Freedom from Ego Illusions

May 12, 2014 Divine Love Talk

Guest: Kim Michaels

Topics: Kim Michaels’ book Freedom from Ego Illusions.

Parthenia:  Alright, good morning.  I feel so blessed, as always, to be here with you on Divine Love Talk on CRN with my co-host, Kim Michaels joining us from Estonia.  And today we’re talking about his book, Freedom from Ego Illusions and the notes that I took.  It’s one of a trilogy on the ego.  And Kim, in my humble opinion, is the foremost authority on the ego.  

Kim Michaels: I have the biggest ego you’ll meet?

Parthenia:(laughter) Well, you’ve got a good sense of humor, though.  I definitely would not say that.

Kim Michaels: Good.

Parthenia:But, I will say that your body of work has been essential to my spiritual growth in the time that I have known and I’m so grateful for this voluminous amount of material that you have put out there for everybody who is interested in transcending themselves.

Kim Michaels:  Thank you.

Parthenia:Today, I wanted to talk about breaking down ego walls and why nothing will change until you actually see the ego in yourself.  And I, also, would like to cover the ego’s sense of unworthiness and how it induces guilt in us.  And for you to answer the question: whether or not the ego was actually created by God.  I think the answer to that will probably be fairly controversial, in that most of the planet is still under the paradigm of Freud that your ego is your amigo.  So, hopefully we’ll be able to cover all of that in this hour.  If not, we are going to be doing a series of talks on the ego until I feel like I’m really understanding this material.  So could we start with why nothing will change until you actually see the ego in yourself?

Kim Michaels:  Yes.  It’s because everything is guided by our free will.  And so, you were asking who created the ego and the answer is that we did.  We created our own ego, each one of us.  And we created by making a choice.  And we cannot overcome it until we undo that choice.  And, of course, it has to be done consciously and voluntarily.  If it’s not conscious, it can’t be a voluntary decision.  And the problem is, of course, we created the ego a very, very long time ago and so it’s long forgotten why we did so.  And that’s why it takes some work to uncover that decision.

Parthenia:Well, and not only does it take a lot of unraveling, I’m finding; but there is, also, this resistance of our ego to be uncovered and to be examined.  It tends to want to hide behind subterfuge.

Kim Michaels: Well, that’s because the ego – the very central aspect of the ego is that it’s built on our separating ourselves from our highest self, from our true identity.  And so when we actually created the ego, it’s like we stepped into, almost like, a role that is defined for us in a theatre and we put on a pair of colored glasses and everything is colored by the glasses.  But, what most people don’t realize is that the ego has actually been reinforced over such a long time that it’s almost like there is a separate being living inside of your mind.  And it has some awareness and it has a survival instinct and that’s why it resist that you come to see it.  Because it knows that it can actually only survive, because you don’t see it and you don’t see it for what it is.

Parthenia:Yes, and especially if you see your ego as your amigo and you see it as this aspect of your personality that you need to defend or protect for whatever reason.  I noticed that people who are really entrenched in their ego – and remember I pointed out with my book, I thought I was the crazy one – I was referring to them.  And psychology refers to people who are really, really entrenched in their ego, as personality disorders; because they have no self-awareness and no insight into themselves and their behavior and the chaos and craziness and suffering that they bring upon themselves and they bring upon other people.  And I think that until we can stop defending this bad behavior or this aspect of ourselves that doesn’t serve us; I don’t see how we’re going to get anywhere on the planet.

Kim Michaels: No.  I totally agree with you.  But, we also probably have to say that, again, everything is a matter of free will.  And there are people who – they want to have the experience they are having.  The ego is actually enabling them and allowing them to have that experience.  I mean, if you look at it perfectly realistically, all of us were created by God and we were all created as equals.  We have equal value.  In the eyes of God there is no such thing as a value judgment that says some people are superior and others are inferior.  This is one of the primary games that the ego loves to play, the superiority/inferiority game.

Parthenia:For sure.

Kim Michaels: And, because there are some people that want to feel that they are superior to others and they have a right to do what they are doing, regardless of how it affects other people.  They simply want to believe that it’s the other people’s problem.

Parthenia:Yes.

Kim Michaels: And, again, according to free will, there’s really nothing wrong with people having that experience.  But, the tradeoff is, of course, that then you can’t look at your ego and you can’t actually acknowledge how much your ego is limiting you.  And that’s why you can’t get to these people, you can’t communicate with them; because they haven’t had enough of having the experience they are having.

Parthenia:Right.  And I find it absolutely stressful and extremely difficult to have personal relationships with them that I would consider authentic or that I would consider even functional, because if you say anything that is not massaging their ego or feeding their ego, they’re ready fight you or literally destroy you.

Kim Michaels: Oh, I agree with you.  I have experienced that many times.  But, then again it’s this – if you go on stage in the theatre and they’re playing Hamlet, but you are wearing a costume from Beauty and the Beast; then you’re not going to fit in.  And so, all of the other actors are going to throw themselves at you and say get out of here.  And they have a right to want to play Hamlet, if that’s what they want to outplay.

Parthenia:Right.

Kim Michaels: And I think what you are experiencing in your life is that you have simply started to realize that you don’t want to play these ego games anymore.  You’ve had enough of it.  And I think many spiritual people are exactly in that position.  But, it’s just that we have not been brought up to see that what people are doing is simply playing an ego game.  And therefore, we think that we are supposed to play along.  We are supposed to be nice.  We are supposed to let other people abuse us.  Because this is really what they are doing.

Parthenia:Ohhhh.  Yeah.

Kim Michaels: What people are doing when they are trapped in their ego behavior; they are playing a role, but they don’t see that way.  But, they want YOU to play a role and you are not allowed to step out of the role and say I don’t want to play this game anymore.

Parthenia:Yeah.  And they will attempt to beat you into submission.

Kim Michaels: Absolutely.

Parthenia:And if they can’t, they will run you out of Dodge, because there’s no room for you in their reality.  And I totally get that.  I certainly have had to accept with my job that I definitely don’t fit in, because I’ve been teaching this material about the ego for a long time and created this awareness about it.  And whenever you create awareness, then people will start to question what you’re doing and realize: Oh, well, something’s wrong with this picture.  And the ego does not want to be questioned.

Kim Michaels: No, absolutely not.  That’s the last thing it wants.  And it can’t hide.  I think as spiritual people, we almost – you think about the situation with the Declaration of Independence.  Here you have the founding fathers of America, who realize that they’re being oppressed by a government that they have no say over.  And they are deciding: We are going to declare our independence from this tyranny.

Parthenia:Yes.

Kim Michaels: And as a spiritual personal you almost have to do that.  You have to step back and say: “There are certain types of behavior that are just simply ego behavior and I have a right to declare my personal independence from this.  I don’t want to play along with this tyrant anymore.”

Parthenia:Wow.  And every time I read the Declaration of Independence, I just am so inspired by it and so touched by it; because it is every human being’s inalienable right to free themselves from tyranny and to not be oppressed.  And it makes me look at the world of tyranny, the ego’s world of tyranny, that we’ve created and I definitely don’t want to participate in it.  But, like we were talking about last week with Ellen Kaufman Dosick and the energies that are coming in.  I’m finding myself struggling with the death of certain aspects of my ego as I’m moving out of the old space and into the new space.  And it creates this sadness that I’m wondering if that’s created by the fact that this is an intricate part of who I thought I was.  And it needs to die because I want to move on.  And I’ve found myself crying and getting in touch with my feelings and my emotions, which I know that the ego doesn’t want you to get in touch with those; because if you (don’t) get in touch with them, then you can’t heal them.  If you can’t feel it, you can’t heal it.

Kim Michaels: Right.  Yeah, I think that’s exactly right.  And I’ve experienced that myself, many times.  There is like there are certain cycles in your life.  And it is actually very, very true that what the ego does is that it gives us a certain sense of identity.  And the payoff we get is when we accept that this is who I am and this is all I can do and I have to stay within these boundaries; then the payoff is that we do actually fit in, then.  We fit into a certain environment.  Like I said, we fit into the play of Hamlet and we’re one of us, when we are behaving the way we are supposed to.  And then, when we step out of it, there is that almost a sense of there is a part of you that’s dying.

Parthenia:Yeah.

Kim Michaels: And you can never really recapture it.  I know exactly what you are saying, the sadness there of letting that die.  But, once you have let it die, once you have let go, you actually will begin to feel a little freedom and the joy that comes in afterwards.  Because you realize that, although this gave me a sense of fitting in, it was actually restricting me and I actually don’t want to be restricted.  I want freedom more than I want to fit in.

Parthenia:Oh, absolutely.  And I’m literally OK with the fact that I don’t fit in with all of these people that are devoted to their ego.  And I certainly can’t be in an environment where there’s no free speech, there’s no academic freedom, and where I can’t teach from an open space of the heart.  Because to me, that’s what teaching is is inspiring and being able to speak truth.  So when we come back from commercial break, we’re talking with my co-host, Kim Michaels about his new book, Freedom from Ego Illusions.  And we’re going to look more at how you can free yourself from ego induced guilt.  You’re listening to Divine Love Talk on CRN.  I am your host, Dr. Parthenia Grant. 

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Parthenia:OK.  We’re back with more of Divine Love Talk on CRN.  I am your host, Dr. Parthenia Grant.  And I’m here to day with my co-host, Kim Michaels, joining us from Estonia, talking about his book, Freedom from Ego Illusions.  It’s one of three books on the ego and he has lots of other material on the ego.  You can check out transcendence toolbox and his books are available at Amazon.  Pretty much everywhere, you can order them.  I’ve got them all downloaded on my Nook.  And I’m digesting them one at a time, a little bit at a time; because, Kim, I’m finding that this – the material on the ego stuff – I’m having so many ah-ha moments as I’m reading it.

Kim Michaels: Right.

Parthenia:I’m having to process it through looking at myself and how this applies to me and how I can actually turn it into an actual experience.  Because you know how we have to intellectualize it first, and then, have an actual experience of it.  And once we do, then we can own it.  Am I making sense?

Kim Michaels: Absolutely.  I’ve always felt that way with spiritual books, that you have to take time and read them and digest them.  ‘Cause it isn’t a matter of – like you go to college and now you’re supposed to learn this curriculum so you can recite it by heart or put it in a list or an exam, but it’s a matter of shifting your consciousness.  That’s the purpose of a spiritual book.  And that’s why you have to have that ah-ha experience, like you were saying; because that is what shifts you, not the understanding.

Parthenia:OK.  Well, you know I’m finding that I’m taking copious notes, because the Kindle, thank goodness, allows you to highlight things and copy them onto your notepad.  And I’ve found with your ego illusion book, it gave me a warning.  That’s it.  You can’t copy anymore.  You’ve reached your limit.  But, that’s how I know when a book is really, really profound, because reading has been my past time since I was a child.  And I read copiously.  And I’ve read thousands of books.  And it’s very frustrating for me right now, because my vision is being impacted by the lupus flair-ups.  And that’s another reason why I can’t read as much as I would like.  But, this is my measurement of how profound information is, because there is rarely anything that I read that I haven’t run across somewhere in another book.

Kim Michaels: Right.

Parthenia:And when I come across something that’s really original, an original thought – I’m like: WOW!  OK.  I love it, because it’s so rare.  And that’s what I’m having with your books.  Because even as I moved into the second one, which is the ego games; I’m finding this same thing, just copious notes that I personally have to go back and read over and over again so that I can own them.  And later on I’m going to share a poem that I wrote.  Because, for some reason, since I’ve been doing the invocations with the Divine Director; whenever something comes to me and I go into meditation or I pray about it, I’m literally led to write a poem about it.  And it’s so unlike me, because I don’t write in rhyme and I never liked rhyming.  I felt constricted when I was doing poetry classes in undergraduate school.  But, now I don’t feel restricted by it.  I just let it flow.

Kim Michaels: Well, it’s unlike the old you, but who knows about the new you.

Parthenia:This is true.  I am discovering aspects of myself that, as I’m shedding this part of me, that for some reason is making me sad and it’s kind of scary going into the new arena and the unknown; yet, I know that it is necessary.  We were talking earlier about the ego’s sense of unworthiness and I wanted to point out – you said in the book that behind the ego’s desire to set itself up as an infallible authority is the ego’s built-in insecurity and it feels inherently unworthy.  I discovered that in under graduate school …

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Parthenia:OK.  We’re back with more of Divine Love Talk on CRN.  I am your host, Dr. Parthenia Grant.  And I’m speaking with my co-host, Kim Michaels, joining us from Estonia via Skype, about his book, Freedom from Ego Illusions.  Kim, we were talking about how the new me is actually writing rhyming poetry and I don’t feel confined by it.  And as I’m writing things down, now, I literally find myself after I write a piece, I shift a bit in consciousness.  Not as much as I would like, but I’m also being humbled by being broken down and freeing myself from this egoic belief, which I realized recently.  I’ve had this belief as the oldest of five children that I always had to be there for everybody and often feeling like I’m carrying the weight of the world. … It took me a long time to figure out he was talking about the ego, that anything that you do in your ego is vanity and it’s a striving after the wind.

Kim Michaels: Right.

Parthenia:And that there really is nothing new with the ego, because its tricks are pretty much the same.  Because it’s not creative, it does not know how to be original or creative.  And I learned that in graduate school.

Kim Michaels: It’s like a computer.

Parthenia:Yes.  And that was so odd to me when I wrote: I thought I was the crazy one that you could predict egoic behavior.  So, I called this poem: Breaking down Ego Walls.  (Reads poem.)

Kim Michaels: Well, you can see that that is part of the new you and unlocking that creativity.

Parthenia:And it did seem to come out of nowhere, but I’m giving credit to your work and it all started with the 33 poems that I wrote over the holidays based on the Divine Director decree.  So, I want to thank you for that inspiration.

Kim Michaels: Yeah.  Well, that’s the way creativity is meant to be, that it just comes to you.  You don’t sit down and try to force it.  It just comes.  That’s the way with all of my work, the same thing.  I can’t sit down and decide I’m going to write this.  You just have to open it up and let it flow.

Parthenia:And get out of your own way, or actually, get the ego out of your way.  I’m not sure of the right way to say it.

Kim Michaels: Yeah.  You have to somehow find a way to open up, because this is one of the effects of ego.  Like you said, yourself, it’s so predictable; because it is a computer.  And actually what it does at a subconscious level, it turns you into a computer, because you stop thinking creatively.  You think: “Oh, I just have to follow the rules.  When this happens; I do this, because that’s the way it’s defined in my environment.  When I’m at college, then I’m supposed to behave like this; because if I don’t there’ll be retribution.”  And so, you fall into this pattern and you can’t think creatively anymore.

Parthenia:Oh, absolutely.  And I’ve found myself feeling terrorized that if I stepped outside of their mental box and all of the constraints of academic.  They literally put a lock down on academic freedom, on the books that you could use, the subjects that you could talk about.  And you would just get viciously attacked, if you stepped outside of that framework.  It just got to the point where you can’t teach. … So, there’s this sense of terror if you are creative.

Kim Michaels: Yeah.  That’s very, very true.  You were talking earlier about guilt.  As I said, the ego offers you something; because when you go into the ego’s role there, then you feel you fit in.  But, the moment you then start to step out of that role, there will be this projection upon you that you’re a bad person, you’re worthless, you’re no good.  And that’s when the guilt comes in.  And that’s what many, many people have experienced this.  I experienced it from a very young age, because I was always more spiritual than my family.  And they just wanted me to live a normal, materialistic life like they did.  And I struggled with that.  Is there something wrong with me?  Should I feel guilty about this?  In a sense, just like you say, you want to be there for everybody.  Well, I think my problem has always been that I want to be a nice person.  I don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings.  And so, you think you’re supposed to fit in to avoid them being so angry when you don’t and then you feel guilty when they’re angry at you.  But, really, this is just all one big ego game that’s meant to trap you.

Parthenia:What would you say – ‘cause as I’m looking at my own weight of guilt that I’ve allowed people to throw upon me and say: “Here.  If you step outside of the box, then you gotta carry this guilt around for waking people up or making people uncomfortable with the status quo and it’s all your fault.”  And as I’m trying to throw all of this off and find and embrace the real me, it’s very un-nerving.  The guilt starts to be replaced by this uncertainty.  And so, it’s like there’s no end to the negative games that the ego will come up with.

Kim Michaels: Yeah, I know what you mean, because it does seem like there is no end.  But, there actually is an end in the sense that – if you can come to see how the ego works.  And you already said it earlier, there is nothing new under the sun; because the ego only has a certain amount of tricks.

Parthenia:OK.  Right.

Kim Michaels: And it just keeps repeating them, going around in a circle.  And so, if you can come to see that the guilt was a projection from the ego, then you can see that: “Ok I’ve stepped out of the guilt.  Now I’m feeling uncertainty.  What if the uncertainty is, also, just a projection of the ego?”  And what I mean is that you can come to a point where you say: “But, it’s just unreal.  There’s nothing here I have to solve.”

Parthenia:Um-hum.  Yeah.

Kim Michaels: See, this is one of the projections of the ego.  And you said it yourself, Parthenia, you have felt, as the oldest child, you were supposed to be there for everybody.  Right?

Parthenia:Yeah.  And you can’t.

Kim Michaels: No you can’t.  That’s what you’re realizing.  But, see, what is actually underlying this feeling or this sense that you have to be there for everybody is one of the primary tricks of the ego.  There is a problem here on earth that you have to solve.

Parthenia:Yeah.  Yeah!

Kim Michaels: And what you can do is you can come to the point where you are realizing that the problem is defined by the ego and that it really isn’t a real problem; and therefore, it has no solution.  And you don’t have to solve it.  And if you’ve had enough of trying to solve it, you can just simply say: “Enough.  I’m calling your bluff.  I’m not doing this anymore.”

Parthenia:Yeah.  And I’m really at that point.  I mean, I’ve gotten so overwhelmed with all of the old paradigm stuff, I don’t know what to do with it anymore.  I’m not interested in it.  The struggle is too much.  And so, I’m just kind of moving into this place where I’m saying: OK.  I surrender to what is and I’m doing my best to walk in faith and not in fear of the future.

Kim Michaels: But, see that’s what you described from Solomon.  I can’t remember if it was Solomon or someone else who said: “Vanity of vanities.  All is vanity.”

Parthenia:Yes.  That’s him.  Yeah, in Ecclesiastes.

Kim Michaels: OK.  So, this is what you get to feel.  You feel that all of these ego games, it’s just vanity.  It means nothing to me anymore.  I’m just so fed up with it.  And I understand that there is a period where you almost feel like: Well, but what, then, is there to life?

Parthenia:Exactly.

Kim Michaels: Because in most people’s minds, there is nothing else to life than playing these ego games.  That’s what our entire society revolves around.

Parthenia:Right.

Kim Michaels: And so, there is a projection there, again, from the mass consciousness that if you’re not playing these games, you are nothing, you’re nobody.

Parthenia:Exactly.

Kim Michaels: But, let’s look at your own situation.  When you gave up part of the old self, all of a sudden these poems started coming forth.  Well, who knows what else creative endeavor will come forth when you have let enough of the old self die.

Parthenia:Right.  And I’m actually curious what’s going to come up next.  And as I go into prayer and meditation and I’m dealing with my suffering and my pain and going inward, I’m given insights and then, I’m told: Now, go write about it.  And then, I’m writing these little poems and they really give me this sense of relief and hope that I’m moving forward.  And I’m embracing the whole concept of constant self-transcendence, where when I first encountered it in your work; it was very, very foreign, because we’re taught to believe that there’s and end gain and an end goal.

Kim Michaels: Exactly.

Parthenia:And that that’s what we’re supposed to be pursuing is the end gain.

Kim Michaels: And that’s also why you have trouble leaving the academic world, because, again you had come to accept that there was a problem, that there was something you had to do there.  And you felt that if you were leaving that world, how were you supposed to do your work?

Parthenia:Right.  Yeah.

Kim Michaels: But, see there’s a deeper reality to this.  And that is that we do all have a divine plan.  And there is something we are here on this planet to do.  But, it’s just not the ego games.  We’re actually here to be the open door for something that comes from a higher realm.

Parthenia:Right.

Kim Michaels: But, the trouble is that the ego has caused us to shut off this creativity and we don’t dare to believe in it.  We don’t dare to accept: Oh, there’s something I can do here that’s worthwhile, that’s real.  And this is what we have to recapture, that innocence, that innersense of worth that we have that’s really ourselves.

Parthenia:Well, I certainly believe.  And I’ve come to know in all of the years that I have been so honored and so privileged to teach and to mentor young people is that inside of them they do know that there is a divine plane, that there is something that they’re looking for and that there’s a reason why they’re here on earth.  And they are brave enough and conscious enough to start asking that question.  Is there more?

Kim Michaels: But, who says the only way you can do this is in the academic world or in the kind of academic institutions you’ve been in so far.  There could be other avenues that are just waiting to open up.

Parthenia:Well, and I accept that I can’t do it where I am.  I’m forced out.  And the ego says: Oh, but now, you’re too old to go anywhere else.  And so, I’m working with that.

Kim Michaels: You are never too old.

Parthenia:Well.  You’re listening to Divine Love Talk on CRN.  And I am so privileged to be speaking with my co-host, Kim Michaels about his book, Freedom from Ego Illusions.   We’ll be back after commercial break, wrapping this up.

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Parthenia:OK.  I’m back with more of Divine Love Talk on CRN.  I’m your host, Dr. Parthenia Grant interviewing my co-host, Kim Michaels, about his book, Freedom from Ego Illusions.  We’re wrapping this up.  And Kim, I’m so grateful for the insights that you are sharing to help me with my ego so that I can be that open door for others and so that I can, also, fulfill my divine plan; because that’s very, very important to me.  …

Kim Michaels: Well, to me, it’s very obvious what you are going through, because I have gone through the same thing.  I think many spiritual people will recognize this in our lives.  We have these periods that we feel they are very hard.  And they are very hard when we are going through them.  But, if we then look back later, we see that it was actually because we had locked ourselves in a certain pattern where we thought this is who I am, this is what I have to do for the rest of my life.  But this was not what we have to do according to our divine plan.  And so, it was actually our resistance to moving on that made it so hard to break out.  And that’s why there had to be such a severe situation before we finally did what you’re doing.  We were forced to stand back and say:  Well, is this really what I have to do for the rest of my life, or is there a higher level of service that’s waiting for me?

Parthenia:Yeah, and that’s exactly what has hit me in the face is that had I not been put in this position of being attacked so viciously, I would have just stayed there trying to work within the confines of this tiny little box trying to help students that the whole system doesn’t want to help.  … So, I want to thank you for your work.  We will be back next week with more of your other book on Freedom from the Ego’s Games.  You’re listening to Divine Love Talk and Kim Michaels, my co-host.  You want to check out his books on pretty much a lot of topics, but right now I’m really into the ego stuff.  Check him out at www.transcendecetoolbox.com.  I’m your host, Parthenia Grant and I’m so grateful that you’re here every week to join us on Divine Love Talk on CRN.  Thank you.

 

 

Copyright 2014 © Kim Michaels

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