ACIM Text chapter-11 subtitle V para.1
This lovely and clear idea draws our attention to the fact that we escape from the sticky and painful aspects of ego enmeshment through a healing confrontation. Our worldly conditioning is largely a state of mind in which we have come to avoid the necessary recognition of our self deception and the unfortunate belittlement that seems to have resulted. We have all tried to cover over or camouflage our adjustment to littleness and limitation by applying Spiritual ideas and concepts over the top of unconscious, hardened, and fixed beliefs and assumptions. The inevitable disappointment that occurs illustrates the need to expose the underlying elements of our ego identification because release is not possible until we truly see what it is that requires our active release.
There is an old African proverb that says, "The roots of a tree cast no shadow", and we can use this idea to great benefit if we are willing to look into the "false roots" we have set into the ego identity. The "roots that cast no shadow" are of course the Identity we share in Christ and with God our Source. However, we cannot recover this Creative Relationship in awareness as an actual or felt experience until we become disabused of the numbing and paralyzing effects of the belief in separation. Due to the unnatural influence of the ego thought system and the fear it induces we have largely oriented ourselves around repetitive and chronic strategies of avoidance. We have literally trained ourselves to avoid or hide from fear and pain... to suppress it from awareness... and isn't it interesting that we then find ourselves surrounded and besieged by the very fear and pain we have tried so hard to avoid! Clearly, avoidance or the "fight or flight" strategy of ego logic has no meaningful use to anyone truly desiring to heal the self made dilemma associated with human existence.
"No one can escape from illusions unless he looks at them, for not looking is the way they are protected." ACIM J Text
This cannot be too often repeated because we unnecessarily delay our own release by not looking into the very content of our error. This healing inquiry must embrace every aspect of our life if our release is to be total and anything less than complete Freedom is the continuance of suffering. The formation or projection of error is experienced as the habitual/obsessive/addictive behaviors, the emotions that drive these substitutes for Self expression, and the thoughts that are the causation of the emotions and resulting behavior. The long and harsh adjustment to the limited self concept has made our lives predictable and repetitive though hardly satisfying.
Many years ago I smoked cigarettes and during this addictive phase I could not conceive of life without smoking. Later, this unconscious propensity and fascination further developed into mood altering substances that I relied on in my many poor and unsuccessful attempts to cope with fearfulness and general unhappiness. None of these peculiar and destructive habits actually worked and their continuance required my daily lying to myself and others about them. When I finally began to admit their uselessness and stopped their practice things did begin to clear up. But it was only my working with the Holy Spirit that enabled me to gain the deeper benefit and learning associated with these addictive behaviors. What I came to see and realize was that much of the way I was, or pretended to be, was a compilation of habits and routines formed to hide or cover over the fear and guilt I felt associated with my belief in personal unworthiness. These behavioral patterns which defined my personality were also coping strategies, and much like my previous addictions, they were attempts on my part to cover over or hide my sense of "not alrightness". They were thought, emotional, and behavioral habits that I had become identified with that only seemed to work. In reality they were unrewarding ways of being that were always accompanied in some way with a prevailing sense of lack, loss, anxiety, and nervousness. This is so because fear is a false emotion arising within a false identity... the expression of inauthenticty which is what the ego is.
In gaining this wonderful and empowering insight I was then able to observe the rather obvious expressions of my personal discomfort and fearfulness whenever and in whatever form they occurred and then actively cooperate with the Holy Spirit in letting them go. This produced great and unimaginable release that has paved the way for an experience of Self Expression that I never believed to be possible! The more willing we are to bring all aspects of our personality identity into enlightened inquiry, the greater our capacity to be released from these inauthentic, restrictive, and disturbing behaviorisms associated with the separate or false self. And in the release or forgiving of these false ways of being is the invitation and welcoming of our True Self into awareness, Presence, and influence. How great it is to realize such an extraordinary and immeasurable gain at the "cost" of nothing at all!