Not Seeing the Forest for the Trees

Let us look at the overall view – the big picture – of how the selves manage to make and keep people psychologically blind and what you can do to start getting yourself out of the trap set by the selves. 

If there was one thing that all who are walking the path could benefit from understanding, it is the fact that the path is a process whereby you gradually free your mind from all of the illusions created by the selves. The selves can never experience higher awareness. The selves create a description – a mental image – of “reality” (and collectively human beings have created an almost infinite number of such images). 

The selves are absolutely convinced that the description is the real thing. In reality, the description is an idol that obscures your direct experience of higher awareness. The selves are in violation of the first two commandments given to Moses:

3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image… (Exodus, Chapter 20)

The first command is that you have no other gods before the real God, which means that you do not accept any description in this world as a substitute for the direct experience of higher awareness. The second one is that you do not take onto yourself any graven image, which does not mean a statue carved in stone but a mental image. 

The selves create these mental images and then they seek to make you believe that you should accept an image as the absolute, unchanging truth. You should be satisfied with the idol so that you do not attempt to go beyond it and experience higher awareness.

The selves cannot experience higher awareness, but you can. When you do experience higher awareness directly, you will no longer believe the illusion, namely that the description is the real thing or is all you need in order to be saved. The selves will lose their power over you, and as you stop feeding the selves energy, they will gradually wither away and it will eventually die. 

Because the selves have a strong survival instinct, they do not want to die, and thus they will do anything to keep you from seeing through the illusions. They will do anything to prevent you from experiencing higher awareness directly so that you can gradually expand your vision and can eventually rebuke all of the lies created by the selves.

We might say that the essence of the path is to gradually clear your mind from the illusions of the selves so that you gain a progressively purer experience of higher awareness.

The basic choice of life

In traditional religions you find the concept of the laws of God. We might also call them the design principles used to create the universe. The origin of all other design principles is the principle of oneness, the Law of Oneness.

Higher awareness created everything out of its own Being, and thus this Being is embedded in everything that was created. Higher awareness is state of consciousness that is created as the very foundation for the principle of oneness. 

The fundamental function of higher awareness is to be one with all life, to maintain oneness between all aspects of life. That is why higher awareness is the key for all of us to return to oneness with our higher selves. 

You – meaning your lifestream, which is more than your physical body and your outer mind and personality – were created to be a co-creator with the beings of higher awareness, the ascended masters. You co-create by receiving a stream of energy from your higher self and then expressing it through the mind and physical body.

Higher awareness has given human beings dominion over the Earth, which means that higher awareness (or rather a group of ascended masters called the Elohim) created this planet as a foundation upon which human beings could build a “house” as a way to express and develop their creative abilities. 

Human beings have been given free will so we must – individually and collectively – decide what we do upon the Earth. The only catch is, of course, that we will inevitably experience the conditions we create. Higher awareness did not create the current state of limitations, lack of resources and other forms of suffering. Humankind has collectively created current conditions, and everyone is experiencing them.

When higher awareness gave co-creators free will, a fundamental duality came into being. Higher awareness is an expression of the principle of oneness which is designed to make sure everything follows the higher purpose and vision. When co-creators gain free will, it becomes possible that they can choose to go against the principle of oneness. The mind of oneness logically has an opposite. The basic reality of free will is that a co-creator can create in one of two ways:

  • You can co-create by using higher awareness, which means that everything you do is in alignment with the purpose and the design principles used to create the universe. The Elohim used the mind of oneness to build the original Earth and you use the same mind to build on to it.
  • You can de-create by using the mind of anti-oneness or separation, which is in opposition to the mind of oneness. Everything you create through the mind of separation is out of alignment with the purpose and design principles of the universe.

The mind of separation is in opposition to the mind of oneness because it is based on the illusion that it is separated from higher awareness. Free will gives you two options for expressing your creativity:

  • You can co-create within the framework of the design principles. This ensures that you are in harmony with the purpose of the universe. Your efforts will enhance your own life and the lives of everyone else. Everything you do raises up all life.
  • You can de-create outside the framework of the design principles. Thereby, you set yourself apart from higher purpose and you are, so to speak, fighting against the current of the River of Life, you are fighting against the entire universe. The result of co-creating outside of the design principles is that you limit your creative freedom and power, and everything you do only pulls down yourself and all life. That is why humankind has created so much suffering on this planet.

To better understand the difference between following or going against the design principles, consider the law of gravity. This law is what makes it possible for you to live on the surface of the Earth instead of floating into empty space. Is the law of gravity a restriction of your creative freedom on this planet or is it the foundation for it? Would it make sense to rebel against the law of gravity and spend your entire life fighting it? (Take note that flying is not a rebellion against the law of gravity but a result of learning how to make more advanced use of all of the design principles.) 

As a co-creator, you have the option of co-creating through the mind of oneness or the mind of separation—the mind that sees itself as separated from God and all life. The mind of separation is based on a fundamental division, a division between itself and higher awareness, the design principles and all other co-creators. Higher awareness is the mind of oneness whereas the mind of separation is the mind of division, the mind of duality.

The knowledge of good and evil

When you stay within the framework of the design principles, you have an absolute standard for evaluating everything. There is that which is one with higher awareness, and there is that which is apart from higher awareness. 

When you move into the consciousness of separation, you lose this absolute guiding rod. Only the consciousness of oneness can see higher reality, and when you step outside the consciousness of oneness, you can no longer see an absolute truth. You now enter a state of mind in which truth becomes a relative concept, a concept that is dominated by two opposites that can only exist in relation to each other.

The Bible describes these concepts in the story of how Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden of Eden. The literal, orthodox interpretation of this story is out of touch with reality. Adam and Eve were not the only human beings in the Garden. The story is meant to illustrate what has happened to every co-creator on Earth. You are not being punished for the original sin of Adam and Eve. Your present situation is the consequence of the fact that you – for most people, many lifetimes ago – made the same choice made by Adam and Eve.

What was that choice? In the beginning, all co-creators lived in a protected environment in which they had direct guidance from a spiritual teacher—what Genesis calls “God.” This teacher (an ascended master) was teaching co-creators how to exercise their creative powers while staying within the framework of the design principles. Because they had free will, they also had the potential to go outside of these principles. This is what Genesis describes as follows:

16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. (Genesis, Chapter 2)

The deeper meaning behind the metaphor of the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil is that it is a description of the consciousness of separation, the consciousness that sees itself as separated from higher awareness. 

Perhaps you have wondered why God planted the tree in the Garden if he did not want Adam to eat of it? The reason is now clear. The “tree” was an inevitable consequence of giving co-creators free will. You could not have free will without having the potential to go outside of the design principles. 

Having this potential does not mean that you have to exercise it. Being able to hurt yourself does not mean that you have to hurt yourself. However, having the potential does mean that you are exposed to the temptation to go outside the design principles. The Serpent can be seen (among other things) as a symbol for the fact that free will does come with a price, namely the temptation to make choices that harm yourself and all life.

The real meaning behind the expression “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” is that it represents a state of consciousness, namely the consciousness of separation. In this state of consciousness you have stepped outside of oneness with higher awareness, and thus you no longer see reality. 

You now see everything as defined on a scale with two opposites. On one side of the scale is good and on the opposite side is evil. For the scale to exist, both are necessary, meaning that “good” and “evil” have now become relative concepts. They exist only in relation to each other and one is defined as the opposite of the other.

The consequence is that in the consciousness of separation there is no absolute truth. “Truth” has become relative, meaning that it can be defined differently by different people. You have heard the expression: “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” and in the consciousness of separation “truth” is in the eye of the beholder. When you partake of the consciousness of separation, you create your own definition of truth—and it will be outside of the higher truth. 

The ultimate outcome of the consciousness of separation is the belief that evil is the opposite of God, meaning that the devil (or however you picture personified evil) is the opposite polarity of God and is a necessary (even beneficial) part of the basic polarity of life. In reality, the consciousness of separation is not in a polarity with the consciousness of higher awareness. 

Evil is not the opposite of God. Evil is outside of God, and the consciousness of separation is outside the consciousness of higher awareness—the consciousness of oneness. Relativity is a product of the consciousness of separation, and it is only in the sphere of separation that good and evil exist as relative concepts, as opposing polarities where one cannot exist without the other.

The veil

The reality behind the story of the Fall of Man is that all human beings on this planet have “fallen,” meaning that they have partaken of the fruit of the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” By allowing this consciousness of separation to enter their beings, they have succumbed to the basic illusion, namely that they are separated from higher awareness instead of being co-creators with higher awareness, individualizations of higher awareness. 

Without higher awareness was not anything made that was made, meaning that you are an individualization of higher awareness. You can never be separated from higher awareness in reality. How could you be separated from higher awareness when higher awareness is everywhere and in everything? 

The belief that you are separated from higher awareness can exist only in the mind. It is the result of a free-will choice, namely the choice to partake of the consciousness of separation whereby you begin to believe – even experience – that you are separated from higher awareness.

The mind of higher awareness is the consciousness of oneness so as long as you are in this mind, you cannot see yourself as separated from higher awareness. Only by allowing the consciousness of separation to enter your being – whereby you see everything through the filter of this dualistic mind – can you experience yourself as being separated from your source. 

Through higher awareness, you see yourself as a drop in the ocean of God’s Being and you know all other drops came from the same source. Through the consciousness of separation, you see yourself as a drop that is separated from the ocean and from all other drops in the ocean.

In reality, the fall into a lower state of consciousness did not happen in one momentous event. It was a gradual process that took time, yet as depicted in Genesis, there did come a moment of truth:

7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. (Genesis, Chapter 3)

The deeper meaning is that your conscious self did have a moment of realization in which it recognized that it had separated itself from higher awareness, from its higher self and its spiritual teacher. At that moment, the conscious self faced an epic choice. Would it go back to its spiritual teacher or would it seek to hide from its teacher? Would it seek the teacher’s help to come back to higher awareness, or would it seek to hide its mistakes, hoping it could hide them from the teacher? 

There were many lifestreams in the Garden of Eden who partook of the forbidden fruit. Many of them did indeed go back to the teacher and they received the loving guidance that helped them come back to oneness with their source. The story of the Fall is the story of those lifestreams who tried to hide from the teacher. 

When you realize the importance of free will, you realize that the teacher could not force them to come back. He had to allow them to continue to hide. To this day, most people on this planet are hiding from the spiritual teacher, and the path can be seen as a process of making peace with your spiritual teacher and higher self.

The consequence of hiding from the teacher is that the student can no longer remain in the school of inner guidance. Genesis gives a very ominous description of how Adam and Eve were forcefully cast out of the Garden, but the reality is that Paradise is higher awareness, the consciousness of oneness. 

When the conscious self partook of the consciousness of separation, it could not remain in the consciousness of oneness—you cannot be one and separate at the same time. Those beings who refused to go back to the teacher, cast themselves out of the Garden.

As the Bible portrays, Adam and Eve were aware that they had suffered a loss—and so was every being that fell. When the conscious self lost is connection to higher awareness, it felt alone, even abandoned. Because this aloneness was unbearable, the conscious self needed something to take the place of its higher self and spiritual teacher. That “something” became the selves, which are designed as a way to compensate for the conscious self’s loss of connection. The selves are designed to prevent the conscious self from feeling alone.

The selves are born of the conscious self’s separation from oneness, and thus they are born from the consciousness of separation. They see everything through the filter of the consciousness of separation, meaning that they will always see themselves as separated from higher awareness. 

They cannot see oneness as the solution to the conscious self’s basic problem of aloneness. Instead, they seek to make the conscious self believe in any number of illusions that make it seem like it does not have to come back to oneness. These illusions range from the idea that there is no God to the idea that you can be saved only through an outer religion. 

The selves are born out of separation and they cannot see the absolute truth of higher awareness. The selves see only the relative “truth” that springs from the consciousness of separation, which means that everything the selves see affirms the basic illusion that you are separated from higher awareness. The selves and their relative, dualistic beliefs form a veil that prevents you from seeing higher awareness. Walking the path is a matter of learning to see beyond this veil.

The impossible quest of the selves

The selves are born of the consciousness of separation. The logical consequence is that the selves can never bring the conscious self back to oneness. Because the conscious self is created out of higher awareness, it can never quite forget that it came from somewhere higher than this Earth, that there is more to life than what it experiences on Earth. The selves are faced with an impossible quest. The conscious self has an inner longing for oneness, but the selves can never fill that longing. 

If the conscious self realizes this truth, it will no longer believe in the illusions—and thus the selves will die. To stay alive, the selves must prevent you from realizing the basic truth about life, and they do so by seeking to trap you in the dualistic illusions. These illusions take many forms, but the individual illusions created by the selves can be seen as trees in a forest.

Because you have been trapped by the selves, you are inside the forest and all you can see are the trees—the individual illusions created by the selves. As you begin to use your built-in ability to reach for higher awareness, you begin to cut down some of the trees in the forest. Eventually, your vision is less obscured, and you can begin to see the truth of oneness.

The important concept here is that the ego is more than the individual illusions of the selves, as the forest is more than the trees. What is a forest? If you clear out all the trees, is there any forest left? Indeed, the forest is still in existence in the same place it always existed, namely in the human mind. The reality is that the forest is just a mental concept, an illusion created in the mind—and so is the ego. The ego and the individual selves have no reality in and of themselves. They only has the reality that you give to them because you believe in the illusions. 

As long as you are focusing your attention on the illusions, you cannot see the selves. As long as you believe in the illusions, you cannot discover the truth that the selves have no reality in higher awareness. As long as you do not see that the selves have no reality, you believe the consciousness of separation is real. You continue to believe in the illusion that you are separated from higher awareness. 

All of the individual illusions – all of the trees in the forest – are designed to prevent you from seeing the forest, seeing the ego and the selves. For when you do see the selves and see them for what they are, you will realize that they are not real and thus have no power over you. You can surrender them, let them go and let them die as you walk away from them and enter higher awareness, the consciousness of oneness. 

You really cannot define the ego because the ego has no actual substance. It seems to have substance because you believe in its illusions, as the forest seems to have substance as long as you focus on the trees. A forest is a mental concept that can contain many kinds of trees. A pine forest is different from an oak forest. Likewise, the selves of one person is different from the selves of another person, and they are set apart by the individual illusions that each person has accepted.

In a sense one might say that the ego is like a chameleon that changes color so as to blend in with its environment and escape being detected. The ego is always trying to hide behind the trees so you do not see it. The consequence is that your ego will not remain the same. 

As you climb the path, you will clear out some of the illusions of your selves – some of the trees in the forest – but that does not mean you have fully overcome the selves. As long as any illusions are left, the ego will hide behind them in its never-ending attempt to prevent you from seeing the forest.

This has many consequences, but one is that as long as you are in this world, it is wise not to believe that you have fully overcome the ego. It is wise to always be alert and look for something that is hiding, seeking to deceive you to the very end. 

Once you no longer identify with the selves, it becomes so much easier for you to let go of the remaining illusions of your selves. This is the state of knowing – “Human, know thyself” – to which all who want to grow should aspire. Everything given by HAP has the purpose of helping you reach that state of knowing that you are more than the selves.