What it meant for me to find the ascended masters

By Kim Michaels

NOTE: this is the transcription of a lecture I gave at a conference in 2007.


I am going to give a little talk about something the masters wanted me to talk about just to open it up. And they hope that those of you who want to will also tell a little bit about it. And the topic is, “What difference did it make in my life that I heard about the ascended masters.”

And so it's not that my story is any more important than yours. It's just that I'm going to break the ice, and then I hope some of you will think about that, what it meant for you and see if you want to summarize that. I think it's important to have a witness like that, especially because we have some people at this conference who've known about the ascended masters for 20-30 years or more.

So in order to really understand what hearing about the ascended masters meant to me, you just have to know a little bit about my background. I grew up in Denmark, I had parents that were what you would call lower middle class, or working class, probably lower middle class. We never lacked anything. I had a very harmonious childhood, I can't really say I had any major problems.

But there was always something missing. And I knew there was something missing. I just didn't know what it was. And I think that goes for most spiritual people—that we just can't be satisfied with the ordinary materialistic lifestyle that we grew up with here in the western world.

This became very obvious to me between the age of I think about 11 and 16. I had a newspaper route in the afternoon. So after school I would take the newspaper around in nice upper middle class neighborhood—very nice houses, fairly new neighborhood. I did well in school, I knew I could get an education and I could have everything these people had, including the cars and the kids and the gardens and the dogs (by the way the whole thing about dogs being man's best friend, it doesn't apply to newspaper boys. I just want to give you that little bit of information here).

So I worked around there for four years and I got to know the people quite well. And I just knew I couldn't live my life that way. I just could not fit into that, because it was almost like they had stepped into a mold, and you knew that their lives were going to be very comfortable materialistically, but that beyond that there was going to be no content in their lives. And I wanted something more than that. I had no idea what it was, I couldn't formulate it, but I just knew there had to be something.

During high school we had a very good teacher in religion who was kind of a what you would call a New Age seeker, although that term really wasn't used in Denmark at the time. But we had some good discussions, and sometimes I sat there in class and I felt if just I could shift my perspective a little bit, I had to be able to see something that was just beyond the normal material world—there had to be something more to life, I just could not grasp it.

Finding the spiritual path

But then when I was 18 I moved away from my parents to go to college, and at that point I really started searching. I knew there had to be some kind of knowledge. So one day, probably about a week after I moved away from my parents I walked into this used bookstore, and for some reason I started looking through the books on spirituality. And I pulled out this book, it was called Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda. I opened the book and it had pictures in it of him and several other saints. And when I saw the pictures, I just knew I had to buy the book.

And the revolution that that book did for me was that number one, it showed me what I had been longing for my whole life, which was that there was a spiritual side to life, that there is more to life than what we are brought up to know, both in the churches and in the schools. Because, of course, in Denmark I did not have a particularly religious upbringing—my parents weren't particularly religious. But obviously, I had heard the usual Christian doctrines and we had teachings about it in the school, about the Bible. We also had teachings about biology and the theory of evolution. So we were given the usual schizophrenic upbringing that most of us have had.

And what I realized when I read the book by Yogananda was that for thousands of years, in fact going further back than we have recorded history, there have been people who have solved that dilemma between the outer dogmatic religion and the denial of God that science has come to represent. And they have found the middle way, where it is not a matter of just believing some outer thing about God, but we can actually experience in our hearts a deeper truth, we can know for ourselves. Because the whole path that Yogananda describes is one of expanding your consciousness until you have these inner spiritual experiences so you know what's real. It's not just a theoretical, analytical path that he was describing. And to me that really hit home.

Beyond the intellect

As I was growing up to be 18, I had many times where I looked at the world and said, "We have got to find something beyond the intellect." Because I looked at history, I looked at some of the things that were going on in the world, including war – I was always very aware of war – and I said, "It just doesn't make sense that we can continue this kind of self-destructive behavior. There has got to be a way out of this, out of this dilemma where one war sets the stage for the next and we never seem to really make any progress." And I started realizing that we have to find a way to know what was real, know what was true, that wasn't based on the intellect. Because I had a very active intellect but I had started noticing that my intellect had certain limitations. 

In Denmark where I grew up, there were at the time many people who believed in socialism; it was quite strong. It wasn't a socialist country, but there were socialist parties in parliament who argued for becoming a more socialist country. And I could see that they were quite intellectual. And I could also see that the Christians in the state church in Denmark were very intellectual. But it was like none of them had anything that would reach beyond the intellect. So they could argue and argue, and one side would be absolutely convinced that they were right. They could not understand why the other side couldn't see it, because they saw so clearly how right they were. And the other side, of course, felt the same way.

So how do we ever resolve that when we have two sides that are arguing against each other? I realized there could not be a resolution through the intellect. And when I read Yogananda's book I realized that the key to resolving these issues was to actually reach beyond the intellect to a higher experience, what we would call an intuitive experience. And that was what the book was all about. And it showed me that for thousands of years there have been people who have been deliberately and consciously pursuing this path of going beyond, not only the intellect but the whole human consciousness, the human ego as we would call it today.

Beyond human evil

One of the things that was very important to me growing up in a country like Denmark was the second world war, Hitler and Nazism. It wasn't that it was something that was talked about in our daily lives of course, but my parents were alive during the German occupation of Denmark. I had a teacher in high school who had been in a concentration camp for several years because he was in the resistance movement. So it was very much something that we were aware of. We saw films about the concentration camps, and even as a child I was always very concerned about this issue of human evil and how we can overcome it, how we can deal with that. Because I realized even as a child that the second world war was over and Nazism was gone, but now we had communism in Russia and other potentials for war. And so how could we ever really make progress unless we found, as I said, some way to reach beyond the human intellect and human opinions.

And what I started to see in Yogananda's book was that here was a whole group of people that were precisely engaged in that quest of reaching beyond the human struggle. And they had been doing so for thousands of years. And they had experimented and found a viable path whereby we can raise our consciousness and go beyond all of this outer conflict. And I started seeing, even at the age of 18, that to me this seemed a more viable path than anything I had seen in socialism, in science, in traditional religion. And so I threw myself at that with all the attention I had. I started studying, started practicing meditation techniques.

The existence of spiritual masters

In the book Yogananda talks briefly about a concept that the spiritual teachers in embodiment were working with spiritual teachers that were not in a physical body. One of his gurus dies and then after that Yogananda still has some contact with him. So to me that was the introduction to the potential that there could be spiritual teachers in a higher realm that were also working with humankind to help us rise above conflict and struggle.

A couple of years after I read Yogananda's book, I found a series of books called Life and Teaching of the Masters of the Far East, most of you are probably familiar with them. And I know there are some detractors out there on the internet who say that Baird Spalding never went on this expedition, there was never any expedition like he describes. But that doesn't bother me because even when I was 19 and I read the first book, I never thought there was an actual expedition. I always looked at it more like Jules Verne who tells the story of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea—obviously there was no submarine like that, but it was still a very interesting story.

And so I thought the books still had value because they had a lot of valuable teachings in them. And the books described this expedition from the west, and they comes to India and Tibet and they travel through the mountains and experience a lot of things. And there was a couple of the books where they were in some kind of very remote temple and they met these beings that actually literally appeared to them out of thin air and then gave them teachings. And at that point, I read the book and I realized that this wasn't necessarily something that had factually happened. But nevertheless, the words that were supposedly said by these beings rang true in my heart. So I was willing to say that even if the actual physical circumstances were not exactly like they were described in the book, the concepts and ideas brought out by these teachings rang true in my heart. And I was willing to recognize that truth, even if I did not have an outer factual proof that my intellect could grab onto.

A broader world view

So that was when I started realizing that if we are to find a way beyond the human intellect, we can't expect that that way can be proven by the intellect—because of the intellect's built in limitations. It's the reason, in my opinion, why science is in this dilemma, where they have to say there is nothing beyond the material universe because with their present scientific instruments and methods they can't prove it. Now maybe they will never be able to prove it, maybe they will never be able to construct an instrument out of matter that will be able to prove there is something beyond matter. Maybe not—you can't see an atom with an ordinary binocular. But maybe it's just that science has not been looking in the right direction, they haven't been applying the methods and the instruments they already have because of the paradigm that they have chosen to limit themselves by.

So I started seeing this, and I started opening my eyes to basically realizing that what I had been brought up to know from both traditional religion and science was a very limited world view. And there had to be an entirely different world view. And a couple of years after that, I actually heard about the concept that we today call the Ascended Host or Ascended Masters. And again, I became aware that there was actually a number of different organizations that claimed to have received teachings directly from a spiritual realm, that were given to us to help us basically escape our limitations and our egos and all the struggle we see.

So that was a total revolution for me because all of the things I had sensed growing up suddenly came together. And I realized that it is actually possible to make sense out of life. It is possible to answer our questions about life, "Who am I? Where did I come from? Do I have a purpose for my life?"

Life has a purpose

And probably the most important idea was the concept that we have lived before. I cannot remember when I first heard about the concept of reincarnation, but I do know that the moment I heard about it, I immediately accepted it. Because it just was the only thing that made sense to me, of how we could be such complex beings. I was probably in my teens when I started realizing that we human beings are extremely complex. And the whole idea that this should be a product of our genes and our environment in one lifetime, 15-20 years, it just didn't make sense to me that we could have such complexity in our psyches. And so the concept that I had lived before was just immediately obvious to me. 

And with that concept also comes the idea that we have a purpose for our lives. We are not just thrown in here like victims, whether it's an angry God that sends us down here to be punished or whether it's some kind of chance occurrence that we are here. There is a purpose, we have chosen to be here, we have a specific goal for our lifetime, certain things we want to learn. And really, the overall goal for that is a transformation of our state of consciousness—so we go beyond that outer awareness, that ego-centered awareness and become more selfless.

Going global

A couple of years ago I read a book by Lance Armstrong, the cyclist who won Tour de France seven times. He described his life and how he was just starting on his cycling career when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. And the doctors wouldn't tell him his chances of survival, they gave him the impression it was 50/50, but in reality they gave him a five percent chance of survival because his diagnosis came very late. So he describes how he struggled with cancer. And in the beginning, of course he was totally focused on himself and how could he overcome this disease, and he was going to beat it, like it was a race on his bicycle. 

And then after a few months of being in treatment in this cancer center, he had a talk with his head nurse that had helped him. And he suddenly started realizing that he had shifted his consciousness. He was no more so concerned about himself, he was more concerned about how could we beat this disease, find a cure, so that other people didn't have to die. And the nurse looked him straight in the eye and said, "Lance you've gone global!" And what she meant was that she had seen this before in cancer patients, that a certain percentage of them keep being focused on themselves, but a fairly large percentage of cancer patients – once they have faced death – they develop a more global awareness. And they say, "This isn't just about me anymore. What can I do to help other people? What can I do to help the planet progress?"

And the major benefit that I received from hearing about the ascended masters is that I realized that I myself – and I think all spiritual people, all the people who have some spiritual inclination – we all have that global awareness. We all have a desire to reach beyond ourselves, to not just live that ordinary human life where we are focused on ourselves and our family. But we want to help the planet progress. We want to come up higher, not just in our own consciousness, because we're not doing it just for our own sake. We're doing it because we want to improve the whole, we want to raise up the planet. And that's what we're about.

No ultimate system but ultimate beings

And to me the revolution with the Ascended Host was that we don't just have to do this alone. We don't just have to do it by working things out with our intellect, by using this philosophy or that philosophy. One of the things I saw growing up in Denmark was this tendency to believe that there has to be this ultimate philosophical system—whether it's Christianity, or socialism, or whatever you have. And if we just follow that system, then we'll have some kind of paradise on Earth. 

And I had become disillusioned with that at a very young age. Because when I was going to college, there was a teacher there who actually had me read some of the writings of Karl Marx. And my brain just couldn't even follow it, I mean my brain was starting to short-circuit. It's very convoluted the way he argues, and his language is very complex. I just realized that this couldn't possibly be the answer to humankind's problems. And I couldn't see traditional Christianity as the answer either, because in Denmark the state church is very watered-down. There's no spirituality in it, it's just an outer dogmatic tradition—we do this and we know that's why.

So what I realized with the ascended masters is that we actually have access to a source, to a group of beings, who have risen above this whole human ego and power struggle and all these limitations. They have raised their consciousness to the point where they have gone completely global, there's no selfishness in them whatsoever. And to me that was an extremely important concept, because I started to understand that some of the people who had done the most good in the world were the ones who were the most selfless. And some of the people who had done the most evil, like Hitler, were the most self-centered and self-focused.

And so I realized that if we had access to a group of beings who were completely beyond the human self and the human ego, then that was where I wanted to be. Because I knew that was a viable source for not only expanding my own consciousness but also receiving a greater understanding of what's really happening on the planet and why society basically seems to be stuck in the same problems that we can't get out of. And I started to realize that the society we see, the society we've created, is a reflection of our state of consciousness, our outer knowledge, but also the degree of selfishness—how global are we in our awareness, and how focused are we on just “me, myself and I.”

Overcoming war by raising consciousness

And I saw this growing up in Europe. You are very well aware of the history of Europe, where the countries in Europe have always been fighting these wars about superiority—who is the most important country in Europe, who has the most power. And it just becomes meaningless when you actually learn the history of it—there was this war, there was that war and they never seemed to resolve anything. There never seemed to be any real reason for it other than this particular king wanted to be more powerful than the king in the other country, so they were willing to sacrifice hundreds of thousands of people in order to settle who was the most powerful.

And it was just a completely meaningless series of conflicts. And so I realized that this was because our consciousness was still so focused on the ego, and that the only way to really, seriously change society was to raise our consciousness—not only individually, but also collectively.

While I was in high school, I took a branch of high school where we studied politics. And it was my intention to go into politics because I thought that was one way to help improve the world and improve society. But after I had studied it for some time, I started realizing that politics at the time was so steeped in compromise. And I started realizing that it wasn't really a matter of doing what was right in a higher sense. It was a matter of what was best for the party.

In other words, at that time you had five political parties in Denmark and they had been there for decades. Some were based on a more conservative philosophy, others were based on a more socialist philosophy. But it was just the usual, in that it's like you adopt a certain world view, a certain philosophy, and then whatever problem comes up, you have to fit it into that box and solve it within that philosophy. Even if you don't actually have a good solution within that system, you can't go beyond it. If you are conservative, you have to find a conservative solution. If you are a socialist, you have to find a socialist solution.

And it reminded me of the old fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen, where you have a house with three sisters and one is kind of the shunned sister and the other two are the most important sisters. And the prince is looking for a bride who can fit the glass slipper, and so the representative comes with the glass slipper to the house, and they want the two sisters to try it on, and one cuts a heel and one cuts a toe in order to fit in the glass slipper. And that's kind of how we approach political problems—it has to fit in our glass slipper, whether it's the socialist glass slipper or the conservative one. So we just have to somehow force our problems into our mental box so we can solve them, because we can't possibly go beyond our mental box.

A vertical expansion of our world view

And it's kind of like the old saying, “If the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem becomes a nail.” And I started realizing that that didn't make sense to me. And as I have learned more about the spiritual side to life and the teachings of the ascended masters, I realize more and more how little that approach to life makes sense to me. 

The reality is that if we have a problem that we can't solve with our present world view, then we should expand our world view. And if we are willing to expand our world view, then there are teachings available to us that can help us do that. And they have, for that matter, been available always in all societies. There has always been some spiritual teaching that could take us beyond the mainstream. But today there is more teaching available than ever before, and it is more readily available to people around the world.

To me it is incredibly exciting to be part of that, because I clearly see that what has created progress in human society is that we have expanded our consciousness to some degree. It's just that most of what we have done so far has been more of a horizontal expansion—we know a lot about the world today through science. But I see that there are more and more people who are spiritual, who realize that instead of looking for a horizontal expansion of our understanding, we need to go vertical, we need to go higher, we need to reach beyond our present level.
And to me that's the most important concept of the ascended masters. That's what they are here for. Those of us who are willing to reach beyond the old ways of looking at things—the ascended masters are right there to give us a higher teaching. And as the masters say, their motto is. “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.”

And I think all of you will probably see that in your own lives, that when you come to the point where you really have decided in yourself that you want a higher understanding, you always find something that helps you move forward. And it's been the same with me, whenever I really needed a new way to look at things I found some outer teaching that helped me.

Knowing truth within yourself

But what I really came to understand is that beyond an outer teaching, we can actually develop our ability to know truth in our hearts. And we can develop a direct, personal, inner connection with our higher beings and with the ascended masters. So we don't need an outer church to tell us what's true, because we know in our hearts what's true. And I think that if there is going to be a major revolution that brings humanity beyond this consciousness where war is a constant threat in the background, if we are really going to rise above war, then it has to come by millions of people around the world standing up and saying, "We've had enough of political ideologies, we've had enough of materialistic science, we've had enough of traditional religion, we've had enough of all this that we have to accept an outer belief system and fit everything into that belief system. We want a society that's based on what's right, not according to some outer philosophy, but according to what we know in our hearts."

How spiritual people can change the world

And I believe that most spiritual people on this planet, whether they are in this or that formal religion, whether they are in this or that New Age movement, whether they are not in any movement—if we really think about it, the difference between us and most people out there is that we know something is true in our hearts and we are willing to recognize that, we are willing to act on it. 

The problem is that so far most of us have just done this in private, we've just done this focused on our own consciousness because we feel when we start talking about our spiritual beliefs, we feel rejected by the world. Because, again, people say, "Oh you don't fit in my mental box, I'm not going to listen to you." But I think that if we can leave that behind us and really dare to speak out about who we are, what we believe in, what we know is right, I think that's the only thing that can shift the collective consciousness to the point where we leave behind this conflict. We simply have to say, "Enough is enough! We've had enough of these wars, we've had enough of the struggle and we want a higher approach to conflict and problems."

And I think if we start in the West, we will see other cultures around the world will gradually be pulled along with it. Because we'll simply create a movement in the collective consciousness that will awaken other people and make them realize that they don't want the conflict either, they've had enough of the struggle, enough of this fighting, and we have to find a higher approach because this is the only way out of it. So that's what I truly believe is going to happen within the next decade or two. There's going to be a shift in the collective awareness.

World change starts in consciousness

One of my favorite examples of such a shift is in the 1800's, when suddenly the nations of the world decided to come together and create a treaty that banned slavery. And it's an incredible example, when we think about it. I mean we've grown up in a society where it's been outlawed, so we take it for granted. But slavery had been part of the world culture for literally as far as we know, back in recorded history. Every society had slaves, people that were literally considered property, no more than things. And then suddenly they decided, “We can't do this anymore.” 

Well, where did that decision come from? There was no economic incentive to abolish slavery—it's free labor. I mean it's every capitalist's dream. So why give it up? Well, it was given up because there was a growth in the collective awareness that made people realize that human life has value. It has an intrinsic value. It's not according to any religion, it's not according to any political philosophy. It's just right because it's right! We can't treat other human beings as property.

This all came out of that whole growth in Europe and the United States, where democracy gradually started to emerge and we started realizing that human beings have rights. And the whole concept is that we human beings have rights that are not defined by any power on Earth. They are defined by a power that is beyond the human power struggle. That's why they are worth something.
I remember a number of years ago the Chinese prime minister came to the United States to visit Bill Clinton, who was the president at that time. And they had a discussion about human rights. And the Chinese prime minister flat out stated, "Of course human beings have rights, but the rights of the Chinese people are defined by the state." And Clinton tried to tell him that that wasn't really rights, and that was the essence of it—if our rights are defined by any power on Earth, they are not actually inalienable rights, because the power on Earth that defines those rights can decide to change them or override them at any point.

And so what I'm saying here is that what happened at that time that led to the emergence of democracy and the abolishment of slavery was that there was a shift in the collective consciousness. Our awareness was raised to the point, where we realized that human beings should have rights, that governments should respect those rights. And one of those rights was that human beings cannot be sold as a piece of property.

The shift in awareness

And I think we are right now going through that exact same, and even greater, shift in awareness. Where within the next decade or two, I think our collective consciousness will shift dramatically. And one of the outcomes of that is we will realize that war simply is no longer an acceptable solution to conflict. It was never really a solution, but it's not even an acceptable way to deal with conflict.

And to me, that's always been very dear to my heart. I remember even as a five year old child I started realizing the problems with war and the dangers of war. And I couldn't understand how – here we have this incredibly advanced society – how we could still have wars. It just didn't make sense to me. We can't claim to be the most advanced civilization on Earth and we still have war and that's the only way we can deal with problems.

So to me I have realized over my lifetime that one of the key elements of my divine plan is to help raise humankind beyond the consciousness of war. And I think many spiritual people have that same desire. And to me the Ascended Host have given me so many tools for doing that, and that's why, from the moment I heard about the Ascended Host, my life took on a whole new meaning. I realized that there is a purpose. And I have felt excited over the last almost 30 years to be part of that movement of the growth in awareness in our society, that I believe will inevitably shift the collective consciousness. It's just a matter of how long it takes, but you look back at history and you see that there has been many other shifts, and I believe we are right in the middle of a really, really big shift.

And in 10 years, maybe a little bit more, we are going to look back and say, "How could we ever accept war for so long?" Because now we are going to see how obvious it is that this is not a way to deal with conflict. And I believe that, as a result of that shift in consciousness, not only will we have more peace, but we will also have an incredible expansion of human knowledge, human technology, new energy technologies. All kinds of things will start shifting. It will be an even greater shift than the Renaissance or the industrial revolution.

So I guess I could say that the real essence of finding the teachings of the ascended masters was that before I found them life seemed to have no real purpose to me. Because I couldn't see the materialistic lifestyle as an end in itself. But ever since then it's been an incredibly exciting growth process, and I think life – not just my personal life but life on this planet – is incredibly exciting. And we are all very, very privileged to be alive at this time because we are part of what I think later will be seen as one of the major, major shifts in humankind's growth process.

So that was basically what I wanted to say, and I hope you all feel part of that excitement. Because it really is a tremendous time to be alive.



Copyright © 2007 Kim Michaels



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