Higher Livelihood is working for the whole

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Ascended Master Gautama Buddha through Kim Michaels, January 8, 2023. This dictation was given during the 2023 New Year’s webinar – Being a spiritual person in a chaotic world.

I AM the Ascended Master Gautama Buddha. As our next step we will talk about the concept of higher livelihood. Again, the tendency has been in Buddhism to focus on the word “right” and therefore define that there are certain ways to make a living that are right and some that are wrong. What this has led to for many dedicated Buddhists is that there are not very many forms of livelihood that are considered “right.” This severely limits people’s options for finding a way to make a living. Not only that, it limits their options for fulfilling their Divine plans. 

Now consider this planet. Step back and look at earth. It is an extremely complex situation you are facing on this planet. When you look at what is happening on the planet, you can clearly see that there is a lot of chaos but there is also a certain progression. When you look back over the centuries, you see that there has been a clear progression in the raising of people’s awareness, the raising of their humanity, the emergence of democracies, a better standard of living for more and more people. There is clearly a progression in society, but what drives this progression? Well, it is that there are certain people that are able to tune in to a level of awareness that is beyond what we can call normal human awareness. Twothousandfiv ehundred years ago, I called this level of awareness the Buddha Nature. Everything has the Buddha Nature within it. Every human being has the potential to reach the Buddhic level of awareness. 

Now there are two aspects of this. One is that you rise above all the outer personality, the ego-based personality, the sense that you are a separate being, separated from other people and the world in which you live. Therefore, you rise to the consciousness where you become a Buddha because you have attained the Buddhic consciousness. This is one aspect. The other aspect is, as I have explained, that the core of your being, the Conscious You, is able to step outside of your four lower bodies, at least for a brief moment, and therefore contact the Buddha nature, this higher level of awareness. When you are able to step outside, you can receive an idea of how to improve something on earth. 

There is room for improvement

You look at the earth, you look at how many problems, how much conflict, how much chaos there is, and you see that there is no part of life and society that is beyond being improved. In every area of life there is room for improvement. This improvement comes about when there are people who are engaged in that area of life, they are able to step outside the outer situation, step outside their own minds, and receive an idea from the higher awareness—from the Buddhic awareness, the Buddha nature, that can improve that aspect of life. 

What is your real livelihood? When you are a spiritual person who is open to spiritual teachings, what is your real livelihood? It is to improve some aspect of life, to raise up some aspect of life. This means that it is too superficial to look at various occupations and say: “Oh these occupations, a spiritual person should not engage in. There are only these few occupations that you can engage in if you are a spiritual person.”

Now again we have of course, a delicate balance to find here. Surely you do not as a spiritual person want to engage in the drug trade or human trafficking. The Buddha nature has no desire to perfect the drug trade or to improve human trafficking, because these activities need to be left behind as the planet moves towards higher levels of awareness. You can look at history and see that certain things have been left behind at least by many people. The more violent aspects have been left behind in many nations where you have some law, or some stability where people are not in general seeking to harm each other. Clearly this is what will happen as the planet moves further and further along into an age that is characterized by higher awareness than what you have seen in the past. As this process unfolds there are certain things that will be left behind. We will come to a point where they will fade away. 

You can look at the drug trade that is so rampant today and you can say: “Well what is it that drives it all”? It is not the criminals that are driving it, it is the fact that there is a market for the drugs. People are buying drugs, but why are they buying drugs? Well, in large part because they are seeking relief from the pressure they feel from everyday living. Because they do not know, and have never been taught, how to deal with their own psychology and resolve the aspects of their psychology that makes them feel the pressure, they seek a temporary relief through drugs or alcohol or many activities. 

As the collective consciousness is raised and there is more of an awareness among people of how they can deal with their own psychology and relieve the pressure that way, there will be less of a need for drugs and therefore, it will gradually fade away. If there is no market, there will be no trade. The same thing of course with the entire weapons industry, the industrial military complex as it has been called. Contrary to what it may seem at the present moment, there will come a point where war will start to fade away and become simply unthinkable. Therefore, the need to be engaged in the development and production and sale of weapons will also fade away. 

This may seem like a utopian dream, but it is not that difficult to see that there has been a gradual improvement over centuries and that this will only continue and even accelerate as more and more people begin to resolve their individual psychology and therefore also resolve the dysfunctional aspects in the collective consciousness. It can be no other way. 

When everything is spiritualized

Where does that leave you as a spiritual person with “right livelihood” or rather “higher livelihood?” Well, clearly there are some forms of livelihood that you do not want to partake in. However, many Buddhists have reasoned that if you are a truly spiritual person, you should not engage in business. There are certainly certain aspects of the business world that will fade away also, but it does not mean that business will go away. There will be a business world. It may very well be that because of your experience from past lifetimes and your particular interest in the business world, you have it as part of your Divine plan to find a position in the business world and receive some new ideas for how you can improve it and move it forward. 

Would it be constructive for you to adopt this outer attitude that is prevalent among many Buddhists and other spiritual people and say: “Oh no, I cannot possibly be a spiritual person and go into business?” Well, of course it would not be constructive. You need to tune in to what is in your particular Life plan and then pursue that. 

Basically, you can say that you cannot simply divide up activities and say these forms of livelihood are wrong, these forms of livelihood are right. What is it that will happen as the earth moves forward into the age of higher awareness? What will happen is that eventually everything will be spiritualized. What is the deeper meaning of the statement that everything is the Buddha Nature? Well, it is that you cannot define this clear distinction that many, many spiritual people have defined and say, this is spiritual, this is not spiritual. You need to have a deeper awareness that in a sense everything has the potential to be spiritual, to be seen as spiritual. Now this is again one of these statements that requires some discernment. 

You can of course easily say: “Well if everything has the Buddha nature within it, then you can see the Buddha nature in every activity. So you could be a drug dealer and still see the Buddha nature in dealing drugs.” When you reach a higher level of discernment and awareness, you realize that the fact that the Buddha nature is in everything does not mean that any present manifestation is the highest possible. For what is the Buddha nature? What does it mean that the Buddha nature is in everything? Well, the Buddha nature is a level of awareness. What have I explained? There are beings who created mental images and projected planet earth from their higher level of consciousness. Human beings were then sent into embodiment to take on not only physical bodies but the emotional, mental, and identity bodies, and human beings are the co-creators on earth. 

Originally the earth was in a more pure state than it is today and humankind has over a long period of time lowered the earth from its original state. That is why you today have suffering as the dominant life experience and people are in the Sea of Samsara. This is not something that was created by some almighty God or by beings in a higher level of awareness. Why would beings in a higher level of awareness create suffering? Human beings have created the current conditions on earth, the current suffering, the current chaos and turmoil. How have they done this? They have done this, as I explained, by formulating mental images in their identity, mental and emotional bodies and projecting them upon the basic energy that makes up this material world that you are in. 

Humans created the Sea of Samsara

What does that mean? It means that any manifestation you see on earth started in consciousness. Basically, what I taught 2,500 years ago is that everything is consciousness, everything is an expression of consciousness. That is ultimately what it means that the Buddha nature is in everything because the Buddha nature is consciousness, it is a form of consciousness. What is specific of the Buddha nature is that it is aware of everything, it is aware of the whole. The Buddha nature is awareness of the whole. 

How is the current suffering and turmoil on earth created? It is not created from awareness of the whole, it is, as I have explained, created from this awareness or rather this illusion that human beings are separate beings. You were not created as separate beings. Through the choices that were made in the past, you entered into this consciousness of separation and you used the dualistic polarities, the pairs, to justify this and to create certain mental images of how the world works, who you are in relation to the world and that you have a right to do certain things as a separate being regardless of how it affects others. In other words, there came a point where humankind made a shift, where they forgot that they are connected beings, they forgot the “interdependent originations” where everything affects everything else. They entered into this state of illusion where they said: “Well I am a separate being and I have a right to do whatever I want as a separate being without considering what effect this has on the whole.” 

This very consciousness is what created the Sea of Samsara, what created the state where most people experience life as suffering. There are seven billion people on the planet who see themselves as separate beings and therefore must struggle against the other seven billion separate beings. This is the Sea of Samsara. You can again look at certain activities and you can say: Yes, these activities have the buddha nature within them because they are ultimately created out of the one mind, the one Buddhic mind, the one consciousness. But they are not created with an awareness of the whole which is what the buddha nature is aware of. They are created out of separation. 

Therefore, you can say that there are certain activities on earth that are completely based on this awareness of separation where there is no regard for the whole, for the other people, for the effect this has. There is even no regard, for people who are in this state of mind, for how it affects themselves, for what kind of karma they are making and how this will affect their future lifetimes—even if they can get away with things in this lifetime. 

Awareness of the whole or awareness of separation

This is an evaluation to apply to all human activities and certainly to livelihood. Is an activity based on the awareness of the whole or the awareness of separation? Therefore, you can see that there are some activities that are more harmful than others to life in general. Of course, you can go into something like the business world as it is today and you can say that the business world in all countries is dominated by a small power elite of people who are very much trapped in the consciousness of separation. They are absolutely convinced that they form an elite and they have a right, either it is a right given to them by God or it is a right given to them by evolution, because they are the most fit to dominate the business world. Even to the point where they create enormous fortunes for themselves, more money than anybody could possibly need by taking advantage of the labor of other people. You could go in and say: “Well the business world is certainly dominated by the consciousness of separation so if I am a spiritual person I should not engage in it at all.”

 As I said there are certain things, such as drug dealing and arms manufacturing, that would fade away because they can only harm people, but the business world will not fade away because there are constructive aspects of business. It is not a matter that business will disappear as the earth moves forward. What will happen is that business will be raised up to an entirely different level where there is more of an awareness of the whole. This has already started happening, because there are people who are becoming aware of this. There are consumers who are becoming more aware of this and therefore not supporting certain businesses or even buying products from certain countries that have a lower awareness. 

This is what you can apply when you look at what is the highest livelihood for you as a spiritual person. You do not use the outer mind to say: “Oh, I am not going to go into this field.” You use your intuition to tune in to the plan that you made before coming into embodiment and therefore you say: “Well, this is the consideration I will apply. This is what is important for me to consider. Where can I serve to bring forth some improvement in that area?” It is not just a matter of business of course, it could be politics, it could be the bureaucracy, it could be education, many other aspects of life. Basically, those aspects of life that are not completely destructive, there is room for improvement and it will only improve if somebody engages in that area. You can say that for a spiritual person it is not your primary concern to make money, it is your primary concern to give service by improving some aspect of life and society. This is one consideration. What is in your Divine plan? 

The dream of easy money

The concept of livelihood can be taken to a different level. Most people when they consider livelihood, they think it means making money. You have to take a job, you have to start a business because you have to have enough money. This has caused many spiritual people to engage in various dreams, the so-called “get-rich-quick” schemes. They hope they can find some way to make an extraordinary amount of money so they have enough money to live for the rest of their lives and therefore they do not need to worry about money, but can focus on their spiritual pursuits. 

There are many, many spiritual people who have it in their Divine plans to, as I said, engage in a particular area. The purpose is for you to be there and to bring forth some improvement, to even by just being there and being in a higher level of consciousness, pull up on other people engaged in that area. It is not your Divine plan to get rich quick, then withdraw from society and focus on whatever spiritual pursuits you see. 

Your Life plan is to be engaged in society and continue to bring forth improvement. This is not the case for all but certainly for most. You can let go of this dream of getting rich quick, finding some shortcut. It is important to let go of this dream because what is it that the economic power elite are dreaming about? Well, they are precisely dreaming about finding some shortcut to riches. And they have, many of them, found this shortcut but they can do this in only one way: By taking advantage of other people, by stealing the labor of other people, that is the only way to have some kind of shortcut. 

If you are a spiritual person and you are dreaming of making money in this way, well this is not compatible with your spiritual progress. There are spiritual people who have dreamt of doing this, spent years or decades pursuing this, thinking that: “When I just have enough money, then I can focus on my spiritual pursuits.” But it is far more constructive to work in a normal job and gradually make enough money and then see that being engaged in society is part of your spiritual growth, is part of your spiritual pursuit. Do not separate spiritual activities from worldly activities and say: “Oh if I have an ordinary job, I cannot be spiritual, there is nothing spiritual about this.” Everything can become part of your spiritual path when you use it that way. 

Livelihood and energy

Now let us step up another level. What is livelihood? Well, most people would say it is about making money but is money the real currency on earth? What have I said previously? Everything is energy. The real currency of the world is not money but energy. Now I have said that the world is created because there is, beyond the material universe, a level with unlimited energy. Some of this energy streams into the frequency spectrum, or is lowered into the frequency spectrum, that makes up the material universe. I have said that there is a constant stream of this energy coming from outside the material universe into the material universe. 

This can be proven by science. Science has discovered that the universe is not only expanding but the expansion of the universe is accelerating. Well, everything is energy. Any change can only happen when it is driven by energy. If the universe is expanding, more energy is needed for that expansion. You can only go to a higher state from a lower state by adding energy. There must be energy to drive the expansion. If the universe is expanding at an accelerated rate and for that matter has been doing so since what scientists call the Big Bang, there must be energy entering the universe from an outside source or this expansion could not happen. 

You go out into the night sky and look upon all of these stars and galaxies and you can say to yourself: “This could not exist if there was a fixed amount of energy in the universe. It would never have come into existence.” The real currency is not just energy, it is the energy that enters the material universe from a higher realm. As I have said, your mind has the potential to be an entry point for such energy. 

You can look at billionaires who have accumulated vast amounts of money and you would think that if someone has billions of dollars they would feel at peace: “Now I have enough money to take care of myself and my family for the rest of my life. What do I need more money for?” For most of them that is not what happens. It is never enough. They always want more because what if someone takes it? So it is not a matter of having enough money and then you can feel at peace. What will make you feel at peace as a spiritual person is that you have enough energy. Not in the sense that you have a fixed amount, but that you have established a conscious connection to your higher self through which energy can constantly stream from your higher self into your four lower bodies. This is what gives you creative energy, the ability to bring forth something, to manifest something, but it also makes you feel whole, complete, at peace. 

The ego will never have enough

What have I said has happened to most people? You have stepped into this consciousness of separation. You come to see yourself as a separate being. What does that mean? It means you lose your connection to your higher self. Many people have projected this image that in the distant past, people lived in a paradise, but then they did something that angered God and God banished them from that paradise. God abandoned them. Well, once you step into the consciousness of separation and create this separate self, this ego personality, this ego that is a separate self and sees itself as separate, you will feel abandoned. You will feel alone. If you believe there is some God that forced you into this state, you will feel that this God has abandoned you, but it is not the case. 

The abandonment happens in your mind. There is no real abandonment. You are connected to, in fact you are an expression of, your higher self. The you, the Conscious You that is the core of your being, is an extension of your higher self, sent into this world because your higher self cannot go into this world directly. Tour higher self had a desire to experience this world and sent the Conscious You into this world as an extension of itself, to experience the world from the inside. You can never break that connection, but you can cover it over by the ego-based aspects in your identity, mental and emotional bodies. So you are feeling abandoned, you are feeling alone, you are feeling unwhole and incomplete. That is why you feel poor, and that is why you think you need something from outside yourself to fill the void, the hole that you have inside. 

The ego will always have a void inside of it, but it is a void that cannot be filled. The ego is created in this world, so the ego can only think that the way to overcome the feeling of emptiness, the struggle of incompleteness, is to get something from this world. Money is one of those things, but there are many others. The ego is on this constant pursuit to get more and more of the things of this world thinking it will feel whole when it has enough, but it will never happen. The ego will never feel whole. 

Now the you that you are can come to feel whole in this world, but only when you are not blinded by the illusions of Maya that make up the ego. You have to systematically remove those illusions from your identity, mental and emotional bodies, and then you will establish, as you do this, a greater and greater conscious connection to your higher self. You will feel this stream of energy, and it is a love-based energy that is constantly streaming from your higher self into your mind. This is what will make you feel whole. This is what will make you feel complete. 

The real understanding of higher livelihood is that you do everything you can to re-establish the connection to your higher self, so you come to feel whole and complete within yourself. In other words, you do not need anything from this world in order to feel complete. You can still have desires to have certain things, experience certain things in the world, but you are not driven by this obsessive-compulsive need to feel complete and whole. You are not driven by the ego’s obsession with getting something from this world in order to fill the void. Because you have stepped outside of the ego, and therefore you do not experience the world through the ego, and therefore you do not feel the void. You instead experience that you are connected to your higher self, that there is a stream of love that is flowing from your higher self, and that makes you feel whole within yourself. Now you may still have aspects of the ego, you may still have certain of these, we might call them, selves that are existing in your emotional, mental, and identity bodies, and you may temporarily step into those and be overpowered by them. You have the ability to step outside of them again, reconnect to your higher self, and therefore again experience wholeness. 

Increasing the flow of energy

It is clear that there are steps on the path, so there will come a point where you start to have glimpses of a connection to your higher self, you start to have what many people call mystical experiences. Then you go back into your normal awareness, now you are again colored by the ego identified with these selves, and you react based on these selves. Once you have experienced the connection to your higher self, you can use that to step outside of your identification with the outer personality and establish more of a connection. And gradually over time you get more and more connection so that it becomes more and more rare that you are overpowered by the outer selves, the outer personality. More and more of the time you feel connected, you feel complete within yourself. This is the ultimate meaning of Right Livelihood. 

Right Livelihood is also a matter of how much energy is flowing from your higher self into your mind and that depends on two things. First of all, there has to be a more open connection. This means, as I have explained already, that you transform the energies in your three higher bodies that are blocking the connection, you remove the false beliefs so that you clear your emotional, mental and identity bodies. When there is more room, more energy will flow. 

You can actually invoke energy to flow into your lower bodies and this can be done by various techniques, including the chants of Buddhism, but also many invocations and decrees that are more modern techniques given for people in today’s world. This requires you to be somewhat open to a new way to look at things by realizing that there are actually a variety of beings that exist in the realm that is beyond the material universe. By invoking these beings you can invoke the specific energies that they represent. 

There has in many spiritual teachings been the concept that there are seven main types of energies, sometimes called the spiritual rays, that you can invoke. There are specific masters that are in charge of releasing these energies to earth. By invoking these masters you can increase the flow of energy through your being into your energy field, expressed through what many spiritual teachings called the chakras, which are the energy centers in your field. 

By becoming more aware of this, you can increase that flow, increase the stream. However, the other side of this is that you also understand the meaning of Jesus’ parable about the three servants, where the master was going away, he gave them different numbers of Talents. When he comes back, he asks what they have done with the Talents. Two people had multiplied the talents, one had buried the talents in the ground so as not to lose them, and the people who had multiplied the talents were rewarded. This shows you a general principle that when you take the energy you have received from a higher source and use it to raise up the whole, use it to serve other parts of life and to bring forth some improvement somewhere, then what you have used will be multiplied. As I explained, whatever you do, you are sending out an energy impulse that cycles through the four levels of the material universe, but if it is a love-based impulse it will go beyond the material universe, be multiplied and you will receive more energy back than you originally sent out.

This means that your life now becomes an upward spiral, where you are using energy with an awareness of the whole, you are seeking to raise up some aspect of the whole, and as a result of that, you receive more creative energy so you can give even more service and this can continue to build throughout your lifetime. You could say that building this progressive spiral of energy is the ultimate form of livelihood. It can be expressed in many different endeavors, many different activities in life, where you use this creative energy and your higher awareness, your sense of being connected, to bring forth some improvement. It is clear that if you do this you will be rewarded accordingly. 

Working to raise the whole

You see again there are spiritual people who find a spiritual teaching but they see that spiritual teaching through the filter of the separate self. They are essentially saying: “How can I use the spiritual teaching to get an advantage for the separate self? How can I use this to, for example, come to feel secure and safe?” or “How can I use it to feel better than others?” which is a desire of the separate self.  So you are trying to raise yourself up in comparison to others perhaps even by putting other people down. Well, this is not helping you overcome the illusion of separation, is it? The more you use the spiritual teaching to make yourself feel special compared to others, the more you are reinforcing the separate self and the illusion that you are a separate being. 

What is the purpose of the Buddha’s teachings and the Eightfold Path? It is to overcome that illusion. Only by questioning the illusion, by separating the Conscious You from the outer self, can you connect to the Buddha nature and therefore enter that upward spiral, whereby you gradually stop identifying yourself with the outer self and instead identify yourself with your higher self, which is an expression of the Buddha nature. You become connected first to the higher self within yourself and through that connection you are connected to other people, to the environment, to all life. You begin to act based on an awareness of the whole and that is the Buddha nature. 

This is the ultimate livelihood. You are not focused on money, you are not focused on evaluating which forms of occupation are acceptable to a spiritual person. You are focused on: “Where can I bring some improvement? Where can I be of service to the whole?” As you focus on this, new avenues will open up that you might not have been able to even imagine today. As you raise your awareness you see new opportunities and you intuitively know this is the right direction to move in. Your life then becomes an upward spiral of service, whereby you also have the means to take care of your physical body, your family and other obligations. 

You cannot just decide with the outer mind. You must tune in intuitively to your higher self, to your Life plan and always strive to go beyond the outer mind that sees itself as a separate being in a world with other separate beings. You are striving to go beyond the Sea of Samsara so you are at peace. This is Higher Livelihood.


Copyright © 2023 Kim Michaels