Connect with Gautama Buddha and experience that emptiness is an empty concept

Listen to a recording of this dictation (subscribers only)

Ascended Master Master Gautama Buddha through Kim Michaels, June 6, 2023. This dictation was given at a conference in Seoul, Korea.

I AM the Ascended Master Gautama Buddha. And as has been the tradition now for some time, it has been my privilege and my joy to give the sealing dictation for this event, which truly has been a great victory seen from our perspective as ascended masters because it has created an impulse sent into the collective consciousness that will create very profound changes and enable many people to connect more to the ascended masters and their higher selves. We, of course, also see the changes from many of you who have been willing to participate, to look at yourselves, to take in the teachings and come up higher. We hope that you feel it has been worth your time and effort and that you feel as fulfilled as we do.

I wish to take this opportunity to give some teachings about a concept that may seem unrelated to connecting to your higher self and spiritual teachers, but we shall see if it is not connected after all. There is a concept known back from the Buddha’s time of Śūnyatā or emptiness. What does this actually mean? Again, the intellectuals of the Buddhist religion or tradition have looked at this, have come up with various interpretations, cannot really agree on what is the right interpretation and I am not attempting here to give you the ‘right’ interpretation because there is no one right interpretation as there will always be different levels of consciousness and thus different ways to understand any spiritual teaching. 

Experiencing reality behind the worded teaching

But I will say that there is a fundamental difference between interpreting a spiritual teaching and experiencing the deeper reality behind the worded teaching. And what you see in every spiritual tradition known to the world is that there arises, as the tradition grows and gains more and more members, a class of people who set themselves up as the interpreters of the teaching. Then there is a smaller group of people who seek to experience the deeper reality behind the words. And then there is the larger group of the general population who follow the teaching and follow the interpretation given by the priest class because they hope it will give them some better life either in this world or the next. You can see this pattern everywhere. You can see it throughout history, you can see it today even with modern spiritual teachings, even the tendency in ascended master teachings. If you truly want to make use of a spiritual teaching, you of course, need to go beyond the interpretation of the words and seek to not only understand, not simply grasp, but to experience the deeper reality behind the words. 

We might compare this to a movie theater. Most of the people are sitting there looking at the movie screen. They are just experiencing the movie. Then there are those who attempt to understand where the movie comes from and they might go to the projection room and look at the film strip. But is it really the deeper reality behind the movie, what is on the film strip? Or is the deeper reality the white light in the projector? Or is the even deeper reality the intention of the movie director or the script writer? Or the actors? 

Using the teaching to transcend your current level of consciousness

A valid spiritual teaching comes from the spiritual realm or the ascended realm. It comes from the mind of a spiritual being and if you want to make full use of the teaching, you need to use the outer teaching only as a tool for making contact with a spiritual being in whose mind the teaching originated. This is the ultimate way to make use of a spiritual teaching. When you grasp this, you realize that just reading the words and trying to understand them or interpreting them with the intellectual mind is not the highest use of the teaching. One might even say it is not making use of the teaching because what is the purpose of a spiritual teaching? It is to help to transcend your current level of consciousness. And when you go into seeking to understand and interpret the teaching with your current level of consciousness you keep yourself trapped at that level. 

You might use the spiritual teaching to make yourself believe that because you have this advanced, sophisticated intellectual interpretation of the teaching you have reached a higher level of consciousness. But you do not reach a higher level of consciousness through intellectual interpretation and understanding. You reach it only by shifting your consciousness. This is what the linear mind cannot grasp. For the linear mind can only set up some kind of linear progression that leads from this point to the next. It cannot imagine, it cannot fathom that there could be an entirely different level of reality that cannot be put on such a linear scale. 

The Middle Way

That is why many people have not understood the concept of the Middle Way. They have not grasped the significance of the Middle Way and the pairs, which is what we today call the duality consciousness that always has two extremes. There is one polarity, there is the opposite polarity and there are people who think that the Middle Way is somewhere in between. 

There are many people who have intellectualized the teachings given 2,500 years ago through me and they have thought that walking the path, the Middle Way means finding balance and they have attempted to find some kind of balance between these dualistic extremes that they have defined, whatever that definition has been. But the Middle Way is not about finding balance on a scale that is linear between two extremes. The Middle Way is about transcending the dualistic scale, the dualistic extremes which means what? It means transcending the linear mind.

The concept of emptiness

Back to the concept of emptiness. The linear mind will immediately ask, emptiness of what? Emptiness compared to what? There must be something that it can be compared to. There is some validity to this in the sense that a spiritual teaching is always given in context. When I appeared in physical embodiment 2,500 years ago, I appeared in a specific society, a specific culture, namely the Hindu Brahminic culture. 

The Hindu Brahmins had come up with many different interpretations, many different sects, many different ideas and so they had various concepts. The teachings that I gave 2,500 years ago were adapted to this culture and they did in some way use some of the concepts but they also challenged other concepts that had become common in the Hindu tradition. You cannot really understand the concept of emptiness without looking at the context in which it was given. And the concept that was very dominant in the Hindu religion was the concept of the Atman or the Self, the ultimate Self and there was an entire culture built around this concept that few people actually understand today. 

To give a brief summary of how they looked at the Self, we can say that there was the idea that in the higher realm there was only this one Self, the Atman and this was an eternal unchanging Self. It could not ever change. This means that for any concept you could come up with, not necessarily from the human level but anything that could come from the spiritual realm, there was in this Atman, in this Self, defined what we might call an image or a matrix. It could be even compared to Plato’s concepts of these ideal forms in the higher realm. 

In other words, the concept was that in the higher realm exists a predefined perfect matrix for everything that can manifest in this world and everything that can happen in this world, which is what gave rise to this idea that out of this one Atman is defined other Selves and these Selves define a specific manifestation. So the earth—there is a Self in the higher realm that defines the perfect unchanging matrix for the earth. For each human being there is a Self in a higher world that defines what that soul is like and things could happen on earth so that the earth or people could deviate from this eternal Self. But in the end, everything would return to that Self and this is the concept that I denied. 

When I talked about emptiness I said it is empty in the sense that it does not have a self, meaning it was not predefined by some Self in a higher realm that it was destined to return to. Now Lanto has already given you a very profound teaching on this, but I want to comment on it because many people in Buddhism today have used the modern mindset which has become much more linear, to interpret the concept of emptiness or the concept of Non-Self, to mean that it is not only empty of a self, it is empty of everything. There is nothing there. This is again what the linear mind loves to do. 

Permanent self vs. ever-changing self-transcending self

The linear mind looks at this world where everything has form and then it hears the concept of emptiness and then it hears that it was the Buddha who gave that concept and he is some high, enlightened being so his concepts must be respected. And now the linear mind says: “But then I want to understand this concept in the ultimate way. This world has form, emptiness must mean there is no form, there is nothing there.” And some have interpreted this to mean that there is only Brahman, there is only infinite awareness as some call it today and this is emptiness. So there is either form as there is in this world or there is emptiness and they think that form came out of emptiness, in other words something came from nothing. But this, of course, is not the case. 

I did not say that there is emptiness meaning there is nothing there. I said there is no permanent Self there. I said that the world did not come from emptiness and is not meant to return to emptiness after an endless cycle of reincarnations. What I said was and what I meant was, there is no permanent self but there is an ever changing self-transcending self and that self that is ever changing is not meant to return to nothingness after an almost endless cycle of reincarnations and suffering. It is meant to ascend to a higher level where it can continue to rise to even higher levels. 

What can we understand about the spiritual realm? 

This is not what I said 2,500 years ago because I had decided to give a teaching focused on the practical aspects not the cosmological aspects and so my intent was to raise people’s consciousness beyond that linear mindset because I saw clearly from the Brahmins that the linear mindset can never give you that ultimate understanding of these cosmological concepts. How do you ultimately understand how the spiritual realm works? Well, by ascending to the spiritual realm, of course, then you experience the spiritual realm and then you can pursue a course of study of studying all aspects and realms of this spiritual world, going here or there, going to higher and higher levels exploring everything there is to explore. 

We might also say: “Well what is the point of trying to understand it while you are in embodiment?” And this is how I reasoned 2,500 years ago because the collective consciousness was at a lower level but today there is actually some point to this because many people can benefit from grasping some of the aspects of the spiritual realm and how it functions. You can certainly benefit from grasping that there are spiritual beings, ascended masters in that realm who are your spiritual teachers. But you can also benefit from grasping that there are natural planets and that many spiritual people have come from those natural planets to this unnatural planet of earth. 

And so there is today more value, more validity to seeking some understanding of the spiritual realm and that is why we give these teachings today. You will, of course, see today the exact same tendency that was there 2,500 years ago, that you have many, many people who are seeking a higher understanding but who are using some kind of teaching brought forth through words to get that understanding and then they project and then they interpret. There are, of course, many teachings today that are so-called ‘channeled’ teachings and they are channeled often from the mental realm and so they often give teachings that appeal to the linear mind, the analytical mind, the intellectual mind. 

There are teachings that claim to be very sophisticated even more sophisticated than the ascended master teachings and there are people who believe that this book or that book is the ultimate spiritual teaching and this is, of course, perfectly in order. People need certain experiences before they are able to raise their discernment and see the difference in vibration between a teaching that comes from the mental realm and a teaching that comes from the ascended realm. This is not something that the linear mind can fathom. It can only look at the words and interpret the words and therefore come up with some interpretation that this teaching is more advanced than the other. 

The emptiness of pure awareness

Going back to ‘emptiness’ what is the real value of this concept? Well, first of all the alpha aspect is that there is no permanent unchanging self. You are a self. In today’s teaching we have called it the Conscious You saying it is pure awareness. But another word for pure awareness could be emptiness. Emptiness of the sense of identity, the thoughts and the feelings that reside in or are produced by the identity, mental and identity bodies or minds. You might say that for most human beings their attention is focused on their feelings, their thoughts or their sense of identity. They are so to speak focused on the content of consciousness and therefore there can be some value in contemplating that the flip side of the coin, the alpha aspect of consciousness is that instead of being focused on the contents you can be focused on consciousness itself. And consciousness is empty or can be empty of contents and when the Conscious You experiences itself as pure awareness, this is a state of emptiness—just awareness without any content in the container of consciousness. 

Different levels of understanding emptiness

You can, of course, take it to another level and see that as you walk the spiritual path and rise above the 48th level and approach the 96th level, you are overcoming these subconscious selves, many of which are based on the duality consciousness. You can say that at the lower levels of consciousness possible on earth, people are enveloped in, blinded by, identified with the egoic mind, the separate mind. As you rise towards the 96th level and beyond your four lower bodies, your container of the lower self becomes empty of the egoic mind. So that is another form of emptiness, another level of emptiness but it does not mean, of course, that there is nothing in your mind. 

You still have a sense of identity, thoughts, feelings. You take actions, you respond to the world, you interact with the world, you interact with your I AM Presence with the ascended masters. You are not empty of anything but you are empty of certain things that spring from a certain level of consciousness. You see that emptiness can be understood at different levels. There is not just one way to understand it and to grasp it. But you can, of course, take this concept further because you might say that when you ascend, from the perspective of the Conscious You it seems that you go into the ultimate form of emptiness. For now, the Conscious You is fully united with the I AM Presence, becomes the I AM Presence, there are really no words that can fully describe the process. But nevertheless you can say that the Conscious You now becomes empty of this sense of self that it has had since it was sent by the I AM Presence into embodiment. But this, of course, does not mean there is nothing. Now there is the full awareness of the I AM Presence. As other masters have explained, you can approach that point of Christhood where you become more and more one with, united with the I AM Presence. But the Conscious You cannot be fully united with the I AM Presence until you ascend. 

The concept of void and no-self

To fully grasp emptiness, you also need to grasp how it can be perverted and misused. And this is what has happened both in some of the older forms of Buddhism but also in modern spiritual teachings even from other traditions such as the Advaita Vedanta and some other modern teachers who have taken this concept of emptiness and my statement that it is empty of a Self, and they have then interpreted this to mean that the ultimate state of spiritual growth is this state of ‘no self’ which is the ultimate emptiness. But this is of course a misinterpretation. 

It is, as Lanto explained, indeed possible for a being in embodiment on earth to experience a state that seems to be empty of any form, empty of any expression, empty of any sense of self. But this is not because there is some ultimate state of emptiness defined by some higher being or God. We have given teachings that, in the beginning was the Creator and the Creator decided to create. First it drew a boundary around itself in the Allness. It withdrew everything inside that boundary and created the void. 

The void can be, of course, conceived as the ultimate state of emptiness. But as a co-creator you cannot experience the void. You might say that even the Creator itself does not experience the void. Why? An experience is what? An experience is something that has form. If there is no form, how can there be experience? In the void there is no form. So how can you experience the void? What is it that people have experienced that they claim to be the highest reality, pure awareness, the ultimate state of awareness? What have they experienced? They have not experienced a void. They have experienced a state that has been created by beings in the duality consciousness. 

As Lanto explained, the fallen beings have taken one approach of seeking to elevate the separate self to an ultimate status and the other approach of denying the existence of any self. Thereby they have created this beast, this matrix, this self in the collective consciousness that seems to be empty. But as Lanto said, if you say: “I have no self”, or “I have experienced no self”, or “I have experienced emptiness”, well there is an “I”, so there is not a state of no-self. So what is ‘no self’? It is a projection of an image. Likewise, there has been a projection of an image of nothingness, of emptiness and some people have claimed to experience emptiness, but they have experienced the image of emptiness. But this is not emptiness, for it is filled with the image and the image has a form that a being on earth can experience. Therefore, it is not emptiness. 

When people have a certain experience, and I am not denying that they have an experience, I am only denying that it is an ultimate experience of emptiness. But when people have an experience and they come back to their normal level of awareness and they start communicating about that experience with words, well, they are just building on to that mental image, reinforcing that mental image, perhaps interpreting it, and now they are using it to project that they had some ultimate experience. And what does that mean? Well, if someone sets himself up as a spiritual teacher and talks about some ultimate experience of emptiness or ‘no-self’, what will the followers of such a guru do? They will project that he must have reached the ultimate consciousness since he had this ultimate experience of emptiness. But how could emptiness be an ultimate state of consciousness? How could emptiness be an ultimate reality? 

Emptiness is an empty concept

Why do you exist? Why does the world exist? Why is there a world that can give you experiences? Why is there, as many modern scientists are asking, something rather than nothing? Well, because there has always been something. There has never been nothing. If there had ever been nothing, there would not be something, and then you would not be here to ask the question. The very fact that you exist shows that there is not nothing. There is a creation of self-aware beings, and there always has been some creation and there is a purpose, there is a direction in that creation and that is to grow towards higher and higher levels of consciousness. And you do not grow to higher and higher levels of consciousness through nothing. Nothing cannot become higher and higher. Nothing cannot be ultimate. In fact, there can be nothing ultimate because there is always higher levels of consciousness possible. 

Again, the linear mind panics when it hears these concepts. But intuitively you can grasp this, that the purpose of existence is the growth in consciousness. And you here on earth can grow to become an ascended master, which is very much higher than what most people have on earth. But an ascended master can grow to reach the Creator consciousness, and the Creator can grow to even levels beyond that. Now, when you talk about levels beyond the Creator consciousness, then words are meaningless. Concepts are meaningless. You cannot fathom this when you are unascended. You cannot really fathom it when you are ascended either, but you can have glimpses of it. 

So emptiness is empty of meaning. It is a concept that has no meaning. It has no place in a valid spiritual teaching. Those who teach it, those who claim that this is some ultimate state, are not true spiritual teachers. They are not aligned with the ascended masters. They have simply bypassed the ascended realm, bypassed the spiritual realm, bypassed all of the beings between people on earth and the Creator. They have even bypassed the Creator if they talk about infinite awareness or pure awareness or Brahman as some concept without any form. And therefore, they are not teaching a valid teaching. 

Positive motivation coming from self-transcendence 

They are not teaching a teaching that can give you any sense of purpose or meaning, which is why many of these people have no sense of meaning, as many of the followers of the Hindu religion at the time of the Buddha had no sense of meaning. 

Because the Hindu religion teaches these almost infinite cosmic cycles of billions of years, and the effect this had on people, and the effect it has on people today is that it seems like you came out of nothingness, you have an almost infinite number of incarnations where you suffer as you suffer in this lifetime, and then the reward you get for all of this striving and all of this effort and all of this suffering is you disappear back into nothingness. Really, the kind of prize that makes people want to strive hard to reach that nothingness, is it not? 

It is somewhat comparable to many Christians whose primary motivation for wanting to go to heaven is that they want to avoid going to hell. Just consider how many Christians have any understanding of what it is like in heaven, what they do in heaven. But they do have an understanding of what hell is like and that that is what they want to avoid. That is what we might call a negative motivation. And the idea of nothingness and the idea of an endless cycle of incarnations that leads you back to nothingness is at best a negative motivation or no motivation at all. 

What we give you today is hopefully a better motivation that you are created as co-creators and you have the potential to transcend your sense of self and reach higher and higher levels where you can find more and more meaning in expressing yourself as a co-creator, not only with the Creator but with all of the other co-creators. We might even say that the fallen beings who have gone into duality, some of them seem to have a motivation. Their dream is to perfect the separate self so that they can prove God wrong and they will be allowed to either enter the spiritual realm and become immortal beings or put in charge of this unascended sphere. You might say they have a motivation but it is not the kind of motivation that you have when you lock into co-creation and self-transcendence. For building a more and more sophisticated separate self is not self-transcendence. This is what many people have not grasped, what the linear mind cannot grasp, certainly what the fallen beings have not grasped. 

But one way to illustrate it is to say that you might decide, a group of people might decide to build a very sophisticated building and they might, as in the legend of the Tower of Babel, decide that they are going to build this tower that will reach into the heavens. They make the plans, they start gathering the materials and they build onto this tower, they build it higher and higher and higher. They spend enormous effort on this tower. But what will eventually happen? Well, there is a force called gravity and there will come a point where any structure built on earth will reach the limit of how high it can become before it collapses under its own weight. No matter how strong of a foundation you build at the bottom level, as you add more and more weight to the top there comes that critical point where the foundation below cannot carry the weight above and it starts crumbling. Whatever material you might use, it will start crumbling under the weight and suddenly the whole thing will begin to shake and sway from side to side and it all comes tumbling down. 

This is what the fallen beings are attempting to do. They are attempting to force their way into heaven by building a tower of Babel out of the materials of the separate self. What is self-transcendence? It is that you take an entirely different approach. To illustrate it crudely, you might say that you decide to build a rocket that can take you to heaven instead of building a tower that reaches into the heavens. This, as science has proven, can be done. But of course, the most sophisticated illustration would be to say that you actually transcend the level of consciousness of the duality consciousness which is what is subject not only to gravity but to the second law of thermodynamics so that you do not need to use force to get into heaven. You free yourself from the use of force and therefore you naturally rise to higher levels. 

For what is heaven after all? Is it a physical location so many kilometers up from the surface of the earth as they thought in the Middle Ages in Europe? Or is it as we have said, a different dimension, a different level of consciousness? Thus, the only way to get into heaven is actually to transcend your current level of consciousness which means that instead of seeking to perfect the self, you transcend the self. And why is this the only way to do it? Because there is a Self in the spiritual realm and you came out of that Self and you descended to the material world by taking on these selves that took you away from your original state, that took you below that—made you think you were something less than what you actually are. By shedding the selves that took you out of the ascended state, you naturally return to it. Now some might say with the linear mind: ”But Gautama, did not you start out talking about that there is no Self in the higher realm”? But did I? 

Ever-transcending Self

The Brahmins said there is a Self, a permanent self in the higher realm. I said there is no permanent Self. I did not say there is no Self. There is that Self that ever transcends itself and that is ultimately the Creator who is transcending itself by creating and then all of these levels of ascended beings in the previous spheres that have transcended themselves by creating extensions of themselves— new co-creators—all the way down to the ascended masters that work with this unascended sphere who have transcended themselves by creating your I AM Presence. And the I AM Presence transcended itself by creating the Conscious You. And the Conscious You has gone as far down into the world of form as you can currently go. And when this process of the Creator’s mind extending itself into the world of form has gone as far down as you can currently go in the current sphere, what is the natural step then? 

It is to start the return journey of going back up and this is the function, the purpose of the Conscious You and this is the process of the ascension. And as you complete that process of the ascension you do not go into nothingness you continue that upward movement that can take you all the way back or all the way up to the Creator consciousness. What you then do after that is up to the choices you make at that level and truly you do not need to worry about that at your present level. You need to concern yourself with how to complete that process of the ascension so you can ascend from earth, from this unnatural planet. And then when you have ascended then you decide what you want to do from there. 

Connecting to the ascended master through the teaching

So again we have given you more than most of you can handle in one setting—your cups are full and runneth over. But we are not just seeking to give you something that you can grasp at your present level of awareness. We are seeking to give you something that you can come back and study again and again so that as you take one thing from this teaching that resonates with your present level and you internalize that, then you rise to a next level. Then you can study the teaching again, find something else that now appeals to you that you overlooked the first time, internalize that, rise to a higher level and this is how you make progress on the path. 

Those who think they can read a dictation or hear it one time and they have fathomed everything they can get from it, they miss the point that a teaching is always given for different levels. So you are never really done with a spiritual teaching because if you are open, then what will the spiritual teaching do? If you come back in 20 years and read this dictation that you have heard or read today, what can you potentially do? You might say: “Well I have understood with the outer intellectual mind what the teaching is about.” But what is the real point of the teaching? It is to connect you to the ascended master who gave that teaching. 

I will still be here in 20 years. I will have transcended myself in 20 years as I trust you will. And that means that by reading this dictation in 20 years, tuning into my Presence, I can give you something that is not in the worded teaching, that is beyond the worded teaching. And it is really only up to you, how willing you are to connect and receive something from me. It may not be words. It may be that you have risen to the point where we can commune in a way that is beyond words. But still the outer teaching can serve to attune your mind to my mind so that we can have that meeting of the minds that I can assure you is not emptiness, although it may be empty of the egoic mind and the linear mind and all of these concepts and ideas that are floating around on earth. So, you may not be able to express in words what that communion is, but I can assure you it will not be emptiness. For as I have attempted to explain, emptiness is an empty concept.

With this, it is my great joy to seal this conference, this retreat, this event and to express again the gratitude of all of us who have participated in this event. And truly many more ascended masters have participated than have given actual dictations. So we all hope that even if the ascended master that is closest to you has not given a dictation this conference has still helped you tune in to the master who is closest to your heart. For after all we are all one and so you can use a dictation from any master to tune in to any other master. 

With this, our great gratitude for your presence here in the physical realm and your willingness to experience our Presence.


Copyright © 2023 Kim Michaels