The Ego-Self: Made Through Projection

Let us begin by asking ourselves the questions, “Who am I?” and “How do I define myself?” How do we define who we are? Is it by our primary role, such as parent, CEO, spiritual teacher, artist, or student? Or do we define ourselves by our values, accomplishments, beliefs, personality, past experiences, childhood, body, (age, gender, size and shape, color, state of health), nationality, or perhaps our hopes, dreams, mistakes, regrets, grievances, and fears?

Most of us mistakenly confuse our meaning and identity with one or many of the above categories. We are obsessed with two ideas: getting what we want or think we need but don’t have (for example, material possessions, relationships, people, money, or happiness); and becoming what we want to be but have not yet become (for example, happy, peaceful, loving, healthy, wealthy, famous, successful with a good career or status, or a good parent). The truth is that none of these things define who we are now, and none of them could possibly be used to define who we will become at any moment in the future.

Before we dare think that we could ever be truly happy in this lifetime, we need to discover who we are not. Once we realize that we’ve always been mistaken in how we looked at ourselves, we are released to awaken to who we really are and receive the limitless gifts that come with this knowing.

We have been led to believe that we are separate, independent human beings. Yet, to accept as true any of the labels that, we claim, have defined our identity results in our being codependent and severely limited. All that these definitions do for us is reinforce our limitations. The very fact that we depend so heavily on them for our sense of self reveals just how unaware we are of our own dependency on external conditions to make or break who we think we are.

This means we do not know who we really are; we do not know our true purpose, and we do not know what will truly make us happy. So, how could we possibly be free from suffering and experience joy in our lives?

It is a dangerous misperception to accept as true the widely held beliefs that (1) happiness depends on external conditions and (2) we are not totally responsible for ourselves and the life we create. Both of these ideas lead to the belief that we are helpless victims, that is, at the mercy of others as well as random chaos.

And both of these beliefs are to be re-evaluated and transformed before we can know who we truly are and begin a new life filled with purpose and meaning. Recognizing just where we have misplaced our identity and meaning shows us also where we have invested our trust. Whatever we value mentally and emotionally is where we place our trust in life. For most of us, that trust has been placed anywhere and everywhere except where it belongs: with our one “Unified Self,” the self we were created to be.

To get to know the Unified Self, we must first identify the source of the distorted and misguided thought system responsible for all the pain and suffering, disillusionment and disappointment in the world. Next we must step back and objectively give it a thorough examination of its purpose and modus operandi.

The article above is an excerpt from Take Me To Truth by Nouk Sanchez and Tomas Vieira – published by O Books

Nouk Sanchez and Tomas Vieira photo

(Tomas Vieira’s) Spirit IS

photo of Nouk Sanchez and Tomas Vieira; Take Me To Truth book cover

In the normal reckoning of space and time, I ‘met’ Thomas Vieira less than 2 years ago in San Francisco at a conference on A Course In Miracles. He and his former wife and teaching/learning partner, Nouk Sanchez, were giving a 75-minute workshop on their ACIM experiences and revelations. I immediately felt connected to both, like long-lost friends, as they engaged with everyone in the room, reminding us that we’re ALL long-lost friends. I can’t think of anyone I’ve talked to that didn’t have a similar experience. Starting with the whoopee cushions they placed on everyone’s seats, it was obvious that their sense of humor was of primary importance in their assigned task (while gently and whimsically reminding us it was OUR task as well) to dismantle the inner saboteur we thought we fabricated called ego.

Numerous metaphors that Tomas (and Nouk) shared stayed with me; for starters, how our inner voice for peace (a.k.a. Holy Spirit) is like a GPS; when we get off course, it doesn’t berate us for missing the optimal turn, it just gently recalculates another optimum way to see our ‘destination’ each moment without any implied guilt, blame or extra baggage. Probably my favorite analogy (that Tomas illustrated with great exuberance so that we could all identify with it, just long enough to see the joke and start DE-identifying with it 🙂 is the ego as the quintessential pork-pie-hat-wearing and cigar-smoking used car salesman… To paraphrase: “I’ve never steered you right before, but never mind that, just trust me this one … more … time.” What a great image! I remember laughing with Tomas at one of our favorite local restaurants (after they gave an outstanding 3-day workshop here a little over a year ago) talking about what a great video this could make to satirize our attachment to form…

… and Tomas really LIVED the lessons about releasing his interpretations about form, including his own deteriorating body. His attitude demonstrated the truly liberating truth that we’re not bound by anything, including the fleeting vehicles we ‘hang out in’. If ‘gentle tenacity’ isn’t too much of an oxymoron, Tomas showed us, in so many loving and kind examples, how we can make fun of our own follies and enjoy the lives we think we’re living all the more so by holding to the thought system that reminds us that separation never happened… and we can afford to enjoy an internal (and eternal) inner laugh about how silly our preoccupations are – no matter how seemingly serious. The candor that Tomas and Nouk shared about their personal lives that reminded us of our shared transpersonal LIFE was, IS and forever will be a joyous example of spirit.

If our shared spirit (way beyond what our little who-ville, persona-attached, need machine-obsessed minds could possibly fathom) IS eternally, then that same spirit we all share (and the idea we call Tomas was such a great fun reminder of) IS too, so thank you, Tomas, for a life in this holographic dream well spent in sharing what we all are, what we have always been and will always be (beyond time, space and all the other silly notions we seem to get caught up in.)

Will we miss Tomas’ form? Of course. But even as a few tears arise as we recall our dear friend, the sustainable smile breaks into outrageously joyous laughter remembering that (like the Joe Hill song lyrics go) “He did not die.”

Eternal smilezenhugs! 🙂

Nouk Sanchez and Tomas Vieira photo

Nouk Sanchez & Tomas Vieira – videos and interviews

Here are some superb videos from two different presentations given by Nouk Sanchez and Tomas Vieira. The first set of video excerpts were made during the audio recording of “The Miracle of Trust“, a 6 audio CD set, produced by Sounds True. Here is a companion article/interview: The Peace That Comes Through Trust.

The second set of videos are excerpts from an 8-DVD set of a workshop entitled “Undoing the Ego II – Taking It to a Deeper Level“, presented at Pathways of Light in Kiel, Wisconsin. Here is a companion article: Healing Through Service by Robert & Mary Stoelting, founders of Pathways of Light.

Editors note:
After the profound and heart-inspiring workshop that Nouk & Tomas gave in Ashland, Oregon in November 2009, most of the local participants (drawing from about 8 nearby ACIM study groups) wanted to continue the revelatory process that this experience triggered. We enthusiastically agreed to meet every Monday for 8 weeks to watch the 8 DVD set and share how these insights have applied to transforming our own lives. This building appreciation for the truly sustainable trust that develops as a result of listening to our inner teacher or Universal Inspiration, as Nouk and Tomas refer to ACIM’s Holy Spirit, has resulting in the scheduling of a follow-on 4-day workshop in 2010, to which we’re all looking forward eagerly. Meanwhile we continue to apply the practical lessons now of relinquishing our attachments and identifications to egoic dead-end agendas more and more.

If you know of other videos online I could add to this collection, please let me know!

The Miracle of Trust (video excerpts from 6 CD set)

Discovering the Miracle of Trust Part 1

Discovering the Miracle of Trust Part 2

Discovering the Miracle of Trust Part 3

The Ego: A case of Mistaken Identity Part 1

The Ego: A case of Mistaken Identity Part 2

The Ego: A case of Mistaken Identity Part 3

Finding your Inner Teacher in the Present Moment

Undoing the Ego II – Taking It to a Deeper Level – (excerpts from 8-DVD Set)

In the law of attraction, who is doing the attracting?

Walking the Walk

This Is Not Our Home

An Intro to the Six Stages of the Development of Trust

Nouk Sanchez and Tomas Vieira photo