The least you should know about the ego, Part 6.
A discourse by Jesus
NOTE: This teaching was given on May 16, 2006.
As I have explained in previous discourses, the ego operates entirely in the realm of duality. When you go to the lowest aspect of dualistic thinking, you end up seeing the world as black and white, meaning that you are always right and anyone opposing you is always wrong. The reasoning is simple. People define a belief system as infallible and as the only true one, meaning that they think it is entirely true and not influenced by error at all. In the terminology I use in these discourses, people think their belief system springs entirely from the truth of Christ and is not influenced by the illusions of the mind of anti-christ.
In reality this line of thinking springs from the ego’s desire to set itself up as an authority figure that cannot be questioned. It is an attempt to create the outer appearance that because you belong to the only true belief system, you are guaranteed to be saved. It also gives many people the sense that they are better than those who do not belong to their belief system. If you take an honest look at the world, you will see that even today many people are caught in this approach to life. They have a very obvious sense of righteousness, they judge others and they feel better than others. An obvious example is fundamentalists of any religion.
If you have ever interacted with such people, you will know that it can be extremely difficult to carry on a normal conversation with them. And it is virtually impossible to discuss anything that goes beyond or seems to contradict their beliefs. If you try to make them see that their beliefs are limited or even incorrect, you are usually met with a very hostile reaction. In extreme cases, such people are willing to kill anyone who threatens their belief system, as for example a Muslim fundamentalist who carries out a suicide bombing to defend Islam. Or a Christian crusader defending a piece of real estate in the Holy Land—as if God – a spiritual being – ever wanted people to kill each other over anything in the material world. When people are less extreme, they will label you as being of the devil (or any number of other negative labels) and refuse to talk with you. This, of course, makes such people unreachable for a spiritual teacher.
Escape from extremism
What can bring people out of this state of having closed their minds completely? Well, the reality of the situation is that the conscious selves of such people have refused to make decisions. The conscious self has retreated into a self-made fortress and it has assigned the ego as a guard. The role of the ego is to build fortress walls that are impenetrable to anything that would require the conscious self to wake up and start making decisions again. Of course, as the medieval castles proved, any fortress built to keep the world out, will also keep its inhabitants in, thus becoming a prison.
The inevitable result is that the ego will act as a computer that mindlessly carries out its programming, taking the person further and further into the extreme of black-and-white thinking. This will cause the person to be in continuous conflict with other people, and when the conflict becomes extreme enough, the conscious self might finally wake up and realize, “I can’t do this anymore. There must be a better way!”
If the conscious self is willing to take at least some responsibility for its situation, it can now reverse the downward trend and it can then start the upward path that gradually leads it out of the prison built by the ego. Yet there are three main factors that can impede this growth:
- The mental prison was built as a fortress designed to “defend” the conscious self from having to make decisions. Thus, the conscious self might be emotionally attached to the security and comfortability of the prison. This might manifest as an unwillingness to run the risk of making decisions or as an attachment to the beliefs out of which the fortress is built. It might cling to this security in order to avoid feeling vulnerable.
- The ego wants the conscious self to believe in the lie that if you don’t make any decisions, you can’t make mistakes. Yet the reality is that because you have free will, not making decisions is still making a decision. If you don’t make decisions, you are allowing the ego to make decisions for you. All of the ego’s decisions are mistakes, in the sense that they will not bring you closer to oneness with God.
- The ego’s survival instinct will seek to keep you inside the walls where it feels like it has you and the world under some form of control. So the ego will actively and aggressively seek to prevent you from rising to a new level of the spiritual path.
What do I mean when I talk about rising to a new level of the path? Well, there are many valid ways to divide the spiritual path into levels or stages. In this context, what I am talking about is that you come to the point where you begin to see the fallacy of dualistic thinking. You begin to see the forest itself rather than being blinded by the individual trees. This is when you can begin to consciously reach for the non-dual truth of Christ.
The ego and the forces of this world will mount a major offensive against any person who begins to rise above duality. They will do anything they can think of to keep you trapped in dualistic thinking. Yet their only way of doing this is to use the duality of the mind of anti-christ. However, this is a formidable weapon because it is much more subtle than most spiritual seekers realize.
From one extreme to the other
As I explained in the previous discourse, many people have started rising out of extreme selfishness by being converted to a religion that talks about Heaven and hell. These are what we normally call religious people, and they are still very much trapped in black-and-white thinking. They are largely unreachable to me, and most of them would reject this website outright.
In today’s world, many people have started seeing the limitations of a black-and-white approach to religion. Some are still members of traditional religions while others seek a more universal spirituality or belong to a New Age organization. Common for all these people is that they have started to rise above the black-and-white, fear-based, judgmental approach to religion. Thus, they are what I call spiritual seekers. They realize there is more to know about the spiritual side of life than what can be found in black-and-white doctrines, and they are actively looking for a higher understanding. These are the kind of people who are open to the teachings that the Ascended Host are bringing forth in this age, whether through this website or other means.
My point is that spiritual seekers represent the greatest potential for turning around planet Earth and bringing humankind to a higher level, as I explain elsewhere. The problem is that at the present time this is only a potential. What keeps it from becoming a manifest reality is that too many spiritual seekers have become trapped in a form of dualistic thinking that is so different from black-and-white thinking that people believe it is above duality. Yet in reality, it is simply the opposite extreme of black-and-white thinking.
Here is one concept that I would like all sincere spiritual seekers to understand. You live on a planet that is like a twilight zone. Some spiritual light has started to penetrate the density of humankind’s consciousness. Yet there is still so much darkness left that the light and the darkness can mix into shades of gray that make it very difficult to tell the difference between what is real and unreal. Therefore, the human ego and the prince of this world can still use the subtlety of the duality consciousness to blur the difference between what is real and unreal.
The result is that there is currently no concept, truth or spiritual teaching on this planet that cannot be perverted by the human ego. The ego will try to turn any idea into a dualistic idea by putting it on a scale with other dualistic ideas—usually by setting up the idea in opposition to another idea. The consequence is that whenever you take a major step forward on the spiritual path, your ego will repeat its never-ending game of seeking to create two extremes and polarize you toward either one. When you come to the realization that you have had enough of one extreme, your ego will instantly try to make you jump into the opposite extreme. The purpose is to prevent you from leaving behind the dualistic way of thinking and rising to a higher plateau.
As I have said, most spiritual seekers have had enough of the black-and-white approach to religion. They are done with the fanaticism and they see the fallacy of the value judgment that “Our religion is the only true one and thus we are always right and those who disagree with us are bad people and will go to hell.” Most of them have distanced themselves from this approach, which is a step in the right direction. The problem is that the ego will try to make such people go into the opposite extreme, and in too many cases it is successful.
What is the opposite extreme of black-and-white thinking? It is a form of thinking in which nothing is black and white because everything is gray. This gives rise to a number of problems, but let me briefly outline the main ones:
- Religious people tend to think there is only one true religion—their own, which inevitably leads to religious intolerance. Spiritual seekers have distanced themselves from religious intolerance, but many have come to believe that religious tolerance means you must accept all religions as equally valid, meaning that you don’t need to evaluate whether an idea is true or false. Just believe and let believe.
- Many religious people are judgmental and intolerant toward members of other religions. Most spiritual seekers make it a virtue to be non-judgmental, but the extreme outcome is that they see almost any type of belief or behavior as acceptable. Or at least they think you should never speak out against other people’s beliefs or behavior.
- Many religious people feel threatened by those who disagree with them and often respond with hostility and anger. Obviously, this prevents them from following my command to love one-another as I love them—which leads to hypocrisy. They claim to be Christians, but they don’t act lovingly. Most spiritual seekers see through such hypocrisy and are sincerely striving to be loving toward everyone. However, they also believe that being loving means you should be gentle and never challenge people’s illusions.
The net outcome of this approach is that many spiritual seekers have come to believe that in order to do God’s work and raise the consciousness of the planet, they simply have to avoid the obvious extremism of black-and-white thinking. They think it is enough to be tolerant and loving, but they do not see that this is simply another fortress built to prevent their conscious selves from making its own decisions.
They do not realize that the ego that used to be judgmental when – in past lives – they were trapped in black-and-white thinking, has now morphed into an ego that is loving and kind towards everyone. Instead of truly overcoming their egos, they have allowed the chameleon of the ego to change color so that it blends in with their new world view, where being gray has become a virtue that is seen as being superior to being black-and-white. Let us take a closer look at the points raised above.
Your responsibility to discern
What caused the “Fall of Man” was the duality consciousness. The essence of the duality consciousness is that it is disconnected from God’s reality. Thus, the duality consciousness sets up its own definition of what is good and evil—a definition that is out of alignment with the reality seen by the Christ mind. The ego is born out of this relative definition of “truth,” and thus it cannot see any need to discern between what is God’s reality and a dualistic unreality. It only sees a need to discern what is right and wrong according to the dualistic belief system that it currently accepts as infallible. The ego has replaced God’s reality with a belief system created by the mind of anti-christ.
As I attempted to explain in previous discourses, anything you do in the duality consciousness – be it good or evil according to any man-made standard – will only take you further away from oneness with God. You cannot overcome the duality consciousness by using the duality consciousness. Thus, it simply is not possible to make true spiritual progress unless you are willing to discern between what is real – meaning that it is Christ truth – and what is unreal—meaning that it springs from the mind of anti-christ.
My point is that unless the Conscious You is willing to take up its responsibility and sharpen its ability to discern between God’s truth and the unreality of a dualistic “truth,” you will not make true spiritual progress. You will simply allow your ego to maneuver you into a form of self-righteousness that is different in appearance but essentially the same as what you see in many religious people. There are millions of people on this planet who claim to be truly religious or spiritual people, yet they have not truly begun to see the fallacy of dualistic thinking.
People who take a black-and-white approach are completely convinced that there is only one true belief system and that all others are false. The effect is that they do not have to discern between what is God’s absolute truth and what is a dualistic illusion. Since their belief system defines what is the infallible truth, they have no need to think for themselves. Yet the people who think all belief systems are equally valid are also refusing to discern between Christ truth and a dualistic illusion. If there are no false ideas, you have no need to discern. Simply find a belief system you like – usually because it does not challenge your ego – and then allow your ego to make you feel that you are sure to be saved.
My point is that both black-and-white thinking and gray thinking give people a “perfect” excuse for not making an effort to discern between the non-dual reality and the dualistic illusions. This is a very easy approach to life, but it springs from the fact that the conscious self refuses to take responsibility for its situation. As I said in previous discourses, you are a co-creator with God, and you cannot turn off your creative abilities. You are either co-creating through the mind of Christ or de-creating through the mind of anti-christ. Thus, it is your inherent responsibility to discern between reality and unreality to the best of your ability, while continuously sharpening your discernment.
Take note that in the current conditions found on Earth, discerning is not an easy task. Yet you are not required to be perfect; you are required to be willing to try. Those who run away from this responsibility are simply not making spiritual progress, no matter how convinced they are that because the belong to the only true church or because they never judge anyone, they are among the righteous ones who will surely be saved.
Take note of what I said earlier, namely that the ego is trying to create a false path and then convince people that by following it their salvation is guaranteed. Both the religious people who take a black-and-white approach and the spiritual seekers who take a gray approach are following this false path, namely the broad way that is taken by many people because it is easy. It does not require their conscious selves to take responsibility and make decisions. It gives the impression that you can be saved without discerning.
As I said 2,000 years ago, this approach will NEVER get you into the kingdom of God, for it cannot take you to the Christ consciousness:
For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew, 5:20)
The sense of righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees was based on their belief that they belonged to the only true religion. Yet behind that belief was an even deeper belief, namely that it is possible to define outer conditions in this world, and if you live up to these conditions, God has to let you into his kingdom. Defining such conditions is the basic programming of the ego, and it will NEVER see that this is a fallacy. Yet the Conscious You has the potential to see the fallacy of this approach—but only when it decides that it is willing to take up its responsibility to discern.
When you step onto the path to Christhood – the true path to salvation – you realize that there are ideas that are false because they spring from the mind of anti-christ. Thus, you are not showing tolerance by not challenging such ideas. However, this does not mean that you have to act like the people who take the black-and-white approach. They have a judgmental attitude, and they are condemning and judging anyone who disagrees with them.
As you begin to attain Christhood, you are no longer threatened by any ideas, so you have no need to judge or condemn other people. Instead, you can now look beyond the outer ideas and seek to genuinely help people rise above illusions. You never judge or condemn other people, but you freely challenge ideas and actions that are self-destructive and destructive toward other forms of life.
As I said, many people have started rising out of the tendency to be judgmental toward other people. You find them in liberal Christianity and in many New Age movements. Such people have made it a virtue to be kind toward everyone, and they often justify it by referring to my calls to turn the other cheek and do unto others what you want them to do to you. As I have said before, there are stages of the spiritual path. There is a time when a person can benefit from following a black-and-white belief system. Likewise, there is a phase where many people find it necessary to go into the opposite extreme and be non-judgmental. Yet this should only be a brief phase, and too many people get stuck in it because they allow their egos to convince them that it should be permanent.
Many such people allow the mind of anti-christ – focused in their egos – to convince them that the ideal behavior for a human being is to always be soft-spoken and kind. They will often justify this by referring to the behavior or spiritual leaders, such as the Buddha and myself. Yet the reality is that neither the Buddha nor myself was always soft-spoken, and although we practiced kindness, it was not the human, dualistic form of kindness.
What is dualistic kindness—how can there be more than one form of kindness? When you are trapped in duality, you define kindness a certain way, usually by saying that it is soft-spoken and never challenges people. This causes many people to believe that if they are always gentle, they will always be kind. Such people often have made themselves believe that I or the Buddha always acted this way. Yet the reality is that both the Buddha and myself had come to set people free from the illusions of the ego. Thus, we often challenged the ego and its illusions.
If you take an objective look at the scriptures, you will see that I was not a soft-spoken person. I challenged the scribes and Pharisees and I overturned the tables of the money-changers. I even challenged my own disciples and in many situations acted in ways that could be considered unkind or even inconsistent. The reason was that I practiced Divine kindness, as do all other true spiritual leaders.
Divine kindness takes a fundamentally different approach than dualistic kindness. Divine kindness is based on Christ discernment – which the Buddha also practiced – and it clearly sees when people are trapped in a dualistic illusion. The ultimate form of kindness is to help people lift themselves out of their dualistic illusions so they are no longer trapped. Yet precisely because the ego has the effect of making people blind, it is often necessary to shake people awake so they can start thinking again instead of blindly following the ego or an outer leader.
My point is that when you begin to attain Christ discernment, you see that being soft-spoken and gentle is not necessarily true kindness. In fact, the Bible contains an important clue for those who are willing to read between the lines:
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. (1John 4:18)
True love – Divine Love – is above duality, and that is why there is no fear in love. Instead, this perfect – undivided – love will cast out your fears. The problem is that as long as you identify with the ego, you will be afraid to accept perfect love because you think you are unworthy of it. Yet it is only the ego that is unworthy of perfect love; the Conscious You is always worthy. However, until you accept that you are worthy, you cannot accept the love that will cast out the fears that spring from the ego.
Why does fear have torment? Torment springs from the division between the Conscious You and God, a division that was not caused by but is upheld by the ego. So until the Conscious You overcomes this division, you will be in torment. And you cannot overcome the division between you and God until you decide to take up your ability to discern based on the one truth of Christ rather than the dualistic “truth” of the ego. Only when you are willing to let go of the sense of identity built by the ego and reach for your true identity in Christ can you be made perfect in love. As I said:
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. (Matthew 16:25)
By letting go of the dualistic sense of identity, you can come back into alignment with your own higher being, your I AM Presence, and then you will always be able to practice Divine kindness. If you look at my actions in the scriptures, you will see that I was gentle with some people and challenged others. The dualistic mind will approach this by trying to analyze my actions and define patterns. It will then set up outer characteristics and say that in this type of situation one should be gentle and in that type of situation one should be challenging. The fact is, however, that my behavior was not based on outer characteristics or intellectual analysis. It was based entirely on the condition of the individual soul. I gave every person I met what that person needed to take the next step on the path. And what people needed is what could take them beyond a particular dualistic illusion.
Here comes a subtle, but all-important point. The ego and the dualistic mind cannot fathom its own illusions, so it can never turn Divine kindness into a system. You cannot use the duality consciousness to overcome the duality consciousness. Yet I hope the Conscious You can see the essential truth here. Divine love, Divine kindness, is above what the ego can fathom. It can be practiced only through the mind of Christ.
There are many people who have accepted that kindness and love should be the ultimate guide for their behavior. However, if they do not reach for the mind of Christ, they will inevitably begin to practice the type of kindness and love defined by the ego. And the ego will inevitably turn kindness and love into dualistic concepts. The ego will try to create an outer system which defines how to practice kindness and love. And for most people, this leads them to believe that if they are always gentle, they are always kind. Yet as I have now tried to explain from different perspectives, this is simply a refusal to exercise Christ discernment.
The conclusion is that there are many well-meaning spiritual seekers who have been maneuvered into a blind alley by their egos. These people are sincerely striving to rise above the judgment and anger of those who practice a black-and-white, fear-based approach to religion. Yet jumping into the opposite extreme will not enhance your spiritual growth beyond a certain point. It will simply trap you in another form of dualistic thinking.
The essence of dualistic thinking
Do you now see the central characteristic of dualistic thinking? It sets up a system in this world and then judges ideas and people based on that system. Remember my statement:
God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:24)
You cannot create a mental box in this world and then fit the unlimited Spirit of God into it. The ego cannot create a system that can contain and confine God—but the ego will never understand this because to the ego God is simply a concept. So as long as you allow your ego to try to fit God into a box, you cut yourself off from having a direct experience of the Spirit of Truth.
Fundamentalists judge everything based on their belief that there is only one true religion. And many non-fundamentalists judge everything based on their belief that there are no false ideas or that one does not need to discern. In other words, the ego always sets up a belief system by defining a certain concept or idea as infallible, meaning that it should not be questioned.
Black-and-white thinkers say there is only one true religion, and thus all others are false. Gray thinkers say we should always be kind toward everyone and it defines kindness as being gentle and soft-spoken. Yet both types of thinking spring from the ego and its need to create the appearance that as long as you stay within the confines of its infallible belief system, you are guaranteed to be saved. In reality – as I have attempted to explain in great detail – there are ABSOLUTELY NO CONDITIONS IN THIS WORLD THAT WILL GUARANTEE YOUR SALVATION.
The ONLY thing that can guarantee your salvation is that you enter the kingdom of God, which is a symbol for the Christ consciousness. Yet the Christ consciousness cannot be fit into or confined to any belief system created in this world. That is why the ONLY way to attain the Christ consciousness is to reach beyond ALL of the outer belief systems. You can use a belief system as a foundation for reaching for the mind of Christ—which is the true function of all true belief systems. Yet you must NEVER allow the ego to make you believe that because you belong to a certain belief system and follow its outer beliefs and practices, you are guaranteed to be saved.
In the beginning of this discourse, I said that people tend to define infallible belief systems and think they are not influenced by error or illusions. In reality, any belief system in this world WILL BE influenced by the mind of anti-christ. The simple reason is that as long as people are not free from their egos, they will subconsciously impose the mental images of their egos upon any belief system. And if people claim their belief system is the only true one or is better than others, they demonstrate they have not risen above duality, thus giving proof that their belief system has most certainly been influenced by the mind of anti-christ.
In the following discourses, we will take a closer look at how the ego manages to convince people that they do not need to reach for the mind of Christ but can be saved by following a belief system in this world. I hope all true spiritual seekers will make a sincere effort to understand this point because it truly is the dividing line that separates those who attain true spiritual progress from those who believe they are spiritual but have used the illusions of the ego to build an appearance of spirituality—thus being hypocrites.
Copyright © 2009 by Kim Michaels