Why the ego cannot see the forest for the trees

The least you should know about the ego, Part 2.

A discourse by Jesus

NOTE: This teaching was given on April 26, 2006.

In this discourse I will give you the overall view – the big picture – of how the ego manages to make and keep people spiritually blind and what you can do to start getting yourself out of the trap set by the ego. I know that for people who are still identifying with their egos, this teaching will be impossible to understand. Yet, as I said in the first discourse, most people who find this website have made some contact with their Christ selves, and thus they can benefit from having the big picture.

If there was one thing that I wish all spiritual seekers would understand, it is the fact that the spiritual path is a process whereby you gradually free your mind from all of the illusions created by the ego. As I explained in the previous discourse, the ego can never experience the Spirit of Truth. Therefore, the ego creates a description – a mental image – of God’s truth (and collectively human beings have created an almost infinite number of such graven images). The ego is absolutely convinced that its description of truth is the real thing. Yet in reality, the ego’s description is an idol that obscures your direct experience of the Spirit of truth itself. Thus, the ego is in violation of the first two commandments given by God to Moses:

3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image… (Exodus, Chapter 20)

The first command is that you have no other Gods before the real God, which means that you do not accept any description in this world as a substitute for the direct experience of the Spirit of Truth. The second one is that you do not take unto yourself any graven image, which does not mean a statue carved in stone but a mental image. The ego creates these mental images and then it seeks to make you believe that you should accept an image as the absolute, unchanging truth. You should be satisfied with the idol, so that you do not attempt to go beyond it and experience the Spirit of Truth.

The ego cannot experience the Spirit of Truth, but you can. And when you do experience the Spirit of truth directly, you will no longer believe the ego’s illusion, namely that its description is the real thing or is all you need in order to be saved. Thus, the ego will lose its power over you, and as you stop feeding the ego energy, it will gradually wither away and it will eventually die. Because the ego has a strong survival instinct, it does not want to die, and thus it will do anything to keep you from seeing through its illusions. It will do anything to prevent you from experiencing the Spirit of truth directly, gradually expanding your vision so you can eventually rebuke all of the lies created by the ego and the prince of this world.

Thus, we might say that the essence of the spiritual path is to gradually clear your mind from the illusions of the ego so that you gain a progressively purer experience of the Spirit of Truth. As Paul said it:

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. (1Corinthians13:12)

The basic choice of life
In traditional religions you find the concept of the laws of God. We might also call them the design principles that God used to create the universe in which you live. The origin of all other design principles is the principle of oneness, the Law of Oneness. It is described in the Bible as follows:

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. (John, Chapter 1)

God created everything out of its own Being and thus God’s Being is embedded in everything that was created—without him was not anything made that was made. The Word is what is also called the only begotten son of God:

No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. (John 1:18)

Many Christians think this refers to me, the historical person of Jesus. However, as I explain throughout this website, I came to Earth as a representative of something far greater than any one person. That is why I said:

Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. (Mark 10:18)

The concept of the word or the only begotten son refers to what I today call the universal Christ mind. This is the mind, the state of consciousness, that is created by God as the very foundation for the principle of oneness. The fundamental function of the Christ mind is to be one with God, one with God’s overall vision for the universe and one with the specific design principles that God created in order to make sure the universe reaches its intended goal.

You now need to realize that you – meaning your lifestream, which is more than your physical body and your outer mind and personality – were created to be a co-creator with God. That is why the Bible says:

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion… (Genesis 1:26)

God has given human beings dominion over the Earth, which means that God created this planet as a foundation upon which human beings could build a house as a way to express and develop their creative abilities. Human beings have been given free will, so they must – individually and collectively – decide what they do upon the Earth. The only catch is, of course, that they will inevitably experience the conditions they create. God did not create the current state of limitations, lack of resources and other forms of suffering. Humankind has collectively created current conditions, and everyone is experiencing them.

When God gave co-creators free will, a fundamental duality came into being. As I said, the universal Christ mind is an expression of the principle of oneness which is designed to make sure everything follows God’s purpose and vision. Yet when co-creators gain free will, it becomes possible that they can choose to go against the principle of oneness. Thus, the mind of Christ logically has an opposite. The basic reality of free will is that a co-creator can create in one of two ways:

  • You can co-create by using the mind of Christ, which means that everything you do is in alignment with God’s purpose and the design principles used by God.
  • You can de-create by using the mind of anti-christ, which is in opposition to the mind of Christ. Thus, everything you create through the mind of anti-christ is out of alignment with God’s purpose and laws.

The mind of anti-christ is in opposition to the mind of Christ because it is based on the illusion that it is separated from God. Thus, free will gives you two options for expressing your creativity:

  • You can co-create within the framework of God’s law. This ensures that you are in harmony with God’s purpose and that your efforts enhance your own life and the lives of everyone else. In other words, everything you do raises up all life.
  • You can de-create outside the framework of God’s law. Thereby, you set yourself apart from God’s purpose and you are, so to speak, fighting against he current of the River of Life, you are fighting against the entire universe. The result of co-creating outside of God’s law is that you limit your creative freedom and power, and everything you do only pulls down yourself and all life. That is why humankind has created so much suffering on this planet.

To better understand the difference between following or going against God’s laws, consider the law of gravity. This law is what makes it possible for you to live on the surface of the Earth instead of floating into empty space. Is the law of gravity a restriction of your creative freedom on this planet or is it the foundation for it? So would it make sense to rebel against the law of gravity and spend your entire life fighting it? (Take note that flying is not a rebellion against the law of gravity but a result of learning how to make more advanced use of all of God’s laws.)

My point here is that, as a co-creator, you have the option of co-creating through the mind of Christ – the mind of oneness with God and all life – or the mind of anti-christ—the mind that sees itself as separated from God and all life. Thus, you now see that the mind of anti-christ is based on a fundamental division, a division between itself and God, God’s law and all other co-creators. The mind of Christ is the mind of oneness, whereas the mind of anti-christ is the mind of division, the mind of duality, the mind of separation. We now need to take a closer look at the fundamental duality of the mind of anti-christ.

The knowledge of good and evil
When you stay within the framework of God’s law, you have an absolute standard for evaluating everything. There is that which is one with God’s truth, God’s reality, and there is that which is apart from God’s reality. When you move into the consciousness of anti-christ, you lose this absolute guiding rod. Only the consciousness of Christ can see God’s reality, and thus when you step outside the consciousness of Christ, you can no longer see God’s absolute truth. You now enter a state of mind in which truth becomes a relative concept, a concept that is dominated by two opposites that can only exist in relation to each other.

The Bible describes these concepts in the story of how Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden of Eden. You need to understand that the literal, orthodox interpretation of this story is out of touch with reality. Adam and Eve were not the only human beings in the Garden. The story is meant to illustrate what has happened to every co-creator on Earth. Thus, you are not being punished for the original sin of Adam and Eve. Your present situation is the consequence of the fact that your soul – for most people, many lifetimes ago – made the same choice made by Adam and Eve.

What was that choice? In the beginning, all God’s co-creators lived in a protected environment in which they had direct guidance from a spiritual teacher—what Genesis calls “God.” This teacher was teaching co-creators how to exercise their creative powers while staying within the framework of God’s law. Yet because they had free will, they also had the potential to go outside of God’s law. This is what Genesis describes as follows:

16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. (Genesis, Chapter 2)

What is the deeper spiritual meaning behind the metaphor of the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil?” It is a description of the consciousness of anti-christ, the consciousness that sees itself as separated from God. Perhaps you have wondered why God planted the tree in the Garden if he did not want Adam to eat of it? The reason is now clear. The “tree” was an inevitable consequence of giving God’s co-creators free will. God could not give you free will without giving you the potential to go outside of God’s law.

Having this potential does not mean that you have to exercise it. Being able to hurt yourself does not mean that you have to hurt yourself. However, having the potential does mean that you are exposed to the temptation to go outside God’s law. Thus, the Serpent can be seen (among other things) as a symbol for the fact that free will does come with a price, namely the temptation to make choices that harm yourself and all life.

The real meaning behind the expression “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” is that it represents a state of consciousness, namely the consciousness of anti-christ. In this state of consciousness you have stepped outside of oneness with God, and thus you no longer see God’s reality. You now see everything as defined on a scale with two opposites. On one side of the scale is good and on the opposite side is evil. Yet for the scale to exist, both are necessary, meaning that “good” and “evil” have now become relative concepts. They exist only in relation to each other and one is defined as the opposite of the other.

The consequence is that in the consciousness of anti-christ there is no absolute truth. “Truth” has become relative, meaning that it can be defined differently by different people. You have heard the expression, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” and in the consciousness of anti-christ “truth” is in the eye of the beholder. In other words, when you partake of the consciousness of anti-christ you create your own definition of truth and it will be outside of God’s absolute truth.

The ultimate outcome of the consciousness of anti-christ is the belief that evil is the opposite of God, meaning that the devil (or however you picture personified evil) is the opposite polarity of God and is a necessary (even beneficial) part of the basic polarity of life. In reality, the consciousness of anti-christ is not in a polarity with the consciousness of Christ. Evil is not the opposite of God. Evil is outside of God, and the consciousness of anti-christ is outside the consciousness of Christ—the consciousness of oneness. Thus, relativity is a product of the consciousness of anti-christ, and it is only in the sphere of anti-christ that good and evil exist as relative concepts, as opposing polarities where one cannot exist without the other.

The veil
The reality behind the story of the Fall of Man is that all human beings on this planet have “fallen,” meaning that they have partaken of the fruit of the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” By allowing this consciousness of anti-christ to enter their beings, they have succumbed to the basic illusion, namely that they are separated from God instead of being co-creators with God, sons and daughters of God, individualizations of God.

Remember, that without God was not anything made that was made, meaning that you are an individualization of God’s Being. Thus, you can never be separated from God in reality. How could you be separated from God when God is everywhere and in everything? Thus, the belief that you are separated from God can exist only in the mind. It is the result of a free-will choice, namely the choice to partake of the consciousness of anti-christ, whereby you begin to believe – even experience – that you are separated from God.

The mind of Christ is the consciousness of oneness, so as long as you are in the Christ mind, you cannot see yourself as separated from God. Only by allowing the consciousness of anti-christ to enter your being – whereby you see everything through the filter of this dualistic mind – can you experience yourself as being separated from your source. Through the consciousness of Christ, you see yourself as a drop in the ocean of God’s being and you know all other drops came from the same source. Through the consciousness of anti-christ, you see yourself as drop that is separated from the ocean and from all other drops in the ocean.

In reality, the fall into a lower state of consciousness did not happen in one momentous event. It was a gradual process that took time, yet as depicted in Genesis, there did come a moment of truth:

7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. (Genesis, Chapter 3)

The deeper meaning is that your soul did have a moment of realization in which it recognized that it had separated itself from God—or rather from its spiritual teacher. At that moment, the soul faced an epic choice. Would it go back to its spiritual teacher or would it seek to hide from its teacher? Would it seek the teacher’s help to come back to oneness with God, or would it seek to hide its mistakes, hoping it could hide them from the teacher?

There were many souls in the Garden of Eden who partook of the forbidden fruit. Yet many of them did indeed go back to the teacher and they received the loving guidance that helped them come back to oneness with their source. Thus, the story of the Fall is the story of those souls who tried to hide from the teacher. When you realize the importance of free will, you realize that the teacher could not force them to come back. He had to allow them to continue to hide. To this day, most people on this planet are hiding from the spiritual teacher, and the spiritual path can be seen as a process of making peace with your spiritual teacher.

The consequence of hiding from the teacher is that the student can no longer remain in the mystery school of the Garden. I know Genesis gives a very ominous description of how Adam and Eve were forcefully cast out of the Garden, but the reality is that Paradise is the Christ consciousness, the consciousness of oneness with God. Thus, when your soul partook of the consciousness of separation, it could not remain in the consciousness of oneness—you cannot be one and separate at the same time. Thus, those souls who refused to go back to the teacher, cast themselves out of the Garden.

As the Bible portrays, Adam and Eve were aware that they had suffered a loss—and so was every soul that fell. When the soul lost is connection to God – meaning its spiritual teacher – it felt alone, even abandoned. Because this aloneness was unbearable, the soul needed something to take the place of its spiritual teacher. That “something” became the human ego which is designed as a way to compensate for the soul’s loss of connection. The ego is designed to prevent the soul from feeling alone.

The ego is born of the soul’s separation from oneness, and thus it is born from the consciousness of anti-christ. Thus, it sees everything through the filter of the consciousness of separation, meaning that it will ALWAYS see itself as separated from God. It cannot see oneness as the solution to the soul’s basic problem of aloneness. Instead, it seeks to make the soul believe in any number of illusions that make it seem like the soul does not have to come back to oneness. These illusions range from the idea that there is no God to the idea that you can be saved only through an outer religion.

My point here is that the ego is born out of separation and it cannot see the absolute truth of God. The ego sees only the relative “truth” that springs from the consciousness of anti-christ, which means that everything the ego sees affirms the basic illusion that you are separated from God. Thus, the ego and its relative, dualistic beliefs form a veil that prevents you from seeing God and God’s truth. Walking the spiritual path is a mattter of learning to see beyond this veil.

The impossible quest of the ego
As I said, the ego is born of the consciousness of separation. The logical consequence is that the ego can NEVER bring the soul back to oneness. Because a soul is created out of God’s being, it can never quite forget that it came from somewhere higher than this Earth, that there is more to life than what it experiences on Earth. Thus, the ego is faced with an impossible quest. The soul has an inner longing for oneness, but the ego can never fill that longing.

If the soul realizes this truth, it will no longer believe in the ego’s illusions and thus the ego will die. To stay alive, the ego must prevent you from realizing the basic truth about life, and it does so by seeking to trap you in its dualistic illusions. These illusions take many forms, and we will look at some of them in the following discourses. However, what I want to convey to you here is that the individual illusions created by the ego can be seen as trees in a forest.

Because you have been trapped by the ego, you are inside the forest and all you can see are the trees—the individual illusions created by the ego. As you begin to use your built-in ability to reach for the higher truth of Christ, you begin to cut down some of the trees in the forest. Eventually, your vision is less obscured, and you can begin to see the truth of Christ.

Yet the important concept here is that the ego is more than the individual illusions it has created, as the forest is more than the trees. Yet what is a forest? If you clear out all the trees, is there any forest left? Indeed, the forest is still in existence in the same place it always existed, namely in the human mind. The reality is that the forest is just a mental concept, an illusion created in the mind—and so is the ego. The ego has no reality in and of itself. It only has the reality that you give to it because you believe in its illusions.

As long as you are focusing your attention on the illusions, you cannot see the ego. As long as you believe in the illusions, you cannot discover the truth that the ego has no reality in God. And as long as you do not see that the ego has no reality, you believe the consciousness of anti-christ is real. Thus, you continue to believe in the illusion that you are separated from God.

My point is that all of the individual illusions – all of the trees in the forest – are designed to prevent you from seeing the forest, seeing the ego itself. For when you do see the ego and see it for what it is, you will realize that it is not real and thus has no power over you. Thus, you can surrender it, let it go and let it die as you walk away from it and enter the kingdom of God, the consciousness of oneness.

Do you now see why I did not start out by defining the ego? You really cannot define the ego because the ego has no actual substance. It seems to have substance because you believe in its illusions, as the forest seems to have substance as long as you focus on the trees. Yet a forest is a mental concept that can contain many kinds of trees. A pine forest is different from an oak forest. Likewise, the ego of one person is different from the ego of another person, and they are set apart by the individual illusions that each person has accepted.

In a sense one might say that the ego is like a chameleon that changes color so as to blend in with its environment and escape being detected. The ego is always trying to hide behind the trees so you do not see it. The consequence – and this is something all sincere spiritual seekers need to contemplate – is that your ego will not remain the same. As you climb the spiritual path, you will clear out some of the illusions of your ego – some of the trees in the forest – but that does not mean you have fully overcome the ego. As long as any illusions are left, the ego will hide behind them in its never-ending attempt to prevent you from seeing the forest.

This has many consequences, which we will explore in coming discourses, but one is that as long as you are in this world, it is wise not to believe that you have fully overcome the ego. It is wise to always be alert and look for something that is hiding, seeking to deceive you to the very end. That is why I said:

For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. (Matthew 24:24)

Some of these false prophets will be created by your own ego in an attempt to deceive you into continuing to give it power over you. Others will be created by the prince of this world in an attempt to get you to follow an outer guru instead of entering the kingdom of God that is within you. In the coming discourses, we will expose some of the largest trees in the ego’s forest, but I want you to remember the forest itself. For the truth is that every time a tree comes down, you have a split second where the ego is exposed. And if you pay attention, you can see it before it has time to hide itself again. Once you have seen the ego itself, it will become much easer for you to overcome its illusions, until you can dismiss even the basic illusion that the ego and the separation from God is real.

One might say that by seeing the ego itself, it becomes possible for you to step outside of the forest while there are still trees left in the forest. Once you no longer identify with the ego, it becomes so much easier for you to let go of the remaining illusions of your ego. This is the state of knowing – human, know thyself – to which all sincere spiritual seekers should aspire. Everything I give on this website serves the purpose of helping you reach that state of knowing that you are MORE than the ego.

Part 3. Why the ego is trying to fit a square peg into a round hole

Copyright © 2009 by Kim Michaels