How the ego seeks to divert your attention from the inner path

The least you should know about the ego, Part 8.

A discourse by Jesus

NOTE: This teaching was given on July 18, 2006.

In this discourse I will take a step back and look at the big picture, thus giving a clearer explanation of how the ego manages to divert people’s attention from the true road to salvation, namely the inner path of self-transcendence. As I have explained in the previous discourses, you were created as a spiritual being, and you were never meant to lose the awareness of your true origin and identity. By using your free will to experiment with the duality consciousness, your conscious self gradually came to see itself as separated from its source, meaning your own higher Being and God. This acceptance of separation created your ego, and since then the ego has attempted to create an impenetrable wall between your conscious self and your acceptance of your true identity as a co-creator with God.

The process of separation took most co-creators into a self-reinforcing downward spiral – or rather, a spiral being reinforced by the ego and the forces of anti-christ – that led them further and further into a sense of alienation from God. This led them to build a sense of identity based on the things of the material world, including their bodies and their egos. There is theoretically no limit to how far this downward spiral can take you into a sense of being absolutely convinced that you are separated from God or even that God does not exist. Yet there is a force built into your being that counteracts the downward pull, namely your longing for something more than what the material world can offer.

The further you descend into identification with the material world, the more you will limit your sense of identity. You are, so to speak, building a prison for yourself, and it gradually becomes smaller until you can hardly move. The smaller your mental prison becomes, the greater the possibility that you will see the emptiness of the things of this world and decide to look for something more. And although there is no guarantee that this will happen, most co-creators will eventually reach a bottom line from which they decide to start going back up toward a more unlimited sense of identity.

The ego would much prefer that this turning point did not take place, but once it has taken place, the ego will not simply give up. It will resist every upward step you take, and its primary weapon is to divert your attention from the inner path itself. The ego wants to create the false path, which makes you believe that you can “be saved” without confronting the ego and letting it die.

Not all co-creators descend to the same low level before they turn around. Yet the lowest level to which one can descend on this planet is represented by the life of the cave man or other primitive cultures that had no true spirituality (I am not counting all native cultures as such). They were basically living as animals with less hair cells and more brain cells. Their attention was almost entirely focused on physical survival, thus being engaged in an endless struggle against others of their own kind, animals or even Mother Nature.

The fact that the majority of human beings are no longer living this way shows that humankind has progressed to a higher state of consciousness, a higher sense of identity. This proves that most human beings on this planet have turned around and have started the upward climb. Yet most people are not yet consciously aware of this, so they do not understand the process and are thus easily manipulated by their egos and the prince of this world.

Diversionary tactics of the ego
As long as you are in a downward spiral, your ego has managed to make you neutralize or ignore your longing for something more. Yet for most people, the ego cannot do this indefinitely, and they will eventually reach the turning point. The essential point to understand is that although the ego will try to prevent you from turning around, it is not necessarily unhappy about you striving for a greater sense of identity.

This might sound like a contradiction, and the reason is that the ego is full of contradictions. In fact, the ego is one big contradiction, as I will explain later. The ego sees only the things of this world, and thus the ultimate triumph of your personal ego would be that you had absolute power in this world. In other words, the ego is driven by contradictory forces. On one hand, it will do anything to prevent you from discovering and following the true spiritual path that leads you to build a sense of identity that does not include the ego. To prevent you from finding the spiritual path, the ego is willing to drive you into a state of consciousness in which you see yourself as – and act as – an animal fighting for the survival of the physical body. It is willing to completely destroy your self-esteem in order to maintain control over you.

Yet this is a very limited sense of identity, and it does not fulfill one of the ego’s essential needs. Because the ego sees only this world, it sets up relative comparisons between you and other people. And when you live a very low existence, such as a cave man or a bum on the street, the ego finds it hard to maintain the illusion that you are better than others. Thus, both you and your ego will be unhappy with such a state of existence.

My point here is that although one part of your ego is afraid of you turning around and walking the path toward a greater sense of existence, another part of the ego actually welcomes this—as long as it can maintain its control over you and misdirect your longing for something more in a certain direction. To give you a better understanding of this mechanism, let me briefly outline the stages that many people go through as they climb the path toward reclaiming their true identity:

  • The lowest stage is where all of your attention and energy is fed into the survival of the physical body. Your life is a constant struggle against others of your own kind, animals, nature and your own karma from past lives. We might say this is the lowest stage of the duality consciousness, the black-and-white thinking, that leads you to think that you – as an individual – are fighting against the whole world. Obviously, this is a very limited sense of existence, and most people will – at least after a few embodiments – reason that there has to be more to life than just surviving. This is often the starting point for people’s upward climb.
  • When you are in survival mode, you see the world as a place with lack of resources, and thus you have to fight for everything you get by taking it from someone else or from nature. In reality, this is a perception that comes from the duality consciousness. The higher way out of this state of consciousness is to realize the truth in my words that it is the father’s good pleasure to give you his kingdom—the abundant life. Thus, by seeking first the kingdom of God – the Christ consciousness – all things will be added unto you.

    Yet for most people, the ego manages to convince them that they should focus their attention and energy on accumulating the things of this world. Thus, seeking material possessions becomes the goal of life, and people can spend many lifetimes seeking some state of ultimate riches that will – supposedly – satisfy their longing for something more. The ego is happy with this, because it can now pursue the sense that if you have more possessions than other people, you are better than them.

  • While having possessions can satisfy your longing for something more for a long time, it will eventually come to seem like an empty promise. You will realize that no matter how much you have, you still do not feel completely fulfilled. There is also the fact that the more you accumulate, the more time and energy you must spend defending it from the forces seeking to take it away. And finally, no matter how much you own, you still cannot avoid death, which inevitably means losing it all. But what if you could free yourself from the fear of loss?

    The higher way to do this is to seek the true non-attachment to the things of this world. This comes from realizing there is a higher goal to life, namely a growth in consciousness. Once you overcome the ego and attain the Christ consciousness, you will allow God to be in control of your life, and with God all things are possible. Thus, you realize that you, of your ego-self, can do nothing, but that the father within you, your own I AM Presence, is the true doer. And with God all things are possible.

    However, for most people, the ego manages to divert their attention from the true path. When people become aware that having material possessions will not fulfill them, the ego manages to convince them that what they really need is the power to control their destiny. Thus, some people engage in a quest to seek ultimate power on this Earth, so that they can control every aspect of their lives. This inevitably lock them in a struggle against other people with the same approach. Such people are often polarized into two opposing camps, and they can spend many lifetimnes fighting for their cause, even the “ultimate” cause of the epic fight between what people have defined as good and evil.

    Again, people can spend lifetimes on this quest, until they finally realize one of two things, namely that it is impossible to gain ultimate power and control or that having such power still would not satisfy their longing for something more. This realization can cause people to move to an entirely new level.

Beyond the material world
When you compare the stages outlined above, you will see that they are all based on the same characteristics:

  • You are focused on your own self, centered around the physical body and the ego.
  • You are focused on a sense of lack, meaning that you are incomplete in yourself and need something from outside yourself.
  • You are focused on getting what you need from the material world.
  • You are focused on comparing yourself to others, thinking you are better than others if you have more possessions or power than they do.

As a co-creator matures, he or she gradually begins to realize that the material world cannot be all there is to life. This is when a person becomes open to the possibility that there could be a world beyond the material world and that you might have some form of continued existence in that world after the body dies. Thus, it becomes possible that your conduct in this world might have an impact on what happens to you in the afterlife. This is usually when a person is awakened or converted to a religious lifestyle.

The part of your ego that is afraid of losing control would rather that this conversion did not happen and that you remained focused on the material world. Thus, a religious conversion is always a blow to the ego. Yet another part of the ego takes the approach that, “If you can’t beat-em, join’em,” and it will seek to use your religious conversion to keep you under its control.

We might say that the stages outlined above were the material stages of your growth, and we can now outline some of the religious stages:

  • The lowest stage is represented by the black-and-white thinking, which makes people believe there is only one true religion. Thus, only members of that religion will be saved, which means that by the mere act of being a member of that religion and following its outer requirements, your salvation is guaranteed. When a lifestream is first awakened to something beyond the material world, it often believes in the claims made by one of the so-called mainstream or orthodox religions, and it believes it is better than non-members. This can lock people in a religious version of the struggle between relative good and relative evil, and this is a dangerous trap because the ego makes people think they are doing God’s work, and thus they can deny the need for self-transcendence.

    Such people go through the death of the body with the firm belief that they will immediately enter Heaven. It is therefore quite a shock to the lifestream when it is confronted with the reality of reincarnation. Some lifestreams refuse to let go of the dream, and in their next embodiment they fall right back into following an orthodox religion. Some go to the same one while others believe there must be another one that can fulfill the promise that membership guarantees salvation. Thus, some lifestreams have to be reborn into a great number of different religions before they finally accept that there is no automatic salvation.

  • The lifestream now realizes that it is not enough to simply be a member of an outer organization but that you have to meet a set of individual requirements. The highest outcome of this process is that you realize that salvation is determined by your state of consciousness. As I said, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no man cometh to the father save by me”—meaning the Christ consciousness that I represent.

    Yet the ego often manages to make a lifestream believe that if only it meets certain outer requirements, it will qualify for salvation. This causes many lifestreams to focus on doing good works, seeking to buy their way into Heaven by doing what their religion prescribes. Some seek status or position in a religious organization as a way to buy their salvation. Some even go into the blind alley of seeking to fulfill the ego’s need for power through a religious organization. After all, if you are the highest representative of God on Earth, the ego can feel it has near absolute power on Earth.

    People play these ego games with a keen sense of comparison, thinking that if they do more good works than others, their salvation will be guaranteed. Eventually, a lifestream will have had so many experiences of having to re-embody despite its good works that it lets go of even this dream.

  • The highest potential for the next stage is that the lifestream takes full responsibility for its own salvation and recognizes that the Christ consciousness requires one to discern between the relative “truth” of the ego and the absolute truth of the Christ mind.

    Yet most lifestreams are not quite ready to take full responsibility, so they let their egos talk them into going into the gray thinking that I described in a previous discourse. This causes some people to deny the validity of all religion, which leaves them in a kind of no-gods land, often for several lifetimes. Others go into one of the many variations of a teaching that does not require you to discern. One example is that if you are gentle and kind, you will be doing the right thing and will be saved.

    While this is different from seeking to buy salvation through good works, it is a similar mechanism of thinking that by not being judgmental or by cultivating a certain approach to life, one will be saved. The problem is that this “higher” state of consciousness is defined by the ego – meaning the mind of anti-christ – and NOT by the Christ mind. Thus, it can never lead you to Heaven, no matter how adept you become at pretending to be a good or spiritual person. It is simply the ego’s judgment after appearances, appearances that are defined by its own relative definition. The ego has now defined what it means to be a spiritual person, and this definition can never lead you to the Christ consciousness. Unfortunately, it can be very difficult for sincere spiritual seekers to admit this fact and that their spiritual quest has been misguided.

    This third stage is a very critical stage on the spiritual path, precisely because a lifestream can stay stuck here for many, many lifetimes. Such lifestreams will often go through the death of the body being firmly convinced that they will be saved. They are severely disappointed, but if they are not willing to take responsibility for their salvation and discern between the relative truth of the ego and the higher truth of Christ, they cannot move on. Some come to believe that it is okay for them to re-embody on an indefinite basis, and thus they are no longer disappointed by not being saved. Some believe that they voluntarily return to Earth to hold a spiritual balance and bring spiritual gifts, and this makes them even more convinced that they don’t need to change their approach to salvation.

    It can be difficult for a spiritual teacher to watch lifestreams being stuck at this stage, because they are so very close but yet they remain completely unreachable to us. If only they would turn the dial of consciousness a little bit, they would see the greater truth, but the ego has managed to make them firmly convinced that they are so spiritual that they don’t need to change their perspective. Thus, they are often as unreachable as a cave man, yet they are firmly convinced that they are far above the cave man and everyone else.

From fear to pride
When you compare the religious stages, you see that they actually share some characteristics with the material stages:

  • They are still very much focused on the ego-self, and we might even go so far as to say that at each stage people are seeking to use their religion to “save” their egos. The difference between this and the material stages is that people now have a sense that there is something outside the ego, namely God. Yet they still see that God as being outside themselves, and thus they are outside his kingdom. As a result, they are vulnerable to the ego’s claim that they have to meet certain outer requirements in order to enter the kingdom.
  • People are still focused on a sense of lack, meaning that they believe they are spiritually incomplete in themselves and need a savior from outside themselves.
  • The difference is that they now realize they need something from the spiritual realm rather than something from the material realm. And while this realization represents progress, the problem is that if you think the “something” from the spiritual realm can only come to you from outside yourself, you are really no closer to receiving it.
  • Many spiritual people are still focused on comparing themselves to others, thinking they are better than others if they appear to be more spiritual according to the definition of their church and ego. And while it is better to strive for spiritual qualities than for material possessions, it is only a marginal improvement. For if you seek spiritual qualities for the sake of making the ego appear acceptable to God or better than other people, you are still engaged in an impossible quest. And no matter how spiritual you might appear according to an earthly standard, you are no closer to entering the actual kingdom of God. If you have not the wedding garment of the Christ consciousness, you cannot remain at the marriage feast.

My overall point here is that when people are stuck in the material stages, they are often primarily motivated by fear. When they move into the religious stages, they begin to be more motivated by pride. This does not mean that these people have not made progress. Having overcome fear is an accomplishment and does take you to a higher level of the spiritual path. What I am seeking to point out is that rising above fear does not mean that you are home free—as many spiritual seekers believe.

As you rise above fear, the chameleon of the ego will simply change color and will now stop trying to control you through fear-based means. Instead, it will become much more subtle and seek to divert you through pride-based means. The more immature seekers often fall headlong for this manipulation and eagerly embrace some kind of belief system that makes them seem better than others. I am hoping that the more mature spiritual seekers can see that it is essential to be on guard against pride. In fact, pride will remain a temptation as long as you are in embodiment on Earth.

There is only one way to avoid the subtle traps of pride, namely to increase your alertness and your ability to see through the games played by the ego. No one can do this for you, not even the best guru. It is an ability that you must cultivate on your own, for only you can counteract the subtle games that your personal ego plays in the deepest recesses of your mind.

An essential key to unmasking pride is to realize that all pride is based on a comparison that leads to a value judgment. Neither the comparison nor the value judgment can take place in the mind of Christ. A comparison is always a relative measure, meaning that it takes place in the realm of duality which sets up a scale between two relative extremes. This is what I called the judgment after appearances, meaning conditions defined by the dualistic mind.

Only when you have a relative comparison is it possible to add a value judgment and say that one of the relative appearances is better than another relative appearance. And only then is it possible for your ego to create the belief that because you fulfill certain worldly requirements, you are better than other people and your salvation is guaranteed.

In the Christ mind, there are no relative comparisons. There is only one evaluation. Do you live up to your highest potential as a co-creator with God, or do you fall short of the mark? If you do live up to your potential, you are being the unique individual that God created, and there can be no comparisons or value judgments in uniqueness. If you do not live up to that potential, the Christ mind does not judge you. It holds fast to the immaculate concept for your transformation and does everything it can to help you fulfill that potential as quickly as possible.

In other words, the Christ mind is not blind, but it never seeks to make an imperfect condition permanent. In contrast, the mind of anti-christ seeks to create imperfect conditions by setting up its own relative standard. And once it has defined itself as being better than others, it wants to maintain their imperfections in order to maintain its own sense of superiority. In other words, the ego seeks to raise itself up by putting other people down.

This game has been played by many people for countless lifetimes. It is quite possible for the ego to use a religious or spiritual teaching to play this game. In fact, some of the people who think they are the most religious or spiritual are actually caught in this game and are simply using their spiritual teaching – and especially their status in an outer organization – to build the belief that they are better – meaning more spiritual – than others. You will see that even my disciples played this game, Peter being especially caught up in it. Which is why the church that claims to be based on his authority is still claiming to be better than all other (Christian) churches. Vanity of vanities—all is vanity.

The strait gate and the narrow way
Consider a statement I made 2,000 years ago:

13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide [is] the gate, and broad [is] the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
14 Because strait [is] the gate, and narrow [is] the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (Matthew, Chapter 7)

I have now explained to you the true meaning of the wide gate and the broad way that leads to destruction. It is the way of the ego, as I have outlined it in the stages described here. Then what is the strait gate and the narrow way that only few people find? It is the true way of self-transcendence, whereby you follow another of my mystical statements:

3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. (John, Chapter 3)

Being born again means that you are reborn into a new sense of identity. Instead of identifying yourself based on the duality consciousness, you now accept your true identity in Christ. This new sense of identity will BE COMPLETELY unfathomable to the ego, as Nicodemus’ question demonstrates. The ego will seek to interpret it literally, so the only solution is that the Conscious You realizes we are talking about a spiritual rebirth that requires the death of the ego and a total departure from its dualistic reasoning.

Being born of water means that you attain mastery over your emotions – the water element of your being – and therefore master fear. Being born of the spirit means that you attain mastery over your thoughts – even going up to your identity body – and thus master pride. Only then can you enter the kingdom of God, which is the Christ consciousness.

That which is born of the flesh – meaning that it springs from the duality consciousness – can never inherit the kingdom. Only that which is born of the Spirit can enter the kingdom, and that means the Conscious You when you identify yourself as a co-creator with God. The wind blowing where it listeth symbolizes that when you attain the mind of Christ, you no longer follow the “logic” and “rationality” of the mind of anti-christ. Thus, neither your ego nor the forces of this world can predict – and thus cannot control – what you will do. You will be following the higher logic and rationality of the Christ mind, which is utterly unfatomable to the dualistic mind.

Many spiritual seekers on this planet have already begun this process of spiritual rebirth. Yet the process will become so much easier when you realize that the core of your being is the Conscious You, which has the ability to identify itself as anything it chooses. Thus, if you walk the spiritual path while still identifying with the ego, you will find it very difficult to let go of the ego’s illusions. You will be fighting a constant battle because you will be thinking that if part of your ego dies, you will die.

When you consciously step outside of the ego’s mental prison, the path takes on an entirely new dimension. You now realize you are much more than the ego, and thus you can let part of the ego die without feeling that you are dying or even losing anything. In fact, you can quickly come to realize that the ego – and its dualistic beliefs – are limiting your true being. Thus, letting part of the ego die is a liberation and being reborn into a new identity is the ultimate liberation.

Yet for you to step onto this higher level of the path – which we might call the spiritual level – you will have to deeply contemplate the meaning of my statement that the kingdom of God is within you. You must come to see the fallacy of the ego’s claim that any conditions in this world can guarantee – or prevent – your salvation. You must take full and final responsibility for your own salvation by realizing that the ONLY factor that determines your salvation is whether you have the Christ consciousness or whether you still have elements of the duality consciousness in your container of self.

You will need to contemplate the very fact that salvation is not an outer condition bestowed upon you by an external God or an external savior. No one can save you for you. Salvation is an inner condition, whereby you attain a sense of oneness with God. For how can you be in the kingdom of God while maintaining the ego’s sense of separation from God? It simply is not possible, thus only when you attain the Christ mind’s sense of oneness with God can you BE in the kingdom.

Of course, this sense of oneness with God has an Omega aspect, namely the sense of oneness with all life, so that you no longer seek to raise up yourself in comparison to others. Instead, you have attained the total selflessness – or perhaps we might say the total selfishness – of knowing you are one with all life. Thus, you only truly raise up yourself in seeking to raise up all life.

How do you attain this state of consciousness? I have already given you important clues in the previous discourses on the ego, and I will continue to give you more clues, as we go deeper into the psychology of the ego, the psychology of anti-christ.

Part 9. Why the ego will always be a house divided against itself

Copyright © 2009 by Kim Michaels