Over the years I have had interactions with some people who made me wonder: “How is it possible to study and practice spiritual teachings for years, even decades, without grasping the central aspect of the spiritual path?” So I would like to share some thoughts on that.
I still remember back in 1976 when I found Yogananda’s book, Autobiography of a Yogi, and spent a weekend devouring it. The book had a revolutionary effect on me in many ways, and it triggered an inner knowing that spiritual growth is all about changing my consciousness. Let me repeat that: Spiritual growth is about changing MY consciousness. It does me no good to change other people’s consciousness or to change something in the physical world. The only thing that matters is that I change MY consciousness.
I also knew that there is no cheating on the spiritual path. The vast majority of people on earth are not ready to enter heaven or the spiritual realm because their consciousness is too low and self-focused. So the only way I can transcend earth is to raise my consciousness above the level that is so common on this planet. Even though I grasped this, I had a superficial understanding of how this can happen, and I often failed to see how I myself needed to change. So I would like to share what I have since come to understand about how we grow on the path.
Intellectual understanding versus shifting consciousness
Those of us who have grown up in many of the modern nations will have been exposed to an often unspoken attitude that the only really important thing in life is to understand something with the intellect—the linear, analytical mind. For the first many years I was on the path, I was very focused on studying spiritual teachings and creating a linear, intellectual world view in my head.
I all along had intuitive experiences so I did grasp that there is a difference between understanding something intellectually and truly internalizing it. I could see that intellectual understanding is not really what the path is all about because it will only get me so far. I saw in myself and I saw in other people that it is possible to understand something intellectually, but we haven’t applied it to ourselves and therefore our consciousness hasn’t shifted. The most common example is that we understand how other people have a certain ego characteristic that they need to change, but we fail to see our own ego.
So I did grasp that in order to grow spiritually, I need to go beyond understanding spiritual concepts intellectually. I need to somehow turn them inwards so I see something in myself. I didn’t really grasp what that meant, but I realized that there was something I could not see at my present level of consciousness and that my goal was to come to see it so I could shift my consciousness to a higher level. This was explained very well by Yogananda who for example describes how he has this intellectual idea that the real gurus are in the Himalayas, so even after meeting his guru in his home town, he still has to run away to the mountains to look for one of these mythical gurus.
Understanding ego without looking in the mirror
I was brought up to have a critical attitude to everything. This was partly because my parents brought me up to not be naive and easily fooled. It was partly because my society brought me up to think critically, looking for something that needed to be improved. So when I first heard about the concept of ego, I quickly built an intellectual understanding of ego, and I was good at applying it to society and other people. I was not nearly as good at applying it to myself.
Many years ago I read a book by M. Scott Peck (People of the Lie) in which he describes his first job as a psychologist on a naval base. At one point he goes to his supervisor and says that he has a problem with a colleague’s behavior, and he describes the behavior in detail. The supervisor tries to change the subject from the other person to Scott Peck himself and finally says: “No, YOU – M. Scott Peck – YOU have a problem!!!” Peck gets very upset and walks out the door, but then a small inner voices says: “Could he be right?”
I had that experience many years ago when I was a member of the Summit Lighthouse staff in Montana. I had gotten myself into a conflict with my supervisor and had even written a report about how things could be done differently. Over a period of weeks I had built a huge attachment to being right about this issue. I had talked to other people and I had gotten myself into an obsessive-compulsive state of mind. I had lost all sense of proportion, and this particular issue filled up my entire mind, as if it was the most important issue in the universe.
One day, Elizabeth Clare Prophet confronted me with my ego-based behavior. I sat down, and for the first time, it was as if I stepped outside of the situation and could look at it from a neutral perspective. I then saw that compared to my spiritual growth and ascension, this issue simply wasn’t important at all. I decided to forget about the other people, forget about the arguments for what needed to change and instead look at how I needed to change myself. I literally let go of the issue and I felt the most loving presence of El Morya descend upon me, and it was truly transforming.
This was a make-or-brake situation for me. I had been stuck in a pattern of wanting to change something outside myself, and I could have remained stuck indefinitely. Yet because I was willing to look at myself and chose to focus on what I – meaning me, myself and I – needed to change, I felt the love that the ascended masters have for students who take this most crucial step on the path. Ever since then I have had the habit of always having some awareness on what I myself need to see in every situation.
On a regular basis I meet people who have been on the spiritual path for a long time and who have not had this crucial breakthrough. They may understand something about the ego, but they have never looked in the mirror with a willingness to actually see their own ego. Or perhaps they have seen some aspects of the ego, but there is still an issue they have not even begun to see.
To me, the very central aspect of the path is that I come to see something that I have not seen before. I know my ego or my separate selves will resist this because they can only stay alive and maintain their control over me by keeping me blind. I know that unless I am open to seeing something, I will not see it. This means I cannot allow myself to think that I have reached a plateau on the path where I have overcome my ego and there is nothing more for me to see.
I have over the 45 years I have been on the path seen many examples of people who came to a point where they thought they were so sophisticated that there was nothing they had to see, so they stopped looking. I have met people who publicly declared that they no longer had an ego, only to later exhibit clearly ego-based behavior. I have always sensed that I cannot allow myself to do this, and the masters have explained that there will be illusions we have to look for until we ascend.
I have become aware that it is possible to be on the spiritual path for many years but there are still some aspects where our mind is closed. We have become so fixated on a particular view of an issue that we are not open to a higher perspective. Our mind is locked or closed, and then we obviously cannot come to see what we do not see. But if we do not come to see what we do not see at our present level of consciousness, how can we shift to a higher level of consciousness?
I know this sounds a bit abstract, so let me describe some of the examples I have encountered.
Playing the Trump card
There are two people I have known for many years. They were in the Summit Lighthouse and accepted the teachings given through me early on. I hadn’t seen them for years, but they came to a conference and made an issue out of telling me how important they thought Trump was as president. After the January 6th attack on the Capitol building, I made some remark about this on Facebook and suddenly one of these people started posting about election fraud on my Facebook page. I tried to ask him some socratic questions, but it became clear to me that nothing I could say would make him consider that there might be a higher perspective on the situation.
When I say “higher perspective,” I don’t mean about Trump or the election. To me, Trump and the election is not the issue. The issue is how we grow spiritually.
What I see in these people is first of all that they have allowed themselves to be pulled into an idolatry of Trump, something he has built in a lot of his followers. These people seem to think that Trump is more important than any other president and that he is the only hope of bringing certain changes. They also believe most of what he says. They look only at arguments that validate their view and they immediately discard any argument that does not. However, again, this is not about the arguments, it is about the mindset: “Trump cannot be wrong, and I cannot be wrong about Trump!” To me, this is idolatry and I see some rather ugly examples of how this has played out in history.
As a spiritual student how can I allow myself to be pulled into seeing any human being as some kind of idol? Nothing in the world can be more important to me than spiritual growth, so how can any issue in the world be more important to me than raising my consciousness?
When one of these people heard that the ascended masters through me had said that Trump is a fallen being, her reaction was that then they couldn’t be the real masters. To me this shows that this person’s mind has become locked on a particular view of Trump and nothing is going to make her change that view. She is willing to immediately set aside what the masters have said in order to maintain her opinion about Trump. In my eyes, this means her view of Trump is more important to her than raising her consciousness. She has literally left the spiritual path and made herself a follower of a worldly person.
Another person who has been on the path for decades is also a Trump follower. After the election, he was convinced that Biden would not become president on January 20th but that Trump (through some special means not allowed by the Constitution) would be reinstated. This didn’t happen, but he was not discouraged. Instead, it would happen on March 4th, which is the time a new president was inaugurated decades ago. That didn’t happen either, but then he moved the date to sometime in May, then July and then August. I don’t know if he now has a new date, but what I do see is that he hasn’t asked himself: “Is it possible that my view of the situation has to change? Is there something I need to see here?”
Masks and vaccine
Another issue that some people have had a strong reaction to is wearing masks and getting vaccinated against Covid. Again, take note that I am not here taking about the issue, because the issue is not the issue. The real issue is how to change consciousness.
I know people who are normally easy-going, but on this issue they suddenly had a very strong opinion and acted as if it was very important to convince other people. If I saw that reaction in myself, I would wonder why I felt so strongly about this issue?
It was very inspirational for me to learn about Gautama Buddha who was sitting under a tree, ready to go into Nirvana. As the final test, he had to be confronted by the demons of Mara. I understood intuitively that the real test was that the demons were trying to get him to react to anything in this world, and if he had indeed reacted, he would not have been able to leave the world behind and enter Nirvana.
I saw that the same applies to my ascension. I grasped many years ago that what makes me react to the world is that I have an attachment. I have some issue or opinion where my mind is locked. I think this view has to be right, and thus the demons can always pull me into an argument by challenging this mental holy cow. I experienced intuitively that when I am ready to make my ascension, I have to take one last look back at earth and if there is anything I am attached to here, I cannot leave the planet behind forever.
So the key to my ascension is to overcome my attachments, which means overcoming any strong or fixed opinions. I have experienced that as I have raised my consciousness, I no longer have any strong opinions. For any issue or opinion I am willing to see a higher perspective. After all, any issue on earth is just an issue in the matter world and compared to the ascension, nothing in matter matters.
I obviously would not have felt this way when I was younger. I described the incident in the Summit Lighthouse, and back then I was clearly at a level of consciousness where an issue could still be epically important to me. So I understand that some people are still at the level of consciousness where certain opinions can be important, but aren’t we all capable of growing beyond that level?
One person said that he had never had an issue with any of the answers given through me by the masters, but he did have an an issue with an answer about vaccine. If I had seen that reaction in myself, I would have asked myself why I have such a strong reaction and what separate self is hiding behind it. I would have reasoned that since this particular answer caused a reaction in me, it could be because it stirred up a self I had not yet seen but needs to see.
Kim must be wrong
Partly because of Trump and the election and partly because of Covid, I have had some people who went into a state of mind where they used various arguments to reason that I have been wrong on these issues. In other words, they are so convinced that their view is right, that I must be wrong for not being fully in alignment with them. Some people have rejected me as a messenger because of this, others have reasoned that I am still a valid messenger on other issues, but not on these issues. On these issues I am not neutral, I have a personal bias and therefore I am not able to get the real message from the ascended masters (which they are convinced would be in alignment with their view).
Generally, I don’t argue with such people because I have realized that once a person doubts what I get from the masters, there is no argument that I could personally come up with that would help them. Once they doubt me as a messenger, they can easily discard anything I say, so what’s the point in saying anything? But I will make a couple of observations.
It is of course possible that my consciousness can color the message I get from the masters. Yet when I observe my attitude to Trump and Covid, I don’t see any strong opinions. When I observe certain other people’s attitude, I do see strong opinions. So I feel I am more neutral on these issues than the people who accuse me of not being neutral.
However, the real issue here is not whether I am wrong or not. The real issue is: How do YOU grow in consciousness? Let’s just say that I was wrong and that you could come up with an argument to prove this in your mind. How exactly would that help YOU transcend your present level of consciousness? How is proving yourself right going to help you transcend yourself?
I talked about the situation in the Summit. Back then, I myself had the epic mindset. That issue was indeed epically important to me. How did I grow to a higher level of consciousness? Not by proving myself right in a situation that no longer has any importance to anyone. I grew by gradually transcending the entire mindset in which matters on earth can have such importance to me.
The masters have said that in the duality consciousness, we can prove any opinion by excluding enough contrary evidence. One person was convinced that if I only looked at the evidence he had looked at, I would be as convinced as he is that there was indeed massive election fraud. Yet what did he achieve by proving himself right? He only solidified his identification with a particular separate self and thus locked himself even more firmly at his present level of consciousness.
The real issue is growth, and that depends on how firmly we are attached to our present opinions. I will grow in consciousness only by transcending my current opinions and reaching a higher view. And the same applies to you. If I find myself being obsessive-compulsive about convincing other people that I am right, I become concerned and start looking for the self behind this attachment.
After my encounters with people who had strong opinions about Covid and Trump, I started looking at why I had a reaction to this. I realized that I felt responsible for them because since they had been studying the teachings given through me, I should have been able to help them overcome their attachments. I realized that I had the sense that I should be able to come up with an argument that would convince these people of the need to change. And If I couldn’t convince them, I was somehow deficient.
I have been working on this conglomerate of selves for some time now. I can’t quite see whether writing this article means I have overcome it or whether it is necessary for me to write this in order to see something I haven’t seen. We will see.
What I do see is that when I ascend, no opinion I have ever had on earth matters. I will not take my earthly opinions with me into heaven. In order to get to the ascended state, I have to be willing to give up ALL of my worldly opinions. It is not what I hold on to that determines whether I ascend; it is what I let go of. I cannot clutch my opinions, as the Zen buddhists say.
Being openminded without being too open
Since childhood I have had a sense that I always need to find what I used to see as a balanced view, not allowing myself to be pulled into extremist viewpoints. This is somewhat of a contradiction because many “normal” people (such as my family) will say that my spiritual views are extremist. Obviously, spiritual people are more open-minded than the average person, or we wouldn’t be open to a spiritual teaching. However, there is a tendency that some spiritual people don’t know how to draw a line, and consequently they are open to so many things that they end up being confused or overwhelmed.
I lived in Montana when the Summit went through the so-called shelter cycle and built bomb shelters against a nuclear war. I saw many people who went into a very unbalanced approach to this and believed the world would come to an end. In fact, the Summit organization itself took an unbalanced view and built shelters that could survive a blast and had supplies to last seven years (which practically bankrupted the organization). I wasn’t pulled into this mindset because I sensed intuitively that it was too unbalanced. I also had an intuitive sense that a nuclear war would not happen.
I know a person who has believed quite number of times that the world will soon come to an end. He thought it would do so this spring, and he has been doing this on a regular basis for 30 years. Yet he hasn’t asked himself whether it is something in his consciousness that makes him vulnerable to believing this over and over again.
Then, there is the Q-Anon and many other conspiracy theories. I take one look at these and I can intuitively read the energy or vibration behind it, and I know to stay away. I thought Q-Anon was laughable until someone killed his own daughter because he thought she had serpentine DNA and would grow up to become a monster.
I do accept the existence of fallen beings and that they have a large influence on society, but I don’t accept that there is one small group that controls the entire world. I accept that there are pedophiles but when a theory says they are all democrats, I can only shrug my shoulders.
I have come to see that my sense of looking for balance isn’t actually balance, because it is not the mid-point between two extremes. Gautama didn’t see the Middle Way as a midpoint between two extremes, but as a transcendence of the entire consciousness that contains the extremes and the middle ground between them.
I have met many spiritual people who have not grasped the need to look for balance—or neutrality. I think one of the most obvious effects of this is that they don’t have a clear intuition. If we are not neutral, it is difficult to read the energetic vibration of people or ideas. This means they are pulled into considering certain arguments, and their mental minds then overshadow their intuition. They think they have an intuitive insight that a certain theory is valid, but they don’t see that it is not neutral intuition.
For example, I imagine the person who wanted to convince me about election fraud would say it is his intuition that tells him there is fraud, and my intuition just isn’t clear on this point. The person who believed the world would end in the spring would also say it is his intuition that tells him this. In fact, he has several times said that even though I am the messenger, he considers himself to be more spiritually evolved than me and that is why he can see the validity of these theories. He is my older brother who holds the balance for me until I am mature enough to see what he can already see.
I am certainly not beyond learning something new or coming to see something that I do not see now, which happens on an almost daily basis. But perhaps I am a messenger for the masters because I have a certain balanced or neutral state of mind, which means I do not have strong opinions about what the masters should or should not say? I am not wanting the masters to validate a theory to which I am attached, and that means I can allow the masters to say whatever they want to say, not what I or some other person thinks they should say.
To me, there is a point on the path that we will not get beyond until we see the need to rise above polarities and strive for a neutral frame of mind. I am not saying this is an easy thing to do, but I see some people who have not even grasped the need to do so, and that means they are not moving in that direction. They continue to be pulled into these unbalanced theories and strong reactions, and it isn’t the fastest way to grow.
Getting to a point and not wanting to go beyond
Some time ago, a person started posting on the internet that in his view I was no longer a valid messenger. His reason was that the first books in the Path to Self-Mastery series were valid, but from the Love book by Paul the Venetian, I had gotten false messages.
I have met this person, and he had an issue with relationships and was living alone. My question would be: Is it possible that Paul the Venetian challenged one of his views on relationships, and he was so attached to it that he was not willing to consider how he needed to change? As a justification for not changing, he had to reject me as a messenger, thereby giving himself an excuse for not looking at any of the teachings given after that point, teachings that might actually have helped him overcome that separate self.
I have seen in the Summit how some people came to a point where there was something they were not willing to look at in themselves, and as a justification they rejected the messenger. Many years ago Elizabeth Clare Prophet got a dictation from Maitreya in which he told us to stop eating sugar. An entire group of students in Germany rejected her as a messenger, supposedly not because of what Maitreya said about sugar but because he said it so forcefully that they felt the real Maitreya would never have been so disrespectful of free will.
To me, it is clear that the real value of the ascended masters is that they are not inside the consciousness that envelops the earth. Therefore, they can challenge us to reconsider some of the things we take for granted. If we are not willing to have an opinion challenged, then I think we have an attachment. Being so attached to a worldly opinion that we reject the masters cannot possibly lead to spiritual growth.
In Transcendental Meditation there was a culture of people being special because we were saving the world by meditating. In the Summit, the culture was that we were saving the world by decreeing and that we had the highest spiritual teaching on the planet, meaning we were the most advanced spiritual students on the planet. You can probably find any number of spiritual movements where people also feel special because of their teachings and guru.
For a certain phase of the path, we use a spiritual teaching to make ourselves feel special. This is understandable enough because most of us were outcasts in our anti-spiritual societies. Yet this should only be a phase, because as we go beyond the 96th level of consciousness, the need to feel special gradually fades away until it becomes irrelevant to us. Christ consciousness is about seeing the oneness of all life, and you can’t do that while feeling better than others.
One example of this was a group that organized a couple of conferences for me. The first time I encountered the group, it was clear to me that they had a certain dynamic that made me wonder why they had even invited me. The group was started by one person who was seen as the guru by most of the members. He didn’t speak English so I didn’t interact with him much, but he demanded a rather high level of commitment and loyalty from the members, something I do not do. Yet in general the first conference was a positive experience.
At the second conference, I felt a clear shift in energy and there was a certain tension in the air. I later learned that the leader of the group had built the expectation that the masters through me would anoint him as a messenger for his country. When that didn’t happen, he seemingly had to come up with an explanation, and it was that I was no longer a messenger for the ascended masters.
The outer explanation given for this was that the My Lives book simply could not be inspired by the ascended masters. This was interesting to me because the book is presented as a novel, and this means it should not be taken entirely literally. In other words, the reader has great freedom to interpret things as fiction. Yet these people interpreted the book literally and then criticized it based on their literal interpretation. They were especially offended by the story of how the protagonist switches bodies with Jesus during his trial.
The group went through what they called a period of discernment where they compared some of my dictations to those of Elizabeth Clare Prophet. The members were supposedly told to use their individual discernment, but the leader and most of the members decided that I was no longer a valid messenger. Those who had a different discernment were basically frozen out of the group. Some people were exposed to some pressure to change their first assessment and side with the leader.
I later learned that the group has a small group of long-term members who are part of the guru’s inner circle. I have been told that these people see themselves as being the most advanced spiritual people on the planet. I can therefore imagine how they looked forward to the masters anointing their leader through me. Instead, I took a dictation from Sanat Kumara in which he very directly told us to get over the need to feel special. I have been told that the leader felt that the real Sanat Kumara would never have said something like this.
One of the members wrote to me that since 35 people from their group had decided I was no longer a messenger, I obviously needed to accept their judgment and resign. I didn’t answer because I didn’t see how I could reach these people. Instead, I focused on serving the thousands of people around the world who think I am still a messenger for the ascended masters.
I think these people were trying to use me and the teachings given through me to validate their need to feel special. This is difficult to do with the teachings given through me, and also because I don’t seek to make people feel special. As I once said: “You can make people do anything for you if you make them feel special enough, but I just don’t need that.”
I am sure that by denouncing me as a messenger, these people felt very special. After all, they thought I used to be a valid messenger and they recognized that, making them special. Now they had recognized that I am no longer a messenger, making them more special than me because they could see this.
The topic of this article is what helps us grow. Did these people grow from recognizing me as a messenger, given that they didn’t really heed the teachings? And did they grow from denouncing me, or did they merely solidify themselves at the level of consciousness where they still need to feel special? And did they solidify themselves at the level where everything must be black and white, either or?
When I was new to the spiritual path, I had a need to feel special and the Summit culture gave me the means to build that feeling. As I have raised my consciousness, the issue of being special has gradually faded away. One could argue that as a messenger I could easily have built myself up to being very special, but I have found that I no longer need to compare myself to others. I don’t want to relate to people based on seeing myself as superior to them. I want to relate to people without the dualistic dynamic of superior, inferior or equal.
Taking ourselves so seriously
In 2009 I separated from my second wife, and at the time, we were running a small spiritual movement. She made the decision to launch an attack on me via the internet, denouncing me as a messenger and attempting to discredit me as a husband. A small group of people followed her while most people stayed with the teachings released through me.
I knew from the start that I could not allow myself to respond to her allegations, spread on her website, via email and Facebook. In my conscious mind, this was partly because I did not want to hurt her by proving her wrong and partly because I realized I had no chance of convincing her or the people who believed in her. I could tell that she and her followers had shifted into a state of mind where they were unreachable to me. So instead of spending time seeking to change people I had no chance of helping, I focused on seeking to help those I could help.
I did sense that there was an important initiation for me in allowing her to say anything she wanted about me. I think she initially wanted me to respond so she could drag me into a never-ending battle, as she had done with other people. When I didn’t respond, she realized she could say anything she wanted and started making allegations that contradicted facts, even making things up. I think she was caught in having to keep the interest of her followers by continually coming up with shocking things about me.
It wasn’t until years later that I realized this was a kind of crucifixion experience for me. I was in a sense crucified on the Internet and I was helpless to defend myself. I couldn’t take myself down from the cross. What I could do was to look at my own reaction and consider what I needed to learn from the experience. I did see many things, but let me mention a couple that are relevant to the topic at hand.
From an objective evaluation, I had been a good and supportive husband to my second wife for 20 years. I felt it was unjust that I was now accused of being the worst husband ever. In contemplating this, it hit me one day: “You have an attachment to being seen as a good person.” I immediately saw that this was true. It was very important to me that other people saw me as a good person. In thinking deeper, I realized I had an image of myself as being a good person who never wanted to hurt anybody, and it was essentially a straitjacket for me. I always had to live up to this image. So far it hadn’t been difficult, but now that I was falsely accused, the issue became obvious to me. I started working on this attachment and gradually let go of it. In order to do this, I had to let go of all attachments to how other people see me and what they say about me. Obviously, a necessary step for someone who is visible on the Internet.
As I reflected further (this took several years) I one day saw that the main characteristic of my ex-wife was that she always took herself very seriously. She was always fully convinced that when she said something, everyone else would not only believe her but would take what she said as seriously as she herself took it. Thus, when she declared that after leaving her I had now become a false messenger, she expected everyone to accept this. I don’t think she could imagine that people would look at her and not take this seriously. I don’t think she grasped that some people could read her vibration or could see that it didn’t make sense to claim you are a highly evolved person, yet you are doing everything you can to put another human being down.
I then realized I had met several people in my life who also took themselves very seriously. True to my habit, I started considering why I had met so many people like that, in other words what was the message that I needed to get from these people. After some time it hit me: “You also take yourself very seriously!” This was a bit tricky because I could see that I had always been quite self-aware, even self-conscious. I had always been willing to question myself, which many of these serious people are not willing to do. Yet even though I was willing to question myself, I still had a self-image as a good person, as the Prince on the White Horse, and I took this image very seriously. I also had other ideas of what it means to be a spiritual person and a spiritual teacher that I was serious about. So I realized that what I could see in others, I also needed to see in myself.
It became clear that this simply had to go. I made some progress on this, but it wasn’t until the masters gave us the teachings about the cosmic birth trauma that I really broke through. I realized that I came to earth with the best of intentions as an avatar, but then the fallen beings accused me of all kinds of things, and this caused me to create the primal self that desperately wanted to defend the image that I am a good person. After some time, I made some breakthroughs and it was one of the major shifts of my life to suddenly realize that nothing on earth is more serious than I make it out to be. There is no cosmic law that demands that I take anything on earth seriously.
My point here is this. I fully understand that there are people who are very serious about Trump, the election, vaccines and masks. I am not trying to put these people down in any way. I am simply saying that at any level of the path, what we can see and what seems serious to us is a product of our level of consciousness. Spiritual growth is about raising our consciousness to higher levels and as we do so, there will come a point where the things that seem very serious to us right now will no longer seem so serious to us. When I was going through the situation in the Summit, I not only took the situation but also myself very seriously. But today, over 30 years later, I don’t take it seriously at all.
Having Christ discernment—or not
One person was very eager to convince me that there really was massive fraud in the last American election. To me, his insistence was clearly due to an attachment, but to what? He had made the statement on his Facebook page that he believed the claims about fraud because he had Christ discernment. He said that he had done his own research, but I hadn’t and that’s why I didn’t accept that there was fraud. So is it possible that two people can both have some Christ discernment but reach different conclusions?
I remember going through a phase while I was in the Summit where I felt I had attained some Christ discernment and felt I had far better discernment than people who were not spiritual. This was probably true, but today I see that I was still very much affected by the epic mindset and black-and-white thinking. I thought everything had to be put on a scale of right and wrong, true and false. So even though I had some Christ discernment, there were many layers of discernment above what I had back then.
What I have seen in a number of people, many of whom were ascended master students, is that we go through a phase where we do have some Christ discernment, but it is colored by certain separate selves that we have not overcome. This means we are in a vulnerable phase of having passed the first initiation of Christ (recognizing Christ), but we have not passed the second initiation, which is where we stop trying to force Christ into our mental box. We are therefore seeking to use an ascended master teaching and what we think is Christ discernment to validate our strongly held opinions. The ego loves it when we go into this reaction because then we are really stuck.
How do we know if we have not yet attained the highest level of Christ discernment? Well, as long as we are in physical embodiment, we have NOT attained the highest level of Christ discernment because that doesn’t happen until we see through the last illusion at the 144th level. Yet we can use the measure of looking if we have an attachment to any issue, opinion or self-image. How important is it, how seriously do we take the issue and how seriously do we take ourselves? If we are not neutral about an issue, we cannot have the purest discernment about it.
For example, I used my Christ discernment to decide to get vaccinated against Covid. I don’t have a problem with someone saying that they have used their Christ discernment to not get vaccinated. But if someone becomes very forceful in arguing for or against other people getting vaccinated, then I think they have not attained a higher level of Christ discernment. The higher I go on the path, the less I feel a need to convince other people. Of course, I long ago overcame the desire to always be right, and that is another sign of Christ discernment.
In the Summit most people thought that Christ discernment was all about knowing what is right and wrong on every issue, but that is discernment colored by black-and-white thinking. As we rise above this, we see that on a planet like earth, nothing is really black and white because the real issue is how to raise people’s consciousness—and that means going beyond defining everything in terms of right and wrong.
We also begin to see that beyond all the outer differences and conflicts, there is a basic and essential humanity. We see oneness behind differences. I never forget how I once talked to an American man who was telling me how he had been drafted and sent to the Vietnam war at age 17. I said: “Yes, you weren’t old enough to vote, but you were old enough to kill another human being.” “Yes, or be killed!” He replied very indignantly. This made me realize that he was entirely focused on himself so for him the worst aspect of going to war was being killed. For me, the worst aspect of going to war would be to kill someone else.
I see some of the people who talk loudly (they are always loud) about their individual human rights and that the government has no right to force them to wear a mask or get vaccinated. To me this is not Christ discernment because when you have discernment, it is obvious that your individual rights cannot be exercised with disregard for the individual rights of the other 300 million Americans. The Constitution may define individual rights, but the only way a society can function is if individual rights are balanced with the whole. I don’t have a right to give a potentially deadly disease to other people because I refuse to wear a mask or get vaccinated.
As we rise in Christ discernment, we also begin to grasp what the masters have explained about perception filters. At any level of the 144 levels of consciousness we have a perception filter that prevents us from seeing beyond a certain observation horizon. We have a limited perception and that is why we take certain things so seriously. I have personally found it a great help to realize that as I grow to higher levels, the things that seem so important right now will no longer seem important to me. It makes it easier to look at my reaction and realize that it is not actually ME who is reacting, it is just a separate self that is not really me.
As long as we are identified with a specific self, we can only see one way to react to a situation, and that is to try to change the situation by solving the problem defined by the self. This will never give us peace of mind because even if we manage to solve one problem, another immediately comes up. We gain peace of mind only by refusing to try to solve the problem and allowing the self to die. Each time we let a self die, we feel more free because there is less problems we have to solve. Each time we let a self die, we feel more inner peace because there is less conditions we need to react to. When we have no more selves that cause us to react to things on earth, we are like the Buddha sitting under the tree, and the demons of Mara cannot make us react. We are like the Christ who can say: “The prince of this world cometh and hath nothing in me.”
The challenge of seeing the ego
Everything I have said above can be summed up by saying that over the many years I have observed myself and other spiritual people, there is a clear dividing line. Some people manage to see their own egos and they grow. Some people do not see their own egos and they do not raise their consciousness, even though they may increase their intellectual understanding of spiritual topics.
Seeing our egos is not an easy task. In Genesis we find the remark that the serpent was the most “subtil” of the animals. The ego is very good at using serpentine logic to hide or camouflage itself, and it takes a willingness to look at oneself to see through it. It also takes a willingness to endure the pain of admitting that: “I wasn’t as good as I thought because I do have an ego.”
I described the situation in the Summit, and it was the first time I really had to admit that I had an ego. This was the most painful situation of my life because I had used the Summit teachings and culture to reinforce my self-image as a good person. I wanted to be a good chela of the ascended masters, so having the messenger confront me with my ego-based behavior was very painful. However, it also led to the first really big breakthrough on my path so it was worth it to endure the pain.
I didn’t realize back then that the pain came from a part of the ego, a separate self, and the wonderful thing about separate selves is that we can let them die. And when that self died, the pain disappeared. What I mean is that it can be very painful to see the ego for the first time, but is will not be as painful the second time. And we can come to a point where it is no longer painful to see the ego because we have let die the self-image that we had to be perfect.
I see many people who have this self-image that as a – often very special – spiritual person they need to always be perfect. I remember for many years feeling like there were certain types of ego-based behavior that I simply could not have because it would be too painful for me. When we feel this way, we will subconsciously resist seeing the ego, but then how do we grow?
Take note of my situation in the Summit. I pointed out that there were certain aspects of how things were done in my department that were not efficient and not in alignment with how things were done in the professional world. Actually, years later, the department got another leader who did do what I suggested (independently of me). So I could have argued to this day that I was right, but how would I have grown from doing this?
At the time, I was convinced in my conscious mind that I was only doing this because I didn’t want the Summit to waste money on inefficient procedures. I was focused on the outer situation and I thought I had a perfectly benign reason for criticizing the way things were done. Yet today it is clear to me that it wasn’t about the outer situation at all. It was about something in my psychology. In other words, my ego was projecting that I was the good guy who was only trying to help, but in reality it was only about my ego getting the validation it craved. If I had continued to focus on the outer situation, I would to this day be stuck in that ego-based dynamic. Being free of it was an incredible relief and liberation.
The spiritual path is not always pleasant. In order to really see an aspect of our egos, we have to be willing to endure the pain of having our current self-image shattered. When Mrs. Prophet confronted me, I literally felt my self-image had been shattered and that I was going to die. The question is what it takes to get us to that point of being willing to see this, rather than continuing to allow the ego to hide?
I could easily have avoided the situation in the Summit. In retrospect, I see that I was driven by a desire to grow as quickly as possible, and thus I continued to push until Elizabeth Clare Prophet confronted me. I needed her to do this because I saw her as having a higher level of consciousness than myself, and thus my ego could not make me ignore or explain away what she said. And that is why I finally saw through the camouflage of my ego, decided to stop focusing on the outer situation and look at myself, acknowledging: “I am the one who has to change—not the world, not other people but ME!”
The pain of seeing the ego
The ego always tries to divert our attention so it seems like there is an issue outside ourselves that is so important we simply have to focus all attention on that, meaning we don’t have to look at ourselves. Just over the past year I have seen several people who became so obsessed with Trump, the election, masks, vaccines, lockdowns or the end of the world that they failed to look at why they had such a strong reaction to these issues.
I know these people think this issue really is so important that it is necessary to convince others (including me) that they are right. I know they don’t see this, but I see this as ego-based behavior. How can I say that? Because once you have seen a certain ego-dynamic in yourself, it becomes easy to see it in others. When you are no longer fooled by your own ego, you cannot be fooled by the egos of others.
I am not saying this to put such people down because they have egos. But I am being direct in an attempt to help those who are open see that whenever we have a strong reaction to anything on earth, the ego is behind it. The strong reaction therefore becomes an opportunity to see the ego—if we are willing to look.
I am talking about it being painful to see that we have an ego, but it is also painful not to see it. Any ego dynamic carries with it a certain pain because it comes from a past trauma that we are covering over in order to live with it. Before the situation in the Summit, I had a certain ego-dynamic and it was causing me constant pain. I had become used to that pain so I didn’t even notice it. Seeing my ego and admitting that it was ego was a very sharp pain, but once I let go, both the sharp pain and the dull pain (related to that aspect of ego) disappeared.
I have seen people who think they are very special and very sophisticated spiritual students (or even teachers), but their consciousness hasn’t changed for decades. The reason is that their self-image prevents them from looking at themselves and acknowledging that they have an ego. Some of these people have even declared that they don’t have egos. I also see that these people are in constant pain but they are so used to it that they don’t notice. I see that it is the same pain that I used to feel, and I wish I could help them be free of it.
We all have egos or separate selves. For a long time, I was reluctant to admit that I had certain aspects of ego. I finally overcame that reluctance and it has made the path much easier. When you have seen and let die a certain number of selves, it becomes much easier to see the next selves.
It is my hope that most of the people who appreciate the teachings of the ascended masters will come to this breakthrough where it is no longer painful to see and let die a separate self. I hope this article will help some get over that hump. There is a stage on the path where the saying “No pain, no gain” applies. But there is a higher stage where there is gain without pain—and this I hope you will attain.
Copyright © 2021 Kim Michaels