A false god, which we worship, believing it holds our salvation, but which has no life and therefore no power to answer our prayers or fill our need.
1. The ego itself and the ideas necessary to its survival—such as sickness (see T-10.III.4), weakness (see W-pI.92.4:7), cruelty (see W-pI.170.6), death (see W-pI.163.4) and specialness (T-24.III.2)—which we have placed on our inner altar and worshipped.
2. Any external thing—body, place, substance, possession, situation, achievement, right—that we think will give us salvation by making us special (see specialness) and by protecting us from danger. We seek these idols to fill our lack and make ourselves complete, and they seem to work for a time. But they always fail and end up being harsh gods that punish and demand but do not give. In seeking them we end up reinforcing our beginning premise: that we are lacking. The reason is that we are unconsciously seeking lack, incompletion and death (the ultimate lack of life). Idols may seem powerful but they are simply toys we made.
See T-29.VII,VIII,IX and T-30.III,IV,V.