5. When the Ego’s World Is Black and White

Black-and-white thinking defines two opposites, meaning that there is no overlap or potential for compromise. They cannot co-exist but must cancel out each other—or so it seems. 

One opposite is defined as being absolutely good and the other is defined as being absolutely evil, setting up an inevitable, to-the-death struggle between them.

The ego makes people believe that the only way for them to please God and be saved is to take the side of good and to fight against evil.

This is a very easy approach to life because it really does not require people to think for themselves. Once people have accepted that a particular belief system is absolutely good, they will never question it.

As long as people are trapped in black-and-white thinking, they are absolutely convinced that they are working for good and will be saved. Yet everything they do to fight the self-defined enemy only serves to trap them more firmly in the dualistic state of consciousness.

It is difficult for extremists to admit that they are wrong. They cannot admit that what they have seen as a work for God has only served to reinforce the dualistic struggle created by the forces of anti-christ. Such people tend to become very defensive and hostile towards anyone who questions the validity of their approach.

The ego creates a false path to salvation. By using black-and-white logic, the ego creates the impression that being saved is a matter of belonging to the only true religion and meeting its outer requirements. Instead of doing the hard work of pulling the beam from your own eye, you simply have to believe a predefined doctrine and follow a set of outer rules.

The extreme outcome of being blinded by black-and-white thinking is that people become entirely self-centered and selfish.

Extreme selfishness is the ultimate outcome of the relative logic of the ego. In the Christ mind you see that all life is one, and thus when you hurt another, you are hurting yourself.

When you are trapped in the mind of anti-christ, you think you can hurt others without hurting yourself. You justify your actions by using the relative logic of the ego, which can make it seem like anything is justified.

To begin the process of escaping total selfishness, you must realize that there is a higher standard for evaluating your behavior, so that you choose to limit certain types of selfish behavior. This is often done out of fear of consequences.

When people are still identified with their egos, they cannot yet see the limitations of the relative logic of the ego. So they need a very simplistic, black-and-white belief system.

There is a real danger that people will be fooled by their egos to enter the blind alley of fanaticism, where they think they serve God by fighting what their belief system defines as the enemies of God.

If people avoid going into fanaticism, it is possible to make genuine spiritual progress by following a black-and-white belief system. People can begin to see through the more selfish beliefs and free themselves from some of the illusions of the ego.

A black-and-white approach cannot take you above a certain level of the spiritual path. Because this approach is influenced by the relative logic of the ego, it can very easily become a blind alley that begins to take you into a downward spiral of judgment and pride.

A black-and-white belief system automatically implies a value judgment.

Judging according to appearance means that you judge based on a relative, dualistic standard created by the ego. Judging righteous judgment means that you discern absolute truth based on the vision of the Christ mind.

The ego uses a relative standard to build the appearance that because you are better than certain other people, you are guaranteed to be saved.

The Christ does not compare things on a relative scale that leads gradually from one extreme (good) to the opposite extreme (evil). The Christ mind does not judge based on appearance but is only concerned about whether something is real or not real.

Black-and-white thinking sets up a scale with two extremes and then makes people think they have to choose one of the two polarities.

This line of thinking leads to a fear-based approach to salvation. You cannot enter the kingdom of God while there is any fear left in your being.

You overcome fear partly by using the rational mind to reason that your fear is based on a lack of knowledge and partly by reaching for a direct experience of the perfect love that casts out all fear. As long as you are trapped in a black-and-white belief system, you will be afraid of doing either.

Any black-and-white belief system on this planet states that you cannot experience God directly; you need the outer church and its priesthood as a mediator between you and God.

Fear creates a prison for your mind, and once the Conscious You is inside, your ego throws away the key. The Conscious You can step outside at any moment, but it must be willing to confront its fear and the fact that a black-and-white belief system is based on an illusion.

The psychological effect of a black-and-white belief system is that it focuses your attention on a scale with two polarities, and then it makes it seem like truth has to be found somewhere on that scale. There is nothing beyond the relative scale. 

Any time you have a belief system with two opposites, you have a dualistic belief system. And in such a belief system both opposites will be defined by the mind of anti-christ. 

The reality of God cannot be put on a relative scale and it has no opposite polarity. God’s reality has no opposite because that which is outside of God’s reality has no reality. 

That which has no reality cannot be in opposition to that which has reality. Unreality can exist only in the minds of co-creators who are trapped in duality. 

It is only when you step into the mind of anti-christ that opposites become possible. These opposites seem to have the same reality. This is what gives rise to fear of evil because people think evil is real and has real power over them.

When you attain the Christ mind and see that evil is not real and that its appearance has no power over you, you lose all fear.

Evil does have the same “reality” as relative good. Thus, you need to use the Christ mind to see the absolute good of God.

A black-and-white belief system makes you think that you have to move towards relative good and avoid its opposite, namely evil. In reality you have to move beyond the duality consciousness in order to attain oneness with God.

Black-and-white thinking becomes a trap for your mind. Once you accept any black-and-white belief system, the ego can always come up with a seemingly watertight argument for why you should not look beyond it.

Many spiritual people have started seeing through the black-and-white illusions of the ego. It is important for spiritual seekers to realize that they are still not above the relative logic of the ego. 

The ego has a built-in contradiction and seeks to create two opposite viewpoints in every situation. Black-and-white has its own opposite, and when people start rising above black-and-white thinking, it is quite common that they jump into the opposite extreme.


Copyright © 2013 Kim Michaels