Chapter Three: Retraining the Mind
VI. Conflict and the Ego
38 [The Soul knows, loves, and creates. These are its unequivocal functions.] The abilities man now possesses are only shadows of his real strengths. All of his functions are equivocal and open to question or doubt. This is because he is not certain how he will use them. He is therefore incapable of knowledge, being uncertain. He is also incapable of knowledge because he can perceive lovelessly. He cannot create surely because his perception deceives [and illusions are not sure]. Perception did not exist until the separation had introduced degrees, aspects, and intervals. The Soul has no levels, and all conflict arises from the concept of levels. [Wars arise where some regard others as if they were on a different level. All interpersonal conflicts arise from this fallacy.] Only the levels of the Trinity are capable of unity. The levels which man created by the separation cannot but conflict. This is because they are essentially meaningless to each other.
39 Freud realized this perfectly and that is why he conceived the different levels in his view of the psyche as forever irreconcilable. They were conflict-prone by definition because they wanted different things and obeyed different principles. In our picture of the psyche, there is an unconscious level which properly consists only of the miracle ability and which should be under my direction. There is also a conscious level, which perceives or is aware of impulses from both the unconscious and the superconscious. Consciousness is thus the level of perception but not of knowledge. Again, to perceive is not to know.
40 Consciousness was the first split that man introduced into himself. He became a perceiver rather than a creator in the true sense. Consciousness is correctly identified as the domain of the ego. The ego is a man-made attempt to perceive himself as he wished to be rather than as he is. This is an example of the created-creator confusion we have spoken of before. Yet man can only know himself as he is because that is all he can be sure of. Everything else is open to question.
41 The ego is the questioning compartment in the post-separation psyche which man created for himself. It is capable of asking valid questions but not of perceiving valid answers because these are cognitive and cannot be perceived. The endless speculation about the meaning of mind has led to considerable confusion because the mind is confused. Only One-Mindedness is without confusion. A separated or divided mind must be confused; it is uncertain by definition. It has to be in conflict because it is out of accord with itself.
42 Intrapersonal conflict arises from the same basis as interpersonal conflict. One part of the psyche perceives another part as on a different level and does not understand it. This makes the parts strangers to each other, without recognition. This is the essence of the fear-prone condition in which attack is always possible. Man has every reason to feel afraid as he perceives himself. This is why he cannot escape from fear until he knows that he did not and could not create himself. He can never make his misperceptions valid. His creation is beyond his own error, and that is why he must eventually choose to heal the separation.
43 Right-mindedness is not to be confused with the knowing mind because it is applicable only to right perception. You can be right-minded or wrong-minded, and even this is subject to degrees, a fact which clearly demonstrates a lack of association with knowledge. The term "right-mindedness" is properly used as the correction for "wrong-mindedness," and applies to the state of mind which induces accurate perception. It is miraculous because it heals misperception, and this is indeed a miracle in view of how man perceives himself.
44 Perception always involves some misuse of will because it involves the mind in areas of uncertainty. The mind is very active because it has will-power. When it willed the separation, it willed to perceive. Until then, it willed only to know. Afterwards it willed ambiguously, and the only way out of ambiguity is clear perception. The mind returns to its proper function only when it wills to know. This places it in the Soul's service, where perception is meaningless. The superconscious is the level of the mind which wills this.
45 The mind chose to divide itself when it willed to create both its own levels and the ability to perceive, but it could not entirely separate itself from the Soul because it is from the Soul that it derives its whole power to create. Even in miscreation will is affirming its Source or it would merely cease to be. This is impossible because it is part of the Soul which God created and which is therefore eternal.
46 The ability to perceive made the body possible because you must perceive something and with something. This is why perception involves an exchange or translation, which knowledge does not need. The interpretive function of perception, actually a distorted form of creation, then permitted man to interpret the body as himself, which, though depressing, was an attempt to escape from the conflict he had induced. The superconscious, which knows, could not be reconciled with this loss of power because it is incapable of darkness. This is why it became almost inaccessible to the mind and entirely inaccessible to the body.
47 Thereafter, the superconscious was perceived as a threat because light does abolish darkness merely by establishing the fact that it is not there. The truth will always overcome error in this sense. This is not an active process of destruction at all. We have already emphasized that knowledge does not do anything. It can be perceived as an attacker, but it cannot attack. What man perceives as its attack is merely his own vague recognition of the fact that it can always be remembered, never having been destroyed.
48 God and the Souls He created remain in surety, and therefore know that no miscreation exists. Truth cannot deal with unwilling error because it does not will to be blotted out. I was a man who remembered the Soul and its knowledge, and as a man I did not attempt to counteract error with knowledge so much as to correct error from the bottom up. I demonstrated both the powerlessness of the body and the power of the mind. By uniting my will with that of my Creator, I naturally remembered the Soul and its own real purpose.
49 I cannot unite your will with God's for you, but I can erase all misperceptions from your mind if you will bring it under my guidance. Only your misperceptions stand in your own way. Without them your choice is certain. Sane perception induces sane choosing. The Atonement was an act based on true perception. I cannot choose for you, but I can help you make your own right choice. "Many are called, but few are chosen" should read, "All are called, but few choose to listen. Therefore, they do not choose right."
50 The "chosen ones" are merely those who choose right sooner. This is the real meaning of the celestial speed-up. Strong wills can do this now, and you will find rest for your Souls. God knows you only in peace, and this is your reality.