Question: I’m finding in the spiritual community that a lot of my friends, whom I love dearly, are constantly talking about their level of consciousness – you know, “I’m on the enlightened path.” It’s almost as if every time they read something they go to another level of consciousness. And I’m saying: “Well teach me how to do that. I just saw you six months ago [laughter], and now you’ve read something and you’re on another level of consciousness.” It takes me months and months and sometimes years to do things.
Answer by Kim Michaels, July 17, 2015 at a conference in Los Angeles.
Kim: I think there are two extremes. We have the Via Dolorosa people, who say: “Well, we’re sinners. We’re such bad sinners we need Jesus to come and save us. And we need to punish ourselves while we’re on earth because the more we suffer, the more Jesus is going to be able to save us.” It doesn’t quite make sense.
Then you have the opposite extreme, the people who say: “Oh, it’s all good. It’s all wonderful.” Like you said, they read something, and then they just feel like they are transcended in consciousness. I think the truth is somewhere in between, which is why the Buddha came up with the Middle Way, where we do have to work for it.
I think a lot of people in the spiritual movement are looking for an easy way out. So they buy into these gurus that come and make promises like: “Oh, here is the ultimate way or the easy way out,” and it’s basically the same as it is in traditional religion.
Most New Age people think they are so different from Christian fundamentalists, for example, but they are not really so different. Because what traditional religion promises is that you can be saved without looking at the beam in your own eye, and that’s what some New Age gurus do—exactly the same.
You’re perfectly right, that is never going to work. That’s not the true path, and you don’t shift your consciousness that easily. It’s true that there can, of course, be times where suddenly you break through, and now you actually realize that you have changed your consciousness compared to, for example, ten years ago. Like you said, you don’t just read a book, and then all of a sudden you are enlightened because you read this book.
Question: For me it’s almost like I have to dance in my ugliness. [Laughter] If I can’t dance in my ugliness, I’m not going anywhere. The ugly part of me is the part I don’t want you to see, but when I’m by myself, I gotta dance in it, you know? It takes a lot of courage, Kim, to move into these different levels.
Kim: I think there is a consciousness in spiritual movements (that is very unproductive) where you think that either because you have been on the path for a while or because you have found this extreme guru now you are a special student, and you don’t need to look at yourself anymore. I have certainly been there myself.
Even when I started doing the work I’m doing now, the first years I was very conscious of this whole image out there of what a spiritual guru is supposed to be like. There was a part of me that was afraid of not living up to it and being judged or rejected. You can kind of get frantic by saying: “Okay, well, I’m a messenger for the ascended masters, and I know people judge a book by the cover, so if they reject me, they’ll reject the masters and their teachings, and I don’t want that to happen.” It’s only within the last couple of years I’ve started letting go of that.
I remember reading some books about teachings on the Internet on what it means to be enlightened. All these gurus out there claimed to be enlightened, and it hit me one day that, if you really are enlightened, you would never say it. Because being enlightened means you have transcended the consciousness where you put labels on anything. If you say: “I’m enlightened,” you just put a label on yourself. I started realizing that I had to stop judging myself and even worrying about where I am in my level of consciousness. I just need to keep walking the path, and I need to take that yoke off that I always have to evaluate myself.
Why would it take away from me that somebody else has some high level of attainment? That doesn’t take away from me. It doesn’t threaten me. I’m just doing what I’m doing. I don’t want to compete with anybody or judge anybody. Within the last year or so I’ve also stopped even evaluating what level of consciousness I’m at. I’ve accepted that I’m going to be working on my psychology until the day I ascend because there is so much to work on. Maybe some of it is collective that we take on or whatever, but that’s just the path.
The path is not that one day by magic I will reach some superior state. That’s what I used to think. Your linear mind wants to think that, if there is a path, there’s got to be an end. There’s got to be some ultimate breakthrough. Now I’ve realized that the ultimate breakthrough comes when I ascend. Then I’ll no longer be on earth, but as long as I am on earth, I just need to keep transcending and embrace that.
I’ve also come to the point where I’ve said: “But I also have to accept that, even though I’m not perfect and don’t have completely resolved psychology, I can still do the work I’m doing. I don’t have to be perfect.” That’s very liberating, just to say that, but it also means that I transcended that need to set myself apart from others. I don’t want people to relate to me like that, by putting me on a pedestal. I want us to be all equals. It’s just like Archangel Michael said – I thought it was so powerful – that each of our Presences is an expression of the Creator, and there is no comparison. That’s what we relate to.
Copyright © 2015 Kim Michaels