By Kim Michaels
Consider this statement:
In reality, you are who you are.
In the here and now, you are who you think you are.
There is currently a gap between who you really are and who you think you are.
The ultimate goal of the spiritual path is to close that gap.
The implication is simple: Right now, you are seeing everything – including yourself – through a perception filter, a sense of self. Yet this self is not who you really are. It is simply an outer persona, that the real you is using as a way to experience the world from a certain perspective.
Let us look at an example. When we look around the world, we can see many places, where two groups of people are locked in a struggle against each other. To avoid any current conflicts, consider the medieval crusades. We see two groups of religious people, who both believed their religion was the only true one. They also both believed that they had been commissioned by God to establish their religion as the superior one on earth, and that God had said this could justify killing those who followed a different religion. So we had two groups of people killing each other in the name of the same God.
This leaves us with two options:
- God is a very strange God and actually wants people to kill each other in his name.
- There is something missing in our view of God and our relationship with God.
In other words, when two groups of people believe their religion is the only right one, common logic says they can’t both be right. Yet what if we used uncommon logic to ask: “What if none of them are right?”
Taking on a perception filter
As an example, consider what it means to identify yourself as a Christian? It means that you take on a perception filter. This perception filter is defined in such a way, that there are certain questions you simply do not ask when you look at life through that filter. You either believe such questions are forbidden or that you do not need to ask them. There are certain things you think are self-evident, that you take for granted, and thus you think they are beyond questioning.
So if you look at life through a Christian perception filter, you believe that the way to get to heaven is to be a good Christian and to work towards making all other people Christians. As a result, you do not ask a very simple question: “Are there any Christians in heaven?”
Yet Jesus himself made a very interesting statement: “And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven.” The implication is profound: We descended from the spiritual realm in a certain state. While down here on earth, we have taken on an outer self, a perception filter. Yet the ONLY way to ascend back to the spiritual realm is to transcend ALL of the perception filters found on earth.
So are there any Christians or Muslims in heaven? No; in heaven there are only individualizations of God. The reason being that the ONLY way to get to heaven is to transcend ALL of the labels or conditions defined here on earth. It is NOT a matter of becoming a good Christian or a good spiritual person. It is a matter of realizing who you truly are as a spiritual being who is beyond any labels defined on earth.
How your perception filter limits you
Let us be less theoretical and return to your current situation. You may be seeing yourself as a limited being, because you are convinced that there are certain external conditions that limit you. In other words, you think these material conditions have power over you.
Yet, is it possible, that the way you currently experience the world is a product of the fact, that the original “you” has chosen to take on a particular sense of self? This self acts as a perception filter, and as long as you look at life through the filter, it seems absolutely real that certain external conditions have power over you?
In other words, at some point in the past (perhaps in a previous lifetime long forgotten), the original “you” chose to take on a limited sense of self. This limited self was developed precisely by defining certain material conditions as having absolute reality and thus having power over you.
This may sound theoretical, so let us relate it to a historical fact. About 500 years ago, most people in Europe were firmly and absolutely convinced that the earth was flat. Ask yourself this question: “Was the earth really flat 500 years ago, or was it as round then as it is today?”
Obviously, the earth has not changed shape, so what we see here is that what has changed is the way we human beings look at the earth. It was a specific perception filter that caused people to believe – as an unquestionable fact – that the earth was flat. And that perception filter limited them in many ways, because they thought it was dangerous to sail across the ocean to look for new land.
As long as you look at life through the perception filter that defines your current sense of self, there is absolutely no way you can question the belief that material conditions are real and have power over you. The ONLY way you might transcend these conditions is to question the very perception filter that makes them seem real. Yet you can NEVER do this as long as you look at life from inside the perception filter. This is the human enigma, the existential catch-22.
You are NOT your current self
Is there a way out? Of course, and it is to realize that you are NOT your current sense of self. In reality, you are a being that descended from the spiritual realm, and as such you cannot be permanently affected by anything on earth. This being has simply taken on a limited self, and as long as you see yourself through the filter of that self, you think this is who you are. Yet regardless of your current perception, you are still the same being that descended.
The next step is to consider how the pure “you” took on your current self? It did so by projecting itself into that self, much like an actor who puts on a certain costume and make-up in order to play a part in a theater. Your current self is simply a part, that you have chosen to play in the theater of life. Yet if you are beginning to have had enough of playing this part, you can take off the costume.
How do you transcend your current self? By realizing that the pure “you” projected itself into this self, which means it also has the potential to extricate itself from the self it has taken on. The way to do this is to realize that the real you has the potential to attain a state of pure consciousness, meaning you have NO perception filter. You simply look at conditions in the material realm without labeling or judging them. The labeling and judging is a product of your perception filter.
The ascended masters have named the “you” that originally descended the “Conscious You.” Yet it is important not to be hung up on the name, because the same concept is found in other mystical teachings, simply given different names. For example, the founder of Tibetan Buddhism, PadmaSambhava, called it “pure awareness” or “naked awareness.” Zen Buddhism calls it “beginner’s mind” and Jesus talked about us becoming as little children in order to enter the kingdom of heaven.
The important thing to realize is that the Conscious You has not been permanently changed by your current self—any more than your eyes would be changed if you put on a pair of yellow glasses. Thus, the Conscious You is perfectly capable of attaining a state of pure awareness, where you do not have any of the perception filters defined on earth. You see things as they really are.
This is what the Buddha called pure perception, and it is what Jesus talked about when he said: “When thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.” Think about that last statement. When your vision is “single,” meaning it is not divided by any perception filters, then you see that everything in the material universe is made from light. How does this help you transcend your limitations?
Dismantling the perception filters
As explained in 36 Ideas, everything in the material universe is made from spiritual light that has simply taken on a temporary appearance. When you experience that you are a spiritual being, you know that the temporary appearances in the material world simply cannot have power over your Spirit. And thus, you can begin to systematically dismantle the perception filter that makes you believe you are a limited being who has no power over material conditions. And that is when you can begin to fulfill Jesus’ promise that we can do the works that he did, and even greater works.
What is a perception filter? Well, it is built from two main elements, namely certain beliefs (often subconscious beliefs) and the energy we have qualified through those beliefs over many lifetimes. In other words, as explained in 36 Ideas, the outer self is made from beliefs and low-frequency energy.
This combination of beliefs that we never question – often because we do not even see them – and low-frequency energy forms a filter that blocks out certain things and allows others to pass through. Yet underneath this is often a value judgment, that some things are good or true and that others are bad or untrue. It is this very division, based on a value judgment, that traps us on a merry-go-round of seeking to avoid or destroy what we see as bad and own or control what we see as good.
The Conscious You in its pure state, sees that all appearances in the material realm are just that: appearances. Thus, they have no power over you as pure Spirit. Returning to this pure perception is the only way to avoid giving material conditions power over you.
Why you took on a limited self
So why did you choose to take on a limited self in the first place? The basic reason is that the purpose of life is twofold. One aspect is that you expand your awareness and another is that you help raise the vibration of the planet upon which you embody.
Taking embodiment on earth is a way to facilitate your own growth while at the same time helping to raise the earth. Yet in order to take embodiment on earth, the Conscious You cannot descend in its pure state. It must project itself into a self that is made from the same vibrations that make up the material planet. It is by taking on this limited self and then gradually transcending it that you grow personally. Yet as part of this process, you will also make a contribution to raising the earth as a whole.
It must be recognized, however, that the earth is currently in a much lower state than the state in which it was created by the Elohim. Almost every religious and spiritual teaching contains the concept that in the past, there was a higher state, and we humans have descended or fallen below it.
The ascended masters teach that this “fall” happened because a number of people choose to take on selves based on the illusion of separation. This makes it possible that you can act as a separate being without considering what consequences your actions have for other people, for the whole or for yourself in the long term. Currently, most people on earth are acting from such a separate self, and that is why there is so much conflict.
So it is possible that in the past, you decided that you wanted to experience the world through a limited self or that you wanted to do the kind of things that can only be done when you think you are a separate being. Yet if you are open to the spiritual side of life, there is another possibility. You might have taken on a limited self in order to demonstrate to others, that we are more than human beings and that we do not have to be limited by material conditions. Instead, we can rise above any sense of self and help co-create a new world that is beyond current limitations.
If you feel the latter applies to you, then Transcendence Tools offer you a way to rise above your current perception filter and attain the state of pure awareness that is your highest potential. Then, you can fulfill your reason for being, namely to be an open door for a higher part of your being. We will look at this part next.
However, let us first clarify one thing. What is the biggest challenge on the spiritual path? It is to let go of all our pre-conceived opinions and beliefs—let go of our perception filters. So many of us go through a phase, where we think we have found a true spiritual teaching, and now we don’t need to transcend certain beliefs, because they will surely be validated when we enter heaven. Yet the reality is that any teaching expressed in words is less than the spiritual reality. Thus, the real challenge is to let go of everything—especially what we believe we do not need to question.
It is not by holding on to anything – clutching your ideas, as the Buddhists say – that you will get to the ascended state. It is only by letting go of every “thing” and attaining the state of pure, naked awarenessin which you have no human value judgments, no judgments after appearances. It is only when you do not judge after earthly appearances, that the current appearances on earth will have no power over you.
Next: Your spiritual self
Copyright © 2012 by Kim Michaels