The title for chapter 11 is God or the Ego. Within this chapter are the following sub-titles: The Gifts of Fatherhood, The Invitation to Healing, From Darkness to Light, The Inheritance of God’s Son, The “Dynamics” of the Ego, Waking to Redemption, The Condition of Reality and The Problem and the Answer.
This chapter talks about how our perceptions of truth and reality are based on our experiences which then lead to our beliefs. In Christianity, we are encouraged to understand and accept truth as it was taught and passed down to us through the history of the church. We are not encouraged to question the traditional Easter story or consider anything beyond the literal interpretation we have been taught. This is the week leading up to Easter, sometimes called the passion week in Christianity. Most of you know the story of what happens to Jesus during this week where he goes from being adored on Palm Sunday, to the night he was betrayed in the garden, to the trial, the crucifixion and then to the resurrection. I have always been taught the literal interpretation of this event, that it had to do with sin, sacrifice, forgiveness and eternal life. In this chapter it looks at this week with a higher, spiritual understanding. From this perspective, the crucifixion represents the ego and the resurrection represents Christs victory over the ego through love.
Let me start by focusing on the crucifixion. Jesus spent his life preaching a message of love that was rejected by both the religious and political authorities at that time who represent the ego. They were motivated by fear; that the people would choose Jesus over them, that they could lose their power, that life as they controlled it could change if they could not find a way to get rid of Jesus. They projected their fears onto Jesus by attacking him with words of judgement, hatred and condemnation, inflicting physical pain onto his body. They required a sacrifice, Jesus over the other criminal had to die. Jesus hung on the cross, later buried, symbolic of the ego in complete control with all the power and about to declare victory over the message of love Jesus had taught.
But 3 days later, love won. Jesus was alive, walking and eating with the people in his community. A life that had looked dead was renewed. The one who lived his life in daily communion with God transcended the power of the ego. The darkness of the grave turned into the glorious light of God’s presence.
“The love of God surrounds his son whom the god of crucifixion condemns. Teach not that I died in vain. Teach rather that I did not die by demonstrating that I live in you. For the undoing of the crucifixion of Gods son is the work of the redemption in which everyone has a part of equal value. The resurrection is the complete triumph of Christ over the ego, not by attack but by transcendence. For Christ does rise above the ego and all its works, and ascends to the Father and his Kingdom. Believe in the resurrection because it has been accomplished, and it has been accomplished in you. For we ascend unto the Father together, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, for such is the nature of Gods Son as his Father created him.”
“Each day, each hour and minute, even each second, you are deciding between the crucifixion and the resurrection; between the ego and the Holy Spirit.”