TOPICS: Do not feel bad if you have followed a false teacher – the spiritual path requires you to purify your mind from false ideas – to realize you have been fooled or to still be fooled? – part of your mission to encounter false ideas – what is a false idea? – the veil of Maya – no earthly standard for defining false ideas – goal of spiritual teaching is to help people transcend duality consciousness – the intent behind an idea – truth cannot be expressed in words – discerning vibration – no spiritual teaching is entirely pure – all statements can be interpreted in different ways – teaching must be seen in context – false teaching contains true ideas – no teacher is perfect – role of spiritual teacher is to challenge people’s illusions – use intuition to read teacher’s vibration – natural to teach others before you have reached ultimate status – accept that you are not perfect rather than seeking to hide behind authority – teachers who deliberately deceive others – recognizing false teachers – the ego distorts discernment – outer and inner path – false teachers say you can be saved without confronting the ego – unresolved psychology makes you vulnerable to false teachers – low self-esteem – pride of understanding obscure teaching – only false teacher is the ego – how to grow from having followed a false teacher – a false teacher cannot take over your mind – taking responsibility for your path – was a false teacher part of your divine plan? – what kind of teacher are you ready for? – a false teacher can be fastest way to learn your lessons – no need for regret – forgiveness is setting yourself free – your intuition was not wrong – psychic hooks – the path is an inner path between you and God –
Question from Kim: Jesus, on a regular basis I talk to or get e-mails from people who have realized they have followed a spiritual or religious teacher they now consider false. Some have come to this conclusion on their own, some have read something elsewhere and some have read what you say on this website.
Some of these people are quite concerned about how this might influence their spiritual path, even into the future. I see this concern as centered around the following:
Some people are afraid that if they could be fooled by a false teacher once, what is to prevent them from being fooled again. Some even take this to the extreme of not wanting to ever trust any teacher.
Some people have a deep sense of regret, feeling they should have known better. Some even feel that their Christ self or the masters should have warned them.
Some people are concerned that they might somehow have been permanently affected in a way they cannot escape.
I wonder if you would like to comment on this topic, since it seems to be a stumbling block for many people who sincerely pursue spiritual growth.
Answer from ascended master Jesus through Kim Michaels: (July 20, 2006)
The topic of false teachers is an extremely important topic for all spiritual seekers. The reason I have not commented on it at length before is that I wanted a certain amount of teachings on the human ego to be brought forth first. Thus, I can shorten the discussion on false teachers by referring to the series on The least you should know about the human ego.
Let me first say that there is no reason for a sincere spiritual seeker to feel bad about having followed a false teacher or teaching. As I explain in the ego discourses, every aspect of life on this planet has been affected by the duality consciousness. Thus, there is hardly a single person on this planet who has not been exposed to false ideas. It is virtually impossible to grow up anywhere without being “brainwashed” with ideas that spring from the mind of anti-christ. Most people have been exposed to such ideas in a more organized form, either as an orthodox religion, scientific materialism or simply the general world view that people have in their family or society.
My point is that there is no practical way to embody on earth without being exposed to false teachings. As a spiritual seeker, you should simply accept the fact that you have been exposed to false ideas since childhood and that a major part of the spiritual path is to purify your mind of the false beliefs that have been programmed into it.
I understand that many seekers feel bad because they have now identified a particular teaching or guru as being false, and they realize they have been fooled. Yet let me ask you this: “What is best? To realize you have been fooled or to still be fooled?” Obviously, once you realize you have been fooled, you are no longer fooled. You have demonstrated that you have some degree of Christ discernment, so why feel regret? What you need to do is to prevent your ego from getting you to shut down or divert your quest for truth. Instead, you need to build on your accomplishment and continue to sharpen your Christ discernment—which is the only and ultimate defense against false teachers.
You need to avoid the typical ego reaction that springs from black-and-white thinking, LINK namely that you decide you will never again follow a spiritual teacher. The mature reaction is that you will never follow a spiritual teacher the way you did the last time. But the reason for that is that you learned from what you did the last time. So if you had not done it, how could you have learned?
Do you get my underlying point? Life is a process of building your personal Christhood. This involves increasing your ability to discern between what comes from the One Truth of the Christ mind and what comes from the innumerable dualistic “truths” of the mind of anti-christ. Currently, life on this planet is heavily affected by the mind of anti-christ. Thus, it is inevitable that you grow up being affected by false teachers and teachings. This is currently part of life on this planet, so there is no reason to complain about it, although it is important not to affirm it as a permanent or unavoidable condition. Instead, a spiritual seeker should accept that part of walking the spiritual path is to learn how to see through and free yourself from false teachers.
This is not just for the sake of your own growth, but also so that you can demonstrate for others how to overcome a false teaching and still move on toward personal Christhood. Most of today’s spiritual seekers volunteered to be the forerunners and demonstrate how to move into the consciousness of the Golden Age. Thus, stop feeling bad about having been exposed to false teachers. It is part of what you volunteered to do, so get on with it and make the best of whatever situation you have encountered. You are here to demonstrate how to overcome, so get on with overcoming! Physician, heal thyself—and then move on to healing others!
Defining false ideas
When talking about a topic, it is often wise to define it first, so let us attempt to define what we mean when we talk about false teachings, and let us begin at the level of a single idea. As I explain in the ego discourses, many religious people are caught in black-and-white thinking, and they would define a false idea this way: Our religion is the only true one, thus any idea that is different from, contradicts or goes beyond the official doctrines of our church is a false idea and the work of the devil.
I hope those who are open to this website can see that this is not a very useful definition. Likewise, those who take the gray approach might think there are no false ideas and that any idea is as valid as any other idea. Or they might define a false idea as follows: The true, universal teachings all stress the need to be loving and kind, so any idea that does not affirm that this is all we need to do is a false idea. Again, this is not a very useful definition, so we need to take a different approach.
There are many people who would love for this planet to be a very neat and tidy place, where it is easy to divide things into good and bad. Yet as I explain in the ego discourses, the reality is that because of the influence of the duality consciousness, everything is rather murky. The most dangerous consequence of the duality consciousness is that it creates a veil – what the Buddha called Maya – and the effect is that it becomes difficult for people to discern what is true and false in an absolute sense. This also makes it difficult to discern between true and false ideas.
For example, many people would like to believe that if a statement is made by a true spiritual teacher, then it will be absolutely, universally true and it will be true for all time. Many Christians would like to believe that every statement I made 2,000 years ago lives up to these demands. This desire is, of course, created by the ego and its attempt to define an automatic path to salvation. The ego is attempting to make you believe that because you now belong to a particular religion, you no longer need to exercise your Christ discernment but should unquestionably accept the outer doctrines of your church. My point is that you can NEVER let down your guard and your responsibility to discern from within.
Let me give an example. I once made the remark:
3 The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?
6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. (Matthew, Chapter 19)
Many Christians, including the Catholic church, interprets this to mean that I said divorce is universally wrong. In reality, this teaching was given to address a specific situation, namely that many men at the time viewed women as a piece of property meant to bear children, keep house and be available for sexual pleasure. So when their wives became old and were no longer attractive, many men simply abandoned them and took younger wives. At the same time, women had no way to make a living, so this was extremely inhumane and also created a major social problem. Yet in today’s age, one cannot interpret this remark to mean that divorce is universally wrong because other considerations now come into play.
Take another example:
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:16)
This remark is true, but only when one understands that I was speaking as a representative of the universal Christ consciousness. It is this universal state of consciousness that is the open door to the kingdom of God and not a historical person. People can access this universal mind directly in a way that is not dependent upon an external savior or an external church. Thus, although the remark is true, it has been misused by countless Christians to justify all kinds of abuse, from the crusades to discriminating against one’s non-Christian neighbors.
My point here is to show that it is not quite that simple to label an idea as false. What is true in one context and time period can be false in another. What is a true remark can still be misinterpreted and misused by the duality consciousness. My point is to show that the old, black-and-white belief that an idea is either true or false is not useful for a mature spiritual seeker. You need to deepen your ability to discern.
As I explain in the ego discourses, the true goal of spiritual growth is to rise above the duality consciousness and be reborn into the Christ consciousness. Thus, the goal of a true spiritual teacher is NOT to give forth some absolute truth – for any idea expressed in words has entered the realm of duality – but to help a specific group of people rise above specific dualistic illusions. In other words, the teachings given by the Buddha are as true as my teachings, but they were given to different people in a different culture and they address slightly different aspects of the duality consciousness. My point is that a more useful measure for evaluating an idea is to look at its intent. Is the idea given with the intent to set you free from some aspect of the duality consciousness?
A true idea is given to set you free, whereas a false idea is designed to trap you in the duality consciousness. I realize this will be disappointing to some people, for they are still looking for the black-and-white way to label a false idea. Yet there is only one way to escape false teachers, and that is to sharpen your discernment, which is a creative, not a mechanical, process.
As explained in the ego discourses, the ego cannot see the Spirit of Truth but is always seeking to take a statement from this world and elevate it to the status of infallibility. Yet the only real way to discern between true and false teachings is to base your discernment on a direct, inner experience of the Spirit of Truth. The Spirit of Truth is beyond specific words, as words can be interpreted in different ways by the duality consciousness.
Yet there is only one Spirit of Truth, and once you experience it, you will know that it vibrates above a certain frequency level. Thus, you can – in your heart, not your head – compare the vibration of any idea to the vibration of the Spirit of Truth. If your mind is pure and your intention loving, you will know whether any idea springs from the Christ mind or the mind of anti-christ.
As you sharpen this ability to read the vibration of an idea – which includes the intent behind it – you will have the ultimate measure for exposing a false idea. In fact, most spiritual seekers – especially those who have already seen through a false teaching – have already started developing this ability. They simply need to continue without letting their egos, their emotions or their intellectual minds interfere with the process. Practice does make perfect, so if you don’t keep practicing, you will stagnate.
In short, a false idea is an idea that is designed to trap you in the duality consciousness and prevent you from transcending the ego.
Defining a false teaching
Let us now take this beyond a single idea and look at how to evaluate a spiritual teaching, meaning a body of ideas assembled into a whole. The black-and-white approach would say that a true teaching contains no false ideas whereas a teaching that contains one false idea is a false teaching. If you apply this criteria, you will not find a single true teaching on this planet. For example, many Christians believe the Bible is a true teaching, but that is because they intentionally blind themselves to the errors and contradictions in the Bible.
Bringing forth spiritual teachings on earth and translating them into human language is a difficult process. Words are inherently ambiguous, so even if you word a statement as precisely as you can, people can still come up with different interpretations. Thus, what seems true to one person can seem false to another. In reality, what seems true or false is not the actual statement but the individual interpretation of it. Against this, no spiritual teacher can protect his statements.
You also need to realize that even the best teachings will contain some errors in them because things are “lost in translation.” Furthermore, you must consider the context in which the teaching was given. As I explain in the ego lectures, the ego wants to elevate a teaching to the status of being infallible, meaning that it is absolutely true in all circumstances and for all time. This is an impossible dream, for no teaching can be understood without being seen in context. For example, a teaching that is given in the East will be adapted to the mindset, culture and even the use of words in the area. If you evaluate the teaching with a western mindset, culture and use of words, you might impose errors upon the teaching that are not there in the original form.
On the other hand, it must be made clear that even a false teaching will contain many true ideas. If it had no truth in it, it would attract very few people. In fact, the more sophisticated false teachings contain mostly ideas that – seen in isolation – are true. Yet when they are seen in context, they are given a slight turn that can take the unaware seeker into a blind alley. This has caused many sincere seekers to follow false teachers because they focus their attention on the many true statements made by such a teacher. The teacher is saying so many things that they want to hear that they unconsciously – or sometimes even willingly – overlook the few warning signs that exposes the false intent behind the teaching.
Again, a better measure for the value of a teaching is the intent behind it. A true teaching is designed to help you rise above the duality consciousness, whereas a false teaching is designed to keep you trapped while thinking you are a very spiritual person who is doing everything right. This can be detected when you use your intuitive faculties to read the vibration of a teaching.
Defining a false teacher
One of the most common mistakes made by religious and spiritual people is that they expect a spiritual teacher to be the perfect human being. They judge this based on the standard of their religion, society or even a personal standard. The trouble is that such standards are often heavily influenced by the ego, and the result is that no one could possibly live up to them.
Another important point is that a spiritual teacher is not meant to live up to a human standard of perfection. On the contrary, the role of a true spiritual teacher is to shake people out of their rigid mindset. Thus, a true teacher often appears in disguise or plays a role that challenges people’s pre-conceived opinions. For example, many people rejected me 2,000 years ago because I did not live up to their expectations about how the Messiah – a perfect human being in their minds – should appear and behave.
My point is that if you look at appearance and behavior, you cannot correctly distinguish between true and false teachers. In fact, many true teachers deliberately take on an appearance designed to filter out those who are not serious students, those who are not willing to look behind appearances. And many false teachers attempt to take on the appearance of being perfect according to the expectations of their target audience. A true teacher will tell you what you need to hear, whereas a false teacher will tell you what you want to hear.
Again, you must go beyond the outer mind and use your intuition to read the intent and vibration of a teacher. Fortunately, this is much easier to do for a living person than for a teaching expressed in words. When you see a person, even a photograph, you can read the totality of the person’s energy field—even if you don’t see it. In a teaching expressed in words, it is easy to camouflage or hide errors. Yet no person can completely control his or her energy field, and thus a perceptive student can read the energy field of a prospective teacher. Many students have had an instant recognition upon meeting a teacher, whereas others have been instantly repelled. However, this process is not always infallible, as we will discuss later.
The distinction between growing teachers and false teachers
Let us take this into a little more detail. As I seek to explain on this website, Christhood that is not expressed is not Christhood. The Alpha aspect of Christhood is that you establish an inner connection to your higher being, a connection that does not depend on and cannot be disturbed by anything on earth. The Omega aspect is that you use that connection to selflessly raise other parts of life. Only when you have this complete circle, this figure-eight flow, have you attained a degree of Christhood. My point being that for the most mature seekers on this planet, teaching others (or helping them in other ways) is a natural and inescapable part of the spiritual path.
If you take a brief look at the internet, you will see that there are many, many people who claim to be spiritual teachers, channelers or messengers in some capacity. Can we reasonably say that most of these are false teachers? That depends on what criteria you use. My point here is that teaching is a natural part of Christhood, yet you do not have to be perfect before you start this teaching mission. People trapped in the black-and-white approach will say that only a perfect person can be a true teacher. People trapped in a grey approach will say anyone can be a true teacher. The truth is, of course, beyond both extremes.
The fact of the matter is that there are many people in today’s world who are seeking to teach others, yet they themselves are not perfect and have not attained the fullness of Christhood. Let me make it clear that there is not necessarily anything wrong with this. It is in teaching that you truly learn, so if you do not start teaching, your learning cannot progress beyond a certain level. In other words, you need to start teaching before you are perfect. The big question becomes whether you will recognize and admit that you are not perfect or whether you will seek to hide your inexperience behind a veil of infallibility?
There is nothing wrong with a mature spiritual seeker trying to teach others. However, it is extremely important to remain humble and NOT let the ego talk one into beginning to play the game of superiority or infallibility. As long as you keep firmly in mind that you don’t know everything and that you are constantly learning and growing, then you can still help others and experience personal growth.
Do you see the distinction here? Many of the people who teach do not have the highest possible understanding of reality or of the teachings of the ascended masters. They may even still have some personality flaws or unresolved psychological issues. In other words, they still have certain erroneous or incomplete beliefs, meaning that they might be teaching some ideas that are false. Yet if their intent is pure, if they don’t claim infallibility and if they are constantly trying to grow, then they are NOT false teachers. They may be immature, inexperienced or flawed teachers, but they are not false teachers because they are not deliberately and maliciously trying to mislead and manipulate others. If such a person is honest and sincere with his or her followers, it is possible that a group of people can make tremendous progress by growing together.
This then leads us to identify a group of teachers that we can safely label as false. These are the ones who are deliberately – and in most cases they know this consciously – trying to deceive others. They do this for various reasons, ranging from money over the need to feel superior to the need to vampirize spiritual energy from those who still have it. These teachers can often be difficult for inexperienced seekers to expose because they are very good at hiding their true intent behind a facade of sincerity, credibility, selflessness and humility. They are good at playing the game and giving people what they are looking for in a spiritual teacher.
How do you recognize such false teachers? Here are some outer points that can give you a foundation, but do not forget that the most important points are intent and vibration:
- False teachers are often very concerned about establishing authority for themselves. The purpose is to set themselves up so they cannot be questioned or gainsaid. For example, some Christian churches and even New Age organizations claim to be the only true representatives of Christ based on a lineage of people going all the way back to me 2,000 years ago. In reality, such an earthly lineage is worthless because it could so easily be polluted. The only thing that really matters is that you have the spiritual anointing of the ascended Jesus Christ.
- A false teacher often seeks to set himself up as being above his followers, often as being in an entirely separate category. The reason might be that the teacher claims to be God or a spiritual being incarnate, has some anointing from above, has been or done something in past lives or has done something in this life. A true teacher says, “The works that I do shall ye do also, and greater works shall ye do.” He places attention on the students, not himself
- A false teacher often gives himself the VIP treatment, in terms of luxury accommodations and being treated as a superior being, whereas the followers and staff are living in poor conditions.
- A false teacher often creates a culture of fear in his organization so that people are afraid of questioning the leader, the teaching or are afraid of leaving.
- A false teacher often creates an organization with a double standard, leading to dishonesty. The leader and his closest associates can hide behind a smokescreen and can get away with things that are not ethical or legal.
- A false teacher often has a distinct vibration of pride and superiority that is not hard to detect—once you have been willing to look in the mirror and detect your own pride.
- A false teacher often has some character flaw or misconduct that is either hidden or explained away with some cleaver reasoning. However, nothing can justify abusing other people sexually, physically, emotionally or by taking their money.
- A false teacher often seeks to make his followers co-dependent upon him so they do not dare to make their own decisions. They do not think for themselves but ask for the guru’s advice or base their decisions on the outer teaching rather than their inner Christ discernment.
- A false teacher is actually stealing the spiritual energy of his followers. He can do this by people placing their attention upon him, but for many false teachers this is not enough to give them the energy they need to survive or crave in order to build their egos. Thus, they use various forms of spiritual and emotional manipulation in order to force people to release their energy. If you feel empty or exhausted after being near a teacher, that is a danger signal.
- In short, we might say that a true teacher is seeking to give to the followers and raise them up. A false teacher is seeking to take from the followers and use it to raise himself up above all other people.
Let me make it clear that there is a danger in giving any kind of list to expose false teachers. The danger is that the false teachers will know what criteria I list and can thus counteract it. This has been going on for thousands of years on this planet, thus there are some false teachers who are extremely good at disguising themselves. There are also some true teachers who may display one or more of these characteristics. So, again, only the use of intuition can give you true discernment. Which makes it essential for us to discuss how certain forces in your own psychology can interfere with your discernment.
How the ego interferes with your discernment
What I have done in the above sections is to question the way many people seek to discern between true and false teachings. An immature person will use a very black-and-white form of judgment based on outer criteria defined by the duality consciousness. It is my hope that the more mature seekers will realize that in order to develop true discernment, you need to become aware of how the ego will seek to influence the process. The purpose of spiritual growth is to transcend the ego, and you cannot do this as long as you let the ego influence your path. The ego will never take you to the promised land, but will take you into a blind alley to ensure its own survival.
As I explain in the discourses on the ego, the ego wants you to follow a false path, a path which promises that you can be saved without leaving behind the ego. Essentially, all false teachers promise you that they can take you on this false path, what I call the outer or mechanical path, to salvation. The result is that your ego is constantly trying to make you follow any false teacher and reject any true teacher you come across.
The ego will seek to make you believe that any idea which threatens to expose itself or its manipulation of you is a false idea. The ego will do this primarily by defining a particular false idea as beyond questioning, then saying anything which contradicts or goes beyond it is a false idea.
To understand how the ego manipulates you, you need to study all of my teachings on the ego. However, let me give you the main thrust used by the ego. Most false teachers will promise you that they can save you, meaning that they can do the work for you that qualifies you for salvation. By the mere act of following them – according to the rules they define – you will be saved, attain a higher state of consciousness, be whisked up by a UFO or whatever the promise might be. What they are really saying is that you can be saved without doing the hard work of looking for the beam in your own eye – the ego – and overcoming it. You can be saved without transcending the duality consciousness and putting on your personal Christhood.
The ego, therefore, will do everything it can to try to make you accept this claim and reject the reality that there is no substitute for self-transcendence. One example is the Christian claim that I have taken upon myself all the sins of the world. Another is the New Age claim that being kind and loving is all you need.
In seeking to cloud your discernment, your ego will skillfully use whatever unresolved issues you have in your psychology. These are the issues that make you vulnerable to a false teacher in the first place. There are many of these, but let me mention one of the most common ones. Many sincere spiritual seekers are not powerful people but are very loving people. As a result, their egos have often managed to lower their self-esteem. This makes them vulnerable to a false teacher who makes the claim that he is a very special person who can do all the work for them.
These people often feel that they can’t save themselves, so they need a strong leader. Once they have accepted the leader, their self-esteem gets a boost by being a follower of this “perfect” leader. However, their sense of self-esteem also depends on them following the leader rather than thinking for themselves. As long as the leader can maintain his aura of infallibility, he can get such people to do almost anything. Because they are seeking to avoid taking personal responsibility – which they feel they are not capable of doing – they will follow even the most outrageous directions from the leader.
Other people are very strong intellectually, and their egos will seek to make them feel pride over being able to understand a very complex teaching. In reality, explaining the basic dynamics of spiritual growth is not that complicated and does not require a sophisticated intellectual explanation. Yet some people have fallen into the trap that if a teaching is hard to understand, it must be very sophisticated.
Still other people are very emotional and the ego will use their emotions to manipulate them. This can be through fear or it can be by playing on people’s anger. For example, some people live in constant fear of the end of the world or some major cataclysm, and as a result they dare not express their Christhood. They reason that only when the danger to the world is over, can they work on their Christhood. Others live in anger against another group of people or even dark forces. Their goal is to defeat the adversary rather than attaining the Christhood that enables them to transcend the adversary.
My point for giving you these examples is to show you that both the ego and a false teacher will exploit whatever unresolved issues you have in your psychology. They will seek to magnify these issues – such as fear – and then use them to manipulate you in a certain direction. In many cases a false teacher doesn’t know when to quit, meaning that he takes the manipulation too far and exposes himself. That is why many people eventually come to see through a false teacher.
However, it is essential for you to understand that the ego often wins either way. As long as you are following a false teacher, the ego has you going in the wrong direction. Yet should you come to see through the false teacher, the ego can often get people to jump into the opposite extreme of rejecting all teachers or the spiritual path as a whole. Either way, the ego has won and has managed to stay hidden from view, blaming everything on the outer teacher.
My larger point here is that for you personally there really is only one false teacher, namely your ego. Any outer teacher is just an instrument that your ego uses to manipulate you and at the same time provide a scapegoat that diverts attention from the real problem—the ego itself. The main goal for the ego is to influence you while staying hidden, and it will ruthlessly exploit an outer teacher to attain this goal. It can even use a true teacher to do this by making you believe you don’t have to think for yourself now that you have this perfect teacher.
How you can use a false teacher as a springboard for growth
When spiritual seekers come to the conclusion that they have followed a false teacher, one of the most common reactions is that they become angry at the teacher and feel they were deceived and manipulated. Such feelings are very understandable, but there comes a point where it is necessary to look beyond the feelings and ask a very important question: “Do you want to grow from the experience or do you want to allow your ego to turn it into an excuse for not taking the next step on the path?”
You see, God has created the law of karma, so any false teacher will surely reap the karma for having misled you. That simply is not your concern, for God’s law will take care of this and does not need your assistance. What should be your concern is how you can turn the experience with a false teacher into a step forward on your personal path. This can be done ONLY if you are willing to take responsibility for your path, look in the mirror and ask yourself what it is in your psychology that made you vulnerable to this false teacher? Why did you believe in the promises made by the teacher, promises you now realize were empty?
If you are willing to go through this self-evaluation process – even if it is painful – you can turn the entire situation around and make great progress. If you are not willing to look for the beam in your own eye, you can spend a lifetime complaining about the splinter in the eye of another, and you will end up wasting an embodiment without making the progress called for in your divine plan. Instead, ask yourself why you were so anxious to follow a teacher who told you what your ego wanted to hear?
I know it can be painful to admit that it was your own psychological issues that made you vulnerable to the false teacher. It is far easier to accept the belief – promoted by certain sides, such as the so-called anti-cult movement – that the teacher was so skillful that he could take over your mind. Yet the reality is that no one can take over your mind unless you allow them to do so. And it is the unresolved issues in your own psychology that makes you give others control over your mind. You believe in the false promise that if you give them control, they will remove issues for you so you don’t have to confront them yourself.
Let me make a clear statement that can seem heartless, but is actually very liberating when you accept it: IF YOU HAVE FOLLOWED A FALSE TEACHER, THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE REASON, NAMELY THAT YOU HAVE NOT TAKEN FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR OWN PATH! It is the attempt to avoid taking this responsibility that caused you to give a false teacher influence over your life.
The liberating aspect of this truth is that you can use the experience with a false teacher to take the essential step that will put you beyond the reach of ANY false teacher. That step is that you accept FULL responsibility for your own path and begin to sharpen your Christ discernment and your ability to make right decisions. This is when you step away from the false path to salvation – the outer path – and step onto the true path to salvation, namely the inner path of self-transcendence, the path to personal Christhood.
You can now use your experience with a false teacher to expose your ego, instead of allowing the ego to use the experience to take you away from the spiritual path and continue hiding in the shadows of your unresolved psychology. For example, if you can honestly admit that you have a problem with low self-esteem, you can begin to reach for a true sense of self – namely that you were created as a co-creator with God – and then gradually build a true sense of self-esteem that cannot be manipulated by the ego or other people. Once you know who you are, you will not feel inferior to any person, and thus you no longer need a teacher who claims superiority.
Let us now take this to an even deeper level.
When the student is ready, the teacher appears
Is it possible that your exposure to a false teacher is part of your divine plan? The divine plan is a blueprint for this embodiment that you made before being born. You made this plan in cooperation with your Christ self and spiritual teachers, and you made it while having a broader perspective than you have now—where you see everything from inside the mental box of your current embodiment. Thus, people often plan for things to happen that they would not have chosen while inside their current situation.
Why would you choose to be exposed to a false teacher? Here are the most common reasons:
- In past lives, you have developed or have not overcome a particular weakness. You choose a false teacher who can play on this weakness as a way to force yourself to deal with it in this lifetime
- In past lives you have shown an unwillingness to take (full) responsibility for your path. You choose a false teacher to force you to deal with this issue and take full responsibility.
- In past lives you have not developed sufficient Christ discernment. You choose a false teacher to help force yourself to finally develop this discernment.
- You might have mastered the above lessons in past lives, but you now choose to demonstrate the path for others. Thus, your intent is to allow yourself to be exposed to false teachers so you can demonstrate that they will not stop your progress. You want to demonstrate how to overcome adverse conditions and still move forward on the spiritual path.
Regardless of the motivation, the essence here is that you forget all about this as you come into embodiment. Thus, you face the situation on a blank slate. It is therefore important for you to become aware of how the ego will seek to use such a situation to stop your progress on the path. You must be determined not to let the ego manipulate you into a blind alley but to keep moving forward.
You can make things easier for yourself by pondering the saying, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” The real question is what kind of teacher you are ready for at any given moment? The teacher you attract to you will be adapted to your state of consciousness and will thus reflect the kind of lessons you need to learn. In other words, when you met a false teacher, it was because that was the kind of teacher you were ready for.
This is not necessarily a negative—once you overcome the naive dream that the spiritual path should be easy and problem-free. Remember that when you formulate your divine plan, you have a broader perspective. Thus, you clearly see what lessons you need to learn, and one of the main lessons is always Christ discernment. It is a fact that even a false teacher can teach you Christ discernment—or perhaps we should say that you can learn Christ discernment by being exposed to a false teacher. In fact, for some students, being exposed to a false teacher can be the fastest way to learn certain lessons.
My point is that a true spiritual seeker will not blame him- or herself and will not look at anything with regret. You should approach everything that has happened to you as a potential for learning the important lessons on the path. By taking a positive approach and looking for the beam in your own eye, you can use a false teacher as a springboard for taking essential steps forward. This is, of course, the last thing your ego wants, which is another reason for taking this positive approach.
In that respect, let me call your attention to the fact that forgiveness is an essential act for all spiritual seekers. I understand that many people have been abused and hurt by false teachers, and I am in no way trying to justify the actions of such manipulators. Yet it remains a fact that the law will return to such people what they do to others. Thus, your concern should be how you can move forward, and you can do that only by forgiving everyone involved, including the false teacher, God and yourself. Forgiving everyone is setting yourself free to move on from the situation. Not forgiving is keeping yourself karmically and psychologically linked to the false teacher.
In that respect, let me address the issue that many seekers had an intuitive experience when they first met a false teacher. They felt an inner prompting to follow this teacher, and now that they have come to realize it was a false teacher, they feel betrayed by their intuition/inner guidance, being reluctant to trust it again. However, the intuitive prompting you got was to follow the teacher. The assumption that it was a genuine teacher was something your ego managed to project unto the situation—based on your own unresolved psychology and the dreams that followed from it. This was done for the purpose of setting you up for a fall when the illusion was punctured. Your ego wanted to make you distrust your inner guidance, which is the ONLY way for you to reach beyond the duality consciousness.
My point is that your inner prompting was true. It was part of your divine plan for you to follow this false teacher in order to learn certain lessons. Thus, do not allow your ego to use the situation to get you to distrust your inner guidance and your divine plan. Learn the lesson and move on! Use the situation to expand the clarity of your inner guidance and your awareness of how the ego can distort a true direction in order to take you into a blind alley. Things are not always as they seem, and there is often a greater purpose for why you have to go through situations that might be unpleasant or seem like a mistake.
It is especially important to realize that many of the initiations on the spiritual path are subtle—especially at the higher level. Thus, there is often a hidden lesson behind every surface appearance. For example, there can be a positive purpose behind meeting a false teacher, once you look behind the surface assumption that you should meet only true teachers. Always seek to step back from any situation and ask yourself what might be the hidden lesson.
How to move on
Let me now address the specific points that were brought up in the original question. The first one is:
Some people are afraid that if they could be fooled by a false teacher once, what is to prevent them from being fooled again. Some even take this to the extreme of not wanting to ever trust any teacher.
The reaction of not wanting to ever trust a teacher again comes ONLY from the ego. It is not a true inner response, so you need to see it for what it is and dismiss it. It is a valid concern that if you have been fooled once, you could be fooled again, However, this is only the case if you did not learn the lessons you needed to learn from the situation. And if you did not take full responsibility for the situation, you will not have learned all of your lessons. Thus, you are likely to attract another false teacher as an opportunity to learn the unlearned lesson.
There are many people who are exposed to a false teacher and realize this, but they blame the teacher. Such people will not learn their lessons but will simply attract another false teacher. Perhaps this next false teacher takes on a completely different disguise. For example, some people have followed a false teacher in the New Age field only to submit to another false teacher in the anti-cult movement or a fundamentalist Christian church. Some people can attract several false teachers over one or more lifetimes, all the while failing to learn the lesson and accept full responsibility for their path. Yet once you understand the workings of the ego and are willing to look for the unresolved issues in your psychology – the issues that make you vulnerable to false teachers – you can quickly put this behind you.
Some people have a deep sense of regret, feeling they should have known better. Some even feel that their Christ self or the masters should have warned them.
The sense of regret is often reinforced by the ego in its attempt to make you distrust the spiritual path itself. However, sometimes the regret does come from a deeper part of your being because you knew that you knew better—but you allowed your ego to manipulate you into discounting your intuitive warnings. It is a fact that you will always receive a warning, but in many cases people ignore them or rationalize that they are not important. This always happens because the ego exploits your unresolved psychology, making skillful use of your expectations of what this wonderful new teacher will do for you.
Thus, you rationalize that once you have been turned into a perfect human being by the teacher, you are no longer vulnerable to the very things that the false teacher and your ego will use to manipulate you. Your regret comes from the fact that you fell for the temptation to think that the teacher would resolve your issues for you—whereas the reality is that the teacher would make them more visible so as to force you to deal with them.
Simply let go of this regret and realize that it is never too late to learn your lessons. Take responsibility for your path and move on. It is far better to admit that you made a mistake and move on than to let your ego talk you into not admitting your mistake. The latter will only keep you stuck in the state of consciousness that caused you to make the mistake in the first place. It is time to move on and self-transcend.
Some people are concerned that they might somehow have been permanently affected in a way they cannot escape.
This is a valid concern because some of the most ruthless false teachers can indeed insert a “psychic hook” into the subconscious minds of those who have submitted themselves to them. Even after you have seen through and left such a teacher, the person can still influence you and drain energy from your energy field.
And while this is a often carried out with great aggressiveness on the part of the false teacher, it must be stated that no one can influence your mind against your free will. Thus, you gave the false teacher access to your mind, and you did so precisely because there were certain unresolved problems in your psychology that you were not willing to face. You therefore fell for the promise that the teacher would do the work for you without you having to face the music.
The only way out is that you accept full responsibility for your path and resolve – perhaps with the help of a professional – the psychological issues. Once they are resolved, the false teacher will have no inroad into your consciousness—the prince of this world will come and have nothing in you. However, as an intermediate step, it can be very helpful to call forth spiritual protection and ask Shiva or Archangel Michael to cut you free from all ties to false teachers. Archangel Michael’s rosary and the Golden Age East West invocation are valuable tools although no tool can be a substitute for you taking responsibility.
People who are vulnerable to such psychic manipulation are likely to have soul division or fragmentation. Thus, it is important to use the situation as a prompting to seek appropriate healing of such problems that have often followed you for lifetimes. Determine that this is the lifetime where you will make an all-out effort to seek wholeness and leave such divisions behind for good. In other words, the ultimate revenge against a false teacher who has hurt you is to use the experience to seek wholeness.
Accepting the nature of the path
As a final note, let me say that the spiritual path is an inner process between the Conscious You and your own higher being. Any teacher you encounter on earth – true or false – is simply an external influence. No teacher can do the work for you, because the true goal of the spiritual path is that you attain oneness with your own higher Being, and that sense of oneness can only come from within.
A teacher can either help or hinder the process, but you are ALWAYS the one who must take each step. An immature spiritual seeker often assumes that a false teacher can only hinder your progress whereas a true teacher can only help you. In reality, that is not the case because everything depends on how you make use of the experience with the teacher. If you learn the lesson, sharpen your discernment and take responsibility for yourself, then an encounter with a false teacher can be a major step forward. If you think the teacher will do all the work for you, then even an encounter with a true teacher can hold you back.
Accept that the spiritual path is an inner path and that it is always up to you how you use each situation to learn your lessons. When you take this responsibility, you can turn every experience into a step forward. If you do not accept this responsibility, there is nothing I can do for you. You can continue to follow the false teachers who will promise you forever that they can do the work for you. But when you tire of this age-old game, remember me. I will always be here for those who are willing to look for the beam in their own eyes. And with my help, pulling that beam is not nearly as difficult as your ego wants you to believe. Try me!
Copyright © 2006 by Kim Michaels