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We read in The Science of Mind, “Live, love and laugh! Let the heart be glad and free, rejoice in the thought of life and be happy.” As spiritual Beings it is our Divine Right to be happy. But because we are spiritual Beings, and absolutely free to choose how we will experience this physical environment, we are free to choose not to be happy. We live in a world that appears to have power to limit our love and laughter, to cause our heart to be sad, and to keep us from feeling inspired by the thought of life. It’s up to us to choose differently. The gift of this Earth life is that through its contrasts we can discover that we are the Power that either limits or allows our self to feel alive, to freely express love, and to laugh wholeheartedly. Abraham-Hicks tells us, “The only freedom that exists in all the universe and it is everything is in the knowledge that we create our own reality and that we can feel the way we choose to feel.”

We would all agree that this human environment appears to us as shadow and light, as pairs of opposites, as duality, and as a whole lot of diversity in individual self-expression. And, even though we may think we want sameness, homogeneity and uniformity, and that we’d rather everyone think, speak and act as we do, we are living in the very conditions we were all looking for when we decided to be born into a physical body that appears to be separate from everything else. We knew that without the appearance of duality and diversity, we would not have an opportunity to exercise our power and freedom to choose, and to grow spiritually through our choices.

We read in The Way of Transformation, “As you create a temporary perceived limitation as a way to call to you a certain quality of experience, there is a tendency to fall into the trap of identifying yourself with the constraints that you have set up from your unlimited freedom in order to have a temporary learning experience.” Earth life is a temporary experience designed by us to learn within. It may appear we gave up our freedom as spiritual Beings to become temporary human beings, but we remain spiritual Beings behind our appearance as separate humans—One with Spirit and One with each other.

If that weren’t so, if Spirit were not backing us up, we would not appear at all because nothing in the physical world can appear without the spiritual Power that allows it to appear. We aren’t now, and could never be, separate from the God of our Creation, not here and not anywhere else, because there is nothing but God in every direction including our direction. In the Book of Psalms we read, “If I ascend into heaven, thou art there; if I descend into Hell, behold, thou art there also.” Heaven and Hell are states of conscious awareness within the One Consciousness of Life. Heaven and Hell are temporary experiences of the mind created by the choices we make. We ascend into Heaven or descend into Hell with every thought we choose to believe is true, and with every decision we make based on what we believe.

That is why the Power of Choice is not a freedom to be taken lightly. If we’re not paying attention, and consciously aware that we remain Spiritual in this world we made together for purpose of spiritual growth, it’s easy for us to get trapped in the limitations of the three-dimensional world and forget there so much more to us than our physical body, and so much more to life than what we perceive with our physical eyes. However, we may look at our individual life today and wonder what we were thinking when we were choosing! As the saying goes, “Be careful what you ask for,” and be clear when you ask that you deserve what you truly want because what you will receive will perfectly match your thoughts of either constraint or freedom.

There are a lot of ideas about what the ego is, and whether we should smash it and get rid it or embrace it and love it as part of our creation. Abraham-Hicks tells us, “Your ego is your physical focuser. If you did not have this egotistical ability to focus, you would not be of any advantage to the Non-physical Energy of the Universe and your Inner Being. It’s not having the ego that is the problem, it’s using it to talk about what you don’t want.” The ego is part of the plan. It can see duality. It can perceive limitation. We’ve created it from our unlimited freedom to help us decide what we want. When we choose, our Inner Being grows and expands by attracting whatever it is to us and becoming the very presence of it within us.

Many of us grew up believing that to feel confident and proud of our self was egotistical and a bad thing, that to believe we can do anything we choose to do is to be being “full of our self” and not modest or humble enough. But being full of our Self is a beautiful thing to be full of because who we are now, and who we’ve always been, is the living expression of Christ, the very Self of God that is beyond judgement, the very thought of Love in form. In The Way of Transformation we read, “You are in the holiest of temples, your Self. Nothing limits you at all, or at any time. The power of the freedom of choice is the essence of Christ.” That is why Freedom of Choice is so powerful. Every time we choose, whatever choose, and every time we decide to think a thought, whatever thought we think, we are using the essence of Christ in us.

It is only as we forget who we are, and believe we are separate from the Divine Life Force that created us and loves us still, that we experience an ego born of the belief in separation. Every choice we make as a separate self is based on the belief that we are alone and on our own in a world governed by the tenet “every man for himself.” So we struggle and strive to survive. The spiritual Master, Mooji, wrote, “If the feeling ‘I’ is identified with the body and person, then it will be the person’s responsibility to look after their own life. But if the ‘I’ is identified as Consciousness, then it will be Consciousness and the Universe that look after the body.” If we believe the ego is all there is to us when we think and say, ”I Am,” then rather than focusing our mind on what we want with the awareness that the Universe always responds with a “Yes” and will conspire to bring whatever we want to us, instead we’ll use the ego (our focuser) to focus on the world, and ignore the Invisible Universe in which we live as talk about what we don’t want that we have and what we want that we can’t get.

The ego is full of paranoia because it sees a world outside of itself that it believes has power to keep the wanted away, a world that doesn’t have its best interests in mind. The ego is constantly determining what’s safe and what’s not, who’s safe and who’s not, who’s right and who’s not, and what’ s missing from our life and the world around us. The ego is on our side, personally, no matter what. It wants what we want but thinks the world outside of it is the source. It is self-protective. It wants to keep us from getting our feelings hurt and looking foolish, so it will lie (even to us) about what we truly want in order to protect us from disappointment and other people’s opinions of us.

Anytime we are defensive, the ego has landed. Anytime we react to an assumed insult, whether we pout or shout, the ego has landed. Anytime we insist that others agree with us or need to change for us, the ego has landed. Anytime we struggle to get what we want from the world, and feel disappointment or resignation when what we want doesn’t show up when we think it should, the ego has landed. Anytime we think we’re too busy in this world getting what we need, and we don’t think that we have time for spiritual exploration within us, the ego has landed. The ego is so full of spiritual self-denial and self-doubt that it can’t see beyond its own fears. It misses the beauty around it because it is pinched off from the beauty within it. It protects our heart by causing us to be afraid to love, and so we don’t feel love within us to give freely or to return to others who love us. When we’re not feeling Love, when our heart doesn’t feel glad and free, when we don’t rejoice in the thought of life and feel happy, we can be sure the ego has landed.

So do we squash the ego or embrace it with love as our creation? In The Way of Transformation we read, “I once said that if you are not wholly joyous, it could only be because you have elected to use the power of your mind to think differently than your Creator.” Our Creator is Love. Love and judgment are opposites that appear in this world so that we can choose Love over and over again until we think like our Creator. Every moment we have the Power to choose who we are, and that choice determines how we feel about our self, and what we see in others and the world around us. There is only one remedy for judgement and that is Love, the one opposite in this world that resolves all opposites.

We read in The Way of Transformation, “The attempt to embrace creation while judgment is still in the mind is like reaching for carrot at the end of the stick and not being able to reach it.” It is only when we let go of judgment and choose Love and feel our Oneness with God that we are able to embrace all of creation. In that holy awareness the ego dissolves into the Light of the One Love. In the Book of Matthew we read, “If your eye is single your whole body will be filled with light.” Then the ego becomes to us what it was always intended to be, i.e., a persona that can see duality, a focuser that makes it possible for us to use our Power of Choice to focus on the holy, good, and beautiful. When we do, we feel so full of our Self, the Christ in us, that we know for sure that we can do anything we choose to do. We will Love without judgment, aware that all things, including us, exist for Glory of God.

From the Shanti Christo Study Group Papers we read: “Delight in the blessings of time and see not a single moment as that which would imprison you. For there is nothing outside of you, while within you is the absolute freedom of choice given wholly and never earned in which you can look upon the things of time, each event that time seems to require of you, and you can bring the blessing of Christ to it. You can choose to radiate instead of contract. You can choose unlimitedness instead of limitation. You can choose Love instead of fear. That is the great gift of time.”