To play the game, or not to play the game . . .

Do you want to play the never-ending game of duality or do you want to find the true spiritual path? If you want to escape the game, you need to learn how to see through the mind games played by those who are seeking to trap you into playing the game indefinitely.

Question from Kim: Jesus, in our previous discussion, we talked about the false hierarchy, namely beings in a lower realm that imitate the ascended masters and bring out teachings that appear to be genuine but are designed to trap people on the false path. You said that whenever you give us a new teaching or concept, the false hierarchy seeks to counteract it and pervert it so that it takes people off the path. I know that years ago, that would have sounded scary to me because it seems like there is no way out of this situation. I mean, if people can’t tell the difference between a false and a true teaching, it seems like they can’t protect themselves. And if they can’t protect themselves, how can they overcome their fear of the false hierarchy, which you said is an open door for the false teachers into people’s consciousness? It sounds like a catch-22, so what is the way out?


Answer from the ascended master Jesus through Kim Michaels:

There is no way out—but there is a way in. It goes through the kingdom of God, which is within you. The way is to transcend, to rise above, the consciousness of the false hierarchy so that you make them obsolete in your being.

As I explained in our previous discussion, once we give people an outer teaching, a teaching expressed in words, that teaching has entered the realm of duality. You can compare this realm to a chessboard. Even people who don’t play chess should know that in a chess game both players have the same pieces with the same powers. Therefore, both players have an equal opportunity to win, meaning that there is no fail-safe system that will guarantee that you win a chess game. Any move you make can be counteracted by a move from your opponent—until someone is checkmate. Basically, the only thing that decides who wins a chess game is that one player makes a move which the other player does not counteract—not because he can’t but because he does not see far enough ahead.

So when we give people an outer teaching, that teaching allows people to make a move on the chessboard of life. When people find the spiritual path, they use a teaching to make a move, and their move is defined by their current understanding of the path—which is usually a mixture of true and false ideas. This is a natural reaction, and many people spend decades or even lifetimes playing this game without realizing that their moves are counteracted by their egos and the false hierarchy. As people grow on the path, they realize that there is an adversary (whatever they call it) and they seek to use a spiritual teaching to protect themselves from the adversary or outsmart the adversary. Some even go to the extreme of seeking to destroy the adversary.

The problem is that as long as you are defining your spiritual path in relation to an adversary, you are still playing the game of duality. This is where the analogy between the spiritual path and a chess game breaks down. In a chess game both players play by the same rules and there can be a winner. In the dualistic game, a sincere spiritual seeker is playing by a set of rules defined by his or her spiritual teaching, but the adversary does not respect any rules. Furthermore, the spiritual seeker can never win the game.

As an example, consider the strife between religions. One dualistic extreme causes people to think in terms of black and white, meaning that they think there can be only one true religion. So they engage in an effort to prove that their religion is the only true one by converting other people. Perhaps they even go to the extreme of trying to destroy other religions or undermine people’s faith in them.

From these people’s dualistic viewpoint, it seems as if they can win the game by proving that their religion is the only true one. Yet even if they managed to convert all other people to their religion, they still would not have won the game. They would simply have spent all their energy on a dualistic quest that is not in harmony with God’s law, and they would have been feeding that energy to their egos and the false hierarchy.

For the adversary, the object is not to win the game but to keep you playing. As long as you are playing the game, you are trapped in duality, and thereby you are feeding the spiritual energy you receive from your I AM Presence to the ego and the false hierarchy. This keeps them alive and possibly expands their power—which is their objective for luring you into playing the game.

Regardless of the seeming outcome of the game, they win and you lose. So what is your way out? There is only one way out, and that is to stop playing the game. You must transcend the game and make the adversary obsolete. That is why I told people not to resist evil and why I set the goal that you must reach a state of consciousness where the prince of this world comes and has nothing in you. You no longer have any attachments, illusions or expectations whereby the adversary can trap you into playing the game.

The problem that trips up many seekers is that they don’t understand the game. Therefore, they don’t understand that the aim of a true spiritual teaching is NOT to help you win but to get to the point where you are no longer playing the game. We of the ascended masters want to help you rise above – transcend – the game. Your ego and the false hierarchy want to keep you in the game.

Because people don’t understand this, they don’t see that we face a built-in obstacle in our efforts to free people. In order to help people, we must give them a teaching they can grasp. And when people are trapped in the duality consciousness, that means a teaching they can study with their outer minds. Yet an outer teaching cannot guarantee that you escape the game—in order to do that, you must go beyond the outer teaching. You must use the outer teaching as a stepping stone for entering the kingdom of God within you. You must discover the real path, the inner path, behind the outer path. And to follow the inner path, you must let go of the very mindset that you have used to walk the outer path.

When a person first finds the spiritual path, that person has certain desires, hopes, dreams and wishes. People rarely do something without having a motivation, so most people have a factor that motivates them to seek out and follow the path. At the deepest level, the motivation is that the life-stream feels unwhole and is longing back to oneness with its source. Yet the outer mind can have a number of more specific motives that relate to the self and often even worldly ambitions.

Initially, there is nothing wrong with this. You can only start at the level of consciousness where you are when you find the path, so whatever motivates you to follow the path is a valid motivation—but only at the beginning stages. As you rise higher on the path, you inevitably come to a dividing line. Actually, there are several such lines but I am here talking about the one where you need to go beyond the motivation that got you started on the path. You need to reach for a higher motivation, a motivation that does not spring from duality and (narrow) self-interest. You need to develop a motivation based on love—unselfish love. If you do not do this, your ego and the false hierarchy will use your spiritual teaching – even a teaching released by the ascended masters – to trap you into playing the game over and over again.

Let us look at a specific example. When most people find the spiritual path, they are dealing with the superiority/inferiority enigma. Some people have too little self-esteem and some have too much. Let us look at two common scenarios for how this can outplay itself:


  • People with too little self-esteem look to the spiritual path to compensate for their lack. They use a spiritual teaching to build their self-worth. A true teaching can help such people build self-worth but there does come a cut-off point. The crucial choice is whether the person will seek to overcome the consciousness of inferiority or whether the person will continue to use the outer teaching to compensate for the lack (without actually removing the cause of the lack). Many people have used an outer teaching or organization to build the sense that because they have done all of these outer things, they are so much better than they were before they found the path. Some get on a treadmill of constantly seeking to do more and more in order to compensate for the lack that is still gnawing at them. The likely outcome is that people eventually break under the strain and give up on the path, yet a few manage to keep up the striving indefinitely. Others decide that they have reached a plateau where they don’t need to go higher. They think they have made a deal with God, and because they have done and keep doing all these outer things, he simply has to save them.
  • People with too much self-esteem are looking to the spiritual path as a means to build their sense of superiority and have it recognized by others—especially by the leader of an organization or by the ascended masters. They enter an ongoing quest to do everything right and do more than others, and everything they do on the path is motivated by this goal. The crucial choice for these people is whether they will start looking at the deeper cause behind their need for superiority (To God all people have infinite value, so why do you need to feel better than others?) or whether they will use the outer teaching to continue to seek superiority, even by tearing other people down.


My point is, of course, that both of these reactions have the same weakness. The positive side is that either motivation can get people to study the spiritual path and apply valid spiritual techniques. As long as they do this, there is the possibility that they will have a breakthrough and achieve a higher understanding of the path. However, if people do not transcend either motivation, there is – from the very beginning – a limit to how far they can progress on the path. Obviously, both motivations are self-centered—in fact, ego-centered. They are based on duality because it is only the duality consciousness that can make you think your are better or worse than other people. So if you keep following the path while being driven by a dualistic motive, isn’t it obvious that your ego and the false hierarchy can keep you trapped – indefinitely – in the dualistic game? Despite all your striving on the path, you are actually feeding your ego and using an outer teaching to reinforce its hold over you.

Do you follow what I am saying?

Kim: I do, but I also realize that 15 or 20 years ago, I would not have understood what you just said. So I can see that there is a stage on the path where we simply are not ready for the inner path.

Jesus: Right, and so what caused you to discover the inner path and start following it?

Kim: Well, I think it was that I gradually started understanding the value of surrender. I realized that because we have free will, God will not force us to enter Heaven. We must choose to go in, but we can’t make that choice as long as we are attached to anything on Earth. So I started realizing that I had to surrender everything on Earth in order to inherit the kingdom of God. And I decided – perhaps realized – that I wanted God’s kingdom more than anything that is available on this planet.

Jesus: And unless you have made that decision – for it is a decision – you have not entered the inner path. You are still stuck on the outer path, and you are using your spiritual teaching as a means to get what you think you need in order to buy your way into whatever paradise you conceive. As I said, this is all you can do, given your state of consciousness.

You are right that when you are new on the path, you cannot discover the inner path. You have to follow the outer path until you start seeing beyond appearances and begin to glimpse a deeper reality, a deeper understanding. Here are the crucial realizations that will empower a student to go beyond the outer path:


  • The fundamental realization is that the real goal of the path is that you change your consciousness, that you transcend your old state of consciousness and put on a higher state of consciousness. Many spiritual seekers have not understood this, and they still think the spiritual path is some kind of performance race, just like a sporting competition or a career. They are using a spiritual teaching to increase their outer skills, even their intellectual understanding of the path, so they can please God, defeat the adversary, impress others or live up to some kind of standard defined in their own heads. They are seeking to use the path to justify or spiritualize their egos. Only when you become willing to truly change yourself, and surrender the ego, have you started on the inner path.
  • After you know the goal of the path, you begin to see that the world is enveloped in a state of consciousness that is opposed to your growth. You begin to see through the dualistic game and realize how futile it is. In the beginning, you see this in the lives of other people and in world events. You then start longing for something higher and you start thinking about how to escape the dualistic game (no matter what you call it).
  • We now come to the crucial point. Do you begin to see and admit that what you see outside yourself – the futility of the duality consciousness – is also present inside yourself? Do you begin to see the beam in your own eye? Are you willing to truly admit that the beam is there and that it has to be removed before your consciousness will change? Are you willing to truly confront – to own – the fact that YOU need to change—or will you decide that you can attain salvation by continuing to do outer things?


If we return to the two types of people I described above, we see that those who still have too little self-esteem are often afraid of looking at the beam in their own eyes. They fear that if they were to truly recognize the elements of darkness in their own beings, their self-esteem would be shattered and/or God or the ascended masters would want nothing to do with them. They often fall prey to the mutterings of the ego, which succeeds in making them believe that if they don’t see their shortcomings, God won’t see them either. So they keep doing the outer things, making themselves more attached to the outer path. The way out for these people is to realize that God is not concerned with how much darkness you have in your being. He is concerned about how much darkness you are willing to give up, to surrender. So by looking at the darkness and letting it go, you can free your being from its downward pull and this will build true Self-esteem.

The people who already have too much – false – sense of self-worth have long ago made the decision not to look at the beam in their own eyes. However, they have gone a step further and think they don’t need to look at it. They firmly believe that doing the outer things right will get them to Heaven without having to confront or give up their egos. In fact, many of them seriously believe that they can refine or even spiritualize the ego so that it becomes acceptable in the eyes of God and will be allowed in Heaven. They can spend lifetimes seeking to refine their egos according to a spiritual teaching, and they often don’t realize that it simply keeps them trapped in their own self-defined version of the dualistic game. So the crucial question is whether a spiritual teaching can manage to somehow jolt or inspire these people to abandon the attitude that they don’t need to overcome their egos.

The bottom line is that before you can start walking the inner path, you must recognize that you have an ego, which is born out of the sense of separation from God, and thus it can only think in terms of duality. The real goal of the spiritual path is to come back to a state of oneness with God. And in order to attain oneness, your ego – which is born of separation and must uphold the separation in order to stay alive – must die. This can only happen when you separate yourself from the ego and become one with a higher part of your being, namely your Christ self, your I AM Presence and the greater spiritual Being out of which you are an individualization. So you have to be willing to look at the ego, understand how it traps you with some dualistic line of reasoning and then consciously choose to let go of it. You must see it as NOT being part of the real you, and then allow it to die and be no more.

The crucial point here is your balance between love and fear. Do you love God more than the ego? Do you love something so much that you are willing to give up the ego – and anything in this world to which the ego is attached – in order to become one with what you love? Some people are so trapped in fear that they don’t have enough love to confront their egos. Some people actually love their egos more than God and thus see no need to give up the ego.

Kim: So how does the false hierarchy fit into the picture. I assume they are trying to give people teachings that will reinforce the belief that you don’t need to confront or let go of the ego? And what difference does it make whether you follow a teaching from the false hierarchy or a teaching from the ascended masters?

Jesus: The crucial question is not what type of teaching you follow but what you do with the teaching.

Specifically, the question is, “Are you transcending the outer teaching or turning the outer teaching into a box that confines your mind?” As I explained in previous discussions, even a teaching from the ascended masters cannot guarantee that people will discover and follow the inner path. So following a true teaching will not inevitably lead people to the ascension.

On the other hand, even a teaching from the false hierarchy contains some truth. So if people are willing to transcend the outer teaching, they can still make progress on the path. The Catholic Church contains many doctrines and subtle beliefs that came directly from the false hierarchy. Yet a few people have managed to use the remnants of my true teachings to go so far beyond the outer church that they still discovered the inner path and made major progress. Unfortunately, the majority of Catholics cannot do so and thus remain stuck in the game, stopped in their tracks by a set of false beliefs.

Obviously, the more pure the teaching, the greater the opportunity for discovering the inner path. Some people seem to think that the false hierarchy is unsophisticated or easy to expose. Yet as I explained earlier, the false hierarchy have set up a false duality. Some of them are in such a low state of consciousness that they are very primitive, and thus many spiritual seekers can easily expose teachings from this source. Yet some members of the false hierarchy have a very high understanding of the spiritual path, so they are very skilled at giving people a teaching that contains a high degree of truth, yet there is enough errors mixed in that it can fool many people.

In fact, only the Christ consciousness can unmask the more subtle lies of the false hierarchy. It is therefore crucial to seek Christ discernment rather than thinking you are smart enough to unmask the false hierarchy on your own or based on a set of outer criteria.

Kim: Wait, that is interesting, because I know many people who for decades have been following a genuine teaching from the Ascended Masters. They know the existence of the false hierarchy, and they think that based on their teaching, they have a set of criteria for exposing the false hierarchy. In fact, some of them use that teaching to label me as a false messenger and you as a false hierarchy impostor of the real Jesus. How would you respond to that?

Jesus: I wouldn’t respond at all because obviously such people would never read what I say. Or if they read it, they would not seriously consider it, but would only look to find fault with some detail so they can reject the whole thing.

The simple fact is, as I said above, that any teaching or tool we give people can be counteracted by the false hierarchy. There is nothing in the realm of duality that cannot be counteracted by the false hierarchy, so the only way out is that you base your spiritual path on one simple fact: The driving force behind spiritual growth is self-transcendence, and the need to self-transcend never stops as long as you are on Earth.

This applies to an outer teaching as well. When we give an outer teaching, the false hierarchy can also read that teaching. So they can find ways to neutralize it. One way is to get people to turn the outer teaching into a closed box that prevents people from seeing that the ascended masters have moved on. As I said before, if you are so afraid of the false hierarchy that you do not dare to look beyond a certain teaching – that you do not dare to follow the promptings of your Christ self – then the false hierarchy has become your God. You are no longer following the ascended masters – for we are constantly moving on and forever self-transcending – you are following the false hierarchy who tells you to stay where you feel safe.

The crucial point here is that when you find a true spiritual teaching, your ego and the false hierarchy are very concerned because they might lose control over you. Yet they know that it is easy to get people to become comfortable in the new teaching, and this gives them a second chance to trap you. My point is that no outer teaching will ever be enough to guarantee that you are free from the false hierarchy. The only way to escape them is to continue to self-transcend, to continue to go beyond any other teaching and seek oneness with your Christ self and the ascended masters.

Even this teaching – and this entire website – cannot guarantee that you are invulnerable. Yet because this website and Mother Mary’s section talk about the need to become more, you do have an outer teaching that can raise you above the false hierarchy. They will be able to counteract the outer teaching, but they will not be able to trap you if you keep using the outer teaching as a springboard for self-transcendence. And in this new dispensation, we do talk about these things more openly and directly than we have done in any of the previous dispensations, which means that those who are willing to heed the teachings can go further. Yet don’t let your ego turn this statement into a sense of subtle pride or superiority.

Kim: You say that the false hierarchy can counteract any criteria we define for exposing them. Yet isn’t it valid to use some kind of criteria to evaluate a spiritual teaching and see what might be false?

Jesus: Yes and no. You can set up certain outer criteria, but as soon as you define them, the false hierarchy will know them and thus they can create a new teaching that seeks to neutralize them. I am not saying that it isn’t valid to use your mind to sharpen your discernment, but you must always strive to have discernment from your Christ self rather than relying on outer criteria that are so easily affected by the analytical mind.

Once again, you have to do the best you can, given your level of consciousness. Many new students should seek to protect themselves from the false hierarchy but should not seek to understand their mindset. As you mature on the path, you need to understand how the ego and the false hierarchy seek to trap you in the game. You will then use your current understanding of the path to evaluate a teaching, and obviously this must be based on what you know. Yet as you come to the higher levels of the path, you need to go beyond outer criteria.

What often happens is that a person adopts a set of outer criteria for evaluating a teaching and then considers them complete, perhaps even infallible or beyond questioning. The person will then cling to these criteria even after he or she should have gone beyond them. For example, some people adopt the idea that an ascended master would never say this or that or would always speak in a certain way. They have put us in a box, but they have truly put themselves in a box. This is the excuse used by so many of the students in organizations we have sponsored in the past. They have used it to reject our continued revelation in another organization.

My advice therefore is to never adopt an infallible rule but to only adopt general guidelines. Don’t let the means you use to protect yourself become an impenetrable wall that imprisons you. The simple fact is that if you encase your mind in an impenetrable wall, the false hierarchy can’t reach you but neither can the ascended masters. Yet your ego is inside any wall you create, so it can still affect you. Therefore, you must see any criteria as a springboard for sharpening your discernment, not as an excuse to stop discerning.

One of the greatest problems we face as spiritual teachers is that so many students are not willing to continue their striving for growth. They strive for a while, but then feel they have found the holy grail, and now they don’t need to strive any more. They become comfortable and refuse to rise above their current level, which means we must leave them behind—and guess who is ready to reinforce their sense that they don’t need to rise higher.

The simple fact is that self-transcendence never stops, and this means that you must constantly be vigilant. Many people are not willing to keep up this alertness—we might say they are trapped in a form of spiritual laziness. Unfortunately, there is no surefire cure for this disease.

The ultimate way to expose a false teaching is not through some outer criteria but through the inner criteria of reading the vibration of the teaching and its source. Your Christ self knows the vibrational patterns of the ascended masters and can therefore easily expose a false hierarchy impostor as being of a lower vibration. So only by seeking oneness with your Christ self can you gain ultimate discernment. The false hierarchy can easily change their appearances and adapt to your outer criteria. But they cannot change their vibrational pattern, and thus cannot hide from the X-ray vision of your Christ self.

Kim: It almost sounds to me like you are not that concerned about whether someone follows a false teaching?

Jesus: I am not concerned that someone follows a false teaching—I am only concerned if someone keeps following a false teaching. The ascended masters have a saying that sheds light on this, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears!”

The simple fact is that whatever teaching you find, there is a reason you were attracted to that teaching. The reason is that the teaching resonates with your current level of consciousness, and thus you have something to learn from that teaching.

For a new student, it is tempting to assume that the teaching you have found is the ultimate teaching, that it is absolutely true and that it can teach you everything you need to know in order to be saved. Yet the more experienced student needs to let go of this belief. Instead, you need to adopt the attitude that any outer teaching is meant to teach you something that will help you transcend your current level of consciousness. And in some cases the lesson might be very different from what your outer mind assumes.

For example, there are many of today’s spiritual seekers who have started their path by finding a false teaching. The reason is that you needed to learn something from that teaching that would sharpen your discernment and help you see through the false hierarchy and their methods. In other words, the lesson you need to learn from a given teaching is not necessarily how to walk the path—it might be how NOT to walk the path. Yet this is still an invaluable lesson.

The problem is, of course, if people do not realize they need to learn this lesson and instead cling to the outer teaching, allowing their egos to make them feel comfortable. Yet even this is a natural consequence of people’s state of consciousness. They might have to stay in that illusion of comfortability for a while before they are finally shaken out of it.

Another way to interpret the statement that when you are ready, the teacher appears is that you are always ready for a teacher. The question is whether you can recognize that teacher and whether you are willing to follow him. The goal of the path is self-transcendence, so at any level you are confronted with two teachers. The false teacher is the one who corresponds to your current level of consciousness, and he will seek to make you stay at that level. The true teacher is the one who corresponds to the next higher level of consciousness, and he is the one who can take you to the next level. The question is whether you will cling to the one with whom you are comfortable or whether you will follow the other teacher into the unknown. This depends on your commitment to perpetual self-transcendence.

Take note that when you do rise to a higher level, you will be confronted with a new set of teachers. The true teacher who brought you to that level will now be replaced by another true teacher who can take you higher. Likewise, the old false teacher will be replaced by a new one, seeking to keep you trapped at your new level. If you seek to cling to the old true teacher, you will simply tie yourself to the new false teacher—who is an impostor of the old true teacher.

Obviously, the more mature student should always be on the lookout for the next teacher and should always be willing to follow that teacher as soon as he appears. That is the ultimate – and only – way to avoid being trapped by the false hierarchy. As I said, there comes a point on the path where you have to confront the false hierarchy. Only by confronting them can you learn to see through them and thus rise above them. Studying a false teaching may be a necessary step in this process. The trick is to always look for the hidden lesson and to never stay in a false teaching a moment longer than necessary.

Kim: That makes sense to me because I have met many people who were introduced to the spiritual path by a teaching I consider false. Yet many of them have still grown from it and have now moved on to better things. So it really isn’t a disaster if you have followed a false teaching, as long as you have learned from it?

Jesus:  That is true. It does not matter what you have been into. What matters is what you have been willing to transcend. It is generally better to make a mistake and learn from it than to stand still and do nothing at all. That is why being afraid of the false hierarchy gives them a sure way to keep you trapped. As soon as you stop moving, they will start building a wall around you. Yet if you continue to jump over the wall before it gets too tall, they will have a hard time keeping up with you.


 Copyright © 2009 by Kim Michaels