12. Escaping the subtle 
trap of pride

Ascended Master Jesus through Kim Michaels.

In this key, we will deal with the spiritual poison of pride, specifically spiritual and intellectual pride. The Buddha who is the antidote to pride is called Ratnasambhava and his wisdom is the wisdom of equality. His mantra is:




Again, tune in to the Buddha as you study this lesson, and repeat his mantra as you deal with the energies and the illusions of pride.

What exactly is pride? It is the sense that you don’t need to look at the beam in your own eye, or even the belief that there is not – and could not possibly be – anything to look for. In other words, it is the sense that you don’t need to change, don’t need to grow, don’t need to self-transcend, for you have reached some kind of ultimate stage from which progress is neither possible nor necessary. It is the sense that you are already saved and thus have no need to transcend yourself in order to qualify for salvation. It is the sense that – because of some criteria in this world – you are superior to others—even in the eyes of God.

Yet if all beings are created out of God’s Being, then would that not mean all are created with equal value in the eyes of God? For how could one extension of the Infinite be superior to another extension of the Infinite—how can there be comparisons in infinity? Thus, we see that pride springs from an illusion, from ignorance. The most prideful people are simply the most ignorant. This does not mean they know the least in this world—it means they do not know the reality of who they are and where they come from. Thus, contemplate the wisdom of equality, which says all beings came from the One God who is the All in all.

Pride is one of the most dangerous of all traps on the spiritual path because it primarily affects those who have started to mature. These are people who are ready to start the path to personal Christhood, but they are too often diverted into the blind alley of pride, in which they think they are very religious or spiritual. They think they are doing everything God wants them to do in this world and that they have already qualified for their entry into the next world. Thus, they refuse to grow any further, and – as I might have mentioned – continual growth, perpetual self-transcendence is the essence of Christhood. So pride has the effect of taking some of the more mature students and diverting them from the path of Christhood—just as they are getting ready to truly follow that path.

The net effect of pride is that it makes a person unreachable to a true spiritual teacher—the person is not teachable. People who are blinded by pride often take one of the following approaches:

  • They reject a true spiritual teacher based on some criteria defined by their outer religion. This is why the scribes and Pharisees rejected me.
  • They reject a true teacher based on a set of criteria defined in this world but outside religion. One example is materialistic science which denies the existence of the spiritual realm and thus denies the existence of spiritual teachers or the need for them.
  • They reject a true teacher based on a set of personal criteria, which often makes them believe they are so sophisticated that they don’t need a specific teacher because he or she doesn’t live up to their standard for how the perfect teacher should be.
  • They reject the need to follow any teacher and believe they don’t need a teacher.
  • They follow one of the many false teachers, elevating him or her to some ultimate status by idolizing the teacher.
  • They reject a true spiritual teacher because they are not willing to look at the beam in their own eyes. A true spiritual teacher tells the students what they need to hear, what they cannot see because their vision is blocked by the ego.
  • They follow a false teacher who tells them exactly what their egos want to hear—which makes them feel they are more special than other people.

Take note that people who are affected by pride are not completely ignorant or blind. Many of them have a sophisticated understanding of the spiritual path, and many of them can recognize the Living Christ in some form. Yet pride is the main reason why people fail the second challenge of Christ, namely whether you will allow the Living Christ to take you beyond the dualistic illusions of the ego or whether you will cling to those illusions and seek to force the living Christ into the mold. This is what Peter did, and based on that you might reason that Peter exemplifies a person who is affected by pride. Thus, the church based on Peter is likewise deeply affected by pride, which can be seen by its unwillingness to change and its failure to recognize its own shortcomings.


My esteemed colleague, Master MORE, has a saying, “If people knew better, they would do better.” Thus, the essence of the spiritual path is to strive to get to know better. When you have an “Aha” experience and suddenly know better – thus having used the “Key of Knowledge” – you will effortlessly do better. You will have removed the beam from your own eye, and thus you will spontaneously do what you see as being in your own best interest.

The problem is that pride prevents people from getting to know better because it makes them think they already know better. They think they know all they need to know, even all there is to know. And if you are not willing to know better, how can you possibly do better? This becomes another catch-22 that closes people’s minds and prevents them from having the openness that is the foundation for an “Aha experience.” That is why I said:


Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:3)


This is what Zen Buddhists call the “beginner’s mind” and without it you have no opening for escaping the duality consciousness. Do you see that pride closes off the beginner’s mind by making you think you are so sophisticated because you know the things of this world? Yet the things of this world are defined by the duality consciousness, and you cannot use the duality consciousness to escape the duality consciousness.

As I have been saying from the beginning, the essence of the path is that you come to see something that you do not currently see—and only then will you grow. So pride presents one of the greatest challenges for the true spiritual teachers of humankind. For how can you help students see what they cannot see, when the students believe there is nothing more to be seen or when they are unwilling to consider the need to look for even a splinter in their own eyes?

The unfortunate reality is that most students affected by pride leave off the true path of divine direction and thus join the school of hard knocks. Only when the knocks become so hard that their pride can no longer ignore or explain them away, do they wake up to the need to look in the mirror and change themselves. And even then, some do not truly get back on the true path. They only seek to make the minimal changes required to avoid the worst of the hard knocks. Thus, they seek to maintain their prideful, separate outlook on life instead of sincerely abandoning it and making themselves open to learning from the true teachers. I would like to see that anyone who studies this course escapes the trap of pride, but it is not my choice to make—it is yours.

Am I hereby hinting that all people are affected by pride? Well, here is a good working hypothesis: If you are on Earth studying this course, you are affected by pride. For if you were not affected by pride, you would be up here with me.

The brutal fact is that although you might not have personal pride, it is difficult to be in embodiment without being affected by the collective pride that hangs over this planet like a gray cloud—the gray fog of ignorance that makes it hard to distinguish between reality and unreality. So even if you have overcome personal pride, you have likely taken on a portion of the collective consciousness. In any event, pride will be a temptation for as long as you have not permanently ascended, so the wise disciple is always on the lookout for the subtle energies of pride.

NOTE: The rest of this dictation is available in the book: Master Keys to Personal Christhoood.

Copyright © 2008 Kim Michaels