What is the ego?
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Collected and prepared in document form for students of ACIM by Lucia Espinosa


Sometimes I’ve  wondered what the ego really is….to try and catch myself when I am in “ego” mode, that is, sort of in “auto-pilot” mode.

I’ve compiled several “The ego is…” statements that paint a pretty clear picture of the choice we make on a daily basis.  It has helped me capture the essence of wrong-minded states of mind to watch for.

Below, all the “is’s” is THE ANSWER to the question as well. So here is how it goes:

The ego is…

T-5.V.3.           … the part of the mind that believes in division.

T-5.V.3.7         … quite literally a fearful thought.

T-5.V.3.8         … not sane.

T-4.II.8.4         … the mind's belief that it is completely on its own.

T-4.II.8.8         … equally unaware of spirit, it does perceive itself as being
                             rejected by something greater than itself.

T-4.VI.4.4       … a device for maintaining this belief [the belief that you are separate],
                             but it is still only your  decision to use the device that enables it to endure.

T-4.VII.5.        … the part of the mind that believes your existence is defined by

T-4.VII.2.2      … thus against communication, except insofar as it is utilized to
                            establish separateness rather than to abolish it

T-7.III.2.6       … insane; it teaches that you are not what you are.

T-7.VIII.4.6    …dependent on your mind, because the ego is your belief.

T-7.VIII.4.7    … a confusion in identification. 8 Never having had a consistent
                           model, it never developed consistently.

T-7.VIII.4.9    … the product of the misapplication of the laws of God by distorted
                           minds that are misusing their power.

T-9.VII.3.4      … also in your mind, because you have accepted it there.

T-9.VII.3.7      … therefore capable of suspiciousness at best and viciousness at
                            worst. 8 That is its range. 9 It cannot exceed it because of its uncertainty.
                            10 And it can never go beyond it because it can never <be> certain.

T-9.VII.4.        … deceived by everything you do, especially when you
                             respond to the Holy Spirit, because at such times its confusion increases.

T-9.VII.4.5      … therefore, particularly likely to attack you when you react lovingly, because
                             it has evaluated you as unloving and you are going against its judgment.

T-12.IV.1.       … certain that love is dangerous, and this is always its central teaching.

T-14.X.8.         …incapable of understanding content, and is totally unconcerned with it.

T-17.IV.5.       … always alert to threat, and the part of your mind into which the
                             ego was accepted is very anxious to preserve its reason, as it sees it.

T-21.IV.2.       … not alone. 2 Its rule is tempered, and its unknown "enemy," Whom
                             it cannot even see, it fears.

W-pII.12.1.     …idolatry; the sign of limited and separated self, born in a body,
                           doomed to suffer and to end its life in death.

W-pII.12.1.2   … the "will" that sees the Will of God as enemy, and takes a form in
                             which it is denied.

W-pII.12.1.3   … the "proof" that strength is weak and love is fearful, life is
                             really death, and what opposes God alone is true.

T-3.IV.2.3       … a wrong-minded attempt to perceive yourself as you wish
                             to be, rather than as you are.

T-3.IV.3.         … the questioning aspect of the post-separation self, which was
                            made rather than created.

T-3.IV.3.2       … capable of asking questions but not of perceiving meaningful
                             answers, because these would involve knowledge and cannot be perceived.

T-4.I.2.8          … a contradiction. 9 Your self and God's Self <are> in opposition.

T-4.I.10.          … is afraid of the spirit's joy, because once you have experienced it
                             you will withdraw all protection from the ego, and become totally without
                             investment in fear.

T-4.III.10.2     … desperate because it opposes literally invincible odds,
                            whether you are asleep or awake.

T-4.V.1.4         … thrown further off balance because it keeps its primary motivation from your
                              awareness, and raises control rather than sanity to predominance.

T-4.VI.1.6       …is nothing more than a part of your belief about yourself.
                           7 Your other life has continued without interruption, and has been and always
                           will be totally unaffected by your attempts to dissociate it.

T-4.VII.1.2      … quite specific, although the mind is naturally abstract.
                             3 Part of the mind becomes concrete, however, when it splits.

T-4.VII.1.5      … the part of the mind that believes your existence is defined by separation.

T-4.VII.2.2      …thus against communication, except insofar as it is utilized to
                            establish separateness rather than to abolish it.

T-4.VII.2.3      … based on its own thought system, as is everything else it dictates.

T-5.III.9.4       … is the symbol of separation, just as the Holy Spirit is the symbol of peace.

T-5.V.2.8         … also the symbol of  guilt. 9 Guilt is more than merely not of God.

T-5.V.2.10       … the symbol of attack on God. 11 This is a totally meaningless concept
                              except to the ego, but do not underestimate the power of the ego's belief in it.
                              12 This is the belief from which all guilt really stems.

T-5.V.3.           …the part of the mind that believes in division…

T-5.V.3.4         … [believes that it <is>] you. 5 If you identify with the ego, you must perceive
                              yourself as guilty.  6 Whenever you respond to your ego you will experience
                              guilt, and you will fear punishment.

T-5.V.3.7         …quite literally a fearful thought. 8 However ridiculous the idea of attacking
                             God may be to the sane mind, never forget that the ego is…

T-5.V.3.8         … not sane.

T-6.II.13.2       …legion, but the Holy Spirit is One.

T-6.IV.2.9       … afraid of you.

T-7.VII.9.        … incapable of trust.

T-7.VIII.7.       … unbelievable and will forever be unbelievable.

T-8.II.1.5         … trying to teach you what you are without knowing what you are.

T-8.II.1.6         …expert only in confusion. 7 It does not understand anything else.

T-8.II.1.8         …totally confused and totally confusing.

T-8.II.4.           …trying to teach that you want to oppose God's Will.

T-8.VIII.7.5    …incapable of knowing how you feel.

T-9.I.2.            … against you.


C-2.4.              We cannot really make a definition for what the ego is, but we <can> say
                         what it is not. 2 And this is shown to us with perfect clarity.  3 It is from this
                         that we deduce all that the ego is.  4 Look at its opposite and you can see
                         the only answer that is meaningful.

T-7.VIII.7.2    You who made the ego by believing the unbelievable cannot make this judgment alone. 3 By accepting the Atonement for yourself, you are deciding against the belief that you can be alone, thus dispelling the idea of separation and affirming your true identification with the whole Kingdom as literally part of you. 4 This identification is as beyond doubt as it is beyond belief. 5 Your wholeness has no limits because being is infinity.

T-5.II.3.           …. 2 When the ego was made, God placed in the mind the Call to joy.

3 This Call is so strong that the ego always dissolves at Its sound. 4 That is why you must choose to hear one of two voices within you. 5 One you made yourself, and that one is not of God. 6 But the other is given you by God, Who asks you only to listen to it. 7 The Holy Spirit is in you in a very literal sense. 8 His is the Voice that calls you back to where you were before and will be again. 9 It is possible even in this world to hear only that Voice and no other. 10 It takes effort and great willingness to learn. 11 It is the final lesson that I learned, and God's Sons are as equal as learners as they are as Sons.

T-8.VIII.7.6    When I said that the ego does not know anything, I said the one thing about the ego that is wholly true. 7 But there is a corollary; if only knowledge has being and the ego has no knowledge, then the ego has no being.

T-4.VI.1.3       I have spoken of the ego as if it were a separate thing, acting on its own. 4 This was necessary to persuade you that you cannot dismiss it lightly, and must realize how much of your thinking is ego-directed. 5 We cannot safely let it go at that, however, or you will regard yourself as necessarily conflicted as long as you are here, or as long as you believe that you are here.

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