What are you focused on?

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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. We have moved on to the final stage of the Eightfold Path, that of concentration, which might actually be better translated as focus. What is it you focus on? I have said that it is extremely important to realize that the Eightfold Path – the spiritual path, the path towards higher levels of awareness – has stages. 

You come to a certain point where you find an outer spiritual teaching. There is no evaluation here of what level you are at when you find the teaching. Throughout the ages many people have applied such an evaluation and said: “Here is a teaching that to me seems very sophisticated and it claims to be a superior or special spiritual teaching and since I have found it, it must mean that I am a sophisticated spiritual student.” This is not necessarily the case, and it is not necessarily not the case, but you need to recognize here that you live in an age where it is easier to spread information than ever before. 

You have websites, you have books and therefore it is quite possible that people can come across a spiritual teaching even though they are not ready for it, or they have not reached a particular level of consciousness on this stage from lower levels of awareness towards higher levels. This is not said to in any way condemn anyone. It is not constructive to actually apply this evaluation of what level of consciousness you are at when you find the spiritual teaching. What is important to realize is that when you find the path you are at a certain level of consciousness, and your level of consciousness will color and influence your approach to the spiritual path. This means it is difficult to set up a standard method, or standard process, that all people should follow when they find a spiritual teaching. All people need to start at the level of consciousness they are at, they can do nothing else. There are many people who find a spiritual teaching who need to go through a period, perhaps a long period, where they use that spiritual teaching to reinforce their existing worldview, or to build a new worldview based on the spiritual teaching. That worldview is based on the sense of separation and the desire to make themselves seem superior, or to make them seem like they are safe because they are now in this spiritual teaching. 

There are also many people who need to feel that: “Because I am in this spiritual teaching, I will be saved in the end. I will reach enlightenment in the end.” This makes it easier for them to endure their present life circumstances. These are just some of the needs that are there at the lower levels of the path. People have these needs. They can do nothing else but approach the spiritual path through these needs and they must have that experience for some time until their minds become open to a higher view of the spiritual path. We can say that there are some of the people who find the spiritual path who go through a phase where they use the spiritual teaching to actually build or reinforce a worldview that keeps them in separation. This is inevitable. Now some of these people may eventually reach a point where they are ready to go beyond that phase. Others will stay in it for the rest of this lifetime. 

The key is to change yourself

What is the next stage up? Well, the next stage up is that you begin to realize that you have to change yourself. It is not a matter of changing other people or changing the world or changing God and what God will do for you. It is a matter of changing yourself. You start realizing what I have described in these discourses: That you need to focus on changing your mind from the inside instead of first changing outer conditions in the hope that this will change your state of mind. 

Now when you begin to grasp this, then you go into a phase where your primary task is actually to pull yourself away from the magnetic pull of the collective consciousness. Everything is interconnected so you are part of the collective consciousness of humankind. You are also part of the collective consciousness of the culture and group in which you grew up. What you see in all of these cultures is that they have a certain sense of normal. This is what is normal in our culture and there is a pressure from the collective consciousness to conform to this normal. Of course, the standard for normality is defined based on the illusion of separation and the dualistic consciousness. Most cultures have some sense that they are superior to other cultures. Maybe they are in conflict with other cultures and they see this as the only way they can be. Of course, in order to make progress on the spiritual path you need to pull yourself above this. 

You now enter a phase where the main focus – the main concentration – is for you to free yourself from the magnetic pull from the mass consciousness. You do this as I described, by transforming the energies that give the collective consciousness something to pull on. You do it by becoming aware of your reactionary patterns, your separate selves, resolving the illusions and letting the self die. The collective consciousness can only pull on you if there is something in your four lower bodies that it can pull on. It is the same as the force of gravity that can only pull on something if it has mass. If it has no mass the force of gravity cannot pull on it. As you do this you are becoming more and more independent of the mass consciousness. You are raising yourself above it so that when the demons of Mara come to tempt you, they have nothing whereby they can tempt you and pull you back into the patterns that you see in your culture or even in humanity as a whole. You are not concerned about conforming to the norm, you are concerned about raising your consciousness. 

Climbing the path as an individual

Now as I have said once you purify your emotional, mental and identity bodies from these separate selves and the lower energies, you begin to have more of a connection with your higher self. This is when you can come to a crucial point on the spiritual path, and this confuses many people. There can come a point where you have to a large degree, perhaps even completely, freed yourself from the pull from the collective consciousness, but how have you done this? How do you free yourself from the collective consciousness? Well, you can only do this based on your level of awareness, and your level of awareness when you started the path was most likely that you had at least some sense that you are a separate individual being. Naturally there are people on earth that are so overpowered by the collective consciousness that they have very little individuality. They are, so to speak, flowing with the currents in the collective consciousness instead of going their individual way. 

In order to walk the spiritual path, you have to walk it as an individual because there is currently no culture on earth where walking the spiritual path is the norm. You are always going against the norm and you can only do that as an individual. What are you actually doing when you are raising yourself up in this phase, freeing yourself from the pull of collective consciousness? Well, you are building a new individuality as a spiritual person but how do you build this? Well, you build or you create a conglomerate of separate selves that are based on seeing yourself as a person who is walking the spiritual path in your particular spiritual teaching. I am in no way implying here that this is wrong, you cannot do anything else. You have to start where you are at. Your first stage is to free yourself from the mass consciousness and you do this by building an individual self that is so strong that it cannot be pulled into these collective patterns from your culture. You are actually taking a spiritual teaching and you are using it to build a collection of separate selves that can withstand the pressure from, or the pull from, the collective consciousness. 

Once you have done this to a certain point you reach what is in some way the most crucial turning point on the spiritual path because you now face an essential choice. The choice is, will you continue to build on to this separate sense of identity as an individual being? Or will you begin to grasp that, even though this individual identity has served a purpose, it cannot take you to the higher stages of the spiritual path. In fact, it cannot take you beyond a certain point. I have already explained that the real goal of the spiritual path is that you overcome all sense of self, all selves based on the illusion of separation. So, this self that allows you to free yourself from the mass consciousness is based on the sense of separation – not necessarily duality, seeing yourself as an enemy of other people – but you are set apart from other people and from the mass consciousness. 

In order to move on to the higher stages of the path you need to begin to recognize that this self has served its purpose, but you now need to start letting go of it. Of course, this sounds contradictory – first you are building a self then you have to dismantle the self. But think about a rocket, a rocket has perhaps three levels. There is a huge fuel tank with engines at the bottom and this is used to propel the rocket up to a certain altitude where the gravitational force and air resistance are less. Then the fuel tank is empty and in order for the rocket to rise higher it needs to separate itself from that fuel tank and the first set of engines and start the next set of engines that will take it to a higher level. It is the same with your sense of self. You have a self, you build a self to take you beyond the gravitational pull of the mass consciousness, but then you need to discard that self in order to rise higher. The difference between a rocket and you is that you cannot, and you are not meant to, discard that self all at once. You need to do it in increments because the self is not really one self, but a conglomerate of these separate selves, so you can unravel one at a time. 

Now there are many people throughout the ages who have not grasped this process. Some have but many have not so they actually become so attached to this self or this identity they have built that they will not let go of it. They now come to believe, as I described earlier about the ego, that this is actually the self that will take them to heaven or to nirvana so they need to continue to build onto it, they need to continue to refine it and perfect it until this self becomes able to enter heaven or the spiritual realm or nirvana or however you define it. This is an illusion, and it is a potentially dangerous illusion that can keep people trapped even for lifetimes. I have already given you the tools to see why it is an illusion because it is based on separation, the illusion of separation. 

Spiritual pride

It is also possible for many people to look at the spiritual movement they are, or have been involved with and see that some of the people who have been in this movement, perhaps for a long time, have built a certain sense of pride, spiritual pride in their accomplishments, their understanding of the teaching, how many hours they have practiced. They feel superior not only to people who are not in the teaching but even to the people who are in the teaching but not as experienced as they are. You can clearly see, if you allow yourself to step back from this, that this spiritual pride can only come from a separate self, but a separate self cannot bring you to the higher levels of awareness. It cannot bring you to Buddhahood, it cannot bring you into nirvana or into heaven, there is no way that this can happen. 

You now begin to see that when you reach this level, you need to switch your mind. You need to go through another switch and realize that from now on you are actually building a different kind of self. You are building a self that is not based on seeing yourself as separate from the collective consciousness, but seeing yourself as being connected to your higher self. In the process of building this sense of identity as a connected being you are discarding some of these separate selves that you created when you were raising yourself above the mass consciousness. This is just another stage of the path, there is really nothing mysterious about it, it is just that not many people have been aware of this. 

What you do here is you need to start being willing to question your approach to the spiritual path. How have you looked at the path? Are there some elements that you can now identify that spring from separation, perhaps even duality? You can begin to see that these actually limit you, they prevent you from being free. Basically, you can look at the spiritual path as a process whereby your mind becomes more and more free. You can see that people who are overpowered by the collective consciousness are not free in their minds. Their sense of identity is determined by the collective sense of identity. They often tend to think in certain ways and can rarely think an independent individual thought because their mental minds are overpowered by the collective mind. They often cannot choose their own feelings but they feel whatever patterns are in the collective mind. If a certain situation causes the people in their group to react with anger, then these people will react with anger and often feel it is perfectly natural and the only way to react so these people are not free in their minds, they are not too free to choose their reactions to situations, to choose their actions, they are not free to choose their emotions or their thoughts or even their sense of identity. 

As you are building this self that brings you beyond the mass consciousness, you are becoming more and more free, but the self that makes you free from the mass consciousness now becomes a limitation for your mind, because you think you have to stay within that self. You have to stay within this approach to the spiritual path that you took on when you were at a lower level of consciousness so you are still not free in your mind. You are more free than when you were overpowered by the mass consciousness but you have become free of the mass consciousness because you have created a strong individuality, but it is an outer individuality and it is still limiting the freedom of your mind. 

Relating to your higher self

The next stage is that you free your mind from this self, this conglomerate of selves, where you see yourself as an individual unconnected being who is raising your consciousness in relation to, in comparison to, the mass consciousness. As you are building this individuality you are doing this in reaction to the mass consciousness, even in the certain opposition to it where you say: “Well I will not feel or think or identify myself as the mass mind does. I will do something different.” You are still relating to that mass consciousness. It is as if you are a planet orbiting around the sun of the mass consciousness. You now need to accelerate yourself so that instead of orbiting around it, your planet goes into a spiral orbit that brings you beyond this point. You do this by realizing that the next stage is that instead of relating to the mass consciousness, you begin to relate to your own higher self – which comes from within not from without. 

This is where you go into this inner path, the inner phase of the path where you are focusing on your own consciousness—resolving your own state of consciousness. This gives you growth and in a sense, you can continue working on your consciousness for a very long time and you can have quite a lot of progress by doing this. Still, there comes a point where you need to recognize that even though you have raised your own consciousness, purified your own consciousness, the next step is actually to create a new sense of identity based on the fact that you are a connected being, based on the experience that you are a connected being.

The first phase is to connect to your higher self and realize that beyond the outer personality and individuality that relates to this world your higher self has an individuality. You cannot really call it a personality as most people see this, but your higher self has individual characteristics and you can lock in to this and therefore you can begin to bring that into your conscious awareness and express it through your identity, mental and emotional bodies. Now you are in a phase where you are relating to your higher self instead of relating to the mass consciousness or other people and you are expressing some of that individuality from your higher self. 

Entering the consciousness of oneness

The next phase is that you begin to recognize that your higher self is not in the material world. It is not even in the four levels, the physical, the emotional, the mental and the identity level. Your higher self is beyond the world of form as you know it here. It still has form but it is in what many people call the spiritual realm. When you are beyond this world of form everything is one, everything is oneness and your higher self sees this oneness or it could not be in the higher realm. You cannot enter the higher realm unless you see oneness.

The next phase for you is to bring this oneness that your higher self has into your conscious awareness. You begin now to build a sense of identity not on being separated from the mass consciousness, not on being still an individual being who is relating to your higher self. You build an identity based on seeing yourself as a person who is connected to your higher self but also connected to other people and to your physical environment. In other words, you begin to overcome the sense of separateness. This is not necessarily duality but the sense that you are separated from other people, from your environment, and so forth. 

This is the right focus. This is the deeper meaning, the higher meaning, of focus or concentration. You are not concentrated on the mass consciousness; you are not focused on yourself as an individual being, you are focused on the whole, you are focused on connection, you are focused on oneness and this means that you now begin to look at life in a different way. Instead of evaluating: “How can I raise myself up as an individual,” you are evaluating: “How can I raise up the whole, how can I raise up other people? The people around me that I know, how can I raise them up? How can I help them raise their awareness? How can I help improve some facet of life? How can I make a contribution to the forward progression of humankind and the world I live in?”

Focusing on raising the whole

The earth has been making considerable progress in what people call recorded history. You can see the progress that has been made technologically over the last couple of centuries. You can also see that the technological progress has not been accompanied by a corresponding progress in the consciousness of humankind. There has been some progress but there has not been enough so that people can use the technological process in a balanced way. You can see this by the fact that technology causes pollution of the environment, changes to the climate and so forth. You can see it by the fact that weapons become more and more powerful and have the potential to kill many more people. You can see that there has been progress but there is a need for further progress and there is especially a need in the acceleration of the consciousness of humankind, a raising of the collective consciousness. How can this happen? How can you raise the collective consciousness? Well, this can only happen by individuals raising their individual consciousness, thereby pulling up on the whole.

Now even in the phase where you are seeking to raise yourself above the pull of the mass consciousness, you are of course not separated completely from the mass consciousness. The mass consciousness is pulling on you, but you are pulling back. When you are raising your level of awareness you are pulling the collective consciousness up. As long as you still are focused on raising yourself as an individual the pull is not as strong. The moment you shift into seeing yourself as a connected being your pull on the collective consciousness becomes much stronger. You are therefore having a much greater effect. You are giving a much greater service to raising all life by raising the collective consciousness. Some people call this holding a spiritual balance for the planet or for society whereby you can pull up on the collective until people begin to see the need for certain shifts.

How did democracy come into being? There were certain people, a certain critical mass of individuals, that went through a transformation of their own consciousness where they began to see the ideas and ideals that are the foundation of democracy. They came to accept them and as they were raising their own awareness, they pulled up on the collective until this started spreading like rings in the water where more and more people began to see as self-evident these truths that are the foundation for democracy. Human beings have rights, no power on earth should take these rights away from them because they are given from a higher level of awareness. This is how democracy came into being, this is how all other progress has happened, by this raising of the collective awareness where a critical mass of people suddenly shift and they see something they could not see before. Instead of arguing for or against it, they just see: “But this is obvious. This is self-evident. This is the way society needs to go.”

This is a huge potential that you have when you reach this higher level of the path. It is to shift your focus. Instead of concentrating on your own personal growth you are concentrating on raising the whole. This is the only way you can actually move beyond a certain point. You cannot attain Buddhahood if you see yourself as a separate individual and you only care about yourself and not about the whole. Buddhahood is being focused on the whole, being concentrated on the whole, rather than some part of it but of course, you are part of the whole which is why you can pull up on the whole.

You see here that there is an essential difference between being part of the mass consciousness and still being part of the whole. In other words, if you are overpowered by the mass consciousness, well, you are not pulling up on the mass consciousness. You are just either neutral or you are actually pulling the mass consciousness down. It is only when you start raising yourself, your individual mind, above the level of the mass mind that you can pull up on the mass mind. The higher you go in your levels of awareness, the more you focus on the whole rather than your individual self, the more of a pull you have on the mass consciousness and of course the less you are pulled down by it. You become non-attached to the mass consciousness. In a sense, you become transparent to the mass consciousness.

Becoming transparent

You may say that there are the demons of Mara and they are trying to pull you back into the mass consciousness and they can do this if you have certain beliefs, a certain separate self that feels it has to react in a certain way to the temptations of these demons. Jesus expressed it in a slightly different way, he said that the prince of this world cometh and has nothing in me. In other words, there is a certain force, a certain consciousness in the world that wants to pull you into these old patterns that prevent you from walking the spiritual path and raising your awareness and you need to come to a point where you learn to recognize it. You have overcome the separate selves. You have let them die. Now you are transparent. 

The force may direct something at you – a thought, emotional energy, a certain impulse at the identity level – but as it goes into your mind there is nothing in there that it can hit and stir up and reinforce. It passes right through you because you are non-attached, you are free. Jesus expressed it in the saying: “What is that to thee, follow thou me.” In other words, follow the teacher, follow the higher awareness and let go of all these temptations to be pulled into these reactionary patterns.

What is one of the ways in which you raise the whole? It is by demonstrating to people that there is a different way to react than the way that is dominating the mass consciousness in their culture. If you have family members who are prone to reacting with anger in certain situations and if you demonstrate that you are not reacting with anger in those situations, then some will understand. Some will grasp: “Why is he or she not reacting as we do or the way he or she used to react? What has happened? What is different?” Some will grasp this. Perhaps not your closest family members, but some will grasp it.

No isolated effects and no isolated causes

You can now begin to focus on raising the whole but in order to raise the whole you need to make another shift. Or at least in order to have the greatest impact you need to make another shift. You need to contemplate the old teaching about the interdependent originations. I have commented on it before, saying that modern science has this tendency to want to isolate a specific phenomenon and say: “This is an isolated effect and it must have an isolated cause.” Well, in reality there are no isolated effects and no isolated causes. Everything is an interdependent whole. This is, as I also mentioned, the basis for chaos theory where a small change in one area can lead to a much bigger change in another area.

What you need to contemplate is that you are starting to focus on raising the whole and in the beginning stages of this process you have a tendency to look at the world and say: “Here is a problem that needs to be changed.” It could be for example: We need to overcome war and manifest world peace. You have a tendency to say: “Here is a separate phenomenon, war. How can we overcome it? Well, we must identify the cause and then eliminate the cause.” This is the common problem-solving method in the modern societies based on the linear analytical mind, the rational mind. 

It is not that you cannot gain a deeper understanding of war and the causes of war. Ultimately you need to recognize that the causes of war cannot be isolated. Why is that? Because war is caused by human beings. You may look at certain outer excuses: “Oh people are fighting over oil or they are fighting over money or they are fighting over land.” The real cause of war is in the psychology of human beings and it is caused by this illusion that we are separate beings, that we have a right to define ourselves as having some epic cause that is being opposed by other people, and therefore it is justified that we kill those other people. This illusion of separation is the psychological cause of war. You might say: “How can we possibly change that? What can we do? We cannot go into the minds of all people and change those minds.” What I am seeking to convey here is that you cannot remove war by isolating a certain cause and seeking to change that cause. War can be removed only when the collective consciousness is raised to such a level that a critical mass of people suddenly shift and say: “It is obvious that war is not acceptable.”

What I am explaining here is that in the beginning stages of focusing on how you can raise the whole you have this tendency to look for an isolated phenomenon that you feel you should do something about and that you would like to see changed. Then, you seek to isolate the cause and do something about the cause so you can feel you have accomplished something. Many, many spiritual people throughout the ages have done this. They have isolated a certain phenomenon in the world and attempted to change it. Many have of course wanted to overcome war, but as you can see, they have so far not been successful. Many people have after some time been disappointed, been discouraged and said: “Well, a spiritual teaching does not work. What I have been doing obviously is not working.” This is because you are looking at isolated phenomena and isolated causes.

The shift you can make is that you are not looking to create specific outer changes. Your focus, your concentration, is on raising awareness at an individual and at a collective level. You are pulling up on awareness both individually and collectively instead of working on specific physical changes. Why is this important? Because as I have explained, what happens at the physical level of the world is a consequence of what happens in the emotional, mental and identity levels. You can make certain changes at the physical level. You can take a shovel and you can start digging and if you keep digging long enough you can move a mountain. These greater phenomena such as war you cannot overcome by making physical changes. The only option would be to create an army that was so powerful that it could defeat any other army and this might create some temporary peace but would it remove war or the potential for war from the planet? Well, as long as you have armies and weapons you have not overcome war.

Instead of focusing on these specific physical changes you can focus on affecting change at the emotional, mental and identity levels. You do this by raising your own consciousness, by demonstrating to other people that you can react a different way, by perhaps spreading a certain teaching when it is appropriate, when people are open for it. In this way, you are not setting a goal for yourself that is impossible to attain. Therefore, you can avoid disappointment and discouragement which is the sharpest tool in the devil’s toolkit. You can enter a state of mind where you have transcended the doubt, the frustration, the hope that you can see some visible changes. 

You have transcended all this potential for failure and you are on a path that you know works because you know raising awareness works, you know you are working on raising the whole and that this will have an effect. You just continue doing this, raising your own awareness, seeking to raise other people’s awareness and this is how you can feel you are making a contribution but you do not run the risk of failure or disappointment, because you are not demanding specific changes. Why shouldn’t you work for specific changes? Well, in some cases you should, because it is part of your Life plan to create a specific change in a specific area by receiving some idea from a higher level of awareness. What I am talking about is the overall level of wanting to create these big changes, like overcoming war, where you cannot realistically do this as an individual because everything is connected. War is an expression of the collective consciousness and the only way to overcome the physical condition is to raise the collective consciousness. 

In order to not set an impossible goal for yourself you focus on raising the collective and you know that this can be done. You can do something about this and when other people do the same it is just a matter of time before they have built this pull that pulls up on the collective consciousness and something shifts. A critical mass of people brought in democracy and many other positive changes. There are many, many people on earth today, whether they are in a spiritual movement or teaching or not, who are working to pull up on the collective consciousness and therefore set the stage for these shifts that will bring about physical changes so you see the shift.

Focusing on connection rather than separation

On the Eightfold Path, on the spiritual path you go through various phases and on each stage, you are focused on, you are concentrated on certain goals, certain aspects, a certain method. You go through these higher and higher stages where you shift away from having your mind focused through the separate selves, the dualistic selves where your mind becomes more and more focused on connection instead of separation. You can say that the demons of Mara, the prince of this world, are constantly seeking to tempt people and there can be many individual temptations, but the underlying, overall temptation is to pull you into a state of mind where you see life, the world, through the filter of separation. You see yourself as a separate being, you see other people as separate beings. 

What happens in this process is that when you are concentrated on this illusion of separation, when your mind is concentrated on this illusion of separation, you cannot see that behind all of the distinct forms is the Buddha nature. You cannot see that even the seemingly separate forms are connected at a deeper level. You cannot see that behind the seemingly separate phenomena and causes is the interdependent originations. The real goal of the demons of Mara is to keep you in the illusion of separation where you think, for example: “Well this person did something to me that he should not have done. So therefore, he is a separate person or he would not have done this to me. This other group of people did something to my country that they should not have done so therefore they are separate and I can therefore kill them without affecting myself because they did what they did. The world really does oppose me, because it is a separate world and I am separated from it.” 

There are many of these illusions, millions of them in various disguises, but they all have the purpose of obscuring the underlying oneness and connection and focusing your mind, concentrating your mind, on this illusion of separation. Now even a spiritual teaching can be used for this purpose. You see a tendency in most religions and spiritual teachings that they make a very sharp distinction between those who are in the teaching and those who are outside the teaching. 

They may look at those who are outside the teaching in two different ways. There may be those that they think could potentially be converted to their teaching and then there are those they think oppose their teaching and therefore they are the enemy. Many religious people look at atheists or materialists as the enemy and of course many materialists look at religious people as the enemy. You can use a spiritual teaching to reinforce the sense that you are separate, because you are in this teaching therefore you are separated from those that are not in the teaching. By doing this you are only trapping yourself more firmly in the illusion of separation and this is of course not producing progress on the spiritual path, because that path is to overcome separation as I might have mentioned a few dozen times. I mention it again and again because it is one of the most difficult points for people to grasp and there are many people who have been on the spiritual path for decades who have not grasped it. 

There are Buddhists who have been in Buddhist teachings for lifetimes, but who have not grasped it. They set themselves apart from those who are not part of their particular Buddhist sect and they build this idea that because they can understand and discourse on these very advanced intellectual teachings and because they have given their spiritual practice for so many hours and lived a monastic life and been dedicated to growth, it means that they must have grown. They must have reached some advanced level and therefore this sets them apart from those who have not applied the teaching as they feel that they have. They have not shifted to seeing that the real purpose of raising your own awareness is to help the whole and the real purpose of a spiritual teaching is to empower you to raise the whole instead of raising yourself as a separate individual or even raising your group as a separate group. 

There comes that point where you need to realize that you have found a certain spiritual teaching, you have applied it and you have used it to raise yourself to a certain level. The way to move further is to avoid going into the blind alley that so many people have gone into where they think that the way to change the world is to convert everybody else to my spiritual teaching because when everybody else is converted then we will have paradise on earth. In reality, the only thing that matters is the raising of consciousness and you have used a particular spiritual teaching to raise your consciousness, but that does not mean that everybody else could or should do the same. They may need other teachings or they may need some universal ideas that are not sectarian in nature, that are not exclusivist in nature but inclusive. 

In fact, what needs to happen in this coming age of higher awareness is that more and more spiritual people need to transcend the sectarian mindset where they focus on converting other people into their particular spiritual philosophy or into following their guru. Instead, they lock in to the fact that from the level beyond the material world, from the level of higher awareness is being released a set of universal ideas and it is these universal ideas that will have the maximum impact on raising the collective consciousness. These universal ideas can be expressed through a particular spiritual teaching or by a particular guru, but they do not have to be expressed in this context. 

As just one example of this, look at the fact that in many Western countries there are people who are practicing yoga. Now yoga originated a long time ago in a very specific culture that, although it was universal to begin with, has since come to be identified with the Hindu religion. If you go back in time, there was a time where in order to practice yoga you had to be a Hindu or you had to live an ascetic lifestyle where you withdrew from the world, lived in a monastic setting or lived in a cave, ate very little food, did not engage in sexual activity, did not have a family and you focused most of your time on this very arduous spiritual practice like the ascetics that the Buddha encountered when he left the palace. 

Buddhism was not created as a religion

In other words, yoga was originally a much more extreme spiritual practice and philosophy that was not compatible with a modern active lifestyle where you have a family and a job. Yet you see many people in the Western world who practice yoga while having an active life. This is because yoga has become universalized. It has become focused on a particular practice and disassociated from a particular sectarian exclusivist religion. Now some of you are aware of the phenomenon of mindfulness and there is certainly a connection between the Buddhic teachings and mindfulness. You do not have to become converted to Buddhism in order to practice mindfulness and why is this? Because Buddhism was not originally a religion. It was a set of universal ideas and practices. 

Jesus did not preach or start a sectarian exclusivist religion that claims to be the only road to salvation. Jesus taught a set of universal ideas and practices and this is precisely why he was seen as a threat by the Jewish religious authorities. He threatened their sectarian exclusivist religion by presenting universal ideas. What could be more universal than the raising of awareness and the transcendence of the illusion of separation and the duality that causes all human conflicts? So there comes a point where you need to shift your concentration, your focus away from thinking that there is only one solution to the world’s problems and that is to convert all people to your particular spiritual practice and philosophy. Instead, you focus on a set of universal ideas, universal expressions that can help people of many different backgrounds, many different areas of society without requiring them to be converted into an outer religion or movement. 

In other words, what is it that the separate mind always wants to do? I have said that it wants to create the sense that it is safe and in order to do this it builds a worldview and it is evaluating every idea based on: “Is it a threat to my worldview or does it validate my worldview?” Well, this is discrimination, this is sectarianism, this is exclusivism. What validates my world view is right, what questions it is wrong, bad, evil. Yet this is not the Buddha nature. This keeps people trapped in separation. 

The Buddha nature is oneness, connection, and so this is what you strive for, to help people see beyond the separation, the duality, the exclusivism, the fanaticism and see that behind all of these divisions between people, there are certain universal ideas and values that are connecting people. Beyond the ideas that separate and divide people there is a set of universal ideas that connect and unify people. This is what will have the greatest impact on raising the collective consciousness in this day and age, in this particular cycle in the unfoldment of the collective consciousness. Those who can concentrate, who can focus on this will have the greatest impact and those who cling to a set of sectarian beliefs and the desire to convert other people to a particular outer religion or guru, well, they might feel they are very spiritual, they might feel “holier-than-thou,” more advanced, but they are not going to have the maximum impact on raising the collective consciousness. 

What is the goal of the Buddha? It is to set all people free from illusion. What is the basic illusion? It is the sense that the Buddha nature is not where I am, I am separated from the Buddha nature. The goal of the Buddha is to help all self-aware beings see the Buddha nature within themselves and within each other.

“Buddha” was originally a neutral word

Now, when I originally gave these teachings, the term “Buddha” was not sectarian. It was not associated with a particular religion, it was neutral, it was universal. Today Buddhism has become seen as a religion and it is sectarian, so the word “Buddha” has a different meaning than it originally had. We could come up with a different expression in today’s world that is more universal and neutral and say, higher awareness, there is a higher awareness. There is a level of higher awareness and this is what can connect people, can unify them and help them escape the lower awareness that sets them against each other and creates innumerable conflicts. 

What creates tension? What creates suffering in the world? It is the lower level of awareness that causes people to fail to see the unifying element and therefore see themselves as separate beings. What is the goal? It is to raise awareness so people attain a higher perspective, a higher state of awareness where they see the unity beyond all of the manifold diversified expressions. They see that even though people may be different on the surface level, there is something that connects them all. Now, you can only see this when you are connected to something higher, a higher level of awareness within yourself. Only then can you see that there is a higher level of awareness in other people. These are universal ideas that really are not exclusive to Buddhism or any other particular religion or spiritual philosophy. This is what you can come to focus on, to concentrate your mind on: the universality, the neutrality, the connectedness, the oneness behind diversity. 

I am grateful for this opportunity to give these teachings. Some of you who have been ascended master students for some time might think: “But have not we heard this before? Have not the various masters explained all of this before?” The reason for this is that I take this opportunity to bring forth these teachings, because it has long been my goal to bring forth a book that gives a view of Buddhism adapted to the modern world and the modern mindset. This is the start of this book. Others of my dictations that I have given over the years will be included and it will not actually be presented as if these are dictations from the Ascended Master Gautama Buddha. They will simply be edited slightly to have a more universal expression and the book will be put out there and some will understand. 

I thank you for giving me this opportunity to express these teachings and I can assure you that this conference has had a major impact on raising the collective consciousness. It has also, even though we have not touched upon it, had a major impact on the situation in Ukraine, the situation with the economy, the situation in Russia. The fact that so many of our students from Russia and Ukraine have been willing to tune in and be part of this upward process is very significant. Again, you cannot look for specific results to manifest at a specific time, but you can rest assured that you have pulled up on the collective consciousness in both Ukraine and Russia and of course in the rest of the world where you have tuned in from, and therefore you have brought the planet forward even though you may not be able to say, this is the specific result we produced at this conference. 

I trust many of you are beginning to realize that you need to come to a point where you are not looking for a specific result to be produced by a specific conference or by a specific vigil. You are not setting yourself up for disappointment and discouragement. You are engaging in an ongoing process to raising the collective consciousness and you are content in knowing that you are raising the collective consciousness. You are raising the entire interdependent originations which will have positive effects in terms of bringing forth Saint Germain’s Golden Age. 

I am not sealing this conference because Padmasambhava will also speak, but I am thanking you for giving me this opportunity to give these new teachings, modern teachings about the Buddhic philosophy. For this you have my deepest gratitude and I seal you, for now, in the joy of the Buddha! The joy that can only come when you are experiencing oneness. How could there be anything but joy in oneness? It is only separation that creates frustration. With this, be sealed, my beloved.


Copyright © 2023 Kim Michaels