Look for a spiritual teacher who challenges you instead of telling you what your ego wants to hear

TOPICS: Looking for a messenger who says what your ego wants to hear – the ascended masters can help you see what your ego does not want you to see – mature students seek out teachings that challenge them – the direct and the indirect way of teaching – many spiritual people are gentle and prefer a gentle guru – you learn more from a guru who is not like you – some students trapped in gray thinking and do not want a direct guru – splitting hairs over the use of wording – a true message demonstrates that there is something beyond the dualistic consciousness – higher truth, versus “relative truth” – a true teacher must challenge you so you cannot remain indifferent – the ego can use even a true teaching to imprison you, so sometimes even this must be challenged – a limited view of love as always being soft – if you think you know better than the teacher, then you are not teachable – imparting the teacher’s consciousness to the student –

Question: I have noticed that some dictations are very direct, even stern. I have friends who say a true ascended master would never speak in such a way and that masters are always kind and loving. Do you have a response to that?

Answer from ascended master Jesus through Kim Michaels:

There is a very important turning point on the path when you begin to take responsibility for yourself and become willing to change yourself. At the beginning stages of this process, people still have some insecurity, so they look for spiritual teachings that make them feel good, tell them what they want to hear and don’t challenge their existing beliefs too much. This is natural, and I am not blaming people for this reaction. However, there is a limit to how much you can grow as long as you maintain this approach.

There is also a real danger that you will take a time-consuming detour into the gray thinking described in my ego discourse. The process is simple. When you rise above black-and-white thinking, you will be confronted with the temptation to engage in gray thinking. Since you no longer believe in an infallible authority, the ego will seek to make you believe that no messenger or channeler is completely objective and reliable. Thus, it really doesn’t matter which one you follow, so you might as well follow one you like. However, for many people this means they end up following a messenger their egos like because the teachings do not challenge the ego. What the ego is really saying is that you should accept no authority as being above the ego, and thus you should ignore any teacher or teaching that challenges your ego’s pet theories. If you fall into this trap, how will you ever see through the illusions of the ego?

My point is that when you become a more mature seeker, you realize the fundamental mechanism behind all true channelings/messages. The simple fact is that the ascended masters have a higher state of consciousness than you do. Thus, your advantage of studying our teachings is that we can help you see what you cannot see and what your ego does not want you to see. We can tell you what your ego does not want you to hear and what students who still identify with their egos do not want to hear.

It is an eternal fact that immature and insecure students seek out messages that tell them what they want to hear and never challenge their most cherished beliefs. In contrast, mature students deliberately seek out teachings that DO challenge their most cherished beliefs. As you mature, you realize that the real value of the ascended master’s teachings is that they do challenge your beliefs, thus compelling you to reach beyond the ego’s dualistic understanding. This is simply the only way you will come up higher.

When I talk about challenging your beliefs, I am not simply talking about the words spoken and the teachings given. I am talking about a more general approach. In his book Autobiography of a Yogi – which I highly recommend that all spiritual seekers read – Paramahansa Yogananda describes a discussion with his guru about the two main methods employed by spiritual teachers.

Yogananda’s guru, Shri Yukteswar, is a very stern and direct guru who openly and often harshly challenges his students and mercilessly points out flaws in their beliefs, attitude and behavior. Yukteswar explains that it is simply his way, and that Yogananda’s way is to be much more gentle, soft-spoken and more patient with his disciples, preferring them to discover their own flaws rather than pointing them out. One method is not generally better or more efficient than another, as each method works best for certain levels of consciousness.

My point here is that there is a large number of spiritual seekers who are naturally very loving, kind and gentle people, as was Yogananda. Such students will naturally prefer the gentle type of guru and will generally shun the direct type of guru, fearing to be hurt by his sternness. Yet there was a reason Yogananda – who was a gentle guru – had a stern guru. The reason is that you will make the fastest progress by selecting a guru that is the opposite of your own type, for this will give you more balance in your own being. If you are a gentle person, you need to reach a point where you are not in the least bothered by a direct guru, and if you are the direct type, you need to learn the patience of a gentle guru.

There is a level of consciousness that is prone to gray thinking. This consciousness causes students to interpret spiritual teachings to mean what they want to hear, thus not being able to free themselves from the dualistic logic of the ego. I can assure you that such students are very difficult to reach, for some of them truly think they know better than the ascended masters, even better than God, which is why they descended to earth in the first place and have not risen above it.

So when evaluating a spiritual teaching, be very careful that you do not project your own beliefs and opinions upon the teaching or the spiritual master who gives it. A message can be affected by the mind of the messenger, but the mind of the student can also affect how the message is interpreted. Thus, be willing to look for the beam in your own eye, for it is only by removing it that YOU will progress.

Another common pitfall is that some seekers focus on the exact outer form of a given message or a messenger’s work, often comparing it to other teachings or what the person wants to believe. This has caused many otherwise open-minded spiritual seekers to become almost fundamentalists with certain new teachings, splitting hairs over whether a particular wording is correct according to this or that standard. Let me tell a little analogy to illustrate this.

Imagine you have grown up in a dark cave. After fumbling your way around for years, you come upon a tube sticking out of the wall. The tube is a kaleidoscope, and as you look into it, you see light streaming through it from outside the cave. As all kaleidoscopes, it has a number of glass pieces inside it, so the light is somewhat colored as it passes through. Yet the real significance of your discovery is that it proves beyond any doubt that THERE IS A WORLD OUTSIDE YOUR DARK CAVE! Thus, instead of continuing to look at the light through the kaleidoscope, you can look for the door so you can enter the light yourself.

The fundamental significance of all true spiritual messages is that they demonstrate for those who have eyes to see that there is a higher level of consciousness than the level at which they are trapped. There are spiritual teachers at that level who can communicate with people and thus help them rise to the ascended consciousness. As I said 2,000 years ago, “God is a Spirit and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24).

The meaning is that genuine messages from the ascended masters are given from a higher level of consciousness. The outer form of the messages is not nearly as significant as the fact that they come from a higher Spirit. To truly “get the message” we seek to pass on, you must raise your consciousness and make a direct INNER contact with the Spirit of Truth that we are. If you focus your attention on the outer form of the message, you will not attain that direct experience, and thus our messages will not set you free. Instead, they will simply be used by your ego to keep you trapped at a certain level of consciousness.

As I explain in my ego discourses and in many other places, the essential problem on planet earth is that people have descended into a lower state of consciousness in which they are trapped in what the Buddha called Maya, meaning ignorance and illusion. The veil of Maya prevents them from seeing the higher truth of the Christ mind, and instead they can only see the relative “truth” springing from the mind of anti-christ.

The trick here is that people do not realize their beliefs are relative illusions; they believe they are absolutely true and this is why they are still stuck in those beliefs. How can a spiritual teacher help people rise higher? Only by challenging people’s illusions so they gradually purify their minds of the illusions and begin to see the truth of Christ. My point being that the role of the Living Christ and the true purpose of genuine messages from above is to CHALLENGE PEOPLE’S BELIEFS.

I stated this clearly 2,000 years ago, when I said:

Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. (Matthew 10:34)

I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled? (Luke 12:49)

For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. (Matthew 10:35)

The deeper meaning is that the greatest threat to people’s spiritual growth is the unwillingness to move, the unwillingness to transcend one’s current beliefs. Thus, in order to get people moving, the Living Christ must challenge people’s beliefs in such a provocative way that they simply cannot ignore it, cannot remain indifferent or cannot remain convinced that they know everything. In fact, it is better that people reject our truth than remain indifferent:

15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. (Revelation, Chapter 3)

Take note that there is a subtle truth here which many spiritual seekers have not understood. It is a fact that even a genuine spiritual teaching given by the ascended masters can be used by the ego to trap people at a certain level of consciousness, where people feel they have it all figured out and thus become inflexible and unwilling to move higher. Therefore, it can sometimes be necessary for the Living Christ to challenge viewpoints that are technically correct but that people’s egos have used to imprison them on a certain level of the path.

We of the ascended masters recognize fully that as soon as a teaching is expressed in words, it enters the realm of duality where it becomes subject to interpretation. People simply project their own state of consciousness upon the teaching and interpret it to mean what their egos want to hear. Thus, we have no illusions whatsoever about bringing forth an ultimate teaching that is the infallible word of God, as the fundamentalists claim about the Bible. In fact, we often find it necessary to bring forth teachings that deliberately challenge beliefs that imprison large groups of people. We sometimes even have to bring forth a new teaching that challenges the mindset of people who have used a previous teaching to get themselves stuck.

My point here is that wise students will recognize that what holds them back on the path is the erroneous beliefs that they believe to be true. Thus, wise students will deliberately seek out teachers or teachings that challenge their existing beliefs, attitude to life and approach to the spiritual path. In contrast, the yet immature students will look for teachings that affirm what they already believe, thus “confirming” that they are on the right track—which is exactly what the ego wants them to believe.

The inevitable consequence is that immature students are stuck in either black-and-white or gray thinking. Those who are stuck in gray thinking tend to believe that virtually any teaching is as good as any other teaching, so they might as well select the most pleasant one. Many of the students who have matured above black-and-white thinking have become enticed by an incorrect view of love that is floating around in the New Age and even the progressive Christian community. The view says that love is tolerant of everything and never challenges anything. Thus, any teaching which is direct and challenging cannot be from the highest source.

The real consciousness behind both black-and-white and gray thinking is a tendency to believe that you know how the ascended masters should express themselves. This is only a short step away from the consciousness of the fallen angels who are firmly convinced they know better than God how the universe works and how humankind should be saved.

This is a very dangerous place for a spiritual seeker to be. The reason being that even though you have risen above black-and-white thinking, you are still not teachable for a true spiritual teacher. No true teacher will compromise truth in order to tell you what you want to hear. As I explain in the ego discourses, what caused people to get stuck in the duality consciousness was that they lost contact with their spiritual teachers. The key to overcoming the duality consciousness is that you must establish a direct, personal contact with the Spirit of Truth, the Christ consciousness.

All outer teachings given by the ascended masters are given for the purpose of providing a bridge. If the students make the best possible use of the teaching, they can walk across the bridge and attain the Christ consciousness. In other words, the true purpose of a spiritual teacher is NOT to impart outer knowledge but to impart the teacher’s consciousness to the student.

Yet if students refuse to use the teaching or if they allow their egos to misuse the teaching, they will not reestablish the direct, inner connection to the ascended teachers. Thus, their egos can even use an otherwise genuine teaching to keep the students separated from the teachers while being convinced that they are so advanced that they are guaranteed to be saved. This is self-righteousness, and I denounced it forcefully in the scribes and Pharisees.

In short, if you are a smart spiritual seeker, you will look for a teaching which challenges you to see what you cannot see on your own. If you are following a teaching which does not challenge you, it is time to look for another one that will challenge you. If you are not willing to let a spiritual teaching challenge you, you simply have not become fully teachable. I realize some people are not yet ready to let go of their most cherished illusions. Yet a word to the wise should be sufficient.


Copyright © 2006 by Kim Michaels