“Self is an illusion.”

[Excerpt from TT: 2009-05-10]

[fiestycappy78] I have recently had an inner realization reading a book on Adviata/Non-Duality (The Outrageous Myths of Enlightenment by Stephen Wingate). Where do your teachings fit in with the main teaching of Advaita, which says that Consciousness Is-And we are THAT. There is no separate self. The separate self is an illusion. My question, specifically, is around the idea of CHOICE and FREE WILL. Michael always speaks of CHOICE, but who has CHOICE if there is only ONE…? Isn’t choice by the personality/Ego merely an illusion?

[Michael Entity] Our response to this would be that there is validity to that philosophy, but as with many higher philosophies, they are rather tunnel-visioned. Of course, if one were to look at the original source (Tao, God, All-That-Is, etc.) and see that this ultimate force generated this universe, it could be easy to say, “where was my choice in this?” However, we encourage you to look at your current lifetime for that answer. It may be true that your parents birthed you and therefore, “you” had no choice in being born, but what you have done since that point HAS been your choice.

With that in mind, we suggest looking at the parameters if Choice as being more accurately understood as Choices WITHIN. In other words, “you” may not have chosen to be created as a Personality, but you DO have choice WITHIN the life that you have. You may have limitations on certain aspects of life due to physiological, psychological, geographical, socio-economical parameters, but you do have choice WITHIN those limitations.

Choice exists on all levels, even down to the cellular and subatomic levels, however the magnitude of impact and parameters increase the “higher” one goes. On cellular levels, for instance, choice is atomic, simply used as a matter of navigation.

[fiestycappy78] Who has this choice? The personality/Ego? I have seen that the personality/EGO is not real…it is a collection of memories, thoughts, ideas, beliefs, self-image. So, who has the choice? Essence?

[Michael Entity] The “who” of the choice-making is relative to the context. The more limited the context, the more linear the choice-making. The broader the context, the higher the consciousness used, and the more non-linear the choice-making. In the end, it is ALL “you,” though the more linear aspects may disagree. And that is their prerogative. The more limited the choice, the more power the choice-maker has in that context. Think of the horse and rider, with the rider being Essence and the Personality being the horse. The horse will always have the specific details about the more limited contexts of where to step next, and can always buck the rider, if he chooses to do so. Or they can work together with one seeing the higher perspective for guidance, while the more focused perspective can navigate the terrain.

Within a lifetime, both Essence and Personality have choice, however, Personality has the ultimate power of choice within the lifetime. Essence will not interfere with the choices of Personality. Personality can choose to reject Essence and navigate the life completely “on its own.” However, Personality eventually learns how to manifest Essence and co-create the life through choices that are made on the levels of Personality, and leaving the higher patterns to Essence. If any of you choose to see yourselves as illusions and that your lives are merely the products of some higher force’s choices, you are missing the point. But that is your choice.

We would not agree with the philosophies that render the ego, the personality, or the lifetime as merely illusions. That is a perspective lacking in compassion and awareness, as your collections of memories, thoughts, beliefs, self-image are as “real” to YOU as any other level of reality is “real” to the observer that is “there.” We are certain that “Tao” knows of all of us as being as “real” as itself, much like any creator of expression or art, or builder of plans, or teacher of thought would think of the creation, structure, or impact as having as much life and validity as the creator, builder, teacher, etc. We would think it very difficult for any of you to prove you and your experiences are merely illusion, which is not to say that many of you cloud the experiences and often sensationalize the journey with unwarranted fears, but that is part of the human experience and you eventually clear the way. Until you clear the way, even the clouding and distortion is as “real” as it is to you, until it is not.

[fiestycappy78] Okay…I understand both perspectives, and I think that I will have to keep looking into my own experience…

[Michael Entity] “Feisty,” that is a fair analysis: that both perspectives hold valid truths.