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A Question of Vigilance: Can the Ego Be Vigilant?

Questioner: There is a sentence in the text that says, "By deciding against your reality you have made yourself vigilant against God and his kingdom and it is this vigilance that makes you afraid to remember this." What kind of vigilance is this? Can the ego be vigilant?

Speaker: That's a really good question. Let's see. Let's look at this. In the course Jesus says (paraphrasing) `be vigilant until you no longer need to be vigilant'. But the vigilance in this sentence you are asking about is a different quality of vigilance. Vigilance is of the ego, as the perceptual realm is of the ego, but it can be used for the purpose of attentiveness by the Holy Spirit. But, this is a different context being expressed here in the quote you gave. So let's take a look at this. "By deciding against reality you have made yourself vigilant against God and his Kingdom…." So, what he means is; you will do anything to deny God's reality and uphold your own - being vigilant for your own perceived reality, or he says, you made a decision for your own - deciding is of the self concept. Only the split mind believes in choice/decision.

So the belief in an America, the belief in a Canada… all these different concepts; I'm a Canadian, I'm an American or I'm an African American or I'm British or I'm Australian. All these are concepts and we find ourselves defending them because we believe this is who we are. We believe we have a choice to be who we want to be. And we are very vigilant in protecting what we have made. If someone comes along and says, "Well, America stinks" or " Australia stinks" or " Canada , you guys are wimps!" I've heard that at my television show a couple weeks ago. The camera man got angry at the body of Speaker because he said Canada doesn't join America in the war. I didn't say a thing to him. I don't believe in either one, birth is a concept that denies the Christ. But, by his reaction, seemingly, he was upset because from his perspective Canada was not joining America in the war. He was defending his concept of America and what he thinks he knows America is and how it's supposed to be protected. He was offended. But, see how complex this `i-know- mind' is? What am I not? I am not Canadian. I am not born in a body. I am not the perception. Jesus spoke of this in the below quote from the book of John, "The Jews replied, "You aren't 50 years old yet, and You've seen Abraham?" 58 Jesus said to them, "I assure you: Before Abraham was, I am." Jesus is telling us before Abraham was I Am. There is nothing that comes after I Am. I am not the name 'Speaker'. I am not the citizenship of the country the body was born in. The Christ is not a label nor is it a part of time and space. Jesus says in this sentence from the Course, "You are vigilant against God and his kingdom." So, every time you're upset and you think you know something, it means you want to be right. What he is saying is that it is then when you're vigilant against God and his kingdom, defending your illusion over God's reality. And then he says, "it is this vigilance that makes you afraid to remember him."

And that's the key. Because we believe we've really separated, now we're afraid that we've done something wrong by pretending that we know something other than God's knowledge <changeless, eternal love>. By pretending that the separation is real then, we are fearful of remembering God because we really believe in the impossible, and this kind of vigilance is the ego's vigilance, that is; defending the illusions. One can only be vigilant in the perceptual realm. Be vigilant for the kingdom because the mind is very resistant. The egoic mind is vigilant for idols. Be vigilant in the exposing of the idols. "The calm being of God's Kingdom, which in your sane mind is perfectly conscious, is ruthlessly banished from the part of the mind the ego rules. The ego is desperate because it opposes literally invincible odds, whether you are asleep or awake. Consider how much vigilance you have been willing to exert to protect your ego, and how little to protect your right mind. Who but the insane would undertake to believe what is not true, and then protect this belief at the cost of truth?" ACIM

What you've made is false knowledge and the split mind is very vigilant in keeping it and this is what maintains the world seemingly in its chaotic state. Thinking that we know something, and in fact we can't know anything in the perceptual realm. Right- mindedness is the correction of this wrong-minded attempt to order ones reality. Right-mindedness is not to be confused with the knowing mind <God's knowledge>, because it is applicable only to right perception. This is why in the early workbook, Jesus says, "You do not know what anything is for. You think you know what a telephone is for and he's letting us know that we don't know what anything is for. We have to be open to seeing that, ` I don't know anything because I'm attempting to decide reality for myself and this is why I'm afraid because every time I attempt to make reality for myself, I'm misusing the law of the kingdom, the law of love.' This attempt to decide reality is why guilt arises in awareness. There's a sense of knowingness that the mind is not being used for the purposes of creation, but to make illusions. This results in fear because we believe the illusions to be real and we'll do anything to protect them. "The ego will be very vigilant against God and His kingdom." ACIM.

In order to be clear on the idea of vigilance, first we must look at the ego idea of vigilance the Holy Spirit's purpose for vigilance. So there seem to be two alternatives, two choices. Out of all the choices in the world, all of the decisions that one could possibly make, this narrows it down to just two. There is a great simplification in this. Let's say these two choices are the potential solutions to any one seeming problem. The first solution is to unmask the ego. The second solution is to continue in the state of achieving, becoming and seeking for surface-level changes.

The former solution is to unmask and unravel the ego and its schemes to save it self-self concept. The latter entails a continuance of seeking for a better illusion, seeking for salvation where it can't be found, a continuation of the `rat race'. The first choice will take effort but it is like unraveling a ball of yarn, which has an eventual end. The second choice also requires effort, but in this effort it perpetuates all sorts of suffering. So, although both require effort and vigilance we can say that because of the outcome, only one of these choices is a real alternative. Only one leads to the kingdom.

Questioner: That must mean I really have no choice to be what I want to be? So there is really no choice at all?

Speaker: If there is one choice then, there must be no choice, because choice implies two or more. And if there is only one real choice that leads to Reality then there is no choice. Really, the choice for the right-mind is a choice to have the Holy Spirit decide for you, so one really never had a choice, but an illusion of choice. But this is too simple for the ego. The ego needs something to be for or against, or it will cease to `exist'. So, the ego uses concepts, ideas and beliefs and attaches itself to these ideas and then thinks that this is who it is, "I'm an American. I'm Catholic. I'm Buddhist. I'm this and I'm that and I'm Christian. i know, i know, i know." So, it gets lost in the `I know' and really it's just a defense against the memory of knowledge that's available in the Holy Instant. The Holy Instant is where knowledge is reflected and where love is remembered. This is where; we meet the Holy Spirit, in the present moment, right now. The Course tells us, "To teach the whole Sonship without exception demonstrates that you perceive its wholeness, and have learned that it is one. Now you must be vigilant to hold its oneness in your mind because, if you let doubt enter, you will lose awareness of its wholeness and will be unable to teach it. The wholeness of the Kingdom does not depend on your perception, but your awareness of its wholeness does. It is only your awareness that needs protection, since being cannot be assailed. Yet a real sense of being cannot be yours while you are doubtful of what you are. This is why vigilance is essential. Doubts about being must not enter your mind, or you cannot know what you are with certainty. Certainty is of God for you. Vigilance is not necessary for truth, but it is necessary against illusions." Thank you for your question.

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