Walking a path versus spontaneous awakening

TOPICS: Any teaching for a certain level of consciousness – some teachers teach based on their personal experience – insights may not be enough to awaken people – creating a gap that cannot be breached – no spontaneous breakthrough; all have followed a path – what keeps you from enlightenment are energies and beliefs – they must be cleared gradually – then a breakthrough can happen – being in the now is only possible when mind is cleared – you did not come to earth to sit in a cave but to co-create the kingdom of God –

Question: Some spiritual teachers, especially among those who talk about non-duality, seem to ignore or even talk down the need to walk a path. They base this on having awakened spontaneously and some say this is the only way and that there is nothing we can do to awaken. Some say all we need to do is to live in the now. What is your thought on that, since you so often talk about a path?

Answer from ascended master Jesus through Kim Michaels:

My opening comment is that no spiritual teaching can be for everyone. Any spiritual teaching must of necessity be adapted to a certain level of consciousness. Given the large range in the levels of consciousness found on this planet, it simply is not possible to give a teaching that is suited for all people. When a spiritual teacher is working with the ascended masters, the person can often bring forth a teaching that is beyond his or her own experience. Yet when a teacher is standing on his or her own, the teaching will almost invariably be based on the teacher’s personal experience.

There is nothing wrong with that, but it must be recognized that such a teaching will work for people who are close to the same level of consciousness as that of the teacher and not for others. Let me give an example. A teacher might have had a spiritual breakthrough that spontaneously propelled him into a higher state of consciousness. He thus teaches based on this experience and basically ignores the need to follow a gradual, systematic path. He is trying to take the students through an experience similar to his own, and he is doing so by sharing the insights he has received after his breakthrough.

The underlying assumption is that if people receive the right insights, they will have a spontaneous awakening, just as he experienced. This can indeed happen, but only for people who are close to the level of consciousness that the teacher had before his awakening. Yet the vast majority of the people on this planet are not at that level, and thus there is no possibility that any amount of insights will “spontaneously” awaken them.

Various spiritual teachers have had a spontaneous breakthrough and have sought to pass it on to others. Some of these teachers, such as Krishnamurti, have even gone so far as to deny the need for a spiritual path and spiritual teachers (in embodiment or ascended). Yet for people who are not close to the teacher’s level of consciousness, the effect is somewhat like holding up a piece of candy in front of a child while you are driving away.

Most people will have to follow a systematic, gradual path before they rise to the level of consciousness, where a spiritual breakthrough is possible. And this will require diligent work, including the use of spiritual techniques, such as Mother Mary’s rosaries. If such people believe that all they need is an insight that gives them some mysterious breakthrough, they can slow down their progress considerably. Imagine that you are walking in a jungle and you are lost. Suddenly, you hear a helicopter overhead, and a person yells down to you, “Come up here and you can see the way out of the jungle!” Yet if the person does not throw down a ladder that you can climb step by step, how will you ever make it to his level?

My point being that many of the people who have had so-called spontaneous breakthroughs did follow a systematic path in past lives. They may not remember it now, but at some point the work was done. Thus, I recommend that people do not abandon their spiritual tools, such as the invocations and decrees.

Now, there is a delicate discernment to make here. In one sense, it is correct that there is nothing you can DO to reach enlightenment. Your final breakthrough must and will happen only spontaneously, as an act of grace from above. You cannot force this, no matter what you do. That is why I so often say the path is not an outer, mechanical path and that there is no automatic or guaranteed salvation.

One could say that there is nothing you can DO to reach enlightenment, because what keeps you away from enlightenment is the consciousness of having to DO things instead of just BEING. However, what keeps you from being is a combination of false beliefs and misqualified energies stored in your four lower bodies. If you were stripped of all false beliefs in an instant, you would go insane, because you would not know who you are. That is why the only way to growth is to follow a gradual path of transforming the misqualified energies and seeing through the imperfect beliefs.

As you clear your mind from energies and beliefs, you will lessen the magnetic pull, that sucks you into doing and thinking. And this will bring you closer to what Zen calls “beginners mind” and which I called becoming as little children. It is not difficult to see that most people are trapped in these unending spirals of acting and reacting. This collective consciousness forms something akin to a giant magnet. Imagine that you are walking by a large magnet with iron pieces in your pockets. The magnet will pull on the iron pieces and you will be pulled with them. Yet if you gradually throw out the iron pieces, the magnetic pull will lessen until you can walk by the magnet and it has nothing in you.

So we might say that enlightenment is the natural state of the mind. What has happened is that the mind has been trapped in a pattern of doing and thinking, that constantly keeps it occupied in the pursuit of a goal that it does not have right now. So if enlightenment becomes another goal that you seek to attain by doing and thinking, then yes, such an effort will take you away from enlightenment. Nevertheless, what is pulling the mind into doing and thinking are beliefs and energies. And if you clear them, you will gradually come closer to the natural state. And when the mind is sufficiently free from obstructions, it will naturally and effortlessly return to its natural state.

And thus you have what might seem like a spontaneous awakening, and in one sense it is. But if you had not followed the path of clearing the mind, would you ever have had that awakening?

Some teachers say that most westerners think too much about the past and the future. The ego uses the past and the future to manipulate people but the ego cannot operate in the now. Thus, they recommend that people focus more on the now, which is not a wrong approach given that so many people do tend to focus too much on the past and the future. That is indeed why I said:

Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. (Matthew 6:34)

I agree that the ego finds it very difficult to operate in the now, and if you are truly awake in the eternal now, the ego has no influence over you. However, saying that people should focus on the now is only a useful approach for people who have reached a certain level of consciousness. It takes a high level of spiritual maturity to actually BE in the now, and until one reaches that level, one will have no ability to simply BE.

So when such a person is told to be in the now, he or she cannot actually experience being in the now. Instead, the person forms a mental concept of what it means to be in the now—based on the teacher’s directions rather than personal experience. And the ego is quite capable of manipulating any and all mental concepts human beings create. This can easily lead some people to take an unbalanced approach to being in the now. The concept of being in the now is not new, since it was first taught by the Buddha. Over the centuries many people have taken an unbalanced approach, causing them to go toward one of two extremes:

  • Some people reason that being in the now means they can ignore their past. By spontaneously awakening, you will overcome your past without having to deal with your karma or psychological wounds. Thus, they start seeking a miraculous insight that will do all the work for them. Again, a breakthrough can happen if you have already overcome your karma and wounds in past lives, but for the vast majority of people this is not the case. Thus, most people will slow down their progress by ignoring their past. They would make much faster progress by using all available means to resolve their psychology, overcome dualistic beliefs and purify all misqualified energy (karma) from past lives.
  • Some people reason that they can stop thinking about the future, including planning their lives. Some even go so far as thinking God will miraculously take care of everything, and this has caused some otherwise sincere spiritual seekers to actually commit suicide through neglect. This is what the devil used when I was tempted after my stay in the wilderness:

6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. (Matthew, Chapter 4)

My point is to always take a balanced approach to everything in life—being aware that the ego will always seek to polarize you toward one extreme or the other.

A final point is that some teachers give teachings on the mind that can easily be interpreted to mean that the mind is the enemy of your spiritual growth. It is indeed true that an overactive mind, especially a well-developed intellect, can be a hindrance to spiritual growth—which is a more intuitive than intellectual process. However, believing that your own mind is an enemy is not a constructive approach since it only makes you even more of a house divided against itself.

The correct view is that the mind is like a house with servants. It only becomes an enemy when the master refuses to take command in his own house. That master is you, specifically the Conscious You, LINK which is meant to have dominion over your lower being by taking up the responsibility to be the Christ. When you find the middle way of the Christ, you will not let your mind control you and neither will you seek to control the mind to the point of extinguishing its creative potential. Many spiritual people have indeed used discipline to so control the mind that they have forgotten that they did not come to earth to sit in a cave and meditate on God. You came here to be a co-creator and bring God’s kingdom to this planet.

Your mind has the potential to become an extension of your I AM Presence, which truly makes your mind an extension of the mind of God. Everything is created out of God’s consciousness, meaning that everything is created out of the mind of God. Thus, when your mind takes up its rightful role as an individualization of the mind of God – rather than as a mind separated from its source – your mind will become a vehicle for you doing what you came here to do, namely to have dominion over the earth.

Let me make it clear that I am not hereby saying that people should not read such teachings. I am simply saying that I expect visitors to this website to use the insights they have received here when they study any kind of spiritual teaching. And I expect people to do their utmost to heed my teachings on the need for balance. If you have not yet realized that I often talk about balance, then I recommend you read the website again and take note of how often I describe balance as the most important prerequisite for true spiritual growth. I especially recommend my two ego discourses on black-and-white and gray thinking.

That being said, there is no question that some teachers have given many valuable insights about the ego and the duality consciousness. People at all levels can benefit from these insights, but you need to be realistic and not abandon a systematic approach to spiritual growth in favor of chasing a miraculous insight that will suddenly turn you into an enlightened being. It is far better to keep working methodically and let the spontaneous awakening happen—spontaneously. Seeking to take heaven by force has never brought anyone out of reach of the ego.


Copyright © 2006 by Kim Michaels