As is the case with the word “soul,” the word “ego” has been used differently by various spiritual teachings, psychologists and self-help experts. It is difficult to define the ego because the primary effect of the ego is that it distorts your vision. Thus, as you walk the spiritual path, you will have to deal with different manifestations of the ego.
The article 144 Levels of consciousness, explains that there are 144 levels of consciousness possible on earth. When the Conscious You first descended into embodiment on earth, it descended at the 48th level. It then had the option to start an upward spiral, whereby it would rise from the 48th level, through the succeeding levels, until it reached the 144th level and could ascend.
On each level of consciousness, there is a corresponding aspect of the ego. It is this ego that makes a particular level of consciousness seem real and seem like it has some power to hold the Conscious You at that level. In other words, the ego will seek to make the Conscious You believe that it cannot, is not allowed to or does not need to rise beyond its current level. Thus, in order to rise from one level of consciousness to the next, the Conscious You will have to transcend the corresponding aspect of the ego.
While this may sound difficult, it really isn’t so hard, once you begin to intuitively “see” how the ego works. The ego only has a limited number of options, and some “tricks” are used at each level of consciousness, so they can be recognized.
The primary trick used by the ego is to divert your attention away from looking inside yourself. Jesus made an interesting statement, when he asked us why we so often look at the splinter in the eyes of our brothers but fail to see the beam in our own eyes. The primary reason for this is that the ego is so good at diverting our attention by making us believe that we have to do something, solve some problem or pay attention to something outside ourselves.
The basic key to rising from one level of consciousness to the next is to look inside ourselves and realize two things:
• My current level of consciousness is limiting me, and I no longer want to be at this level.
• I, meaning the Conscious You, am more than my current level of consciousness, meaning that I can extricate myself from my current sense of self and rise – or be reborn – into a new sense of self.
Yet for you to come to the point of being willing to let the old self behind, you need to see it for what it is. And you simply cannot do that as long as you are looking outside yourself, seeking to change other people or the world according to the perception you have at your current level of consciousness.
As we have explained before, your current level of consciousness forms a perception filter. As long as you are looking at the world through that filter, you will see the world a certain way, and your ego will seek to make you believe that what you see is ultimate reality, absolute truth or the only way to look at life. Meaning that your current perception is something you cannot question, are not allowed to question or do not need to question.
Compare this to a chess game, where the rules have been altered in such a way, that no move you make will make your opponent checkmate. In other words, no matter what you do, you cannot win the game. You will either play the game indefinitely, or you will come to a point where you realize this and thus refuse to continue playing. No matter what you do, you cannot transcend your current level of consciousness until you begin to question your perception filter—and your ego will do everything it can to prevent you from doing this.
The ego has created a false path, which we might call the outer path. It makes you think that you can qualify for the ascension by doing something to change other people or change the world. The real path is an inner path, where you realize that the ONLY way that YOU can qualify for YOUR ascension is to change yourself—your sense of self. And the only way to rise to a higher sense of self is to let the old self die. But in order to do that, you must come to see it as a limitation, see it as unreal and see that the Conscious You is more than the self, meaning that the Conscious You will not die when the self dies. And in order to come to that point, you must see through the smokescreen created by the ego.
The levels of the ego
As explained in 144 Levels, there are three major phases on the spiritual path. When you first descended to earth, you came in at the 48th level, meaning that you perceived the world through the perception filter that corresponds to that level of consciousness. At this level, you do have a sense that you are connected to something greater than yourself, but you do not have a clear perception of your I AM Presence.
You also have a sense that the world is a whole, meaning that what you do affects the whole and thus also yourself. You do not have a clear realization of why this is so, but you do have an intuitive sense of this, and thus there are certain choices that you simply will not make. At this level, you will not take actions that clearly harm others, because you sense this is not in your own best interest.
The Conscious You has free will, and it is charged with making choices based on its current perception filter. Thus, at the 48th level, you face a temptation to either rise higher or go lower, to create an upward spiral or a downward spiral. Below the 48th level of consciousness, you find levels that all have one characteristic: they are based on the very subtle belief that the ends can justify the means.
The effect is that when you enter those levels, you lose the sense that you are connected to your spiritual self and that you are connected to all life. In other words, once you go below the 48th level, the ego that you create will make it seem believable that you are a separate being, living in a world of separate things and people. In other words, it now seems justifiable for you to do the things that only a separate being can do—namely act as if you have a right to do what you want regardless of the consequences this has for others.
The inevitable companion to this state of consciousness is a sense of being alone and of being threatened by other people or material conditions. Thus, it is inevitable that you enter into a state of mind of seeking to deal with the sense of being threatened by controlling your environment, including other people. As you look towards the lower levels of consciousness, you see people who become increasingly controlling and willing to dominate others, even willing to kill those they cannot control.
For these people, such behavior seems perfectly justifiable and necessary, and the reason is that they are completely identified with the ego that corresponds to their level of consciousness. Thus, they completely believe in the perception they have through the ego, meaning they see their behavior as perfectly justifiable, necessary or unavoidable. At the lowest levels of consciousness, you find people who are absolutely convinced that their behavior is justified by some higher cause, and obvious examples are Hitler, Stalin and Mao.
We can now see that there are three distinct levels of ego:
• Below the 48th level we find an ego that is aggressively seeking to control and dominate other people. Such people are struggling against something outside themselves. This level of ego also aggressively seeks to make decisions for you—or at least to control the decisions made by the Conscious You.
• Between the 48th and the 96th level, we find an ego that is not aggressive and controlling towards others, as much as it is seeking to control you. Most spiritual people are at this level, which means they are struggling against something inside themselves.
• Between the 96th and the 144th level we find an ego that is more subtle. This is where you strive to find the delicate balance of not allowing the material realm to have power over you – as you come to see yourself as Spirit – while at the same time building complete respect for the free will of other people—not falling for the temptation of forcing them to grow but only seeking to inspire them through example.
The bottom line is that the ego can be seen as a filter that colors your perception. When you are at the lowest level of consciousness, there are 144 layers of this perception filter. This has two implications. First of all, it is impossible to have a direct experience of the pure light that descends from your I AM Presence. The Conscious You is so identified with its level of consciousness, that it is very difficult for it to experience itself as pure awareness, and thus it cannot “see” that it is more than its sense of self. (That is why some people are ready to kill others in order to preserve their unreal sense of self.) Secondly, the Conscious You is completely convinced that its perception is real, and even that it has a right to define what is real and unreal.
In this state of mind, you are generally unreachable for a spiritual teacher, especially the ascended masters. Yet this does not mean you are “lost” and have no way back. However, it does mean that you can learn in only one way: through what the masters call the “school of hard knocks.” You learn by constantly struggling against some opposition, until you finally come to the point of thinking: “I have had enough of struggling against this, there must be a better way, there must be more to life.”
This can cause you to shift your consciousness to a higher level, where you struggle against something else, until you have had enough of that experience. And eventually, you can then climb to the 48th level, where you will be open to receiving instructions from the ascended masters through your intuition.
As you continue to climb, you peel away layers of perception filters, and this continues to the 144th level, where you shed the final layer and can no longer maintain a physical body, but you ascend to the spiritual realm.
There is, however, an important shift that occurs at the 96th level, because at this level you begin to have direct perception of your vertical oneness with your I AM Presence and your horizontal oneness with all life. Jesus actually came to give humankind an example of a person who is at and above the 96th level. That is why he said: “I and my father are one” and “inasmuch as ye have done it to the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
At the 96th level, you begin to directly see the reality that all life is one, and this is called the Christ consciousness. This is when you can begin to see through the perception filter created by the mind of anti-christ, namely that all life is separate. This lie of separation is the ultimate lie that you must overcome before you can ascend—as this lie is not found in the ascended realm. It is possible in the material realm only because the density of matter makes it seem plausible that “things” are separate and that the material world is separated from God.
Let us briefly tie this in to what was said on the page about the soul. When the Conscious You first descended at the 48th level, there was an ego that was part of the self you took on at that level. IF (and not all have done this) you made the choice to go below the 48th level, you will create another layer of ego, namely the more aggressive one that seeks to control. This ego now becomes part of your soul, and you will carry it with you (from lifetime to lifetime) until you transcend it.
Additional teachings on the ego
The ascended masters have given vast and profound teachings on the human ego in books and dictations. Three such teachings are included here because they give you a basic understanding of how to avoid being blinded by the ego: