Ascended Master Jesus through Kim Michaels.
In this discourse I will take a step back and look at the big picture, thus giving a clearer explanation of how the ego manages to divert people’s attention from the true road to salvation, namely the inner path of self-transcendence. As I have explained in the previous discourses, you were created as a spiritual being, and you were never meant to lose the awareness of your true origin and identity. By using your free will to experiment with the duality consciousness, the Conscious You gradually came to see itself as separated from its source, meaning your own higher being and God. This acceptance of separation created your ego, and since then the ego has attempted to create an impenetrable wall between your Conscious You and your acceptance of your true identity as a co-creator with God.
The process of separation took most co-creators into a self-reinforcing downward spiral – or rather, a spiral being reinforced by the ego and the forces of anti-christ – that led them further and further into a sense of alienation from God. This led them to build a sense of identity based on the things of the material world, including their bodies and their egos. There is theoretically no limit to how far this downward spiral can take you into a sense of being absolutely convinced that you are separated from God, or even that God does not exist. There is a force built into your being that counteracts the downward pull, namely your longing for something more than what the material world can offer.
The further you descend into identification with the material world, the more you will limit your sense of identity. You are, so to speak, building a prison for yourself, and it gradually becomes smaller until you can hardly move. The smaller your mental prison becomes, the greater the possibility that you will see the emptiness of the things of this world and decide to look for something more. Although there is no guarantee that this will happen, most co-creators will eventually reach a bottom line from which they decide to start going back up towards a more unlimited sense of identity.
The ego would much prefer that this turning point did not take place, but once it has taken place, the ego will not simply give up. It will resist every upward step you take, and its primary weapon is to divert your attention from the inner path itself. The ego wants to create the false path, which makes you believe that you can “be saved” without confronting the ego and letting it die.
Not all co-creators descend to the same low level before they turn around. The lowest level to which one can descend on this planet is represented by the life of the cave man or other primitive cultures that had no true spirituality (I am not counting all native cultures as such). They were basically living as animals with less hair cells and more brain cells. Their attention was almost entirely focused on physical survival, thus being engaged in an endless struggle against others of their own kind, animals or even Mother Nature.
The fact that the majority of human beings are no longer living this way shows that humankind has progressed to a higher state of consciousness, a higher sense of identity. This proves that most human beings on this planet have turned around and have started the upward climb. Most people are not yet consciously aware of this so they do not understand the process and are thus easily manipulated by their egos and the prince of this world.
Diversionary tactics of the ego
As long as you are in a downward spiral, your ego has managed to make you neutralize or ignore your longing for something more. For most people, the ego cannot do this indefinitely, and they will eventually reach the turning point. Although the ego will try to prevent you from turning around, it is not necessarily unhappy about you striving for a greater sense of identity.
This might sound like a contradiction, and the reason is that the ego is full of contradictions. The ego is one big contradiction, as I will explain later. The ego sees only the things of this world, and thus the ultimate triumph of your personal ego would be that you had absolute power in this world. The ego is driven by contradictory forces. On one hand, it will do anything to prevent you from discovering and following the true spiritual path that leads you to build a sense of identity that does not include the ego. To prevent you from finding the spiritual path, the ego is willing to drive you into a state of consciousness in which you see yourself as – and act as – an animal fighting for the survival of the physical body. It is willing to completely destroy your self-esteem in order to maintain control over you.
This is a very limited sense of identity, and it does not fulfill one of the ego’s essential needs. Because the ego sees only this world, it sets up relative comparisons between you and other people. When you live a very low existence, such as a cave man or a person on the street, the ego finds it hard to maintain the illusion that you are better than others. Both you and your ego will be unhappy with such a state of existence.
Although one part of your ego is afraid of you turning around and walking the path towards a greater sense of existence, another part of the ego actually welcomes this—as long as it can maintain its control over you and misdirect your longing for something more in a certain direction. To give you a better understanding of this mechanism, let me briefly outline the stages that many people go through as they climb the path towards reclaiming their true identity:
The lowest stage is where all of your attention and energy is fed into the survival of the physical body. Your life is a constant struggle against others of your own kind, animals, nature and your own karma from past lives. We might say this is the lowest stage of the duality consciousness, the black-and-white thinking, that leads you to think that you – as an individual – are fighting against the whole world. Obviously, this is a very limited sense of existence, and most people will – at least after a few embodiments – reason that there has to be more to life than just surviving. This is often the starting point for people’s upward climb.
When you are in survival mode, you see the world as a place with lack of resources, and thus you have to fight for everything you get by taking it from someone else or from nature. In reality, this is a perception that comes from the duality consciousness. The higher way out of this state of consciousness is to realize the truth in my words that it is the father’s good pleasure to give you his kingdom—the abundant life. By seeking first the kingdom of God – the Christ consciousness – all things will be added onto you.
For most people, the ego manages to convince them that they should focus their attention and energy on accumulating the things of this world. Seeking material possessions becomes the goal of life, and people can spend many lifetimes seeking some state of ultimate riches that will – supposedly – satisfy their longing for something more. The ego is happy with this because it can now pursue the sense that if you have more possessions than other people, you are better than them.
While having possessions can satisfy your longing for something more for a long time, it will eventually come to seem like an empty promise. You will realize that no matter how much you have, you still do not feel completely fulfilled. There is also the fact that the more you accumulate, the more time and energy you must spend defending it from the forces seeking to take it away. Finally, no matter how much you own, you still cannot avoid death, which inevitably means losing it all. But what if you could free yourself from the fear of loss?
The higher way to do this is to seek the true non-attachment to the things of this world. This comes from realizing there is a higher goal to life, namely a growth in consciousness. Once you overcome the ego and attain the Christ consciousness, you will allow God to be in control of your life, and with God all things are possible. You realize that you, of your ego-self, can do nothing, but that the father within you, your own I AM Presence, is the true doer. With God all things are possible.
For most people, the ego manages to divert their attention from the true path. When people become aware that having material possessions will not fulfill them, the ego manages to convince them that what they really need is the power to control their destiny. Some people engage in a quest to seek ultimate power on this earth so that they can control every aspect of their lives. This inevitably locks them in a struggle against other people with the same approach. Such people are often polarized into two opposing camps, and they can spend many lifetimes fighting for their cause, even the “ultimate” cause of the epic fight between what people have defined as good and evil.
Again, people can spend lifetimes on this quest, until they finally realize one of two things, namely that it is impossible to gain ultimate power and control or that having such power still would not satisfy their longing for something more. This realization can cause people to move to an entirely new level.
Beyond the material world
When you compare the stages outlined above, you will see that they are all based on the same characteristics:
You are focused on your own – separate – self, centered around the physical body and the ego.
You are focused on a sense of lack, meaning that you are incomplete in yourself and need something from outside yourself.
You are focused on getting what you need from the material world.
You are focused on comparing yourself to others, thinking you are better than others if you have more possessions or power than they do.
As a co-creator matures, he or she gradually begins to realize that the material world cannot be all there is to life. This is when a person becomes open to the possibility that there could be a world beyond the material world and that you might have some form of continued existence in that world after the body dies. It becomes possible that your conduct in this world might have an impact on what happens to you in the afterlife. This is usually when a person is awakened or converted to a religious lifestyle.
The part of your ego that is afraid of losing control would rather that this conversion did not happen and that you remained focused on the material world. A religious conversion is always a blow to the ego. Another part of the ego takes the approach that: “If you can’t beat-em, join’em,” and it will seek to use your religious conversion to keep you under its control.
We might say that the stages outlined above were the material stages of your growth, and we can now outline some of the religious stages:
The lowest stage is represented by the black-and-white thinking, which makes people believe there is only one true religion. Only members of that religion will be saved, which means that by the mere act of being a member of that religion and following its outer requirements, your salvation is guaranteed. When a lifestream is first awakened to something beyond the material world, it often believes in the claims made by one of the so-called mainstream or orthodox religions, and it believes it is better than non-members. This can lock people in a religious version of the struggle between relative good and relative evil, and this is a dangerous trap because the ego makes people think they are doing God’s work, and thus they can deny the need for self-transcendence.
Such people go through the death of the body with the firm belief that they will immediately enter Heaven. It is therefore quite a shock to the lifestream when it is confronted with the reality of reincarnation. Some lifestreams refuse to let go of the dream, and in their next embodiment they fall right back into following an orthodox religion. Some go to the same religion while others believe there must be another one that can fulfill the promise that membership guarantees salvation. Some lifestreams have to be reborn into a great number of different religions before they finally accept that there is no automatic salvation.
The lifestream now realizes that it is not enough to simply be a member of an outer organization but that you have to meet a set of individual requirements. The highest outcome of this process is that you realize that salvation is determined by your state of consciousness. As I said: “I am the way, the truth and the life, no man cometh to the father save by me,” meaning the Christ consciousness that I represent.
The ego often manages to make a lifestream believe that if only it meets certain outer requirements, it will qualify for salvation. This causes many lifestreams to focus on doing good works, seeking to buy their way into heaven by doing what their religion prescribes. Some seek status or position in a religious organization as a way to buy their salvation. Some even go into the blind alley of seeking to fulfill the ego’s need for power through a religious organization. After all, if you are the highest representative of God on earth, the ego can feel it has near absolute power on earth.
People play these ego games with a keen sense of comparison, thinking that if they do more good works than others, their salvation will be guaranteed. Eventually, a lifestream will have had so many experiences of having to re-embody despite its good works that it lets go of even this dream.
The highest potential for the next stage is that the lifestream takes full responsibility for its own salvation and recognizes that the Christ consciousness requires one to discern between the relative “truth” of the ego and the absolute truth of the Christ mind.
Most lifestreams are not quite ready to take full responsibility. They let their egos talk them into going into the gray thinking that I described in a previous discourse. This causes some people to deny the validity of all religion, which leaves them in a kind of no-gods land, often for several lifetimes. Others go into one of the many variations of a teaching that does not require you to discern. One example is that if you are gentle and kind, you will be doing the right thing and will be saved.
While this is different from seeking to buy salvation through good works, it is a similar mechanism of thinking that by not being judgmental or by cultivating a certain approach to life, one will be saved. The problem is that this “higher” state of consciousness is defined by the ego – meaning the mind of anti-christ – and not by the Christ mind. It can never lead you to Heaven, no matter how adept you become at pretending to be a good or spiritual person. It is simply the ego’s judgment after appearances, appearances that are defined by its own relative definition. The ego has now defined what it means to be a spiritual person, and this definition can never lead you to the Christ consciousness. Unfortunately, it can be very difficult for sincere spiritual seekers to admit this fact and admit that their spiritual quest has been misguided.
This third stage is a very critical stage on the spiritual path, precisely because a lifestream can stay stuck here for many, many lifetimes. Such lifestreams will often go through the death of the body being firmly convinced that they will be saved. They are severely disappointed, but if they are not willing to take responsibility for their salvation and discern between the relative truth of the ego and the higher truth of Christ, they cannot move on. Some come to believe that it is okay for them to re-embody on an indefinite basis, and thus they are no longer disappointed by not being saved. Some believe that they
voluntarily return to earth to hold a spiritual balance and bring spiritual gifts, and this makes them even more convinced that they don’t need to change their approach to salvation.
It can be difficult for a spiritual teacher to watch lifestreams being stuck at this stage because they are so very close but yet they remain completely unreachable to us. If only they would turn the dial of consciousness a little bit, they would see the greater truth, but the ego has managed to make them firmly convinced that they are so spiritual that they don’t need to change their perspective. They are often as unreachable as a cave man, yet they are firmly convinced that they are far above the cave man and everyone else.
NOTE: The rest of this dictation is available in the book Freedom from Ego Illusions.
Copyright © 2006 Kim Michaels