How the ego uses the death consciousness to manage the fear of death
A message from the ascended master Jesus through Kim Michaels:
In this discourse I will address a very subtle ego game. This is a game that most religious people, even most spiritual seekers, have not understood. Yet if you can come to see through this game and learn to recognize it in your own life, you can take your spiritual growth to an entirely new level. In order to understand this game, let us begin by looking at my statement to Nicodemus:
And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven… (John 3:13)
Traditionally, this has been a mysterious quote that most Christians have found it difficult to interpret. Yet with the knowledge available on this website, you can gain a deeper understanding.
I have explained that the core of your being is your conscious self. If this concept is new to you, simply take a moment and become aware that you are sitting “here,” reading this discourse. Instead of being absorbed in reading, you are now conscious that you are a “self” reading these words. You have mentally stepped outside your current situation, and thus you are no longer fully identified with it.
Where does this ability come from? It comes from the fact that you ARE the conscious self and that this conscious self is an extension of God’s own Being. This is what gives you self-awareness, because the Creator has individualized its universal, omnipresent self-awareness for and as your localized self-awareness. This means you are more than anything in this world, including your body, outer mind and material circumstances.
As a result, the conscious self has the ability to return to the awareness of who it really is and thus stop identifying itself with and as any identity you have built during your sojourn in the material realm. I trust you can see that this is also what gives you the ability to mentally step outside a particular ego game, see it for what it is and thus make the decision to separate yourself from the game by no longer identifying yourself with the illusions that propagate the game and turn it into a catch-22.
So my point is that the Conscious You is the “man” who descended from heaven and thus has the ability to ascend back to heaven. In contrast, the sense of identity based on the illusions of duality – what many people call the soul – does NOT have the ability to ascend back to heaven. As explained in previous discourses, the ego was born out of your separation from your own Higher Being, and the ego has built a mortal sense of identity for you.
Now, at this point I am deliberately facing you with a choice. You may have been programmed by your previous spiritual world view to believe that the soul – or mortal identity – can somehow be saved, that it can become acceptable in the eyes of God and thus gain entry into heaven. Most religious people believe this and even most spiritual seekers or New Age people believe the same although based on a different reasoning.
Yet I am deliberately challenging you to question this belief and your reasons for accepting it. If you are not willing to question the idea that the mortal identity can somehow be saved or resurrected, then you have no chance of escaping the ego game I am addressing in this discourse. You will indefinitely be condemned to repeating that game, seeking for ever more sophisticated ways to do what is truly impossible, but which the ego will never see as impossible.
Thus, for those who have ears to hear, let me move on to explaining why the ego’s game is truly impossible.
Understanding why death cannot overcome death
In Maitreya’s book, he explains the process of Creation in greater detail, but the quick summary is that you were created as an extension of the Creator. You were meant to grow in self-awareness from a very localized sense of self toward the state of mind in which you experience oneness with your source and oneness with all life—what is commonly called “enlightenment.”
This process was meant to happen under the guidance of a loving, spiritual teacher and with your awareness that you are part of something greater than your localized self. Thus, you would never feel alone or abandoned but instead feel your Creator’s unconditional love for you.
Yet the process was also meant to happen as a result of your free-will choices, for that is truly the only way you can grow in self-awareness—self-awareness can only come from within, it cannot be forced upon you from without. Free will inevitably gave rise to the possibility that you could choose to separate yourself from your teacher and forget about your spiritual source, even come to believe there is no God and no higher reality to your own being.
If everything had gone according to plan, you would have grown in Christ consciousness, because “Christ” is the term for the universal awareness that is designed to maintain oneness between the Creator and its creation. Thus, the separation could happen only as a result of you choosing to experiment with the consciousness of anti-christ, eventually becoming so blinded by it that you lost your awareness of your Self as an immortal spiritual being and came to see yourself as a mortal human being, perhaps even as a sinner by nature.
Before you separated yourself from your teacher, you had a sense of identity as an extension of a greater Being, as being part of the Body of God. The separation literally caused this sense of self to die, and instead a new sense of self was born, a self based on the illusion that you are a separate being who is disconnected from God and from other separate beings. This is a mortal sense of self because it is based on illusion and created with an inescapable fear of annihilation, a fear of death.
In contrast, your conscious self cannot die, for it is an extension of the Creator’s Being. Yet your conscious self can create and accept any identity it chooses, and thus it can believe it is a mortal being, thus accepting the fear that comes with such a sense of identity. We might say that this causes the conscious self to go through a form of spiritual death—however it can be resurrected from that state of death, which is what I came to demonstrate.
Here is the essential realization you need to have. The separate self is the ego, or at least the seed of the ego. The ego is born from separation, and thus the ego has built a sense of identity for you that is based on the illusion of separation, the consciousness of duality. Because the ego was NOT created by God but is born from unreality, IT CAN NEVER BE SAVED, IT CAN NEVER ENTER THE KINGDOM OF GOD. Which means that the ego can NEVER overcome the fear of annihilation, the fear of death.
When your conscious self begins to accept – identify with – the mortal identity created by the ego, it is inevitable that you will feel the fear of death. This is a fear that you simply cannot live with in its full intensity. So, you HAVE to find a way to reduce this fear to a level of intensity that you can live with. You cannot escape the fear until you separate yourself from the ego, but you can push it aside so it is somewhat livable.
You now have the foundation for understanding the basic dynamic of the ego:
- Your ego is born from your sense of separation from your own Higher Being.
- Your ego has created a sense of identity that is based on separation.
- Separation is unreal and thus the ego’s identity is unreal, meaning it cannot live forever—it is mortal.
- The consequence is that the ego can never escape the fear of death. And when your conscious self accepts the mortal identity as its real self, you too will feel the fear of death.
- The fear of death is not livable—and thus you are compelled to look for a way out.
- The very central dynamic of the ego is that it must constantly seek for ways to neutralize the fear of death so that you can live with it. Yet it must do so in such a way that you do NOT discover the real way out, namely to return to your original identity as an immortal spiritual being. For if you do, the ego will die.
- Because the ego has a survival instinct, it will do anything to prevent you from discovering that the ego is based on an illusion but that you are real. It will do anything to prevent you from questioning the mortal identity and the illusions upon which it is based.
- In order to neutralize the fear of death, the ego must create the illusion that the mortal self can be saved, can somehow become immortal and thus it does not have to die. When your conscious self believes this, you will believe that YOU can be saved without giving up or separating yourself from the mortal self
- In reality, this is a losing battle, for your conscious self can never fully forget its intuitive knowledge that there must be more to life—that there is more to YOU.
- Yet the ego is very skillful in postponing your return to your spiritual identity – the process of enlightenment – and it has come up with innumerable subtle schemes for doing so. This is what I called the “broad way that leads to destruction.”
Once you understand this dynamic, you see something extremely important. You see that the ego’s mortal sense of identity is based on the illusions of duality, the illusions of anti-christ. Yet precisely because the ego cannot see beyond duality, its attempts to make it seem like the mortal self can be saved are also based on duality. Thus, the ego is seeking to save the mortal self – created from the consciousness of death – by using the same consciousness that created it. The ego is seeking to solve a problem with the same state of consciousness that created the problem. It is seeking to compensate for one illusion by creating another illusion.
You can then begin to realize that there truly is no way to fool God. Even if your ego can fool you and every other person on this planet, God clearly sees the distinction between the reality of Christ and the unreality of anti-christ. Your conscious self can enter heaven at any time, but this cannot happen while you identify yourself with or as a mortal being. Thus, the ONLY way to be saved – attain the eternal life that takes you beyond the fear of death – is to return to your true identity as a spiritual being—and that can ONLY happen when you let the mortal self die. There simply is no other way to salvation than the path of oneness—even though the ego and the false teachers have created a seemingly much easier and better way that they claim will take you to salvation without letting the mortal self die. As I explained:
13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (Matthew, Chapter 7)
Can you now see that the ego is seeking to use the death consciousness to neutralize the fear of death and that this can never work?
Before we move on, let me mention that the false path offered by the ego and the false teachers offers certain advantages—the main one being that you do not have to take full responsibility for yourself. In fact, it was your refusal to take this responsibility that took you onto the false path in the first place. Nevertheless, the seeming advantages of the path are only relative advantages.
For example, the ego can help you live with the fear of death, but it was the ego who gave rise to that fear in the first place. So the ego is only offering to help reduce the consequences of the problem it has created—which will never remove the problem but only help the ego stay alive. And while this can work for a time, you will eventually begin to feel that the “advantages” offered by the ego are empty and do not satisfy your inner longing for something more to life.
You will see many people who are still satisfied by the ego’s mortal identity and the “advantages” it offers. Yet you will also see a growing number of people who have begun to feel dissatisfied with their present identity and long for something more. That longing is the beginning of spiritual progress, but you will make significant progress only when you begin to see that the “advantages” offered by the ego are really disadvantages in that they take away your freedom and lock you in a mental box. As an example, consider fundamentalist religion, which claims its members will be saved but also causes its members to accept a very limited outlook on life.
How the ego seeks to create a false sense of security
Can you begin to see that the ego seeks to compensate for the fear of death by creating a sense of absolute security? It does this by making it seem like the mortal self can be saved or that the fear of death is unnecessary or irrational.
You now see that the ego game I am addressing in this discourse is the security game, the game of creating the impression that your entry into the kingdom of God – a realm that is BEYOND the material universe – can be secured by you living up to certain conditions IN the material universe. It is an attempt to use the consciousness of separation to secure your entry into the realm of oneness—whereas the ONLY way to be “saved” is to give up the illusion of separation and return to the oneness in which you were created—eventually expanding it to the ultimate oneness.
Yet precisely because the ego and the false teachers of humankind have been so successful in promoting the false path to salvation, many spiritual and religious people will be reluctant to admit the reality I am stating here. The dividing line is simple. Those who are still too identified with the mortal selves created by their egos will be unwilling to acknowledge reality because it will be too big of a threat to their sense of security. Their sense of equilibrium is based on the belief that because of certain conditions in this world, they are guaranteed to be saved. And it would be too big of a shock to admit that their basic world view is a fallacy.
The only people who can acknowledge what I am saying are those who have started to separate themselves from the mortal identity. They have some sense that they are more than the mortal identity, and thus they sense intuitively that they will not die when their mortal selves die. As a result, they can question the belief that the mortal identity can be saved. Some will even be willing to see that it is futile to use the ideas springing from the consciousness of anti-christ to attain entry into the kingdom of God. Only the Christ mind can enter, and thus the only solution is for you to “let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,” as Paul put it. Such people can then take a quantum leap forward on the spiritual path by beginning a process of systematically separating themselves from the false path and its many disguises. Let us take a closer look.
Overcoming the illusion of an automatic salvation
Throughout history any number of religions have made the claim that their members would automatically be saved. Even today, you find many religions that claim the same. For example, many fundamentalist Christians believe that I will soon appear in the sky to judge humankind and that all who are good-standing members of their church will automatically be saved simply by being members of this outer, earthly organization—or by declaring me as their Lord and Savior. They conveniently overlook that I said:
20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:
21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. (Luke, Chapter 17)
The deeper meaning is, of course, that there is no such thing as an automatic salvation. This belief is the extreme outcome of the ego’s desire for ultimate security. For example, many previous civilizations believed that there was a special class of people who were fundamentally different from the masses simply by their birth. This gave rise to the feudal system, where it was believed that people from the noble class had different physical properties, such as blue blood, and also had special mental abilities and were favored by the gods.
When this is transfered to the field of religion, we see the belief that members of a particular religion are favored by God, and this is especially true of the priesthood of that religion. This mindset was directly responsible for the early Christian church gradually elevating me to a superior status, culminating in the Nicene creed that declared me to be the only begotten Son.
When you study my previous discourse on black-and-white thinking, you will see that the belief in an automatic salvation is a direct outcome of this simplistic form of thinking. It gives rise to the belief that there can be only one true religion, and thus it follows that the members of that religion must have a special status, meaning they will automatically be saved.
The ego loves this black-and-white logic because once you believe in it, it is extremely difficult for you to extricate yourself from that mental box. The reason is that black-and-white thinking implies that it is dangerous – in an ultimate way, such as burning forever in hell – to think outside the box defined by the only true religion. And thus, the ego can feel secure that you will not question the sense of identity it has created for you, for example as a “good Christian.” A sense of identity which the ego claims will one day be saved, whereas the reality is that it will keep you outside the kingdom of oneness indefinitely.
Because the ego cannot see reality, it actually believes it can be saved, and thus it will do anything to keep you in that limited identity. As long as you do not question the ego’s basic world view, the ego feels secure, and for most people this translates into them feeling secure. After all, why wouldn’t you feel secure when you believe you are among the chosen people who are guaranteed to be saved? Yet do you see that the cost of this security is that you can never ask questions, which means your conscious self can never actually satisfy its longing for the “something more to life” that it knows must exist? The ego has created a gilded cage, but a cage nonetheless.
Can you begin to see that the ego game of security is actually the ego seeking to make itself feel secure because it believes it has managed to put you into a mental box from which you will never see the fact that the ego is unreal? Can you also sense that your conscious self has a built-in longing for oneness with your source? And while this longing can be pushed aside or covered over, it can never be satisfied by the ego. Thus, your ego feeling secure will not make you feel “secure,” at least not forever.
But what about a guaranteed salvation?
A more subtle version of the security game is the concept that simply being a member of a particular religion is not enough in itself, but that you also need to live up to certain requirements, which can range from outer behavior to a certain focus on overcoming negative or sinful thoughts and emotions. Yet the central premise is still that if you follow certain rules, you will end up meeting the requirements that will guarantee your salvation or your entry into a higher state of consciousness. This can range from Christians going to church and following outer rules to New Age people doing yoga, meditation or other exercises. It can even encompass students of the Ascended Masters who think invoking spiritual light is – in itself – enough to raise their consciousness.
The problem with this belief system is that it is based on a mechanical view of the world—as is materialistic science and even mainstream Christianity. The idea is that there are mechanical reasons why you need to be saved, such as you having made karma that needs to be balanced. And by following certain mechanical procedures, you will automatically balance your karma and then your salvation is guaranteed. Even the belief that I have paid for humankind’s sins is a mechanical view that sees sin as a debt that some sacrifice can pay back, whereupon God simply has to accept people covered by the sacrifice.
Such a mechanical view of life and salvation is completely out of touch with the reality of life, as described in Maitreya’s book and in my new course in Christhood. You are NOT a mechanical being, you are not a robot, but a co-creator with God. This means you are not here to perform some kind of mechanical task, whereupon you can ascend to a remote heaven. You are here to act as a co-creator with God who brings heaven to Earth by manifesting the abundant life for all people. This simply cannot be done in a mechanical way, as it is your task to express your individual creativity in full measure.
Thus, the real key to salvation is NOT to find some magical formula but to be the being God created—the “man” who descended from heaven. This is a highly individual and creative effort, and there never can be any guarantee that you will fulfill your goal. On the other hand, there is no mechanical standard for how you should – or should not – fulfill that goal, as the main requirement is that you exercise creativity in a way that raises all life.
Of course, true creativity is a stream flowing from your Higher Being and directed by your conscious self according to choices you make. And since the ego can never contact your higher being, your ego can never be truly creative. Thus, the ego can never see creativity as the key to salvation and it must forever seek for a mechanical way to ensure your salvation. In so doing, it uses the consciousness of anti-christ, which is also mechanical in nature because it too is separated from the Creator’s ever-flowing fount of creative life.
If you look at the religious landscape, you will see innumerable systems that seek to define mechanical requirements for how you can qualify for salvation, enlightenment, ascension or whatever you want to call it. Yet they are all built upon the idea that by living up to requirements in the material world, you can force your way into the spiritual world. The stark truth is that you can enter the spiritual state of consciousness only by returning to the state of consciousness in which you were created. As I said:
2 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,
3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew, Chapter 18)
But you must be able to earn your salvation?
At this point I know some spiritual seekers will say that I am contradicting everything they know about the spiritual path, even what is said elsewhere on our websites. After all, isn’t the point of giving rosaries to transform misqualified energy in order to purify one’s consciousness?
The key to understanding this is to pay close attention to my teachings that the ego is born from the duality consciousness and cannot see beyond it. Why have you sinned, made karma or misqualified energy? Because you have become blinded by the duality consciousness!
Some people come to the realization that they have sunk or fallen into a lower state, whether they see this as being sinners, having made karma or having descended to a lower state of consciousness. Yet their egos and the false teachers will now attempt to make them believe that the key to climbing out of that state is to perform some mechanical techniques to compensate for the mechanical reasons that caused the descent, be this actions (sin or karma) or negative thoughts/emotions.
Yet the real problem that stands between you and salvation is NOT your sin, karma or negative energy. These are truly mechanical conditions, but they were created as a result of you being blinded by the duality consciousness. Thus, it is absolutely impossible to compensate for the conditions created through duality by using some kind of mechanical means defined by the duality consciousness. You cannot overcome sin through the same consciousness that created the sin, you cannot balance the karma through the same consciousness that generated the karma.
Surely, you can use certain spiritual techniques to balance karma in an almost mechanical way, but unless you change the consciousness that led you to make the karma, you will inevitably make more karma. Thus, your use of such techniques will not produce steady progress, but a see-saw motion of making karma, balancing, karma, making karma and so on until you decide you are willing to look for the beam in your own eye and change your consciousness.
You see, by transforming negative energy, you can indeed make it easier for yourself to see through the illusions of duality. This can form the basis for you changing your consciousness, but in order to produce that change, you must make the LIFE decisions I spoke about earlier. And such decisions are creative, NOT mechanical decisions. You must consciously choose to undo the dualistic beliefs you have accepted.
Accepting a dualistic belief can be done as the result of an unconscious – and thus mechanical – decision, what I call a death decision. Yet you cannot undo such a decision except by becoming more awake and making a creative decision. And that is why there is no mechanical path to salvation, regardless of what the ego and the innumerable ego-based teachers and religious leaders will tell you.
See the pattern in history
If you take an honest look at history, you will see how the ego’s impossible quest for security has influenced human behavior and thought systems. It should be obvious how this has worked and is still working in religion, especially fundamentalist religion that is so clearly based on black-and-white thinking. However, this is not limited to the field of religion.
For example, marxism and communism is also a dualistic thought system that reduces the complexity of human life to a simple struggle between two classes, defining one as bad and one as good. Thus, it proposes a very simple solution in which the state becomes the replacement for the theistic God found in fundamentalist religion. Essentially, the state becomes the source of the automatic salvation, so even though Marxism is an atheist belief system, it still allows at least some people to reduce their fear of death to a manageable level.
Yet what I call gray thinking can also be used to reduce the fear of death, often by defining the fear as irrational or defining the problem out of existence. For example, materialistic science attempts to define fear as an irrational emotion that should be suppressed, and this works for some people. Materialism also seeks to define the need for salvation out of existence by denying the spiritual side of life, which allows some people to suppress the fear of not being saved, thus reducing the fear of death.
Yet neither a black-and-white nor a gray thought system can ever remove the fear of death. For this can be done only by rising above dualistic thinking and truly experiencing that you are an immortal spiritual being who therefore has no need to fear the death of a physical body that you wear as an overcoat and can replace when it is worn out. Of course, your identification with a dualistic identity will prevent you from having such an experience, and that is why the ego and the false teachers have been so successful in creating a catch-22 from which most people have not been able to extricate themselves.
Yet times are changing rapidly, and it is becoming easier for people to see through the inconsistencies that will – by the fact that they are based on dualistic thinking that always incorporates two opposite polarities – be built into all of the thought systems created by the ego. And as the collective consciousness is raised toward the Christic level, people will gradually shed the snake skins of duality, allowing them to become truly free of the fear of death by being reborn into a new self-awareness. As they stop denying their true identity as co-creators with God, people will begin to create a society that is based on the reality of Christ rather than the graven images of anti-christ. This is a society that gives room for creativity rather than seeking to kill it based on a warped attempt to overcome the fear of death through mechanical – anti-creative – means.
This new society will not be dominated by the fear of death, and thus it will not be controlled by thought systems that aim to compensate for the fear of death by herding people into mental boxes created by the death consciousness. Thus, more and more people will leave their nets – the nets that keep them trapped in duality – and let the dead bury their dead. They will stop blindly following the blind leaders but will instead follow the vision they see in their hearts, the vision that is beyond any images created by the ego. Thus, people will understand what I said 2,000 years ago:
I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)
Seeing the big picture
What keeps you from the abundant life is the ego and its attempts to compensate for separation by creating graven images based on the very consciousness that led to separation. Thus, you cannot live like a little child but think you have to struggle to get what the material universe is designed to give you without effort:
Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. (Luke 12:32)
To get that abundant life, you only need to stop using the dualistic mind to reject it. You need to reach for the non-dualistic truth of Christ:
If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:32-33)
However, in order to be truly free, you cannot hold on to the old, mortal, dualistic identity. You have to be willing to let it die so you can be reborn of water and of Spirit:
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. (Matthew 16:25)
5 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. (John 3:5-8)
That which is born of the flesh seeks a mechanical way to salvation, whereas that which is born of the Spirit is willing to be creative.
My real hope for this discourse is to help the more mature students see the big picture. When you look at human beings, you will see a clear tendency that when people have accepted a certain thought system, they will go to great length to defend it. They will even invent reasons for why it must be true and display great intensity in discrediting people or ideas that seem to threaten their “infallible” system. I am hoping to help people acknowledge that whenever you see this response, you will know that behind it is the ego’s futile quest for absolute security.
Thus, I am hoping that people will begin to see this mechanism in themselves. If you can admit that when you hold on to or defend ideas, it is the ego’s quest for security, you can make great progress toward the only true form of security, which is the direct experience of the reality of God that is possible only through the Christ mind.
Do you understand what I am saying? The ego’s quest for ultimate security is not actually wrong—it is simply misguided. In reality, the ego has perverted the very quest that is built into your lifestream, namely the drive to return to oneness with your Creator by raising your self-awareness beyond localization—without loosing your individuality. Thus, I am not asking you to suppress your longing for something ultimate. I am asking you to realize that this longing can never be satisfied by ANYTHING in the material world but only through oneness with your ultimate source. Thus, even if your ego managed to produce a state of ultimate security on Earth, the real you would not be satisfied by it.
When you realize this, you can stop defending any of the mental boxes based on duality—and thus you can begin to free yourself – your sense of self – from being imprisoned in such boxes. You can then understand and live the true meaning of my words:
23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (John, Chapter 4)
However, in today’s world, I would add that the only way to truly worship God is to become one with God. And that oneness is the ultimate security. The ego will never fathom or attain it, but the Conscious You can.
Am I hereby saying that you should not be attached to any thought system on Earth? That is exactly what I am saying! For the ego can turn any system – no matter how much truth it contains – into a prison for your Being. So simply give up the dream that there is an ultimate thought system on Earth and instead flow with the River of Life in which you are one with the Spirit of Truth, the Spirit that can never be confined to any mental box on Earth.
See through the ego’s dream of ultimate security based on separation. Let that dream die so that you can be reborn into the ultimate security of oneness.
Copyright © 2009 by Kim Michaels