Taking the Ego Lightly – Kenneth Wapnick


Kenneth Wapnick

Protecting Our Projections

This book is an edited transcript of the seminar presented by Kenneth Wapnick in August 2013. It was the last class he taught before his illness and death.


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The discussion focuses on the dismantling of the ego’s thought system of sin, guilt and fear. This is held in place by our projecting a serious world — personally and collectively — its purpose being to rivet our attention on the body. In this way, we are distracted from the decision-making mind that is the source of the problem — and the answer. But the ego is easily undone when we pay attention to the presence of Jesus or the Holy Spirit in our minds, always reminding us to laugh at his joke: “It is a joke to think that time can come to circumvent eternity…” (T 587) His loving presence encourages us to meet the ego’s seriousness, in all its forms, with “a gentle giggle, tender tickle and sweet smile!”

The talk title was ‘Protecting Our Projections’, taken from the “What is Forgiveness?” section of the Workbook of A Course in Miracles. This section says: “An unforgiving thought is one which makes a judgement that it will not raise to doubt, although it is not true. The mind is closed, and will not be released. The thought protects projection, tightening its chains, so that distortions are more veiled and more obscure; less easily accessible to doubt, and further kept from reason. What can come between a fixed projection and the aim that it has chosen as its wanted goal?” (W 401)

The purpose of an unforgiving, attacking thought, says Wapnick, has the purpose of making us mindless. The problem is never our mind’s choice for the ego; the problem is out there in someone or something else. Someone or something made us angry and hold on to a grievance. This is the meaning behind Lesson 5, “I am never upset for the reason I think” (W 8). We think we are upset for a long list of reasons. What the unforgiving thought and the projection protects is our mind’s having made the wrong choice. Rather than deal with the guilt that results when we choose the ego over love, we say someone else is guilty.

The work of ACIM, says Wapnick is questioning our individual projections. It means truly looking at Lesson 5, “I am never upset for the reason I think” (W 8), and applying it each time you become upset during the day.

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