A message from the ascended master Jesus through Kim Michaels: (August 25, 2006)
I am quite aware that most of the people who sincerely study my discourses on the ego will end up feeling somewhat confused. They will feel as if it seems almost impossible to distinguish between what is the dualistic “truth” of the ego and what is the real truth of the Christ mind. They will feel as if it seems very difficult to know when they are acting from the ego and when they are not. Some will even feel a sense of hopelessness, as if it seems impossible to ever overcome the ego and its subtleties.
I understand these feelings, but I hope I can help you see that this is simply a necessary phase on the spiritual path that all seekers must pass through before they can rise above the ego. Every person who has ever attained the Christ consciousness has passed through this phase, myself included. Thus, I hope I can help you realize that you are not alone and that it is indeed possible to pass through this phase, even though it can seem hopeless at times.
What I truly hope to help you see is that the state of honest confusion is actually a magnificent state of consciousness. Instead of feeling despair or discouragement, you should congratulate yourself for having won an important victory. By being willing to move into a state of confusion, you have taken a very important step on the path of freeing yourself from the ego. Why is that so?
What I have endeavored to explain in the ego discourses is that the ego has an insatiable desire to be in control of every situation. It is constantly seeking to set itself up as an authority figure that cannot be questioned or gainsaid. Yet being an authority figure comes with a subtle temptation that has caused many otherwise sincere people – especially in the field of politics – to fail their missions in life. And certainly, the ego has no way of resisting this temptation. The temptation is that if you are an authority figure, it seems as if you should always be right. If you are not right, your authority is brought into question, and this gives rise to the fear that you could lose your position and its privileges.
The ego lives in a constant state of fear that if it is proven wrong, it will lose its control over you and thus it will die. This is a well-founded fear in the sense that once the Conscious You begins to see the fallacy of the ego’s dualistic, fear-based and control-seeking reasoning, the ego will lose its control over you and it will eventually die.
Now, here comes the subtle reasoning. The path that leads to freedom from the ego is that the Conscious You must stop identifying itself with the ego and the ego’s dualistic beliefs. If a person is completely identified with his or her ego, the person will feel the ego’s fear of losing control. Therefore, this person will feel compelled to defend the ego’s beliefs as if it was a matter of life and death. In other words, the person will feel it is of utmost importance never to be proven wrong.
How does the ego attempt to avoid being proven wrong? By creating beliefs that are based on either black-and-white thinking or gray thinking. The ego defines a world view, and as long as the person accepts this world view, the person can never be proven wrong. The person will always be able to twist any situation or argument so that it seems like he or she is never wrong.
Do you see the consequence of this approach to life? It truly gives a person a sense of certainty, which can make people feel very sure that they are right, that they are okay or even that they are superior to others. Yet, this is a false security that is in constant danger of being threatened or shattered by events over which neither the person nor the ego has any control.
I referred to this false sense of certainty when I said:
26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. (Matthew, Chapter 7)
When a person is completely identified with the ego, the person is using black-and-white or gray thinking to refute any idea or viewpoint that questions the ego’s dualistic world view. Thus, such a person simply is not teachable, and a spiritual teacher has little opportunity to reach the person.
Do you now see my point? When you identify yourself with the ego, you have the ego’s superficial certainty, and thus you can deny any confusion. In a sense, you are never feeling confused, because the ego always has ready-made answers to any question or situation. Therefore, the very fact that you now feel confused and that you are willing to recognize that you feel confused is a clear demonstration that the Conscious You is no longer completely identified with the ego.
Recognizing the true teacher
I realize that in a certain way, the dissolution of the ego’s superficial certainty will feel like a loss, but only when you look at it from a narrow perspective. Once you step back and look at the forest instead of the trees, you see that being confused is a major step forward because you have now become teachable for both your Christ self and your spiritual teachers. And as the old saying goes, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” Thus, instead of looking back toward the “good old days” when you thought you knew everything and had life under control, you need to refocus your attention and look for the teacher who is here with you right now and is ready to help you take the next step.
I see many spiritual seekers who finally see through the ego’s false certainty and who give up the security of the ego’s old belief system or world view. However, they do so reluctantly and they immediately start looking for some other source of security. In so doing they are often attracted to a guru or organization who makes very strong – even absolutist – claims. This often gives them a sense that because they are now with the true guru or savior, they can feel secure again. Obviously, this approach simply gives the ego a new lease on life because it will now start using the new belief system to enslave you.
I also see some seekers who give up the security of an old belief system, yet they adopt a new one that makes them think they are on the path to enlightenment. They think that once they reach that state, they will once again feel secure and have the certainty of knowing everything. However, even an enlightened person does not know everything, as I will explain shortly.
What I desire to see happen is that seekers go beyond the need for outer certainty and security by making conscious contact with the ultimate teacher, namely the inner teacher of their Christ selves and through that with their ascended teachers. The reason I said that the kingdom of God is within you is that you can enter the kingdom of God – the Christ consciousness – only through an inner process. It follows that in order to complete this process, you must make contact with your inner teacher.
I am not denouncing an outer teacher or teaching as both can be very helpful. What I am saying here is that you will always attract to you both the true teacher that can help you take the next step and the false teacher that will make you feel like you shouldn’t take the next step. If you look for certainty, you will inevitably be attracted to the false teacher. Only if you are willing to remain confused, will you find the true teacher. Why is that so?
The ego seeks to control you, and the last thing the ego wants is for you to become self-sufficient and spiritually independent. In return for letting it control you, the ego offers you the false sense of certainty—that you are always right, that you are guaranteed to be saved, that you are superior to others or whatever your particular need might be. In contrast, the true teacher wants you to become self-sufficient, and thus a true teacher will never seek to control you. Instead of offering you a superficial certainty, the true teacher offers you the true, inner path—and this is an ongoing process of expanding your consciousness.
The path never ends, meaning that there is no limit to how much you can grow in awareness and understanding. However, what exactly does that mean? If you are open to the possibility of never-ending growth in awareness, it means that there is no belief or viewpoint that can be considered absolute or infallible. In other words, the true inner path does not offer you the outer certainty of the ego, namely that this or that outer belief is absolute. On the contrary, on the inner path there are no absolute beliefs for any belief can be expanded or replaced by a broader awareness.
This leads to two essential considerations:
- It is not the essence of the inner path that you become codependent upon the inner teacher. It is the essence of the path that you become self-sufficient so that you no longer need your Christ self. This means that the true teacher will not tell you what to do, as the ego and false teacher will gladly do. The true teacher will give you a greater understanding, so that you have a better foundation for making choices. Yet it is YOU who must choose because only by choosing will you grow in self-sufficiency. Unless you are willing to make your own decisions, you might easily overlook the directions of the inner teacher, thus prolonging the state of confusion unnecessarily.
- On the inner path, there is no outer certainty or security. Therefore, it is essential that you develop an inner sense of certainty and security. The ego is trying to say that as long as you believe in its infallible doctrines, YOU are okay. What you need to do is go beyond this need for an external security and find an internal source of security. This will be our next consideration.
Finding true certainty
The key to finding inner certainty is to follow my command:
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:33)
Instead of seeking a human sense of certainty – by believing in a man-made doctrine or living within a set of man-made rules – you seek for God’s truth. However, and here is a point often overlooked, you will not find Christ truth until you are willing to let go of the ego’s certainty and be willing to be confused. You must let the ego’s sense of certainty die, as I let my physical body die on the cross. And only when you are willing to take a step into the unknown – by being willing to be confused for a time – will you begin to see beyond the veil of duality created by the ego. That is why I said:
Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go [and] sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come [and] follow me. (Matthew 19:21)
It does not literally mean that you have to give away everything you have. The spiritual meaning is that you are willing to give up the certainty of the ego and be willing to be confused for a time. As I attempted to explain in the previous ego discourses, Christ truth is entirely beyond the dualistic “truths” of the mind of anti-christ. Yet because you have grown up in a world that is so heavily influenced by the mind of anti-christ, it will take you some time to free your mind from this influence.
In reality, this means that you simply must go through a period in which it seems like there is nothing that is certain, nothing you know for sure. As I have argued, this should be embraced as a positive sign that you are rising above the ego and you should strive to keep your mind open to a higher understanding. Unfortunately, many seekers open their minds only for a brief period, which is enough to give their Christ selves a chance to give them direction to look at an outer teaching or teacher. Yet as soon as they enter that “safe zone,” they again close their minds to inner direction and focus on the outer direction.
Instead, you should strive to keep your mind open to the inner direction. The catch here is that inner direction will always seek to take you beyond your current mental box by questioning your “unquestionable” beliefs. Thus, there are actually some people who reject the true teacher as threatening their infallible beliefs, and they cling to the ego and a false teacher who does not question their most cherished beliefs.
Only one thing can take you beyond these reactions and the entire need for outer security, namely that you find an inner source of security. The key to doing this is to realize a very simple, yet profound truth. Behind the ego’s desire to set itself up as an infallible authority is the ego’s built-in insecurity. The ego feels that it is inherently unworthy, and this is true because the ego was never created by God. Yet the ego does not understand and cannot acknowledge this, which is why the ego is trying to create the appearance of its worthiness by using what is available to it in the material world. The ego is trying to build a tower of worthiness, and it inevitably becomes a tower of Babel. It will never reach into the heavens but will eventually collapse under its own weight.
The problem is, of course, that as long as you identify with the ego, you will also feel unworthy and fear that you are unacceptable in the eyes of God and that you will “burn forever in hell” or however you define the ultimate misfortune. So when you can no longer hold on to the ego’s certainty, your inner fear of damnation will surface and you have to deal with it. Some refuse to do so and thus throw themselves into an(other) outer belief system that offers them reprieve. Yet at some point in life, you have to deal with this ghost, and I highly recommend you do not wait until your deathbed.
The key to overcoming unworthiness is to realize that the core of your lower being is the Conscious You, and it is more than the ego. In fact, the Conscious You is more than your entire worldly sense of identity. The Conscious You is an extension of God’s own Being, and thus it is inherently worthy. You are worthy by the fact that God created you out of his own Being.
I realize you might not feel worthy, and that telling you that you are worthy might have little effect as long as you feel confused. So let us attempt to part the confusion somewhat. For many people, the concept of the Conscious You can seem abstract, but seeing is believing. When you experience the Conscious You, you will know you are more than the lower sense of identity. And the fact is that if you recognize that you feel confused, you have already experienced the Conscious You.
Your ego never feels confused, for it will simply replace a failed absolutist belief with another one. Yet the Conscious You has the capacity for self-awareness, and that is why it can recognize that it is confused and wonder about whether it is worthy. Your ego is incapable of self-observation, meaning that it cannot stand back, look at your life and reach the conclusion that it wants to change. Yet the Conscious You can do this, and therefore, the fact that you are studying a spiritual teaching means that you have started separating yourself from the ego. You have started becoming aware that you are a spiritual being who is more than your earthly identity.
My point is that you are already experiencing the Conscious You, because only the Conscious You can step back from your life and even consider that you have an ego and that you are more than the ego. And only this realization will make you aware of and interested in following the spiritual path. You simply need to deepen this experience so that you begin to internalize the fact that you are MORE than your outer viewpoints and beliefs. Doing this has a very important psychological effect.
You are more than your beliefs
In reality, the ego has no inherent or self-sufficient sense of identity. The ego IS its beliefs and viewpoints. That is why the ego must base its sense of identity and worth on its beliefs. And if one of those beliefs is threatened, the ego feels its worth, even its very existence, is threatened. That is why people who are identified with their egos are willing to kill other people in order to destroy a threat to their belief system.
The Conscious You does have an inherent sense of identity and worth that is independent of your outer beliefs, opinions and viewpoints. As you begin to focus on the fact that you are the conscious self, you can gradually reconnect to that pure sense of being. You can even experience a state of consciousness in which you are aware, but your mind is free of specific thoughts. You experience pure consciousness, and when you have such a transcendental or mystical experience, you know you are more than the contents of your mind.
All spiritual seekers have had at least brief glimpses of this pure consciousness or they would not be longing for something beyond what this world has to offer. Yet not all seekers are consciously aware of what they have experienced. Many even take these experiences for granted because they seem so natural or because they have never been taught what they mean. Yet as you begin to contemplate these concepts, you will realize that you know you are more than your beliefs.
And as you become more aware of the you that is behind the contents of your consciousness, you naturally become less attached to those contents. You begin to realize that any belief or viewpoint you hold on Earth is simply a particular expression of truth. Yet as you are more than the contents of your mind, truth is more than any particular expression. That is why I said:
God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:24)
Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. (John 14:17)
When you recognize that truth is more than ANY expression of truth found on Earth, how can you remain attached to one particular expression? And thus you lose your fear of letting go of your present understanding of truth and letting it be replaced by a higher understanding.
As you stop holding on to the dualistic beliefs of the ego, you will become gradually more open to the non-dual directions of your Christ self and spiritual teachers. This will eventually give you a conscious connection to the universal Christ mind, and you will then begin to gain a foundation for avoiding the negative aspects of confusion, namely the sense that you don’t know what is right and wrong, true or false. You will begin to experience the Spirit of truth directly, and this will remove confusion although it will not give you an outer certainty as many people imagine.
Being wrong without being wrong
The greatest advantage of this shift in consciousness is that you lose your fear of being wrong. Take a few seconds to step back and look at what a heavy burden has been put upon you by the ego and perhaps also by your upbringing. Take an honest look at how much the world revolves around the compulsive desire to always be right. See how it creates conflicts between people, often leading to wars. See how it creates conflict in yourself, often putting you on a downward path, where all of your energy is fed into proving that you are right so you have no attention left over for enjoying life.
This obsessive-compulsive desire to be right springs from the ego’s belief that if its viewpoints are proven wrong, then IT is proven wrong. And this belief is perfectly true—for the ego. Yet it is not true for the Conscious You because you are more than your viewpoints. Thus, if one of your beliefs is proven wrong, it does not mean that you are wrong or that you are a bad person. And this means you can let go of the entire weight of having to always be right.
I can assure you that once you do this, you will literally feel as if the weight of the world has been lifted from your shoulders. You will feel reborn and that you have received a chance to start life anew. That is why I said:
Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. (Mark 10:15)
Look at a child who is learning how to walk. It does not carry the heavy burden that it has to be perfect every time or that it should feel guilty for falling down. It simply gets up and tries again, laughing at its own mistakes while still learning from them. When you separate yourself from the ego’s need to be right, you too can become as joyful as a little child, and then the spiritual path becomes a joy-filled journey rather than the Via Dolorosa.
Take note that children are always eager to learn, meaning that they don’t think they know everything or that they have to know everything. Thus, they have no resistance to learning something new. The ego will always resist having a belief proven wrong, but once you connect to who you are, you can actually see it as a great opportunity to have a belief proven wrong. Instead of continuing to live with a limited or incorrect belief, you can now rise to a higher understanding which can only enrich your life. Thus, having a belief proven wrong becomes a stepping stone for growth rather than a loss.
Let go of certainty and embrace the magnificent confusion
The ego wants you to believe that if one of your beliefs is proven wrong, you will lose something and you will end up in a black hole. The reason is that the ego’s sense of identity is based on its beliefs, so if one is taken, the ego loses part of its identity. Yet once you realize the Conscious You is MORE than your beliefs, you can avoid this trap.
Instead, you can see that losing a limited belief never leaves you in a vacuum, for the limited belief is always replaced by a broader understanding. Your inner teacher will question your limited beliefs, but will never leave you empty. Your inner teacher will always offer you a higher understanding to replace the limited one. And when you embrace this process, you will never feel a loss. Instead, your life will become a constant process of discovery that leads to a greater and greater understanding of life.
Yet for this to happen, you must become aware of the ego’s fear of loss and you must consciously choose to dismiss it. Instead, you must embrace the true inner path as an ongoing journey that never stops. On the true path, you will never again have the outer security that is based on specific beliefs and viewpoints. Instead, you will develop an inner certainty that is based on knowing who you are and that who you are is perfectly worthy in the eyes of God.
The true spiritual path is the River of Life and it is always flowing. Everything in the River of Life is constantly transcending itself and becoming MORE. The ego cannot be part of this process, but the Conscious You can—as long as you are willing to flow with the river instead of resisting it. People who identify with their egos are resisting the river, they are refusing to flow with it.
They are like people in a river, who are desperately clinging to a branch on the river bank. They think flowing with the river is dangerous and thus they cling to the sense of security and stability that the bank seems to offer. Once in a while, the current becomes so strong that they lose their grip and must let go. They feel a sense of panic and desperately grasp for anything they can hold on to. Thus, their entire lives are swallowed up by feeling threatened and by resisting their own growth.
The wise spiritual seekers realize that true growth means that you never stand still, and thus you never have the false sense of security that can only come from standing still. Instead, these seekers embrace the process and start enjoying the journey instead of either obsessing about or fearing the destination. They voluntarily let go of whatever they are holding on to on the river bank and lovingly embrace the river itself. They decide to flow with the current instead of resisting it. And they soon realize that flowing with the river is so much more enjoyable and peaceful than fighting the current that only seeks to carry them toward the ocean of self.
The really wise ones even realize that the ocean is not nearly as important as the journey. After all, the ocean is made of water, and so is the river. Thus, you will be no more wet in the ocean than you are in the river. In fact there is a distinct enjoyment in feeling the water moving and feeling yourself moving with the water. If you embrace the flow, you will not fear leaving the bank behind, nor will you feel that you will be incomplete until you reach the ocean. You will feel complete in being in the flow and you will enjoy watching the journey unfold all around and within you. You will then BE ONE with the River of Life, and thus you will be one with the creator’s ongoing dance of self-transcendence.
There is no greater certainty than this oneness with the Spirit of Truth, yet it is not based on outer beliefs. In fact, in oneness with the process of self-transcendence there is no belief that cannot be expanded and replaced with a broader understanding. For if your present understanding could not be expanded, how could self-transcendence be possible? And if there is no self-transcendence, life itself will have stopped. Thus, stillstand is never a reality but only an illusion created by the ego.
Embrace the process of life and go with the flow. The sooner you let go of the need to always be right or the need for certainty, the sooner you can embrace the state of magnificent confusion. This means you have no outer certainty but that you have the inner certainty of knowing you are one with the River of Life itself.
To help you understand that being in a state of confusion is a necessary and beneficial stage of the path, I want Kim to describe his own experience. Kim, how long were you in a state of confusion before you started having a more clear sense of the Spirit of Truth?
Kim: Probably at least ten years. I became aware of the spiritual path when I was 18 and read Autobiography of a Yogi. To me Yogananda exemplifies an ego-free person and he was always willing to move on. But at the time, I didn’t fully understand that, so I still had the need for outer security. I found that in Transcendental Meditation, which had a very intellectual teaching on creative intelligence and how the universe was created. I understood this intellectually, and it gave me a sense of outer security, even a prideful sense that I had it all figured out in my head.
After a couple of years, I had some intuitive experiences that made me realize the leader of TM, the Maharishi, was not a genuine spiritual teacher, and I left the movement. I felt very distraught over that and also felt I had been stupid in believing in the far-flung promises. So I was actually quite confused for several years, but I would not call it a magnificent confusion because I wasn’t very open to learning something new. In fact, I vowed never again to fall for a spiritual organization. I still studied some spiritual teachings, but I was not nearly as open to inner direction as I could have been and I still look back at that as the least productive period of my life.
Still, I knew intuitively that I needed to get back to the spiritual path, so when I heard about the ascended masters, I grudgingly accepted the teachings of the Summit Lighthouse and also the I Am Movement. For the first few years, that gave me a sense of certainty again, but I gradually began to realize that the teachings of the masters were constantly questioning my old beliefs. And at some point in the early 1990s I remember going into a phase where I literally felt like there was nothing I knew for sure.
It wasn’t like I was swallowed up by doubt and didn’t know what to think. I was still living a very spiritual lifestyle and never questioned God’s existence or the reality of the spiritual path. Yet I became willing to question any and all of my outer beliefs, and I can see now that although it wasn’t always pleasant, it led to very quick progress. Yet I can also remember still holding on to certain beliefs and resisting the process a bit, almost as if I was afraid of moving too fast.
Then, when I had my experience of total surrender, I overcame that resistance and now I feel like I know who I am and where I stand, but it is not based on any specific outer beliefs or anything I can even express in words.
Jesus: So do you have any beliefs today that you consider infallible or think could never be proven wrong?
Kim: No, I realize that at any moment you could give me a deeper understanding of some aspect of life – as you do on an almost daily basis – and then my current beliefs could be proven either to be wrong or to be too limited.
Jesus: So you have no beliefs that you think could never be expanded?
Kim: No. If I did, it would mean I had closed my mind and then I would no longer be in the flow—what you call the River of Life. I would no longer be teachable, and the last thing I would want was to be closed to your direction and miss an opportunity to move higher with you.
Jesus: And that is an attitude all sincere spiritual seekers can adopt. Doing so will lead you to maximum growth, and you will be amazed at how much your life can change in a relatively short period of time. Yet you can even move beyond all concern for time so that you simply flow with the river and enjoy the moment without being burdened by concerns for the past for the future. As I said,
Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. (Matthew 6:34)
Of course, that statement was made for people who are not in the River of Life, and when you do join the river, you realize that “Sufficient unto the day is the GOOD thereof.”
Copyright © 2009 by Kim Michaels