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How to Free Your Mind Through A Course in Miracles

May 20th, 2008 by Ryan

Ego. 

That part of the human mind that many see as the cause of fear, addictions, crime, disease, wars, and pretty much all types of suffering in the world.  

What exactly is this "Ego" that so many spiritual gurus talk about? 

Why do so many regard it in such a negative light?

Better yet, if it is so bad, how do we transcend it?

My current understanding of ego goes like this:

Everything that exists in this world is made up of energy.  Even Einsteins formula, e=mc squared shows that energy is all there is. 

So if you imagine this universal energy like light shooting out in all directions to brighten up a whole room, we as individuals are like highly focused beams of light brightening up a small area (think of a laser pointer) .

We have some degree of control over the focus too.  When we are very "mind-identified", we are looking out for our own survival and possibly even at the cost of other's well-being.  We see ourselves as individuals separate from each other and from life, meaning our laser beam is extremely highly focused. 

Ego is the thoughts that come through us that identify us as an individual.

As we connect to universal "source" energy, we begin to merge with all of existence, as if the laser beam is reducing its focus to become more general.  This often happens when we reach meditative states, are "in the zone", or achieve peak experiences in sports.

In these states, we are more ego-less; we are everything.  It's like the saying that athletes repeat while playing; "I am the ball."   

Creation seems to happen through an ebb and flow between the two states.  

People experience discomfort if they become too highly focused, too identified as individuals who are separate from source energy; too much in the ego

They forget that we are all of the same light, we are just focused in different directions, with different lenses.

So in this sense, our minds are tools for us to focus our energy and life experience in order to help create more effectively. 

In today's world, we live in the information age.  Many describe it as the "attention economy"; we are constantly exposed to large amounts of news, advertising, scientific discoveries, education and more through television, radio, and especially the internet.

In an effort to function with all this information, our minds filter things out for us.  They create meaning, save it to memory, and then move on to the next thing.  We can call this a "thought program".  If a similar situation arises again, the mind references the memory and then runs the old program to determine its meaning in order to save mental energy.  

For example, when you were a kid, one day you probably looked up at the sky in awe as a giant machine flew through the air with a loud noise.  You later found out that the machine was called an airplane and that it flew through the air with people inside.  Perhaps the next few times one flew by, you pointed and said "airplane."

Your mind began creating a program for an "airplane flying overhead" so that eventually you would hear the plane flying for a split second and then the program in your mind would run and you would filter out the whole experience so that it was almost completely out of your awareness.  This way, you would be able to focus on more important things like your homework or hanging out with friends. 

The problem that many of us have in today's world of information is that there are so many things we give our attention to, our entire life becomes a series of programs that run inside out mind. 

We no longer experience life, we only experience thought programs. 

This is why so many spiritual leader stress the Power of Now.  It is in the moment that you experience life.  It is in being present to the moment that you find your power, your happiness, and your connection to universal energy.  The present is all you have. 

The degree to which you are in the present moment is the degree to which you feel alive. 

So how can we tell if our life is becoming a series of thought programs that occur in our mind?

We will feel less connected to source energy. 

This will manifest itself as disease (especially cancer), depression, a lack of purpose, a general feeling of unhappiness, a view of the world as a scary or dark place, blame towards God or others, low self-esteem, a scarcity or win/lose mentality, constant judgment and criticism of self and others, constantly experiencing unpleasant people or events, and just about any other negative state of being you can think of.

Do you know why things become boring or routine?  It's because one has been doing the same things over and over until they are only experiencing programs and not the actual thing anymore. 

So what is the way out of it?

a course in miracles workbook lessons daily through email How to Free Your Mind Through A Course in MiraclesOne way is through what's called A Course In Miracles.  The course itself, contains three parts: The Text, The Workbook, and the Teacher's Manual.  

The part that I recommend is the workbook.  It has been highly recommended by David Hawkins and many others as the path to healing addictions, physical disease, and many other mental and emotional disorders. 

The workbook is not a typical book that explains concepts for you to understand.  It is a series of 365 short lessons that walk you through mental processes that will help you come to sudden realizations to transcend the ego. 

It doesn't give you the answers directly as much as lead you down a path so that you can realize the answers yourself.  

It's sort of like Zen koans:

For centuries, secret doctrines of Zen learning have been transmitted from master to disciple in the form of seemingly absurd riddles called koans. Intense meditation upon these is said to lead to enlightenment.

Zen, of which the koan exercise is a tool, is a Japanese sect of Buddhism, which in spite of having masters and monasteries believes paradoxically that nothing can be taught. 

The logical mind is considered to be the greatest stumbling block on the way to satori (enlightenment or a sudden a-ha), as is evident from this koan: A monk was asked to discard everything. "But I have nothing," he exclaimed. "Discard that too!" ordered his master.

The workbook contains a lesson a day for a full year.  Each lesson requires only a minute or two to read and that you do few simple mental exercises.

It is recommended that you read an introduction to prepare you for the workbook course.  David Hawkins recommend to not use the Course in Miracles Text as the introduction as he says it views ego in a slightly negative light. 

If you are new to spiritual concepts such as the ego, then you will probably want to read something like The Peaceful Warrior, The Power of Now, or A New Earth to get a good foundation before you begin.  

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The reason is because when we start, the ego may convince you that "I don't need to do this exercise" or "this course seems too weird" or some other rationalization that will stop your progress.  

Also, be aware that this course uses common religious terms such as God, Christ, and Salvation.  I can understand if you have some resistance to those terms and religion in general.  This course is aimed at conveying universal spiritual truths to those who are familiar with the Christian Religion.

So if you have yet to make peace with those words, I suggest that you perform TAT on any negative past experiences with religion, parents, authorities, or beliefs that still bother you.  For instance, you can simply hold the TAT pose and say the word "God."  Then do it again for "Jesus", "Christianity", etc until they no longer give you a negative emotional charge.

To begin the course, simply enter your name and email address at the bottom of this post and you will receive a lesson a day for the next year.  The email system I use sends them out at intervals that are roughly 1 day apart with a day break before every 10th lesson (in case you fall behind).

If you have already started the course, simply choose the lesson you want to start on and you will begin there. (You can also view each lesson via the website here).

I have only just started the course about a month ago but am having some profound realizations already.  Supposedly by lesson 80 or so you may experience sudden physical healings as well. 

Make sure you are committed to undertake this and willing to face your ego.  Best wishes on your journey and be sure to post any comments about your experiences below.

By the way, here is a video that gives you a good idea of the benefits people receive after taking the course.  It's taken from an upcoming documentary about the success of A Course In Miracles:

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Enter your details below to begin:


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12 Responses to “How to Free Your Mind Through A Course in Miracles”

  1. EvanNo Gravatar Says:

    I think compassion is an individual experience.

    So the idea that the ego is a problem is a mistake.

    This leads into discussions about the nature of the self. My own way of putting this is that we are social-individual not individual-individuals. A related way of saying this (though not exactly the same) is to say that the problem is ego.

    Individuality is a blessing as well as a curse. It is easy to see the negatives but without individuality compassion is meaningless. So I’m for preserving individuality.

  2. Alex KayNo Gravatar Says:

    Finally pushed me to purchase some books… Thanks Ryan! After reading them I’ll try out the course in miracles, seems interesting.

    Alex Kay’s last blog post..Numbers are Great for Calendars – Not for Grading Girls!

  3. VitaliNo Gravatar Says:

    Thanks for providing the information,Ryan.
    I started the course 3 days ago and everytime i do the exercises i get pulled in the now.

    BTW you can find the lessons also @ youtube

    http://www.youtube.com/user/MiracleWorkbook

  4. PherocharmNo Gravatar Says:

    Thanks a lot! I am at lesson 7 now. Good stuff.

  5. RyanNo Gravatar Says:

    Hey Evan, to me it feels like compassion is related to letting go of ego. The crux of compassion is understanding what the other person is going through and a powerful way to do that is by letting go of our reality and trying on theirs. I do agree with the notion that us having individual experiences is good. Some spiritual seekers start to resist the ego too much and that just makes it stronger. The way to transcend it seems to be through acceptance.

    Hey Alex, Cool man. Glad I inspired you. The course is pretty mind altering so far, I must say. Hey Vitali, thanks for the link and the feedback.

    Pherocharm, good to hear. I’m eager to see what kind of comments come in here after a year of the course…

  6. AidinNo Gravatar Says:

    I just saw the movie “Peaceful Warrior” based on the book with the same name. I was having great ah-a moments and connecting previous knowledge with the events. I feel like going hiking now…

  7. RomanNo Gravatar Says:

    This is great. I’m only on day 12 and already experience myself in a more thought-observing state. Thought comes, i think about the thought and how it has no meaning, thought goes away. Sometimes i just accept it – it does the same thing. The cool thing is when you get doubts about what you just did with the thought and whether it actually worked or maybe the thought is in fact true and I needed it there (whatever frustration), you acknowledge that as a thought in itself as well and let it go too.

    Are you still on the course, Ryan? What general changes have you gone through since starting the course? I have a feeling that your insight for your most recent article about stress as a block to manifestation came from this course. These exercises, I think they have a lot to do with the third-eye chakra since I feel it working (or maybe my mind) when I do these exercises.

  8. RyanNo Gravatar Says:

    Hey Aidin, yeah thats a great movie. its got some powerful scenes in there, though the book is even better.

    Hey Roman, great to see you’ve dove into the course’s lessons and are doing them wholeheartedly. Yeah man, thoughts are meaningless! We experience pain when we attach to thoughts that have meaning that is in opposition to reality (to truth).

    I’m still doing the course, I’m on lesson 140 or so and it is some powerful life changing concepts! There have been so many ah-ha moments and profound understandings, its incredible. The funny thing, many of the lessons tie in with other spiritual understandings that I am learning from other sources at the same time.

  9. TupladNo Gravatar Says:

    Course in Miracles is good!

  10. RyanNo Gravatar Says:

    I recently got another question about this and thought I would share the conversation here:

    “I came across your article on the course on miracles and I would love some feedback on your experience.”

    -Roc

    Yeah the course on miracles is a very powerful practice that changes the way you perceive the world.

    A lot of us get too identified with language and thinking to the point that we lose touch with reality.

    We move from one moment to the next without being fully present, or fully engaged with what we are doing.

    We just run through the motions instead of soaking up the experience and enjoying every sensation and feeling.

    The course in miracles helps us to step back from the endless spewing of thoughts and mental stories and helps us to come back into our life with more compassion, more peace of mind, and more presence.

    I would try it out for a couple weeks and see if you like it, see if it resonates with you.

    For me, it helped me to step back form a lot of the mental processing that was going on, and not get so caught up in it. It helped me to relax and “smell the flowers” so to speak, so that where ever I am, I can enjoy it to a more fuller degree.

    Ryan

  11. paulNo Gravatar Says:

    I’m enjoying this already and am only on lesson 3. Today I found it so much easier to just tune in to the present moment as I was going about my day. I was wondering though, I’m going away for 4 days and will be away from email access..will this little break matter and can I just pick up the lessons again when I get back?
    Cheers

  12. CliffNo Gravatar Says:

    I really like your analogy of “thought programs.”

    I think it’s worse than it sounds though. So much of the information we get these days gets run through filters before we see it. And a lot of those filters are personalized, based on our previous actions.

    So we wind up seeing more and more of the stuff we’re “interested in” and there’s a bit of a snowball effect. So if we’re already running these thought programs, they get stronger and stronger all the time.

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