visions are a brief phenomenon and not evidence of much. And apparitions are a whole complex topic onto themselves. So again, Jorma, I urge you if the topic of death and the afterlife interests you to actually do some targeted research in this field.

          And you are more credulous than I am when it comes to mental mediums! They’re mind-reading with dead people, for heaven’s sake? Come on! An what they say is never very evidential. I never believed in channeling, either. Not even remotely! I read almost none of the early-twentieth-century channeled materials.

          But then three years ago I channeled Liberating Jesus in two weeks of writing. I knew it was being channeled – I even could hear the Lord speaking. It was only then that I was told that everything I ever have written has been channeled by a team led by my primary spirit guide! I discovered, to my great humiliation, that if I try to write something on my own I cannot compose a single coherent sentence. It was hard to come out and say that publicly, but it seemed wrong for me to be taking credit for what is really all their work!

          And the more separate you are, the lower you will vibrate and the more you are going to miss out on when you go home. But. to each her own!

          1. By studying all the different lines of evidence one may draw certain conclusions. The best cases of mediumship are very evidential, and the communicating spirits have in many instances stated that spiritual evolution does not decrease one’s individuality.

            Because our views on this matter are so different, at this point it is probably best to just agree to disagree.

        2. Why not join us on Roberta’s forum-based website, afterlifeforums.com?

          There you’ll be able to discuss and debate – at length if you wish – your stance with me and others interested in this subject and many other, related ones.

      1. ALF will still be there should you later decide to accept the invitation….

        You don’t need to open an account simply to view the forum boards and view the range of topics that have been discussed. You could always spend a little of your online time on ALF instead of wandering the web. It’s Roberta’s website and she can be found there s well as here. 😉

        Who knows, it might prove more interesting and rewarding?

    1. Not even the very obvious attraction of your presence here – something that’s also a feature of ALF, your own website I hope readers here understand – appears to persuade blog readers and contributors to give ALF a try.

      Perhaps the ferocious reputation (lol ;)) of ALF is more widely known than either of us appreciates? 😉 :):)

      1. I think it’s just that we are all at different stages of growth, and focused on different things. I’m looking now at reorienting a number of things next year, and among other things they should make ALF easier to find and enjoy. All the right things happen in good time!

        1. quote: “I think it’s just that we are all at different stages of growth, and focused on different things.”

          Was it ever any different in this world. 😉

          I do hope, though, your plans eventually result in ALF becoming more visible and that more individuals are moved to take a look-see at what it offers – including those who follow you closely here.

        2. Just an aside, but this morning it struck me that maybe ALF needs to stand for “Always Life Forum” rather than After Life Forum, since it’s clear that life is life and there is in reality no “before” and “after” life. Maybe this is another blog entry?

          1. Mike, it’s good of you to care – thank you! We are mulling some options for next year, but we do think it will work better as a kind of discussion porch for a larger platform. We’ll see!

  13. Your post on ego really got me thinking. My ego has always told me I am special and if others don’t recognize my specialness then that is their loss. I have often played the martyr and silently felt somehow that I was born with a special talent or something that makes me enviable by others. I have paid my dues and then some, and at the end of the day, it’s just the insecure unrecognized me.
    The positive thing is I recognize my weaknesses and my strengths, although these even these change as I age. For instance I used to very organized and a bit of a perfectionist. Not so much anymore. The hard thing is letting go of my own personal judgements of success and acquiring stuff. I was young person during the Yuppie era, and I always wanted others to see me, see how successful I am, designer clothes and all.
    I am learning slowly to let go that garbage and see myself as just me. It’s hard to let go, but when you can let go of just a little, it is so freeing. I am most at peace in nature, because it is judgement free, all natural and feels close to a spiritual haven.

    1. Oh Tim, you have really bared your heart to us here. Thank you! You have given us a wonderful example of how the ego works in many people’s lives, and I hope you won’t mind if I honor your gift by using it to share some further insights.

      Dear friends, an ego is a grubby little fearful parasite that survives by seizing the mind of a powerful, eternal, entirely love-based being and obsessing him with the ego’s own fears and insecurities. The ego entirely hides from this pure and perfect being even that being’s own true nature, and it drives him to pursue the dross of earthly ego-props. I was there once, too! I needed nice clothes and jewelry and drove a Mercedes up the driveway of my estate. So many of us let our egos drive us to make money, and then we spend that money on props to make our sad and needy little egos feel somewhat better about themselves, even though there is nothing that can help them much. Feeding your ego leaves you feeling even emptier! It will be only when you have beat yours down altogether that you ever will really feel happy, whole, and complete!

      Dear Tim, I suspect that the reason why you feel happiest in nature is that the ego can find less in your surroundings there to prick you with and make you feel anxious about the status that it craves. But that little bit of feeling whole and at peace in nature is a wonderful taste of who you truly are! When you kill the ego, what you will find beneath it is the beautiful part of God that you always have been and you always will be.

      … but I’ll bet your having read that has made you anxious, or in any event has made some readers anxious! The ego survives by making us fearful of being any closer to God, which is an easy thing for it to do to people in a culture steeped in fear-based Christianity. But the ego is a liar. The Christian God does not exist, and the genuine God has no human imperfections. The genuine God asks nothing of you but that you come home in Spirit, and your true home is glorious! I don’t believe I ever had a moment of un-mixed happiness before I surrendered with joy to the only pure and perfect love there is.

      1. Thank you Roberta – I have been trying to identify what it was that I was struggling to defeat for a long time, and recognizing that it is the ego itself, is enlightening. I had never thought about destroying it completely, but you are correct it really has no use in spiritual growth. I am a trained interior designer so for many years my very profession was driven by my ego and the egos of my clients. I do not design anymore, but any artist knows that stroking ones ego is a very strong need. Love your posts.

        1. Thank you, Tim! And I love so much writing for you, and for the others who share this journey with us. What a gift you give me when you read what I’ve written!

          Believe me, you have never met anyone so full of herself as I was in decades past! It’s not just artists who are ego-driven. But I’m glad now that I was once that person, because I can tell you from my own experience how it feels to lose that grasping and selfish little fellow-traveler and discover the entirely comfortable, love-based, and supremely joyous being that you always were! Now I actively don’t want to be famous, or even known at all; now I want only the joy of bringing to more and more beautiful people the liberating truths of Master Jesus – the fact that you are eternal, perfectly loved, and already transcendent – for so long as I have breath!

          Speaking of dictionaries, I’m guessing that somewhere there must be a dictionary where beside the word “Happy” there is a little thumbnail sketch of me….

  14. Roberta thank you for the answer. Two questions.
    1) I remember you saying that you read hundreds of cases from the communication of the dead with mediums.I carefully looked through the list of literature in your books and find it small.Please tell me if you didn’t include all the books you found in it.
    2) I read the article and comments, but I have one misunderstanding. If you strictly follow the techniques The Fun of Growing Forever without the Course in miracles you can do them at the end of life to destroy the ego or are they simply very much it would weaken?
    Thanks in advance for the answer.

    1. Dmitriy, until 2009 I had no idea I would be writing about the afterlife, so I kept track of little that I was reading. Then when I wrote The Fun of Dying, I wanted to include an example of early-twentieth-century mediumship in its bibliography and I happened to own three books about Gladys Osborne Leonard so I included them just as examples.

      And the earlier in life you beat your ego down, the better. Losing all the distractions and stresses from that grubby little thing really does make you so much happier!

  15. I’ve read with much interest about our pesky egos and it makes me wonder why we have its detrimental company aside from ensuring our physical survival? It would seem that an omnipotent God, Creative Universal Force, Love, and Us (we being part of God) could do better than attach an onerous parasite to confuse and make us miserable throughout our lives. Millions of us have come and gone from earth without seeing the light; failing to make significant progress in growing spiritually and evolving to a higher vibration, all due to ego- what a waste of incarnations and time!

    1. Dear Kitty, this is a great question! To try to answer it, I’ll say that I have come to think that the ego is not simply a bodily appendage to make us want to protect our bodies for long enough to complete our life-plans. I am starting now to suspect that defeating our own egos is probably a crucial part of our more advanced efforts to grow spiritually.

      You are right in noting that billions of people have been born and have died in all of human history while their egos have made it much harder for them to grow spiritually; and to top that off, we have not known until very recently even the fact that we are here to grow spiritually! So, why has it been designed to work this way? Here are my thoughts:

      1) Reincarnation is real. We live many lifetimes, and in many of those lifetimes we do bad things and we have bad things done to us. Apparently this is necessary in order for us to grow spiritually, and the fact that it happens strongly suggests that none of our lifetimes ever is wasted.

      2) Reincarnation is not linear, and we don’t live our lifetimes in order. Since there is no objective time, we are encouraged to see reincarnation more as a bucket out of which each lifetime is dipped, and back into which each lifetime is poured. I note in my post of 2/18/19, where we talk about the fact that the earliest Christians closely followed Jesus for the first 300 years after his death and with nary a cross in sight, that the bogus form of Christianity that was first established by Constantine the Great may in fact have been intended in order to further increase the negativity in the generations between then and now.

      3) We don’t perfectly understand the process of spiritual growth. What we do understand is that it requires negativity, and that there is no negativity in our eternal lives so we come here to experience it, much as we might come to a spiritual gym.

      4) We are told that we deliberately plan into our lives all the bad things that happen to us. Even the worst things! I don’t make these rules; I only try to understand them and to report them as I am given them just as accurately as I can.

      5) An effort is now underway to raise the consciousness vibration of this planet – to in effect bring all of us much closer to spiritual enlightenment at once – and in a world without time, having that happen now may always have been God’s plan!

      Dear Kitty, we come to earth with conscious access to just a tiny percent (10? Less?) of our vast, eternal minds, so we have to take it as a given that while we are here we simply don’t have a way to make much sense of anything. Certainly, we cannot begin even to imagine what the Godhead is thinking! So we must be grateful that we are now being given so much more information than any previous generation even could have imagined that we might receive, and trust in God’s perfect will and God’s infinite love for each of us in particular.

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