Seeing the skull and the rose with naked awareness

TOPICS: How mental images are created – The fallen beings have an easy task – Creating an action to influence the choices of others – Being deceived by good intentions – Attracting a false guru – The light beyond the teaching – The key to enlightenment –

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Ascended Master PadmaSambhava, November 27, 2011 through Kim Michaels. This dictation was given at an event in Sneek, Holland.

The Buddha I AM.
PadmaSambhava is my name.
Oneness is my flame.
Non-duality is my game.
I am impossible to tame,
for I seek no fame,
I have no shame,
and I never stay the same.

Why am I speaking, having the messenger hold a skull and a rose? Consider the symbology that human beings have projected upon these two things throughout the ages.

The skull so often a symbol of death, perhaps even of darkness, of hell, of that which is opposed to God. The rose so often a symbol of beauty, of the sacred feminine, of poetry, and of that which is uplifting.

Yet, in your scientific age, you know very well, that the skull and the rose are both made from molecules. The molecules are made from atoms, the atoms are made from subatomic particles, and the subatomic particles are made from pure energy.

Do you think that an atom in this skull is aware that it is part of a unit, that you human beings call a skull and attach certain feelings and associations to? Do you think the atom in this rose is aware of the symbology that you associate with the rose? Nay, for the atoms simply are.

And so, what is my purpose for holding up these symbols? It is to give you a frame of reference for what is the purpose of the Buddha’s teaching, what is the purpose of the teachings I gave, when I took Buddhism to Tibet and started the schools of non-duality. It is the same purpose for which Jesus taught, and that all true spiritual teachers throughout the ages have brought.

It is to help you see, that the associations you attach to symbols, to things like the rose and the skull, are nothing but mental images. They exist only in the mind. They were created in the mind. They can only be dissolved, where they were created: in the mind—your mind.

How mental images are created

Certainly, the intense symbology projected upon the skull throughout the ages, was not created in its broader form in your personal mind. Much of the dark symbology found on this planet was created in the minds of beings, who had fallen into the trap of separation. They projected it upon others, and gradually they created this entire phantasm in the collective consciousness. Most of you first took embodiment on earth after this had already been created, this phantasm of death in the collective consciousness. Thus, you took it on from the outside; you did not sit there and individually create it.

Nevertheless, this is the essential key, to those who want to understand the Buddha’s teachings. Regardless of whether you took it on from outside or whether it originated inside your own mind, you need to understand that what exists in your mind now did not actually come from the outside. Your mind responded to a projection from the outside, but what is residing in your mind is not the projection—it is the reaction. And what holds you back is not the action of what others have done to you; it is your reaction to any impulse coming from outside your mind.

This is the true key to enlightenment. Everything that is holding you back from enlightenment, that is keeping you trapped in the Sea of Samsara, that “thing” is in your mind. The thing – the reaction, the perception, the mental image – was created in your mind. And thus, it can be dissolved only where it was created: in your mind.

As long as you are projecting out, that other people are responsible for what is going on in your mind, you cannot reach enlightenment. It is an impossibility, as it would be impossible for this skull to suddenly start speaking. As long as you project that God is responsible for what is going on in your mind, as long as you project that other people or dark forces are responsible for what is going on in your mind, you cannot reach enlightenment.

Making the teacher responsible doesn’t help you learn the lesson

Yet on an even deeper level, there is a projection that is more subtle than anything else, and it is the projection described by Maitreya in such detail in the book Master Keys to Spiritual Freedom. It is the projection that the guru, that the teacher, is responsible for what is going on in your mind.

This was what caused you to leave the safe haven, the Garden of Eden, so to speak, that is represented as the lineage of true gurus, reaching all the way up through the spiritual hierarchies to the Creator. It was meant to be the protection of new lifestreams, so that they would have a frame of reference in the guru, for dealing with the inevitable initiation of the material realm, symbolized in Genesis as the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

This is, indeed, the consciousness of duality, as we have called it in the East, not that there is, as already said, differentiation, but that two expressions of differentiation could be in opposition to each other or separated from the whole. This is the lie, the illusion, that keeps you trapped in this Sea of Samsara, in the cycle of suffering. Because you are constantly projecting out, that you need to change something or someone outside the sphere of your individual free will.

What is the sphere of your free will? It is your mind! You are not responsible for anything outside the sphere of your free will. Thus, you are not responsible for what goes on in the mind of your brother or sister.

And so, as the Chohans have explained, as long as you are projecting out, seeking to change others – to change their mind, to change their reaction – then you cannot look at yourself. And if you are not looking at yourself, you cannot see the very reactions, the patterns in your mind, that are keeping you trapped.

The fallen beings have an easy task

For do you not begin to see, with all the teachings we have given, that the fallen beings had a very simple task before them, when they decided to oppose God and pull everyone down into this seemingly endless spiral of actions and reaction? Do you not see that they had to do only one thing: they had to create an action that was beyond what you, as a newly incarnated being on earth, were expecting?

Once they had shocked you with something you did not expect, then it was so easy for you to feel that you had to react to this. And in the beginning, you reacted slightly. But as the actions from them kept coming relentlessly, you eventually crossed a line, where you did not even react. But now you started thinking, that because what they were doing was wrong, you had to take action to stop the wrong, to right the wrong.

And thus, you started projecting out your own action. And then other people started reacting to your action. And this shocked you even more, because you felt that you had only the best of intentions. So why were they reacting to you telling them what to do? Well, my beloved, they were reacting for the same reason that you started reacting. And it is a very simple mechanism, once you understand—once you see, once you experience, once you have the frame of reference from the true guru, who is not in duality, and thus can give you that transfer of light that is the only antidote to the poisons of duality.

The simple fact is this: You were instructed by the true guru, that when you venture into the realm where free will is the ultimate law, you cannot allow yourself to have expectations of what should or should not happen. Yet what happened to many—and my beloved, it is perfectly understandable that this happened. Do you perhaps sense strictness in my voice? It is because I am intending to cut through the density of the layers that have been built in the mass consciousness. But that intensity is also the Ruby Ray fire of love, and originally there was only the most tender love.

For we understand, all of us, how difficult it is to go into this realm. We understand how subtle the temptation is presented by the dualistic mind. Nevertheless, I am here not to condemn and put down, but to give you the key to escaping duality. And there is only one key, and it is to recognize the following: You were instructed by the guru that in this realm, free will reigns supreme. Thus, you have a sphere of your free will, and that is your mind.

Creating an action to influence the choices of others

Nevertheless, it is possible to use your mind to create an action and to project that outside your mind, for the deliberate purpose of influencing other minds. You knew that you could not allow yourself to expect, that you would not be exposed to this. For it was virtually inevitable, that you would be exposed to someone outside of your mind, outside the sphere of your free will, who would project an action against you, for the deliberate purpose of changing something inside your sphere of free will, of changing your mind, of changing your choices, of influencing your choices.

And thus, what happened to so many was that they gradually forgot this instruction. And again, there is no blame here. It is simply something that happened. It happened because you made a choice. As Maitreya explains in his book, for each lifestream there was an individual reason for why you made the choice. No reason was wrong, no reason was better than another—it was your reason.

When you discover that individual reason, you have the option to change it. But you will not be able to discover it, unless you start looking inside yourself. And in order to start looking, you must break the cycle of action and reaction. And therefore, you must realize a simple truth, taught by the Buddha and all who are of the lineage of the Buddha: Whatever other people do to you, there is no natural law, or spiritual law, that says that you have to react to this.

This must be understood as being solely in the mind. It is entirely possible, if someone attacks you, to take evasive action or even to protect yourself. But this outer action still does not mean that you have to react inside your mind, by creating mental and emotional patterns that remain in the mind, even when the outer action is no more.

You see, it is entirely possible – as demonstrated by the Buddha, as demonstrated by Jesus – to be in the world but not of the world, to experience the actions that come at you from other beings without having an internal reaction, that creates a pattern in you that gradually builds a momentum. Until the pattern, the emotional and mental energies, become so strong, that you lose control of your mind. You lose control of your reactions.

And now you begin to think, that either in order to protect yourself, or in order to protect God’s plan, or promote some ultimate cause, you have to take action. You have to change the people who are seeking to change you, for you have now come to believe in the lie that something is right and something is wrong. And thus, what you experience them doing to you is wrong, and you must right that wrong.

Being deceived by good intentions

Do you see, how is it possible that so many people throughout the ages have had the best of intentions of doing God’s work, but they have been trapped into still using methods that were clearly against their own religious scriptures, or the universal knowing of what is right to do to another? For, of course, you all know that in some sense it is not right for one being to interfere with the free will of another. But you also need to know, that in this realm, where free will reigns supreme, it is inevitable that you will be exposed to this.

And so, what you need to do is, instead of trying to change the choices and actions of others, you focus exclusively on yourself. And you focus on not reacting, not creating a reactionary pattern. And when you have created patterns – as of course all of us did, when we were in embodiment, dealing with the physical realm – then you strive to immediately unravel the pattern.

If you will reach enlightenment, if you will make your ascension in this lifetime, if you will attain peace of mind, if you will fulfill your highest potential, you need to make a choice, a decision, to start unraveling the patterns of action and reaction. You think you have to react, when other people do or say certain things. You think you have to act, even in a long-term way, where you think that doing God’s work means seeking to influence others. And thus, YOU project an influence out from your mind.

You need to ponder the subtle distinction, for you need, of course, to come to the realization, that the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil precisely symbolizes the main feature of the dualistic mind: that there is no absolute statement, no absolute argument. You can take words and twist them to argue for or against any viewpoint, any issue.

Do you not see, that the scribes and Pharisees twisted words to argue against the living Christ, when he stood before them in the flesh? Do you not see, throughout the ages, that all true gurus have faced some among their supposed students, who came only to argue at the level of words, to twist words, to project out an interpretation.

So you cannot truly discern truth and error based on words. You cannot judge a person, you cannot discern a person, based on the words that they say, and especially not the words that they write. And thus, you need to look beyond the words, and you have the ability to tune in and sense not only people’s vibration, but their intent. You can, when you begin to become aware of the pattern of action and reaction in your own mind, you also begin to build the discernment where you can sense this in others.

Attracting a false guru

You can instantly sense when someone comes at you, and perhaps they speak seemingly neutral or kind words, but behind it is an intent of influencing your free will, of tying in to whatever patterns of action and reaction you have in your mind, and seeking to use it to get you to react—and therefore take a certain action, that they want to project into your mind. Thus, do you not see, that as long as you are trapped, fully identified with this pattern of action and reaction, you will – according to the age-old law that when the student is ready the teacher appears – you will inevitably attract to you, or attract yourself to, what we might call a false guru.

For the saying that when the student is ready, the teacher appears, of course, means that the student is always ready for some teacher. And the teacher that appears is the teacher, that the student can see with its present level of consciousness. And so, when you are trapped, fully identified with the pattern of action and reaction, you can only see a guru who is also in this pattern, but who has taken it to a more extreme level than yourself. And therefore, he is willing to project at his students what they should do, what actions and reactions they should have to his teachings—or to some problem in life that he projects that they need to solve.

And thus, it is only when you begin to see this pattern of action and reaction in your life, that you can magnetize yourself to what we might – of course, with an artificial choice of words – call a true guru. In other words, a guru who has at least begun to see and dis-identify from these patterns. And this is, then, when you can become open to a teaching, that comes from the lineage of the true gurus, the gurus who are not teaching because they have a pattern of action and reaction that they need to project. They are teaching because they are not projecting; they are sharing their Presences, like the sun is sharing its light.

The sun is not shining upon earth for the purpose of influencing human beings. The sun is the sun; it would shine even if there were no planets orbiting it. For it is a self-luminous orb, the open door between the material and the higher realms. It simply shines, for that is its joy. The teacher teaches, for that is his or her joy. It is an expression of who they are.

And that is why one of the subtle traps of many students is to look at a certain teacher, look at the outer teaching, look at the words or the choice of words, look at the concepts, look at the teacher himself – his looks, his dress, his manners, his this, his that – and they focus on the outer form of the teacher, instead of realizing that the outer form is just a vehicle and that the outer form is not nearly as important as the fact, that this form is transparent enough to let something from beyond shine through.

And even if the outer form of the teacher appears to be less than perfect according to your standard, then your standard is a product of the patterns of action and reaction you have in your mind. So if you seek to project your standard upon the teacher, how can you make use of that teacher? For the only way to make use of a teacher is to see, that there is a light shining through the outer form of the teacher—and then reach for that light, follow that light. Follow the light, my beloved. You know how in the world they say: “Follow the money,” but I say: “Follow the light!”

Look beyond the outer form of the teacher and the teaching, whatever teaching or teacher it may be. Follow the light that is shining through. And it is through that light, that you will have a frame of reference, that will empower you to transcend the patterns of reaction and action that keep you trapped at your current level of consciousness. For it is only when you sense that there is something beyond, shining through the teacher, that you are able to step outside of those patterns in your mind—and thus, suddenly, experience that moment of pure awareness.

The importance of pure awareness

And what is the importance of you experiencing pure awareness? It is because when you experience pure awareness, you become the open door for the light. And thus, you can realize, that the light that you have so far seen shining through the teacher, can now shine through you. And thus, you have made the ultimate use of the teacher, by realizing that when you follow a teacher to the point where you embody the teaching, you embody the light, then you become the next link in the chain of the true gurus.

You become a teacher yourself, even if you are not perfect. For when you have at least glimpses of pure awareness, going beyond this reactionary and action pattern, then you become an open door to the light. And then you can give some measure of that light to someone else.

The light beyond the teaching

When I took Buddhism to Tibet, I founded a school of gurus that knew that their purpose was not so much to bring an outer teaching, but to transfer light directly to their students. For they understood, that no matter how good at teaching is, it is still only words and it can be twisted and turned and misunderstood.

But the light cannot be misunderstood. For the student either experiences the light or does not experience it at all. For the student sees only the projections he is projecting upon the teacher. And so they knew, that when they could gather students, share their Presences, share their light, then there might come that point, where the student experienced the light, pondered where the light came from—because the student realized it did not come from the teacher; it came through the teacher. And when the student grasped this reality, then the student could go into pure awareness and then become an open door for the light.

And then, the teacher had done the job of transferring the light, even transferring the teaching. For what is the teaching? Is it the outer word? Nay; the teaching is the light, the teaching is the Presence. For everything is the Buddha nature, and thus what else is the goal of the Buddha, than to make you realize that you are the Buddha nature—by directly experiencing the Buddha nature, rather than sitting there in the mind, thinking you have figured out what the Buddha nature is.

But you only have a mental image, and you are so in love with the mental image, that you do not even want the Buddha to bother you. For you want to sit there and polish the image, trying to make it perfect. And so, therefore, you do not even see that you have met the Buddha in the road. And thus, you cannot even follow the admonition to kill him if you meet him.

And the meaning is, of course, that if you identify the Buddha in some form outside yourself, then that mental image keeps you from realizing your own Buddha nature. And thus, the Buddha, with the best of his intentions, has suddenly become the anti-Buddha. The guru, with the best of his intentions, has suddenly become the anti-guru. Of course, the Buddha and the guru do not see themselves this way, but you do in effect see them that way. For you are refusing to take in, to absorb, to become the teaching.

The key to enlightenment

This, then, is the discourse that you have earned throughout this weekend, by going through the process that you have gone through in your lives, of being willing to question, being willing to look beyond, being willing to reach for higher teachings, higher understandings, higher experiences. But I will also tell you, that all of you could benefit from truly pondering and absorbing the discourse I gave so many centuries ago, that I recently directed his messenger to find, on “Self-liberation Through Seeing with Naked Awareness.”

For one of the last temptations you need to overcome on the spiritual path, is the temptation to always strive for this high, extraordinary experience. But the reality is, my beloved, that the idea that there is some high experience, that you will have when you meet the Buddha or when you become enlightened, is precisely the last hindrance to enlightenment. For as I say in my discourse, once you experience pure awareness, you see that it is what we might call “ordinary” awareness, in the sense that there is no contrast. There is no duality to create contrast between high and low, between happiness and unhappiness.

That is why the Buddha attempted to come up with a word, that did not have a dualistic opposite. So he talked about “bliss,” as it has been translated. But of course, you can always say: “But then, what about anti-bliss, what about non-bliss, what about un-bliss?” And so, again, you are trapped in twisting words, rather than going beyond and experiencing that state of pure awareness, where there is no high or low; there is no contrast.

And thus, can you even call it “pure awareness?” Nay, but how can you talk about something without using words, my beloved. This is the dilemma that even we, who are the true teachers, face. But we do not see it as a problem, for we are always seeking to do more than words; to transfer light. Every dictation given from an ascended master is a fohatic expression, where the words are cups of light. Some students do not see this; they see only the words.

But eventually, many come to sense, that there is more than the words. And when you keep following the more, keep following the light, then you come to that point, that is the key to enlightenment. Where you see, that even though the guru is an open door for the light, the guru is not the only open door, for there is another open door inside of you. And then, when you become the open door, that is enlightenment.

And there are some who want to take enlightenment and project a concept upon it, that there are stages in enlightenment. But would it not also be productive to say, that there are not stages of enlightenment as much as enlightenment is when you realize that life is not still-stand; life is transcendence? And thus, the stages are simply the ongoing flow of the River of Life, where you are not seeing them as stages that can be put on a scale with high and low. For you have transcended that need to say: “Oh, I am at the 33rd level of enlightenment, and thus I am higher than all the others who are below me.”

But then, certainly, you are not enlightened, are you? What is the point in comparing, what is the point of setting up this scale? Yes, at a certain level of consciousness, people need it. But there comes a point, where you go beyond this, and you do not even concern yourself with whether you are enlightened or whether you are at this or that level. You are only concerned about expressing, about letting the light flow through you, sharing your Presence in greater measure every day, without having any goal.

For there comes a point, where you let go of the goal. There is a stage where it is right to have a goal, but there must come a point, where you let go of the concept that there is a goal that you strive for. For you let go of the concept, that there is something from which you are separated and you need to get to it.

Instead, you are who you are. You are the open door for whatever expression the Spirit decides to bring forth. You are willing to open your mouth, not knowing what is going to come through it. And therefore, you are sometimes as surprised by what is said as other people are.

And this is the flow of the Spirit, my beloved. You all have the potential to be the open door. If you see this messenger being the open door, then do not fall into the trap of idolatry, but follow the light until you see it in yourself. For you see that you too are the open door.

THAT is the eternal, timeless teaching. And that is my gift for this day. With my love, I seal you in my heart.


Copyright © 2011 by Kim Michaels