A Course in Miracles
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What is the Ego?
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Sarah's Reflections
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ACIM Original Ed  


The role of teaching and learning is actually reversed in the thinking of the world. The reversal is characteristic. It seems as if the teacher and the learner are separated, the teacher giving something to the learner rather than to himself. Further, the act of teaching is regarded as a special activity in which one engages only a relatively small proportion of one's time. The course, on the other hand, emphasizes that to teach is to learn, so that teacher and learner are the same. It also emphasizes that teaching is a constant process-it goes on every moment of the day and continues into sleeping thoughts as well. 

What is the Ego  
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio


What is 'Iambic Pentameter'? 

   The ego is idolatry; the sign

   of 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.

   The ego is the "proof" that strength is weak

   and love is fearful, life is really death,

   and what opposes God alone is true.


   The ego is insane. In fear it stands

   beyond the Everywhere, apart from All,

   in separation from the Infinite.

   In its insanity, it thinks it has

   become a victor over God Himself,

   and in its terrible autonomy

   it "sees" the Will of God has been destroyed.

   It dreams of punishment, and trembles at

   the figures in its dreams, its "enemies"

   who seek to murder it before it can

   ensure its safety by attacking them.


   The Son of God is egoless. What can

   he know of madness and the death of God,

   when he abides in Him? What can he know

   of sorrow and of suffering, when he

   lives in eternal joy? What can he know

   of fear and punishment, of sin and guilt,

   of hatred and attack, when all there is

   surrounding him is everlasting peace,

   forever conflict-free and undisturbed,

   in deepest silence and tranquility?


   To know Reality is not to know

   the ego and its thoughts, its works, its acts,

   its laws and its beliefs, its dreams, its hopes,

   its plans for its salvation, and the cost

   belief in it entails. In suffering,

   the price for faith in it is so immense

   that crucifixion of the Son of God

   is offered daily at its darkened shrine,

   and blood must flow before the altar where

   its sickly followers prepare to die.


   Yet will one lily of forgiveness change

   the darkness into light; the altar to

   illusions to the shrine of Life Itself.

   And peace will be restored forever to

   the holy minds which God created as

   His Son, His dwelling-place, His joy, His love,
   completely His, completely one with Him.


   ~ Original Hand Script of ACIM    


ACIM Lessons  

L e s s o n  335
I choose to see my brother's sinlessness.



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   Forgiveness is a choice. I never see

   my brother as he is, for that is far

   beyond perception. What I see in him

   is merely what I wish to see, because

   it stands for what I want to be the truth.

   It is to this alone that I respond,

   however much I seem to be impelled

   by outside happenings. I choose to see

   what I would look upon, and this I see

   and only this. My brother's sinlessness

   shows me that I would look upon my own.

   And I will see it, having chosen to

   behold my brother in its holy light.


    What could restore Your memory to me

    except to see my brother's sinlessness?

    His holiness reminds me that he was

    created one with me and like myself.

    In him I find my Self, and in Your Son

    I find the memory of You as well.


    ~ Original Hand-script of ACIM          


ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 

ACIM Edmonton, CA

Lesson 335
I choose to see my brother's sinlessness.
Sarah's Commentary:

In the Introduction to Part II of the Workbook, we are encouraged to spend "time with Him each morning and at night, as long as makes us happy." (W.PII.IN.2.6) We use "as much as we will need for the result that we desire." (W.PII.IN.2.8) It is about applying the lesson as much as possible throughout the day, as well as in our morning and evening quiet times, and certainly whenever we are tempted to judge anyone, become upset or lose our peace in any other way. Thus, instead of pushing the send button on an angry email, saying something we might regret, getting angry, getting revenge, arguing, trying to control a situation, or just holding thoughts of distress, we simply take a moment and choose to step back from the ego. Certainly this takes discipline. The ego gets outraged, demanding action of some kind, yet we can choose to be still, which can be difficult for an untrained mind.
The lesson is about the choice that we can make in every moment to judge or to forgive. It is entirely up to us. No one will coerce us. However, Jesus urges us to forgive on behalf of our own happiness. Anything we put out there always boomerangs back at us. This is the law of karma. What we give we receive. The reality is that we never see our brother as he is. Whenever we choose to allow forgiveness to dominate, then we feel redeemed, which is the only way that we can know the Self that we all share. This is the Christ Self, which is our only reality. We see in our brothers what is unhealed in our own minds. We see what it is that we are holding against ourselves, though it has been denied in us and projected onto our brother. This is what we need to forgive in ourselves, if we wish to know who we really are. In fact, all concepts we hold about ourselves are false and eventually need to be released. The only way that we can be happy is by choosing Jesus as our guide to seeing in all things. On our own, there is no certainty about anything including who we really are.

Jesus tells us that our holy minds establish everything that seems to happen to us. "Every response you make to everything you perceive is up to you, because your mind determines your perception of it." (T.10.IN.2.7)(ACIM OE T.9.VIII.60) "Damnation is your judgment on yourself, and this you will project upon the world. See it as damned, and all you see is what you did to hurt the Son of God." (T.21.IN.2.1-2)(ACIM OE T.21.I.2) We hurt ourselves when we see our brothers as guilty, but fortunately we can make a choice to forgive our wrong perception. Making that choice over and over again, without judging ourselves for our mistakes, brings us to a place of joy and peace that can be found no other way.
What we see in our brother is what we attribute to ourselves. My mind is the projector that projects onto other bodies attributes in me. That is a very helpful concept, because it helps us to see the unhealed parts of our own minds. We are reluctant to accept responsibility for our own guilt, and instead we choose to see what we don't like about ourselves "out there" in others, but there is no "out there." Everything we see starts in our own minds.  "Ideas leave not their source, and their effects but seem to be apart from them." (T.26.VII.4.7)(ACIM OE T.26.VIII.48)
Of course, there are events that seem to create havoc for us and bring up anger and judgment. We give these events meaning, but they are ultimately neutral. They are happenings with no intrinsic meaning. It is our own interpretations of those events, and our emotional responses to them, that we need to take responsibility for if we are to heal our minds. We assess situations and events as 'good' or 'bad' based on our values, concepts, beliefs and judgments. That is why perceptions differ among us. This is not about trying to be spiritual in the face of difficult challenges, where there are strong reactions that get triggered in us. It is not about denying or repressing what we are feeling. But it is about being willing to investigate those feelings and the beliefs that drive them. When we get honest about what is showing up and are willing to admit that it all comes from within our own minds, then the healing can start.

We only see in our brothers what it is that we wish to see. We can never see our brothers as they are because their reality is beyond perception. Ultimately we wish to see our guilt in our brothers so that we can let ourselves off the hook for that same guilt. This is what maintains the separation. The guilt that is in our minds gets projected onto our brothers and now we see them as guilty. We want our judgments to be the truth because they reinforce the reality of separation. We want separation to be the true so that our independent self can be preserved. If we want to awaken to the truth of who we are, then we must choose to heal the guilt that we are projecting onto our brothers.

Yesterday someone spoke to me of his perception of me and I felt hurt by what was said. However, I was willing to step back from my judgments of what was said. Instead of defending myself and making a case as to why he was wrong, I was able to look more deeply at my own self-judgments and see that my reaction was the judgment I was holding against myself. It was because of my own self-judgment that what was said found a place to land in me. If I did not see any truth in what was being said, then I would not have any reaction to it. When we are willing to step back from our defenses, we can learn a lot about our own hidden judgments of ourselves.

Everyone is a mirror to us of our inner condition. "You see what you believe is there, and you believe it there because you want it there." (T.25.III.1.3)(ACIM OE T.25.IV.23) "When you want only love you will see nothing else." (T-12.VII.8.1)(ACIM OE T.11.VIII.69).
The gift of forgiveness is the awakening of the memory within us that we are truly sinless. The Atonement Principle is the assurance that we can't and haven't, changed ourselves into these guilty sinners. Thus forgiveness undoes the reality of sin and now we are offered the opportunity, through forgiveness, to receive the gifts that the Holy Spirit holds out to us, rather than all the 'gifts' of the ego, which only deliver more pain and suffering. Jesus wants us to recognize just how unhappy we are and to see how our choice for him, as our teacher of forgiveness, will bring more and more peace into our lives.

In any relationship we have lots of opportunities daily to see our projections. I have expectations about the way I want things to be. The ego is always screaming "I want it thus." It is about believing that things have to be a certain way and people have to meet my requirements and expectations for me to be happy. And when it is not the way I want it, then I hold grievances, but I have set it up in the first place, by determining how things must be for me to be happy. I am responsible for the setup and now I am upset. What is being offered in every one of our relationships is the opportunity to look at what is in our minds. Now we have a choice. "I choose to see what I would look upon, and this I see, and only this. My brother's sinlessness shows me that I would look upon my own. And I will see it, having chosen to behold my brother in its holy light." (W.335.1.5-7)

Unless and until we make the choice to release our false perceptions, we will suffer. It is obvious that our emotional response has nothing to do with what anyone did. I can know that my response is wrong by recognizing that not everyone would respond the way I did under the same circumstances. I am making a choice as to how I feel. I can choose to look at my unforgiving thoughts and take responsibility for them. Do I want to be right or happy? As Jesus says, "Nothing at all has happened but that you have put yourself to sleep, and dreamed a dream in which you were an alien to yourself, and but a part of someone else's dream. The miracle does not awaken you, but merely shows you who the dreamer is. It teaches you there is a choice of dreams while you are still asleep, depending on the purpose of your dreaming. Do you wish for dreams of healing, or for dreams of death? A dream is like a memory in that it pictures what you wanted shown to you." (T.28.II.4.1-5)(ACIM OE T.28.III.18-19)

If I want a change in my life experience, I have to realize that it is I who is doing the dreaming. I have dreamed every situation that I encounter. It has been presented to me for a purpose. Sometimes that purpose is not very clear to me, especially while in the midst of difficult situations. This is not about denying what our eyes see when we witness pain, attack, murder, and sickness, but it is about denying the power of the ego to have us invest in its interpretation. It is up to us to choose the interpretation that we give to these events and to the people involved. "This world is full of miracles. They stand in shining silence next to every dream of pain and suffering, of sin and guilt. They are the dream's alternative, the choice to be the dreamer, rather than deny the active role in making up the dream." (T.28.II.12.1-3)(ACIM OE T.28.III.27)

There is a tendency in all of us to deny responsibility for our attacks as a way to claim our own innocence and see ourselves as a victim of someone's attack. "If he had not said or done that, I would not be so frustrated with him." It is all about our preference to be the innocent victim rather than admitting responsibility for everything that seems to happen to us. We are indeed the dreamer of the dream. The good news is that we have the power within us to change the dream and no longer stay stuck in it. We can look at it all from above the battleground, where we gain new perspective.

"What could restore Your memory to me, except to see my brother's sinlessness? His holiness reminds me that he was created one with me, and like myself. In him I find my Self, and in Your Son I find the memory of You as well." (W.335.2.1-3) If we want to wake up to the truth of who we are, if we want enlightenment, or if we want to know the love that we are, then we must forgive our brother for our guilt that we have projected onto him. We are one Self. We need our brothers to show us all of the unhealed places in our own minds that block us from the truth of who we are. They are indeed our saviors. The only way we will remember the truth of who we are is through forgiveness. It is our special relationships that provide us the perfect classroom for undoing the ego and, with willingness, we can be happy learners regardless of what is being presented to us in any situation.

Love and blessings, Sarah 



1 The role of teaching and learning is actually reversed in the thinking of the world. The reversal is characteristic. It seems as if the teacher and the learner are separated, the teacher giving something to the learner rather than to himself. Further, the act of teaching is regarded as a special activity in which one engages only a relatively small proportion of one's time. The course, on the other hand, emphasizes that to teach is to learn, so that teacher and learner are the same. It also emphasizes that teaching is a constant process-it goes on every moment of the day and continues into sleeping thoughts as well.


2 To teach is to demonstrate. There are only two thought systems, and you demonstrate that you believe one or the other is true all the time. From your demonstration, others learn and so do you. The question is not whether you will teach, for in that there is no choice. The purpose of the course might be said to provide you with a means of choosing what you want to teach on the basis of what you want to learn. You cannot give to someone else, and this you learn through teaching. Teaching is but a call to witnesses to attest to what you believe. It is a method of conversion. This is not done by words alone. Any situation must be to you a chance to teach others what you are and what they are to you. No more than that, but also never less.


3 The curriculum that you set up is therefore determined exclusively by what you think you are and what you believe the relationship of others is to you. In the formal teaching situation, these questions may be totally unrelated to what you think you are teaching. Yet it is impossible not to use the content of any situation on behalf of what you really teach and therefore learn. To this the verbal content of your teaching is quite irrelevant. It may coincide with it or it may not. It is the teaching underlying what you say that teaches you. Teaching but reinforces what you believe about yourself. Its fundamental purpose is to diminish self doubt. This does not mean that the self you are trying to protect is real. But it does mean that the self you think is real is what you teach.


4 This is inevitable. There is no escape from it. How could it be otherwise? Everyone who follows the world's curriculum, and everyone here does follow it until he changes his mind, teaches solely to convince himself that he is what he is not. Herein is the purpose of the world. What else, then, would its curriculum be? Into this hopeless and closed learning situation which teaches nothing but despair and death, God sends His teachers. And as they teach His lessons of joy and hope, their learning finally becomes complete.


5 Except for God's teachers, there would be no hope of salvation, for the world of sin would seem forever "real." The self-deceiving must deceive, for they must teach deception. And what else is hell? This is a manual for the teachers of God. They are not perfect or they would not be here. Yet it is their mission to become perfect here, and so they teach perfection over and over in many, many ways until they have learned it. And then they are seen no more, although their thoughts remain a source of strength and truth forever. Who are they? How are they chosen? What do they do? How can they work out their own salvation and the salvation of the world? This manual attempts to answer these questions.


1. Who Are God's Teachers?                                 

1 A teacher of God is anyone who chooses to be one. His qualifications consist solely in this; somehow, somewhere he has made a deliberate choice in which he did not see his interests as apart from someone else's. Once he has done that, his road is established and his direction is sure. A light has entered the darkness. It may be a single light, but that is enough. He has entered an agreement with God even if he does not yet believe in Him. He has become a bringer of salvation. He has become a teacher of God.


2 They come from all over the world. They come from all religions and from no religion. They are the ones who have answered. The Call is universal. It goes on all the time everywhere. It calls for teachers to speak for it and redeem the world. Many hear it, but few will answer. But it is all a matter of time. Everyone will answer in the end, but the end can be a long, long way off. It is because of this that the plan of the teachers was established. Their function is to save time. Each one begins as a single light, but with the Call at its center, it is a light that cannot be limited. And each one saves a thousand years of time as the world judges it. To the Call itself, time has no meaning.


3 There is a course for every teacher of God. The form of the course varies greatly. So do the particular teaching aids involved. But the content of the course never changes. Its central theme is always, "God's Son is guiltless, and in his innocence is his salvation." It can be taught by actions or thoughts, in words or soundlessly, in any language or in no language, in any place or time or manner. It does not matter who the teacher was before he heard the Call. He has become a savior by his answering. He has seen someone else as himself. He has therefore found his own salvation and the salvation of the world. In his rebirth is the world reborn.


4 This is a manual for a special curriculum, intended for teachers of a special form of the universal course. There are many thousands of other forms, all with the same outcome. They merely save time. Yet it is time alone that winds on wearily, and the world is very tired now. It is old and worn and without hope. There was never a question of outcome, for what can change the Will of God? But time, with its illusions of change and death, wears out the world and all things in it. Yet time has an ending, and it is this that the teachers of God are appointed to bring about. For time is in their hands. Such was their choice, and it is given them.




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